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The San Pedro Sun

Three Belizeans appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
On Wednesday October 23rd, three Belizean men were appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for their outstanding and selfless service to their communities. Frank Alexander Lizama and Colville Ludwig Young Jr. were both appointed Order of the British Empire: Mr. Lizama for his contribution to art, education and politics and Mr. Young for his contribution to education and music. Receiving the insignia for Member of the British Empire was Norman Samuel Elburt Hamilton for his contribution to music. The appointments were announced in June 2013 as a part of the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Ambergris Caye makes final preparations to celebrate Youth Week
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports are gearing up for National Youth Week 2013. The activities are being celebrated under the national theme, "Our Voice, Our Impact." The ministry, working with the Department of Youth Services (DYS) has planned several activities for the islands of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye from the 3rd to the 9th of November. The activities will kick off on Sunday, November 3rd with a Youth Ecumenical Service at the Rafael Angel Nu�ez Auditorium. The service will be conducted by a Youth Pastor and will include inspirational gospel music as well as life changing youth testimonies. There will also be a bicycle race starting at the Boca del Rio Park at 1PM. A three-day Cultural Music Workshop will also start at 2PM at Central Park which is being coordinated with the assistance of the San Pedro Branch of the National Garifuna Council. During the workshop the participants will choreograph a performance that will be presented at the National Youth Award ceremony later in the week.

GOB to invest $50 million for water and sewer expansion for northern Ambergris Caye
The Government of Belize is planning to invest $50 million in the Belize Water Service Limited for an expansion project that will see water and sewer services introduced to northern Ambergris Caye. The announcement was made by both San Pedro Town Mayo Daniel Guerrero and Belize Rural South Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr. during a consultation meeting on Tuesday, November 22nd at the San Pedro Lions Den. The two political leaders made the announcement in response to two questions raised about the island's waste management at a public consultation regarding the Ambergris Caye Land Use Development Plan which is a project under the Sustainable Tourism Project. "Having the proper infrastructure is very essential as this island grows. There is a $50 million investment for the expansion and infrastructural development of the water and sewer system for the north of the island which will be forthcoming next year. This has been in the planning stage for some years now, and we are finally pleased to say it has been approved as a project proposal.

Baile de la Cabeza Del Cochino: The Hogs Head Dance
The Hog Head or Cabeza Del Cochino is one of the liveliest traditions in the Mestizo culture that is still practiced today. The tradition of the Cabeza Del Cochino is that it is held at a festival as a sign of a productive year. The hog's head signifies wealth and health for the family that is giving the offering. This tradition is still practiced today in several villages in the Northern District of Belize and is done using the same simple ways as their ancestors did before. The head of the hog is usually bought at the farmers market, then cleaned and seasoned to taste. It is then wrapped in plantain leaves and secured with the veins of plantain stems. The hogs head is placed in a large cast iron pot known as "el caldero" and placed over a fire hearth. Some people have adapted to the modern ways of baking in an oven with all the traditional fixings, but to ensure the consistency that has been passed on from one generation to another, the best way is still via the fire hearth. Once the head is cooked, it is removed from the pot and the plantain leaves are taken off. The head is then roasted over the fire for half an hour to ensure that the brains are cooked properly.

Ambergris Today

United Nations Day Commemorated in Belize
United Nations Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the United Nations Charter and a day that we take to reflect on the contribution of our organization and its staff to the development and wellbeing of the people of Belize. This year, 2013, we are proud of the renewed partnership of the United Nations and its agencies, funds and programs, highlighted by the launch of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2013 - 2016 that was signed with the Government of Belize in 2012. The priority areas for our continued support are: �Human rights with equity, equality and non-discrimination �Economic and social well-being, citizen security and justice �Environmental and natural resource management, disaster risk reduction and climate change �Democratic governance

San Pedro RC School All Saints Day Fair
The San Pedro RC School All Saints' Day Fair is here once again. The event will take place on Friday, November 1, 2013 starting at 5:00 p.m. at the School Grounds. So come on out and support the RC School fund raiser event. Lots to eat and drink! great raffles and fun games for all!

Misc Belizean Sources

DATE: Friday 25th, October 2013 TIME: 11:45 a.m. The National Emergency Management Organization hereby informs the general public that heavy rainfall from a cold front that's passing over the Yucatan is causing localized flooding across certain parts of the country. This is expected to continue within the next 48 hours. NEMO is monitoring and responding to the affected areas.

John Greerand his efforts in keeping La Isla Bonita clean
Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Councilor Carlos Barrientos presented an award of recognition to Mr. John Greer, on behalf of the people of San Pedro, for his efforts in keeping La Isla Bonita clean. Mr. Greer and his team currently cleaned approximately 7 miles up north from Robles to El Secreto Resort and gathered up to 30-35 tons of garbage. Mr. Greer occasionally cleans different areas in town as well. Thank You Mr. Greer!

San Pedro sailors Gorge Olivarez and Jerdon Anderson
San Pedro sailors Gorge Olivarez and Jerdon Anderson represent Belize as they compete against 40 other sailors in Bacalar, Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico this weekend. The San Pedro Sailing Club thanks Tropic Air for flying the kids to Corozal, and Menzies for shuttling them to Chetumal, James Ritchie of Captain Shark's for providing 2 new life jackets for the sailors, and of course, Graham Verralls (Caribbean Villas) for his incredible support to the sailing club that has led to this venture!

ABC Preschool Party
Don't miss out on this super cute Halloween fun at ABC Preschool today!

MCHS Educators Embrace Environment
Feelgood news of the day. Mount Carmel High School faculty and students took a day to plant some trees in the neighborhood. "On October 15,2011, 34 Royal Palm Trees were planted by teachers and students of MCHS. Event planned by the ENVIRONMENTAL CLUB."

Cayo Cancer Walk Postponed
The Cancer Walk from Esperanza to the Cayo Welcome Center will be postponed until next weekend due to weather. "Guys we had to postpone the walk due to incremented bad weather. Please see the details below. We encourage everyone to make all efforts to join us next Saturday same time, same place"

Cayo Scoop Halloween Cup
The Cayo Scoop Halloween Cup 9 Ball tournament is happening tomorrow at Mom's Backyard. We'll have trophies for 1st and 2nd place this time. Call 620-1242 for more information. "Mom's Backyard presents CAYO SCOOP HALLOWEEN CUP, Single-Man 9 Ball Tournament on October 26th & 27th at 11 a.m. Sharp.. REGISTRATION FEE: $25.00.. Race to Five Double Elimination PRIZES: 1st & 2nd Place Trophies plus Cash Prize, 3rd Place 1 Case Belikin Beer. (Note: Players should register by Friday, October 25th at Mom's or by Contacting 620-1242 or 626-4519) Remember, to be the man; you got to beat the man!"

VACANCY - Belize Social Investment Fund (SIF)

2nd Corozal Scout and Cub Scout investiture ceremonies
Sir Colville Norbert Young, GCMG, MBE, the Governor General of Belize, and also patron of the Scout Association of Belize and Spouse: Lady Norma Young were special guests at the 2nd Corozal Scout and Cub Scout investiture ceremonies held at 10:00 this morning at the St. Francis Xavier Primary School. Scout leaders from our neighbouring city of Chetumal, Mexico were also invited guests.

Corozal: Deep ravine on the Ferry Road
Emil Cano, Work Supervisor at the Ministry of Works in Ranchito confirmed to the Corozal Daily this afternoon that his Ministry will be fixing a deep ravine on the Ferry Road on Monday Oct 28th. Vehicles, especially small cars should exercise extreme caution when approaching this ravine which falls about 300-400 yards before the ferry on the Corozal/Ferry Road. We did not attempt to cross the ravine as it seemed treacherous for our small vehicle. Additionally, Mr. Cano informed us that the road leading from the Chunox ferry to the village has been repaired and is now accessible. The road from the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry to Saltillos which is the junction to Progresso and Cooper Bank will be graded and fixed beginning Monday Oct 25th. Once that road is completed, then the road from the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry to Corozal Town will be repaired, weather permitting. There are a couple of trouble spots on Ferry Road but this ravine has cut across it making impossible to cross with a small car. Without a 4x4, we were unable to reach to the ferry going up from town. Ministry of Works stated to the Corozal Daily this afternoon that this spot will be fixed Monday Oct 28th

Channel 7

Back From LA, PM Takes A Cue From Dodgers, Avoids Press At PGIA
Remember how the Prime Minister was in Los Angeles? Well, he must have learned a thing or two from the LA Dodgers! 'Cause that's just what he did today - dodged the press. The entire media, six TV News stations, along with radio and print - were waiting at the airport, on what was a very unusual day at the PGIA. Unusual because for the first time in memory, the gate was rolled out at the entrance - and every vehicle coming in was stopped and questioned about their business at the airport. This barrier is usually only activated at night and we've only rarely seen it in the day - such as on occasions when foreign leaders visit. But the barrier wasn't for the press, we were let in without any problem. The mood suggests that the barrier was put up to prevent any trouble that may have been started with a protest led by Rufus X at the airport junction. But, guess what? That protest never even happened. Rufus called it off this morning, but still the security forces were in high alert.

King On Castro: Maybe, Maybe Not
Of course, after all that bragging, the PM didn't face the press today, but the casual nature in which new elections are glibly discussed in public is certainly something to take note of. And that's because the UDP has put Cayo Northeast into play by abandoning Elvin Penner - and now, Belize Rural North's Edmund Castro is under intense scrutiny because a whistleblower who hustled visas has emerged to claim she paid Castro hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in just a few months. We stress Castro has emphatically denied taking any bribe, but he hasn't denied signing a letter recommending visas for the woman. He is still in Miami, but yesterday via telephone he told us, yes he signed, but no he didn't take any money. Jules Vasquez "You have had a meeting with someone and you recommend her for some visas." Hon. Edmund Castro "Yes." Jules Vasquez "Do you recall how many it was?" Hon. Edmund Castro "There is no way in the neighborhood of 20, 30 or 40 nor 200 - no way." Jules Vasquez "Only on one occasion?"

Cargo Truck Driver Killed By Robbers At Speedbump
And turning away from politics now, there is a murder to report tonight. A 61 year old driver from Yo Creek was killed today in a ruthless roadside robbery. George Blanco was driving with his boss, who is a meat wholesaler from Shipyard, when a gunman seized upon the vehicle in Sandhill. Jules Vasquez found out what happened next:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Four men were in this Cargo truck when it passed the last speed-bump in Sandhill near the Old Northern Highway Junction. That's when a gunman on the left side of the road shot the driver, 61 year old George Blanco - while a man with a knife came up on the right. The driver fell over the wheel dead, and the vehicle veered off the road. Abraham Penner was sleeping behind the driver. Abraham Penner "I just heard like a tire blow out and by the time I heard that the man said stop and give me all the money, if not I will kill all of you. My brother and my father jump out the other door and the gunman opened the driver's door and driver dropped out because he was dead and then I jumped out and he (the gun man) said give me all the money. I lay down and I pull out my wallet and after that the two guys; one with a knife and the other with a gun....."

Customs Cashier To Court, Almost Gets Remanded
LAST NIGHT, WE told you about the Customs cashier who allegedly ran a scam with Customs money. Well, police say that the officer is Ashley Smith, and she was taken to court today on charges of theft. As we told you, Smith was recently transferred to the cashier's section after being employed with Customs for 7 years. Sometime between August 30 and September 26, she allegedly stole $4,966 from the government purse. Police say that she did it by taking cash from customs receipts and then reimbursing the missing money with bogus checks so that the books would balance out at the end of the day. As we told you, the checks allegedly came from her brother's company's check book, which he claims was stolen. Late this evening, she was arraigned in Magistrate's Court on the charge of theft, and she was granted bail of $10,000. A few minutes before the closure of the clerk's section - which would have forced Smith to be remanded for the weekend - her family and friends arranged for a bail bondsman to cover the amount, and she was released. She did her best to dodge the media, where she dove into a car which drove off immediately.

MIT Gets One Kilo At the Benque Border
Last night we told you about the Guatemalan car with drugs that was intercepted at the Western Border. Information was sketchy at news time because the bust was made at 4:30pm and the search of the car was ongoing. Well tonight, the Mobile Interdiction Team is reporting that their K-9 officer named "Toonje" sniffed something illegal in the rear of the car. A search was conducted and it led to the discovery of one 1 Kilo of cocaine stuffed beneath the right rear passenger seat. Occupants of the vehicle were 23 year old Robin Danilo Carias Veliz, an unemployed of San Luis, Guatemala and 23 year old Jonathan Gregorio Adolfo Chacon Sandoval, an unemployed of Chiquimula, Guatemala. Both were arrested and charged for Drug Trafficking. They appeared in San Ignacio Magistrate Court today. Jonathan Sandoval pleaded guilty and was fined one hundred thousand dollars plus a five dollar cost of court and sentenced to 3 years of Imprisonment. Robin Veliz pleaded not guilty and was remanded until December 20th, 2013.

NTUCB Says Full Steam Ahead With CWU Congress
Tomorrow, elements of the Christian Workers Union will push forward with a national congress and they will do so with the blessing, support and financing of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. The NTUCB Executive held a meeting last night where they decided that the October 26th promise must proceed as planned, no matter who doesn't like it. They followed that meeting with an unusual 9:00 pm press briefing at the PSU Office on Kut Avenue in Belize City and 7News was there. 2nd. Vice President Marvin Mora explained why they must push ahead: Marvin Mora, 2nd VP - NTUCB "We as a congress have a responsibility to open up the avenues to facilitate the process for those members who need the change, who want the change. We call on the membership of the CWU, we are asking them for them to come out this Saturday to go to Birds Isle where it will be held so that they can really put their house in order." Adelaida Guerra, 1st VP - NTUCB "He knows what he agreed upon and he has faltered to every bit of what he agree to do."

President Pitta?
But the office Christian Workers Union today sent out a release urging members not to attend the meeting, in spite of what the NTUCB says. The release says, quote, "The CWU reiterates that it has not sanctioned or authorized any meeting or Congress for 26thOctober, 2013. The Union calls on all members not to attend any unauthorized meeting." End quote. It closes, "The Congress...shall be held in February 2014 and emphatically not on the 26thOctober, 2013." But this evening, the Stevedores and their advisors had even more emphasis when they denied allegation made by CWU President Antonio Gonzalez and General Secretary James McFoy. They told 7news that at last Friday's meeting of shop stewards, stevedores Deon Pitta and Raymond Rivers voted in favour of that February meeting. This evening Pitta and Rivers held a press conference along with their advisor where they flatly denied that: Jules Vasquez "According to Mr. Gonzalez and Mr. McFoy you all voted in favor of a February meeting. That's what they said." Deon "Ras" Pitta, candidate for CWU President "That's a lie"

Heavy Rains Bring High Waters
This morning NEMO sent out a press release warning about the effects of heavy rains from a cold front that is passing over the Yucatan. It has caused some flooding across certain parts of the country and according to NEMO, it is expected to continue in the next 48 hours. NEMO has been monitoring and responding to affected areas. This morning the Roaring Creek was rising fast, but up until this evening, water levels have receded under the Roaring Creek bridge and the bridge remains passable to vehicular traffic. This morning the North Stann Creek was 4 feet above and was falling at mile 20, 12 feet above at Hope Creek. The Mullins River was at 3 feet above normal and was rising. Cabbage Hay Creek was 5 feet abover normal and also was rising. The communities places on Flood watch this morning included, Sarawee, Hope Creek, Mullins River, Santa Rosa, San Roman and Georgetown.

Cowo to Court
22 year-old Alfredo Cowo, a resident of San Pedro is in jail tonight after he was taken to court for armed robbery. According to police, on Wednesday, Nelson Rhaburn was walking a friend home when an armed assailant ambushed him and held him at gunpoint. This man shoved the gun into his mouth and demanded that he hand over all his possessions. Fearing for his life, he gave the man his Camel bag, a brown wallet with $250 in cash, to a total value of $630. When the man attempted to flee, Rhaburn grabbed him and they ended up in a struggle. San Pedro Police officers who were alerted to scene, detained the assailant, identified as Cowo, and they retrieved the firearm from his hand, along with all the stolen items. It was discovered that the weapon was a .32 handgun, which was loaded with 3 live rounds. The officers arrested and charged Cowo with robbery, keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition.

Caught Stealing On San Pedro
Tonight, 21 Edwin Flores and 18 Alvin Gonzalez, both residents of San Pedro, are at prison after they were taken to court for burglarizing a man's home and getting caught in the act. According to police, both men broke into Wilson Vivas's house on Wednesday, and they stole an assortment of clothes, a pair of tennis shoes, an Xbox gaming system - complete with peripherals and video game discs - to a total of $2,010. Police were alerted to the crime in progress, and they detained Flores, who was allegedly in possession of all the stolen items. Flores was arrested, and all the items were recovered. Investigators got information of a man matching Gonzalez's description, who was seen fleeing the scene of the burglary, so police arrested him also.

Saldivar Meets With Social Partners
On Wednesday, we showed you the fence-mending meeting UDP Public Accounts Committee member John Saldivar held with the churches. Well this afternoon at ITVET, he held a follow up session with a broader group including the Chamber, the Union, the Evangelical Association and the Council of Churches. SAldivar is trying to bring them all around to a suitable compromise after they criticized the UDP version of the PAC, calling it a charade. This evening Saldivar spoke said the mood of the meeting was cordial and he said he presented them with a proposal for the way forward:... Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "We went over the proposal that was arrived at - at the meeting on Wednesday with the Council of Churches. We made that proposal to the other three social partners, discussed it, aired it out and they have asked for a few days to consider it." Reporter "Is there a clear road map on the way ahead?" Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Polices "I believe so. I believe that the chamber and the unions have promised to get back to us by Wednesday of next week, as to whether they are comfortable or not, with the proposal that has come out of the meeting with the Council of Churches. After that then well decide on a way forward."

Tonight, 27 year-old Kaylani Gentle, 30 year-old Marcella Vayes, 21 year-old Delia Martinez, 47 year-old Jose Moralez, and 24 year-old Pedro Campos are all at prison tonight after they were taken to court for trafficking in cocaine. At around 3:30 yesterday evening, San Pedro Police raided Captain Guts Bar looking for illegal drugs and firearms. All 5 defendants were present, when the officers found a red ashtray under the counter of the bar. It contained 20 small parcels of crack cocaine to a total weight of 1.47 grams. They were all arrested and charged with drug trafficking. Gentle was allegedly caught with a pipe and 0.17 grams of powdery cocaine inside a cigarette pack. She was additionally charged with possession of a controlled drug, and possession of pipe.

Courtney Goes International
4 weeks ago, 7News showed you Courtney Gillett and Cindy Burgos, Belizean violinists who were invited to participate in a 2 week residency of the Central American Youth Orchestra, which was held in Panama. Well, part of that experience was that a camera crew from an international press organization followed the members of the orchestra around as they did their normal practice routines. When they returned to their countries, this crew followed some of the members where they would observe how these musicians operate at home. As such, the crew is in Belize, and they're featuring Courtney Gillett as the representative, while they are here. The crew did an extended interview with Gillett, and afterwards, 7News spoke with her about the experience of having the cameras here to feature the Belizean talent in classical music. Here's what she told us: Courtney Gillett "It's a documentary that they had started while we were in Panama for the Central American Youth Orchestra and they are just featuring some of the musicians who took part in that orchestra. They traveled by bus to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Salvador, and so on. They have been following us around, trying to see what we do here in our own country, how we make our own folk music. They're in Boom today trying to see what remnants of folk music is left in the village after so many years."

Channel 5

Whistleblower makes an official report on the visa hustle involving Edmund Castro
Prime Minister Dean Barrow finds himself in a conundrum tonight having returned to the country to face another major accusation of corruption in his administration. We will have what happened [...]

Prime Minister returns to the country…and dodges the media
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has been out of the country for more than a week - combining official and medical business. One day before he left the country, the PM [...]

Mark King says he doesn't know what the hullabaloo is about
A group of U.D.P. supporters turned up to welcome PM Barrow home. They weren't allowed past the barrier into the main airport area, but Minister of State Mark King was. [...]

Penner says he is to meet with PM early next week
Edmund "Clear the Land" Castro now shares the corruption spotlight with Elvin Penner, his comrade in the immigration shenanigans. Penner came back into the country from Guatemala on Sunday. He [...]

A delivery truck driver is murdered on the job; his bosses robbed
A delivery truck driver was brutally murdered in broad daylight during the lunch hour. The Yo Creek resident, George Blanco, was employed by John Penner Meats; his life was cut [...]

Standoff between the CWU membership and its executives leads to a general congress
Plans to convene a general congress by the membership of the embattled Christian Workers Union remain in motion, despite strong dissuasion from the organization's executive committee.� On Thursday, President Antonio [...]

Union activist says he is prepared to legally defend result of CWU elections
Union activist, Dale Trujeque, who has been closely advising Pitter and Rivers in their effort to bring about change, told the media this afternoon that despite the mixed messages being [...]

Raymond Rivers says executives playing games to retain control of union
Meanwhile, outspoken representative Raymond Rivers says that many of the correspondences being issued by the union are unofficial since they do not bear the seal of the CWU.� According to [...]

A flashback on how Nigerians traveled across continents to make it to the Great U.S.A.
We have been reporting on the immigration scandal for weeks. This time round, it involves the illegal issuance of a Belizean passport and nationality certificate to a fugitive, Wonhong Kim. [...]

Social Partners call on opposition to return to PAC hearings
Government representatives of the Public Accounts Committee, led by pro-tem chairman John Saldivar, met with the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as the Evangelical Association today where [...]

Nazarene High celebrates drug week
A school in our neighborhood, Nazarene High, is celebrating Drug Week under the theme "Shine Bright Like Me, Be Drug Free." And after four days of activities ranging from poetry [...]

Daylight's saving time in Mexico
If you are planning to head across the northern border into Mexico over the weekend, it is recommended that you take note that Mexico ends its daylight saving time at [...]


Robbery of Delivery Truck Leads To Murder
A resident of Orange Walk was brutally murdered during the robbery of a delivery truck earlier today. Reporter Linette Canto and Videographer Brian Castillo visited the scene and filed this report: LINETTE CANTO "Residents of the generally quite village of Sandhill had their midafternoon meal rudely interrupted by the sound of a gunshot. Mile 19 on the Philip Goldson high way with its junction with the old Maskall Road was the scene of chaos and tragedy this afternoon as 61-year-old, George Blanco lay dead on the ground, the victim of a brutal day light robbery. John Penner, proprietor of John Penner Meats situated in Yo Creek, Orange Walk had just completed his round of meat delivery in Belize City and was heading back to Orange Walk with his two sons and his driver. It was a routine trip for them until they reached Sandhill Village. There, things took an ugly turn as two robbers held them up and murdered the driver. John Penner told us that they have been robbed before but no one was hurt in that incident. This time they were not as fortunate. "

Prime Minister Eludes Media At Airport
Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, returned to the country this afternoon from the United States where he attended fund-raising events with his wife, Kim, and after seeking medical attention for a sensitive back. But back home, more allegations have been circulating, encompassing more names of persons reportedly linked to the recent immigration scandal. Since the Prime Minister's absence, another junior Cabinet Minister's name has been called in the scam. So while that Minister, Edmund Castro, is also away on official business, the media flocked to the Philip Goldson International Airport this afternoon in the hopes of landing a joint interview with the PM on the latest allegations. But that effort did not result in much because the PM did not exit through the usual Departure Lounge area. Instead, his vehicle was waiting from him on the tarmac and he was whisked off into the City in total avoidance of the press. Marion Ali was at the PGIA and filed this report. MARION ALI "Media personnel waited anxiously in front of the arrival lounge area at the PGIA hoping to speak with the Prime Minister about new allegations surrounding the visa and passport scam. The wait for his arrival was promising this time with junior minister, Mark King showing up. His presence in his words is to give the Prime Minister support."

Duo Charged With Burglary
Two men, 22 year old Edwin Flores and 18 year old Alvin Gonzalez, were charged burglary when they appeared in court today. Flores was also charged with two counts of handling stolen goods. They pled not guilty to the charges. The prosecution objected to bail and Magistrate Stephanie Gillett upheld the objection and remanded them into custody until December 10. The burglary occurred on October 23. According to the allegation, the two entered as trespassers the dwelling house of Wilson Vivas and stole an assortment of clothing and a pair of tennis shoes. Quick response by the police led to the apprehension of Flores who was one of two persons seen running from the scene. Gonzalez was apprehended later the same day. The police reported that they recovered all of the stolen items from Flores. Flores, however, denied that they found him with the stolen items. He claimed that the police found them in an empty lot.

Flood Watch In Effect For Some Villages in Southern Belize
A cold front that is passing over the Yucatan is causing localized flooding in certain parts of the country. According to the National Emergency Management Organization, water is rising fast in Roaring Creek Village and the Roaring Creek Bridge will likely flood as well as low lying areas in the village. In Arizona, Teakettle the creek rose and flooded out affecting at least eight families. While in Maya Mopan flooding has affected several families. On the George Price Highway between Central Farm and Blackman Eddy approximately 12 inches of water was reported. The Iguana Creek Bridge has about two inches of water on it. In the Stann Creek District, the North Stann Creek is four feet above and falling at mile 20; twelve feet above at Hope Creek and rising. Mullins River is three feet above normal and rising. Cabbage Hay Creek is five feet above normal and rising. The communities of Sarawee, Hope Creek, Mullins River, Santa Rosa, San Roman and Georgetown remain under a flood watch. In the Toledo District Blue creek is three feet above the bridge and rising and the road is closed. The Moho River at Jordan is above normal and rising as is Bladden. Flood watch has been issued for San Benito Poite, Jordan, Aguacate, Crique Sarco and Bladden.

Guats Busted with Kilo at Western Border
Two Guatemalan nationals who were detained yesterday at the Benque Viejo border appeared in court today. On Thursday a joint anti drug operation was conducted at the Western border where a car was searched and officials found a package with suspected cocaine. The two occupants of the vehicle, 23-year-old Jonathon Sandoval and 23-year-old Robin Veliz were detained and taken to the Benque Viejo Police Station. The cocaine was weighed and amounted to one kilo. Today in court, Jonathon Sandoval pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined 100 thousand dollars plus three years imprisonment. Veliz pleaded not guilty to the charge. Both men were sent to Central Prison.

Government Cashier Accused of Stealing Almost 5K
Ashley Smith, a cashier for Customs Department, was charged with the theft of four thousand nine hundred and sixty six dollars when she appeared in Court today. Smith pled not guilty to the charge. She was offered a bail of ten thousand dollars which she was able to meet. She is to return to court on December 3. According to the allegation, Smith stole the money between August 30 and September 26.

Drug Bust Lands Minor Behind Bars
A minor has been charged for drug trafficking in San Ignacio. For details of that story and other police news we join San Ignacio correspondent Elaine Berry. ELAINE BERRY "On Thursday 24th October at about 12:10pm police officers from the San Ignacio formation visited the home of 22-year-old, Trevor Lamb, a Belizean laborer of Second Street here in San Ignacio. A search was conducted at the home and police discovered a bulb socket inside a room containing (3) .38 special rounds of ammunition. Also present at the time of the search were 22-year-old, Ian Ifield, Belizean labor of Church street, Fernando Juan, a 43-year-old, Belizean electrician of Clarissa Falls, Apolinera Landero, a 37-year-old, Belizean domestic of Shawville and Marvin Escalera, a 48-year-old Belizean taxi driver also of Shawville. They were all arrested and charged for kept ammunition without a gun license. They were taken to the San Ignacio Magistrates Court this morning where their charge was read. They all pleaded not guilty and were remanded to prison until 28th January, 2014.

Health Minister Says Media Creates Mischief
Today we got a rare opportunity to speak with the Minister of Health Pablo Marin. Rare because it's not always that he is seen in public government functions or accepts to give interviews and we will tell you why he has opted to do that. But since we had this rare opportunity to speak with him on record we asked him to give us an update on the investigation of the misuse of public funds at the Southern Regional Hospital. He told us how far they are in the investigation and the hurdles his people have faced. PABLO MARIN "As you know, the first step we did was to send our auditors in there; we found out that there were some misuse of some funds. When we did that they did threaten the life of my CEO and some of our AO's in the ministry, yet we still continue and we sent the Auditor General there and we did do a report. We found that there is about $360,000 plus missing from the funds of the NHI which is very sad to know. We have found some checks, about maybe 3 checks but in reality it's more than that. We do know or we speculate that it's not only one person who did this but more than one. The investigation is there and has already been given to the police. The person has been suspended already from the Ministry and further investigation is being done on that."

Laborer Arraigned Following Attempted Robbery in San Pedro
Twenty-two year old Alfredo Cowo, a laborer of San Pedro who allegedly put a pistol in a man's mouth and robbed him, was charged with robbery when he appeared in Court today. Cowo was also charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. He pled not guilty to the charges. He was remanded into custody until December 5. The incident occurred on October 23 in San Pedro. The complainant, Nelson Rhaburn, reported to the police that he was walking a friend home when his assailant accosted his and put a gun in his mouth. Rhaburn said the gunman stole his camel bag and his wallet which contained 250 dollars. Rhaburn said that he began to struggle with the gunman and fortunately for him the police arrived and subdued the gunman and recovered from him all of the stolen items. The police also recovered the firearm, a .point 32 pistol with three rounds of ammunition in its magazine.

Five Arrested in San Pedro for Crack Cocaine
The police's discovery of 1.47 grams of crack cocaine in a red ashtray under a bar counter in San Pedro, has resulted in the arrest of five persons. They are 27 year old Kaylani Gentle, 30 year old Marcella Vayes, 24 year old Pedro Campos, 47 year old Jose Morales and 21 year old Delia Martinez. They were charged with drug trafficking, a charge to which they pled not guilty.nGentle alone was charged with possession of 0.17 grams of cocaine and possession of a metal pipe. She pled guilty to possession of a controlled drug and not guilty to possession of the pipe. Magistrate Stephanie Gillett fined her 500 dollars and ordered her to pay by November 30. If she defaults on payment she will serve six months. They all pled not guilty to drug trafficking and they were each offered a bail of $6,000. They are to return to court on December 5. Yesterday around 3:30 p.m. police went to Captain Guts Bar in San Pedro to search for firearms and drugs. When they searched under the bar counter they found an ashtray that contained 20 parcels of crack cocaine. When they searched a cigarette pack Gentle had they reported that they found 0.17 grams of cocaine.


Whistler Blower Points Out Castro In Visa Scandal, He Says "It Wasn't Me"
Since the Immigration Scandal news first broke in September of this year, every day thereafter new information continues to surface from several angles of deep rooted corruption. While Elvin Penner was at the forefront of the news for a while, tonight another Cabinet member is being accused of the same corruption. Channel 5 reported last night that Junior Minister Edmund Castro is allegedly involved in the lucrative visa hustle. The allegation is backed up with an interview given by an insider who broke the silence and spoke on the hundreds of thousands of dollars being paid by 'would be' nationals to acquire a visa 'under the table'. One Minister, who has categorically denied allegations of his involvement, is Minister of National Security John Saldivar. Saldivar was met by the media this morning in Belize City where he denied any connection in this scandal.

Murder Case Against Eric Gonzales Set To Commence
Four years after his arrest, 12 Jury's were selected today to hear the case of Eric Gonzalez who is accused of stabbing at the time, 16 year old Daniel Soto. The incident took place on February 26th, 2009 in Orange Walk Town when both youths were reported to have been hanging out together on Mangal Street in the Louisiana Area and an argument erupted between them. It is alleged that Gonzalez left the area to get a kitchen knife and upon his return inflicted a stab wound to Soto's upper thigh. Police reported upon arrival that they saw Soto lying down on his back in a drain bleeding profusely and died en route to the Northern Regional Hospital.

Clocks In Mexico Go Back One Hour
On midnight Sunday October 27th, Mexico and Belize will have the same local time. That is because Daylight Savings time in Mexico will end and the winter season begins. A release issued by the Embassy of Mexico advises those traveling within Mexico on the evening of Saturday October 26th, to adjust their clock one hour backwards before going to sleep. Belizeans with business appointments, or catching planes or buses across the border should take particular note.

Corozal House Of Culture To Host Cultural Lectures
On February 24th, 2012 the Corozal House of Culture was opened to the general public, with funding from the Belize Tourism Board, Belize Sugar Industries Limited, the National Institute of Culture and History, NICH and the Corozal Community. Since the birth of the house of culture, Coordinator Debra Wilkes Gray has organized several activities with the objective to highlight the importance of history and culture. And this Friday the work towards that goal continues as the house of culture features a lecture segment with Angelita Magana a culture advocate. Debra Wilkes Gray "We are very excited about Friday's night event; it is a premier lecture of our historical lecture series entitled, Perspectives of Our Past, and it is going to become a signature of event here at the House Of Culture each yea we will feature local elders who are able to articulate history according to their views. Mrs Angelita Magana was the founder, the pioneer of the San Joaquin Fiesta which started in 1966 and she will be speaking on the origin and the early years and developments of the San Joaquin Fiesta, to be a chronological history of how it all came about, how the community came together and the trials and tribulations, the good and the bad because we are all human so I think I would be very interesting to come and I am inviting the community to come to listen to her to hear what really went on.

Premier Gas Station Inaugurates State Of The Art Facility
Today a major accomplishment which brings a state of the art facility to the reach of Orange Walkenos was celebrated. What started as small company has now become Orange Walk's leading service station. We are talking about Shell One Stop and Convenience Store which now offers its valuable customers a state of the art facility including world class fuel pumps and the company's latest signage. Today, after months of arduous work, the new facility and services of the gas station was inaugurated in grand style. Reporter Irvin Aragon has the story. Irvin Aragon - Reporting A new state of the art facility at Orange Walk's leading fuel and service station was officially inaugurated today and opened to the public. With a short presentation and many giveaways throughout the program, Shell One Stop celebrated this huge milestone with its valuable customers and friends.

BSI Stalls Renegotiation Process On Bagasse
Last week we told you about the ongoing negotiations between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, the Belize Sugar Industry and American Sugar Refinery, (ASR) when it comes to the Commercial Agreement on the sugar cane by-product, Bagasse. While some provisional agreements have been reached, negotiations are at a standstill as it pertains to the payment of "Baggase", a crucial point of interest for the BSCFA which represents thousands of cane farmers. This morning on the Despierta Belice Show, key players of the BSCFA, Alfredo Ortega and CEO Oscar Alonzo, gave the public and the 6,000 cane farmers an update on the issue with the hope that both companies can come to an agreement by the start of the new crop season set for November 25th.

BMDC Says Hike On Imported Onion Prices Is Beyond Their Control
Yesterday we aired the concerns of fruit and vegetable vendors located at the Fort Carin's Market Plaza in regards to the high price they have to pay for a sack of imported onion to the Belize Marketing and Development Board. For vendors, the price is way too high, so much so, that they themselves have had to increase the price per pound of onion since there is a shortage of the local product. That ultimately is affecting their business overall as they have seen drastic declines in sales. But according to BMDC, there is nothing they can do since the price per sack of imported onion is indeed high. Silverio Marin, Administrator, BMDC "Tengo entendido que la gente est� descontenta con el precio sin embargo el incremento en el precio es debido a factores que nosotros no podemos controlar, ha habido fuertes lluvias y tormentas de lado de M�xico y nosotros importamos la cebolla blanca en espec�fico de M�xico entonces las lluvias han causado el incremento en el precio, debido al escases que hay."

OWTC Weighs In On Passport And Immigration Scandal
While this latest revelation will surely attract the attention of many organizations, the Orange Walk Town Council wasted no time in sharing their sentiments on the issue. In a release issued today, the council expressed its utter discontent with the manner in which the passport and immigration scandal has been handled by government. According to the council, there has been absolutely no transparency in the so-called investigation into corruption which is not only the government's business, but is everybody's business. The release states and we quote "We find it ludicrous that the government speaks of total corruption within the Immigration Department, admits that former Minister of State Elvin Penner is in the center of it, and still refuses to allow him to be the subject of a criminal investigation." End of quote.

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Revelations and allegations on the passport scandal continue to heat up
The Immigration Department has been shaken to its core. For the past month, reports of illicit acts by former Minister of State Elvin Penner, at the passport and immigration departments, has taken over airwaves, social media and domestic discussions. Each week, new shockers are revealed, exposing a serious problem...

Minister John Saldivar denies participation in immigration scandal
Following on the heels of shocking admissions by Prime Minister Dean Barrow that he has heard of - but not seen evidence of - visa quotas for Ministers and institutionalized "hustling" and the scandal surrounding former fellow Junior Minister Elvin Penner, it is another possibly crippling blow to an...

Orange Walk Town Council discontent with Government's handling of Immigration Scandal
In the midst of the immigration storm, another entity has come out calling for an independent investigation. Late Thursday evening, the Orange Walk Town Council issued a release expressing its discontent with the manner in which the passport and immigration scandals have been handled by Government, calling it a...

Cabinet voted to remove Widows' and Orphans' Pension System
On Thursday, Minister of National Security John Saldivar met with the press outside the party headquarters, where he was the scheduled guest on party station WAVE Radio's morning program. He spoke to us about the removal of the Widows' and Orphans' Pension Scheme, which under law was instituted to...

Defiant CWU execs say they do not recognize Saturday meeting
Earlier this week we brought you the insurgent waterfront workers who are demanding that the Christian Workers' Union (CWU) go through with a meeting scheduled for October 26, at which they intend to put long-time president Antonio Gonzalez and general secretary James McFoy to pasture. The two men have led the...

Over half of the students at a primary school in Cayo are no-show
On Thursday morning, teachers and staff of Faith Nazarene Primary School in San Ignacio, Cayo were baffled when three quarters of their students did not show up for classes. We spoke with the Vice Principal Shelan Humes who was able to confirm this. According to Humes, neither their staff nor...

Postal Clerk detained after parcels go missing from Belmopan Post Office
Reports have it that a female postal clerk is in quite a bit of trouble after being caught in the possession of mail and packages that did not belong to her. The parcels of mail, which were reportedly taken from the Belmopan Post Office, were allegedly found inside the...

Christian group objects to Belikin video ad
Some television viewers are calling for the removal of what they describe as a highly sexual and exploitive video commercial aired on prime time TV. Belize Brewing Co. Limited's Belikin Beer, this month released a promotional video for its 2014 Belikin Beer Calendar Launch. The video has obtained airing...

San Ignacio Police conduct sting operation on human trafficking ring
San Ignacio Police believe that they have busted persons involved in a human trafficking ring. On Tuesday, shortly before midday, the department conducted a sting operation that led to the apprehension of four persons. Police intercepted a white Cadillac car bearing a Mexican license plate, in front of the...

Gwen Lizarraga High School marches against drugs
"Say No to Drugs!" It is a mantra children hear from they are very young. But statistics suggest that the impact of the message is not the same for all boys and girls. Schools in Belize City have for several years now sought to further ingrain the message through...

Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Cooperation hosts a Mayan Expo
In the name of indigenous cultures, this past Saturday, the Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Cooperation hosted a Mayan Expo, attended by the Yucatan Mayan Cultural Delegation of Orange Walk. The exhibition is part of an effort to highlight the original people of the Americas, their ways...

The Guardian

Satiim and GOB to Court again over Oil
Who owns the Sarstoon Temash National Park? That is the question Justice Michele Arana is now trying to answer after counsels for SATIIM and surrounding Maya communities, U.S. Capital Energy and the Government of Belize concluded their presentations on Wednesday, October 23rd. It is a complex case, since arguments are based on a judgment currently under appeal, but the decision by Justice Arana will be based simply on the question of ownership. Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay represents SATIIM and the four Maya communities that surround the Sarstoon Temash National Park. Courtenay presented his submissions on Tuesday, October 22nd. His case is based on a June 2010 ruling by Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh. In 2007, Conteh ruled that the villagers of Santa Cruz and Conejo were entitled to customary land tenure rights of their ancestral land. Then in a 2010 case he referred to as a sequel, Conteh ruled that all 33 Maya villages in the Toledo District have customary land tenure rights and government is obligated to protect those rights and ensure that such ownership is formally registered. The Government of Belize took the judgment to the Court of Appeals and in July of 2013 the Court upheld Conteh's judgment that the Mayas have customary land tenure rights but rejected the order that Government must grant titles and do all in its power to enforce those rights.

Government officials meet with Churches on PAC
On October 8th, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Council of Churches, the association of Evangelical Churches and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize issued a joint statement in which it called the Public Accounts Committee meetings being held at the end of every month a charade. The release explained that the groups did not support the Public Accounts Committee's public hearings and said there representatives only attended the hearings as observers. After the release, Hon. John Saldivar who chaired the first two meetings of the PAC, committed to have meetings with the churches to determine what their point of disagreement was and on Wednesday, October 23rd, the meeting materialized. Hon. John Saldivar, Hon. Patrick Faber and Hon. Mark King, as representatives of the government on the PAC, met with the council of churches at the Wesley building on Albert Street. After the hour and a half meeting, Hon. Saldivar explained that it was fruitful. He explained that he was happy at the directions the talks went, and he was of the belief that they can reach a consensus as to how the PAC is to move forward. For now he added that the plan was to have further meetings with the other social partners to talk about the recommendations that came out of the first meeting. That meeting is scheduled for next week Wednesday after which a detailed announcement will be made as to what role the churches and the social partners can play in the PAC.

Chief Magistrate says Sewell should be Extradited
The Chief Magistrate ruled on Tuesday, October 22nd, that there was enough evidence presented by the United States Government to have Gary Sewell extradited to that country. Sewell has been in the Belizean courts fighting extradition from 2010. The U.S. is claiming that Gary along with his brothers Mark and Dwayne imported cocaine into the U.S. through Mexico. They are alleged to have sold marijuana in Texas from December 1994 to August 1997. They are also accused of moving as much as 1 million dollars from drug proceeds to Houston, Lakeland, Florida and Belize. After the Chief Magistrate's ruling, Sewell has 15 days to apply to the Supreme Court for a Writ of Habeas Corpus. If that fails Sewell will be extradited to the U.S. to face charges there.

Corruption comes in many flavours, and though all of them may seem sweet at the time, they all leave a terrible, bitter aftertaste. Corruption harms perpetrators, victims and society at large and yet its flavours are so tempting that few of us can resist completely. Individual corruption is so widespread and pervasive that sometimes we do not even recognise it for what it is. Is there anyone who has not used a little "white" lie to get out of an embarrassing situation? How many of us would be tempted to cheat on a test if the examiner left the answer sheet in plain view? Evidence suggests that infidelity is one of the commonest forms of cheating and is found amongst women and men. Favouring friends or family members for a job, business or scholarship opportunity is equally common. Cheating in sport at every level is so prevalent that we are no longer shocked when it is disclosed. When we do any of these things it diminishes us as a person and makes it more likely that we will progress to worse because corruption is a winding path and step one often leads to step 2 and so on until step "no turning back". Often people are drawn into the web of corruption by those who are already involved and asked to do a "simple" favour. Thus compromised they feel unable to refuse larger and larger favours until they are entirely enmeshed in the slime. Or maybe, an employee is a little short of cash one week and "borrows" something to tide himself over with the intention of paying it back but instead continues to borrow and never repays. Corruption hurts those who do not get a job or scholarship even though they are more suitable. It hurts all of us because it leads to inefficiencies and waste of our scarce resources. It can result in badly built and dangerous structures that cause death and injury.

Three Belizeans Appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
This morning at the Belize House, three Belizean men were appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for their outstanding and selfless service to their communities.

CARICOM seeking New Image
Secretary General of CARICOM, Irwin LaRocque, was in Belize on Monday, 21st and Tuesday, 22nd October to hold consultations for the development of a strategic plan for CARICOM. With the visit to Belize, LaRocque and a delegation from the secretariat have been to 11 of the 15 member states of CARICOM. They are also expected to make calls on all member states including the two associate member states. The delegation has been meeting with senior public officials in each country as well as members of the media, members of the private sector, civil society, youth, members of the opposition and institutions that are part of the CARICOM architecture.

Award Of Contract - Infrastructure Component Design And Certification Consultant Road Safety Project
The Government of Belize through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, in keeping with the long-term Vision for improvement in road safety, that through an integrated and comprehensive approach, together with demonstrated respect between all road users, the frequency and severity of traffic collisions (road trauma) is reduced, is pleased to announce the award of contract to Anthony Thurton and Associates Ltd. for the Design and Certification Consultancy. The Belize Road Safety Demonstration Corridor Project is a first step in developing a comprehensive and long term road safety strategy. The project was officially launched on 14th March, 2013 and is being implemented through a BZ$14,495,000 loan from the CDB, and GOB counterpart contribution of BZ$3,191,000.

Belize Dry Cleaners Donates Medical Pillows to Public Hospitals
Lascelle Arnold hands over pillows to Minister and C.E.O The Owner of the Belize Dry Cleaners, Lascelle Arnold, attended a conference in New Orleans, Louisiana in June of this year that focused on laundry and dry cleaning for hospitals. The Belize Dry Cleaners provides dry cleaning services for most of the country's hospitals; therefore, Arnold believes it was important for him to attend.

Institute of Mexico in Belize 20 years working for the culture of Mexico and Belize
Twenty years ago, in 1993, the Institute of Mexico in Belize (IMB) was created as a cultural center, through which the Embassy develops different projects. The IMB plays a leading role in the recreational and artistic life of Belize and has become an essential part of the cultural infrastructure of this country.

Nurses in training at the University of Belize hold educational outreach
Students in their final week of training before leaving to do their practicals at the clinics around Belize, held an educational outreach on Wednesday at the University of Belize Campus Grounds in Belmopan. The focus was on Reproductive Health, primarily that on pre-conception care, cancers of the reproductive systems, sexually transmitted infections and contraception. The theme for the Nurses, in their fourth year at the University of Belize was "Step Up. Take Charge. A Healthy Belize Begins Today."

Minister Pablo Marin welcomes the donation of wheelchairs
Hon. Pablo Marin, Area Representative for Corozal Bay, and his executive committee are pleased to be the recipients of a donation of ten wheelchairs from the Belize Indian & Merchandise Association (BIMA). The wheelchairs were donated this month along with a financial contribution for the Special Needs program at Maryhill School in Corozal Town. Two of the wheelchairs have already been personally donated by the Minister to persons in need and the remaining will be distributed shortly. Special thanks to BIMA for the donations.

Hon. Pablo Marin improving Public Spaces in Corozal
Area Representative for the Corozal Bay constituency, Hon. Pablo Marin, has been working diligently to upgrade public spaces in his constituency through contributions from donors in the U.S.

New NAVCO executive elected
On Saturday, October 19th, the National Association of Village Councils held their Annual General Meeting at the George Price Center in Belmopan.

Misdirected Protest
Carlos Galvez, operative of Mike Espat, led a group of students in protest through the streets of Punta Gorda Town on Monday, October 21st, to express their frustration at the incomplete education they have been receiving in the last six weeks. According to Galvez, when parents showed up to the school last week to collect midterm reports they saw that their third and fourth form science students had no grades for Physics and Chemistry. They then learnt that there had been no teacher available for those subjects since the school year started. Mr. Abdullah Adebara, Nigerian national, had been the teacher and Head of the Science Department in recent years. However, he has had problems renewing his passport. Therefore, the Teaching Services Commission has not granted him a teaching license.

Response to Article in the Amandala Newspaper of October 20, 2013 written by Colin BH
Response from Mr. Kim Simpliss-Barrow October 22, 2013 Statement by Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow on Amandala Article I wish to express very grave concern about an article published in the Amandala newspaper of October 20, 2013 entitled "Bake it Again" by Colin BH. The article expresses views on the proposed provisions of the Criminal Code Amendment (No.2) Bill. Although the entire article leaves much to be desired, the section quoted below is among the most appalling of the opinions expressed: "the rape of a male by a male is more heinous than the rape of a female by a male. Consider that (1) the female might one day fall in love with the male; (2), the female provoked the immature/crazy male to commit this act; (3), it is a natural act; (4), the female might be entirely whorish, so the act is of little consequence." The piece goes on to explain how there can be "benefits" from the rape of women, but not from the rape of men; the point being that these crimes should carry different penalties. Although I fully respect the right to freedom of speech and while The Government of Belize, as well as my Office, has demonstrated an openness to recommendations for improving the proposed amendments to the Criminal Code, the views expressed in this article absolutely cannot be condoned.

The promotion of Agricultural SME's in Belize for the Export Market
A two day workshop on the international promotion of agricultural Small and Medium Enterprises SME's ended on Wednesday at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan. The Workshop was brought about by the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) working in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA).

Indian businessman fined for hugging a Customer
On Tuesday, October 22nd, a charge of common assault was placed against businessman, 49-year-old Bhishan Kumar Issrani who was accused of hugging one of his would-be customers, a female age 18. The young woman told police that Issrani pressed himself against her body for 20 seconds making her feel uncomfortable. In court, Issrani was charged with only one count of common assault upon the 18-year-old student. The facts of the case was read out to him and after hearing the student's allegations, Issrani agreed with the facts and pleaded guilty to the offense. The Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith who dealt with the matter, imposed a non-custodial sentence upon Issrani where she ordered him to pay a fine to the court and compensation to his young victim. He was ordered to pay the court a $200 fine plus a $5.00 cost of court forthwith in default of payment he is to spend 2 months imprisonment. He was also ordered to pay the victim $150.00 in compensation for his action towards her. That compensation was also ordered to be paid forthwith in default another 2 months imprisonment. Within minutes Issrani paid up all fines and was able to go free.

53-year-old charged with indecent assault of 15 year-old girl
On Tuesday, October 22nd, 53-year-old Medardo Cocom, a resident of Belize City was charged in court for inappropriately touching a 15-year-old girl. Cocom, who was unrepresented appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was read a single charge of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 15-year-old girl. Allegations are that on Friday, October 18, Cocom, according to the minor, committed an aggravated assault of an indecent nature against her when he rubbed his right hand down her breast. In court, Cocom pleaded not guilty to the offense and bail was offered to him in the sum of $1000. Prosecutor in the case, Sgt. Egbert Castillo expressed concern over the proximity that Cocom lives to the victim. Chief Magistrate then asked Cocom if he could relocate until the case is disposed of. Cocom, however, said he had nowhere else to go. But when faced with either being remanded to prison or relocating, Cocom was quick to provide an address for a male relative whose home he told the court he will be able to move in.

Michael Reynolds' Death Ruled as Accidental
Police have classified 33-year-old Michael Reynolds' death as accidental after a post mortem examination determined that he died as a result of "Asphyxia by Mechanical Aspiration due to Third Degree Burns by Dry Heat". Police and the Fire Service responded to reports of a burning structure at #139 Antelope Street Extension at about 2:20 a.m. on Friday, October 18th. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire before it could spread to nearby structures. A subsequent search of the house led to the discovery of a severely burnt human body. The body was found on the floor in the corridor that leads from the living room to the bedroom. According to police, the body was burnt beyond recognition. However, they have sufficient evidence to believe that the lone occupant of the house, Reynolds, was the individual inside at the time of the blaze. The Fire Service's investigation has revealed that the likely cause of the fire was electrical because of compromised wiring. Reynolds was a driver for the Department of Human Development.

Dion Yorke Gunned Down on New Road
Police have detained two men and are looking for another in their investigation into the murder of 28-year-old Dion Yorke. According to police report, Pickstock Street resident Dion Yorke was walking on New Road and heading towards Hyde's Lane at about 11:58 p.m. on Friday, October 18th, when he was approached by a gunman who opened fire. Yorke was struck by bullets to the upper left chest and left arm. After hitting his target, the gunman fled the scene on a bicycle. Yorke was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital but succumbed to his injuries at 12:43 a.m. Police recovered two 9 mm SFL brand expended shells from the scene. They have detained two men for questioning and are looking for another person of interest whom they believe can assist in their investigation.

Byron Pope to Central American and Caribbean Games
The Belize Cycling Association represented Belize at the XIII Caribbean Cycling championships held in Curacao over the weekend of October 19-20, 2013. During the Caribbean Championship, eight slots were available and Belize in the person of Byron Pope qualified in the 8th and final spot for the Central American and Caribbean Games scheduled for Vera Cruz, Mexico, in November of 20 14. In the Elite Males Road Race, some 85 riders participated in the 7.200 Km or 18 laps. At the end of 3:13:25.934, it was Frederic Theobald of Guadeloupe who was the first rider to cross the finish line. The second rider to cross the finish line some 46.666 seconds later was Emile Abraham of Trinidad and Tobago and he was followed by Efren A Ortega Rivera of Puerto Rico, Marloe Rodman from Jamaica, and Jean Marie Poyo of French St. Martin to round off the top five finishers. The other top finishers in the Road Race included William De Jesus Guzman of the Dominican Republic, followed by Quienten Winkel of Curacao, Vincent Eric of French Guyana, Hillard Cijinte of Curacao, and Byron Pope of Belize. With Pope's 10th place finished, he has now qualified to attend the XXII Central American and Caribbean Games scheduled for Vera Cruz, Mexico in 2014. The other Belizean riders Edgar Nissan Arana finished 30th, Robert Liam Stuart finished 39th, while David Henderson did not finished the course. Meanwhile, in the female road race, Shalini Zabaneh finished 10th out of 16 riders with Kerah Eiley placing 12 in the event. The event was won by Tamiko Butler of Antigua in a time of 1:48;48.867, and she was followed by Zoenique Williams of Bermuda, Nicole Mitchell of Bermuda, Juana Isidra Fernandez of the Dominican Republic and she was followed by Solymar Theophile of Guadeloupe.

Port of Belize leads in championship series
Leroy Forbes scores 12 points for the Port of Belize The Belize District Basketball Association Firms' Competition commenced its championship round on Friday, October 18, 2013, between the Port of Belize and Customs. The Port of Belize defeated Customs by the score of 71-61 to take a 1-0 lead in the series. The top scorers for the Port of Belize were Earl Johnson with 18 points, 8 rebounds, and an assist, Ian Augustine with 14 points, 6 rebounds, and a steal and Leroy Forbes with 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. For the Customs squad, the top scorers were Kevin Lorenzo with 24 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 4 steals, Winston Pratt with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists and Marvin Skeet with 9 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 4 steals. The second game in the series will be played this Friday, October 25, at 9:00 pm at the Bird's Isle in Belize City. Winston Pratt scored 17 points for Customs Earl Johnson scored 24 points of the Port of Belize

Belize Defence Force regains lead in Belikin Cup
The Premier League of Belize 2013 Opening Season Belikin Cup competition continued over the last week of play with three games. On Saturday, October 19, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the Belmopan Bandits blanked the defending champions Police United by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Deon McCauley of the Belmopan Bandits in the 45th minute of play. Meanwhile, at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo town, the home team Verdes FC also blanked the visiting Paradise/Freedom Fighters by the score of 1-0. Nahjib Guerra scored Verdes' goal in the 33rd minute of play for big win. In the final game of the evening played out at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga Town, the current leaders in this year's competition the Belize Defence Force shut-out FC Belize by the score of 2-0. The 1st goal of the game for the Belize Defence Force was scored by Stephen Martinez in the 8th minute of play that gave his team the only goal really needed. However, in the 90th minute of play, Tarrel Flores scored his team's 2nd and final goal of the game for the big win.

Belize City Primary Schools Football competition winding down
The 2013-2014 Belize City Primary Schools Football competition is coming to a close at the MCC Grounds. On Tuesday, October 22, there were three games played in the Quarter Final Round of the Boys' competition. In the first game of the afternoon, St. Martin De Porres School eliminated Belize Elementary School by the score of 5-0. The goals for St. Martin De Porres were scored by Glen Arzu, Michael Deshield (2) and Marquis Conorquie (2). In game two, Ebenezer Methodist School eliminated Queen Square Anglican School by the score of 2-0. The goals for Ebenezer Methodist School were scored by Tyreek Muschamp and Bernard Bailey. In the final game of the day, James Garbutt School eliminated St. Joseph by the score of 1-0. Victor Lopez scored the only goal of the game for James Garbutt Seventh Day Adventist School. On Monday, October 21, the regular season came to an end. In the first of two games in the Boys' competition, Belize Elementary School defeated James Garbutt Seventh Day Adventist School by the score of 2-0. The goals for Belize Elementary School were scored by Ajani Vaughn and Jonah Chebat. In the second game, St. Martin De Porres won over St. Ignatius School via the default route.

Vega's Cup Tournament rolls on in the North
The 2013 Vega's Cup Tournament continued on Sunday, October 20 with games in the Orange Walk North Constituency. The games were played at two separate venues. At the San Pablo Football Field in the first game played, Jaguars United FC defeated Aliari by the score of 4-2. In game two, Awe's United and San Luis FC played to a 2-2 draw, while in the final game of the day, Old School defeated San Pablo Youngsters by the score of 6-0. Meanwhile, the games in group B were played out at the Nuevo San Juan Football Field. In the first game of the day, No Limits won via the default route over San Antonio. In game two, San Jose FC defeated San Roman FC by the score of 3-0. In game three, San Pablo FC blasted Santa Cruz Misilitos by the score of 11-0. And in the final game of the day, Santa Cruz FC defeated Douglas Real Juve by the score of 6-1. The competition will continue this coming Sunday October 27, 2013.

No More Cayes - What is Global Climate Change?
All this talk about Global Climate Change, all this talk about going green, about the people creating machines to make global changes to the Earth's crust and atmosphere, about the ice breaking in the north so what is Global Climate change? It is defined by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as "a change of climate which is attributable directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods." Causes of Global Climate change Scientists believe that the main cause of unnatural changes to the environment of the Earth comes from the actions of humans. However, other circumstances have had severe impacts on GCC such as the expansion of a global economy and the development of new technology. The human activities, moreover, having a direct result on the build-up of Greenhouse Gases (GHG's) in the earth's atmosphere such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. According to the World Future Council, Carbon dioxide is produced when coal, oil and natural gas (fossil fuels) are burned to produce energy. Fossil fuels are responsible for 80 to 85 percent of the Carbon dioxide that is being added to the atmosphere. Methane produces gas by cultivating rice, ranching cattle and sheep and by decaying material in landfills. Human activities have increased the concentration of methane in the atmosphere by about 145% above what should be present naturally. These GHG's trap heat radiated from the earth this results in a "greenhouse" or warming effect.

International Credit Union Day (ICU) celebrated in Belize
Credit Unions in Belize celebrated International Credit Union (ICU) Day last week Thursday. ICU has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948. The day is recognized to reflect on the credit union movement and to promote its milestones. It is a day to recognize those who have contributed greatly to the movement and show members our appreciation. This year's ICU Day was held under the theme, "Credit Unions Unite for Good: A Better Way"; emphasizing the benefits of Credit Unions working cooperatively around the World. There are now some 56,000 cooperative financial institutions world-wide, holding some 300 million members in 101 countries that pool their resources for the common good. One of those Credit Unions who held an open day last week Thursday in recognition of ICU was the Saint Martin's Credit Union (SMCU) located on Eve Street in San Ignacio Town.

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"Public servants, teachers �want more �not less than 6%, and I'm saying I can't do that." - PM Barrow While Prime Minister Dean Barrow had recently declared to the nation that there are currently "millions and millions" of dollars in the government's coffers, which prompted the unions to clamor for a long awaited salary adjustment, apparently the time is still not right for government to accommodate such an increase for public servants. During an event organized by the Belizean Task Force in Los Angeles, California, last Sunday, October 20, Barrow responded to several questions that were posed by Belizeans in the diaspora regarding their concerns about various national issues affecting the country of Belize and its populace. One of those questions to which the Prime Minister responded was about training programs to empower public officers in order for them to be able to provide enhanced services to the general public. While answering the question, Barrow veered off into the union's call for a salary adjustment.

More headache for PM Barrow; Hon. Castro says, "I'm innocent!" While much of the scrutiny of the recent Immigration scandal has been directed at former Minister of State, Hon. Elvin Penner, there may be another damning scandal on the horizon that could possibly implicate yet another sitting member of the ruling UDP. As the nation is still grappling with the circumstances surrounding the fraudulent issuance of Belizean passports and nationality to numerous foreign nationals, including an international fugitive, reportedly by government officials, the issue of a suspected visa hustle within the current administration, given credence by none other than Prime Minister Dean Barrow himself, has also come to light. Well-connected Chinese nationals apparently have paid large sums of money to get hold of these visas so that they are easily able to make their way to the United States, from Belize.

Stevedores want General Assembly now, not next February, to oust Gonzalez and McFoy. Spokespersons for the stevedores-the most vocal faction of the Christian Workers Union (CWU)-are insisting that a General Assembly planned for this Saturday, October 26, to eject president Antonio Gonzalez and general secretary James McFoy, must proceed, notwithstanding a decision by the union's executive last Friday that the meeting-years overdue-should be postponed until next February. Deon "Pitta" Pitter told Amandala that there has been "game playing." He alleged that Gonzalez has secretly convinced the union liaisons from entities which the union represents-which include workers of Social Security Board, the Central Bank of Belize, the Institute of Creative Arts, the Statistical Institute of Belize and the Belmopan City Council-to keep him as president, despite serious issues over the state of the union's finances. Speaking with Amandala this morning, Gonzalez roundly denied the allegation. He told us that union members decided via vote while he and McFoy were absent from the meeting.

Amandala understands that a female postal clerk, attached to the Belmopan Post Office, was today arraigned in the Belmopan Magistrate's Court after a newly-installed surveillance camera captured footage of her removing mail without authority. Sinquest Martinez, O.C. Belmopan Police, today confirmed to Amandala that the accused person was charged with four counts of stealing a postal package and one count of burglary. The incident reportedly occurred this past Saturday, October 19, at the Belmopan Post Office. Deputy Postmaster General, James Gabourel, told Amandala today that the management of the Belize Postal Service became concerned earlier this year, based upon reports that items had gone missing from the parcels and packages of various customers. As a result, Gabourel said that investigations were launched, but at the time, they could not find out who was culpable.

From our various readings, it appears that when the invading European soldiers and their missionaries first encountered African and Native American peoples centuries ago, some of our people were buck naked. It seems the Europeans were embarrassed, scandalized, intimidated, and so on. For sure, though, some of the invaders were "turned on." That's another story. These native peoples were living in tropical forests where the heat was intense, and it seemed natural to them to move unencumbered by clothes. In addition, sex was a routine aspect of the lives of Africans and Native Americans, and it was not considered sinful, shameful, or sick. It seems that the Europeans felt that it was a most urgent requirement for our people to start wearing some clothes to cover their so-called private parts. At this point of our discourse, a couple things occur to us. One is that the Old Testament story goes that when Adam and Eve, our "first parents," were innocent, free of sin, and close to God, they were naked. After they sinned, according to the Bible, by eating from the Tree of Knowledge which had been forbidden to them by the Almighty, they immediately became aware of their nakedness, and they became ashamed. The second thing that occurs to us is that, by comparison with the Muslim world, the Christian Western world around us sometimes behaves as if we would like for our women to wear as few clothes as possible.

On my weekend visit to San Ignacio/Santa Elena on the occasion of the Mighty Avengers' Hall of Fame Awards, I stayed over for the nights in Belmopan. Now, at the twilight of my long life and career, I find myself easily adapting to the quieter nature of the Capital City where I find myself spending more and more of my time as I am winding down. In the mornings I travelled to the "Twin Towns" where I would visit my friends Pappy Smith, Speedy Henry and Arturo Azueta on a daily basis, sit with them and spin the yarn reminiscing of good times and bad times, spinning the yarn mostly about football. You can see how our country which is so small is tightly knitted together. I learnt that my good friend Pappy Smith had five children, all daughters. And do you know that one of the girls is married to the former Member of the House of Representatives for Cayo South, the Hon. Ramon Witz? Do you see how we are all intertwined? I did not know this until I was speaking to Pappy spinning the yarn.

ADS�AN AD� As politics is the art of the possible, so is advertising the art of persuasion. Advertising (ads) is getting people to buy a product. It is the ultimate form of propaganda, very lucrative, very influential, very powerful, very dangerous. Prior to any ad campaign being mounted, a marketing survey is conducted; researchers study the psychological profile of the people targeted; analysis is done of their economic status and of their physical environment. Once the market survey is completed, a variety of techniques is employed to establish why you need this product, why you can't live without it. From the subliminal through half-truths and misinformation to the absurd and the comedic. The Americans, Madison Avenue, have so perfected the ads that they can market a non-entity to the Presidency.

- by Audrey Matura-Shepherd "Countries internationally have special programs whereby they allow foreigners to get expedited citizenship or residence based on investments which they make in those countries and they do it for two reasons; those people have the capital, those people have the expertise, technology and those people have access to markets�My own experience is that people want to come to Belize to live, to do business� they want to invest in the country and if a way could be found to make those people come, it would help us in terms of capital, it will help us in terms of technology, It will also help us in terms of markets." (Sedi Elrington's pro-economic citizenship pitch October 17, 2013 in a press interview.) You know, ever since I heard about this economic citizenship programme in the early 90's, the justification has been: transfer of technology to our people; much needed investment to stimulate the economy; access to markets worldwide for us; and revenue into our treasury. Thus, what Minister Elrington is saying is recycled verbiage. You know, I was young and foolish then to believe these lies, but now after 20 years let's examine the bullshit we have been fed and let us assess if the sale of our birthright for 30 pieces of silver has indeed brought us these things. Better yet, after two decades, can Minister Elrington or any government official show us how 20 years of sale has given us the technology, investment, markets and revenue? Why are they desperate to sell our birthright and passports?

Close relative says the .22 bullets aren't just rusty; they are "too rusty" for them to be any good. A family of four will be spending their first night at the Belize Central Prison tonight after police allegedly found six rounds of .22 calibre ammunition inside a safe in their home. Businessman Nazim Nasser, 42, his very pregnant wife, Jaziba, 36, and his two sons Jamal, 19, and Hilal, 18, were jointly charged with keeping the unlicensed ammunition. According to police, between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., they visited the Nassers' home on Coconut Drive in San Pedro Town, armed with a warrant to search for illegal firearms and ammunition. Present at the time of the search was Nazim, and when police searched inside a safe that was in one of the bedrooms, they found the six S&B brand rounds.

Two thieves who police say had been preying on students in the area of Princess Margaret Drive in which the University of the West Indies (UWI) and Saint John's College (SJC) campuses are located, were arrested at about 2:30 yesterday afternoon by Precinct 4 police. A female student, 17, told police that at about 11:30 Tuesday morning, October 15, she and a friend of hers were walking in the vicinity of UWI on Princess Margaret Drive when a man came up to her and grabbed her purse. She tried to grab it back, but he punched her in her face forcefully, causing her to let go of the purse. The thief then rode away with the bag, which contained her BlackBerry cell phone. According to the student's report to police, in the following week, at about 2:30 p.m. in the afternoon on Tuesday, October 22, she saw the same robber who had attacked her lurking in the area while she was walking in front of UWI on Princess Margaret Drive.

Gary Seawell was back in court today, where he appeared hopeful that arguments his lawyer, Arthur Saldivar, had made at his last appearance on September 11, 2013, would prevail and prevent his extradition to the US. But his hopes were quickly dashed within three minutes of the Chief Magistrate's entrance to the court, when she concluded that there was sufficient evidence to extradite Seawell to the United States to face charges of drug importation and money laundering. Saldivar's submissions were that the depositions or affidavits had no oaths on them and therefore held no legal ground for the court to consider, and that the documents were not properly authenticated, which meant that the court had no legal evidence against Seawell.

Foul play ruled out, autopsy inconclusive. Yesterday morning, at about 10:00, after the odor of rotting flesh started to become oppressive in a neighborhood in Ranchito, Corozal, concerned neighbors of Frenchwoman Michelin Nayard, 73, a retiree who had been living in the village for years, went into her house, the door of which was open, to see what was happening. They found her decomposing body on the floor in the bedroom. The body was identified by her son-in-law. Police went to the scene, and due to the advanced state of decomposition of the body, an onsite autopsy was conducted promptly, and immediately after the exam Nayard was buried at the Ranchito Village Cemetery. The result of the post-mortem exam, however, was inconclusive due to the advanced state of the body's decomposition. Police are not suspecting foul play, since no signs of violence were observed on the body, and they believe that the woman died of natural causes.

A British national who has been living in Belize since 2007 died after she was knocked down by a motorcycle in the area of Mile 2 1/2 on the Philip Goldson Highway, near Siesta Inn, while she was crossing the road, at about 7:00 Tuesday evening. Patricia Johnson, 64, of Bella Vista, was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, but died while doctors were giving her medical treatment. The driver of the motorcycle, Jason Grant, has been arrested and issued a Notice of Intended Prosecution. Information is that Johnson was walking across the road with her dog on her way home after buying some items at the nearby store when a speeding motorcycle knocked her down. As a result, she suffered massive head and body injuries. The driver of the motorcycle was unhurt, and the cycle was impounded by police.

Although an order has been handed down by the Belize City Magistrate Court for Gary Seawell, 36, of Ladyville, to be extradited to the United States to stand trial on charges of drug importation and money laundering, he is slated to stand trial in the Belize Supreme Court to face unrelated charges - two counts of keeping prohibited material, for a hand grenade and a bulletproof vest that were in his possession; four counts of keeping prohibited firearms; three counts of keeping prohibited ammunition; and two counts of keeping ammunition without a gun license. He was also charged with two instances of drug trafficking for 315 grams of ganja and 3 kilos of cocaine respectively. He is presently on remand at the Belize Central Prison, awaiting trial at the Supreme Court. The incident from which the charges stem, occurred about 10:30 on February 15, 2010, at a farm in the Esperanza area in the Cayo District. Police on an anti-drug operation said that they went to an area in Esperanza where they executed a search warrant on a small farmhouse that was about 4 miles into the bushes flanking the George Price Highway.

- by Zelda Hill October 23, 2013 Dear Editor, I wrote the Belize Broadcasting Authority (BBA) concerning the inappropriate and provocative Belikin calendar-launching ad that is being run on most of our local TV stations during the news and perhaps at other times of the day since last week. If other Belizeans would like to officially protest the running of this ad, which will probably cease by this Friday (the day of the event), or to report future inappropriate ads and programming, the email address of the BBA is [email protected]. I would like to further express my concern through this medium in regard to the escalating instances of violations to clause 17 of the terms and conditions of the Broadcasters' licenses. The Belize Broadcasting and Television Act Chapter 227, Revised Edition 2000, gives the BBA the authority to determine and ensure that the services, operations and programs of radio and television stations are in compliance with the terms and conditions of their licenses and that they are considered appropriate by the BBA. We need more monitoring of the media by the BBA, for the protection of our children from vulgar and offensive messages that are being broadcasted by radio and television through local and foreign programming, especially through ads that are promoting alcohol.

- by Gilroy Usher, Sr. Dear Editor , I would like the government to have compassion on Belizeans and remember that charity begins at home. This is concern for a family of born Belizeans, specifically the Wagner family near Pen Road extension that needs help in getting a letter of recommendation to lease a swamp land that they filled up and built a house on to escape the terrible burden of house rent. This lot is in an area where many UDP cronies have been given rows of lots near the police sub-station on Fabers Road extension after squatting on the property as well. When the family asked the area representative of Port Loyola for a recommendation letter to lease the land, they were informed that it would not be prepared for them because they can't get the property. We are talking about poor people, who need a little help from their area representative and the Government to improve their standard of living.

The 2013 Annual SMART 13 & Under Football Tournament lit up the MCC Grounds again with Week 3 games on Saturday, October 19; and with wider goalposts. After complaints that at 10 feet wide, the advantage was too much in favor of goalkeepers versus strikers, the goalposts were widened to 14 feet for the Week 3 games. The height remains at 6 feet. And already it has resulted in the most goals scored in this young competition. Seven (7) goals were scored on Saturday, after 6 in Week 1 and 5 in Week 2. When the 5 games involving all 10 teams in the competition were over on Saturday, 3 teams remained undefeated - Brown Bombers, City Boys and Ladyville Jaguars. The Jaguars have drawn all 3 of their games so far, so they are not high in the standings, but Brown Bombers have registered 3 straight victories, and now enjoy the top spot in the standings. After the single round-robin regular competition, the top 4 teams will play in knockout semifinals, with the 2 winners squaring off in 1 game for the championship.

It's shaping up to be a real tough race to the championship of the first ever Belize City Mayor's Cup football tournament, as marathon champs West Lake is just 1 point behind league leaders Fort George United, and these two teams clash in the nightcap this Friday night in their only meeting in the competition, which follows the "La Liga" format - no playoffs. There's reportedly a handsome prize of $5,000.00 for the champion; $3,000.00 for the 2nd place finisher; 3rd place receives $1,500.00; and there is a $1,000.00 Fair Play award to the most disciplined team. The winner of the Belize City Mayor's Cup will be the team that earns the most points from their 11 games played in the tournament, since there are 12 teams participating. The race is hot, and we are just around the half-way point in the competition, which will run longer than 11 weeks due to the fact that Kephawn Pawn FC had briefly withdrawn, and then returned to the competition.

The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) informs football fans and the general public of the Central American U-16 Championship to be held in Belize at the FFB Stadium from November 18-24. The tournament consists of all seven (7) Central American countries - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Belize. Camp for our U-16 is being conducted on weekends. The following players (home zones indicated) are in camp: Orange Walk - Marlon Garcia and Randy Augustine; San Pedro - Alexander Cadle and Brian Guardado; Belize City - Keyon Luis; Hattieville - Nasheb Ysaguirre; Belmopan - Dale Pelayo, Jamal Tejeda, Jamir Alpuche, Rogi Solorzano, Elton Gordon and James Gonzalez; Roaring Creek - Mario Valencia, Noa Moro and Eddy Valencia; Spanish Lookout - Kelvyn Dueck;

Two men are alive after they were fired upon and hit while riding two separate bicycles on Central American Boulevard towards the Deep Water Port at about 11:35 Sunday night in front of Kings Store. Elroy Perdomo, 18, of Kraal Road, was shot in his buttocks and his ankle, while Steven Lambey, 26, of Reggae Street, was shot in the right side of the abdomen and the left calf. They were both taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where they were treated for the injuries, and Perdomo was later released after being placed on observation. The other man, Steven Lambey, has been admitted to ward, where he is recovering, in a serious but stable condition.

Police of the River Valley area are seeking the thief or thieves who rustled two bulls, slaughtered them and left the heads behind. The bulls are valued at about $4,500, the property of Bruno Sutherland, who lives on Central American Boulevard, Belize City, but has a house in Bermudian Landing. The bulls were found butchered on his farm in Rancho Dolores at about 9:30 Saturday morning. Sutherland told police that he travelled to his farm and on his arrival, began to check his cattle. He found that two bulls were not accounted for, and after checking around his farm, found their heads; their carcasses had been taken away. One bull was white and the other was black. The white bull reportedly weighed about 2,000 pounds and was valued at about $3,000, and the other bull weighed about 1,000 pounds , and was valued at $1,500.

Last weekend the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) infiltrated and busted a drug supply ring in Cayo that had been operating between Arenal and Melchor, Guatemala, and transporting marijuana into Belize. A hundred pounds of marijuana was confiscated, and three smugglers were arrested, but one escaped. The two smugglers who remained in police custody are Sergio Isaiah Vega, 28, of Arenal, and Gustavo Ruiz, 30, of Benque Viejo, Cayo; police have meanwhile issued an arrest warrant for the escaped smuggler, Anibal Gabino Garcia, 30, also of Arenal. Vega and Ruiz were jointly charged with possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply, being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug to another, and supplying a controlled drug to another. Sergio Vega was additionally charged with one count of "being concerned in the making of an offer to supply a controlled drug to another, offering to supply a controlled drug to another, and conspiracy to commit the crime of supplying a controlled drug to another."

Today, Francisco Gomez, a resident of Mile 24 on the George Price Highway, pled guilty to handling stolen goods after he was found in possession of a truck rim, valued at $2,000, which belonged to Joe Fuzzy, a businessman of Belize Aggregates Ltd., located at Mile 21 on the George Price Highway. He had been out on bail after initially pleading not guilty to the charge of handling stolen goods. However, when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith today, he changed his plea to guilty. Gomez, who reportedly assisted in the removal of the truck rim from Fuzzy's business place on October 25, 2012, told the Chief Magistrate that he did not want to plead guilty, although he admitted that he had indeed assisted some men in stashing the stolen rim, but claimed that he was not a part of the group that actually stole the rim. He then asked the Chief Magistrate for leniency on his behalf, and since he had no previous convictions, he was fined $150 plus $5 cost of court, which is to be paid by November 29, 2013, in default of which he would serve 6 months in prison.

He changed his plea to guilty for handling stolen goods. Carlos Beltran was sentenced to 8 months in prison this afternoon after he changed his not guilty plea to guilty for handling stolen goods. On August 12, 2013, Eric Pott, a resident of E Street in Buttonwood Bay, reported to police that when he arrived at his house earlier that day, he was stunned to discover that his 32″ flat screen television, and his touch screen laptop computer and speakers had been stolen. Pott told police that he had left his house secured on August 6, when he had left for Guatemala. Police launched an investigation, which led them to Beltran's house at #1693 Urban Avenue in the Buttonwood Bay Area, where the stolen items were found on a sofa in the house. Beltran was not at home when the house was searched, but arrived several minutes later, at which point he was informed of the offense.

Merdardo Cocom, 53, a laborer of Belize City, was charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith today. Although the details of the assault remain sketchy, what we do know is that Cocom allegedly used his right hand to rub against a 15-year-old female student's breast. Cocom pleaded not guilty to the charge and was offered bail of $1,000 and one surety of the same amount, but he has to reside at a Partridge Street Extension address he provided to the court, until the matter is heard in its entirety. He must also stay away from the minor and report to the Queen Street Police Station every Monday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Justice Arana hears Maya challenge to GOB's oil contract with US Capital. "They might as well just roll up that PSA and smoke it!" attorney for Maya tells Court Hearings concluded today in yet another episode of litigation between the Government of Belize and the Maya of Toledo, who have launched a new suit against the Government of Belize in a claim which they maintain, is intended to vindicate their customary land rights affirmed by a trilogy of cases lodged before the Belize courts. "We believe that it is fundamentally important to tie all of these rights affirmed by the court and international law that Belize has ratified to bring bearing on the Government's issuance of development concessions-and one of them being oil development under the production sharing agreement [PSA]," Greg Ch'oc, Executive Director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM), the main affiant in the case, told the press when hearings began on Tuesday.

On Sunday, October 13, Amandala staff reporter Rochelle Gillett tied the knot with Matthew Flowers at the Mt. Zion S.D.A. Tabernacle. The service was intimate and non-traditional, with the dapper looking groom being escorted up the aisle by his two lovely step-daughters, Ianne and Quianna Gillett. The bride was elegant in her wedding gown, and instead of being given away by her father, she was escorted up the aisle by her son, Maliq Gillett, and her step-son Lexan Flowers, with Maliq acknowledging Matthew's request of his mother's hand in marriage with a handshake. Giacomo Sanchez, brother of the groom, and Natalie Gideon, a close friend of the bride, acted as best man and maid of honor, and Ps. Jerome Bevans officiated the service.

The Belize Times

Castro's Visa Hustle - "For God's Sake Stop It!" - PM Barrow
A whistleblower has blown the lid on a major visa hustle involving at least one UDP politician who collected thousands upon thousands of dollars in the sale of Belizean visas to Chinese nationals. Two weeks ago, at a press conference on October 10th, a beleaguered Prime Minister Dean Barrow admitted to having learnt that there was a major Ministerial visa hustle, where Ministers had acquired special quotas of visas to sell to make extra cash. Barrow said he had "heard that there are ministers who are procuring visas for people" and he bawled out to those Ministers, saying "for God's sake stop it, stop it!", because according to him, "�that is what will cause the government to fall". Well, Barrow's catastrophic prophecy is coming of age. UDP Minister Edmund Castro has been fingered in a corrupt hustle where the UDP has prostituted our country for fast money. Castro, we understand, is only one of five Ministers who has been engaged in this illegal act.

Landy Meets Recall Target! - PUP gears for victory in Cayo North East
Orlando "Landy" Habet, the PUP Standard Bearer for Cayo North East, and his hardworking team, have successfully met and are now surpassing the targeted number of petition ...

Francis - A Great Leader
Hon. Francis Fonseca has all the substance of a great leader. Good things are coming to Belize through Francis. In contrast, despite all the recent press given to the rotten ...

King threatens Mayor Bradley - Gang Minister says waiting to see the Mayor is like "waiting for God"
It seems like a smart political offensive set up by his challenger in Caribbean Shores, but the threats launched by UDP Lake Independence Area Representative Mark King on UDP Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley come off much too personal to think that Santino Castillo may be instigating it. In an leaked email under the subject "Lake I" sent by King to Bradley on Tuesday October 22nd, King lets off on Bradley for failing to provide support for two projects which King had promised to deliver to residents in Lake Independence. In the email, King berates Mayor Bradley for his failure to communicate with him and attacked him saying that "even sitting at the council to see you is like waiting for God".

"Hotbed of Corruption" - First Immigration, Now Lands Ministry
A hapless and helpless Prime Minister Dean Barrow admitted that his Administration's Ministry of Lands is a "hotbed of corruption" while speaking before a group of Belizean-Americans in Los Angeles on Sunday, October 20, 2013. Barrow was ...

Think About It
CESSPOOL VS HOTBED The wanton and widespread hustling and corruption at the immigration department relating to passports and visas has been described as a cesspool of corruption. Speaking to Belizeans/American in Los Angeles a few days ago Prime Minister Barrow described the mess at the Ministry of Lands as a ...

UDP Corruption Inc.
By G. Michael Reid The United Democratic Party is experiencing serious implosions which will undoubtedly lead to the eventual crumbling of this delicately constructed dolly house. It seems unlikely that the Penner situation is going away anytime soon and well into its second month, it is still the hottest topic on ...

There were three curious things happening over the past three weeks. The first was an unusual spike in marijuana arrests and finds. The second was an increase in trafficking in persons' arrests. The third was an unnatural strength of evidence and whistleblowing coming to the surface about the UDP's criminal involvement ...

Belmopan Bandits bounces back, beats Police FC
The Belmopan Bandits made a comeback when they defeated Police United FC, 1-0, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan on Saturday night, October 20. Harrison "Kafu" Roches looked to get ...

Belmopan Bombers bomb Warriors in men's softball
The Belmopan Bombers walloped the Camalote Warriors 14-7 when the Cayo Softball Association's men's competition continued at the Denbigh Fuller Stadium in Camalote on Saturday, October 20. The Bombers' pitcher Dion Guzman gave up ...

Byron Pope qualifies to Central American & Caribbean Games
Congratulations are in order for National Road Champion, Benny's Megabytes Byron Pope, who qualified to participate in the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games to be held in Veracruz, Mexico. Pope finished in 10th place overall in the ...

Canon Leroy Flowers calls for Independent Inquiry into passport scandal - "You cannot investigate yourself; that is impossible�"
The ever-outspoken Canon Leroy Flowers of the Anglican Church has added his voice to the loud calls for an Independent Inquiry into the scandal at the Immigration Department. While appearing on Channel 5's Open Your Eyes on Friday morning, Canon Flowers called on the authorities to investigate ...

Wanted: Eric Chang!
Mayor Darrel Bradley's incompetence and deceit is in full display in his inability to reel in passport scam suspect Eric Chang back to Belize, so he could face the public and answer some very serious allegations. Chang has been absent since early September. He had travelled with ...

Dean Barrow's Moral High Ground
Five years ago, Prime Minister Barrow, in momentous decree at the foot of the National Assembly in Belmopan, declared "our national nightmare is over... I rise to report to you today, Mr. Speaker, that here in Belize finally our long nightfall too is lifted." In reference to the PUP's term ...

AMAZING GRACE - Jesus, Pharisees, and Halloween
Halloween is coming up in just a few days. Soon the streets will be overflowing with children in costumes as creative as a 'toilet paper monster', as adventurous as Spider-man, and as clich� as a witch. They will be going from door to door, yelling out the age old phrase ...

PUP officials talk Agriculture with President of the University of Zamorano
As part of the President of the University of Zamorano, Honduras, Dr Roberto Cuevas Garcia's Scholarship Raising Tour in Belize, an official lunch meeting was held with People's United Party officials. The Zamorano Alumni Association invited ...

The Importance of the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act, 2013
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph The Criminal Code (Amendment) Act, 2013 is the greatest gift that we can give the children of our country. When I heard that the act was read in the House of Representatives, I was extremely thankful to all policymakers (too many to mention from all political ...

Taxation and Financing for Community Charity
By Richard Harrison In the time before these times it used to be that in Belice a business paid taxes on the profits that they would declare. It used to be....that a preparing its tax filing for the year....could deduct from taxes....all those contributions that the business made during that year, ...

Stories of a Sufferah - Dem Sell We Out!
It is very sad to see how the present administration has turned our country into one big bargain center. It's almost like you can purchase anything that this "beautiful jewel" has to offer. First they started by selling out our natural resources, our logwood, or forest and marine territory, but ...

Barrow has millions�but not for Cayo South
The Prime Minister's inducement of Cayo North East voters with "millions and millions" has angered many struggling families and right thinking organisations who have been clamouring for the Government to provide financial support or ease in these harsh economic time. Teachers, public officers, police officers, ...

Eyes Wide Shut!
Godwin Hulse is a wolf in sheep clothing. After years of pretending to be someone who stood for reform and righteousness, when the PUP was under constant criticism, he is now showing his true self. Hulse is standing center stage of the biggest immigration scandal in the history of Belize with eyes wide shut. One where everyone around him has admitted to massive corruption, wholesale exploitation and the abuse of power and authority. It is so bad, that the UDP's sins have vilified Belize's name and image on the world stage. But instead of cleaning up house and doing the honorable and right thing, Hulse has defended his colleagues in the UDP Cabinet. There is no evidence of anything criminal, he has held. And when there is proof of it, he refuses to expose it, because "I cannot!"

Questions to PM from the people of Toledo West!
By Hon. Oscar Reque�a The people of Toledo listened keenly as the Prime Minister bragged how money is not a problem for him and his government. In fact, he boasted that millions will be spent to try to buy the election ...

Peace�and the New Revolution
By Carolyn Trench-Sandiford-Deputy Party Leader "..Poverty is one of man's greatest tragedies. The talk of peace in the world makes me laugh. There can never be peace so long as one man has his belly full and another is starving�" - Francisco "Pancho" Villa, Mexican Revolutionary�assassinated July 20th, 1923 The journey of ...

BELMOPAN IS BROKE! - Mayor, CitCo will penalize taxpayersThe Belmopan City Council is broke. It is functioning on a deficit budget. At a town hall meeting held last week the Mayor and the City Council conceded that they were doing nothing about the ...

Barrow vs. The Maya
Dean Barrow, the most nepotistic Prime Minister in the history of Belize, has once again hired his "hot-shot" brother Denys to collect big bucks at taxpayers' expense. It is an all-too familiar song: "I get value for money when I pay millions upon millions to Lois and Denys". He hired Lois and Denys in the name of nationalism to fight off Lord Ashcroft. That battle, as we now know, was a farce. After paying off his family, Barrow then went to the UK and cozied up with Lord Aschcroft, thousands of miles away from the earshot of Barrow's zinc fence. At the end of the day, Lois will get millions, Denys will get millions and Ashcroft will get millions. Do you see the value for money he was talking about? But let's take a look at Brother B's latest assignment. The task at hand: to facilitate an oil company's invasion of the Sarstoon Temash, an area declared for the benefit of the Maya people of the south by former Chief Justice of Belize, Dr. Abdulai Conteh.

By Francis W. Fonseca This weekend, our People's United Party will hold Conventions to elect new Presidents and Executive Committee's for three (3) critically important Standing Units of the Party as established under Article 10 of the PUP Constitution, R.E. 2010. Article 17 of the PUP Constitution establishes The Marshall's Community Service ...

Poor Family Denied Access to Land
Dear Editor, I would like the government to have compassion on Belizeans and remember that charity begins at home. First I want to make it absolutely clear that nobody is asking for a Minister to get involved in the illegal sale of passport and visas again. This concerns a family of born ...

None of us are free�
Dear Editor, In one of his most mind boggling songs, "None of us are Free", blues and ballad singer Solomon Burke sounds a very powerful message. That song informs us that there are many sisters and brothers crying out across the oceans and across our land right here in Belize, and ...

Give us a Whistle Blower's protection law
Dear Editor, I want to make the following suggestion to the current Government and the future Government of Belize: Government in Belize should put a Whistle Blower's Law that allows the Belizean people to expose corruption or wrongdoing and protects them from retribution and also rewards them with 10% of whatever Government ...

Bad back Barrow needs a heart!!
Dear Editor, Belize's Ali Baba had to travel to the United States for seven days, in the middle of the biggest scandal involving passport larceny and his forty thieves, because he claims to be suffering from a bad back. Truth be told, he was indeed seen standing up all twisted up, ...


2014 Flavors of Belize Magazine
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3 Ambergris Caye Bars that do Trivia and 2 great Halloween parties
Trivia has started up again at Pedro's, Cindy is the quiz girl, cost $5 to play and teams can be up to 5 people. The winning team takes the pot. Sandy, tacoboy and I joined forces last night and called ourselves team Halloween. We were up against Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor, Wacha Wacha Wacha's and one lone player - all formidable opponents. We came close to winning but lost ground in the end on the real and fictional people round. Team Team Wacha Wacha Wacha's took the $70 prize . Ambergris Caye bars that do weekly Trivia - Coco Loco's beach bar at 7:00pm on Tuesdays, Pedro's Pizza 7:00pm on Thursdays and Crazy Canucks beach bar 7:00pm on Fridays. Each bar does it slightly differently but they all make it lots of fun. So grab a few friends put on your thinking caps and g win some money. BC's was doing trivia on Fridays as well but I am not sure the status on that, just stop stop by the bar and ask Charlene.

The Orange Julia Butterfly
The Orange Julia is a beautiful and cheerful butterfly that can be found in Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Souther America. See also: The Malachite Butterfly The wing of this butterfly ranges from 83 to 92 mm and is colored orange with black markings. According to Chaa Creek Naturalist Guide David Juarez, the Orange Julia feeds on nectar from flowers and most of the time, they prefer red or blue flowers. The species is popular in Butterfly houses because it is long lived and active throughout the day.

International Sources

'Catastrophe' If $3.3m In Conch Exports Banned
PLACING the Queen Conch on the 'endangered species list' could be "catastrophic" for the Bahamas and other Caribbean countries, the Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources said yesterday, adding that conch harvesting for local consumption was pumping $6 million annually into this nation's fisheries sector. #In his address at the opening ceremony for the 6th meeting of the ACP Fish II Programme steering committee, Mr Gray called on CARICOM to help ensure the Queen conch (Strobus gigas) is never added to this list. #Last year, Wild Earth Guardians, a non-profit environmental activist organisation, filed a petition in the US to list the queen conch under the Endangered Species Act. Such a move would eliminate all conch trade between the Caribbean and the US, which currently imports more than 70 per cent of the remaining regional conch harvest - including some 600,000 pounds, worth roughly $3.3 million a year, from the Bahamas.

Absurd Creature of the Week: Burrowing Botfly Grows Huge Feasting on Your Flesh
Nota bene: This week's creature is a spine-covered parasitic larva that burrows into living human beings, feeding on their flesh and growing positively plump. Some descriptions here might be hard to stomach, and the squeamish should not under any circumstances watch the videos of the extraction process. Unless the circumstance is someone tricking you into it, which would be pretty funny. When insect taxonomist Chris Carlton of Louisiana State University went on a collecting trip in Belize, he did what many travelers do: He picked up a souvenir. It was even free, which was pretty sweet. After spending a month in Central America, he returned home and unwrapped his gift to himself. Unfortunately, the unwrapping happened on the top of his noggin. Carlton's scalp had become home to a human botfly larva, a spiny parasitic maggot that digs into living human flesh, feeds on the inflamed tissue surrounding it, and grows to more than an inch long.

Big Catch of Big Cannons at Blackbeard Shipwreck Site
The final week of the expedition at the wreck of Blackbeard's flagship,Queen Anne's Revenge (QAR), is pulling out the big guns. Literally. Five cannons, four weighing 2,000 pounds and one nearly 3,000 pounds, will be lifted from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean Monday, Oct. 28, weather permitting. All the cast iron cannons fired six pound cannon balls, and will bring to 20 the cannons raised from the site. This will be the biggest 'catch' of cannons recovered at one time. "We think the largest of the four cannons may be of Swedish origin since the only other recovered gun this size was made in Sweden," Project Director Billy Ray Morris observes. "We also hope to recover two large concretions each the size of a twin bed. They may contain barrel hoops, cannon balls and other treasures." Blackbeard is known to have gathered a hodge-podge of cannons from different countries as he equipped his vessel with 40 guns. To date, 29 guns have been located at the shipwreck site near Beaufort. The research team, led by the Underwater Archaeology Branch of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, has recovered artifacts from 60 percent of the site, including cannons, anchors, gold dust, animal bones, lead shot, medical and scientific instruments, and much more. Altogether about 280,000 artifacts have been recovered. Full recovery is planned by 2014. An extensive Queen Anne's Revenge exhibit is at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

This Is What "International Living" Looks Like�
Not so long ago, only sailors, soldiers and the super wealthy got to see the world. But today, globetrotting isn't just a job for mariners or the preserve of the jet set. You can cruise to Europe for up to 70% off standard prices if you know how� You can use a host of websites to organize low-cost, luxurious accommodation for a few months-enough time to try a place on for size-before moving on to the next� You can sit on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean sipping wine in April, and kick back on a beach in English-speaking Belize in May� Advances in technology have opened up the world. Planes, trains and the Internet are all getting faster and-if you know where to look-you can embrace these changes and make your dream of exploring dozens of overseas destinations come true. Let's be clear about something: Right now, living internationally is more affordable than ever before. In fact, done right, it'll cost you less than it would to stay home.

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