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Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Belize-Mexico friendship established by Mexican congress
On November 28th the Congress of Mexico formally established the Belize - Mexico Friendship Group. The group will serve as a high-level forum that complements existing diplomatic mechanisms between the two countries. Congresswoman Gabriela Medrano Galindo of Quintana Roo formally established the Group along with Belize's Ambassador to Mexico, H.E. Oliver del Cid. In their remarks, both Congresswoman Medrano and Ambassador del Cid highlighted the historically close relationship between the two countries and welcomed the establishment of the Friendship Group as an opportunity to expand and deepen the Various Parliamentarians attended the event including other Members of the

Ambergris Today

First Belizean Receives Successful Cardiology Pediatric Services in Venezuela
First-time Cardiology Pediatric Services for Belize from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was a Success - Belmopan. November 28th, 2013. The Ministry of Health is pleased to announce the successful operation done on the first Belizean child to benefit from cardiology pediatric services with the Hospital Cardiologico Infantil Latinamericano in Caracas, Venezuela. At three months old, Cassidy Martinez was diagnosed with an Atrial Septum and Ventricular Septum Defect at a medical institution in Belize City. Her parents were advised to seek further medical attention for surgical options from a Pediatric Cardiologist, a specialist which is not available in Belize. The Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Belize, through Ambassador Yoel Perez Marcano, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health accepted and facilitated the request to assist baby Martinez. She underwent a successful surgery on October 10th, 2013 and returned to Belize during the first week of November.

Belize Coast Guard Strengthens Presence in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
The Belize Coast Guard is emerging with a stronger presence in the country with the enrollment of more recruits and expansion of its operations. This past week the military organization celebrated its 8th anniversary in grand style in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. On Friday, November 29, 2013, the Belize Coast Guard (as part of their 8th anniversary celebrations) inaugurated its northern Forward Operating Base on Ambergris Caye and also held the graduation ceremony of its fourth intake of 30 new recruits. The facility which is located on the leeward side of the island at the end of the canal entrance to the San Pedro Marina features a fully equipped command center, accommodations for 16 personnel, a fuelling station and a docking berth for two large vessels. Coast Guard personnel who will be permanently stationed in San Pedro can now be deployed instantly on operations from the Belize-Mexico border to the northern limits of Belize's territorial seas. The structure is built to withstand a category five hurricane and was funded by the US Southern Command to the cost of $1.5Mil US.

Where are the Lobsters?
It was December 2, 1959 and a cold northerly had been blowing for two days. The San Pedro fishermen were bracing for a cold month of December and with it the happy anticipation of a large lobster catch. "Angel, are you going out with me tomorrow to catch some lobsters?" asked my father with a smile knowing full well that I would not turn down the invitation. "Yes, I will so be sure to wake me up," I replied enthusiastically. "It is going to be colder than today and we have to jump in at five thirty with the first rays of the sunlight," my dad assured. The next morning low and behold it was really chilly as we poled our dory about five hundred feet from the beach right in front of the village. There were already about ten other dories, two or three fishermen in each one also preparing to dive in. I put on my fins and cleaned my mask while my dad gave me two weapons which I was to use to catch our most precious prey. One was a stick with a hook firmly fixed to the end and which, of course, we called a "hookstick". The other weapon was another piece of stick with a wire hoop or lasso fixed on to the end. When we spotted a lobster we would dive towards it and place the hook under its body and with a firm pull we would hook the prey making it defenseless. It was more or less the same thing with the lasso. The hoop was carefully put around the tail of the crustacean and with a slight pull, the animal would be captured and placed into the dory.

Local Artists Display Their Talent at Art Show
There are a lot of talented artists in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, many of which have set up shop and galleries at various locations throughout town. This past weekend, a group of them came together to organize an Art Show/Exhibit that took place on Friday, November 29, and Saturday, November 30, 2013. The talented artists, crafters and wood carvers gathered at the San Pedro Lions Den to display their beautiful masterpieces. Artists included Art Director/Event Organizer, Melody Sanchez Wolfe, Valley Ruddick, Eduardo "Papo" Alamilla, Sinesio Rash, Erwin Chan, Josey Alamilla, Chuy, Sophie Lisbey, Edgar Gomez and Kent L. Meggs. Crafters - Baron Neal (Butterfly art), Orvin Castillo (Slate Carvings), Dale Wallace (Luthier) and Elizabeth "Libby" Storey (Spices and Hot Sauces). Wood Carvers - Edwin X and Dean.

Misc Belizean Sources

San Pedro Christmas Parade Dec. 8th, 6pm
There will be Santa, Elves, Cartoon Characters, Dance Groups and business floats

On December 1, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the San Pedro Town Council lighted the Christmas Tree at Central Park. Rompe Raja was on site singing Christmas songs and making everyone dance with their music. Children were treated to ideals and biscuits to celebrate.

On Friday, November 29, The Belize Coast Guard hosted its 4th Graduation of 30, its 8th Anniversary and the Inauguration of the San Pedro Station.

UNICEF donates towards School's Bathrooms Renovations (65 photos)
On Friday, November 29, the San Pedro Roman Catholic School and the New Horizon S.D.A. School hosted an inauguration ceremony for the bathroom renovations they currently received on behalf of UNICEF. At both inaugurations, the students made a demonstration on how to properly wash our hands. Both schools formed a Quality Child Friendly School Committee where parents and school members are involved in the well being of the children. This committee will also be responsible for the upkeep of the bathrooms and make sure that everything is in order.

John Paul II JC Construction
They've broken ground in Benque, and started clearing for the John Paul II Junior College. "Thanks to the Spanish Lookout community, the JPII Junior College ground work is nearing completion. It is another historic occasion as it signals Mount Carmel High School's commitment to building its junior college. Please pray for this ambitious project."

Soul Project Live Music
The Soul Project is known for having some amazing live music most nights, and this weekend it was great as always. Known as the cultural hub of Cayo, it's always a fun spot to hang out. D Russell Photography got some perfect shots of the festivities. Emmeth Young and the Tall Wall Vibrations are playing there on Saturday, December 7th. Don't miss one of the best drumming groups in the hemisphere.

16 Days of Activism
The Cornerstone Foundation participated in the 16 Days of Activism events in Cayo over the weekend. They were at the Cayo Welcome Center and at Columbus park for the candlelight vigil. Thanks, Cornerstone! In related news, Cornerstone is having a fundraiser the coming weekend, Decmeber 7th, at JJ's. The theme will be '80's Splash Down

VIDEO: CXC Awards Ceremony 2013
Guest speaker Mr. Khalid Belisle

Work on the Consejo Road progresses
as a grader has been dispatched by the Ministry of Public Works to the area to fix the badly deteriorated road. All villagers and residents in the Consejo area are thankful for this urgent infrastructure works by MOPW and await urgent mitigation on the condition of the Consejo Road bio-hazard dump site.

Corozal Police are seeking the public's assistance in locating JASON MATURA
aka "Peso and a Massam aka 'Hammer' who can assist in a stabbing incident over the weekend at Civic Lounge. Corozal Police Report on Sunday December 1st 2013 at about 3:35 a.m. acting upon information received of a stabbing incident, Corozal Police visited the Corozal Community Hospital Emergency Room where on arrival saw two male persons of Creole decent who were learnt to be 21 year old Adrian Vasquez, Belizean DJ of Santa Barbara Street San Ignacio Town, Cayo District suffering from a stab wounds to the left side of abdomen, swollen right eyes and cut over right eye and 29 year old Alex Hernandez Belizean DJ of Sand Hill Village, Belize District suffering from injuries to the right upper chest area and right side of lower back. Investigations revealed that at about 3:15 a.m. on Dec 1st both DJ's were playing music inside 'D-Spot Lounge' located on 4th Avenue, Corozal Town and after conclusion of the nights activity, they decided to cut-off the music, after which a crowd of about eight male persons, two of which were recognized as Jason Matura aka "Peso" and the other known only as Massam aka 'Hammer' who were inside the said establishment attacked them for no reason for apparently having ended the music. Jason Matura inflicted the stab wounds to both DJ's and thereafter fled the scene. Both victims were taken to the Corozal Community Hospital then later transported to the Northern Regional Hospital for further medical treatment where they remain in stable condition.

Channel 7

Sugar Talks Continue, PM Mediating
We are 13 days away from December 15th, which experts say is the latest possible date for the start of a cane season without major losses. And tonight, we still don't know if there will be a season. The Prime Minister met with the cane farmers this morning at the Biltmore Best Western in Belize City. The meeting started at 10:00, and it featured about 12 executives and senior members of the Belize Sugar cane Farmers Association on one side, with Prime Minister Barrow, Deputy Gaspar Vega and other senior staffers from the Ministry of Agriculture on the other. But, the sides weren't really necessary because they both agree on the fundamental principle that farmers should get paid for bagasse because it has a value. But they do differ on how the farmers should negotiate for that value. Here's what they told us when they came out of the meeting:.. Prime Minister Dean Barrow "We had already indicated to their local agents that we want such a meeting. Mr. Montalvo said, because of the thanksgiving holiday, he was not able to get in touch with the central authorities. He would have an answer for me by close of day today, as to how soon that meeting can take place. We will take to ASR the position which we had in fact stated at the press conference in which we repeated to the farmers today and see if on that basis we can bring the 2 sides together for face to face negotiations." Jules Vasquez "Is there room to negotiate? Will we have a season starting on December 15th?" Prime Minister Dean Barrow "I don't know. It depends on how far we get with ASR."

Fired on Friday, Rehired On Monday
And while that was happening in Belize City, in Orange Walk 24 BSI contract workers called on their union to intercede after they were abruptly dismissed on Friday. Seems their contract had come to an end, but they got not notice of dismissal. The field workers had been retained by BSI to work on a crop growing project, but on Friday - with the season in limbo - they were suddenly sent home. The Belize Workers Union interceded and the matter resolved with surprising speed. Our colleagues at CTV-3 found out more:.. Ramiro Gongora, President - BWU "They were being told that they have no more jobs. As the union legal representation to those workers, we had to do what we think is right as we forward a letter to BSI's management stating that these workers were taking out of their jobs with prior notice to the BWU." Reporter "What was the reason given to them?" Ramiro Gongora, President - BWU "The reason is that they (BSI) do not have any more work for them. They are workers that have been working for the past 5 years and they had never been told something like that."

Rodwell Vs. The Yearwood's Goes To Court
5 weeks ago, 7News told you about the land dispute, which flared up between the Yearwood Family and Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams, the law partner of Prime Minister Dean Barrow. It involves a piece of land on Cemetery Lane; the family says that the land has been in their family for 109 years, which was clearly set out in the will of their ancestor, Richard Codlin Young, making sure that his descendants should keep ownership. Rodwell Williams says that a piece of the land belongs to him, and he's produced land title, which came into existence on October 24, 2007, and which says that he owns it. As we showed you, the Yearwood family says that this claim is not legitimate because the Williams family was granted lodging to build on the piece of land he's claiming with the understanding that they would move when they could. Well, since that stand-off between the Yearwood family in October, Rodwell Williams Jr. brought an ex-parte injunction application to court against Gary Yearwood, Sharett Yearwood, Elaine Yearwood, and Keith Yearwood, who you saw being the most vocal against the installation of the yellow food hut on the piece of land under contention.

Belize Spared In Weak Hurricane Season
And a lot of the issues with sugar that we featured at the top of the news, have also to do with the very heavy rains in November - that is one of the reasons the opening of the season would have had to be delayed, with our without a dispute over bagasse. But while the rains have been especially heavy and have caused major chaos for many communities across Belize - we note that while acknowledging that the hurricane season - which ended on Saturday, was especially merciful. Experts say it was the weakest Atlantic hurricane season since 1982, and the sixth least active since 1950. Only two storms developed into hurricanes and neither became a major storm. Belize was spared from storms and scares, while our neighbor Mexico experienced three Atlantic storms. Belize was last hit by a hurricane in October 2010 - and that was hurricane Richard which made landfall south of Belize City, and tore a path west all the way to the Cayo district.

Family Fears Tetanus Shot May Have Played A Role In 12 Year Old's Death
Up until last week, 12 year old Independence Villager, Sabrina Almendarez had been known as an active healthy child. But her family says that after she took a tetanus shot last week Monday, she became ill with fever and headache. On Friday at 4:30 am, her father, teacher Gregory Almendarez found her motionless in her bed. The family rushed her the 50 miles to the Southern Regional Hospital about but when they got there she was pronounced dead. It's a nightmare no one would want to live through, and tonight the family is pointing to the tetanus shot as the only thing that could have triggered the girl's sudden demise. The ministry of health has whose polyclinic administered the injection says that it cannot comment until a post mortem examination is completed. That is scheduled for tomorrow. But 7News has learned that Sabrina received a DT shot, that D-T stands for Diphtheria and Tetanus combination. The vial she received it from was also shared with nine other children - who are not reporting any symptoms, according to our reports. According to 2012 figures, 21,210 persons including children less than five receive vaccines for tetanus yearly.

Aguirre's Family Could Lose All without DNA Test
The family of Daniel Aguirre, the 2011 KTV Latino Champion who has been missing since September, and who is presumed dead, is in danger of losing their house to the bank because his insurance company refuses to without proof of his death. Viewers may remember that Aguirre is the man who is suspected to have been killed and then burnt up inside his car on between September 7 and 8 in Belmopan. His identity is still unconfirmed, and Belmopan police has been waiting on the Forensic Lab to return the results of DNA testing on the body which was retrieved from Aguirre's car. Even though that body, which the family strongly believes is Aguirre, has been buried, no death certificate has been issued. That death certificate is important because according to Aguirre's common-law wife, he had insurance which the family can't collect because the insurance company wants absolute proof. With that insurance money, which the family can't collect, they intended to make some payment toward a $30,000 mortgage they made with Scotia Bank.

Uncle Sam Wants Salim
Bangladeshi Belizean Fahkrul Alam Salim, the man wanted by the US Government will not be extradited to face charges of methamphetamine importation and money laundering. That's the written decision of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, which she handed down this morning. As we told you, a grand jury of the state of Virginia indicted him on these charges saying that around January of 2011 Salim and others unlawfully, knowingly and intentionally combined and conspired to manufacture 500 grams or more of a mixture containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine - or crystal meth, knowing that it was to be imported into the United States. Well, after seeing all the evidence presented by the Attorney General's Ministry, on behalf of the US, Chief Magistrate Smith did not believe that they had enough to justify his extradition. 7News spoke with his attorney, Godfrey Smith, who explained the Chief Magistrate's reasoning: Godfrey Smith, attorney "It was alleged that Mr. Salim, from Belize procured a shipment of pseudoephedrine from Bangladesh through various international ports to Mexico knowing they allege that pseudoephedrine would have been used for the manufacture of methamphetamine which is illegal in the United States. They allege that he caused these shipments to be made knowing they would be used for the manufacture methamphetamine for importation into the United States."

Wanted in US, Deon Bruce Still In Bz
Godfrey Smith also represents Deon Bruce, who is wanted by the US Government to stand trial for charges including murder and attempted murder for allegedly shooting at Aaron Carter and Bryan Rodgers in Chicago on July 28, 2010. His case also came up today before the Chief Magistrate where Smith and the Government Crown Counsels presented arguments why Bruce should or should not be committed for extradition. Today, we asked Smith for an explanation of his arguments which he presented in Bruce's favour, and here's how he explained it: Godfrey Smith, attorney "Mr. Deon Bruce extradition hearing came on this morning and we obviously made the arguments and objections on his behalf as to why we think the evidence was not sufficient for the committing magistrate to decide to extradite him. Those arguments were completed this morning and the chief magistrate will give her decision and I believe the date was the 8th January, 2014."

Viagra Knockoffs Held At Customs
Customs is holding unto 53 boxers of a product called Silvegra - which is a Viagra knockoff out of India. No, it's certainly not a prohibited item, but it's being tested for possible links to pseudo ephedrine. Duty has already been paid on the shipment of 360 thousand tablets valued at eighty thousand, but it remains at customs. That's after the forensic Department and the Ministry of Health were called in last week Thursday to check it for pseudo ephedrine. Tests were done and it showed a preliminary indication for ephedrine or pseudo ephedrine - but we note that those preliminary tests are often a false positive - and many times full tests come back negative. But it seems PFIZER which makes Viagra has also asked the US Embassy to get involved because Silvegra is a knockoff. The shipment was imported by MEDIGEN, a local pharmaceutical company for the domestic market.

Saldivar Wins Convention
Arthur Saldivar is well known in the media because he's always ready to give an interview. But yesterday, he had to prove his political worth on the ground, where he faced a three-way convention for PUP standard bearer in Belize Rural North. In the end Saldivar emerged victorious with 593 votes, while Alburn Rivero had 302, and Beverly Small Lemoine had 46. That's less than a thousand votes, and in a division of over five thousand voters, it's hardly overwhelming - especially when one considers that his likely UDP opponent Edmund Castro got more than a thousand votes by himself in his 2011 convention. In that convention, a total of almost 1800 persons voted. We compare the numbers because Saldivar says he trying to engineer a Castro recall which would require 1500 signatures, 600 more than showed up at the convention.

Chairman Eddie Detained In Melchor
A village chairman form the Cayo district is detained in Melchor on accusation of marijuana possession. Eddie De La Rosa, the three term chairman of Buena Vista Village was locked up in Melchor over the weekend when he had a dispute with police. Reports are sketchy, but our information says that De La Rosa was with some friends at the Puerta Negra bar when police pulled up. One of his friends was reportedly smoking weed - and the group had to pay the police three hundred dollars to leave them alone. But, our reports say De La RosA, didn't like the arrangement, and went to the police station to get back his money. That's when they searched him and found a stick of weed - which his friends say was planted on him. He was detained and efforts were made by the Ministry of foreign Affairs staffer to get him out today, but best reports say they were unsuccessful. De La Rosa, is a senior political operator for UDP Cayo central Representative, Rene Montero.

All Draws in Weekend Football
The Premier League Belikin Cup Competition continued this weekend and Channel 7's game of the week featured FC Verdes visiting FC Belize at the MCC. The game started at four, and Verdes' Norman Nunez Pipersburgh was quick to strike in the eighth minute. The game was live on Channel 7 and here's the call from Mervyn Rugged Flores:... In other games, Paradise/Freedom Fighters FC, drew with Police United FC, 1 - 1. And in Cayo, San Ignacio United FC drew with Belize Defense Force FC. So at week 5, Paradise is atop the standings with 12 points while Verdes and BDF are tied for second with 11 points each.

Belize Did Well Against Mexican Opponents
And while that was live on Channel 7 on Sunday afternoon, on Saturday night viewers could kick back and enjoy some lively amateur boxing from the Hour Bar and Grill. It was an entertaining evening, with almost three hours and ten bouts. The main attraction was a visiting contingent from contingent from Cancun. Belize's boxers won four and lost two to them - and we spoke to some of the combatants:.. That Mexican boxer lost a tooth which cut the inside of his cheek according to the Doctor. Due to steady rains in the evening, the event had a light crowd but those who came did get their money's worth and promoter James Adderley says he's planning a next promotion with visiting fighters.

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More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 5

Twelve year old dies under mysterious circumstances
Tonight there are many more questions than answers in the tragic death of a student from Independence in southern Belize. Twelve year old Sabrina Almendarez was discovered by her father [...]

Bomb Threat interrupts meeting with cane farmers
This morning, an unidentified male person called in a bomb threat to the Belize Biltmore Plaza just before midday. Normally that wouldn't make the top of the news because they [...]

PM tries to chart a way forward with cane farmers
December fifteenth, 2013 has been set as the deadline for the start of the 2013-2014 crop season. After that point there is a very real risk that the season would [...]

PM holds out on Sugar Roads until he knows that there will definitely be a crop
To avoid real, dire repercussions, the 2013-2014 crop season will need to get underway by December fifteenth. The primary obstacle is of course the impasse between the BSCFA and B.S.I., [...]

More than one hundred and fifty visas approved on a weekly basis
Tonight News Five takes to the visa trail again as we continue to assemble the pieces in a massive visa scheme. Our investigation so far has revealed the involvement of [...]

Dispute over land on Cemetery Lane lands in court
A heated land dispute between the Young family and the Prime Minister's law partner, Attorney Rodwell Williams, over a small plot on Cemetery Lane, has landed in the courts.� In [...]

Young family surprised that Williams also has title to their property
According to Matura-Shepherd, it came as a complete surprise to her clients that Williams also had title to the property.� Furthermore, it wasn't until 2007 that he had applied for [...]

Cane Growers Project former employees showed up to query the reason why they were released
While cane farmers in the north stayed away from making deliveries to Tower Hill last week, twenty-four employees attached to the Cane Growers Project at Belize Sugar Industries Ltd. were [...]

B.S.I. former employees rehired
The workers, says Gongora, were released without being given a sufficient reason.� Thankfully, he says, the situation was resolved amicably. � Ramiro Gongora, President, Belize Workers Union "We were not [...]

Fakhrul Salim beats extradition
Since the U.S.A. requested the extradition of well-known Belize City brothers, Mark and Gary Sewell, there have been three others who are facing a similar request. They include Rhett Fuller, [...]

Justin Lacroix meets bail of fifteen thousand dollars
Justin 'Ducky' Lacroix, a promising young accountant, who was arraigned on Friday on fifty-eight counts of forgery, was able to meet bail today after spending the weekend at the Belize [...]

Dean Samuel contesting Belize Rural Central
As we said on Friday, U.D.P. aspirants for national elections have submitted their names to the secretariat. Among those who have interest in running in the national elections is councilor, [...]

Councilor with responsibility for Works is asking for patience
Last week at his press conference, the Prime Minister announced that some three million dollars will be spent on the rehabilitation of streets in the City. City Hall's ambitious plan [...]

James Adderly takes a look back at football, cycling and boxing
Good evening I'm James Adderly and this is Sports Monday. Week 5 back matches in the Belikin Cup were staged this weekend so here in Belize city F.C. Belize took [...]


Orange Walk Police Increases Patrols
Orange Walk Police has increased its patrol as we near the Christmas Celebrations. As a result, on Friday night they stop and search Victor Luna of an Asuncion Street address in Orange Walk Town. Luna was walking on Lover's Lane when he was approached by police who observed acting suspiciously. Second in Command at the Orange Walk Police Department, Inspector Julius Cantun told us why that was so. INSPECTOR JULIUS CANTUN "Indeed Friday the police were conducting their routine patrol whereby they came across a male individual at the Dolores Lane area, who upon seeing the police tried to flee not before hiding or trying to conceal something nearby behind a fence. As a result he was detained, searched and nothing incriminating was found on his person. The police went back and searched the area where he had thrown something which resulted in the recovery of a fire arm, a 9 mm which was reported stolen earlier in the week by a businessman. A business had been burglarized and this fir arm along with monies had been stolen. So, the police indeed recovered that firearm on Friday. The person is being charged as we speak. This is not the first time that he has been dealt with by the police; this is not the first time that he is before the court and we don't want to speculate in this particular incident, we want justice to take its course. So yes we have dealt with the person on several occasions and this is another one that we will be looking into seriously. This was a burglary at Luna's grocery store here in Orange Walk Town. I believe it occurred Wednesday morning. The police had been investigating that particular burglary. The crimes investigations branch however on Friday for the night they came across this young man who was subsequently detained and he was found with the firearm from that burglary. Therefore he is being linked to the burglary and he's being investigated for many others in this area."

Freak Accident Leaves Farmer Dead
Orange Walk Police continue to investigate the death of a man from Orange Walk who reportedly shot himself by mistake. The incident occurred last week Friday some ten miles from Santa Martha near New Land around eight o'clock in the morning. Second in the Command at the Orange Walk Police Department, Inspector of Police Julius Cantun told Love News that the death of 53 year old Armando Valledadez is being treated as a freak accident. INSPECTOR JULIUS CANTUN "Information was received by Orange Walk police that some 10 miles north east of Santa Martha Village in the New Land Area in the Orange Walk District, an incident had occurred. As a result the police visited the area where they found the lifeless body of one Armando Valladarez, a 53-year-old farmer of Santa Martha Village in the Orange Walk District. He was seen lying faced up with an apparent gunshot wound to the upper part of the chest. Initial investigations revealed that Mr. Valladarez along with another villager had gone on a hunting trip earlier that morning. He was carrying his shot gun apparently, loaded and at the location mentioned he had an accident were he fell off the bicycle with the shot gun which accidently went off causing the injuries and subsequent death of Mr. Valladarez. The police visited the scene and processed the scene of the incident. The body was transferred to the Northern Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The matter is still under investigation; no foul play suspected thus far and like I mentioned, the matter is still being investigated at this time."

Magistrate Denies Extradition Request for Salim
Since the USA ordered for the extradition of brothers, Mark and Gary Sewell, there have been three others who faced a similar request. They include, Khalid El Turk, Deon Bruce, and Fakhrul Alam Salim. Recently Gary Sewell lost his battle as Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith ordered he be extradited. Meanwhile his brother, Mark awaits his ruling. But beating the extradition process recently was Khalid El Turk and today another man walked in his foot-steps. He is Fakhrul Salim, a Bangladesh national who was first brought before the court earlier this year on extradition request. But today, Salim got good news that ended in his freedom. It came this morning before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith whose words made a difference for one man when she told him today in court, "Fakhrul Alam Salim must hereby be discharged and he is free to go." The good news was issued in a written report dated November 28, 2013 and announced in court today by the Chief Magistrate. She told the court, he has no case to answer to and will not be extradited. Salim was wanted by the US for involvement with money laundering and manufacturing of methamphetamine. On March 21, 2013, a warrant was issued for Salim after the United States made a request for his extradition. His attorney Godfrey Smith argued that the charges are not extraditable offenses under the Extradition Act of Belize and that they did not

Prime Minister Meets with Members of Cane Farmers Association
Prime Minister Dean Barrow met today with members of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association to try and iron out kinks between cane farmers and American Sugar Refinery, ASR, over payment of bagasse. The PM said that they will now have to meet with ASR and had already indicated to their agents that he wants to have that meeting, and he supports the cane farmers in their plight. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW "There is no compromise yet. There is simply a matter of our needing to talk to ASR to see if there can be a compromise after such meeting. Mr. Montalvo said because of the Thanksgiving holidays he was not able to get in touch with the central authorities. He would have an answer for me by close of day today as to how soon that can take place. We will take to ASR, the position which we had stated at the press conference and which we had repeated to the farmers today and see if on that basis we can bring the two sides together for a face to face negotiation." Meanwhile, Vice President of the Belize Cane Farmers' Association, Alfredo Ortega, said that cane farmers are not prepared to deliver cane while negotiations to work out payment details progress.

Police Crime Stories
A family in Independence Village is left at a loss following the sudden death of 12-year-old Sabrina Almendarez. The young student of Independence Primary School was found dead early Friday morning. Her father reported to Police that on Monday his daughter was given a tetanus shot at school and since then became ill with fever and headache. He said when he made checks on his daughter around four thirty Friday morning he found her motionless. The body now lies at the Southern Regional Hospital morgue awaiting a post mortem examination. Corozal Police have charged 39-year-old Adrian Rosalez of Caledonia Village for maim. On Wednesday Jasinto Verde of Sarteneja Village reported to police that he was walking on a road in Caledonia Village with his cousin when Rosalez arrived in a pickup truck. According to Verde, Rosalez took out a machete and inflicted a single chop wound to his left palm. According to Police the two men were involved in an altercation earlier that night. Rosalez left and returned layer with the machete and inflicted the wound. Verde was transported to Corozal Community Hospital where the doctor certified his injuries as maim. A police search on Sunday morning led to the discovery of two thousand one hundred and thirty one grams of suspected cannabis. Police say they conducted the search of an abandoned house at the corner of Munoz and Brides Alley in Belize. No one was found in the area at the time and so the suspected drugs was labeled and deposited as found property.

Two Dozen BSI Workers Reinstated 48 Hours Later
Twenty four employees from the Belize Sugar Industries Limited were left worried on Friday when they were told that they had been released from their jobs. The men say they were unjustly let go and sought the assistance of their union, the Belize Worker's Union. The men have been reinstated and Reporter Hipolito Novelo has more on this story. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING Some 13 of the 24 workers who were told on Friday that there was no need for them to return to work today, waited in front of the Belize Sugar Industries Limited for a positive response. Many of these men who have years working under the Crop Growing Project have individual contract with the sugar processing company. They say that BSI did not follow protocol as per the contract signed. In addition, these men are part of the Belize Worker's Union and sought the assistance of the worker's movement. President of the BWU, Ramiro Gongora explained. RAMIRO GONGORA "Several workers from the CGP employees came to the BWU office and informed me that they were being released until further notice. We were not informed as we are the legal bargaining agent for the field workers and so we drafted a letter and forwarded it to management in regards to that and we did not get any answer and so, we waited until this morning to see if Mr. Carballo would answer the letter and we waited until about nine o'clock and he did call me and said that it was on their behalf and they apologize for not informing the union but that they were going to release them but he instructed to re-employ them this morning."


Government of Belize Meets with Cane Farmers
Prime Minister Dean Barrow dropped a bombshell at last Wednesday's press conference when he declared that Cabinet had given its support to the sugar cane farmers of the North represented by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) in their fight with sugar producer Belize Sugar Industries, Limited (BSI)...

What Happened to CPBL on the Seat of the Defendant?
On Wednesday, we reported that CPBL; the Citrus Growers of Belize Limited may be facing a lawsuit in the United States Supreme Court, brought against the company by SOCIEDAD AGRICOLA HERMANOS PEREZ, INC., of Puerto Rico. SAHP, INC is a distributor of CPBL's CitroPulpa; pellets made from citrus pulp...

Where did the Yearwood Land Lawsuit End?
On October 26 it created a spectacle when armed police officers and members of the Belize Defence Force (BDF) converged on the Cemetery Lane residence of Elaine Yearwood and her family. Their purpose was to install a gacho shop, property of a businesswoman previously located on Albert Street West behind...

Bomb Threat Cuts Cane Farmers Meeting Short
One last piece of news from the cane farmers' meeting which was held at the Biltmore Plaza. It appears to have been disrupted by news of a bomb threat called into the hotel. Police arrived and orders were given to evacuate the building. We get more from Alfredo Ortega....

GOB and Farmers Disagree on Conditions to Improve to Cane Roads
And while Government is happy to support the caneros' fight for bagasse, it comes with a price. They want to see the crop started and that means a little bargaining power in the form of fixing cane roads. Prime Minister Dean Barrow reiterated today that without evidence of a...


The Way To My Heart: Sweet Ting Pastries in San Ignacio, Belize
Just down the hill, the VERY steep hill, from the Cahal Pech Resort (I'll tell you about my stay tomorrow) and the gorgeous Cahal Pech ruins or up the hill from the downtown area of San Ignacio is a gem. Though from the outside, you might not know it at first. Easy to overlook but DO NOT! Sweet Ting Pastries. My new first stop in San Ignacio. Just down the hill, the VERY steep hill, from the Cahal Pech Resort (I'll tell you about my stay tomorrow) and the gorgeous Cahal Pech ruins or up the hill from the downtown area of San Ignacio is a gem. Though from the outside, you might not know it at first. Easy to overlook but DO NOT! Sweet Ting Pastries. My new first stop in San Ignacio. Mmmmm�placed in its sweet milky bath.

'Wanaragua' - A New Children's Book By Cayetano Family
The Leo Bradley Library, Belize City in collaboration with the Pen Cayetano Studio Gallery from Dangriga presented the new Children's book "Wanaragua' written by Ibo and Ingrid Cayetano and designed by Mali Cayetano with a book launch on December, 4th. 2013. The story of the book is based on the traditional Christmas dance of the Garinagu also known as Jankunu. This family project was realized with brother Beni who created the storyboard and brother Ibo who co-authored and mother Ingrid responsible for writing, translation, management and marketing. Father Pen Cayetano shared his artistic experience. Mali, an illustrator, musician, artist, and youth educator has been teaching children in Belize and Germany and she has the desire to preserve and disseminate the Garifuna culture, music and dance. The original artwork from the book and other merchandise are on display and can be viewed during the opening hours of the Library until 3rd January 2014.

The Importance of Excellent Customer Service & Feedback Surveys
Is offering a good customer service important? Of course it is. You don't need me to tell you that, because we all know it already. Although that's a sure truth, it doesn't harm anybody to take a look at the stats showing why we need to pay attention to this part of our businesses. Customer service is important because it can make the difference in your business. It can be the reason for a customer to switch either towards you or towards your competitors, depending on who offers the best customer service. A research conducted by RightNow on Customer Experience Impact in 2011 revealed that 89% of customers gave up being a company's client and turned to competitors after receiving poor customer service. That's quite a high percentage, definitely worth considering before raising the voice at your client because he's asking you the same question over and over again.

"Little Bit of Everything" in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
So what I have been up to since the last edition I can just feel a few (and I do mean a few) of you wondering. Or am I being a little (or a lot) pretentious? Egotistical? I'll leave it to you to decide. But � if you think I am then please DO keep that to yourself. Not something we need to share, is it? Well, I have continued to get up early -between 04.00 to 05.00 hours (its been this way since the mid eighties when traffic in London started to get heavier and heavier (and less bearable). So I started to set off early (and stay at work late). Now I don't have to worry about (and get agitated by) traffic congestion. OK there is the occasional build up of traffic on Ambergris Caye (normally around school start time when it can 'show' itself in Coconut Drive near Tropic Air but its second league stuff in comparison with what I faced and had to contend with when living in London. Do I miss it ? Are you serious?

International Sources

Caribbean 2013 Tourist Arrivals by Country of Origin

Nehanda (Nehanda Higinio) has been having a reoccurring nightmare about a Mayan evil spirit known as the Xtabai. At the same time, a nearby Mayan cave has been exposed, and a strange sickness has fallen over Nehanda's village. Fearing a major breakout, the Belizean government sends the army to quarantine the area. When Nehanda's brother (Tomas Fabian Serrut) gets sick, and the local doctor is unable to help, Nehanda's mother (Miriam Antoinette-Ochaeta) defiantly tries to walk beyond the army blockade, despite warnings that she will be shot if she continues. As Nehanda and her schoolmates look on, Nehanda's mother is killed by the army. Distraught, but convinced that her nightmare of the Xtabai may hold the secret to stopping the sickness and saving the world, Nehanda and a handful of her schoolmates, including her professor (Jim Goodchild Arnold), hire jungle expert Mr. John (Arran Bevis) to sneak them by the army blockade so that they can investigate the Mayan cave and, hopefully, stop the curse of the Xtabai. Unfortunately, death lurks in the jungle, and not just from the army.

TripAdvisor Names Travelers' Choice Destinations On The Rise
TripAdvisor(R) , the world's largest travel site*, today announced the winners of its 2013 Travelers' Choice(TM) Awards for Destinations on the Rise. The awards highlight 54 spots globally that have seen the greatest increase in positive traveler feedback and traveler interest, year-over-year. Top 10 Destinations on the Rise in the World: 1. Havana, Cuba 2. La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica 3. Kathmandu, Nepal 4. Jerusalem, Israel 5. Cusco, Peru 6. Ambergris Caye, Belize 7. Sapporo, Japan 8. Hanoi, Vietnam 9. Corralejo, Spain 10. Fortaleza, Brazil

Why US baby boomers are retiring in Latin America
After 20 years in the US military, James Cummiskey was divorced and looking for a change. Relenting to his buddy's request, he flew to Medell�n, Colombia, for a visit. He looked, he saw, and, by dinner time, he decided to stay. Permanently. "After four to five hours, I was immediately captured by everything I saw," says the ex-marine, who has lived in 35 countries. He spent the next four months selling two homes, three vehicles, two motorcycles, and one airplane. He put the money aside and decided to retire early.

Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. Declares First Quarter Cash Dividend
Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: CWCO) today announced that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.075 per share. The dividend is payable January 31, 2014 to shareholders of record at the close of business January 1, 2014. Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. develops and operates seawater desalination plants and water distribution systems in areas of the world where naturally occurring supplies of potable water are scarce or nonexistent. The Company operates water production and/or distribution facilities in the Cayman Islands, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and Bali, Indonesia.

CCJ Corner: Workers dismissed for union activity... Ouch!
Mayan King Ltd v Jose Reyes [2012] CCJ 3 (AJ) During June 2001, several farm workers (the "employees") were all fired from Mayan King Ltd. ("Mayan"), the owner of citrus and banana farms. One of the issues for the Caribbean Court of Justice to decide was in a word, 'Why'. Were they fired due to their involvement in trade union activity, as suggested by the former employees, or was it due to legitimate cost-cutting exercises, as suggested by Mayan? In May 2001, the employees began actively promoting unionization in their workplace. They highlighted unfair practices, held public meetings, encouraged employees to join the union and personally signed them up. Their promotion of the union was not done during working hours and their meetings were not held on Mayan's property. By June, 2001 they were all dismissed from Mayan. They were all long standing employees, ranging from six to sixteen years with Mayan. They took legal action challenging their dismissal. They claimed that the only logical explanation for their dismissal was their involvement with the union. They stated that their dismissals violated the Trade Union and Employers Act 2000 (Belize) which was designed to protect employees from being discriminated against by their employers for involvement in trade union activities. If an employee could show that his/her dismissal was based on such involvement the courts could direct that the employer do what is right or direct that the employee be rehired, if possible.

Belize: Luxury & Ecotourism at The Lodge at Chaa Creek
My interview with Larry Waight, the Marketing Director at The Lodge at Chaa Creek in Belize, has me thinking that I should adopt an ecotourist travel style. I am not an ecotourist. I'm not well-versed on global warming, clean energy, carbon footprints, or any of the other environmental issues plaguing our planet. Low-impact tourism is definitely not the first thing that comes to mind when choosing where I should vacation. I've never participated in any sort of environmental protectionist protests or boycotts, and I've never gone on crusades advocating for the preservation of the rainforests and oceans. Still, that doesn't mean that I haven't engaged in my fair share of environmental altruism. I've volunteered plenty of hours cleaning local beaches, preserving my community's wetlands, and planting trees. I recycle, I don't litter, and I sometimes shop at my local farmer's market with my reusable grocery bags in hand. Heck, I even drive a low carbon emission vehicle. Does it really matter that I didn't realize that it's a low carbon emission vehicle until recently, despite the fact that I bought the car about four years ago?! The point is that I'm aware that the environment has problems, and I'm doing my part to help - right? But should I be doing more, especially when it comes to my pursuit of a life of travel?

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