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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

ABC Pre School hosts ghoulish Annual Halloween Fair!
On Thursday October 31st, ABC Preschool held its annual Halloween Fair at the school grounds. Parents brought out their children to enjoy some tricks and treats, dressing them up for extra fun. It was hard for anyone present not to have a good time as there was plenty on sale, from rice and beans to tamales and plenty of snacks to satisfy each sweet tooth. Children were entertained at various booths holding fun game stations, music, and clowns. Judges had the very hard tasks of selecting winners for the costume competition. From mummies to zombies, fairies and princesses, witches and warlocks, Ninja Turtles, Spider Men, and plenty more, there was definitely an overload in the "cuteness" factor. At the end of the night winning categories consisted of the most creative (Mummy), most original (Football Player), cutest (Scarecrow), and funniest (Thing 1 &2) . From the beginning to end, the fair proved itself to be fun and well organized.

3 Injured in Traffic Accident on George Price Highway
The San Pedro Sun was on the scene when a bus collided with a small car (Toyota Corolla) on the George Price Highway. The accident happened around 2:40PM on Friday, November 1, 2013. Two females and one male was injured and taken to the nearest hospital for treatment.

Belize Audubon Society's Urban Bird Watch identifies 60 species in San Pedro
Annually the Belize Audubon Society (BAS) hosts a bird watching expedition throughout the country called the Urban Bird Watch. These expeditions take place across the country in order to raise awareness to the gentle ecosystem that tropical birds live in and emphasize the need to protect them. The Urban Bird Watch is a cross country tour for birders, and this year's tour has taken birders to Punta Gorda, Dangriga, Benque Viejo del Carmen, Corozal, Orange Walk and San Pedro Town. On Sunday, October 27th La Isla was the next stop for the BAS Urban Bird Watch. While Belize is known for its rich wildlife and hundreds of species of birds, Ambergris Caye is not exactly known for being a birding paradise. That expectation was put to rest when, from 6AM to 10AM, an astonishing 60 different species of birds were sighted, both tropical and migratory.

San Pedro welcomes Belize Mission Project
The Belize Mission Project is back in Belize offering free medical clinics in various parts of the country. The group of approximately 100 US medical volunteers will be in the country for two consecutive weeks and include 30 dentists and five physicians. The project has been coming to Belize for over 22 years and this year, it is one of the largest groups of recent years, costing the volunteers a total of about $800,000 in combined time, supplies and contributions to the country. The Belize Mission Project has been coming to Belize through the efforts of Dr Frank Whipps and this year, Ambergris Caye will see two groups of dentists. "The group has broken down into two. The first group will be working one week, and then a second group will take over. We will be as far south as Placencia (Stann Creek District), as far north as Corozal and as far inland to the Valley of Peace area in the Cayo District," explained Dr Whipps. On Ambergris Caye, a two-week clinic has been installed at the San Pedro Lions Den, where a group of dentists and other medical volunteers will be offering dentistry services to the community. "We will be doing fillings, extractions, complete and partial dentures. A dermatologist will be working at the Polyclinic (Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II)," said Dr Whipps.

PUP protests against government at House Meeting
The sitting of the House of Representative is ongoing at The National Assembly Building in Belmopan City. Several bills have been laid on the table including the proposal to establish a passport scrutinizing committee. Meanwhile a jubilant crowd of supporters of the Opposition, People's United Party (PUP), gathered at the step of The National Assembly Building to protest against the government. Speaking to the press, PUP Party Leader Francis Fonseca said that the protest is the "beginning" of several activities with the goal to "put the UDP out of office." According to Fonseca, the Dean Barrow government has been "plagued" with "scandal after scandal," and "has failed" to carry out their mandate to govern.

San Pedro Town Council cleaning up the island one step at a time
Garbage is a major issue in Ambergris Caye, and as such the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) is addressing it with much concern. In order to maintain a control on the level of garbage on the island, SPTC has implemented several regulations for households and business on garbage disposal. SPTC has also held several clean-up campaigns in various areas of San Pedro to promote proper garbage disposal, health and sanitation. In the past few weeks,SPTC began an initiative to dispose of old appliances, branches and large amounts of trash from residents' yards. So far, SPTC has picked up yard garbage from San Pablo, San Juan, Boca del Rio, the Town Core and north of the bridge. They will now be moving to the southern part of the island. SPTC encourages all residents to clean up their yards of all unwanted trash, and they will do their part in collecting it.

Ambergris Today

Great Blue Hole of Belize Placed 8th in "8th Wonder of the World competition"
The Belize Tourism Board is pleased to announce that The Great Blue Hole has placed in top ten of the '8th Wonder of the World' competition. Competing against three hundred man-made and natural sites from across the world, Belize finished 8th in the Virtual Tourist competition. "We are extremely proud to be in the top ten; along with worthy competing landmarks. Considering the population size of the nations we were up against and their advertising spend to promote this competition, we've done extremely well. It goes to show how our very small efforts of social media, word of mouth, and media releases contributed to our placement. While we didn't place first, we have certainly reaped the benefits of added exposure of our Great Blue Hole and Belize as a destination," said BTB's Director of Marketing & Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie.

Ministry of Health Holds Workshop to Update Influenza Response Plan
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America (COMISCA) conducted a workshop session with health care professionals and other key personnel from other Government Departments to review Belize's Pandemic Influenza Response Plan. The workshop was held on Thursday, October 31, 2013 at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza. The main objective of the session was to provide technical assistance to publish an updated plan to prepare and respond to new emerging influenza viruses recently seen in other countries. Participants will be encouraged to present information and recommendations as it related to their field of work.

Trick or Treat in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
The rainy and gloomy weather postponed some Halloween parties and Trick or Treating, but nothing can't stop the fun, even if it's a little late. Most of the schools held their Halloween parties after October 31; some came out to Trick or Treat on Halloween night but the fun continues this weekend. This year the students of Isla Bonita Elementary dropped by the office on Friday, November 01, 2013, and Dorian's Angels were there to spread the Halloween cheer.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Ministry of Health: Epidemiological Bulletin
First edition of the Epidemiological Bulletin (includes Belize's report on the Dengue Fever, Cholera Alert, Cancer Report 2012, Tetanus Case Study, etc..)

Happy Anniversary Blue Water Grill - San Pedro, Belize!!!!
Today's our 12th Birthday. Our newspaper ad speaks for itself. We love y'all. To celebrate, we're giving away a plane ticket to Belize. But there are a few twists. 1) For every like of this post, we're going to donate $12 (our 12th b-day, remember?) to the San Pedro High School Volleyball Teams for travel, equipment, etc. We'll give the boys & girls team each half the money. They qualified for nationals & we need to support them. So like this post & share it. 2) If this post gets 1,000 likes, the winner of the song contest will actually get 2 plane tickets. (And the volleyball teams will get $6K each!). Vote for 1 of the finalists below. Deadline midnight tonight.

Belize targets international fish markets to protect coral reefs from an uninvited visitor
9th July 2013, Placencia, Belize - Along Belize's world heritage site-listed barrier reef, coastal communities are making waves in fight against a rapacious predator. At 11am on Tuesday, 2 July, the first box of filleted invasive lionfish left Belize international airport bound for Minneapolis, Minnesota. Its contents: 5.2 kg of the invasive lionfish, Pterois volitans, a species that poses one of the greatest threats to the sustainability of coral reefs and fisheries throughout the Caribbean region. First released accidentally into the Caribbean near Florida by aquarists in the 1980s, the predatory fish from the Indo-Pacific has no natural predators in the Atlantic, and an exploding population is steadily eating its way across the entire Caribbean Sea. From the Bahamas to Barbados, coral reefs - and the traditional fisheries they support - are now under siege from this unforeseen threat. While complete eradication of this destructive fish is now impossible, consistent, high-volume removal efforts may halt population growth, diminishing the devastating threat the species poses to native fish populations.

Roots Wraps and Smoothies Opens Today
Roots Wraps and Smoothies is having their grand opening today. If you're wondering where they are, they're located in the Plaza del Rio mall on West street. Their restaurant is really looking good, just like their food. You can call in your orders at 666-2889.

Cayo Cancer Walk
The Cayo Cancer Walk, which was originally scheduled for last Saturday, will take place today. They'll start at 5:00am in Esperanza, and walk to Cayo. SHJC will be participating in the walk; link goes to their event. "The walk will be at 5 am from the Esperanza Baseball field over the wooden bridge, up past SHC, down to the police station and around the Savannah Street, towards Bullet Tree Road, on to Joseph Andrews Drive and ending at the Macal Park."

Succotz Dia de los Difuntos
Succotz is having their Dia de los Difuntos tonight, starting at 7:00pm. They'll have a costume contest and a parade for the fiesta.

An afternoon of steelpan music
Restore Belize and the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) presents an afternoon of steelpan music.

Dia de los Muertos" / "Dia de los Finados" Altar Competition
Congratulations to Our Lady of Guadeloupe R.C. School who took home the top three in cash prizes at the "Dia de los Muertos" / "Dia de los Finados" Altar Competition today at the House of Culture. Come out and view the beautiful altars up until 8 p.m. tonight. Keeping our heritage alive! Courtesy: Corozal House of Culture (NICH)

Scotty's Bar & Grill Halloween Party last night - Creeeeepy night - All had fun!

The passing of April the Tapir
If you ever visited the Belize Zoo then you perhaps petted or had a photo taken with April the Tapir - Today we sad say Goodbye to this national icon - "Farewell to a Belizean Hero: The Belize Zoo mourns the passing of April the Tapir. She had been showing signs of ailing for a few days now, old age finally taking its toll, despite her amazing strength at 30 years. April passed away peacefully in her sleep this morning, but her legacy will live on in the Zoo, Belize, and beyond, as a cultural icon and symbol of wildlife conservation and education. Rest in peace, April, we will miss you." - Sharon Matola

Life After Deportation Film And Records Chairman and CEO Berne Velasquez shaken after vehicle he was travelling in on his way to Chetumal, Mexico catches fire.
Velasquez pulled over about 1 mile from Corozal Town on the Philip Goldson Belize Northern Highway to make a phone call on a scheduled rehearsal he had in Chetumal, Mexico this morning and in the process he noticed smoke coming out and realised his vehicle was on fire. He managed to save a few belongings but the vehicle was totalled. Quick response from the Corozal Fire Department and the Corozal Police managed to put out the fire that was already spreading along the dry brush on the edge of the highway. Berne is seen regularly at the Belize/Chetumal Mexico border promoting his movies and CD's. He claims he has personally sold over 200,000 CD's. He told the Corozal Daily that this incident is just a part of his journey and a bigger picture of his goals and aspirations for the country he loves "Belize".

Channel 7

PUP Protest Spirited But Undermanned
Public opinion pressure has been building against the government for over a month now - and today in Belmopan, the PUP wanted to send them a message with a protest that would harness the collective community outrage at a succession of scandals. But, in terms of numbers, that event fizzled. Apparently, right now, the PUP doesn't have the kind of money that is required to mobilize a true mass party protest. But that doesn't mean today's event was a flatline; in fact, it was very spirited and lively. 7News was on the frontline:... Daniel Ortiz reporting When the Leader of the Opposition arrived this morning, it was a boisterous crowd of supporters who made sure to let him know they were there.

Fonseca Discusses Mass Parties, Mass Crowds
And so what does the PUP Leader have to say about the crowd - or the lack of it. Today after the House Meeting we spoke to him - and we have those remarks, but we preface it with his remarks to the crowd when the PUP walked out of the House Meeting to go to the protestors:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition "Dean Barrow and the UDP Government - they can hear you, they are shaking inside because they are hearing the power of the people of Belize. My friends, we thank you for coming out and I want you to know today that this is just the beginning. Today we say to the United Democratic Party, today we say to Dean Barrow and the UDP - it is time to recall the UDP, recall, resign, retire whatever you have to do get out." Jules Vasquez "I counted at the height today 577 people. For a mass party that's a disappointing number considering that the Christians say they brought out 4,000 in PG, the teachers brought 7,000 here earlier this year."

Leader Of The Opp, PM, Former PM Tangle On Immigration
And while that protest happened on the National Assembly stairs outside the House of Representatives, inside the House it was combative. There wasn't much business today because the child protection bill, also known as the rape bill did not come back for a second and third reading. That's because all the required changes could not be made in time - you'll recall that the chief legal drafts-person Michelle Daly left the country for good yesterday. So, the only real business was the introduction of three bills: the Immigration Amendment Bill, the Belize Nationality Amendment Bill and the Passport Amendment Bill - which legislate sweeping reform to Immigration policies, procedures and practices. More on that later, but first to the fireworks. That came when the opposition leader spoke on the adjournment. He spoke about that most burning issue, Immigration and accused the Government of going passive/aggressive on Penner, privately coddling him, while publicly shunning the Cayo Northeast Representative, who, if you're dying to know did not attend today's house meeting. And while Penner wasn't there, his ears must have been ringing because his name sure came up a lot. Here's the exchange:...

Third Taximan Killed In Belmopan
Tonight, the community of Roaring Creek continues to grieve the loss of one of their own, 47 year-old Orlando Smith, a well-known taxi driver who operated in Belmopan City. Police say that they have 3 suspects who they believe can help them with solving the case of the 3rd taximan to be killed in the capital city for this year. Daniel Ortiz followed the story, and here's what he found out: Smith was the father of the 5 children, and he was also the grandfather of 2 children.

Barrow Says Social Partners Will Not Dictate
And keeping it in Belmopan - we go back to the House of Representatives. As we told you earlier, the only three significant pieces of legislation presented today were the Immigration Amendment Bill, the Belize Nationality Amendment Bill and the Passport Amendment Bill. They tighten up on nationality requirements, document integrity, increase independent oversight and impose stiff penalties for those who violate the law - including ministers. A key part of the oversight are the social partners - including the churches, the unions and the chamber. They all say that they like the idea, but have insisted on specifics which the Government balked at taking on. Today, in introducing the bills, the Prime Minister outlined some of the differences in approach between the government and the social partners:..

Accidents On Western Highway
This afternoon on the Western Highway we were reminded of how dangerous the road can be and how suddenly and unexpectedly accidents can happen. Our crew came upon two accidents on our way from Belmopan. The first was at mile 41 where, ironically, road crews were working on the road safety project. Their work on one side of the highway forced the closure of one lane, and all vehicles were signalled to slow down or stop to make way for the other lane to pass. But when one bus driver went for his brakes, nothing happened: his brakes failed and he was about to rear end Channel 5's pickup when he swerved to avoid that collision and slammed head on into an oncoming car in the other lane. All three residents of the car were hurt, receiving varying levels of injury. The two passengers in the front seat, a couple, both received chest injuries form the impact, while their mother who was in the back seat, seemed quite seriously injured and had to be put to lie down on the road side while she was consoled. This is during the wait for an ambulance, which was longer than it should have been because no one could get through to 911 and there was no answer at the Belmopan Hospital. No one on the bus appeared to be hurt and the driver admitted that his brakes failed.

Eaghan Appeal Allowed
Last year, 7News told you about 22 year-old Emmerson Eaghan who was convicted of the June 2009 murder of 35 year-old Dennis "Colored" Nembhard. Well, the Court of Appeal has overturned that conviction, they've ruled that he must get a re-trial. His attorney, Simeon Sampson submitted to the Court of Appeal this morning that the trial judge misdirected the jury on how to treat the statement of the dead witness, Shelmadine "Shelly" Sanchez, who was killed August 2010. Viewers may remember that it was suspected that she was killed because she was a witness in Eaghan's case. As we've reported, Sanchez's written statement - presented in court after she was killed - detailed the entire attack against Nembhard, and she also named Eaghan as the gunman.

DPP Gets Sentence Extended
In other news from the court of appeal, the DPP was successful in her appeal of the sentence of Hilberto Hernandez. Justice Hanomansingh had sentenced him to 10 years for manslaughter, for the killing of Enrique Castillo. Hernandez had previously attempted to kill his step brother and was already serving 12 years for that. The judge found that his new 10 years sentence should run concurrent with that. After hearing submissions from the DPP and Hernandez's attorney Hubert Elrington, the court allowed the appeal, set aside the sentence of 10 years, substituted a sentence of 20 years and set it to commence AFTER the sentence that he is presently serving expires - meaning he ends up with 32 years in jail instead of 12.?He had stabbed Castillo 4 times, 3 times to the abdomen and once to the forearm and then he strangled him with a cord.

Again Gion?
28 year-old Gion Bernard, a resident of George Street who is well-known to police, is once again at prison after he was allegedly busted with a firearm last night. Police were on Victoria Street, and they say that Bernard had a weapon on him, which he threw away in an open lot when he saw them coming. It caused a number of police officers to respond where they locked down the street and searched for it. The officers say that they retrieved a 9mm pistol which was loaded with 7 rounds of ammunition from the lot, and as a result, they charged him with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Clive Lino where he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Man Accused of Theft From Employee
37 year-old Robert Young Jr., a taxi driver from Vernon Street, is at prison tonight after he was taken to court for allegedly stealing $24,000 in cash and vehicles from his former workplace. According to police, the manager of Star Leasing Service Limited reported that between October 2012 and June 2013, Young stole a black Saturn vehicle, $1,500 in cash, and a Kia vehicle, and $4,800 in cash, to total value of $24,300. As a result, police investigated and the charged young with 4 counts of theft, and he was arraigned this evening before Magistrate Stephanie Gillett.

Placencia Police Get Weed
Placencia police launched another anti drug operation this morning between 5:45 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Four houses were searched and nothing illegal found, but then they searched two abandoned bushy lots in Placencia Village where they first found a black plastic bag with 250 grams of cannabis. The search on the other empty lot also yielded a black plastic bag containing 155 grams of cannabis. No one was found in the area where both drug parcels were deposited as "FOUND PROPERTY"

Maya Land Rights Will Be A First For CCJ
The case of Maya Customary Land Right is making its way to the Caribbean Court of Justice, that's what the Court of Appeal announced today at its final sitting for this October session. As we told you, the Appeal Court handed down a judgement of the issue after a 2 and a half year delay. In that judgment, the court affirmed that the Mayan Communities of the south have Customary Land Rights, but they also ruled in the Government's favour by removing their obligation to protect those rights. Both sides are not happy with the judgment, so they are taking it to the highest court in the land to decide the matter once and for all. After the Hearing, 7News spoke to the attorney for the Mayans, and she told us that this will be the first case of its type to be heard at the CCJ: Antoinette Moore - Attorney for Claimants "On the 25 of July, when the Court of Appeal issued its' judgment it basically gave a split decision; On one hand they affirmed that the Mayan people have the right to the land but, on the other hand they rejected the relief that the former Chief Justice had granted. So they're was injunctive relief, there was no other remedy that was granted or that was affirmed by the Court of Appeal."

PM Taking Back Surgery
The Prime Minister is expected to depart the country on Monday. He travels to Los Angeles for back surgery on Wednesday. As we've reported, the PM suffers from acute, chronic back pain. And today, there was rare bi-partisan civility displayed in the House when both the government side and the opposition wished him a successful surgery and a quick recovery:... Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "We know the Prime Minister has been ailing and so I am confident that I am able to stand Mr. Speaker on the behalf of my colleagues on this side, so the wider government and people of Belize. I hope that I can also invite the Opposition members as well to wish him well as he goes off on this surgery. We certainly give our prayers and our best wishes. He is a very invaluable member of this government of course the leader of the government and so I would want to see him get a very speedy recovery." Hon. Francis Fonseca "We and on the behalf of all the members of this side want to wish the Prime Minister well. There is no place for hatred and ill-well in politics. We are political opponents but we all stand together, I believe in wishing the Hon. Prime Minister well. We want him to

PM Talks About Ministers "Leaning" On Director Of Immigration
But, bad back and all, the media still drilled the Prime Minister as he left the house meeting today. Standing and prolonged sitting are the most painful for him but today the media plugged away. We asked him about the possibility that ministers in his government would lean on the Director Of Immigration to push visa's through. Here's what he said:... Jules Vasquez "If I could hedge together two statements, you said that you personally spoke to the director of immigration to see if Minister of Castro has leaned upon how you used that..." Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "I don't know if I said I personally spoke to her. If I did I thought I said that I had from the director but actually it's via the Minister that there was no question of any leading on her at all." Jules Vasquez "So but it would indicate if your inquiring the leaning does happen. Hedging together a second piece of information - former Minister of Immigration Saldivar told us yesterday that he has been known to call."

Iconic April The Tapir Passes
Tonight we note the passing of Belize's most beloved public animal; that's April the Tapir. The media - along with about two generations of school children - celebrated her birthday every year in April, and tonight, her passing is also news. The zoo reports that she died peacefully in her sleep this morning at the age of 30. She was in the company of keepers that had cared for her for many years. April's birthday parties were an annual tradition for 30 years straight - and was an unusual and singular opportunity to have an up-close encounter with the docile and oddly charming animal. Because of this April became a genuine cultural icon and certainly, on the news calendar she was a staple and will be missed.

Trick Or Treat Terror In City
Last night was Halloween, and children all around the Belize City went around trick or treating to the different business places and residents. 7News went out to see how the children dressed up in their scariest, cutest, and most creative costumes to coax candy hoarders into giving them the sweet stuff. Here's what they told us about the experience: The two biggest supporters of trick or treating who we observed last night was Rene Store on Cemetery Street, and Stanley Lizama who is mortician residing in King's Park.

Sticks Supports
On Monday, 7news told you about the 5th Day of Healing which got rained out in the Yabra area on last week Saturday. Nevertheless, the organizers made sure that the children could enjoy some of the activities they planned despite the rain. Well, Perry Smith, better known as "Stix" is making sure that the Yabra children get to enjoy their full day of healing. So, tomorrow, he's launching what he calls the 5th Day of Healing Reloaded. Here's what he told us about what is supposed to take place: Perry "Stix" Smith, Organizer - Day of Healing "There's a healing five reloading that will take place this Saturday right here right at Yarborough field from 9 in the morning until 7 the evening and Restore Belize come along with us they will bring out the steel pan from Belmopan we have a steel pan group that will come out and do a live performance that will take place out there and we will do a recruitment drive for youths that want to learn steel pan. Restore Belize like I said teamed up with us and they will offer a free class through NICH to learn how to play the steel pan. So we'll have steel pan, we have Belizean artists like TR, Realty You, Positive Vibes, and food out there enough round the house we have BBQ, stew chicken, rice and beans, white rice. We'll have things out there, refreshments for the youths."

Beautiful Buff Bodies
The 2013 Body Building and Body Fitness Championships will be held tonight at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts. The event which is held every 2 years has become fierce as the competition gets bigger. There are several categories in the male event which includes the novice category, the men's physique category, the welterweight category, the middle weight, and the Light heavyweight category. The female's competition category includes the Bikini Fitness Category, female body figure category and the women's bodybuilding category. Last night we got a sneak peak from the competitors of what can be expected on stage tonight. The show started at 7:00 tonight at the Bliss.

Channel 5

P.U.P. and its supporters protest on Independence Hill
Usually all eyes and ears are tuned to the fireworks, insults, taunts and verbal sparring inside the House of Representatives. But today, attention was split as the opposition announced late [...]

3 amendments tabled in the house on immigration
Prime Minister Dean Barrow will be leaving over the weekend for medical treatment in the United States, but this morning, he faced a firestorm in respect of the recent passport [...]

The Belizean Nationality Amendment Bill also tabled
The second amendment is the Belizean Nationality Amendment Bill which seeks to make more efficient the process by which Belizean nationality can be obtained by registration. This revision also allows [...]

Violators in immigration system will now be fined $50,000
Lastly, the Passport Amendment Bill also sees the introduction of stringent penalties for persons found guilty of unlawfully aiding the acquisition of a Belizean passport.� This proposal is in light [...]

Sparks fly across the House Floor; Barrow versus Fonseca
With the proposed amendment bills out of the way, the sparring got underway. There was a fiery exchange between P.M. Barrow and Opposition Leader, Francis Fonseca, regarding the investigations into [...]

Barrow and Said take a stroll down memory lane
We left you with the sparring between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. Well that continued with the excoriation of the former P.U.P. administration. Barrow addressed the [...]

Court of Appeal rule in favour of Dunkeld International Investments
The Court of Appeal handed down a number of decisions today. This afternoon, it ruled in favour of Dunkeld International Investments Limited, one of the beneficiaries of the Telemedia shares [...]

Another cabbie murdered in Belmopan
On Thursday night, there was a murder in the Salvapan area of the capital where another taxi driver lost his life. The body of the cabbie, Orlando Smith, was found [...]

P.U.P. Belmopan convention to be held this weekend; four to contest
Still on politics� The People's United Party will be holding its convention for the Belmopan constituency this Sunday. If the past few weeks are any indication, Sunday's election promises to [...]

Landy Habet says P.U.P. ready to go all the wall to recall Penner
All eyes have been on Edmond Castro recently because of the compelling nature of the corruption allegations against him. But the man who started it all is former Minister of [...]

Preparations underway for recall of Edmund "Clear the Land" Castro
While Landy Habet is paving the way to recall Elvin Penner, P.U.P. Belize Rural North political officer Arthur Saldivar is not far behind. His target is Edmund 'Clear the Land' [...]

Nationality Scrutinizing Committee will limit role of social partners
In respect of the nationality scrutinizing committee�.that issue was ventilated fully following the House Sitting when the Prime Minister faced the press for the first time since his return from [...]

Barrow to receive surgery for his ailing back
As we reported earlier this week, Prime Minister Barrow will be traveling to Los Angeles where he is scheduled to undergo surgery on his ailing back.� While it was rumored [...]

Audit of Immigration Department to happen before senate investigation
In the wake of the passport and subsequent visa scandals, there has been a call for a senate investigation.� That request was made by P.U.P. senator Lisa Shoman during the [...]

MLA to go to the CCJ
In July of this year, the Court of Appeal issued a complicated and hotly disputed decision in the counter appeal of the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and Toledo Alcaldes Association [...]

Near Fatal Accident on the George Price Highway
A near fatal road traffic accident involving a passenger bus and a four-door vehicle resulted in the hospitalization of an elderly woman after sustaining injuries to various parts of the [...]

April the Tapir dead
For many years, News Five has been covering the birthday celebrations held for April the Tapir.� But after thirty years of being in existence and a main attraction at the [...]


Belize Has A High Rate In Teenage Pregnancy
A survey conducted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNDP) reveals a high rate in teen pregnancies in developing countries. The report states that over 7 million girls under the age of 18 are giving birth each year. Belize is listed among countries with one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the Caribbean Region. The report states and we quote, "This group faces the gravest long-term social and health consequences from giving birth as teens." The report looked at births to women under 18 worldwide, the underlying causes of teen pregnancy, and possible solutions to the problem, which the U.N. said is part of a vicious cycle of rights violations.

Institute Of Archaeology Meets With Police For Anti-Looting Campaign
Earlier in the newscast we brought to you the story about the anti-looting campaign launched by the Institute of Archaeology. One of the most important stakeholders in this initiative is undoubtedly the Police Department; hence, the Institute organized a session with police officers attached to the Orange Walk branch formation to sensitize them on the campaign. With a room filled with close to thirty police officers, Dr. Allan Moore, Assistant Coordinator for the Institute of Archaeology, spoke on the circumstance leading to people committing an offence by selling, trading, or even possessing any antiquity. Dr. Allan Moore, Assistant Coordinator, Inst. of Archaeology "We are on an anti-luting campaign and we are travelling country wide to all of our stakeholders, the police department formation is a major part of our stakeholder, our partners in prevention of crime and if it is anti-luting then we saw it fit that they be one of our targeted sector of our community to discuss anti-luting and to discuss ways which we can partner which they can share with us which they can share with them in preventing any illicit dealings with artifacts or mount destruction or selling, importation or exportation of our cultural heritage."

Van Crashes Into Coca Cola Sign After Allegedly Falling Asleep Behind The Wheel
Texting and Driving can be very dangerous, but falling asleep behind the wheel is worst. And that is what is believed happen to the driver of this blue green van bearing license plate CZL C-03066 last night. It is alleged that the driver of the van fell asleep behind the wheel, lost control of the vehicle and rammed right into the Coca Cola sign located near the Libertad Junction. As a result of the impact the van flipped several times before landing with it four wheels in the air. CTV3 News understands that when police arrived at the scene of the accident the driver of the vehicle was long gone. Police are investigating.

One Person Detained For Questioning In Nichiporowich's Murder
Tonight, Corozal Police have detained one person for questioning in the murder of 57 year old Canadian National, Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich. As we reported yesterday, officers were called to the ocean-front community of Consejo Shores Tuesday night after neighbors reported a woman screaming. Police used a ladder to enter the second story of a home and say they found 57-year-old Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich in the living room face down in a pool of blood. Assistant Supt. Daniel Arzu of the Corozal Police Department said it appeared the woman was stabbed several times in a home invasion-type robbery. Arzu says Nichiporowich and her partner had been living in the community since last May, but her partner had travelled to Florida just the day before the woman's murder.

Fire Works Expected At Tomorrow's House Sitting
The House of Representatives will meet in Belmopan Tomorrow and we are sure that with the latest scandals surrounding the Government of the day there will be a number of fireworks. While we are sure that the Passport, Nationality and Visa scandal will be the Oppositions main ammo, majority of the items on the agenda have to do with finances and will start with an introduction of bills to amend the Criminal Code (Amendment) 2013. The Minister of Foreign Affairs will also take legislation to the floor of the house, seeking to amend the Customs and Excise Duties. Also on the agenda for tomorrow's house meeting is the second reading for the High Seas Fishing Bill which seeks to make new and improved provisions for the management and control of fishing on the high seas.

Four Men Charged For Blanco's Murder
Four men were charged in the Belize City Magistrates Court late yesterday evening in connection with the broad day light murder of 61 year old Jorge Blanco, a resident of Yo Creek Village in Orange Walk Town. 33 year old Roger Hernandez, 21 year old Alton Bailey, 25 year old Roque Middleton and 33 year old Elario Frank Elijio are tonight confined behind bars after they were arraigned in the Court of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. As previously reported, the truck driver was killed last week Friday as they drove through Sandhill when robbers targeted him and his employers, Abraham Penner, as they made their way back to Orange Walk in their wholesale delivery truck. Blanco was shot once at the center of the head and died at the wheel. As a result, this caused the vehicle to veer off the road and when it stopped on the shoulder, 3 men robbed the men of approximately 10 thousand dollars and made good their escape through a neighboring yard.

More Witnesses Testify In Case Against Eric Gonzales
Today the case of Eric Gonzalez accused of the murder of Daniel Alberto Soto continued before Justice Herbert Lord in the northern session of the Supreme Court as this another witness took the oath and pledged to testify nothing but the truth. Jaime Triminio was the first witness to be called to the stand today by Crown Counsels Sabita Maharaj and Linsbert Willis. Triminio's testimony was based on the fact that the incident happened directly in front of him, by which he gave a vivid account of that night, Thursday 26th of February, 2009 when Soto was stabbed on the upper thigh. After rendering his testimony, Triminio was cross examined by Senior Counsel and defense attorney, Simeon Sampson.

Institute Of Archaeology Launches Anti-Looting Campaign
The Institute of Archeology has embarked in an anti looting campaign with the hope of protecting our natural heritage and avoiding what happen a few months ago with the Noh Mul Maya Mound which was destroyed by De Mars Stone Company owned by Denny Grijalva. Dr. Allan Moore, Assistant Coordinator, Inst. of Archaeology "Well, it entails the conscious looting and the unconscious. The conscious looting is when people organize go out there and really go dig, they go with the objective to find and there is a market out there for it we know as a big north American market and people would be paid to go out there in the jungle to saciar out there as they say in Spanish and find stuff for them and take up to north America and sale. Then you would have the people who would just go and have stuff on their farm find a little pot in the caves and then they sale it whatever means they use to get their artifact it doesn't matter to us what matter is when they sale it this is one piece less that is gone."


Opposition Leader Says Today’s Protest is Just The Beginning
Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca said it has been 42 days since we have been embroiled in the passport scandal and there remain many questions and no answer. He reiterated his demand for Elvin Penner's resignation. As it relates to the amendment bills introduced in the house Fonseca said if the proposed changes will improve the system, the Opposition is prepared to support them. HON. FRANCIS FONSECA "We have just gotten an opportunity to look at the amendments proposed this morning by the honorable Prime Minister, in respect to three new bills. Certainly we are going to look at those with a very open mind and anything we can do to supporting or fixing the process then we will do. If those amendments are going towards, closing any loophole that exists and creating as best as possible a fool proof system.

Prime Minister Explains Transfers of Public Officers and New Processes in the Immigration Department
The focus of the sitting of the House of Representatives was on three amendment bill brought to the House. With the passport and visa scandals still up in the air, the amendment bills introduced is to close the gaps when dealing with Immigration, Nationality and Passport. Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke on the proposed changes in the nationality act. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW "What we are trying to do here, Mr. Speaker is to provide for streamlining and enhancing the requirements to obtain Belizean Nationality by registration including the provision that henceforth all applicants for nationality must be in possession of a permanent residency permit declaring their status as a permanent residence for five years of continued residency immediately prior to be a citizen of Belize. The amendments provide for increased penalties for violation of the provisions of the act and these increased penalties would include a fine of $50,000 and a mandatory term of imprisonment from 5 to 15 years, I believe is the range that we set out in the bill.

April the Tapir Dies
One of Belize most beloved national icon passed away this morning. April the Tapir became a household name after he was adopted in 1983 after her mother was killed. April became popular among school children, who year after year, visited the Belize Zoo to celebrate her birthday with her. April's death came at the age of 30, far longer than her life expectancy would have been had she lived in the wild. Love News spoke with Founding Director of the Belize Zoo, Sharon Matola, who told us more. SHARON MATOLA "She had such a great life. She touched the hearts of so many people. We are all lucky that April lived as long as she did and she was part of our national heritage. Her health was really decreasing. She lost interest in food but we could see that she couldn't really chew; her teeth were all worn down and so we were making porridge for her and she liked that but then she stopped eating that. When that happened we thought, ok this is a bad sign. When the appetite shuts down other things are happening and we were just planning to get some blood work done on her and see if there was anything at all we could do. My concern wasn't how much longer she would live but the quality of her life; I didn't want her to be in any pain; if she can't enjoy her last days I just didn't want to see it happen. Thankfully she went in her sleep."

Traffic Accident Injures One Person
A traffic accident this afternoon near mile seven on the George Price Highway has left at least one person injured. It occurred shortly after three this afternoon when a gold pick-up truck ran off the right hand side of the highway and careened into bushes. Love News understands that one person was shuttled to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital by ambulance for medical attention. The details of the accident was not forthcoming from the police.

Belize Gains Fame Via Wonder of the World Competition
The results of the 8th Wonder of the World Competition have been released and according to the Belize Tourism Board we did exceptionally well. While Belize did not walk away with the top prize, The Great Blue Hole competed against three hundred man-made and natural sites from across the world and finished with an impressive 8th place ranking. In addition the Blue Hole and Belize gained international exposure as an outstanding tourism destination. The Virtual Tourist competition was conducted over a period of four months, from June to October. Chile's Torres del Paine National Park got the most on-line votes and was declared the winner. Other top ten finishers include El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico.

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Government to present Criminal Code Amendment Bill to House on Friday
On Wednesday afternoon, our cameras camped outside the National Assembly, as the Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee met for the final time, to discuss the Criminal Code Amendment Bill 2 of 2013. The board, which heard submissions from the Bar Association via its president Attorney Eamon Courtnay, , the...

UDP face a crisis of political confidence
The ruling United Democratic Party face a crisis of political confidence going into Friday's meeting of the House of Representatives. With numerous swirling scandals party members have chosen their words carefully around the press and the public. But the People's United Party want to turn the screws on the UDP even...

Thyrell Hyde claims he was robbed by Police Officers
This week, young businessman Thyrell Hyde of Belmopan came forward alleging that the Police Department have been ignoring his complaint of being robbed by officers in September. Hyde alleges that he and a group of friends was stopped and searched by police who found an envelope containing...

PAC rescheduled as quorum not reached
The Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives continues to meet even as the Government tries to reach consensus with PAC's chairman Julius Espat, the Opposition as well as the social partners - business sector, trade unions and the Churches. Last week there was a meeting with several...

VIP Launches Anti-corruption Petition Drive
While allegations of corruptions have rocked the Government of Belize, the Government has assured the country that they are working to solve the problems-to clean up their act. But according to Vision Inspired by the People, well meant words are not enough. The VIP has launched an anti-corruption campaign...

Michael Coye released on bail because of medical condition
On Thursday the Court of Appeal considered the case of Michael Coye, the 67 year old former businessman convicted of money laundering offenses two years ago. His case is up for appeal next year but attorney Arthur Saldivar asked the court to release him because of his medical condition....

Belize has highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the Caribbean
Belize isn't gaining much favor in recent international reports, in fact, reviews on the country are rather disturbing. The first - a report on adolescent pregnancy titled "Motherhood In Children." The report, commissioned by the United Nations, suggests that Belize encompasses the highest rate of teenage pregnancy within the...

Belize placed 106 out of 189 countries in terms of the ease of doing business
The second report: Doing Business 2014: Understanding Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises, places Belize at 106 out of 189 countries in terms of the ease of doing business. More specifically:"How easy or difficult it is for a local entrepreneur to open and run a small to medium-size business...

Health authorities review national plan to address communicable diseases
Influenza, or simply "the flu", is that nastiest of illnesses that creeps upon humans when they least expect it. Belize saw a massive scare in 2009 from the H1N1 or "swine flu" virus and there have since been cases officially reported. This week health authorities are...

NTUCB meets in special General Council
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize, met in a special General Council meeting Wednesday evening to discuss, among other issues, a position on the invitation made to the Congress to become a social accountability partner on the Nationality Scrutinizing Committee. The Congress has decided to "Welcome the opportunity...

Belizean awarded First Class Honours at UWI St. Augustine Campus
Karena Michelle Mahung, of Punta Gorda Town, brought international spotlight and regional recognition to the country of Belize at the 2013 University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus graduation for the Faculty of Science and Technology, In Trinidad and Tobago. There she was awarded...

Pregnant woman granted bail
One week ago tonight, the Lebanese Nasser family of San Pedro Town - 43 year old Nazim; his wife Jaziba, 36; and two adult male children, 19 year old Jamal and 18 year old Hilal, were all sent to Hattieville Prison after a raid by San Pedro Police at...

Belize Dry Cleaners improves its technology with new machine presser
The foremost name in dry cleaning and formal clothing rental, Belize Dry Cleaners, is taking another step toward improving its technology with the new introduction of a machine presser. Proprietor Lascelle Arnold what it is and what it does. Mr. Lascelle Arnold- Business Proprietor "We have...

The Guardian

An Almost Apology
This week Amandala published a rare apology concerning Colin Hyde's article of the previous week. Well, it was almost an apology except that it repeated one of the basic ideas in the offending article demonstrating that Colin's article was not printed in error or through an oversight, but because it was in concert with the ideas of the publisher and editor. Colin also waived aside the reprimand, saying that he could not understand what all the fuss was about. In a way, it as well that the article was published because it helps the public to understand that Amandala's views on gender relations are archaic and misogynistic. The offending idea is that women are responsible for men's behaviour or misbehaviour and it repeats the notion that women are to blame for provoking poor innocent men into becoming sexual predators. The major problem with this theory is that it is factually wrong. The vast majority of female rape victims are ordinary women wearing modest clothing who are going about minding their own business. Many are elderly or middle-aged women and a large number are children who have not even reached puberty. Promoting the assumption that men cannot be expected to control

Lawsuit for Channel 5
Hon. Edmund Castro confirmed to the Guardian Newspaper on Wednesday, October 30th, that he will be suing Channel 5 and Alvarene Burgess for the libelous comments which were made against him starting on October 23rd and all other comments made against him thereafter. He added that he has retained the services of Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams and that a letter demanding a retraction, apology and compensation would be served on both Burgess and Channel 5 on Wednesday. Burgess had claimed on Channel 5's newscast on October 23rd and 24th that she had been paying Hon. Castro money for him to write letters of recommendations for people to get Belizean visas. While the station had attempted to conceal her identity, she was quickly identified by many persons and now she is part of a lawsuit.

UDP Conventions
The United Democratic Party will begin to fill out Standard Bearer positions in 14 constituencies across the country. The UDP has taken the decision to hold conventions in the constituencies where caretakers are present. Persons who are interested in taking part in the conventions are asked to submit their applications through the Constituency Committees who will then forward applications to the UDP Headquarters by November 29th. For now the conventions will be limited to 14 constituencies in which caretakers currently represent the UDP. The move is to formalize UDP Standard Bearers in these constituencies through conventions for better representation in these divisions.

Countdown to a New BTL Park
In 38 days time it is expected that the newly renovated BTL Park will be officially opened to the public. The massive renovations to the park is being done in three phases. The first of those was the reclamation of the park expanding it by 40 percent and thereafter the construction of a seawall. That work began on February 20th of this year. On July 8th ground was broken for other work within the part to commence and that would entail the raising of the park grounds by 6 inches, the construction of sidewalks, the construction of a skating area, an amphitheater, a pier and greening of the park and the placing of benches and garbage bins. According to mayor Darrell Bradley, who on Monday, October 21, launched a countdown to the opening of the park, it is now 65 percent complete and he expects that by December 7th the park will be opened to the public. At the grand opening, Bradley says there will fireworks on display as well as local and international artists.

The PUP vultures in Belmopan
We are not certain if, of all the PUP political vultures circling the flooded areas of Belmopan, Rutilia Logan Supall was circling the lowest, but what we are certain of is that someone opposing her from within her own political party put out her dirty laundry on Facebook. A posting appearing on the social network has a police record which was issued on the 22nd of August showing Supall as having a police record in which she was convicted for Wounding and was bound over to keep the peace for a year in default she was to spend a year in jail. The conviction is recorded as having taken place on the of 3rd of November 2009. It would appear that the old saying made famous by Hubert Elrington, that the PUP is a Criminal Organization involved in politics is still holding true. Whatever the case, the Belmopan convention for PUP caretaker is heating up by the minute. Last week the candidates were at each other tearing down their opponents posters. This week they blasted Ruth on Facebook and the rare sighting of Amin Hegar wading in water in the outskirts of Belmopan was also documented. That is not to say that the other candidates have also not been out like hungry vultures but it did seem odd that the decrepit man was out. We were scared that he might catch pneumonia.

BSCFA and BSI at odds over Bagasse
The Chief Executive Officer in Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSIL) has announced that the factory will begin to receive sugar cane for million on November 25th. Even as that announcement has been made the sugar industry is once again facing an impasse. The latest contention is being brought about by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) demanding payment for bagasse which they say is a bi-product of sugar cane production which has a commercial value. According to the BSCFA this is as a result of an agreement signed in 2002 between BSI and BSCFA in which payment is made to the cane farmers based on sugar and molasses content of cane delivered after quantities have been verified as well as the deduction of cost of marketing is done. The BSCFA argues that according to the same agreement whenever a bi-product of sugar cane delivered is identified as having economic value, both BSI and BSCFA would determine how the income will be distributed. The Guardian understands that the farmers are looking at some additional $10 dollars more per ton of cane delivered. This is as a result of the use of bagasse by the Belize Cogeneration facility (BELCOGEN) as a form of fuel to produce electricity. BSIL had solely invested in BELCOGEN some U.S. $55 million in the construction of the plant. Before the construction of the plant bagasse was waste material for which BSI incurred an expense to manage. With BELCOGEN now in place it is used as a fuel which produces electricity that powers the mill and part of which is also sold to Belize Electricity Limited. Since the power company has been in operation in late 2009, there has only been one year since it has registered a profit at that was at a marginal 2.5 million dollars.

Four Charged for Robbery/Murder in Sandhill Village
Police have arrested and charged four men for their part in the robbery of three shipyard farmers and the murder of their employee. On Friday, October 25th, Shipyard farmers John, Abraham and Gerhard Penner were returning home along with their truck driver, 57-year-old Jorge Blanco, when they were ambushed on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The robbery took place sometime around 12 noon. The cargo truck was passing the speed bump at mile 19 in Sandhill Village when a gunman approached and fired a shot at the driver. The bullet struck him under the left arm pit and the gunman opened the door. Blanco fell out of the truck and unto the road; he was already dead. The gunman and his accomplice, who held a knife in his hand, then instructed the Penners to hand over all the money they had or they too would be killed. John Penner handed over $9,600 in cash from the day's sales and Gerhard Penner handed over $800 in cash. The men then escaped into a swampy area off the road. Police arrived on the scene at about 12:30 p.m. one 9 mm expended shell was retrieved from the scene and the body of Jorge Blanco was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 2:10 p.m.

Special Constable pleads guilty to beating his Wife
Special Constable, Barrington Brown, changed his not guilty plea to guilty for the May 14, 2013 beating of his wife during a domestic dispute. The interdicted officer appeared in court on Tuesday, October 29th, where he pleaded guilty to wounding his wife, Sharon Brown. Barrington Brown told the court that his wife provoked him and that was why he hit her. After hearing that, the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, decided to remand Brown into custody until November 4th when he will reappear in court and hear his sentence. According to Sharon Brown, on May 14, 2013, she arrived at home and found her two daughters downstairs at her estranged husband's house. She then went for the girls and started to rail up with them and that's when she and Barrington got into an altercation. According to Sharon, she came back down her stairs and that's when Barrington choked her from behind causing her to fall. He then got over her and punched her in her face, causing her lip to burst and her face to swell.

Canadian Woman Killed in Consejo Shores, Corozal
Police are investigating the murder of a Canadian national which took place on Tuesday, October 29th, in Consejo Village, Corozal District. At about 7 p.m. on Tuesday, police visited a two storey concrete house in the Consejo Shores area after neighbours made reports about screaming coming from the upper flat of the residence. According to police, when they arrived the house was properly secured. In order to gain entry into the premises, police used a ladder to climb unto the verandah of the second floor. Inside the living room of the house they saw the body of 57-year old Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich lying face down in a pool of blood. Officers observed multiple stab wounds to her neck and body. One blood stained eight inch blade stainless steel knife was found on the sofa in the living room. The body was transported to the Corozal Community Hospital where Nichiporowich was pronounced dead at 9:55 p.m. According to police, there was no sign of forced entry into the structure. Police did; however, notice foot prints on the ground beneath stairs of the house. Police believe the culprit(s) gained entry by climbing over the verandah on the upper flat of the building. No arrest has been announced in this murder as yet.

Caught in the act
Police have arrested and charged, 22 year-old Alfredo Cowo, a resident of San Pedro for the crimes of robbery and keeping a firearm and ammunition without a license. Cowo appeared in Magistrate's court where he pleaded not guilty but due to the nature of the offences he could not be granted bail and was remanded to prison until December 5th. According to police, on Wednesday, Nelson Rhaburn was walking home with a friend when a man, armed with firearm approached him and placed the weapon into his mouth. The culprit then robbed Rhaburn of his Camel bag and a brown wallet with $250 in cash, to a total value of $630. When the thief tried to escape, Rhaburn tackled him and they ended up in a struggle. Quick response from San Pedro Police, who were alerted about the crime in progress, detained the assailant, identified as Cowo. They also retrieved the firearm from his hand, along with the stolen items. The officers found a .32 pistol, which had 3 live rounds in it.

Lloyd Eligio convicted of Attempted Murder
On Monday, October 28th, 22-year-old Lloyd Eligio, who was charged with the October 2009 attempted murder of Mark Lord, was found guilty in the court room of Troadio Gonzalez. When the jury of 9 returned from their deliberation after just over 3 hours, they had a unanimous verdict of guilty. The main prosecution witness was the victim, Mark Lord. He took the stand and testified that Eligio, who he saw and knew very well, followed him on Swing Bridge on October 25, 2009, to Hydes Lane, where he opened fire on him in front of the DHL building. One of the bullets struck him in the left side of the chest, and he had to be rushed to the hospital for emergency treatment, where his life was saved. Under cross-examination, Eligio got a chance to challenge his accuser, Mark Lord, and he tried to convince the jury that Lord was mistaken. Throughout, however, Lord maintained his certainty that Eligio was the gunman When the prosecution closed its case, Eligio took the stand and gave sworn testimony that he and his main alibi witness were at his grandmother's house at the time of the shooting, so it couldn't have been him who Lord saw pulling the trigger. That witness, however, took the stand and told the court that he was indeed with Eligio earlier in the day, but at the time of the shooting, they weren't together. Justice Troadio Gonzalez has scheduled his sentencing hearing for November 4, to give Lord time to prepare a mitigation plea.

San Pedro men charged with burglary
Two men, 21-year-old Edwin Flores and 18-year-old Alvin Gonzalez, both residents of San Pedro, were remanded to prison after being arraigned on charges of burglary. According to police, both men broke into the home of Wilson Vivas on Wednesday, October 23rd, and they stole an assortment of clothes, a pair of tennis shoes, an Xbox gaming system - complete with peripherals to a total value 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 also arrested him. Both men were charged with burglary, and Flores was additionally charged with 2 counts of handling stolen goods. They were arraigned on Monday, October 28th, in Magistrate's Court where they were remanded due of the submissions made by the prosecution. They will be taken back to court on December 10, their next court date.

Albert Moody charged with Attempted Murder
On Monday, October 28th, 25-year-old Albert Moody was charged with the attempted murder of Elroy Perdomo and Steven Lambey, two Belize City men. Moody faced two counts of attempted murder, two counts of use of deadly means of harm and two counts of dangerous harm when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. He is accused of shooting 18 year old Elroy Perdomo and 26 year old Steven Lambey on October 20, while the two were riding on Central American Boulevard. Perdomo was shot to the left side of his ankle and left side of his buttock, while Lambey was shot to his right calf and right side of abdomen. Moody was remanded to the Hattieville Prison after no pleas were taken from him due to the nature of the charges. He is due back in court on December 13, 2013, which is there next court date.

The PUP vultures in Belmopan
We are not certain if, of all the PUP political vultures circling the flooded areas of Belmopan, Rutilia Logan Supall was circling the lowest, but what we are certain of is that someone opposing her from within her own political party put out her dirty laundry on Facebook.

BSCFA and BSI at odds over Bagasse
The Chief Executive Officer in Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSIL) has announced that the factory will begin to receive sugar cane for million on November 25th. Even as that announcement has been made the sugar industry is once again facing an impasse. The latest contention is being brought about by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) demanding payment for bagasse which they say is a bi-product of sugar cane production which has a commercial value. According to the BSCFA this is as a result of an agreement signed in 2002 between BSI and BSCFA in which payment is made to the cane farmers based on sugar and molasses content of cane delivered after quantities have been verified as well as the deduction of cost of marketing is done. The BSCFA argues that according to the same agreement whenever a bi-product of sugar cane delivered is identified as having economic value, both BSI and BSCFA would determine how the income will be distributed.

International Expert says Belize has a future in Agriculture
Hero Balani from BELTRAIDE announcing that an Export Unit is now on the 'pipeline' for BELTRAIDE at last week's workshop for Small and Medium Enterprises at the George Price Center for Peace and Development

Statement by Honourable Edmond Castro
Statement by Honourable Edmond Castro Belmopan. October 28th, 2013 The Hon. Edmond Castro, Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Transport, utterly rejects and condemns the viciously false and malicious story concocted about him by Channel 5 and its agent, and aired three consecutive nights last week. That story alleges that Hon. Castro collected four hundred thousand dollars as payment for having procured the issuance of two hundred Belize visas at the behest of a woman that is the source and co-fabricator of the Channel 5 story.

Cooperatives as a strategy to survival
(Top and Bottom) Women from Esperanza, Santa Familia, San Antonio and Succotz participating in a recent training in food preservation, brought about by the efforts of the Ministry of Natural Resource & Agriculture and the Women's Department "The constant in all success stories has been critical mass and organization. Those that form solid groups remain in business; loners almost always disappear."

Eulogy for Myrtle Idolly Cruz
"If my parting left a void, then fill it with remembered joys. A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss; oh yes, these things, I too will miss, be not burdened with times of sorrow, look for the sunshine of tomorrow." It is with great sadness that I stand before you today to present the life of not only one of the most beloved and amazing women I ever met but that of a phenomenal woman. I can say without a doubt that we lost a gem, one of God's greatest treasures and a blessing to all who knew her. Myrtle Idolly Cruz or Vero as she was affectionately known was born on December 22nd, 1965 to parents Bonifacia Neal Gill and Peter Gill. She was the sixth of fourteen children with the eldest being Albertha, Gwendolyn, Juanita, Francisca, Allan, William, Ronald, Kathleen, Leticia, Egbert, Jane, Gayna and Monica. At the tender age of thirteen Vero moved to live with her Sister Juanita in Middlesex community in the Stann Creek Valley, there she met and fell in love with her partner David Cruz Sr. A relationship that lasted over thirty years and produced three kids, Darren, Lorena and David Jr. Although late in their lives together, Vero and David joined hands in marriage and became man and wife on December 22, 2007. Their family grew as their kids blessed them with four grand children, Dorian, Darren, Darwin and Deidra; Grandkids she adored. Her love for these kids was so overwhelming it showed in just the way she talked about them and especially how she would shower them with gifts. She always went all out for them.

Temporary Wooden Bridge in San Ignacio closed due to flooding
The temporary wooden bridge on the Macal River was completely submerged in water. The temporary wooden bridge that connects San Ignacio to Santa Elena continued to be temporarily closed Tuesday due to flooding of the Macal River. Incessant rains over the past few days and a rising Macal River has resulted in the low lying bridge being closed to vehicular traffic. Personnel from the Traffic Department are now on duty managing traffic across the Hawkesworth Bridge and along the George Price Highway. As a result, traffic has been diverted from the wooden bridge to the Hawkesworth suspension bridge that also connects San Ignacio to Santa

Belize Host AGM for Museum Association of the Caribbean
Curators from across the region are in Belize for the 24th Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Museum Association of the Caribbean and according to them it is a challenge across the region to get locals to enter the doors of cultural and historical museums. Sherilyn Jones, Director of the Museum of Belize and Houses of Culture, says one of the main subjects of discussion during the conference will be how to remain or become relevant in the local community. The theme for this year's AGM is "Pooling Our Resources: Collaborations, Connections and Partnerships". The pooling of resources is important for the sector. Participants from across the region identified financial constraints as the main challenge to the museum sector in their country. Jones, who is very passionate about national and regional history, says she believes that "by working together and sharing information and resources with other members of the association we can do a much better job of highlighting our culture and heritage".

NTUCB Expels Christian Workers Union
The Christian Workers Union is in serious trouble. It has lost significant bargaining power now that it has been expelled by the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the executive's authority is being challenged by one of its more influential membership group.

Poinsettia Clean Up Campaign
On October 26, 2013 the Hon. Mark King and the Lake I committee, in collaboration with the Belize City Council held a clean-up campaign on the area of Poinsettia Street, which was a great success. The effort was also an enormous relief for the residents of that area as their drains were cleared and the area was made to look a lot more pleasant than it did before the clean up. Clean up campaigns are done on a frequent basis to encourage self-pride in the area. With this said, the Hon. Mark King and the Lake I committee continues to work for its' people.

Central Region high schools basketball competition opens
The 2013-2014 Central Region Secondary Schools Basketball Competition is scheduled to commence at the Bird's Isle this week if weather permits. There are six teams in the female competition and nine teams in the male competition. The teams in the female competition are Pallotti High School, Ladyville Technical High School, Gwen Lizarraga High School, St. Catherine Academy, Belize High School and Wesley College. Meanwhile, the teams in the male competition are Wesley College, Gwen Lizarraga, Nazarene High School, Ladyville Technical High School, Belize High School, Sadie Vernon Technical High School, Excelsior High School, Anglican Cathedral College and St. John's College. The National Championship is scheduled for December 13 and 14, 2013.

Brown Bombers lead in Smart 13 and under Football Tourney
The 2nd Annual Smart 13 and Under Football Tournament continued at the MCC Grounds on Saturday, October 26, 2013. In the first of five games played, Ladyville Jaguars edged Third World by the score of 3-2. The goal scorers for Ladyville Jaguars were Lyndon Flowers (2) and Allen Anderson, while the goal scorers for Third World were Jalen Myers and Christian Busch. In game two, Brown Bombers the current leaders in the competition also edged Collet Strikers by the score of 3-2. The Brown Bombers goals were scored by Tyreek Muschamp (2) and Sherwin Requena, while the goals for the Collet Strikers were scored by Tyrel Estrada. In game three, Hattieville United blasted Belize Elementary by the score of 6-1. The goals for Hattieville United were scored by Michael Palacio (3), Mario Rivera (2) and Kian Young. For Belize Elementary, the only goal of the game was scored by Jonna Chebat. In game four, Survivors blanked Young Stars by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Shaquelle Matute.

Belize to host UNCAF U-16 male tournament
The Football Federation of Belize informs football fans and the general public that it will be hosting the Central American U-16 Championship at the FFB Stadium in the City of Belmopan from November 18-22, 2013. The championship will feature six Central American countries namely Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Belize.

V Annual UWI Open Campus Day of Races will be held this Sunday
The University of the West Indies Open Campus here in Belize and in partnership with Belize Telemedia Ltd and in collaboration with the Belize Cycling Association will be sponsoring the V Annual UWI Day of Races on Sunday, November 3, 2013. The races will commence at 1:00 pm and will utilise the Marine Parade Circuit. The V Annual UWI Day of Races will include riders from the primary, secondary, tertiary, junior, youth, female, masters and Elite riders. The primary school girls will do 1 lap and the boys will do 2 laps around the circuit. The high school females will do 3 laps while the males will do 5 laps. At the tertiary level, the females and males will do 10 laps. In the junior and youth category, the riders will do 15 laps, while in the female and masters' categories the riders will also do 15 laps. In the Elite and U-23 categories, the riders will do a total of 30 laps. The registration fee for all riders is $10.00 while kids will ride for free. Riders who are interested in participating can contact UWI Open Campus at 223-0484 or the Belize Cycling Association at [email protected] for further information.

Vega's Cup Tournament enters Quarter-Final Round
The 2013 Vega's Cup Tournament will commence its Quarter Final Round on Sunday, November 3, with four games on the schedule. According to the organisers, the Quarter-Final round is a knock-out round, whereby only the winners advance to the semi-final round. All matches are scheduled for 90 minutes of regulation time, if at the end of that time the match is tied then the match goes to overtime of 15/15 minutes. If at the end of the overtime the match is still tied then we move into penalty shoot out. There must be a winner in all 4 matches. The games in the Quarter Final Round will be played at the Trial Farm Football Field with the first game commencing at 10:00 am. In game one, San Jose FC will go up against San Luis FC and this will be followed by Jaguars United against San Pablo FC, and this will be followed by Barrio Boys against Santa Cruz FC and in the final game it will be United Ballers against Old School FC.

St. Catherine Academy and St. John's College lead in high school volleyball championships
The Central Region Secondary Schools Volleyball Championship will come to an end on Wednesday, October 30, 2013, if the weather permits. The championship series in the female competition features the perennial female champions St. Catherine Academy and new comer Belize High School, while in the male championship series it is St. John's College and Ladyville Technical High School. The series which is utilising the best of three format commenced on Monday October 28, 2013, where in the female championship game one, St. Catherine Academy defeated Belize High School in three sets by the score of 25-12, 25-12 and 25-7and in the male championship game one, St. John's College defeated Ladyville Technical High School also in three sets by the score of 25-15, 25-15 and 25-10. The second game in both the female and male competition is scheduled for Wednesday, October 30 and if a game three becomes necessary in any of the category that will be played on Friday, November 1, 2013. The National Secondary Schools Volleyball Championship is scheduled for Friday, November 8, and Saturday, November 9, 2013, and will be hosted by St. Catherine Academy.

Smelling Blood
It seems that Channel Fox is throwing caution to the wind with this story about Hon. Castro and the accusation that he has facilitated for personal profit hundreds of visas to foreign nationals to visit Belize. Even after the fervent denials by the Minister that there is no truth or proof to the matter, Fox continues to run the story, and have basically announced that they will stand by their story no matter what happens. They are prepared, it would seem, for any level of risk, even if it means being condemned by the courts for libel. Let us look at the backdrop of this visa story which was created solely by Fox and continuously nurtured by that TV station for over a week. It has already been established that Hon. Penner has committed a monumental disservice to Belize by approving nationality status to a person who has never been in our country. The Prime Minister immediately condemned the act and promptly fired Penner from his post. Penner was later even asked by the PM himself to resign both from the UDP and from the House of Representatives, even at the peril of exposing the UDP to lose a seat and further eroding the Government's slim majority.

The Amandala's Colin Bh & Rape Apologism, Misogyny, Racism, General Ignorance
Before I begin here, let me put across a point. I am very rarely surprised and aghast at things that happen in my home country. It has reached the point of desensitisation as I believe it has for many others. That said I was completely caught off guard by yesterday's piece in 'Colin's Corner' of the Amandala. If you happen to be one of the few people who missed it, (you didn't miss much) let me refresh your memory; our ever entertaining (gag) guide into the depths of human indecency, Colin Bh regales us with his flawless perception of race, gender and rape politics. With his insistence on the importance of "virtuous women" in society, Bh kicks off his descent into what can only be described as broad scoping and very dangerous ignorance. The entire article is a tapestry of slut shaming, victim blaming and racism stitched together with terrible semantics and bad jokes. And yet, when asked for comment on the backlash he has so far received, he doesn't understand what he's done wrong? Well today is your lucky day, Colin. I'm here to set you straight.

Aviana Ferguson Representing Belizean Youths in Paris, France
19-year-old Aviana Ferguson is representing Belizean youths at the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum in Paris France. The UNESCO Youth Forum is an integral part of UNESCO's General Conference. It enables young men and women to submit strategic recommendations for youth development to representatives of the 195 member states of UNESCO. The theme for the forum is "Youth and Social Inclusion: Civic Engagement, Dialogue and Skills Development". The main item that will be discussed is the 2014-2021 Operational Strategy on Youth and its fifteen action projects. Ferguson is a student of the Skills Training Center on Magazine Road in Belize City. She left Belize on Sunday, October 27th, and will return on Saturday, November 2nd.

International Admiration for Crime Stoppers Belize's T.V. Commercial
Since its inception in 2004, Crime Stoppers Belize has evolved from being simply an information relaying program to now being a fully functioning crime intervention institution that is actively promoting developmental activities in various communities. However, the organization's principal function is still being an alternative source for the reporting of criminal activities and on Thursday, October 24th, Crime Stoppers Belize thanked its partners who make it possible for the program to be effective. The organization presented certificates of appreciation to various media houses for their support in promoting the program. According to Janelle Chanona, Spokesperson for Crime Stoppers Belize, "Crime Stoppers has always had a great relationship with the media. All our ads are run as public service announcements and the personalities volunteer their time to take part in the ads." Three media personalities that were specially recognized are anchors Indira Craig of 7 News, Marleni Cuellar of News 5 and Anju Gidwani of Love TV.

Daughter and father from Cayo die on the same day
A case of double tragedy has stricken a family in the Cayo District. Glendy Tepas. 14-years-old succumbed to her injuries at about 10:00 am this past Sunday at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City, some eleven days after being involved in a serious accident in the Cayo District. Adding to the a family's grief, Glendy Tepas's father, Ricardo Antonio Rosa Tepas, a Naturalized Belizean from the Santa Cruz Area in Santa Elena Town, consumed herbicide and died sometime around 3:00 pm, also on the same day, Sunday. The 41 year old Ricardo Tepas had beforehand been in police custody where he had been served with a notice of intended prosecution in relation to an accident he was involved in along with a number of his children, including Glendy Tepaz on October 17, 2013. On that date of October 17th, San Ignacio Police had visited the junction of Joseph Andrews Drive and Branch Mouth shortly after 7:20 pm and on arrival they saw a grey in color Toyota Pickup with its front end portion extensively damaged. Further investigation by Police revealed that Ricardo Tepas was the driver of the said vehicle, which had collided into a container that was parked inside a yard. At the time, Tepas was driving in an East to West Direction when he lost control of his vehicle, causing him to run off the road.

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Chief Justice Benjamin has reserved judgment in the case. The legal disputes surrounding the government takeover of, and sale of shares in, Belize Telemedia Limited are manifold, and today, one of those spinoff cases was heard before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Media personality Glenn Tillett is challenging former Social Security Board (SSB) chairman Lois Young and chairman of the SSB's Investment Committee, Net Vasquez, for their dual roles in the SSB's purchase of shares in BTL - of which both Vasquez and Young were also substantive directors. Vasquez had previously told Amandala that SSB's deposits at the commercial banks had been yielding little or no returns, and that BTL would be a better investment, yielding much better returns on the dollar. Speaking on the case today, however, Tillett told Amandala: "Whether BTL is a good investment or not is actually beside the point. The point is that Ms. Lois Young Barrow was both the chairman of the Social Security Board as well as a member of the board of directors of BTL as a secretary, and its legal representative. Mr. Net Vasquez is the CEO of BTL, as well as the chairman of the [SSB] investment committee. In my view, they can't assess risk. If they were investing in something else, there would be no argument. And the precedent that that sets is a very bad one�"

While no politician has been charged, or seemingly even investigated in the matter of the "Penner Passport Scandal," the clerical workers of the Immigration Department appear to be taking a hit from Government. Amandala has confirmed that at least six public officers from that department have been suddenly transferred with immediate effect. Further information has not been forthcoming, but we understand that a shakeup is taking place within the department that is expected to affect at least fifty percent of its personnel over the next few weeks. During the course of this week, rumors were rampant that 11 clerks from the Immigration Department were transferred to another government department. Earlier in the week, Industrial Relations Officer of the Public Service Union, Ray Davis, said that he, like everyone else, had heard the rumors - but he had not received anything official.

The TV station, however, says it is standing by its story. Amandala understands that Hon. Edmund Castro's attorney, Rodwell Williams, has initiated libel proceedings against Channel 5 by means of a letter sent to the television station yesterday, Wednesday. We were able to confirm this today with Channel 5's CEO and news editor, Amalia Mai. The media house has indicated, however, that they are standing by their story. Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Transport, Hon. Castro, has successfully evaded all efforts by the press to speak to him personally ever since he was alleged by Channel 5 and a female whistleblower that he was involved in a visa scandal - the most recent of successive scandals that have shaken the current UDP administration.

Said Musa's second term People's United Party (PUP) government came under major fire in January of 2005 when the then Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) teamed up with the unions and social partners to engineer massive protests and public demonstrations against his administration. Three years later, the PUP were ousted by landslide and the UDP voted into office on an anti-corruption platform. In fact, back then UDP Leader Dean Barrow had told our newspaper that his number one priority would be "restoring a sense of confidence in government by tackling in measurable ways the corruption issue, implementing a reform agenda." Today, though, the second term UDP administration is itself under serious fire after Cabinet Ministers in the Dean Barrow government have been publicly implicated in passport and visa hustles. On Wednesday this week the PUP, "Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition," announced it will bring out at least 1,000 supporters from the 14 constituencies it won in the 2012 elections to march Friday morning on Independence Hill and the National Assembly to decry what has been dubbed the "Penner Passport Scandal."

They said they were searching for money and murder weapon. Marilyn Brown Elijio and her family of Marcus Garvey Street, Belize City, are very angry after the tomb of her parents, Albert and Carolyn Brown, who died in May and December, 1957, and were buried in a tomb on their farm in the Lucky Strike area, was "busted open" sometime between 2:30 and 3:30 this afternoon by police who were searching for a gun and proceeds of a robbery. In the tomb also were the remains of Marilyn's sister, Gwendolyn, who died in May in the USA, but whose ashes were laid to rest in the tomb, and her brother Collet Brown, who died 59 years ago. The tomb reportedly was "busted open" by police without any permission being granted by Marilyn and her family. The farm is now being occupied by Frank Elijio, the son of Marilyn Elijio, the eldest child of Albert and Carolyn; and police, after desecrating the tomb, found nothing of interest in it.

Police Department "foot-dragging;" 6 weeks have passed - nothing done despite video evidence. The latest embarrassment to the Police Department - the shakedown of Thyrell Hyde, 20, by a group of police officers - has intensified the impression held by some citizens that there is not much of a difference between some police officers and the criminal element in the country. Some members of the Department have gotten themselves into serious trouble after they were implicated by Hyde in what seems to be a case of robbery and extortion carried out by police officers. The incident occurred over six weeks ago, around midnight on September 8, and according to the victim, Hyde, he has decided to come to the media because the rogue cops have not yet been made to face the consequences of their actions, part of which were caught on a bank surveillance camera.

City councilor Eric Chang has been absent for an extended period of time from the country and from his duties as a councilor, despite a request from his boss, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, for him to return to work. It has been over three weeks since Chang promised to return to the country, but so far he has not. Chang departed Belize on an official 3-week visit to his home country - Taiwan - 7 weeks ago, in early September, and was due back the first week in October, on Thursday, October 3rd, to be exact. He is rumored to have been the mediator/courier in the conveyance of a fast-tracked fraudulent Belizean passport to a South Korean fugitive, Won Hong Kim. However, Chang has not been available to answer to the allegations and to clear his name.

PUP 2013 - HARD OR SOFT? Editorial
I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself And falls on the other. - MACBETH, Act I, sc. vii, 25-29. The announcement on Wednesday by PUP Cayo South area representative and Deputy Leader, Hon. Julius Espat, that the Opposition political party would be demonstrating in front of the National Assembly building before and during Friday's House meeting, was a move the PUP probably had to make. Insofar as dissatisfaction with the Barrow administration is concerned, had Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition waited much longer, they may have run the risk of watching the tail wag the dog, so to speak. It was interesting that it should be Mr. Espat, one of five PUP Deputy Leaders, who was chosen to make the announcement to the media, as opposed to the Party Leader, Hon. Francis Fonseca (Freetown). The PUP has five Deputy Leaders. These are the aforementioned Julius, Toledo East's Mike Espat, Corozal Southeast's Florencio Marin, Jr., Belize Rural Central's Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, and Carolyn Trench-Sandiford, who is the only one of the five who does not own a seat in the House.

Since my parents moved to Buttonwood Bay some six or seven years ago, I've spent many, many hours selling newspapers at our old family home at the corner of Regent Street West and West Canal. I've had time to look around my old neighborhood, examine the wreckage that remains, and yes, dream of reconstruction. My old family home is no. 1 West Canal, but between 1954, when I moved to the 'hood, and Hurricane Hattie in 1961, our home actually used to be no. 3 West Canal, which was a three-storey wooden house. A lot of the yard at no. 3 was cement, because the ground floor, before my time, used to be a bakery. When I first went to no. 3 as a seven- year-old, my grandmother used to rent out the front sections of the downstairs. The tenants were a Hispanic tailor by the name of Carrillo on the southern side, and a Jamaican shoemaker by the name of Anderson on the northern side. In 1954, my Hyde grandparents lived on the second floor, along with two of my uncles and two of my aunts. Later, my grandfather took in two of his nieces who had been orphaned when one of his sisters died somewhere in the Stann Creek District. (Some people would call this the first floor, because what I call the first floor they would refer to as the ground floor. In any case, this was the middle section.)

The latest turn of events in the long saga surrounding the Christian Workers Union (CWU) makes it clear that the union's membership holds the golden key to unlocking a new chapter for the union. As we go to press tonight, there continues to be an impasse over whether the current leadership stays or goes-and that impasse has regrettably led to the expulsion of the CWU from the ranks of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB). It means that the CWU would not have the backing of the NTUCB in the event that muscle is needed to stage industrial action; or in the event that collective bargaining negotiations need an extra push from affiliate unions. This week, the NTUCB moved to expel the CWU, after an abortive attempt by union members last Saturday to set up a new executive at a General Congress at Bird's Isle on Saturday, October 26, 2013. There was no quorum to establish a legitimate vote.

GOB report tells UN that "human rights in Belize are being advanced" with UNIBAM case. Two very influential nations-the United Kingdom and the United States-turned up the heat on Belize this week over existing laws that criminalize same-sex relations at the 17th Session of the Human Rights Council Working Group's Universal Periodic Review (UPR), held in Geneva, Switzerland, under the umbrella of the United Nations' Office of the High Commission for Human Rights. Whereas there has been robust opposition from Belize's religious community-strongly opposed to the revision of Section 53 of Belize's Criminal Code, which attaches a 10-year sentence for persons convicted of intercourse against the order of nature, including sodomy and bestiality-the UK and the US, two of Belize's chief trading partners, capitalized on the occasion of this week's human rights forum to jab at Belize to do away with those laws. Most notable, though, was the statement made by the representative of the United Kingdom, which went further to call on Belize to formally abolish the death penalty.

"You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain." EXODUS 20:7 Thus it seems that when you call the name of God, it better not be in vain� it better mean you really want Him to intervene and mete out His justice. I have heard that there are Ministers who are procuring visas for people. I have said pretty much every second Cabinet, if you are doing so, I have no proof, for God's sake stop it, stop it! That is what will cause the government to fall." PM Barrow October 10, 2013 Well, not only did the Honorable PM use God's name in vain, he also spoke in vain, since clearly, if at "every second Cabinet" meeting he implored his Cabinet members to "stop it" and even did so for the sake of God, and they did not obey� it is no wonder they are not guiltless.

The effects of days of heavy rains, beginning from last weekend, are still being felt as flood waters which are now heading towards the Belize District to make its way to the Caribbean Sea, have drained into the Belize River Valley area, causing multiple catastrophes for area residents. In the village of Crooked Tree, the water is reportedly rising fast, and the causeway has become impassable for small vehicles. NEMO has dispatched a boat to the area, as it is believed that buses might soon not be able to enter the village. The Coast Guard has also dispatched boats to the villages of Freetown Sibun and Rancho Dolores. Villagers have reported that waters are rising in Bomba and Flowers Bank, whilst flooding has already occurred in the villages of Gracie Rock, Grace Bank, Biscayne, St. Paul's Bank, Lucky Strike, St. Ann's, Santana, and Corozalito. People living in those areas are advised to take the necessary actions to safeguard their lives and properties and move to higher grounds if necessary.

Belize and Taiwan pen new 5-year agreements. Taiwan's Ambassador to Belize, H.E. David C. K. Wu, and Financial Secretary Joseph Waight this morning penned two bilateral agreements at the Embassy of Taiwan in Belize City which the parties said would deepen their cooperation in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The first agreement, signed in both Chinese and English, extends an earlier agreement signed on the occasion of a state visit to Belize by Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou. The Ambassador said that there are no new terms to the extension agreement, which makes the ICT cooperation agreement, due to expire May 2014, valid for another five years, until May 2019. In concert with the signing of this bilateral agreement, the parties signed a second agreement for the implementation of a new project, which would see the introduction of the Belize Electronic License and Permit System (BELAPS) initially across 6 government agencies: the Belize Bureau of Standards, the Agriculture Department, the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), the Forestry Department, the Fisheries Department, and the Customs and Excise Department.

Two well-known community activists, Yaya Marin-Coleman and Samiyyah Andrewin, are planning to conduct a March Against Corruption in downtown Belize City this Saturday, November 2, 2013. Marin-Coleman told Amandala that she believes that there is a seemingly uncontrollable corruption problem within the country of Belize, and hence the need for the march. The March Against Corruption is an international campaign which is aimed at raising awareness about the corrupting influence of money and special interests in governance and public policy-making, providing a forum for people to organize and speak out against corruption, and educating the public about the consequences of corruption.

The incessant rains have led to widespread flooding and strong-flowing rivers in Cayo which resulted in the death of Carlos Rito Valdez, 65, of Santa Cruz, Cayo. At about 10:00 yesterday morning, Valdez, a farmer, while crossing the Mopan River, drowned when his canoe overturned. His younger friend managed to survive the strong eddies of the river and swam safely to the banks, but Rito Valdez went under the water, along with the canoe, and failed to resurface. Luis Robel Baron 45, a Belizean farmer of San Jose, Succotz, told police that they were transporting some plantains from Valdez's farm over the other side of the river, to Succotz, where he lives, on the other side.

The raging flood waters and strong eddies of the Mopan River along with continuous rains, did not shake the resolve of the family and friends of Carlos Rito Valdez, 65, a farmer of Succotz, Cayo District, to find him. Valdez drowned in the Mopan River at about 10:00 Monday morning when he was crossing the strong-flowing, flooded river in a canoe that overturned. He went under and did not resurface. Police said that he was found at about 10:00 last night in the area of the Succotz ferry by the search party. A member of the party was by the ferry when he saw a figure come to the surface of the water; when they directed a spotlight at the figure, they realized it was Valdes' body.

There will be no third game this Friday in the best-of-3 games championship finals series in the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association 2013 volleyball tournament for females and males. That is because yesterday at Bird's Isle, both SCA girls and SJC boys made it a 2-0 sweep of their opponents to clinch the CSSSA titles. In game 1 of the female finals on Monday, SCA breezed past Belize High School (BHS) in straight sets, 25-12, 25-12, 25-7. (They play a best-of-5 sets in the finals.) And in the males finals game 1, SJC also made light work of Ladyville Technical High (LTH), also beating them in 3 sets, 25-15, 25-15, 25-10. In game 2 of the female finals yesterday, the amazing SCA dynasty added one more notch to their spectacular record of championships, when they defeated a game BHS in straight sets, 25-11, 25-17, 25-22, to win what some fans are claiming is their 18th overall and 5th consecutive CSSSA championship. However, BHS made an exciting game of it in the third set, in which they were actually tied at 20-20, before SCA took the lead and eventually won. Sister Margaret conceded after the game that BHS gave them the most competitive game of the whole season.

The action in the Mayor's 9-Ball Tournament 2013 continued this past weekend, seeing action between Expendables and Cerros Sands, where the home team, Expendables defeated Cerros Sands by a score of 3-2. The wins for Expendables came by Miguel Trejo over Tom Gardiner by a score of 5-3; Raul Montejo, 5-3, over the President of the CBA, Mark Leonard; and Abner Patt over Jose Caballero, 5-0. The wins for Cerros Sands came from Luis Izab over Herbert Dzib by a score of 5-3; and by Guillermo Arana over Mauricio Pena by a close score of 5-4. The other game between Madis vs Rebel was also a victory for the home team, Madis, who won at home by a sore of 3-2. The wins for the home team came by Elias Briceno over Joshua Kuylen by a score of 5-3; Erwin Mutul over Abel Rivera, 5-4; and Rodolfo Alvarez over Marvin Cardona, 5-0. The wins for rebels came by Joel Andino over Mario Pena by a score of 5-3; and by Lazaro Amaya over Bernardo Gongora, 5-4.

Two optimist sailors, Jerdon Anderson and Jorge Olivarez from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, visited Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico, over the weekend to participate in the Regatta "Laguna de 7 Colores," hosted by Associacion de Veleristas President, Miguel �ngel Pani. This was the first time that Optimist sailors from Belize have attended a regatta outside Belize. Anderson and Olivarez were 2 of 25 Optimist sailors racing, and after 6 grueling races over 2 days, Anderson captured first place and Olivarez took 3rd place. The two young sailors, who are known for their hardworking attitude, showed their skill and the level of performance now in Belize. Bringing home these wins made the San Pedro Junior Sailing Club (SPJSC), San Pedranos and Belize proud.

The goal scoring excitement is picking up in the 2nd Annual SMART 13 & Under Football Tournament 2013, as Week 4 games on Saturday, October 26, at the MCC Grounds saw the net shake a whopping 22 times, with only 1 team going scoreless in the 5 games played. In game 1, Ladyville Jaguars gained their first victory, a 3-2 win over Third World. Lyndon Flowers struck twice and Allen Anderson got the other goal for the Jaguars; while Jalen Myers and Christian Busch scored for Third World. It was another 3-2 score in game 2, as Brown Bombers racked up their fourth straight win, this one over Collet Strikers. Shaking the net for the Bombers were Tyreek Muschamp with 2 goals and Sherwin Requena with 1. Both goals for Collet Strikers were by Tyrel Estrada.

Flowers Hernandez, Bailey, and Middleton also charged with robbery, while Frank Elijio is charged with conspiracy to commit robbery. Tonight, Roger Hernandez, 35, Alton Bailey, 21, Roque Middleton, 25, and Frank Elijio, 33, are on remand at the Belize Central Prison after they were arraigned late this evening on murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, handling stolen goods and drug trafficking charges. All the charges except for the drug trafficking stem from the October 25 murder of Jose Blanco, 61, and the robbery of Johann Penner, at a speed bump in Sandhill. According to police, at 12:30 Friday afternoon, Blanco, Penner, Abraham and Gerhard Penner were travelling in their delivery truck after making chicken deliveries in the area when the driver of the truck, Blanco, was shot under his left armpit, killing him instantly and causing the truck to swerve off the road.

Flowers Brown told the court that "Provocation caused me to hit my wife." Special Constable Barrington Brown, 43, a resident of #1 Wagner's Lane, is spending his first night of a two-week stint at the Belize Central Prison after he changed his plea to guilty, to wounding his estranged wife back in May. According to the report, the couple had been getting into arguments since May 6, leading Barrington to move into the downstairs of the house, along with two lesbians. On the night of May 14, Sharon Brown arrived home at 8:30 and found her two daughters, ages 16 and 8, downstairs with their father and the two women, which got her upset.

Amidst the uproar of the passport scandal and allegations of an illegal visa scheme - both of which have rocked Belmopan, a well-known resident of Orange Walk Town is on trial at the Orange Walk Magistrate's Court on charges of illegal possession of six passports, and tampering with an official document, including the passport of attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd. Matthew Williams, 56, of Smithsonian Street, Orange Walk, was taken to court on Friday, October 25, but the case has been adjourned until December 9. In court, Matura-Shepherd testified as a witness for the prosecution, and identified her passport that was stolen in September 2006, from her vehicle in Belize City.

The June 12th, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • The Stage is Set! Can PUP Mobilize like UDP in 2005?:
    As we go to press, word is that the Opposition PUP is attempting to mobilize supporters to descend on Belmopan when the House of Representatives convenes in the National Assembly on Friday, November 1, 2013. How historic a day it turns out to be will to some extent be heavily dependent on what kind of numbers the PUP is able to mobilize. Since it lost the 2008 General Elections and became the Opposition, the PUP has been anything but impressive when it comes to mustering numbers around any event or professed cause. Professed, we say, for therein lies what is perhaps the crooks of the PUP's problem, the question of whether it possesses the moral authority to genuinely lead any charge against any alleged or perceived wrongdoing by those in office, or any public rallying around any proclaimed righteous cause.
  • Isidoro Beaton Football Stadium Upgraded:
    As most Belmopan residents should by now, a good deal of new investment has been made to strengthen their local football club, Belmopan Bandits, which is participating in the national competition organized by the Premier League of Belize, sponsored this year by Belikin Beer and Bowen & Bowen Limited. The Belmopan Bandits' home field is the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in the Nation's Capital; and a good of resources is also being invested to upgrade that facility to encourage more of f he residents of Belmopan to come out regularly to support their home team as the national competition heats up.
  • Existential Questions Confronting the UDP:
    As we understand it, the purpose of the UDP when it was formed 40 years ago in 1973 was not simply to rival the PUP, but to contrast and correct what was fundamentally wrong about PUP style politics. The PUP idolized its leaders and was built on a philosophy of party paramountcy. The UDP was to be the political force that placed Country above Party. The PUP was a monolithic party that rewarded its supporters and friends, and punished its so-called enemies and political rivals. The UDP was to be the party that allowed dissenting elements and provided an opportunity for full participation and fulfillment by all citizens in a country hitherto ruled by one-party domination.
  • 30 Years in the Belizean Beef Business: Running W Continues to "Meat" your Needs:
    Running W is a family owned company that started in 1983 (we are celebrating 30 years in business this October). We remain focused on a cow calf operation, a steer fattening operation, and a meat processing plant. Running W has become one of the largest meat processors in Belize. We supply fresh cuts and processed meats of primarily beef and pork. The company has been innovators in this industry and continue to develop new practices and products ensuring that it serves Belize very good quality. Belize very good quality. Initially our cattle were predominately Brahman then we introduced Nellore but the demand from our customers prompted us to start changing our cattle genetics. People were asking for better meat.
  • "I Give You My Peace":
    "Thirty seven killed in Syrian car bombing as fighting rages nearby", the weekend's CNN headline read. According to the United Nations, over one hundred thousand people have died in the Syrian conflict, which started in March 2011. Weeks earlier the world was terrorized by the news of blood-thirsty gunmen entering the Westgate Mall in Kenya and killing scores of innocent people. On a global level there are wars, famine, disease and pestilence, declining economies and the failure of governments to gratify the masses. On a community level, families are in distress due to financial crisis, alcoholism, absent fathers, violence or death. On a personal level we are often harassed by sickness, personal failures, hopelessness and many other troubles that overwhelm us from time to time.
  • New NAVCO President: Elections Held in Belmopan to Choose New Executive:
    On Saturday October 19, 2013, the National Association of Village Councils (NAVCO) held its Thirteenth Annual General Meeting at the George Price Center in Belmopan. The purpose of the meeting was to elect a new president, as well as to plan and map out a strategy for the direction that the new NAVCO Board intends to take during its three-year term of office from 2013 to 2016. Elected as the new president was Mrs. Ruth Staine Dawson from the Belize District. She will serve for the entirety of the three-year term of the current executive. Also elected by the New NAVCO BOARD were Dr. Francis Arzu as Vice President; Mrs. Anita Mesh as Secretary; Miss Yolanda Molina as Vice-Secretary; Mr. Alexander Romero as Treasurer; and Mr. Jovanni Montolban as Assistant Treasurer.
  • Not a Bang but Quite a Splash! Virtual End of Hurricane Season:
    As we approach the end of October, Belizeans generally utter a sigh of relief. Although the Hurricane season officially extends until the end of November, the latest day on the yearly calendar that ever saw a tropical system of any significance affect Belize is October 31. That storm was, of course, Hurricane Hattie in 1961, which is recorded in history as one of the most catastrophic storms ever to impact Belize. Although we more than likely will not see a hurricane or tropical storm for the rest of 2013, Belizeans countrywide were significantly affected by relentless rains over the past weekend, which resulted in considerable flooding in portions of all but one of our six districts. As one Belmopan resident put it, "It must be the 2013 Hurricane Season's way of telling us goodbye."
  • Recruit Intake #89 on Training: Adding 132 New Officers to the Belize Police Department:
    A hundred and Thirty Two (132) new recruits are currently on training at the Belize Police Training Academy in Belmopan. They make up Recruit Intake # 89 of the Police Department. The training, which began seven (7) weeks ago, runs for a total of 16 weeks, and the new curriculum covers seven (7) major areas, namely, Fundamental Concepts of Policing; Philosophy of Modern Policing; Criminal Law; Grammar Usage and Writing; Traffic; Crime Information Management System Technology; and General Police Duties. Of the 132 recruits in training, 37 are females and 95 are males. The course will be completed around January of 2014 at which time the traditional Police Passing Out Ceremonies will be held to mark their entry into the ranks of the Belize Police Force to assume official duties.
    Early Mortality Syndrome or Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Disease (EMS/AHPND) is an emerging disease that is not present in Belize. It affects shrimp that are not of marketable size, normally from 30 days or younger. The disease does not affect humans but is often fatal to shrimp. Infected ponds can experience as much as 100% mortality. EMS was first reported in China in 2009, Vietnam in 2010, Malaysia in 2011 and in Thailand in 2012. It caused massive die-offs in cultivated shrimp in these countries. Clinical signs of the disease includes lethargy, slow growth, an empty stomach and midgut and a pale and atrophied hepatopancreas (internal organ that functions as a liver), often with black streaks. The hepatopancreas does not squash easily when pressed between the thumb and finger. Within 30 days of a pond being stocked large-scale die offs begins. The Global Aquaculture Alliance estimated that losses to the Asia shrimp culture sector could be US1$ billion. The shortage of shrimp supply subsequently had an impact on shrimp prices.
  • Boston Red Sox Win World Series: Most Valuable Papi: Ortiz outstanding:
    It was clear what David Ortiz was going to say -- what, in some form, he had to say. He stood in shallow left field at Fenway Park late Wednesday night, not far from the spot where, six months ago, he dictated an impassioned love letter to the city of Boston. Behind Ortiz was a shiny black truck, his reward for winning the World Series' Chevrolet Most Valuable Player Award. Around him gathered fans, well-wishers and teammates, so many of them waiting, waiting, waiting for him to say the words again.
  • Safety and Survival in Law Enforcement:
    Law enforcement officers spend a large portion of the lives looking out for the safety mad security of others. Too many of us take this for granted, failing to realize the extent which their own safety and security is threatened while they work to keep the rest of us safe. And in these modern times, when respect for authority in our society seems to be at an all time low, the lives of our law enforcement officers at more at risk than they have ever been.
  • Statement by Hon. Edmund Castro:
    The Hon Edmond Castro, Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Transport, utterly rejects and condemns the viciously false and malicious story concocted about him by Channel 5 and its agent, and aired three consecutive nights last week. That story alleges that Hon. Castro collected four hundred thousand dollars as payment for having procured the issuance of two hundred Belize visas at the behest of a woman that is the source and co-fabricator of the Channel 5 story. Hon. Castro makes clear that the allegation is a lie. He was never engaged in any visa ring, and never collected a penny from the woman now turned self-proclaimed whistleblower.
  • Saving Lives On The Road: Signing of Contract for 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 longterm 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.
  • Public-Private Sector Partnership: DPM Gaspar Vega Advances Agriculture Agenda, Meeting With Producers in the Aquaculture Industry:
    Two Thursdays ago, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega, Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, traveled south to meet with key players in the Aquaculture Industry. The Deputy Prime Minister and his team, including CEO for Agriculture Jose Alpuche and three -term UDP Stann Creek Area Representative Melvin Hulse, met with representatives of six major companies that make up the Shrimp Growers of Belize Association. Those companies include Aqua Mar Belize Limited, represented by Mike Dunker; Belize Aquaculture Limited, owned by the Bowen Group with new investment by a group out of Thailand; Texmar Belize Limited, represented by Anthony Chaplin and Hilly Muschamp; Royal Mayan Shrimp Farm, represented by its Managing Director, Alvin Henderson; Paradise Shrimp Farm represented by Hank Williams; and Cardeli Shrimp Farm, represented by its owner Linda Cardeli Thornton. The meeting took place at Belize Aquaculture Limited where the Minister and his team got a full tour of the facilities. Secretary
  • Meeting with Belize Livestock Producers Association:
    Shortly after assuming responsibility for the Ministry of Agriculture back in 2012, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega made the following comments about the Cattle Sweep Project to enable the exportation of Belizean Cattle particularly to Mexico: "This is history in the making; not only because we are achieving financially so much more resources, but because of the new direction that we're taking; and when I say, we are taking, it's we the government and the private sector. It is the first time that a government agency is not dictating but assisting the private sector in ensuring that they maximize their profitability, their productivity; and that, I believe, is what makes me so proud." Further commenting on his philosophy of fostering a strong public-private sector partnership, Hon. Vega remarked, "I must say that from the time we took over Agriculture, CEO Alpuche and I have had one thing in common, it was to ensure that we are seen as a facilitator rather than dictator. We want to assist; we want to gain the confidence of all the cattle farmers, not for the government to make a profit, but for the farmers to be more productive. At the end of the day, if the farmers make bigger profits, the government will get its share; the country will move forward. The country will start seeing the development that
  • Touring Running W Brand Meats Processing Plant:
    Last Wednesday, October 23, 2013, prior to his meeting with the Belize Livestock Producers Association, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Hon. Gaspar Vega, toured the facilities of Running W. Meats, a local Belizean Company that produces mainly beef and pork products. The Deputy Prime Minister was accompanied by CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture, Jose Alpuche; Acting Chief Agriculture Officer Roberto Harrison and his assistant Belarmino Esquivel; and Executive Chairman of the Belize Agriculture Health Authorities (BAHA), Emir Cruz. Started way back in 1983, Running W is this month (October) celebrating its 30th year in business. The company grows a lot of its own cattle, focusing on a cow-calf operation, a steer fattening operation, and a meat processing plant. It has become one of the largest meat processors in Belize, supplying fresh cuts and processed meats of primarily beef and pork. The owners of the company have been innovators in the industry in Belize, continuing to develop new practices to ensure increased and improved service to an ever-growing market.
  • A "Soft" Handover Ceremony: Hospital Receives Antimicrobial-Treated Pillows:
    Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin was on hand at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on October 22, 2013 for the handover of approximately 300 pillows donated by the Belize Dry Cleaners for hospitals across the country. The antimicrobial treated pillows measure 20" X 26" and are filled with 8oz garneted polyester. The pillows have soft polypropylene stitching and they are fluid proof, wipeable and flame resistant. The pillows will be delivered over the next couple days to five hospitals: Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, Western Regional Hospital, Northern Regional Hospital, San Ignacio Community Hospital and Corozal Community Hospital.
  • UN & UB Team up for Youth Development: Social Audit Trainees on October 26 - 2013 Workshop on Social Audit for Young Belizean Leaders:
    The United Nations D e v e l o p m e n t Programme in partnership with the University of Belize hosted a two day Social Audit Workshop for young Belizean leaders and Entrepreneurs at the University of Belize, Central Farm Campus, Cayo District on October 25 -26, 2013. A total of 34 youth leaders, women and men equally represented, between the ages of 18-29, from tertiary level student government bodies as well from civil society organizations participated in the Social Audit Workshop. The workshop focused on the rights young people have to participate in auditing exercises of their government. The facilitators explained that it is a must to train youth on technical skills of social auditing and the ability to analyze and interpret public information. Social auditing gives people the skills to answer questions that citizens ask, and have the right to know about the government.
  • Three Outstanding Belizeans Honored: For Contribution to Education, Music & Politics:
    On October 23, 2003, at the at the Belize House, in Belmopan, 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.
  • BDF leads - Bandits Third:
    The Belize Defence Force team remains undefeated in the 2013 Belikin Cup Premier League Football Competition with 9 points obtained from 3 wins. They enjoyed their third win 2-0 over FC Belize at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga two Saturdays ago. Stephen Martinez scored the Belize Defence Force's first winning goal in the eight minute to lead 1-0 up to the half time break. The BDF defenders shut out FC Belize for 90 minutes of regulation time, and Tarrel Flores came off the BDF bench to score a second goal in injury time to seal the 2-0 victory over FC Belize. FC Belize are now in Fourth Place with Four points from a win and a draw. The Belmopan Bandits remain at Third Place in the Premier League of Belize, with Seven points from Two wins and a draw, after they schooled cellar- dwellers Police United FC 1-0 at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan two Saturdays ago. Police headline striker Harrison "Kafu" Roches looked to score early when he beat his man, but Bandits' goalie Woodrow West beat him to the ball.


5th Annual Taste of Playa is coming up fast
Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Mexico -- In celebration of Taste of Playa's 5th anniversary event, The Taste of Playa executive committee names the month of November 'Taste of Playa Month.' Just shy of three weeks, the main event will take place on November 24th, 2013 at Parque Fundadores in Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM. The event is open to the public and boasts forty participants, consisting of restaurants, bars and caterers. The daylong festival celebrates the creativity and cultural influences of Chefs throughout the Riviera Maya. All of who have helped make this destination one of the top travel spots in the world. For a list of this year's participants please visit the official Taste of Playa website. Taste of Playa is excited to announce two additional pre-event celebrations to jump-start their 5th year anniversary. Taste of Playa invites everyone to attend their "Taste of Playa's Kick-off Beach Party," which will take place on Saturday, November 16th from 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM at Wah Wah Beach Bar, located at 2nd Street and the beach. For only $500 pesos, this event includes open bar (National drinks) and snacks, plus live music performances. Tickets are available for purchase on the day of the event or online. Tickets purchased on line for this event automatically enter guests to win two VIP passes for the day of the event.

Halloween Haunting at Blue Water Grill and Some Truly Delicious Sushi
Tuesday and Thursdays are sushi nights at one of San Pedro's favorite restaurants, the Blue Water Grill. As far as I know, they are the only ones in San Pedro that do sushi. And it's lucky for us, they do it extremely well. It's definitely a very popular night. Last night was pretty special. #1, it was Halloween and the town was crawling with kids and adults in costume. (I have some pics later.) And #2, it was the restaurant's 12th birthday and Blue Water Grill was having a contest to give away a FREE ROUND TRIP TICKET TO BELIZE! Wow. Now THAT is generous. (Check their facebook page to follow�unfortunately for you, it expired at midnight last night!bl) The sign is ridiculously low key but the staff was making sure that everyone knew�

Pontoon on the Vaca Lake - an awesome Belizean experience
An early summer morning in August 2013, seven friends and I, went on one of the many tours offered by Chaa Creek, the Pontoon on the Vaca Lake. The day started out early, as we had a bit of drive and a long day ahead of us, but the sun was shining and the mood could not have been better. Our driver and guide from Chaa Creek, Alexie, picked us up around 8 a.m. in San Ignacio. After a quick stop at one of the supermarkets to buy a lot of water and snacks, we made our way to the Upper Macal River Valley. When we arrived at the property belonging to the family hosting the tours, Mr. Lazaro Martinez and his nephew, who was joining us, was greeting us welcome. Mr Lazaro is the owner of the mechanized pontoon, taking tourists on a both relaxing and adventurous trip on the lake. The lake is man-made, caused by the Vaca Dam, creating an great opportunity to experience the nature in the mountains and get close to some amazing waterfalls.

"The Tide Is High" in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Regular readers know the score ((if you are not a regular reader then just choose a previous edition -or loads of them (please)). Up early, coffee, blah, blah. So what did yesterday hold? Well it rained. Nothing new there, it feels like it has been raining for ever. But yesterday wasn't too bad because when it stopped it was a beautiful, sunny day. I am not an expert on the subject - in fact I know nothing - but when Rose and I were standing on the veranda yesterday morning (I'm not always out there on my own) we looked out at Lloyd's guys working on filling our lot that is immediately south of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and it was obvious that the flooding of our waterlogged lot and that of our neighbour, Jason, had been caused by more than the rain. I mentioned this to Rose and quick as a flash she replied "The tide is high". There's a lot more to Rose than meets the eye!

International Sources

Roanoke Charity Battles Poverty While Protecting the Environment
Roanoke charity Bookbag Santa prepares to celebrate 25 years of service fighting poverty, while at the same time, protecting the environment. Gary Hunt took a friend's advice to visit the Central American country of Belize 25 years ago. Hunt immediately fell in love with the country as he bonded with a family that had small children; a bond that would change Hunt's life forever as gifts of pencils and toys to that family began to snowball. "After awhile I got to be bringing more stuff than their kids needed. They'd bring them to school and share them and then I got requests from other schools," said Hunt. One trip a year, every year since, and Hunt is now supplying a handful of schools in Belize with one ton of supplies a year; a second ton collected usually for kids in this area. All through his charity Bookbag Santa. "We've got one school that has 150 kids and they are so small that the government gives one pencil and one spiral binder per student, per year," said Hunt.

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