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Today's Belize News: October 11, 2013 #474717
10/11/13 05:53 AM
10/11/13 05:53 AM
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

New Peace Corps Volunteer assigned to La Isla Bonita
This week we introduce Diana Sanchez. She is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. Diana will be serving Ambergris Caye for 27 months, focusing on areas south of the airstrip area. Diana has been in service with the Peace Corps for three months now and participated in a two month training in Valley of Peace located in the Cayo District. Diana will be working alongside the Ministry of Health and The Health Education and Community Participation Bureau (HECOPAB) to promote health education as it relates to maternal and child health. Diana also wants to work along with the community to reduce the risk of non-communicable (chronic) diseases. She aims to promote healthy living to tackle the four main types of non-communicable diseases, which are cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes.

Southern Zone Wins Police Minister’s Awards for September 2013
Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar today presented his Monthly Awards for the zone and formation that performed the best in reducing major crimes during the month of September, 2013. The Southern Zone, headed by Senior Superintendent of Police Robert Mariano, saw the greatest reduction in major crimes for the month of September, the Placencia Sub-formation performing the best in that region. Senior Superintendent Mariano this afternoon received from Hon. Saldivar a Cheque of $1,000 for the performance by his zone, and a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of Inspector Mark Flowers who heads the Placencia Sub-Formation.

San Pedro Darts Team receives donation from SPTC
The San Pedro Town Council on Thursday October 10th handed over a donation to the San Pedro Darts Team. The assistance given to the local darts team is to help them meet expenses as they make final preparations to host the annual National Darts Tournament organized by the Belize Darts Federation. The tournament, which is hosted at different venues annually, will be held on the weekend of October 11th to the 13th in San Pedro Town at the Lions Den. The San Pedro Darts Team will be hosting four other teams from Caye Caulker, Belize City and San Ignacio Cayo over the three days of the tournament. The event will start at 6PM at the San Pedro Lions Den. It has been over eight years since the local team has hosted the Annual National Darts Tournament.

Counting the ways to spend your days on Ambergris Caye (#1)
Snorkel Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley. Officially established in 1897, and by far the most popular site in the area, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve is located off the southern tip of Ambergris Caye, just a short 15-20 minute boat ride from San Pedro Town. Hol Chan means “little channel” in Mayan, and it is the dramatic coral walls that border this narrow, 30 foot-deepchannel,as well as the coral and sea grass perimeter that offers spectacular snorkeling and diving. Imagine marvelous creature encounters with turtles, eels, eagle and southern rays, trunk fish, trumpet fish, butterfly fish, squirrel fish, tangs, barracudas, crabs, parrot fish, wrasses, star fish, squid, damsels, groupers large and small, grunts, jacks, conch and perhaps a nurse shark or two!

Ambergris Today

Belize’s Deon McCaulay Tops Strike List in World Cup Qualification Games
Belize’s Deon McCaulay sits on the top position of most goal strikes at the final chunk of World Cup qualification games, proving to be one of the best along the ranks of world-renown Lionel Messi. In fact, at the moment McCaulay bests Messi (Argentina) and other great players like Peter Byers of Antigua & Barbuda, Blas Perez from Panama and Luis Suarez from Uruguay. McCaulay is #1 at the moment after racking up 11 goals in eight games. The 26-year-old forward struck four times in the first-round play-off, but his most impressive feat was scoring seven goals in six second-round round games - despite his team being knocked out by Guatemala. So even though Belize has long since been eliminated, forward Deon McCaulay shows that he has ‘got game’ and proven to be a great player, knocking elbows with the best in the sport.

100th Anniversary of the Pallottine Sisters in Belize Celebrated with New Stamps Issue
The Belize Postal Service is pleased to announce the release of a new set of commemorative postage stamps. The new set of postage stamps was officially released on Wednesday, October 9, 2013, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Pallottine Sisters in Belize. The release of the stamps forms a part of the Pallottine Sisters’ Centennial Celebrations of their arrival to the shores of Belize. On March 17, 1913, four German Pallottine Sisters challenged the boat ride from Belize City to San Ignacio where they landed on the banks of the Macal River. Their journey continued to Benque Viejo by horse and buggy, the only means of transportation in 1913.

Misc Belizean Sources

Stolen Boat: San Pedro
REWARD WILL BE GIVEN. 2013 28’ Wahoo Center Console Fishing Boat Name – Lil Charli 2 – 2013 115HP Yamaha Four Stroke outboards – White color Hull Color – Dark Blue White gunnels and interior T-Top Blue Rod Holder on T-Top Simrad Radar mounted on T-Top Simrad GPS Forward stora ge compartment with Smoked Plexiglass Door Smoked Plexiglass door on side of console

Mayor Daniel Guerrero attends the 102nd National Day of the Republic of China (Taiwan) [also called the Double Tenth] held in Belize City on Wednesday, October 9, 2013. Also present at the event was Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his wife Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow and other honorable guests.

SPTC donates to the San Pedro Darts Team
Councilor Gaby Nuñez, on behalf of the San Pedro Town Council, handed over a cheque of $1,000 to the San Pedro Darts Team who will be hosting Darts Nationals at the Lion's Den on Friday - October 11 at 6:00 p.m., All Day Saturday - October 12 and All Day Sunday - October 13. There will be lots to eat and drink while you watch the tournament. The money will go towards the purchasing of trophies, dart boards, prizes and the setup of the tournament. We encourage everyone to come out and support the San Pedro Darts Team and make it a successful event!

The Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites project made a great donation to the Institute of Archaeology. One of the objectives of the MTBCAAS is the enhancement of the tourism experience by improving the local infrastructure and services. They donated some much needed tools and equiptment which will be used at many sites, including 4 in Cayo: ATM, Xunantunich, Cave’s Branch Cave and Barton Creek Cave. "The Belize Rural Development Programme Phase II (BRDPII) 'Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites' is a 24 month action promoting broad-based rural economic growth and reduction of the incidence of poverty in the rural communities of Belize."

The Cayo Buy and Sell Weekly Classifieds for October 8th
The Buy and Sell Weekly Classifieds are online again, and they've released this week's issue. Always a lot of great Cayo information in it, from restaurants to nightlife to stores.

Yoga at Soul Project
Kate Devine from En Lighten Up Yoga is offering yoga classes at the Soul Project 3 days a week. Tuesdays and Fridays, it's at 9:00am, and on Sundays, it's at 5:00pm. Get flexible and a great workout at the same time. In related news, Discover Yoga Belize is offering yoga packages for Belize, and they are doing one at Ak'bol in San Pedro, the You Betta Belize It Yoga Fest 2013, starting on December 8th.

The State of Sexual and Reproductive Health in Belize
When picturing Belize, many people imagine beaches, snorkeling, and Mayan ruins. The Caribbean country is about the same size as the state of Massachusetts, and has a population of just over 324,000. The people who live in Belize are as diverse as its environmental attractions. Because of its natural beauty, Belize has become a popular tourist destination. Despite its riches of natural and cultural diversity, Belize is not a paradise for all. Women face many unique challenges. According to the World Economic Forum’s measure of gender equality—which is based on women’s economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment—Belize was ranked 102nd out of the 135 countries in 2012. It falls second to last among the Latin American and Caribbean countries. The National Gender Policy in Belize states that women are recruited for jobs and promoted at lower rates than men, and they receive lower salaries and fewer employee benefits then men who hold the same positions. The lack of opportunities for women means they often find themselves financially dependent on their male partners.

Channel 7

The Big Reveal: Citizen Kim Scandal Sparks New Immigration Regulations
This afternoon at 2:30 at the Biltmore, the Ministry of Immigration and the Prime Minister held a marathon press conference dealing with all the immigration issues that have cropped up in the last three weeks since the Citizen Kim scandal has emerged. As you might guess, that's a lot of issues - and in fact, the press conference ran for two hours and twenty three minutes, which is the longest in memory. It finished an hours and a half ago, and we've put together the most important bits. We start with the opening remarks from Minister Godwin Hulse where he outlined the dramatic new penalties that are proposed for those who violate immigration laws in the future:... Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration "There are those who believe that the Belizean nationality and passport is a commodity to be traded on the open market to any bidder. To those we say this game has ended. We will start with a vigorous re-organizing and re-structuring of the department for better efficiency with the assistance and the expertise at the Minister of the Public Service." "Two; we will create a nationality scrutinizing committee and I dear say that time has not permitted for us to consult with all the actors in the public sector but be assured that the Prime Minister and the Cabinet will ensure that you participate. If you have not heard it before - we apologize to you. But this is the action we intend to take."

Tourism Police Guns And Ammo Stolen
And while the Immigration Department grapples with stolen nationality documents, police have to worry about stolen guns, four of them, along with 557 rounds of ammunition, and then some. Between 4:30 Tuesday evening, and 7:30 Wednesday Morning, someone broke into the tourism police unit booth at the House of Culture and stole four 9mm pistols, the 557 - 9mm rounds we told you about, 32 - 9mm magazines, 150 - 12-gauge cartridges and a Dell laptop. 7News understands that investigators are looking closely at 2 officers to see how if they are connected to these stolen guns and bullets. The weapons were formerly kept at the police armory, but were recently relocated to the TPU Headquarters where we understand they were kept basically in a drawer.

MIT Gets Ammo Stash
And while the Tourism Police Unit is doing an inventory of their guns, the new Mobile Interdiction Team picked up an illegal ammunitions cache in the Cayo District. This morning, officers from the unit searched an abandoned lot in Roaring Creek village, and they found 100.6 - or 3.5 grams - of cannabis, and 30 twelve-gauge shot gun cartridges. No one was in the area, so the items were deposited as found property. Meanwhile, Caye Caulker police were on patrol yesterday evening, when stopped 22 year-old Charlenne Young on Front Street, who was acting suspicious. A female officer searched her and found 3 small plastic bags in her bra which contained cocaine. It was weighted to be 1.6 grams, and as a result she was arrested and charged with drug trafficking. She was arraigned today in San Pedro Magistrate's Court

Arthur Saldivar’s Files Still Relevant
As we showed you earlier, all eyes tonight are on Elvin Penner and what he plans, or does not plan to do next, some of the focus tonight must also remain on Arthur Saldivar. We've pretty much confirmed that there is no warrant for his arrest or to search his home - and more on that later - but the 150 files that he purports to have remained a subject of great interest to the media and grave concern to the department. Today the CEO in the Minister conceded that they don't have those files: Candelaria Saldivar, CEO - Ministry of Immigration "We are presently in the process of doing an inventory check of all our files which will indicate whether or not any of our files are missing." Samiyyah Andrewin, reporter "No I understand. Tthat occurred because Mr. Saldivar has indicated that he has some files. I am asking in your investigation so far prior to Mr. Saldivar coming up with these files that he said that he has - did you also look at other applications signed by Minister Penner to make sure that there were no irregularities there." Candelaria Saldivar, CEO - Ministry of Immigration "Minister Penner has been signing certificates since May. That would have to be a very extensive investigation which at this time we have not been able to take on."

Police Minister On Saldivar’s Files
And in a neat family feud, we today asked Candelaria Saldivar's brother, the Minister of Police John Saldivar whether a warrant had been issued for the arrest of their cousin, the attorney Arthur Saldivar. Here's what the police minister said:.. Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "As far as I am aware there is no warrant issued for his arrest or for the search of his house. As far as I am aware the Immigration Department is concluding its investigation into the missing files and whenever they are able to determine the files that are missing they will pass that information to the Commissioner of Police who will then begin his search for those files and obviously by his own admission the best and first place to start would be with Arthur Saldivar." Jules Vasquez "So then it's not unforeseeable that if he does not wish to cooperate, a search warrant may be issued?"

Police Minister “Guided By” Immigration Minister
We also asked John Saldivar whether there is an ongoing police investigation at the immigration Department. Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse yesterday said the Director Maria Marin had called in police, but today Saldivar seemed not to know about it:... Jules Vasquez "Did the Mose Hyde complaint initiate any chain of events which would lead to a police investigation of the Immigration Department?" Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "It hasn't because the complaint would have to come from the department and from the Director of Immigration and I believe that the Commissioner of Police is waiting to hear from the Immigration Department or the Minister responsible for Immigration if any investigation by the police is warranted." Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration "Police was invited in at 4:30 yesterday by the Director of Immigration and the CEO who are the competent officials and the right persons to invite them to look at all aspects of the situation including files that are missing and files held by Mr. Saldivar's report. There is no holds bar. Its comprehensive because of the fact that we are continuing the inventory and investigations into this matter, the Director feels it's appropriate and so does the CEO as is their right to invite the police to look at the whole comprehensive package of photocopying files that are going missing etc."

Hon. Saldivar Candid On Visa Issue
And sticking with Saldivar, earlier you heard the Prime Minister talk about the prospect of visa hustling in his government. Saldivar is a senior minister in that government and we asked him what he knew about it:.. Jules Vasquez "Someone or a representative may come and say 'Minister I need your help in getting a visa for my constituent who is from China and his uncle wants to come.' Is that something that was practice under the UDP and has it raised red flags in your knowledge as former Minister of Immigration and in the Cabinet itself?" Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "In terms of red flags, I am not aware of any of that. What I am aware of is the granting of visas - there is a process that it goes through and persons have to qualify, they have to meet certain requirements and the department goes through its process of vetting these applications and once they are approved is because they have pass the process that the Immigration Department has set."

Eric Chang Asks Mayor For An Extended, Extended Stay
And while Saldivar says he only checked on a couple visas, one name we've heard in that visa mix is Eric Chang. But we can't ask him about it because he's still out of the country. Ealrier this week you heard the mayor say that he has to be back by this Friday. Well, 7news has learned that Chang ahs contatced the mayor asking if he can postpone his return until October 25th because his grandfather in Taiwan is ailing. The mayor would not return our text message asking for a comment on this.

Hon. Saldivar’s Response To Social Partners On PAC
We also asked Saldivar about his posiion on the social partners criticizing his version of the public accounts committee. They called it a charade and here's what he said about that:.. Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "First of all I'm a bit confused because they participated in the first two sessions and did so willingly. Now to have the turn back that they have done, I dint understand where it's coming from, but I am yet to understand what it is that they would like to see us put in its place if they are not satisfied with what is happening now." "I believe that the chairing of the committee by a government member in particular of me at this time is simply because the opposition chai does not want to attend the meeting and should we halt the proceedings simply because the opposition chair doesn't want to attend the meeting? I don't believe so." "I am yet to hear from them what it is exactly that aggrieves them and to see if we can fix it."

Hon. Saldivar Mobilized For Penner In Cayo Northeast
And finally for Minister Saldivar tonight, we asked him how he feels about throwing his support behind Elvin Penner in Cayo Northeast where Saldivar is part of the campaign to keep him in office as a representative: Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "I have been on the ground campaigning. I was in Cayo over the past weekend on Sunday basically supporting Hon. Penner. More importantly, ensuring that the People's United Party cannot use this episode to try to get one step closer into government." Jules Vasquez "Is it a dilema for you in any way support someone who according to the Prime Minister, has done a egregiously wrong and from all outward appearances has constructed an entirely false narrative about citizen Kim." Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "I didn't get that." Jules Vasquez "Does it put you in a difficult position that this person has manifestly done wrong by the Prime Minister, the press and by the public - has done an egregiously wrong but yet as a politician you have to fall in and jump behind Elvin Penner and start cheerleading for someone who is apparently morally bankrupt."

Bzn. Milton Palacio Coaching College B-Ball
Way back in the late 90's Milton Palacio assumed iconic status in Belize as one of the finest basketball players ever to touch a court wearing our flag. The Belizean American went unto a successful 14 year professional career, playing eight seasons in the NBA and six in Europe. Well, the news tonight is that Palacio has retired and is now a coach. KHQ 6 out of Idaho reports that he has joined the Idaho Univseristy men's basketball coaching staff as Director of Player Development. Palacio reunites with Idaho head coach Don Verlin, who was an assistant at Colorado State during part of Palacio's collegiate career at that college.The coach tells an Idaho TV station that he'll serve principally as a mentor for the young players, teaching them about taking care of academics, and the finer points of the game.

World Mental Health Day
Today is world mental health day and the theme this year is, "Mental Health and Older Adults". Indeed, amongst all the difficulties of aging, the fact that older persons may suffer from depression and anxiety is often overlooked. Experts say that many times persons 60 years and older have difficulty contending with the loss of ability to live independently because of limited physical mobility or mental health disorders. Today at the resource center on Vernon street, Kathy Esquivel of the mental health association discussed those issues and how you can help mitigate them for that older person in your life:.. Geovanni Brackett, reporter "What are the mental health challenges face by older adults?" Kathy Esquivel "Obviously there are all kinds of issues especially health issues and things like dementia, Alzheimer's but there is also a certain amount of depression if you are shut in or if you have health issues. There are physical and emotional issues for the older adults that we need to recognized."

PAHO’s Financial Report On MOH
Today, PAHO presented its Final Report of the Health Accounts of the Ministry of Health. Now if that sounds like something you might want to look into to find out about the minister's fuel allowance - really it's not all that sexy, it's a bureaucratic exercise to find out how much of the country's GDP is spent on health in Belize, and also how much is mis-spent. CEO In the Ministry Peter Allen explained:.. Peter Allen, CEO - Ministry of Health "Healthcare financing doesn't just look at the total amount of money but how we distribute the funds and how equitably the funds are distributed to provide services not only for curative care but also to look at how we promote health, how we promote wellness, what do we do to try to keep our people healthy which is fundamentally the principal objective of our government and of course of the Ministry of Health." "The national health accounts look at the trend over a period of years and look at as a percentage of the budget and as a percentage of the gross domestic product of the country - how much are we spending on health. Are we spending enough? Are we spending it wisely? Do we need to spend more? Or do we need to re-distribute the way that we are financing our health services and that's precisely what this report gives us - the evidence to suggest that we can make some adjustments. We can do better in the way we invest our resources in the national health system."

G Collective Toured Europe
Today the Garifuna Collectives returned to Belize after a 2 week tour in Europe. The band played in 6 cities including London England, Warsaw Poland, Prague Czech Republic, Brussells Belgium, Utrech Netherlands and Bern Switzerland. It's the first time any Belizean band has played those faraway places and today they stopped by our studios to share with us their firsthand experienced.

Man Shot On Crenshaw Block
And before we close tonight, we have one more item. A man was shot this evening in Belize City. It happened on Iguana Street near the area known as Crenshaw Block. He was seriously injured but did not die. He is reportedly in a stable condition at the KHMH at this hour. We'll have more on this tomorrow.

Channel 5

Two murders within hours in the Wild West; masked man kills Camalote resident
Belmopan Police believe that they have in custody the two persons who murdered American David Reichel and Filipino Alry Rose Sardido on Saturday in Roaring Creek. But even as they [...]

A deaf/mute was also killed by gunman as he fled the scene
Within an hour, Honduran Oscar Leonel Benitez was murdered to protect the identity of the man who killed Juan Carlos Olmedo. In a tragic twist of fate, both killer and [...]

Missing Teakettle man is believed to have been murdered
There is another case that could turn out to be murder as a family from the Arizona area of Teakettle is convinced that their father and husband, Pedro Ruben Andrade [...]

Guatemalan is murdered in Jalacte
While the overnight murders of two Camalote residents are making headlines tonight, the brutal slaying of a Guatemalan national, who was killed in Jalacte Village over the weekend, has gone [...]

Despite his dismissal from cabinet, Elvin Penner is getting his perks
It has been twelve days since we first broke the story on the issuance of a Belize passport to a South Korean national who had never set foot in Belize [...]

Arthur Saldivar says conflict of interest in passport investigation
On Monday, Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse commented on the ongoing investigation into the recent passport scandal involving junior minister Elvin Penner who has since been dismissed from cabinet.  While [...]

Will there be a criminal investigation into the current passport scandal?
But will there be a criminal investigation into the current passport scandal? There should since there is enough to suggest that a crime was committed in the issuance of a [...]

Amendment to Criminal Code; is legal language favorable to gay rights cause?
While the issue of the passport scandal took center stage in the House last Friday, amendments to the Criminal Code as they pertain to sexual offenses against children and persons [...]

Ex-cop found guilty of manslaughter by negligence
After deliberating since midday today, a jury of seven women and two men delivered a verdict to determine the fate of interdicted cop, Burton Caliz.  Caliz was accused of manslaughter [...]

Controversial Belize Infrastructure Limited opens in Belmopan
The government announced today the formal opening of the Belize Infrastructure Limited. The interim general manager of BIL is Christy Maestre.  If the name sounds familiar that is because Maestre [...]

Not all sweet in sugar industry; Cane Farmers Association suspends negotiation
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industries, under the American Sugar Refining Limited, have been enjoying a fruitful relationship since ASR successfully purchased seventy-eight point six [...]

A workshop to strengthen efforts to record Belize’s rich cultural diversity
In Orange Walk Town today, a national workshop got underway to strengthen efforts to record Belize’s rich cultural diversity. The workshop is sponsored by UNESCO in partnership with NICH. Its [...]


No More Junior Ministers for Immigration Ministry, Says Prime Minister
Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Minister of Immigration, Senator Godwin Hulse, have put forth a set of a set of proposals on how the procedures will now follow for the procurement of Belizean passports and nationality documents. The proposals follow the recent passport and nationality scandal that emerged at the Ministry – an indignity that has the former Minister of State, Elvin Penner, facing possible recall from the House of Representatives and, depending on a police investigation, perhaps criminal charges. At a joint press conference this afternoon at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel, Senator Hulse laid out the proposals, which will now include a series of new features. HON. GODWIN HULSE “We will start with a vigorous reorganizing and restructuring of the department for better efficiency with the assistance and the expertise of the Ministry of the Public Service. (2) We will create a nationality scrutinizing committee and I dare say that time has not permitted for us to consult with all the actors in the public sector but be assured that the Prime Minister and the Cabinet will ensure that you participate. So, if you have not heard it before we apologize to you but this is the action we want to take.

Criminal Code Seeks To Hold Both Males and Females Culpable
On countless occasions we’ve reported on the crime of unlawful carnal knowledge. In those instances and under the criminal laws, the male has always been held responsible. But in the proposed amendments of the criminal code, the guilt of that offence is being considered to be shared between both the female and the male. Deputy Solicitor General, Michelle Daly, explained how the bill proposes to do that. MICHELLE DALY “In the present criminal code you would only have carnal knowledge of a female. If you have sex with an individual under the age of 16 you could only bring an offence against the person who had sex with the female. We sought to have this law be applicable to both male and females in a bid to protect the boys who were previously unprotected under this offence. So now whether you are a boy or a girl having sex under the age of 16, it is illegal, it is deemed unlawful sexual activity. Now where you have individuals who are between 16 and 18 and they consent to sex, they have the right, legally, to consent to sex it is not an offence. What we have sought to do because we appreciate that there are for instances, say a boy who is 17 who has been in a relationship with a girl who is under 16 to provide a mitigating defense for an individual in that situation where they are both technically minors but one would have been able to consent and the other not consent.”

Beretta Pistol Found in Abandoned Lot
Police say a search of an abandoned lot on Lakeview Street resulted in the discovery of a black pietro Beretta point 380 pistol with a 13 shooter metal magazine containing one live brass colored point 380 round and eight live point 380 rounds of ammunition. The weapon was found inside a black plastic bag which was buried and covered with coconut limbs. No one was in the area at the time and the firearm was labeled as found property.

Mayan Leaders Say Yes to Norwegian Cruise Line for Harvest Caye Development
The leaders of the Mayan Community have expressed support for Norwegian’s Cruise Line , NCL, developments on Harvest Caye through a release sent out this afternoon. The release says that twelve Mayan villages were represented at the meeting on September 15, where respected Mayan leaders publically expressed their support for the NCL project. The release further states that the Mayan leaders are urging the villagers to support the project as well. In fact, according to the release, the leaders are asking the villagers to understand that quote, “Norwegian’s development will greatly benefit their local communities, even those located miles away from Harvest Caye,” end of quote. And here is how, the Mayan leaders are persuading the villagers to support the NCL project; the release says that Norwegian’s development on Harvest Caye will give outlying villages the opportunity to provide fruits, vegetables, arts and crafts to the island without ever having to leave their village. However, the release does not mention that the villagers have expressed support for the project. The Government of Belize and NCL have signed a memorandum of understanding on the development. NCL plans to invest fifty million dollars in the project to create a world-class cruise destination.

One in Four Persons Has A Mental Disorder: World Mental Health Day
Today over one hundred countries are observing the 21st annual World Mental Health Day. Belize joins the international celebration which is funded by the World Federation for Mental Health and supported by the World Health Organization. Today a ceremony was held at the Mental Health Resource Center. Eleanor Bennett of the Mental Health Program in the Ministry of Health told Love News that even though the Ministry the offering services to persons with mental disorders, there are several challenges that need to be overcome. ELEANOR BENNETT “It has been a challenge especially to develop programs that is tailored to this population and this time in their lives but the Ministry of Health has been able to provide a wide variety of services for people with these mental conditions such as Alzheimer and mental depression. Also a big part of our focus has been mental health promotion; making people aware of some of these and how to deal with them.

Robbers Hit Police Unit: Firearms and Ammunition Missing
Four firearms and a number of ammunition were stolen from the Tourism Police Unit on Regent Street. Police say they responded to a report that sometime between four thirty Tuesday evening and seven thirty Wednesday morning someone broke into the unit and stole four Bersa pistols, a quantity of nine millimeter live rounds, 12 gauge cartridges, nine millimeter magazines and a black Dell brand laptop. The value of the items stolen is not yet determined.

Family of Missing Man Says Police Are Not Helping Them
A man has been reported in the Unitedville Village in the Cayo District. Correspondent Fem Cruz spoke with the family who believe that their love one is dead. FEM CRUZ “Forty year old Luis Andre Sosa, a resident of Unitedville in the Cayo District has been reported missing since last week Wednesday night, October 2 and up to this time he has not been seen or heard from. The family and friends of Andre came from Orange Walk Town and are here in United Ville at the riverside conducting a search. The family wants to voice their frustration.” SISTER OF MISSING MAN “He was staying here in Unitedville since seven months ago; he was working here with the Chairman, Mr. Mai. They told us the last time they saw him was Wednesday night and he did not arrive at work on Thursday. So they told us to come and search and to ask for assistance from the police and there is no assistance from the police. Up to now we are searching and we can’t find anything; we are so frustrated. We just want to find his body to bury him; we don’t want him to stay here like an animal. Please if there is anyone who knows something please help us; my number is 669 5706 and 661 6651, please help us. My mother doesn’t know what to say, she is dying, she says she wants to die too because she wants my brother. If he’s not alive at least we want his body.”

Policeman Steals Art From Vendor in Western Belize
A police constable has been charged for the offence of handling stolen goods and resisting arrest. Correspondent Elaine Berry has the details. ELAINE BERRY “On Tuesday, October 8, at about 2pm Belizean businessman Elicia Carlitos Landero of Bullet Tree Village here in San Ignacio, reported that sometime between 4 and 4:30pm on Saturday, October 5 he was in front of the Manzanero building situated in the Savannah Area here in San Ignacio when he fell asleep. Upon waking up he noticed that 16 of his canvas paintings worth $5100 were stolen. On Wednesday, October 9 at about 2pm police visited a business establishment in Santa Elena and in a room which is located in said building, Police discovered a black in color bag containing some canvas paintings. It was later learned that said bag was taken to the establishment by a uniformed police officer identified as 34-year-old, PC 798 Ernesto Buckley of a Unitedville address who is posted at the San Ignacio Police Formation. The said items that were discovered were reported stolen by Landero. PC Buckley was later arrested and charged with the crime of handling stolen goods and resisting arrest. He was taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate Court this afternoon where he was granted bail of $1500 and will return back to court on December 19, 2013.”

Victims of Flood in Northern Belize Assisted
The District Emergency Management Organization in Orange Walk continues to monitor the flooding in key areas in the district. While the waters slowly recede, as of the beginning of this week DEMO Orange Walk’s relief and supplies committee has been fully mobilized visiting four villages providing food supplies. Dalila Ical has the story. DALILA ICAL “The Relief and Supplies Committee has been at work since Monday and up to around 9 last night was distributing food to residents in four villages in the Orange Walk District who have been affected by the swelling of the Rio Hondo River. NEMO Regional Coordinator for the North Elodio Aragon tells us more.” ELODIO ARAGON “The water is down considerably and vehicles can go into both San Antonio and San Roman. So all the villages are now connected back to Orange Walk; we can go there by vehicles. Again what we have done the day before, yesterday and today was to get into the villages and issue supplies to every individual family bBecause some of them might not be able to go to work and some of them might have suffered a lot of losses and therefore at the least we can do is get in there and assist them with some food. So we have been there, we have delivered food to San Antonio, Santa Cruz, San Roman and Douglas. We took rice, beans, sugar, oil and flour.”

Labour Opportunities and Migration: Challenges and Opportunities
Migration prompted by labour opportunities was the focus of a ceremony held this morning at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. Conducted by the Ministry of Labour and Local Government, the event was dubbed Intra-Regional Labour Migration Flows: Challenges and Opportunities in Central America and the Dominican Republic. Minister of Human Development, Anthony “Boots” Martinez, spoke of the importance of migration flows and how it molds a society. HON. ANTHONY MARTINEZ “There are certain features of our geographic and social economic reality that makes migration in general and labor migration in particular, a key issue in our country. We are a small country, in terms of our land space but our small population and corresponding low population density, there is lots of space to spread out. Coupled with our geographic location on the Central American mainland this makes for very porous borders. I think we all are aware of the general parameters of the migration issue and we all have educated guesses or life experiences about the impact of migration particularly for labor purposes in our society.”


Minister Hulse Reveals New Immigration Regulations Amidst Passport Scandal
As we mentioned earlier in the newscast, there will be stringent measures implemented in the passport, nationality and even the visa section of the Immigration and the Nationality Department. At the press conference held today, Minister Godwin Hulse outlined a number of new rules to protect the issuance of any of these documents, some of which will be implemented forthwith. Hoping to bring the current scandal to an end, the Minister began by saying that a new committee will be formed to scrutinize the process before it is even signed by the minister. But most importantly, an entire new form in the nationality section will be introduced bearing an entire new set of requirements. Godwin Hulse- Minister of Immigration “One; we will start with a vigorous organizing and restructuring of the department for better efficiency with assistance and expertise of the ministry of the public service. Two; we will create a nationality scrutinizing committee and I dear say that time has not permitted us to consult with all the actors in the public sector.

Penner Kicked Out Of Cabinet And That Is Where He Will Remain
The harsh reality of this entire tittle-tattle in the passport and nationality issuance is that the United Democratic Party and its leader, the Hon. Dean Barrow, continue to support the Former Minister of State in the Immigration and Nationality Department, Elvin Penner. In fact, the Honorable Dean Barrow says he believes that Penner should be given a second chance by the people of Cayo Northeast. But at the same time he held his ground and mentioned that Penner will never make it back into Cabinet. That is somewhat contradictory since the top brass of the UDP has been dispatched to Cayo Northeast to appeal and persuade voters not to take part in the on-going recall process launched by the Opposition and supported by numerous organizations including the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. Bear in mind that the UDP only has a two seat majority in Parliament and losing Penner, although somewhat ironic, would be like losing their Ace card.

Father Of 13 Year Old Charged For Having Sex With His Daughter
Last night we told you about the disturbing case of incest coming out of the Corozal District and tonight we can tell you that the man responsible for having sexual intercourse with his 13 year old daughter is behind bars. CTV3 News understands that under the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution, Corozal Police arrested and charged the father of the 13 year old minor with five counts of incest. This is after she reported to police that her father had been sexually abusing her since the age of six. We can say that the abused stopped after the child’s mother found out. She reported to police that on Monday October 7th, she went to her husband’s house located in the Village of Xaibe to pick up her daughter.

Major Crimes Reduces But Carnal Knowledge Remains A Problem In The North
Latest statistics coming out of the Belize Police Department show that major crimes continue to decrease. Statistics for 2013 up to the end of September show that the murder count decreased from 106 in 2012 to 81 in 2013. Robbery and burglary reports also declined from 381 in 2012 to 219 in 2013 and 817 in 2012 to 712 in 2013 respectively. If we take a look at statistics here at home, Orange Walk recorded 11 murders in 2012 and 3 in 2013 so far while Corozal has witnessed 2 murders in 2013 that’s 8 murders less compared to last year. Robberies and burglaries have also declined. In 2012 Orange Walk experienced 28 robberies while in 2013 there were only 15. As for Burglaries, there were 89 in 2012, 2013 had recorded 47 up until the end of September. Corozal on the other hand has seen 18 robberies so far. That’s eight less compared to 2013. While the case of robberies decreased, the same cannot be said for burglaries which increased by eight compared to 2012 as it went from 55 to 63 cases. Of great concern is that cases of carnal knowledge are also on the rise here in the north. In 2012 Orange Walk saw one case of carnal knowledge. For the year 2013, ten cases have been reported. In Corozal there were two cases in 2012 and up to date there have been seven.


Standing Committee hears public unease with the Criminal Code Amendment Bill (2)
Public objection to the Criminal Code Amendment Bill (2) has compelled the Government to engage in consultation with interested parties. The first open discussion was held On Tuuesday in front of the Constitution and Foreign Affairs Standing Committee at the National Assembly, where persons made oral and written submissions...

Special Envoy begs media to support controversial Gender Neutral Bill
The lengthy Criminal Code (No. 2) Amendment Bill, 2013, is only just in committee and has yet to be returned to the House of Representatives. But the bill which Government claims seeks to toughen sexual offences against children, is under fire. The Constitutional and Finance standing Committee has already...

Police Department has launched independent investigation into immigration scandal
Minister of Immigration the Honourable Godwin Hulse noted to PlusTV that, contrary to public belief, a thorough investigation was conducted at the department, following the passport scandal involving Elvin Penner, However, all indications were that that investigation turned up nothing to cause alarm. Well on Wednesday night the Minister...

Senate makes amendments to Criminal Code Bill
A glaring error in an amendment to the criminal code appeared before the Senate last week Wednesday for its final vetting process. What is very disturbing about this lucid error is the fact that it went unnoticed by the legal draftsman in the Attorney-General’s office, it was read and...

Aaron Bailey charged for murder of Gary Pratt
On Wednesday a Belize City man was arraigned for the murder of 28 year old Gary Pratt. Mr Pratt, who had only recently relocated from Punta Gorda, was fatally wounded on Friday night, while socializing on Antelope Street. It is the first murder in the old capital in months...

Police trying to identify human remains
On Monday we got a report that the Belmopan Police Formation visited an area about 100 yards away from the entrance of the Garbage Dump, on the Hummingbird Highway, Cayo District. According to police reports, they discovered what is suspected to be the decaying remains of a human body,...

Matthew Williams charged with unlawful possession of a passport
Orange Walk resident Matthew Williams appeared in the Orange Walk Town Magistrate’s Court before Senior Magistrate Merlene Moody to answer charges of unlawful possession of a passport. According to police a sting operation at Williams’ home in July of 2011 saw the recovery of multiple Belizean passports including that...

Stamps commemorate centennial of arrival in Belize of Pallottine Sisters
The Pallottine Sisters came to Belize in 1913 and have left their mark on the Belizean landscape, particularly in education. On Wednesday, to mark the centennial of their arrival, the General Post Office introduced a set of commemorative stamps. The event was held at Pallotti High...

Immigration Officer Carlos Amaya dies at age 41
On Monday night, a well-known Immigration Officer passed away. He is 41 year old Carlos Amaya, of Corozal Town, who served had served the Immigration Department from the early age of 20. Carlos Amaya rose up the ranks and up to the time of his death, he was the...

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The Guardian

They are Desperate
The recent drive by the People's United Party to have Hon. Elvin Penner recalled is the most recent act by the opposition that proves that they are very desperate to regain power. But this issue is not the only one that they have grabbed on to in an effort to drum up public support for their ulterior motive. We can recall that they tried to do very much the same thing with the Public Accounts Committee. That move however was unsuccessful and it is now being proven that the PAC can actually do work if it wants to. Having seen that they cannot get any traction on that issue, the PUP simply sat on their hands and waited to pounce on the next thing than surfaced, and sure enough it did. Now the very same players who were doing the media rounds on the PAC issue are doing the rounds on the immigration matter. These persons include Francis Fonseca, Julius Espat and Arthur Saldivar.

We Lied and We are Sorry
Plus TV’s owner and his former co-host were at the Supreme Court on Monday, October 7th, where they were seen with their caps in hand and tail between their legs as they publicly apologized to Hon. John Saldivar for speaking mistruths about him. The matter had been called up for case management before Justice Abel, but before it could proceed, Plus TV’s owner, Louis Wade, notified the court that they were going to apologize to Hon. Saldivar. They were then given some time to finalize the apology. Shortly thereafter Hon. Saldivar spoke to the media. He explained that he was not seeking financial compensation in the matter since, “this was about my reputation, I am defending my name, it wasn’t about the money. I am not interested in getting any money from Plus TV or Mr. Andrews.” Hon. Saldivar explained that the entire matter was one that he found very offensive since he guards his name and reputation jealously and does not like when anyone tries to impute improper motives to his actions. He added that he was vindicated and was happy that the parties agreed with making the apology.

Investigation at Immigration
Minister of Immigration, Hon. Godwin Hulse, has asked the police to go in to the immigration department to conduct an investigation to determine whether or not files have been removed or stolen. The request came on Tuesday evening and the police have gone in to the Nationality section to conduct their investigations. Meanwhile, work at that section of the department has been put on hold. The investigation was triggered after Arthur Saldivar came up with a story that he intercepted files from that department that were to be destroyed. The files appear, to say the least, suspect, with pictures looking like portraits painted by amateur artists and what Saldivar purports to be genuine documents not having the necessary security features that they would normally carry.

New Youth Centers at Gwen Liz and Youth Hostel
Hon. Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation signed contracts with Usher Constructions and BAE Constructions on Wednesday, October 10th, for the construction of resource centers to be located on the Gwen Lizarraga High School compound and the Youth Hostel Compound. These contracts amount to $3,298,307.70 and were awarded based on the Inter-American Development Bank’s tendering procedure for Belize. Six bids were submitted for the contract to construct the youth center on the Gwen Liz compound and four bids were submitted for the construction of a resource/visitor’s center at Youth Hostel, a new girls’ dormitory plus the rehabilitation of the sporting grounds. At the end of the procurement process, Usher Construction was awarded the contract for the center at Gwen Liz at a cost of $1,522,049.70 and BAE Construction was awarded the contract for the Youth Hostel project at a cost of $1,743,258. Both projects are expected to be completed twelve months after commencement.

Root Out the Problem
Every post-independence administration has been racked by some scandal at the Immigration Department. Directors there have been shuffled and re-shuffled, there has been one instances when a director was retired early. Millions of dollars (under Musa's tenure) had gone unaccounted for. Passports were at times sold by the bucket-full. The U.S. visa of Max Samuels, while he was a minister, was cancelled because of what was going on at that department. There was even an instance under Carmen Zetina that 200 passports went missing. Then again there were other instances when passport applications were processed as if they were running an assembly line. Those people processed did not even set foot on Belizean Soil. What took place most recently at the immigration department then we can say was unavoidable and we can surmise is just symptomatic of a disease that has long existed within that department. Apparently it does not matter which administration is in office, these types of activities will continue to happen time and time again, unless there is a complete clamping of the systems that guard against abuse. But it is easier said than done; after all the sale of passports be it legally or illegally is something that fetch those who trade in the business quite a handsome return. The reward for those who do it is simply too much to be brushed aside.

Electoral Authorities of Belize and Guatemala meet to strengthen bilateral cooperation
The highest electoral authorities of Belize and Guatemala met on Sunday, October 6th in San Ignacio, Belize under the auspices of the Organization of American States (OAS) to exchange information, experiences and best practices in electoral management; identify areas for inter-institutional collaboration; and further learn about the norms and processes in each country to conduct referendums. Guatemala´s delegation was headed by the President of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, María Eugenia Villagrán de León, and Mr. Bernard Pitts, President of the Elections and Boundaries Commission, led the Belizean delegation.

Medical Practice Bill Finally Reaches National Assembly
Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health, is receiving praises in the medical community for being true to his word. Minister Marin promised medical practitioners that his number one agenda in this new administration would be to push the Belize Medical Practice Act for which members of the Belize Medical and Dental Association have been lobbying for over 17 years. Doctors were skeptical up to the last minute. When the President of the Belize Medical and Dental Association, Dr. Adelita Zaiden, informed them that the bill would be read in the House of Representatives on Friday, September 28th, most said that they would have to see it to believe it. Their skepticism is understandable. Practicing in such an unregulated field has been frustrating for medical professionals, but since the bill has been read a first time in the House they are now one step closer to establishing a level playing field for all in the sector.

Minister of Health Attends 52nd Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization
Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin, was among health officials that agreed to a plan of action that seeks to reduce premature deaths due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 25% by the year 2025.

PACT Awards over $730,000 in Grants
Sen. Alamilla with PACT Officials and Grant Recipients The Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) is a statutory board responsible to encourage and promote the protection, conservation and enhancement of Belize’s natural and cultural resources. On Monday, October 7th, PACT awarded grants to four organizations and two researchers to fund conservation projects. The grants amount to a total of $736,769.

PM Explains the Belize Private Pensions Act
Over the past couple of weeks there has been much speculation as to the effect that a new Pensions Act will have on some schemes, particularly those in the three main utilities in the country, namely BEL, BTL and BWSL. On Friday, October 4th, Prime Minister Dean Barrow visited with members of the BWSL staff to explain it. Shortly after the meeting, he explained it to the media.

Truth about the Proposed Amendments to the Criminal Code
Kim Simplis-Barrow, Michelle Daly and Luwani Cayatano Children rights advocates have been concerned about Belize’s archaic laws on sexual offenses for decades. They have complained that in many instances the punishment for sex offenders amounts to a slap on the wrists. For almost six years the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow, has been working with the Ministry of Human Development, the National Committee for Families and Children and other social partners to review the Criminal Code of Belize as it relates to sexual offenses against children. Such review and analysis has resulted in proposed amendments to the code in order to more clearly define types of sexual offenses and institute more strict punishment where necessary. Therefore, the proposed Criminal Code Amendment (No. 2) Bill establishes harsher penalties for perpetrators of sexual abuse and offenses against young girls and, finally, provides protection for boys against sexual predators.

Three Men to stand Trial for Murder
On Monday, October 7th, businessman, Orel Leslie, 27, Brandon Baptist, 27, Construction Worker, and Tyrone Meighan, 19, unemployed were committed to stand trial at the Supreme Court for the murder of Ex-BDF soldier, James Noralez who was killed on November 23, 2012. The killing took place at the junction of Faber’s Road and the Western Highway. The three men appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where a Preliminary Inquiry (PI) was held in their case. At the end of the PI, the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith told the men that she found that a prima facie case had been established against them for the murder of EX-BDF Soldier, James Noralez. Noralez met his untimely death at the junction of Faber’s Road and the Western Highway, at about 7:13 p.m. Police reports are that when they responded to the Linda Vista area in the vicinity of Faber’s Road and the Western Highway they found the body of James Noralez, with a total of 14 gunshots. According to police, they found 7 S&B expended shells and 1 slug at the scene. James Noralez was pronounced dead on arrival at the KHMH at about 8:17 p.m., that night. Meighan, Baptist and Leslie were initially charged on Monday, November 26, 2012 with Noralez’s murder and ever since then they have been on remand for that murder. Their next court appearance will be at the Supreme Court for the 2014 January session.

First Murder in Belize City in three Months
Police have arrested and charged 28-year-old Aaron Bailey and remanded him to prison until November 28th, after he was charged with the murder of 28-year-old Gary Mancel Pratt. Pratt is a resident of the Water Supply area of Punta Gorda Town and was in Belize City for employment opportunities. According to a friend, he was recently selling newspaper until he landed a job working on Government’s Belize City Center project. Unfortunately, he would not live to enjoy his first paycheck. Sometime around 10:10 p.m. on Friday, October 4th, Pratt was socializing inside a yard at #7005 Antelope Street Extension when a man approached and fired several shots at him. He was struck twice to the back and rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. However, there was nothing doctors could do for him. Pratt was pronounced dead at 10:22 p.m. Police have since detained one individual in relation to the murder and believe that it was a case of mistaken identity. Those close to Pratt say he was not a trouble maker and did not hang out with gangs. However, records show that he was arrested and charged for a murder in 2003. He was found not guilty of the charge.

Janitor charged with Theft from JEC
On Friday, October 4th, a former janitor and employee of JEC was charged with 19 offences. 49-year-old, appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer where she was charged for stealing $55,330.00 worth of jewelry from JEC. She was charged with 18 counts of handling stolen goods after police claim she was found in possession of the jewelry which was stolen between July 2012 to October 1, 2013. In court, Baizar was unrepresented and no plea was taken. There was no objection to court, but she was asked to surrender her travelling documents. Baizar told the court that she should be granted bail because she did not do this. The magistrate however told her that her explanation was not enough since the amount of items she is accused of stealing is over $55,000. Baizar then added that she should be granted bail because she has two young children to care for who are in school and whose father is in the USA and that there is no one else to care for them. Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer then offered her bail in the sum of $30,000 plus one surety of the same amount which she met.She is due back in Cour on December 4, 2013.

Man chopped and shot in Cayo for defecating on a farm
On October 2, Julian De La Paz left home in the direction of his brother’s farm located on the Valley of Peace Road. De La Paz reported to his partner that he had gone to defecate at a ‘milpa’ owned by Juan Bautista and in the process of doing so he was chopped and shot by 62 year old Salome Pineda. Julian de La Paz was then picked up by a red pickup, driven at the time by a Mennonite, and then taken by an ambulance in Spanish Lookout to the Belmopan Hospital. Julian de La Paz has since been transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for more advanced treatment. Salome Pineda is a farmer from Buena Vista Village.

Security Guard busted with Marijuana
Security guard, 33-year-old Richard Smith, of #65 Belama Phase 4 area appeared in Court before Magistrate Clive Lino where he was read two criminal offenses of possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply another person for the purpose of drug trafficking. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was offered and met bail in the sum of 6 thousand dollars. He is to reappear in court on December 2nd, 2013. On October 3rd, Smith was allegedly found in possession of two quantities of marijuana in the amount os 9.3 grams and 3.8 grams.

Woman Special Constable has case struck out
On Friday, October 4, Woman Special Constable, 36-year-old, Jennie Tanner saw a criminal charge of extortion struck out. This is the second time the extortion charge has been struck out against Tanner in the past 4 months. In court, Magistrate Clive Lino heard submissions made by Tanner’s Attorney, Anthony Sylvester. He stated that the charge of extortion levied against his client was not properly before the court and that the matter is an indictable offense and that it should remain an indictable offense. Sylvester added that the continuous striking out of the charge and then bringing it back is an abuse of process. He noted that his client had already been charged on January 30, 2013 with the offense of extortion then it was struck on June 28th. The matter was then brought back in August even after Tanner had been acquitted by a police tribunal. Sylvester said that disclosure should have been handed over to them from August 30, 2013 for trial to commence on September 30, 2013, but that did not occur. With all that, Magistrate Lino found the delay to be negligent and he noted in court that the prosecutor did not adhere to the ruling of the court and struck it out. Allegations are that on December 11, 2012, on Caye Caulker as a woman police officer Tanner allegedly demanded $100 in cash and 2 margarita drinks from Christopher John Graham.

First Caribbean Raising Awareness on Breast Cancer
The management and staff of First Caribbean Bank are doing their part to raise awareness on breast cancer and raise funds to support those battling the disease. Since August, the Belize branches have been holding fundraising activities among staff, family members and friends. They have donated money, bought T-shirts and participated in raffles, game nights and other events. The funds raised will be handed over to the Belize Cancer Society. The First Caribbean family held its second annual Walk for the Cure on Saturday, October 5th. The walk started from in front of the BelCan Bridge branch at 6 a.m. Participants wore T-shirts proclaiming “CIBC First Caribbean International Bank Supports the Fight against Cancer”. Many wrote the names of their loved one who was lost to cancer on their shirts and as they walked through the streets of the city they handed out cancer information leaflets to pedestrians and motorists. Rosanna Villanueva, Public Relations Officer of First Caribbean Bank, said, “It is a very special activity for us because awareness saves lives.” She continued, “Cancer is something you may not be dealing with now but in the future you may be facing it personally or have a loved one dealing with it.”

Immigration Assistant II Officer, Carlos Amaya passes at the age of 41!
On Tuesday, October 8th, 41-year-old Immigration Assistant II Officer, Carlos Amaya, who was well-known to many in the news and at the court environment passed away shortly before 12 midnight on Monday. The Immigration officer died sometime between 11:30 and 12:00 midnight from complications he suffered from what sources tells us was a case of double pneumonia. Officer Amaya had been ill since Sunday, October 6, which was when we understand relatives had to rush him to a local hospital after his condition worsen. The Immigration Officer served the Immigration Department for 21 years.

Long Standing Literacy Project comes to an end in Belize
A long standing Literacy Project came to an end recently with the handing over of equipment to the Belize Department of Education. Handed over to the Ministry of Education’s District Centers were the final investments of net books and other related electronic equipment under a five year project, which in its lasting thrust, will assist Curriculum Officers in supporting teachers in the implementation of curricula. In 2008, the Rotary Club of San Ignacio along with the Rotary Clubs of District 5370 in Alberta, Canada was awarded a Rotary Foundation 3-H (Health, Hunger and Humanitarian) Grant of US $325,000 to fund a Belize Literacy Program (BLP). That initial input in 2008 had grown to US $2,000,000.00 lately; bringing a multi dimension of benefits to a wide number of Primary Schools around Belize. The general goals of the BLP were to improve student performance in primary schools and to reduce the drop-out rates. Money was raised by hard working Rotarians in Alberta, Canada to ensure that the objectives of the BLP were achieved.

Celebrating Senior Citizen’s Week in Cayo
That was the banner that was strung at the Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio on Thursday of last week for the Sister Josella Day, where residents were treated to music by the Nina Maya Marimba Group. As of September 30th and throughout last week, a variety of schools took the time out to visit the Octavia Waight Center, a home for the elderly. Included among those welcomed visitors to the Octavia Waight were the students from the Eden Seventh Day Adventist Primary School in Santa Elena Town. Residents from the Octavia Waight were then taken out last Friday for a picnic at the Orange Gallery at mile 60 of the George Price Highway. The Climax for Citizen’s Week was reached on October 5, with Cayo residents joining in for a walkathon from the Octavia Waight Center to Bullet Tree Falls. Sister Josella Day, which was celebrated for the first time at the Octavia Waight Center, is in memory of Sister Josella Flowers, a Roman Catholic Nun, who passed away this year. Sister Josella Flowers contributed some 16 years to the Octavia Waight Center; having previously contributed to the Belize Educational System.

New Stamps Issue – “The 100th Anniversary of the Pallotine Sisters in Belize”
The Belize Postal Service is pleased to announce the release of a new set of commemorative postage stamps. The new set of postage stamps is scheduled to be officially released on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Pallottine Sisters in Belize. The release of the stamps forms a part of the Pallottine Sisters’ Centennial Celebrations of their arrival to the shores of Belize. On March 17, 1913, four German Pallottine Sisters challenged the boat ride from Belize City to San Ignacio where they landed on the banks of the Macal River. Their journey continued to Benque Viejo by horse and buggy, the only means of transportation in 1913. In Benque Viejo, the Pallottines planted the first seeds of evangelization, education, nursing, gardening and home skills. From these early seeds flourished 100 years of ministry to the country of Belize spanning the districts of Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo, Belize and Toledo. At its peak, 102 Belizean young girls answered the call and served in one or more of the 19 schools or hospitals staffed by the Pallottines.

Ebenezer Methodist and Queen St. Baptist win in primary schools Football competition
The Belize City Primary Schools Football competition continued over the week with a number of games played at the MCC Grounds. On Tuesday, October 8, in the first of two boys’ games played, Ebenezer Methodist blanked St. Martin De Porres School by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Travis Flowers. In the second game, Queen Street Baptist won over St. Ignatius School by the score of 2-0. The goals for Queen Street Baptist were scored by Masum Ahmed and Arthur Bailey. The competition then continued on Monday, October 7, with two more games on the schedule. In the girls’ game played, Belize Elementary School defeated Queen Square Anglican School by the score of 7-0. The goals for Belize Elementary School were scored by Allyana Musa, Keila Oyuela (3), Juliana Ramos (2) and Kristin Musa.

New Executive for Belize Athletics Association
The Belize Athletics Association held its General Assembly on Saturday, October 5, 2013, at the Bishop Sylvester Memorial Centre in Belize City. The highlight of the General Assembly was the elections of officers for period 2013-2017. The elections were conducted by the Electoral Commission of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association which consisted of Mr. Winston Carr (Chair), Mrs. Philippa Griffith-Bailey, Ms. Sharon Frazer and Mr. Orton Clarke. The General Assembly also had the participation of Mr. George Peryer and Lincoln Eatman of NACAC, and Mr. Allan Sharp, Chairman of the National Sports Council of Belize. At the end of voting, Hugh Staine was elected President. Elected to serve as 1st Vice President- Daland Jones 2nd Vice President- Jaheed Smith, Secretary- Leisjia Barrow-Chung, Assistant Secretary- Michelle Young, Treasurer- Ellison Flowers and the Committee Members are Phillip Murray, Andrew Pilgrim and Phillip Marin.

Port of Belize, Atlantic Bank, City Council and Customs semi-finalists in Firms’ Basketball Competition
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms’ Competition will enter its semi-final round on Thursday, October 10, 2013, at Bird’s Isle with two games on the schedule. In the first game schedule to commence at 7:30 pm Belize City Council will see action against Port of Belize/Airport and in game two it will be Customs/MoE against Atlantic Bank/PKF. Meanwhile, the Knockout round came to an end on Friday, October 4, at Bird’s Isle. In the first game, Port of Belize/Airport eliminated BTL by the score of 65-49. The top scorers for Port of Belize/Airport were Earl Johnson with 22 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist and steal, and Lennox Bowman with 11 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists. Meanwhile, the top scorers for BTL were Devon Lozano with 16 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and Lupito Acosta with 11 points. In the second game played, Atlantic Bank eliminated Belize Bank/Broadway by the score of 71-58. The top scorers for Atlantic Bank were Eyan Rene with 16 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals, Dave Apolonio with 15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals, and Ervin Orosco with 11 points,7 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals. For the Belize Bank/Broadway Team the top scorers were Terrique Gabb with 25 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal, and Marcel Orosco with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals.

Belize Defence Force is current leader in Belikin Cup
The Premier League of Belize Belikin Cup Opening Season competition continued over the last weekend with three games. On Saturday, October 5, in the game played out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the home team Belmopan Bandits won over the visiting San Ignacio United by the score of 4-1. The Belmopan Bandits got on the scoreboard first when Elroy Kuylen scored his 1st of 3 goals in the 11th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The lead was further increase when Kuylen scored his 2nd goal in the 29th minute of play for a 2-0 lead. In the second half of the game, the Belmopan Bandits continued its dominance over the San Ignacio United Team when Deon McCaulay scored his team’s 3rd goal of the game in the 51st minute of play for a commanding 3-0 lead. However, it was not until the 57th minute of play that the San Ignacio United squad was able to break through the Bandits defence when Anthony Gonzales scored his team’s only goal of the game for a 3-1 deficit. Elroy Kuylen scored the Belmopan Bandits final goal of the game in the 88th minute of play to give his team the 4-1 victory.

Vega Cup Tournament rolls on in Orange Walk North
The Vega Cup Tournament 2013 continued on Sunday, October 6, with games at two venues. There were four games on the schedule for San Luis Football Field. In the first game, Old School won via the default route over Douglas Galaxy. In the second game of the day, Awe’s V United defeated San Pablo Youngsters by the score of 5-1. The goals for Awe’s V United were scored by Jorge Ruano, Floyd Jones (2), Edwani Munoz and Bertram Brown. In game three, Untouchables edge AC Aliari by the score of 4-3. The goals for Untouchables were scored by Alberto Godoy (3) and Ricardo Marin, while the goals for AC Aliari were scored by Gadiel Samos, Adrian Armstrong and Dario Westby. In the final game of the day, Barrio Boys blanked San Luis FC by the score of 2-0. The goals for Barrio Boys were scored by Osmy Medina and Francisco Coyock.

Central Region Volleyball competition opens
The 2013-2014 Central Region Secondary Schools Volleyball Competition opened on Wednesday, October 2, 2013. On Tuesday, October 8, in the female competition, St. Catherine Academy defeated Ladyville Technical by the score of 25-9 and 25-9. In the male game played, St. John’s College defeated Wesley College by the score of 25-14 and 25-14. On Monday, October 7, in the female game played, Nazarene High School defeated Wesley College by the score of 25-15 and 25-14. In the male game, Belize High School defeated Anglican Cathedral College by the score of 26-24, 15-15 and 15-10. The competition then continued on Saturday, October 5, with two more games on the schedule. In the female game, Nazarene High School defeated Ladyville Technical by the score of 24-16, 25-23 and 16-14. In the male game it was Ladyville Technical over Anglican Cathedral College by the score of 25-17 and 25-11.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Sailing Club Established
Sunday, 6th October 2013, Caye Caulker Today some 20 persons from a wide cross section of Caye Caulker community attended the inaugural meeting of the Caye Caulker Sailing Club. A presentation was received from Alan Usher Development Board Member from the Belize Sailing Association who also witnessed elections for the principal officers of the new club. Club appointments will follow shortly. The newly elected Board consists of: Chairman: Neil Bradley Treasurer: James Dombrowski Secretary: Shary Trejo The new board undertook to urgently launch it’s Optimist program for Caye Caulker boys and girls up to the age of 15 and to fully participate in the upcoming regatta year of 2014; re-establish annual Easter regattas and resume racing of the traditional classes. The new club will immediately benefit from the International Optimist Dinghy Association “6 of 5″ scheme in which on boat is gifted for every five purchased.

Caye Caulker resident busted with cocaine
Caye Caulker Police have detained and charged a woman from the island for drug trafficking. On Wednesday at around four in the afternoon officers were on routine mobile patrol when they observed a group of persons in the Palapa Area on Front Street. Because one of the women in the group was acting suspiciously, she was immediately searched by a woman police officer. The search turned up three small transparent bags containing cocaine in the woman’s brassiere. The woman, identified as twenty-two year old Charlenne Young of a Back Street address, was escorted to the Caye Caulker Police Station. On Wednesday evening, Young was formally charged for the trafficking of one point six grams of cocaine. Today she was escorted to the San Pedro Town Magistrate’s Court to be arraigned.

The October 13th, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Penner’s Passport Predicament: Undermining Government’s Development Agenda:
    “Yes, I am the substantive minister. I can assure you that immigration has taken an inordinate amount of my time to deal with visas, to deal with permanent residence, to deal with the issuance of passport, to deal with nationality and we have many more reforms that we are bringing into place. But they require legal cases and all sorts of things, and it takes a bit of time to bring them in; in addition to the other work that I do.” Those are the words of the Substantive Minister of Immigration, Hon. Godwin Hulse, in an interview with Channel Five Television News this past week. Therein lies an important truth, which is that the current predicament in which the former Minister of State Hon. Elvin Penner finds himself, having been kicked out of Cabinet for his bad judgment in pushing through and approving a Belizean passport for an international criminal who has never set foot in Belize, is costing not just the disgraced Minister of State, but the Substantive Minister and, indeed, the entire government an enormous amount of time and energy that could be better spent carrying out its development agenda.
  • Vindicated! Plus TV & Patrick Andrews Apologize to Hon. Saldivar:
    In April of this year, Belmopan Area Representative and Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar took out a law suit against Plus TV and Patrick Andrews for defamatory remarks that Andrews allegedly made against Saldivar as a cohost of the Belmopan-based station’s morning show, Rise and Shine. The comments made by Andrews in December of 2012 were about the Minister’s use of funds provided to him as part of the Prime Minister’s now annual Christmas Cheers program to enable area representatives to assist their constituents during the yuletide season.
  • The Cost of Corruption:
    Delroy Cuthkelvin Chairman, Editorial Board. Our headline story already declares it, but so salient a point it is, we feel compelled to reiterate. The scandal that broke and continues, apparently, to unfold within the Ministry and Department of Immigration and Nationality surrounding the issuance of at least one Belize passport to an undeserving and unqualified person, who has turned out to be an international outlaw, has imposed and continues to impose an enormous cost on the Nation. In this kind of climate, there is always the possibility that, for good measure, a good deal of false allegations will be thrown into the mix for greater effect. Yet, there is no denying the fact that at the heart of the matter is Corruption, to whatever degree; and the truth is that Corruption, any amount of it, is too much, as the true cost of it is always multiplied a million times.
  • Police Minister’s Monthly Awards: Southern Zone & Placencia Sub-formation Perform Best in September:
    Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar on Wednesday, October 9, presented his Monthly Awards for the zone and formation that performed the best in reducing major crimes during the month of September, 2013. The Southern Zone, headed by Senior Superintendent of Police Robert Mariano, saw the greatest reduction in major crimes for the month of September, the Placencia Sub-formation performing the best in that region. Senior Superintendent Mariano received from Hon. Saldivar a Cheque of $1,000 for the performance by his zone, and a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of Inspector Mark Flowers who heads the Placencia Sub-Formation.
  • Camalote Blazers Win Miley Garcia Softball:
    Trophy Presentation by Ismael ‘Miley’ Garcia
  • Rehabilitation - Participation - Transformation: Contract Signed for IDB-Funded Project Targeting Youths:
    The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation signed Contracts on Wednesday October 9, 2013 in the Altun Ha Room of the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. The contracts that were signed amount to BZ$3,298,307.70 and were signed with two local contractors for infrastructure works under the Community Action for Public Safety (CAPS) Project. The works comprise the construction of a Youth Center located at Gwen Lizarraga High School Compound in Belize City at a cost of BZ$1,522,049.70 and the construction of a Dormitory Facility, Resource/Visitor’s Center and Rehabilitation of the Sporting Grounds at the Youth Hostel as well as the Rehabilitation of a Carpentry Building at the Youth Cadet at Mile 21 on the George Price Highway at a cost of BZ$1,743,258.00.
  • Strengthening Bi-lateral Cooperation: Belizean and Guatemalan Electoral Authorities Meet:
    The highest electoral authorities of Belize and Guatemala met last Saturday, October 6, 2013 in San Ignacio, Belize under the auspices of the Organization of American States (OAS) to exchange information, experiences and best practices in electoral management; identify areas for inter-institutional collaboration; and further learn about the norms and processes in each country to conduct referendums. Guatemala´s delegation was headed by the President of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, María Eugenia Villagrán de León, and Mr. Bernard Pitts, President of the Elections and Boundaries Commission, led the Belizean delegation. The meeting took place within the framework of the new confidence-building measures that both countries adopted last May with a view to improving the conditions necessary to establish a new date to hold the simultaneous referenda, which will determine if the territorial dispute between both countries is submitted to the International Court of Justice for final settlement.
  • Faith Lift …Only then will Belize Prosper!:
    By Zelda Hill. Once upon a time, an aspiring, young and desperate nation was in deep trouble. Her people had been mistreated and enslaved and then, just when they thought it could not get worse, they found themselves wandering aimlessly in the hostile wilderness. They and their children were disgruntled and weary and they needed rest; a place that they could proudly call home. They had been hearing from those that God spoke to, that up ahead there was that ideal place, a prosperous land which abound with much fruit, with pomegranates, and figs and grapes in clusters, a land flowing with milk and honey (Numbers 13:23- 27). They would not only be blessed in every way but they would be able to be a blessing to other nations.
  • New Commemorative Stamps" “The 100th Anniversary of the Pallotine Sisters in Belize”:
    The Belize Postal Service is pleased to announce the release of a new set of commemorative postage stamps. The new set of postage stamps is scheduled to be officially released on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Pallottine Sisters in Belize. The release of the stamps forms a part of the Pallottine Sisters’ Centennial Celebrations of their arrival to the shores of Belize. On March 17, 1913, four German Pallottine Sisters challenged the boat ride from Belize City to San Ignacio where they landed on the banks of the Macal River. Their journey continued to Benque Viejo by horse and buggy, the only means of transportation in 1913.
  • Belmopan Ac tive Youth get $200,000 from US Embassy:
    A signing ceremony was held in late September at the United States Embassy in Belmopan for the establishment of a grant project for youth drug prevention for Belmopan and surrounding communities. The project is being funded by the United States Embassy Belmopan and will be implemented by the Belmopan Active Youths (BAY), a youth organization established in April 2012. Signing for the grant, which is valued at US$100,000, were Mr. Joseph Boski, Grants Program Officer for the United States Embassy and Mrs. Anna Banner Guy, President for BAY. The grant funds for youth drug prevention program will be utilized for the following activities:
  • Would Red Sox vs. Dodgers World Series Matchup Stop TV Ratings Nightmare:
    There’s plenty of star power to go around between the Red Sox and Dodgers. The Red Sox have a couple of superstars in David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury, and the Dodgers have a couple of their own in Clayton Kershaw, Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig. They also have the high-priced Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, with highpriced Andre Ethier possibly able to play every day by the time the World Series rolls around. High-priced Matt Kemp is injured, but his handsome- enough-for-Rihanna mug will be there for the cameras.
  • New Markets for Independence & Benque Viejo: Belize Government & European Union Sign Contract:
    Two contracts were signed on Wednesday October 2, 2013 signaling the start of construction for new Markets in Independence Village and Benque Viejo del Carmen Town. The works, funded by the Government of Belize and a grant from the European Union (EU), as part of the Belize Rural Development Project II (BRDPII), will be executed through contracts with Jebco Construction Limited. Construction is expected to be period at a cost of BZE$649,060 for the Benque Viejo Market and BZE$650,787 for the Independence Village Market.
  • A New Milestone for the Belize Coastguard: Graduation Ceremonies for Coastguard SEAL Team 001:
    Established just over Seven years ago, the Belize Coastguard has quickly grown into an exceptionally skilled, highly equipped force; and the force has just moved up yet another level, having just established the Coastguard SEAL, inaugurated in late September. Graduation ceremonies for Coast Guard SEAL TEAM 001 were held September 25, 2013. The Team of 8 underwent 12 weeks of rigorous training. They are the cream of the crop, having been selected from among an initial intake of 19 officers. They were pushed to extreme limits, being subjected to grueling physical and mental torture.
  • Keynote Address - Coastguard SEAL Graduation: “Constantly Changing for Operational Effectiveness on an Ever-Changing Landscape”:
    I would like to start off my remarks here today with a quote from Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan. Alfred Mahan in one of the earliest of the many magazines articles that flowed from his pen after 1890, wrote: “The stoppage of commerce compels peace”. The economic strangulation of the enemy from the sea by the assertion of overbearing power at sea drives the enemy from it. This statement had given rise to the notion that “Control of maritime commerce through command of the sea is the primary function of navies”. Distinguished Guests, we are here today to participate in yet another milestone in the achievements of the Belize Coast Guard. The Graduation of Belize’s first SEAL trained seamen.
  • Double Victory for UB Jaguars, Male & Female Win ATLIB Softball:
    The University of Belize women won the National Softball Championship tournament organized by the Association of Tertiary level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB) at the Governor General’s field in Belmopan on Saturday, October 5. In Game 1, the UB Lady Jaguars spanked the Independence Junior College Predators 8-2. IJC’s Veleesha Tylor’s struck out 2 batters, and gave up only one hit, but she walked 9 batters. Danalee Burns, Deanna Garbutt, Rochelle Orellano, Karlene Lewis and Aleesha Taylor scored in the 1st inning. Judy Soberanis, Lewis and Aleesha Taylor crossed the plate in the 2nd; the UB girls left 3 runners on base. IJC’s Sylvia Cabral scored in the 1st inning and Briana Leslie scored in the 2nd. UB’s Desiree Hulse struck out 2 batters and walked 5, while UB made 2 errors, but IJC left 2 runners on base.
  • Local Government Symposium 2013: The Role of Elected Officials in Local Economic Development:
    The role of local governments at the town and village council levels are becoming increasingly vital these days as we seek to deepen and broaden our democracy and as we endeavor to develop our communities in ways that are relevant and truly responsive to the needs and desires of our people at every level. Towards this overall end, a Local Governance Symposium was held two Mondays ago in Belize City. It was sponsored by the Caribbean Local Economic Development Project, CARILED, which is an organization dedicated to spurring economic growth in the Caribbean by creating the right atmosphere and putting setting up mechanisms for small business. The Symposium was attended by Mayors and other essential personnel from municipal governments
  • OVER $700,000 IN GRANTS: PACT Awards Funds for Small, Medium and Large Projects:
    On Monday, October 7, 2013, PACT held a Grant Award Ceremony at the House of Culture in Belize City, where it awarded $736,769 in new project grants. Research Grants as well as Small, Medium-Sized and Large Grants were awarded for projects under the themes of Protected Areas Management and Conservation, Protected Areas Promotion and Development, and Environmental Education and Awareness as follows. Recipients of Research Grants were Mr. Alex Anderson ($20,000.00) for Baseline Population Abundance Estimate and Development of a Monitoring Plan for Queen Conch at Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve; Mr. Wilber Martinez ($20,000.00) for The Ecology and Conservation of the Baird’s Tapir (Tapirus Bairdii) in Central Belize.
  • SICA on Money Laundering & Drug Trafficking:
    Money Laundering and Drug Trafficking were the main issues discussed at a meeting of judges and judicial officers from Central American nations convened this past Monday, October 7 in Belize City. The meeting was sponsored by the Central American Integration System or, as it called in Spanish, El Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana (SICA). The judges and judicial officers attending were from Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Belize.
  • Health Minister Attends PAHO Directing Council Meeting:
    Minister of Health Hon. Pablo Marin was among health officials that agreed to a plan of action that seeks to reduce premature deaths due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 25% by the year 2025. The joint plan of action was approved by the 52nd Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) that convened last week in Washington D.C. It calls for policies to promote prevention and control of NCDs and reduce their risk factors. Under the joint plan of action, health officials agreed to specifically promote prevention of NCDs beyond health, expand and provide universal access to health services for NCDs, reduce tobacco intake by 30%, promoting healthy diets to reduce the impact on children, and improve the surveillance of risk factors among others for NCDs.
  • BDF leads Belikin Cup Football: Belmopan Bandits Off to a Promising Start:
    The Belize Defence Force are leading the Belikin Cup Premier League of Belize tournament after bombing Verdes 2-0 at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga last Saturday, October 5. Carlton “Fubu” Thomas struck the first goal, and Vallan Symns converted a penalty for the 2-0 victory. The Belmopan Bandits also enjoyed a 4-1 win over San Ignacio United at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan on Saturday night; Elroy Kuylen scored a hat trick and Deon Macaulay added a 4th goal. The Paradise Freedom Fighters drilled FC Belize at the Toledo Union Field in Punta Gorda Town on Sunday afternoon. Franz Vernon scored thefirst goal, Lisbey Castillo added a second and Franz Vernon retuned to scored a third
  • Telemedia are National Softball Champions: Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy Take Second Place:
    Belize Telemedia repeated as back to back national champs while Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy placed 2nd when the Belize Softball Federation held its 14th National Women’s Softball Championship at the home of softball at the Roger’s Stadium in Belize City on Sunday, September 29. Roaring Creek’s pitcher Leyandra Guy had led the Grace Kennedy girls to a 4-2 win over the Cayo district champs, Camalote Blazers, in Game 2 Friday night, while pitcher Francine Salazar struck out 6 batters and walked 2. Roaring Creek also won Game 4 of the tournament 11-4 over Double Head Cabbage Mel’s United by mercy rule in the 6th inning on Saturday morning. Leyandra Guy struck out 6 batters and walked 2, while the Roaring Creek girls collected 12 hits off Annette Morey’s pitching.


Hidden Valley Inn – Some of the most relaxing and terrifying things I’ve ever done!
Once again, this is Meg, guest-scooping for Rebecca while she’s out of town. We just got back from a fantastic honeymoon in Belize, and so far I’ve told you about our visit to Caracol, as well as our trip to ATM Cave. Rebecca stayed at Hidden Valley Inn last year, and did a great job covering the amenities of the Inn itself – so much so, in fact, that her blogs helped us settle on it for our first stop! (See the end of this post for those articles!) Rather than rehash all that, I figured I’d focus on the rest of the property. Hidden Valley Inn sits on almost 7300 acres of wilderness in the Mountain Pine Ridge- about an hour down the dirt road from Georgeville, near Blancaneaux Lodge. Outside the main lodge building and 12 guest cottages, there are over 90 miles of hiking trails and 5 major waterfalls on the property, plus 1000-Foot Falls, which is just over the property line. We spent 5 nights onsite, and of the 4 full days we were there, two were spent exploring all the property had to offer rather than taking day trips nearby. One was perhaps the most luxurious thing I’ve ever done and one was, surprisingly, one of the scariest! The second full day of our honeymoon, we booked the day at “Secret Pools and Falls.” Basically, this is a private waterfall roped off just for your party, which includes a great picnic lunch and a bottle of chilled champagne.

Did more people or less people come to Belize this year?
OK, quick quiz. Did more people or less people come to Belize this year? And the winner is… More. Yep, according to the good folks at The Belize Tourism Board, who get paid to keep track of such things, overnight visitor arrivals for the period of January to August for this year have improved over last year. For example, in January, February and March, the increase was 17.2%, 14.3%, and 13.0% respectively, and 8% for both July and August. This is good news, and The Belize Tourism Board released the information in much the same way it was received by tourism industry stakeholders – with big smiles across the faces. We are growing as an overnight tourism destination, attracting the sort of people who stay longer, spend more money, and get to know Belize and Belizeans better. For the entire eight months, 17, 228 more tourists arrived this year as compared to last year, and 7 News Belize reports that the BTB is confident that Belize will reach the three hundred thousand visitor overnight mark.

Toledo Cacao Farmers win award in Seattle, Washington
Well we are back home after a wonderful weekend is Seattle. The Northwest Chocolate Festival was a huge success, and we were proud to be participants. Chocolate was sampled, friendships were formed , and countless hours were spent geeking out over chocolate processing. We also walked away with a bronze award for our 72% Belize in the single origin chocolate category, which was a huge honor for us. Hurray for Maya Mountain Cacao in Belize and their high quality cacao beans! Looking forward to next years Northwest Chocolate Festival.

Amid the ongoing immigration and nationality scandal, the powers that be held a press conference on Thursday, 10th October 2013. In my humble opinion, it brought to the fore, a level of: arrogance, haughtiness, self-righteousness, indignation and outright support of malfeasance as per the standing powers that be. I make no bones about it, I am a supporter of neither of the major political parties in Belize and my view, in no way, seeks to endorse the current Opposition. Nonetheless, as they say, “heavy is the head that wears the crown”. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I am certain the party hacks of the current administration certainly will not agree with mine. On the same token their opposite number(s) in the Opposition probably won’t fully embrace my viewpoint either. Yet to be honest, after seeing successive PUDP administrations come and go and, in particular, witnessing the utter display of pompous self-indignation demonstrated by the actors at yesterday’s press conference, I am suffice in saying that once neither the PUP nor the UDP like what you have to say, it is a clear indication that you are on the right side of history, in terms of calling a spade, a spade.

International Sources

20 Stunning Stats and Facts from World Cup Qualifying
The top scorer from the qualifiers so far is Deon McCaulay, of Belize. He scored 11 goals in eight games before his nation was eliminated at the Round 2 stage in the CONCACAF zone.

Four Caribbean brands make Taste13 final in Germany
The four companies that have been selected for the taste13 competition are; Baron Foods Ltd with their ‘Banana Ketchup’ (Saint Lucia); Beverages Caribbean Inc. with ‘Tiger Malt’ (Barbados); 10 Saints beer by 10 Saints Brewery Ltd (Barbados) and Fresh Fruits Flavours one of Marie Sharp’s Habanerno Sauces (Belize).

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