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Today's Belize News: November 27, 2013 #478522
11/27/13 05:22 AM
11/27/13 05:22 AM
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The San Pedro Sun

Rigo Vellos wins International Bodybuilding Competition
Rigo Vellos, the back to back Mister Belize, dominated the competition at the 2013 Revolution Cup Bodybuilding Competition held on Sunday, November 24th at the annual Yucatan Festival in Xmatkuil, Merida, Mexico. The Revolution Cup is one of the largest regional bodybuilding competitions, and it attracts the best bodybuilders from Central America and the Caribbean Region. Vellos, Belize’s top bodybuilder was invited to the competition. Vellos, a native from Corozal, has been working out since the age of 16. He currently trains at the Spartan Gym in Corozal Town. In 2009, he earned his first title in the Junior Class at the Mister Belize Bodybuilding Competition hosted by the Belize Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation. Through perseverance and hard work, Vellos won the top honor of Mister Belize in 2012, and only months ago, in March 2013, he defended his title at Mister Belize 2013.

Lights, Sights and Prizes- Caribbean Christmas Colors is here again!
The twinkling lights and decorations peeking from the storefronts and homes are the first signs that the holiday season is upon us. Once again our homes will be lit with dancing lights and bathed in warm décor as the colors of Christmas fill our town. This year, for the 9th consecutive year, The San Pedro Sun invites residents and business owners of San Pedro to take the time to decorate their homes and establishments in the spirit of the season and have a chance to win dozens of spectacular prizes in The San Pedro Sun’s Ninth Annual Caribbean Christmas Colors Contest. Judging will take place on the evening of Saturday, December 14th when the judges will ride through every nook and cranny of San Pedro Town admiring the spectacular sights. They will have the final decision as to who the winners will be and the lucky holiday decorators will be announced in the special Christmas and New Year’s issue of The San Pedro Sun on Friday, December 20th.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Returns Mayan Artifact to Belize
FBI Agents returned an artifact that was taken from the Lubaantun Mayan archaeological site.The handing over took place today, November 25, 2013, at the Embassy of Belize in Washington, D.C. Accepting the artifact on behalf of the Government of Belize was H.E. Nestor Mendez, Ambassador of Belize to the United States of America. The FBI agents informed that the item was taken by a student who visited the site on a field trip. After learning that a student had possession of the artifact, University authorities contacted the FBI. Thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding signed earlier this year between Belize and the United States of America to ensure that confiscated archaeological objects found in the United States would be returned to Belizean authorities, the FBI immediately contacted the Embassy to inform that they had the artifact in their possession.

Celebrating Children’s Day
Educational institutions across the country celebrated Children’s Day on Wednesday, November 20th under the theme “Stop the violence against the children”. In San Pedro, Children’s Day activitiesfor the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRCS) culminated with a grand parade on Friday, November 22nd. Close to a thousand students from SPRCS took to the streets in colorful costumes, waving colorful banners highlighting this year’s theme. According to the Ministry of Education (MOE) the theme, “Stop the violence against the children”, was part of a bigger initiative by Kim Simplis-Barrow, Belize’s Special Envoy for Women and Children, the MOE, the Ministry of Human Development, the National Committee for family and children (NCFC), Restore Belize, United Nations Children’s Funds(UNICEF) and the European Union. The demonstrations held across the country on Children’s Day showed the need to protect and care for young Belizeans in the midst of anincrease in child violence around the world.

Ambergris Today

Belize Red Cross Appeals for Communities Affected by Recent Floods
The Belize Red Cross is a making a special appeal to aid families affected by the recent floods in communities in the Cayo District and the Belize River Valley. Local rivers, their tributaries, and lagoons spilled their banks during two weeks of continuous rains caused by tropical depressions that affected Belize. Villagers in some areas have endured up to four feet of water in their neighborhoods. The Belize Red Cross has begun assessing the needs of communities most affected in these areas. Both the National Emergency Management Organization and the Belize Red Cross are jointly collaborating in efforts to alleviate the suffering of those families most affected. Some 200 families in these areas are in great need so we ask for monetary donations, canned food, and toiletries to help in assisting these communities in need. The Belize Red Cross urges members of the public to support this appeal and to make contributions at our headquarters #1 Gabourel Lane, Belize City, and at our branches in Corozal, Orange Walk, San Pedro, Belmopan, Dangriga, and Punta Gorda.

Mister Belize Places 1st in International Bodybuilding Competition
Mister Belize 2012/2013, Rigo Vellos, won the top prize and title in the 2013 Revolution Cup Bodybuilding Competition held on Sunday, November 24 2013 at the annual Yucatan Festival in Xmatkuil, Merida. Belize’s top bodybuilder, who trains at Spartan Fitness Gym in Corozal Town, competed in the 80kg and over category, defeating dozens of other international competitors. He then advanced to the overall category and defeated well-known Mexican bodybuilders such as Surizaday Alba Peña of Mexico’s “The Gym” and Isaac Acuña of “AM Gym”. This is a historic achievement for Belize. This was the first time a Belizean competed in the event. And now, a Belizean can claim the top title in one of Mexico’s most competitive bodybuilding competitions. Rigo Vellos won the Mr. Belize title back to back at the Belize Body Building and Fitness Federation competition on November 1st 2013.

Teen Talk: Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
* by Ryan Anonca, Teen Talk Reporter * In this week’s Teen Talk article, I would like to talk about coming out of your comfort zone and facing your fears. It is a very difficult to come out of your comfort zone if you are a shy person. There are people who are confident without any help and were just born with it, but for others they are not so lucky. I also have a lot of difficulties with being shy as well, which was the reason I started making a lot of crazy outgoing videos such as dancing on the street and dressing as many different characters on my YouTube show; www.RyanAnconaTV. So why is it good to come out of your comfort zone? Well, for the simple reason that we cannot always live our life in fear of what might happen. We must learn to take chances and not let our fears get the best of us. If we live in fear we wouldn’t be able to progress in life, just staying at the same pace for all eternity. That is a little boring; don’t you think?

Pic of the Week: Beach Bum Dogs in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Although there was quite a bit of rain over the weekend, it was not all gloomy skies most of the time. There were periods of sunshine when you could not tell that it had been raining at all. This is when everybody took advantage of the break in the rain and headed out to the beach. So in this week's Picture of the Week we highlight Tamera Blackenship's great capture of her pet dog Trigger as it joined them on a sunny afternoon enjoying the warm sun and clear skies.

Local Art Fair at SP Lions Den
Come on out and support local artists as they display their best paintings at San Pedro’s Local Art Fair to be held this Friday, November 29, 2013 and Saturday, November 30, 2013 at the San Pedro Lions Den. Artists include: Melody Sanchez Wolfe, Kirk Cruz, Papo Alamilla, Edgar Gomez, Baron Neal, Orvin Mejia, Valley Ruddick, Manzanero, Mr. Meggs and many more. Friday, November 29, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 30, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.! Don’t Miss out on this great event! See you there!

Kelly McGuire Singing for SAGA Humane Society
SAGA Humane Society is pleased to announce that on Tuesday, December 3, 2013,Kelly McGuire will be Singing for Saga at Fido's Courtyard from 6pm to 9pm. There will be an auction with Kelly showing he is the World's Best Auctioneer for Saga! Plus raffle prizes and Fido's will donate a portion of all sales of Draft Beer and Wings ordered during the event. Keep an eye out of our FB page for auction prizes, we have some great ones! On Friday, December 7, 2013, Saga HS elves will be with Santa for photos in Central Park for the Annual Lighted Boat Parade. Photos will be available for purchase in a Holiday Card. Proceeds will go towards the costs of the ongoing campaign to sterilize 75% of the island pets in 3-5 years through Operation SNIP.

Misc Belizean Sources

Art Fair @ the San Pedro Lion's Den Fri & Sat
Local Art Fair @ the San Pedro Lion's Den. Friday, November 29th , 9 am to 5 pm Saturday, November 30th, 9 am to 8 pm Please come support your local artisans.

Human - Jaguar Conflict in the Maya Golden Landscape
Last week Ya'axche, Forest Department and Panthera responded to reports from the Mennonite community of Pine Hill, Toledo District, about reports of a jaguar that 'attacked' a young man in his horse wagon. A few days later we received reports that a jaguar had been trapped. Edgar Correa (FD/Panthera) and Marchilio Ack (Ya'axche) responded and quickly called the Belize Zoo who agreed to take in the jaguar. Ya'axche would like to stress that once a jaguar is caught there is no chance it can be returned to the wild. Human - jaguar conflict is increasing as human population expand further into jaguar habitat. Panthera, ERI and Ya'axche are working hard to minimize this conflict using better livestock management and maintaining forested corridors.

St. Hilda Primary School, Georgeville
The children of St. Hilda Anglican Primary School in Georgeville displaying their talents.

Cayo CET Open House
The Cayo Center for Employment Training is having their Open House on Thursday, starting at 9:00am. See their students display their trades, and get to know more about CET. For more information, email [email protected] or call 824-2944. "CCET invites you to their annual Open House!"

Anibru on Display at Belize Zoo
Jonathan Urbina's epic work, enititled Anibru, is currently on display at the Belize Zoo. It's amazingly beautiful, took 13 years to finish, and is made from collected feathers of birds that are native to Belize. Wow! Well done, Mr. Urbina! "Anibru comes to the Zoo! This fabulous feather display, named "Anibru" by her creator, Jonathan Urbina (left), has come to grace TBZ with her magnificent presence. Anibru is a unique work of art 13 years in the making. While all the feathers are of native birds, NONE were taken from live birds, rather collected from the forest floor, or given as gifts. To accompany Jonathan in the unveiling of Anibru was Belize's British High Commissioner, Peter Hughes (right). The British High Commission has a strong agenda on helping to curb Climate Change, which has resulted in a great working relationship with TBZ in the past. We are honoured to see that relationship continue with our new High Commissioner."

Olympic Legacy Cycle Race
They had a successful bicycle race on Sunday, courtesy of the British High Commission. The race was from Belmopan to Cayo and back. "On Sunday 24 November 2013 cyclists from the Weekend Warriors Cycle Club took part in a race to promote the 1st Anniversary of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. Trophies, medals and prizes were presented to the riders by Deputy Head of Mission Mrs Jackie Brown."

Classic Cayo Captured
The SISE Town Council has uploaded a batch of classic pictures. Some are a story unto themselves. There's one of the first agricultural show too.

How to Make Homemade Apple Pie
Nothing like nice warm Apple Pie on a cold Winter's day. This recipe is simple, but delicious. Just the right amount of sweet and tart to tantalize the taste buds.

Easy Pumpkin Pie
This recipe is semi-homemade due to the fact that I used pumpkin from a can rather than fresh pumpkin. The sweetened condensed milk makes this dish so rich and delectable.

Belizean Sweet Potato Pound 1/2 Recipe
Sweet Potato Pound is so divine because of the coconut milk. Very few ingredients to this recipe and very simple to make.

David Baier, 59 and his wife Sonia Baier viciously attacked
We don't normally share this type of story in this page, but we think it is relevant to a current trend of crime against foreigners in Belize which deserves utmost attention. Viewer discretion is advised - National News - Nov 26th - Just 24 days after the murder of a Canadian woman, Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich who was brutally stabbed to death at her house in Consejo Shores, Corozal sometime on Tuesday Oct 29th, another Canadian woman and her husband are senselessly beaten and robbed in a plush area of the Placencia, Penninsula. Could this be a trend where criminals who are suppressed in Belize City now, by law enforcement are finding their way into main stream society and perpetrating these vicious and senseless crimes of violence? One of the alleged perpetrators, Tyson Rodriguez, was a well known figure to police as he had committed offenses in Caye Caulker prior to this attack.

Carlos Carrillo recognized at the National Youth Awards
The Corozal Daily wishes to congratulate Corozal's newest teen artist, Carlos Carrillo in being recognized at the National Youth Awards. Carlos placed 3rd in the country as an outstanding youth in Art and Culture. You can meet Carlos and his art work at Art in the Park.

People of Progresso and Sarteneja Villages still struggling
after weeks of extremely bad road sight of MOW (Ministry of Works) is what people are complaining about.

Belmopan boy needs help to get Leukemia treatment
The family of a 12 year old boy diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia is appealing to the public for assistance in getting him to the United States for treatment. The boy, Henry Griffin, has been undergoing tests in Chetumal, Mexico to determine the type of Leukemia he has and the results came back today. The family says they need the financial resources for Henry and his mom to travel to the US and more importantly, to identify a hospital in the US that will be able to take on treatment of the boy as a charity case. Anyone who can offer assistance is asked to contact Pastor Lee Brockinton at LifeNet church in Belmopan. The telephone number is: 629-7386. Or by email at: [email protected]

Canadian couple injured during aggravated burglary in Placencia village
The death of Dangriga resident Tyson Rodriguez, 27, while in police custody has overshadowed a brutal home invasion on the Placencia Peninsula late last week. David Baier, 59 and his wife Sonia Baier, 61 were viciously attacked as they reportedly walked in the Plantation area on Thursday night of last week. According to a police report on the incident, the Baier couple was robbed of their personal belongings and cash, and Sonia Baier sustained a broken jaw during the robbery. David Baier told police that he was almost drowned by his attackers who allegedly submerged him several times under water. The Canadian couple also reported to police that they were forced to take their attackers to their home where they were tied up and their home burglarized of jewelry, cash and electronic items. Police say that the alleged robbers made good their escape in the couple’s GMC Envoy. According to the police report, the Baier’s SUV was located on Friday morning on a feeder road near Chan Chen village, Corozal. Police reports say that Tyson Rodriguez, believed to have been one of the occupants of the SUV as it was pursued by authorities, was apprehended by police and Customs department officials with the assistance of residents of Xiabe village, reportedly after Rodriguez attempted to flee from police by running into the school compound and then into some high bushes. Rodriguez was taken from Xiabe village to the Corozal police station and then transferred to Belmopan. On Friday afternoon, Rodriguez was transferred to the custody of Placencia police.

Channel 7

Eric’s Home!
He left Belize for Taiwan on Tuesday, September third, and exactly 12 weeks later Eric Chang returned to Belize today. He arrived at the Phillip Goldson International this afternoon on a flight from the US at around 4:00 pm. After 3 months, the media wasn't expecting him, so he didn't have to run the media gauntlet. This evening, Chang did not return our requests for an interview or to give us a comment via text message. But we do know that he has contacted a colleague in the council because Mayor Darrell Bradley told us that's where he got the news. Bradley added that he will call Chang tomorrow, but at this time no plans have been made for a meeting. The mayor confirmed that he has missed two council meetings - which means that he has not technically vacated his seat as a city councilor. The city council bye-laws state that to vacate his or her seat, a councilor must miss four successive meetings.

Belize Blacklisted, Gets a Black Eye With EU Fisheries Ban
In June, when the government of Belize took over the International Merchant Marine Registry, Immarbe from the Ashcroft Alliance and a Panamanian Law firm called Morgan and Morgan, a major part of the reason was that - with Immarbe in private hands - Belize faced international sanctions from the European Union because of the high seas fisheries fleet carrying Belizean flags. Now, to make it clear, these vessels have nothing to do with true Belizean fishers or vessels; Immarbe sells the Belize flag as a flag of convenience to international fishing vessels. For years, the European Union had been complaining that Immarbe doesn't have the regulatory oversight to properly police these vessels, which could be engaging in illegal activities on the high seas. Well, the government takeover should have brought some order to that, and followed by the High Seas Fishing Bill which has been tabled in the House, but not yet passed. To government's thinking, those measures should have allayed the fears of the European Union about a rogue fleet. It should have, but it didn't; seems the European Union wants deeds, not words.

BSI Takes To Media To Communicate Directly To Cane Farmers
December 15th. - that's when the Tower Hill Factory started taking delivery of cane in 2011, and that's also the deadline for 2013 - the absolute latest that the cane season can be opened without risking major losses to the industry and all the stakeholders. That's three weeks away - time that is needed to fix the cane roads after unusually heavy rains. But more importantly, that three weeks is needed to mend relations between the BSI Factory owners, which is American Sugar Refinery, or ASR - and the cane farmers. The two aren't talking right now, the Cane Farmers are refusing to meet with BSI executives until they agree to a meeting which will be held to negotiate a price for bagasse. That's a conversation BSI isn't even thinking about having, because they say bagasse is a waste product, which has a price of zero. And so today, BSI executives -who usually shy away from public engagements, held a press conference to try and get their message through to the cane farmers and the public. Jules Vasquez was there:

PUP Moving Forward On Penner Recall
On October second, the PUP announced that it would launch a recall petition on Elvin Penner, and 8 weeks later, on Thursday, November 29th., the oarty says it will submit those signatures to the Governor General to trigger a recall. It's not official-official- as in there's no press release, but we are reliably informed by a PUP operator that they plan to submit over two thousand signatures on Thursday at ten in the morning. Today's Amandala reports that the PUP have collected 2,100 signatures, which is about 300 more than the 30% required.

Shari Safe At Immarbe
It seems Shari Muschamp has been re-hired at Immarbe. The mother of two went back to work again today and remained there without incident. Her attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd tells us that THE GOVERNMENT's legal advisor has not responded to the letter demanding that Shari be fully restored to her prior capacity, but they are willing to wait until Friday as long as she remains at work.

Guatemalan Guilty Of Public Exposure
45 year-old Guatemalan Edwin Manuel Moralez, a resident of Melchor de Menchos, is at jail tonight, because he violated Belize's immigration laws and exposed himself in public. According to police, Moralez was near to Lowe's Supermarket in Ladyville, and he was on his way to Orange Walk, when he had the urge to urinate. He urinated in a public spot the same time when a police mobile passed. Officers saw what he was doing and arrested and charged him with exposing himself in a public place. He was arraigned yesterday before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart, where pleaded guilty and was fined $200 to be paid forthwith, or spend 2 months in jail in default. He couldn't pay, so he remained he remained in detention, and Immigration Officers discovered that he violated his visitor's permit because only received a 2-day temporary pass which allowed him to go only as far as Belmopan. Because he was found in Ladyville, on his way to Orange Walk, he failed to comply with the conditions of the permit, therefore, he was charged for it.

This Burglar Is So Busted
28 year-old Anwar Vernon is spending his first night of a 1-year sentence after he was convicted of burglary before the Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith. In the trial, the prosecutions main witness was a neighbour of the complainant Kevin Garbutt. This witness testified that shortly after 2 p.m. on September 27, 2012, he saw Vernon and another man enter Garbutt's house on Jane Usher Boulevard, and steal an Amplifier valued at $1,300. The amplifier was never recovered, and the second culprit was never apprehended. In his defence, he testified and denied that he committed the offence, saying that he was at a Chinese shop in the general area at the time of the burglary. After listening to the entire case, Chief Magistrate Smith rejected his version, and found him guilty of the charge. Because it is his first offence, he was spared of the minimum sentence of 7 years. Chief Magistrate Smith, exercising her discretion, sentenced him to 1 year in prison.

Recyclers Robbed
There was an armed robbery at the Belize Recycling Company Limited yesterday evening. It happened at around 4:20. Two masked men entered the main office at Mile 8 on the George price Highway. The company's accountant Rene Chacon was robbed of four hundred and fifty dollars in cash from his wallet and one thousand, one hundred and eighty two dollars from his pants pocket, money which belonged to the Belize Recycling Company Limited. One of the masked men was armed with what appeared to be a black shot gun and the other carried a knife while a third person stood and guarded the compound and had a handkerchief over his mouth. After getting the money, the 3 escaped.

Scary Bus Accident
Yesterday afternoon just before 4 p.m., a James Bus filled with passengers heading to Belize City had a major scare when the bus crashed into a fruit truck just outside of Belmopan. Passengers who were in the bus told us that from what they could see, the driver of the fruit truck may have been the cause of the accident. He was about to turn off the Western Highway into the feeder road to the left, seen here, but he didn't have on his indicator, nor did he pull off the road. He also did not give the bus driver enough time to react, and the bus slammed into the back of the truck spinning it completely off to road, where it came to stop on the other shoulder. Fortunately, nobody was injured, and another James bus was sent to transfer the passengers and take them to Belize City.

Coast Guard’s elite Physical Training
Last week Thursday to Saturday, the different units within the Belize Coast Guard cheered on their favourite teams as they took part in the first annual the Best Warrior Competition. The idea behind the competition is to simulate the harsh conditions while in the field to ensure the officers of the Coast Guard are in the best physical condition to be combat ready. The upper command of this arm of the security forces put together a 3 day marathon consisting of all the forms of the toughest training that an officer has to go through. The best 8 from recruit intake 4, the young officers, the training instructors, the newly formed Coast Guard Seals and a fleet team, worked together to complete the challenges with the best time and coordination of the entire unit. That team gets bragging rights, and it gives the recruits and the young officers a chance to challenge their superiors in a test of fitness levels to see who has the best grasp of the concepts, learned in training.

DPP Digging Into Details Of Tyson Rodriguez’s Murder
The Director of Public Prosecution, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, is currently reviewing the results of the post-mortem and the police statements given in relation to the death of Dangriga resident Tyson Rodriguez, while in Placencia police custody. As we told you yesterday, the official police version is that last Friday night, he was in their custody as the main suspect in the burglary of an elderly Canadian couple from the Plantation Area on the peninsula which happened on Thursday. Rodriguez was one of the 2 men who was reportedly spotted in the couple's stolen vehicle which turned up in Corozal, some 200 miles away. Placencia police say that he offered to cooperate with them on Friday night at around 10 p.m. to take them to where some of the couple's stolen items were, and while in the pan of the police mobile, he jumped out of the moving vehicle and ran through a bushy area where he fell with his hands handcuffed behind his back, and he drowned. As we told you, Rodriguez's family refuses to believe that he drowned; they think that he was killed by police while he was in their custody, and that the officers who did it are trying to cover it up. Their position is bolstered by the report from Dr. Mario Estradabran who certified that Rodriguez died from inhalation of beach sand and trauma wounds were found on his chest, indicating that he had been beaten. The family reasons that this suggests his head was held down in the sand and that he was suffocated by the officers who had him in their custody.

New Hampshire College Student Stole Belizean Mayan Artifact; Feds Got It Back
The story of artifacts looted from Belize goes back over centuries, but now with a Memorandum of Understanding between Belize and the USA to ensure that confiscated archaeological objects are repatriated, one object has been recovered. It's what's known as an Ocarina, a small rounded whistle in the form of a person dating back to about 800 - 900 AD, what is known as the terminal classic period. Here's how it was stolen. Last summer, a student from the University of New Hampshire who was on an environmental science class trip to Lubantuun in the Toledo District and pocketed the flute. But the other students knew about it, and reported it to their professor who called in the law. It was recovered by the FBI and was handed over yesterday at the Embassy of Belize in Washington, D.C. Nestor Mendez, the Ambassador of Belize to the USA accepted it and it will be returned to Belize.

Prep Software On Multiple Platforms
2 weeks ago, 7News promised to show you part 2 of our story on Tanya Simpson's GAME PREP, a computer program designed for helping students perform better on the PSE and CSEC Exams by allowing them extensive practice answering hundreds of sample questions. Due to time constraints we weren't able to do that, and tonight, we provide you with that interview. But there's also more to report because Simpson, whose entrepreneurial approach has earned her a business award. She told us about what she's offering to the 4th form students looking to sit the exam next year, in light of the revelation to from Education Minister Patrick Faber that they could win a $5,000 financial grant if they pass 15 exams: Tiffany Simpson - President, Belizean Artwork Publishing "Math, English, POA, POB, Spanish, Economics, IT, Caribbean History, Biology, Chemistry and Physics and we also included in our game prep build the essay assistance. This is a program that allows individuals to copy and paste their essay within the program and it reads their writing style and helps them to better structure their essay based on that particular writing style."

Saturday Night Fights
Right now, boxers at the Leopold Smart gym are making final preparations in their training to face a contingent of Mexican boxers who they will go up against this Saturday. This fight card had to be postponed due to the weather two weeks ago, but finally, Belizean boxing fans will get a chance to see their favourite fighters in action. Last week, 7News got a chance to see the Belizean boxers working out, and we spoke to their trainer, who says that the Belize Delegation has been taking the Mexicans seriously: The Belize/Mexico match up begins at 6:30 on Saturday night at the compound of the Hour Bar and Restaurant on Princess Margaret Drive. Channel 7 will be carrying the match live, so if you can't make it out there, you can catch it here.

Belize U-16’s Uncaf Undoing
Last night, our report on the final outcome of the Belize -UNDER 16 National Football Team in the UNCAF tournament didn't make it into the news. Tonight, we can report that on Friday night, the Junior Jaguars lost with a final score of 4 to 0. After all the scores were tabulated, it was determined that Guatemala, who Belize lost to once again in a much anticipated rematch, was the winner of the 2013 UNCAF U-16 Championships. Belize, which hosted the team, ranked at the bottom with 1 win and four losses, while on home turf.

Channel 5

It’s not just five…there is a long list of visas to Chinese nationals
Tonight, there is telling information that U.D.P. Minister of State Edmond Castro is involved in the mass procuring of visas for Chinese nationals. One month ago Castro was accused by [...]

Former Deputy Mayor back in the country
Former Deputy Mayor, Eric Chang, who has been away in Taiwan on an extended leave of absence, returned to Belize today.  The councilor departed for his home country along with [...]

BSI not bending on issue of paying farmers for bagasse
B.S.I. will not bend or bow where the issue of paying farmers for bagasse is concerned. That is the position coming out of a press conference hosted by B.S.I. and [...]

BSCFA taking the bagasse issue to court
Earlier this morning, at a press conference, B.S.I. reps stated repeatedly that they have tried to get BSCFA to the negotiating table with no success. Of course, the bagasse payment [...]

EU officially blacklisted Belize for Illegal Fishing
Months after the government assumed control of Belize International Services Limited which managed IMMARBE, the news is not good tonight for the now government-owned company.  In June this year, the [...]

Placencia Police in hot seat over death of Tyson Rodriguez
The police are in the hot seat for the death of twenty-seven year old Tyson Rodriguez? Rodriguez died while in police custody on Friday night in Placencia. His relatives say [...]

Aggravated burglary of Canadian couple still very much alive
But as both a criminal and internal investigation continues, the case of the aggravated burglary that spawned the fatal incident is still very much alive. The Canadian couple, David and [...]

Muschamp’s terms of reference for employment still not ironed out as yet
Sharie Muschamp, whose job as a receptionist at the International Business Companies Registry was in jeopardy a few days ago, was at her desk for a second day since returning [...]

Guatemalan national charged with exposing his person
A Guatemalan national charged with exposing his person in public and failure to comply with the conditions of his visitor’s permit will spend the next eight months in jail. Forty-nine [...]

PUP should hand over signature to the GG to trigger referendum
The P.U.P. will reportedly be handing over signatures to the governor general to trigger a referendum in the Cayo Northeast. According to information from a P.U.P. source, over two thousand [...]

Southern Region representative soon chosen for oil debate
Stann Creek’s Ecumenical High School will compete against either the Toledo Community College or Julian Cho High School to represent the southern region in the first annual oil debate competition. [...]

Invaluable piece of Mayan History returned to the jewel
An invaluable piece of Mayan history has been returned to Belize, following diligent work by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in tracking down an olden stone artifact which had been [...]

Allen and Roselle puts final touches to the wedding preparation
The reality wedding couple, Allen and Roselle are inching closer to their wedding on December fifteenth at the Princess Hotel. The couple is now putting final touches to the wedding [...]


Despite Millions Of Dollars At Stake BSCFA Does Not Budge In Their Position
And just as BSI made its position known when it comes to the Bagasse issue today, so did the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. Right after travelling back from Belize City where BSI and ASR held their press conference, reporter Maria Novelo sat down with Vice Chairman of the BSCFA Committee of Management, Alfredo Ortega, to get the associations reactions on the conference. What we can tell you off the bat, is that cane farmers stand firm on their belief that there should be revenue sharing on the bagasse. Here’s how that dialogue went. Alfredo Ortega – Vice Chairman, BSCFA “We have been seeking legal advice at this point, we will be going to our lawyer maybe tomorrow, to see what advice would it be from them in this regard and what we have been doing based on the release that BSI has taken out, I think that the last two release that they brought up they have said that they have called us to negotiate this thing around the table without going into the airwaves and it seems to be that it is only talk because now they are coming and saying that take this in to court and on the other hand they are saying that bagasse is waste, it seem to me that in both ways they are contradicting themselves because Mr. Lima said it is a waste or a residue out of the cane and a part from that they are saying ok take the matter to court because let the court decide on whether you should get or not get anything and we are saying why should we go to court if we have an agreement let us decide based on the agreement we have and come to the table and let us discuss the matter because we as BSCFA we have presented to them in writing our proposal and why it is that we have reached to this ten dollars that we are asking from them and they haven’t done the same, they have not come to the table and present to us in writing and showing their figures why it is that they cannot pay the farmers and why is it that they consider the bagasse a waste.”

BSI Talks About Bagasse, They Says No To Revenue Sharing
The Belize Sugar Industries and majority holder American Sugar Refinery (ASR) this morning held a press conference in Belize City to present the company’s position on the current dispute with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association (BSCFA) as it relates to the claim for payment for bagasse. Our news team was on hand to capture the event and filed the following report. Maria Novelo – Reporting The proclaimed payment for bagasse by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, which has been making headlines around the country, was the focal point of dialogue in the Belize Sugar Industries press conference this morning in Belize City. While there is still an impasse on the bagasse negotiations, BSI’s position remains the same from the onset and finds that the best way to determine the BSCFA’s dispute is to take the matter to the Supreme Court. Arsenio Burgos – Chairman, Board of Directors, BSI “The relationship between BSI and the BSCFA are governed by law. The farmers sell the sugar cane to BSI, the sugar, the water, mud and all. The sugar cane is then the property and responsibility of BSI. It is BSI’s burden to store and dispose of the waste including the bagasse.”

San Estevan Road Deteriorates Even More, Assistance Nowhere In Sight
A few days ago we told you about the terrible condition in which the San Estevan/Progresso Road finds itself in. The current road condition is affecting the livelihood of many Orange Walkenos and Corozalenos. With the road packed up by mud, students and other commuters also find themselves in big trouble since it takes them forever to get to school and work. The situation has gotten so serious, that the topic was brought up at the last sitting of the House of Representatives by the Honorable John Briceno in hope of getting some sort of assistance in the area, but that is yet to come. And the situation is only getting worse because with the heavy rains over the past days, the condition of the road has further deteriorated. Pictures sent to our news room are evidence of that statement. The road is impassable, so much so, that even buses traveling from Sarteneja are unable to reach their destination. Hours are spent in trying to push or pull buses and other vehicles out of the thick mud, day and night. From what we are able to tell, commuters have become intolerable of the situation and are demanding that the road be fixed.

Street In Corozal Receive Much Needed Face Lift
San Andres Road, College Road, 6th Avenue, 2nd Street North and streets in the Areas of Altamira, Venezuela Layout, Dominguez Layout all have two things in common, they are in dire need of upgrading and they all fall under the jurisdiction of the Corozal Town Council headed by Mayor Hilberto Campos. For several months now CTV3 News has been receiving complaints from Corozal residents about the terrible conditions the streets find themselves in. The weather has not made the situation any easier as the constant rains just add more pot holes to the streets. Just as CTV3 News, the Corozal Town Council is bombarded with the complaints on a daily basis since they are responsible for the upkeep of the town’s infrastructure. And it seems that the complaints caught up with the Town Council because bright an early this morning workers were seen repairing 4th Avenue. As we visited the scene, Mayor Campos arrived in the area and we took the opportunity to ask him about the works conducted in the area.

Re: Today's Belize News: November 27, 2013 [Re: Marty] #478523
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Did Police Murder Robber? Internal Investigations are On
The Investigation into the murder of Tyson Rodriguez is currently ongoing. Rodriquez had been detained in Corozal as a suspect of the robbery of 59 year old Canadian National David Baier and his wife who were viciously attacked by three male persons and robbed. It happened on the Placencia Peninsula and so Rodriguez was transported to the Placencia Police Station. It was there that Rodriguez’s family believes that he was brutality beaten and murder by four police officers. The family’s attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd explained the circumstance to Love News. AUDREY MATURA SHEPHERD “They also believe that he was murdered because when the police spoke about him escaping, you have to think, what they told them and what they saw in the police report, it was then changed a bit; he was in the back of the pan and he jumped out and escaped and then they found him dead but you have to understand that the family got to examine the body. If you are in the back of a pan, a moving vehicle going to a certain place and if you know Placencia, you know that all the streets are pavement or have stones or pebbles and while that vehicle is moving, you jumped out with your hand still cuffed to the back, there would be certain injuries; you would have to sustain certain injuries that is consistent with a fall.

Mayan Artifact Returned to Belize
On Monday FBI agents handed over an artifact that was taken from the Lubaantun Mayan Archaeological site. Ambassador of Belize to the United States of America Nestor Mendez accepted the piece on Belize’s behalf. The FBI agents informed that the item was taken by a student who visited the site on a field trip. University authorities contacted the FBI when they found out the student had the artifact. Earlier this year Belize and the US signed a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure that confiscated archaeological objects found in the United States would be returned to Belizean authorities. The handing over took place at the Embassy of Belize in Washington.

Armed Thieves Target Recycling Company
A business at mile eight community was reportedly held up and robbed on Monday. According to Rene Chacon, an accountant at Belize Recycling Company Limited, he was at the business along with a co-worker when two men wearing masks and armed with a gun and a knife, entered the main office and stole 450 dollars from his wallet and over a thousand dollars from his pants pocket. The larger amount of cash, according to Chacon, belonged to the company. The robbers then left. Police have made no arrests.

European Union May Ban Belize’s Fish Products
Fish products from Belize will be banned by the European Commission. This is part of a decision against this and two other developing countries that the Commission says are non-cooperating in the fight against illegal fishing. A press release from the European Commission in Brussels today states that the ban comes one year after a formal warning to Belize, Cambodia and Guinea to set up a fisheries management and effective control measures. The European Commission says that these countries have not addressed structural problems and have failed to show real commitment to tackle the problem of illegal fishing. Once the decision to ban our fisheries products takes effect, fisheries products caught by vessels that fly Belize’s flag will be banned from entering the European Union. Love News sought interviews today with the personnel from the Fisheries Department and IMMARBE, the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize, which manages the procedures and activities regarding registration of ships enrolled or seeking enrollment in the Merchant Marine of Belize. James Azueta of the Belize Fisheries Unit says that because the decision has to do with deep sea fishing, it does not concern the Fisheries Department, while IMMARBE has reserved immediate comment, it says that it will issue a press release after its Registrar of Ships, Gian Ghandi, has discussed the matter with the Manager of its Fishing Department, Valerie Lanza. Meanwhile, three other countries, Korea, Ghana and Curacao have now received warnings to control illegal fishing in their waters. On the contrary, a few other countries, namely, Fiji, Panama, Sri Lanka, Togo and Vanuatu also received formal warnings last year but they have, according to the Commission, made strides to manage the problem.

BDF Deputy Commander Says The Force Takes Care of Its Sick
The Belize Defense Force has denied a report that it is ignoring soldiers who are sick from accessing necessary advanced medical treatment. Love News had gotten a report over the weekend from a BDF soldier who claimed that he urgently needs advanced medical treatment not available in Belize and that he feels that his needs are being ignored. But today, Deputy Commander of the BDF, Colonel Stephen Ortega, denied that claim, saying that the Force relies on medical advice before it affords its sick or injured soldiers to the necessary treatment. Col. Stephen Ortega, Deputy Cmdr., BDF “When you join the BDF and sign on the contract that you sign, it actually says that the BDF will take care of all your medical expenses. So, you get sick, you come into the hospital, the doctor evaluates you; if it something that he can treat, he treats it; if it is something that he can’t treat then he recommends you to another institution that has that capability, then the institution does your evaluation; you come in and say, ‘this is what it is going to cost’. After that they will evaluate and say if they can deal with you in 1 month 2 months depending on your priority. If it is an emergency then resources are located immediately to deal with it, through the ministry. How the procedure works if somebody gets sick: they go to the hospital, the doctor evaluates them. If it is something that we can treat here, they are treated by our doctors and if it is something that has to be referred to one of the outside hospitals and the doctor also decides priority, because as you know resources are scarce and we have to pay whenever we use those institutions, so the doctor decides the priority then they pass through into the priority decided by the doctor. All decisions are based on resources. However, if an emergency, then resources are allocated to that emergency to ensure all the soldiers are taken care of. One of the things that the BDF does is that medical treatment is a must so we have to take care of the soldiers.”

BSI Says They Are Losing Money on Bagasse; Ortega Says He Doesn’t Believe It
Following this morning’s press conference we managed to get in contact with the Vice Chairman of the BSCFA, Alfredo Ortega. Ortega strongly disagreed with Vice President of ASR, Ricardo Lima who mentioned that the bagasse is not a by-product of sugar cane. Ortega says that the BSCFA has sent a letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow asking for his intervention. ALFREDO ORTEGA “We have a mandate from the farmers and the mandate from the farmers is for us to negotiate with BSI, a payment for bagasse and a new mandate and based on that we continue with that mandate that the farmers have placed on us. It is a pity that they have chosen on their press conference to speak about the bagasse is a waste and that it is a residue out of the cane whereby we clearly know that the bagasse is a byproduct whereas it is now used for biofuel for the Belcogen plant. So now, we continue with our same force in asking for negotiations on behalf of the farmers. We are sending a letter to the Prime Minister asking for a meeting asking for his intervention. We want his intervention so we can come to the table with BSI to negotiate and to finalize this negotiation in regards to the new agreement including a payment for bagasse for the farmers, that is what we have been asking from the DPM and also we have been asking this from the Prime Minister. We don’t want anything else at this point in time; we want to finalize this negotiation because we have been asking for this since 2010 and BSI accepted in July when we started this negotiation and we were very clear that we wanted to finalize this negotiation before the 2013/2014 crop starts and that is where we stand. Once we can finalize this agreement that is on the table then we can deal with the other issues that are in place.”

Contention Continues Over The Residue, Bagasse
The Belize Sugar Industries Limited, BSI and American Sugar Refining, ASR, held a press conference today to address the ongoing dispute over bagasse with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, BSCFA. BSI and ASR made it abundantly clear that as per requested by the BSCFA, no payment will be made for bagasse. The reason, says BSI and ASR, is that bagasse is not considered a by-product of sugar cane as proclaimed by the cane farmers. And since both parties have not been able to sit down and negotiate on the way forward, Vice President for ASR, Ricardo Lima says if BSCFA truly believes in its claim then the dispute should go through legal procedures in the Supreme Court of Belize. RICARDO LIMA “Usually when people negotiate in good intentions you have a list of petitions and items that you sit down and go through it in detail. Usually, well intended negotiations require so that each party understands the other’s position. You separate the list of the items that you will agree on and you have commonality and you put them aside and you agree on that. The items that are contested and not agreeable then you try to explain your position to the other party; if it is still not agreed, as in this case, the bagasse payment which we don’t agree to, I think the position, typically in a country such as Belize, which is a country of laws which is a very honorable court and judicial system, the recourse that either party has is to take it to the courts and let a third party decide on the particular issue which is at hand, which is the bagasse product and that’s what we are saying; that’s our contention, our position has been that from day one.”

Eliminating Violence Against Women
Yesterday was observed as international day for the elimination of violence against women. It is reported that domestic violence is a serious issue facing women in Belize. It is estimated that almost ninety percent of violent crimes against women are carried out by their spouse or partner. This type of violence does not discriminate and may affect women of all ethnicities and classes. The annual Sixteen Days of Activism to End Gender-Based violence was officially launched this past Friday and many organizations have joined forces to combat this overwhelming social issue in Belize. One such organization is the Domestic Violence Unit of the Belize Police Department. We spoke to Sergeant, Martha Reece, who leads the unit, to gain a better understanding of the resources they are making available to victims of abuse. MARTHA RHYS “The unit deals with domestic violence, family violence; it doesn’t necessarily have to be within the home, we have extended it to family but we deal with domestic violence, we deal with reports of emotional, physical and if we need to arrest and charge we also deal with that. We also provide information because a lot of people come in wanting to know how to go about dealing with the family courts in terms of orders, protection orders, maintenance and everything and we also deal with that.”

Neighbor Sentenced to One Year for Burglary
Twenty-eight year old Anwar Vernon, a resident of Jane Usher Boulevard charged with burglary, was sentenced to 1 year imprisonment today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after she found him guilty of the charge. Chief Magistrate Smith told Vernon that she did not sentence to 7 years because it was his first offence. The incident occurred shortly after 2 p.m. on July 20. The complainant, 32 year old Kevin Garbutt, an employee of Bowen and Bowen, testified that he secured his concrete bungalow house at Jane Usher Boulevard and he went to work. He said that when he returned home he discovered that his Technical Pro amplifier, valued at $1,300 was missing. An eye witness who is Garbutt’s neighbor, testified that he saw Vernon and another man break into the house by prying open the front door. Vernon testified and denied that he committed the offence. He claimed that he was at a Chinese shop at the time the offence was committed.

Toledo Police Investigate Suspected Arson
Police in the Toledo District are investigating a report of arson in that district. According to Rosendo Sanchez, a Maintenance Operator of San Pedro Columbia Village, at around eight-30 on Sunday night he was at home when his attention was drawn to a cracking sound coming from the back of the house. Sanchez said that when he went to check he saw that the thatch roof was on fire and then recognized a man standing outside the house who reportedly told Sanchez that he had a gun. The 14 by 18 feet wooden structure valued at15 hundred dollars and contents worth around 500 dollars were destroyed by the blaze.

Minor Accuses Technician of Sexual Offense
In crime news, police have charged a technician with unlawful carnal knowledge after he allegedly had sexual relations with a minor. 32 year-old Jose David Funez, a resident of Mahogany Heights, was charged after the 13 year old girl reported to the Family Violence Unit that on Saturday morning while waiting at the bus stop she met a man she knew and who, after traveling to Belize City on the bus and returning to the community, took her to his home and had sexual intercourse with her. A doctor has since confirmed that the girl has had sexual relations.

Public Urination Lands Illegal Immigrant in Jail for Nine Months
It was double trouble for 49-year-old, Guatemalan national Edwin Morales on Friday, November 22, when he stopped on the roadside in Ladyville to urinate. Apparently because of a weak bladder, Morales could not wait to find a convenient spot and as a result, a police mobile patrol that was passing at the same time caught him in the act. Morales was detained by the police and he was charged with exposing his person in public. He was also charged with failure to comply with the conditions of his visitor’s permit after immigration officers investigated into his immigration status in Belize. Morales pled guilty to exposing his person when he appeared yesterday before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart. She fined him $200 and ordered him to pay forthwith. Morales was unable to pay the fine so he will serve 2 months in default of payment.

Belize City Mayor Speaks on Deteriorated Streets, Councillor Chang and Christmas
The rapid deterioration of some Belize City streets as a result of four weeks of constant rains has prompted the Belize City Council to seek additional funds to extend its total number of streets that it will have given priority to as part of its infrastructure works, and the attention they will receive include drainage as well as resurfacing. Today Mayor Darrell Bradley told Love News that by the end of the street upgrades, the Council will have dealt with well over 100 streets. DARREL BRADLEY “We are very hesitant to do remedial works on some streets until we get at least a week full of clear weather. What we are doing is we are ensuring that we can finish our hundred streets and I want to make very clear that the situation in Belize City would have been much worse if we had not done streets like Freetown Road and Orange Street. We finished 95 streets so far concreted. And these have ensured that residents in Belize City, at least the main areas, have a clear drive even when you see the four weeks of continued rains, the concreted streets have held up well.

Debate Competition Goes to Southern Belize
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage hosted the second debate in the National Secondary School Debate Competition on ‘Oil in Belize’ on Monday. Students of Ecumenical High School and Georgetown Technical High School competed to represent the Stann Creek District in the Southern Region Competition. At the end of the debate, Ecumenical High School was victorious in their arguments for the affirmative of the debate resolution: “The establishment of an oil refinery can cut the country’s reliance on foreign oil and decrease the cost of fuel.” Ecumenical High School now advances to the Southern Region Competition where they will meet the winner of the debate competition between the Toledo Community College and Julian Cho High School scheduled for early January 2014. Last week, Belize High School won in their first debate round against Belize Rural High School to advance to the semi-final round.


BSI says Bagasse Dispute Should be Settled in Court
Today, the Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI) and its partner in the Tower Hill factory American Sugar Refining (ASR) met the press in Belize City to give their side of the ongoing dispute over a payment for bagasse. The sugar producer has and continues to insist that the farmers...

Was it Eye for an Eye on Tyson Rodriguez’s Brutal Murder?
A family in Dangriga is tonight demanding answers after their loved one was found dead shortly after he escaped from Police custody. 27 year old Tyson Rodriguez was detained on Friday morning after an armed robbery report made by a Canadian man and his wife but by Friday night,...

What’s the Real Nature of Love?
Our good news for you is taken from the Bible “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we...

Rise and Shine Determines Appreciation Telethon This Saturday
This past Saturday, Plus TV’s Morning Show, Rise and Shine Belize hosted its second annual appreciate telethon. Rise and Shine has become an increasingly popular local program in the country that offers extensive analysis about current affairs. It also adds excellent and sane entertainment on just your everyday...

Elaine’s Tambranero Sauce Gives Biltmore a Hotter Taste
And while at the Biltmore for the one-year SBDC celebration we caught with a pair of entrepreneurs who the organization assisted to get their product better placed on the market. They are Lyndon and Elaine Sutherland from Corozal and they have created a special sauce which is guaranteed to...

Small Business Entrepreneurship Dances to the Rythm of BELTRAIDE
Last year, the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) organized with multiple partners the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Conceived as a one-stop shop for how to start, organize and manage a business, one year later the SBDCBelize can celebrate some modest successes. Deputy Director of BELTRAIDE Melanie...

Accused Courier in Passport Scandal Mr. Eric Chang is Back to Belize
Shortly after the Belizean passport scandal involving Mr. Wong broke, Mr. Chang abandoned his duties at City Hall and severed communication lines with Mayor Darrel Bradley. It has been almost eight weeks since he was scheduled to return to Belize. But during that time, Chang insisted that he...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

“The establishment of an oil refinery can cut the country’s reliance on foreign oil and decrease the cost of fuel.” -Ecumenical High School debate wins
Today The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage hosted the 2nd debate in the National Secondary School Debate Competition on ‘Oil in Belize’ as Ecumenical High School and Georgetown Technical High School competed to represent the Stann Creek District in the Southern Region Competition. At the end of the debate, Ecumenical High School was victorious in their arguments for the affirmative of the debate resolution: “The establishment of an oil refinery can cut the country’s reliance on foreign oil and decrease the cost of fuel.” After their win, Ecumenical High School now advances to the Southern Region Competition where they will meet the winner of the debate competition between the Toledo Community College and Julian Cho High School scheduled for early January 2014. Last week, Belize High School won in their 1st debate round against Belize Rural High School to advance to the semi-final round. The National Secondary High School Debate Competition on ‘Oil in Belize’ is one of the many initiatives that The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage is carrying out to keep Belizeans informed and engaged on issues related to oil in Belize. The debate was held at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall in Dangriga Town.


Unceasing rains have severely impacted travel nationwide. Cañeros have described road conditions in northern Belize as “very deplorable;” but the problem plaguing them is evidently a microcosm of a much bigger national problem. A very wet rainy season has brought plenty of torrential rains in the recent weeks – rains which have worsened the national road network and rendered many roads unusable. Cane farmers said that when they complained to Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega about their road difficulties, he indicated to them that it is a countrywide problem. We understand that some drivers in rural Belize, as well as in urban centers, won’t drive on certain streets and roads because they fear getting stuck. Others have had to reverse out of streets which have potholes so huge, you can’t get pass them unless you’re driving a large vehicle or a truck.

Roughly 1,500 cañeros who attended the annual general meeting of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) held at Escuela Mexico, San Roman, Corozal, on Sunday, November 24, reaffirmed their decision to stand down on delivering sugar cane to the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) when the season opens tomorrow, Monday, November 25—and to remain firm in their stance until a formal agreement is penned which will assure them a bite of the millions BSI has been earning from generating power from sugar cane wastes called bagasse. There was a resounding applause as cane farmers stood in overwhelming agreement, and they indicated that they are willing to stick with their decision for the long haul. Alfredo Ortega, Vice President of the BSCFA, told journalists Sunday that, “[Cañeros] have shouted in unity that they are committed not to deliver any cane.”

Shari Muschamp, 27, a mother of two children, the second being only three months old, found herself unemployed while on maternity leave—caught in the crosshairs of a multi-million-dollar legal dispute between the Government of Belize and Belize Investment Services Limited (BISL) – the former managers of the International Business Companies (IBC) Registry and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE). Muschamp told us that since she has been unjustly terminated and denied maternity benefits, she has been unable to provide for her children and has been living with relatives until she can get back on her feet. Her maternity leave has ended and when Muschamp showed up to work on Friday morning, November 22, security escorted her off the premises of the Marina Towers. Tearfully, the jobless mother told us that she has been demoralized by news that neither the Government nor BISL would take responsibility for paying her maternity benefits.

Police say that Rodriguez, whom they say they found floating in water with handcuffs on, was a suspect in a brutal Placencia robbery. A coroner’s report has said that a resident of the Benguche area of Dangriga, Tyson Christopher Rodriguez, 27, a prisoner who police say they found floating and handcuffed in a river in the vicinity of Chabil Mar, about ½ mile south of the newly built police station on the Placencia Road, was suffocated to death. Police say that Rodriguez was found floating at about 10:45 Friday night, about an hour after he escaped out of a police mobile unit, with his hands handcuffed behind him, but the coroner’s report, by Dr. Mario Estradabran, released by the family’s attorney, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, who, along with a sister of Rodriguez, witnessed the post-mortem, says that the cause of Rodriguez’s death was “asphyxiation by broncheal aspiration sand – beach type and multiple traumatism to chest – trauma type.”

Late yesterday evening, at about 4:28 p.m., Curl Gordon, Jr., 30, a carpenter of a Los Lagos address, was found guilty of one count of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 7-year-old female child. The decision was handed down by a 9-member jury – made up of 3 men and 6 women – who after deliberating for a little over an hour, unanimously came to the conclusion that Gordon is guilty of the sexual assault offense, which was reportedly committed two years ago. Gordon, who was 28 at the time, was accused of molesting the child and was consequently charged with one count of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon the then 7-year-old child on October 2, 2011. During the trial, the child – who is now 9 years old – testified en camera and told the court that Gordon had touched her inappropriately between her legs in October, 2011.

Orlando “Landy” Habet, the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) hopeful for Cayo North East who wants to unseat Elvin Penner—the United Democratic Party (UDP) area representative for that electoral division who has been at the center of a passport scandal—in a recall vote, told Amandala today that they have collected more than the required signatures to push for a new election in the constituency. Habet said that an estimated 2,100 signatures have been collected – which is close to 40% of the registered voters in the division. He reports that there are 5,800 registered voters. Under law, a petition must be supported by 30% of those voters to trigger a recall vote. However, that petition request must be submitted to the Government, and will undergo a verification exercise via the Elections and Boundaries Department. If the Government is satisfied that the petition is in order, the vote will be triggered.

The MCC lights are far from adequate for night games, and the pitch was still mucky from the heavy rains going into the weekend, but football fans were pleasantly surprised yesterday by some real exciting attacking football from visiting Paradise/Freedom Fighters of Punta Gorda, and especially by the football artistry displayed by their diminutive midfield rookie, 17-year-old Jordy Polanco, whose superb ball and body control in tight spaces, coupled with incisive and accurate passing, harkened some older fans back to the time of Anthony “Garrincha” Adderley in the 1970’s. Not since then has a player so small in stature created such a big impact on a top level game at the MCC. But if that wasn’t enough, it was proven to be no accident that a heretofore unknown was the leading goal scorer in this Premier League of Belize Belikin Cup Opening Season 2013-2014; for P.G.’s 22-year-old Franz Vernon showed that he is the “real McKoy,” displaying impressive speed and remarkable endurance in attack for the full 90 minutes, coupled with a striker’s heart and intelligence, unleashing powerful and accurate shots at goal with both feet, fearlessly facing tough tackling from the highly respected F.C. Belize defenders, and alertly pouncing on the split second “daylight” afforded him by PLB’s Best Defender Leon “Chow” Cadle, to drive home the game tying goal for his team.

There has perhaps never been more parity in the Premier League of Belize, as this Belikin Cup Opening Season tournament is shaping up to be the toughest ever race to the 4-team playoffs. After “resting” this past weekend, defending champion Police United FC is deceptively perched at last place in the standings; deceptively because they have a game or two “in hand” on different teams in the playoff race. (See standings below.) Only one point separates new league leader Paradise/Freedom Fighters from the next three teams – Verdes FC, Belize Defence Force FC (BDF) and Belmopan Bandits FC, with 10 points each, followed by FC Belize at 9 points. And with their big upset victory yesterday over BDF, even San Ignacio United FC still has a mathematical chance at making the playoffs. Only Police United is yet to secure a win in this season; and it will surely come. On Saturday night at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo del Carmen, it was home standing Verdes FC dealing a 2-nil shutout to BDF, with goals from Orlando “Leechi” Jimenez (5’) and Julio Ayala (22’).

The National Secondary Sports Association (NSSSA) and its affiliate regions – NSTA (North), CSSSA (Central), WSSSA (West), and SSSSA (South), mourn the passing of one of the long standing members of the NSSSA and CSSSA Executive, Mr. Arthur Butler. Mr. Butler passed away on Sunday, November 17, at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Mr. Butler has been a member of the CSSSA Executive for the past eight (8) years, and the NSSSA Executive for the past six (6) years, but has been involved in sports from his high school years. At the time of his death, Mr. Butler was the sports coordinator at Edward P. Yorke High School (EPYHS), the treasurer of CSSSA, and the assistant secretary of NSSSA. He was the tournament director for the NSSSA volleyball championship that was held last week Friday and Saturday, November 8-9, at St. John’s College.

In the post-World War II, nationalist era of Belize’s socio-politics, the cane farmers of the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts have proven to be our country’s most effective fighting force. They are usually unified, focused, and courageous. We say that so as to say this: the cañeros do not need any support from us at this newspaper. But, we expressed that support editorially a couple weeks ago. The reason we expressed that support is because we are Belizean nationalists, and whatever is good for the cane farmers is good for Belize. When this newspaper was established in 1969, the sugar cane industry had been experiencing boom years. The electoral politicians who depended for support on the cane farmers were very territorial about their constituencies, and in 2013 they still are. In Belize City, the media capital of the nation, we don’t know as much as we should about the history, the nature, and the function of Belize Sugar Industries (BSI). It served the Corozal and Orange Walk politicians’ interests to keep the rest of the country relatively ignorant about the sugar industry. Still, as the media, we must accept the ultimate blame for our ignorance.

In international sports, the home team almost always has a clear advantage, and that advantage lies in the size and energy of the partisan home crowd. Last week Belize finally hosted a major regional football event – the Under-16 tournament for Central American nations. There was no home field advantage for Belize, because there was no home crowd to speak of. ??? Ideally, such an event should have been staged in Belize City, the population center. But Belize City, as incredible as it may sound to non-Belizeans, does not have an adequate football facility. The one we had which should have been upgraded – MCC Grounds, was instead violated in cold blood by Mayor Zenaida Moya, the protégé of a UDP Cabinet Minister who claims to love the beautiful game. This is strange. But, this is Belize, a strange country indeed. Belizean football remained colonial in its thinking because it was controlled over the decades by people, culminating with Dr. Bertie Chimilio, who did not see the players and the fans as priority. Historically, the priority in Belizean football has been the administrators, the officials and the referees. This is a legacy of the colonial days, when the leading officials and referees worked for the powerful British business establishments in the colony – Belize Estate, Brodies, and Harley’s. The priority was to keep the natives who played the sport in line with colonial discipline. The football fans did not count, because the football players were not paid and the gate receipts vanished anyway. It was out of this kind of thinking that we ended up with Dr. Chimilio, a megalomaniac who served the Trinidadian Jack Warner’s interests, instead of the interests of Belizean football. Of course, Chimilio had his paid collaborators. This is a long story.

“Mao had dealt an enormous psychological blow to the U.S.A. On 15 December 1950, Truman went on radio to declare a State of National Emergency, something that did not happen in either World War II or the Vietnam War. Using almost apocalyptic language, he told the American people. ‘Our homes, our Nation … are in great danger.’ The Chinese by then had already driven the Americans back some 200 kilometres in a matter of weeks, in appalling conditions, with sub-zero temperatures compounded by icy winds. Secretary of State Dean Acheson described the reverse as the ‘worst defeat’ for U.S. forces in a century.” - pgs. 365, 366, Mao: The Unknown Story, by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, Alfred A. Knopf, 2005 “It was having China as a secure rear and supply depot that made it possible for the Vietnamese to fight for twenty-five years and beat first the French and then the Americans. In most of these years, the huge logistics burden of the fighting in Indochina fell almost entirely on China.” - pg. 357, ibid. The United States is the greatest country in the world, and when I landed in New York City in late August of 1965 at the age of 18, I would have thought it was the greatest city in the world. New York was then the center of activism for Belizean Americans. Today, Los Angeles has replaced New York as the center of Belizean American activism. And, overall in America, there is an intense rivalry between the Big Apple and the City of Angels.

Janae Matute, a young girl of Roaring Creek, Cayo, who was born with cerebral palsy – a medical condition marked by impaired muscle coordination — was awarded over $2 million in damages by Belize courts. Her attorney says that she has not collected a penny of that award, issued by local courts against Dr. Raju Meenavalli and the Government of Belize. They are hoping that the country’s final appellate court, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), can bring them closure in a legal battle that has spanned more than a decade. Janae, a first form student at Belmopan Comprehensive School, will turn 13 on December 20. In 2000, Dr. Raju Meenavalli delivered her by C-section. Janae’s mother, Georgia Matute, claims that the doctor delivered her baby prematurely at 36 weeks. Meenavalli, a former government doctor now in private practice, had been accused of negligence and medical malpractice in the Janae Matute case.

Ortillia Cowo, a Belizean domestic of San Antonio village, as well as residents of her village, has become concerned about the wellbeing of her 17-year-old daughter, who has been reported missing since 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 21. Detrina Cowo, 17, is of Mestizo descent, has long, straight hair and a brown complexion. She weighs about 140 lbs and is about 5 feet in height. Detrina was last seen wearing a pink blouse, a pink skirt with a multicolored floral design, and pink slippers. Ortillia Cowo told police that they were at home on Thursday morning, and at about 11:00, she went out to buy at a shop nearby, leaving her daughter at home along with her grandmother.

Three Belizeans and a Mexican national, alleged drug dealers captured in Chetumal with over five pounds of cocaine last Friday, have been remanded to a prison today in Mexico City, where they will await trial for drug trafficking offenses. The men were captured by the marines of the Mexican Army stationed in the Chetumal area on Friday, November 15, on Cuauhtémoc Street in Subteniente Lopez Town on the Mexico-Belize border. The date when the men will appear in court is not yet known, but a remand time in jail of 6 months before a court trial is expected.


Carnitas and a visit to Puerto Aventuras
I had a few hours before taking a mini road trip with the Kumar’s and decided to go for a good walk around town. My plan was to go for more sushi but the restaurant I wanted to go to was not open yet so I did a coffee frappucino instead and saved my appetite for a late breakfast with Surendra, Carolyn and Nina. I walked from 5th Avenida Calle 10 and all the way to 5th Avenida and Calle 46. This was a good route to take as I only had to worry about vehicle traffic when I came to the Calle cross streets. I find many drivers tend to go fast in Playa, similar to San Pedro Cabs. If you are ever in Playa Del Carmen following info will help you to get around the grid like town town. Avenues run parallel to the ocean and are numbered are numbered in increments of five, while the the Calles or Streets are done in increments of two and run perpendicular to the beach.

International Sources

EU to Ban Fish Imports from States Linked to Illegal Trade (Cambodia, Belize and Guinea)
The European Union's executive branch also warned South Korea and Ghana that they faced similar bans unless they took concrete steps to address the problem. The European Union is the world's top importer of fresh and frozen fish and seafood. It has been criticised for not doing enough to prevent fish caught illegally in other parts of the world from ending up on European dining tables. "These decisions show our steadfast commitment to tackling illegal fishing," EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki said in a statement. "We continue to put pressure on the countries which are fuelling the supply chain of illegal fishing." Earlier this year, EU governments banned imports of herring and mackerel from the Faroe Islands, accusing the self-governing Danish territory of setting unsustainable catch quotas for the fisheries it shares with the EU, Norway, Russia and Iceland.

Belize is the winner of Fashion Week in San Diego, CA
Belizean born fashion designer, Richard Henderson, and his business partner, CEO and Web/Graphic Designer, Timothy McGee, a native of San Diego with Caribbean roots, won the title of Best Designer at Fashion Week San Diego 2013-2014 on October 6, 2013. The duo, known as RHCREATION, won over the judging audience votes from a total of 26 designers from all over the world whose designs graced the runway in this prestigous competition. The event, beginning October 4, featured 3 nights of fashion event showcasing each designer with approximately 2,500 people in attendance each night, ended with a trunk show event where the winner was announced. RHCREATION is no stranger to the Belizean community both at home and abroad. The design house was honored 3 years ago with the title of official designer for Queen of the Jewel, the official Miss Belize Pageant, where they provide costumes, swimsuits and opening number dresses for all winners and delegates. Their winning Fashion Week San Diego collection of resort wear, swim suit cover-ups has been hailed as sexy sophistication with a caribbean flare. From the bright colors to the water color print that depicts the exotic flowers of the caribbean, the luxury sea side life style of San Diego and the tropical caribbean flavor of Belize.

Ease into Belize
The water taxi revved its outboard motors, spitting the scent of gasoline into the tropical air, and then took off, headed from Belize City to San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye, 56 km away. Onboard, airplane-weary tourists, commuting locals, boxes destined for island businesses - and my wife and I with our luggage - crowded on wooden benches for the hour-plus trip. Once the boat took off, we quickly lost sight of the onboard chaos and instead became absorbed in the tranquil view. To call the waters of the Caribbean turquoise is to sell them short. There is an underpinning of deep ultramarine, topped by intricate cerulean waves shimmering across the surface. When the sun casts a certain light, the water seems lit from below and downright otherworldly. That's what I'd come for: to dive into a whole other world. It took me decades to get a passport, and not because of some State Department mistake. When I landed last winter in Belize, I was a 56-year-old virgin traveller.

McAfee Founder Who Fled Belize Now Subject of Bizarre 'Protective Order
Security software founder John McAfee denies that he threatened the life of his property manager, who filed a civil "stalking protective order" against the former Silicon Valley businessman. Connor Hyde, McAfee's property manager in Portland, Ore., said McAfee "warned that if I did not 'cooperate fully with [him]' he would consider me to be an integral part of a conspiracy that he believes he is the subject of," according to a stalking protective order filed in court Nov. 21. Hyde details incidents of "unwanted contact" in the complaint obtained by the Oregonian. McAfee, who made his fortune when he sold his security software firm McAfee Associates, made headlines last year when he was called "a person of interest" in the murder of his neighbor, Gregory Faull, in Belize. He then traveled to Guatemala, was deported to Miami and landed in Portland in January, the newspaper reported. McAfee, who told his actions "in no way" were stalking Hyde, explained that he plans to file a civil complaint against the building management company for mismanaging the property, including allowing items to disappear from his home.

John McAfee Accused of Stalking Property Manager in Oregon
Eccentric antivirus software pioneer John McAfee has been evicted from his apartment building following a civil stalking complaint filed against him. According to the court filing obtained by The Oregonian, McAfee was evicted from his luxury apartment last week after property manager Connor Hyde filed a complaint against McAfee for stalking. McAfee has since denied that he was ever evicted from the apartment and claims he left his apartment in Portland, Oregon up to two months ago. The 68-year-old has been in the headlines a lot over the past year after he fled Belize last November when police sought him in connection with the fatal shooting of his neighbour, US expatriate Gregory Viant Faull. McAfee escaped to Guatemala where he claimed political asylum and was eventually deported to the US in December.

Seahorses Ability To Hide From Prey 'Almost Magical' Say Researchers
We'd suspected it all along but it turns out seahorses are actually a little bit magic. The intriguing little creatures are maritime Harry Potters, equipped with an almost magical ability to make themselves invisible to prey, research has shown. Their delicate heads are designed to prevent disturbances in the water that would otherwise be detected by the tiny copepod crustaceans on which they feed. Copepods have an inbuilt alarm system that allows them to react to "bow waves" from an advancing predator in less than three milliseconds. Once alerted, they jolt away at speeds of more than 500 body lengths per second, the equivalent of a six-foot human swimming at 2,000mph. Yet 90% of the time, they are caught by seahorses.

Three countries to face fisheries blacklist, Commission announces
Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki has announced that she is formally recommending that fish imports from three countries should be banned. In a statement on 26 November 2013, she said that imports to the EU from Belize, Cambodia and Guinea should be blocked, as the countries have failed to tackle illegal fishing. "We import 65% of the fish our citizens eat and we would like to be sure that all this fish we eat is fished in a legal way," she said. In an addition to a ban on imports, she said that "EU ships are not going to fish in their waters and there will be no cooperation with fishing vessels flagged from these countries". Commissioner Damanaki also announced that formal warnings, known as "yellow cards", were being issued against South Korea, Ghana and the Dutch constituent country of Curaçao.

Belize, Curacao threatened with EU sanctions for illegal fishing
The European Commission on Tuesday urged EU governments to hit Belize, Cambodia and Guinea with trade sanctions over illegal fishing, while warning Curacao, South Korea and Ghana they may be next. The European Union executive called for action against the first three with no “credible progress” made since hitting them with so-called “yellow cards” last year along with five others. Once placed on an official list of “non-cooperating countries” in the fight against illegal fishing, related products from those territories will find themselves all but shut out of the EU market of half a billion consumers. The Commission also flagged up a new round of “yellow cards”, which puts key free-trade partner South Korea, Ghana and the Caribbean island of Curacao under mounting pressure to meet international obligations. EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, told a press conference that for South Korea, Ghana and Curacao, “this is not about EU legislation -- we are implementing international rules.” “We are very much willing to give them more time.” She said the “right to fish as they want” had to be set against the EU’s “right to protect consumers.”

Moon Belize (Moon Handbooks)
Travel writer, photographer, and Belize expert Lebawit Lily Girma knows the best ways to experience Belize—from the gorgeous beaches of the Northern Cayes to the diversity of the Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve (the only jaguar preserve in the world). Girma offers a range of interesting activities for every traveler—such as waterfall rappelling at Bocawina National Park or attending the Chocolate Festival—as well as unique trip ideas like A 14-Day Cultural Tour. Packed with information on dining, transportation, and accommodations, Moon Belize gives travelers the tools they need to create a more personal and memorable experience.

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