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

The San Pedro Sun

South African peace visionary Nelson Mandela, has died at 95
President Nelson Mandela has died. The global human rights figure and Noble Prize winner died today Thursday December 5th at age 95. Mandela successfully led the struggle against South Africa's apartheid system of racial segregation and discrimination, distinguishing him from other world leaders. In his younger days, Mandela worked as a lawyer and a political activist, fighting for the rights of black people in his country. A young Mandela was charged with treason in 1956 along with 155 other activists, but years would pass before charges were dropped. From his prison cell, Mandela was skillful enough to bring his human rights message to the people of South Africa. Mandela spent 27 years imprisoned before he was released in 1990 at age 71, an event that captured the attention of the world. He was able to negotiate with white leaders in charting and establishing democracy in his nation.

San Pedro Art Show at Lions Den
It was a feast for the eyes of art lovers on Friday December 6th and Saturday December 7th during the San Pedro Art Show. Organized by The San Pedro House of Culture, the show displayed a variety of unique collections by different artists from across the country. The San Pedro House of Culture organizes four art shows for the year and this was the last to take place for 2013. The San Pedro Sun commends The San Pedro House of Culture and all the artists for a putting together a great final show. We look forward to 2014's displays.

Gaia Riverlodge: Embracing Cayo's Majestic Mountain Beauty
The thick, lovely comforter is keeping me warm as I lie on the king-sized bed. Netting cocoons me like a veil, and a sound unlike any other is roaring outside the window. It's slowly lulling me into contentment, the last vestiges of my dinner wine a pleasant memory. I snuggle down and with the sounds of the night as a lullaby, I fall into a contented sleep; truly the deep, dreamless sleep that can only be brought on by fresh air, an elevated altitude, and a day full of excitement and exploration. I am at Gaia Riverlodge, and that sound that both put me to sleep and woke me the next day, that was the sound of Five Sisters Falls crashing into the smooth rocks that have formed over eons. I am at Gaia, and I am in a jungle paradise. But even before I delve into the delights that I experienced at Gaia, I'd just like to make a confession: Five Sister Falls at Gaia Riverlodge-1I am allowed to have favorites right? This country is divided into six districts, and each has its own draw, but I would be lying if I didn't say that I have a favorite. Of course, I am biased, considering I was born and raised in the mountainous area of the Cayo District. Sure I enjoy the sun, sand and sea that makes up Ambergris Caye and its sister island Caye Caulker, and Placencia�and Hopkins�and�you get the idea! But at my very core, Cayo, as my childhood home, has claimed the top spot in my heart.

Ambergris Today

Hurricane Season 2013 Is Over - Belize Spared
The United States National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season officially ended on Saturday with the fewest number of hurricanes since 1982 and ranked as the sixth-least-active Atlantic hurricane season since 1950. Belize was spared from storms and scares, while our neighbor Mexico experienced three Atlantic storms. Although we were spared the country did receive abundant rainfall from tropical weather, probably one of the wettest rainy seasons. Rain started as early as June and the last few months we were drenched and caused much flooding inland. The Belize Meteorology Service announced that the rainfall figures for August through to November, and was way above average. Government has not put an economic cost to the rain-damages as assessments are ongoing but there are critical losses to agriculture, road infrastructure, and community resources.

Lookout for The Spanking New Video Blog "Trending Spots"
Hi Readers! Let me fill you in on What's Up on Ambergris Today. The AT team have been creating a lot of buzz with our popular travel site "Itravel Belize", featuring the best hotels, restaurants, tours and much more in Belize. The New Year is upon us and we are ready to give you a sneak peek on our upcoming video blog called Trending Spots. Trending Spots will showcase the most popular spots in Belize to hang out with friends, get an ice cold drink, enjoy delicious food and watch a great game. Plus get to know the Bartenders and watch them feature their signature drinks that will make your mouth water.

Misc Belizean Sources

Legends of Belize: Paranormal, Cryptid, and Ghost Stories!
Two Dead Explorer fans invited me to discover the cryptozoologial, paranormal, supernatural, and unexplained creatures and stories that haunt Belize! They sent me an autographed copy of their new book Legends of Belize. In Belize, Central America, there are terrifying stories about strange creatures such as the jungle gnome called Tata Duende who has backwards feet, rips thumbs off, and has magical powers or the beautiful but deadly seductress named Xtabai who steals souls and shape-shifts into animals, people, and even someone you know. Stories of these creatures and many more are so terrifying, they are past down from generation to generation as folklore and legends. The ancient legends are captured, documented, and preserved by Belizean Artists and Animators, GrissyG and Dismas, in a comprehensive series and book with images of fine art, information about the creatures, a compare and contrast of Belizean myths with other myths around the world, description of the art process, and Belizean cultural iconography that inspired the series. This a great book about the mythical creatures that dwell in the jungles and water of Belize! I am grateful for the gift. Please support them if you can!

BAPDA Visits Belize Zoo
Feelgood news of the day. BAPDA visitied the Belize Zoo to celebrate the International Day for People with Disabilities. The Belize Zoo is the first nature destination in Belize that is accessible to people with disabilities. "Yesterday, the Zoo was honoured to host a group from the Belize Assembly for People with Diverse Abilities (BAPDA) for a day of fun, learning and recreation. As TBZ has become the first accessible nature destination in Belize, our friends from BAPDA decided to best way to celebrate International Day for People with Disabilities was by getting up close and personal with the wonderful wildlife of our country. Rose the baby crocodile, Lucky Boy the black jaguar, and Charlie the Scarlet Macaw were just a few of our many "meet and greet" ambassadors our guests got to interact with. Paws Up to the folks at BAPDA, and to all people living with disabilities!"

CCA Christmas Walk Thru
Tonight the Cayo Christian Academy is doing their annual Christmas Walk Thru, and this year the theme is 'Declaring the End from the Beginning.' They'll have 100's of actors performing during the show, and it's free. "Please remember Dec. 6th 7pm at Cayo Christian will be happening there....Declaring the End from the Beginning walk thru..... 240 performances on stage........its bigger, its better...its off the hook!!!!!! PARENTS bring your CHILDREN and COME.........ONE NIGHT ONLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have you heard the news there's a baby born in Bethlehem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO COST...But donations accepted."

Kontiki Family Fun Day Festivities
Everyone that attended the Kontiki Family Fun Day had a great time. They got a lot of great pictures from the event. Check out that greasy pole. "Huge THANK YOU to everyone who came out to support us, thank you to our sponsors, to the generous neighbors who helped by cooking, working, preparing, selling and so much more! To all the football players who brought their teams and to everyone who made our day fun!!!"

Dangriga street repairs
The main streets of Dangriga town will be repaired and rehabilitated starting on Monday of next week. That announcement was made today by the office of the Rt. Honorable the Prime Minister, Mr. Dean Barrow. According to an official statement, Central Government will provide the immediate assistance to the Dangriga Town Council and the people of Dangriga to fix "selected main streets in that municipality" in the wake of heavy rains at the end of last month which caused severe damage. The official release says that government has contracted Cisco Construction Limited to carry out the repairs which are expected to be completed in about four to five weeks time. The estimated price tag for the Dangriga street repairs is put at half a million dollars. The government press release ends by saying that government "will be providing similar support and assistance to other municipalities across the country on an as-needed basis."

Channel 7

Mother Of Four Year Old Accident Victim Speaks Out, In Rage
Last night, 7News told you about the terrible accident which claimed the life 4 year-old Jahston Terry on cemetery Road in Belize City. The child was going home from school when he was run over and killed on the sidewalk by an out of control BDF driver. The driver of the vehicle 36 year-old Hubert Anthony Martinez, is prison tonight, but that is no consolation to his grieving family. Today, 7News got a chance to speak with the boy's mother, and like those who were on the scene yesterday, she is beside herself with anger. She told us that it was too painful for her to watch the post-mortem of her baby boy, who she remembered kissing good bye yesterday before he left for school. Here's her story: Keisha Terry, Mother of Deceased "I was at work about 4:30 and I got a call from an unknown number. The person call and told me to come quick because something happen to my son. I ask her to tell me what happen and the person hangs up. My friend Ms. Jackie Franklin call back the number and the person explained to her that an accident happened to Cemetery Road which involved my two kids; one dead and the other got hurt. I can just remember that I passed out on my work floor in tears crying. My cousin can explain what happen on the scene because I didn't go on the scene."

Senior Citizen Knocked Down and Killed
And about an hour and half after Jahston Terry lost his life in Belize City, 75 year-old Gregory Leon Lopez lost his life between mile 6 and mile 7 on the Northern Highway in Ladyville. The elderly man was riding his bicycle from Ladyville to Belize City when he was knocked down from behind by Eldon Daniel Hendy of Isabella Bank, who was driving his Dodge Ram heading toward Belize City. 2 fatalities in 2 hours, and today, his family spoke to 7News, and they too were angry with his demise. They told us that Lopez, who was very fit for his age, rode from village to village visiting his family members. They told us that they are waiting for police to determine if the driver of the vehicle was negligent: Carla Sainsbury, Daughter of Deceased "I found out this afternoon that he was knocked down at mile 6 on the Northern Highway and he didn't die on the spot. They brought him to the hospital and he died like an hour and a half after."

Rt. Hon. Said's Political Spectacle
Two weeks ago, an unusual ad appeared in the Belize Times. It was for Said Musa's divisional convention which it advertised as a People's Assembly. Well, we hadn't heard about one of those since 1998 - back when Musa was Party Leader. And if that wasn't enough to pique our interest, the ad announced that Cordel Hyde would be a special guest speaker. That's news because Hyde, a former PUP political star has been rumoured to be returning to the PUP, but rumours never morphed into fact - and he remains out on the edges of the big blue tent. But last night's convention seemed like a sort of home-coming for the 3 time Lake I area representative, who stepped down as a candidate in January 2012. 7News was at St. Mary's Hall to see an event that's very rare these days: an old fashioned political spectacle - here's how it went:.. Jules Vasquez reporting They say there's no place like home and so it is for Said Musa, who, after 39 years years in the Fort George division, and 7 terms, the last 6 in a row arrived to the welcome of well-loved figure.

Coro SW's Hon. Ramirez Says He Will "Instigate" on Bagasse Issue
But Cordel Hyde's re-entry wasn't the only news coming out of the convention. The PUP's Area Representative for Corozal Southwest Ramiro Ramirez took an eyebrow raising position on the bagasse dispute in the cane industry. He said if government doesn't work out a dispute that's agreeable to the cane farmers, he's willing to instigate his people to take a stand:.. Hon. Ramiro Ramirez, Area Representative for Corozal Southwest "We are just giving him some weeks more and if he doesn't come with an agreement then we are going on a strike. I am going to instigate it to show to the people of Belize that the North is ready." Cordel Hyde "I like the suggestion that when the cane farmers are ready to march - the People's United Party will march with them because that is what we have to do. We can't sit back and take it easy. We can't feel like because we won 14 seats and we come that close we will win the next one. It doesn't work that way. You have to show the people that you want it."

Waste Control On Go-Slow; City Owes � Mil
And while bagasse is the issue in the north -in Belize City right now, it's garbage. If you live on the north side of the city, then you'll know that this morning your garbage probably wasn't picked up. That's because Belize Waste Control is operating at about 30% capacity. The company says they can't afford to fully deploy their work crews because the city council owes them more than three quarter million dollars! Today we visited Waste Controls' headquarters on the Northern Highway to find out more:... Jules Vasquez reporting Today, most of the trucks in the Belize Waste Control yard remained parked. Only two of 9 trucks were out collecting garbage - because the company says that it can't go anymore. Why? The City Council owes it more than three quarter million dollars: George Lamb, General Manager - Belize Waste Control "I believe that we are at the end of our line. I am not quite certain if we are able to continue for another week or as a matter of fact if we might see the end of this week. To be truthful with you there is little or no funds there. I am hoping that we could make payroll this week."

PAHO and MOH Say Vaccines Safe
Sabrina Almendarez didn't die because of a tetanus shot, but the public scare created by the initial report has caused a scare in the public health care system, where any question about the integrity of vaccinations poses a threat to public health. And so, today, in an effort to allay any lingering fears that vaccines could be dangerous, the Ministry of Health and PAHO called a press conference, where they tried to reinforce confidence in Belize's vaccination program and the successes it has had over the years. For good measure, Health CEO Dr. Peter Allen himself participated in a demo where he got a booster shot for the cameras to see the procedure. He told the media today that not only is the vaccination programme the safest public health initiative, it is the bedrock of the country's disease response: Peter Allen, C.E.O., Ministry of Health "We were extremely concerned that there was some doubt being expressed about the safety of vaccines in general and particularly the immunization programs in the Ministry of Health. We are very grateful to all of you for allowing us the opportunity to show to you that our immunization program is an example a best practiced in the region that really there is a reason why we don't see a lot of cases of measles and mumps and whooping cough, tetanus and diphtheria and other vaccine preventable diseases."

Precinct Two Pounces Again
And we apologize for that audio difficulty we had before the break. We've worked out the problem and continue with the news. Last night we told you how good intelligence work by Precinct two in Belize City, enabled them to get an illegal firearm form a 14 year old's schoolbag. Tonight that formation is again making news for good intelligence work and quick action. At about 4:00 this afternoon, the precinct's Quick Response Team under the command of Superintendent Alford Grinage found (115) live 12 gauge Seller and Bellot brand ammunition in an open lot on Racoon street extension. No one was in the immediate area so it was labelled as found property.

Climate Change And Tourism
Today, at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel, the Belize Tourism Industry Association held its 2013 Annual General Meeting. It was their 28th AGM, and at this particular forum, the members discussed the effects that climate change can and will bring to the Tourism Industry. The President of the BTIA Herbert Haylock told 7News today that it was an appropriate topic since the tourism season is about to pick up, and climate change is particularly important because it affects the landscape of the country's tourism destinations: According to Haylock, the damage from the rains to the infrastructure and roadways needs to be addressed urgently because it will affect the tourists who are commuting to the different sights.

A Brief History Of Industry
Have you ever wondered how Belize developed from a logging colony to a country which has vibrant industries of agriculture, tourism, and even a budding BPO sector? Well, Franz Smith an educator, a researcher, and writer, has put together a book in which he explores Belize's history for the last 380 years of all the industries and entrepreneurs who trail blazed taking bold risks to establish industries which exist all the way up to today. Today, Franz launched the book, called "A History of Enterprise in Belize" and gave us a preview. Here's what he told us about why you should buy the book: The book is available for purchase at Brodies, the Image Factory, Belize Book Center and Angelus Press for $30. Additionally, it can be purchased as an Ebook on the Amazon Book Store for 9.99 US dollars. Smith's next book is called "Facts and Figures", which he plans to release in about a year from now. In that book, he says he'll have important facts on from the tax system to the ecosystems of Belize.

Tonight's profile continues the awareness raising for sixteen days of activism. Tonight's profile features a young woman, who came up living with different family members. As early as age five, she suffered sexual abuse at the hands of her aunt and when she sought refuge in her mom, it was more of the same at the hands of her stepdad. Hope finally came for her when she told the truancy officer at school what had been happening. Because of the subject matter and because the student is still in high school the profile will remain anonymous.

Belize's Best Finger Spellers
Today, the country's best sign language spellers met at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium to compete in the 18th Annual Crystal Spelling Bee for Hearing Impaired. This primary schoolers blazed through difficult words spelling with only their fingers, and after 3 hours the winners emerged. 7News was there, and we spoke with the Crystal Representative about the competition's importance: In the junior's category, Jacob Chun won first place. He was followed by Elizabeth Chun, who came in second, and Julian Assi who placed third. In the senior's category, Crystal Lopez out-spelled Tadio Choc, who placed second, and Tangi Miller who came in third. The winners were awarded with Kindle tablets.

Art From An Icon
At 6:30 this evening, the Mexican Institute opened a new art exhibit by iconic Mexican illustrator Jos� Guadalupe Posada, who has influenced Mexican culture. The exhibit is called "Death has Permission", and 7News stopped by to speak with the Director about its importance. He told us that Posada's works are prominently featured in the Mexican celebration of the "Day of the Dead": The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, closes on December 12.

Channel 5

Preschooler killed in a traffic accident; his surviving brother is left traumatised
There is public outrage at the unnecessary death of an innocent three year old preschooler that happened on Wednesday afternoon.� Even more so because the driver of a white van [...]

A 75 year old man dies instantly after being knocked off his bike
Approximately two hours later, there was another fatal traffic accident this time on the Philip Goldson Highway; it claimed the life of a seventy-five year old man. Around six p.m., [...]

Unsolved Mystery: who killed Zoila Gracia in Las Flores?
Twenty-nine year old Zoila Elizabeth Garcia was brutally slain a block away from her home on Orquidea Street in Las Flores on Tuesday night.� She was shot once to the [...]

Is Cordel Hyde back into the P.U.P. fold?
On Wednesday night, the People's United Party held its constituency convention for the Fort George Division. Former Prime Minister and seven time winner in that area, Said Musa, was endorsed [...]

Arrival of numerous Indian nationals raise eyebrows
News Five has been able to confirm that in the past week a number of Indian nationals entered the country through the Phillip Goldson International Airport. Against the backdrop of [...]

PAHO says tetanus shot is not linked to the death of Sabrina Almendarez
Belize maintains one of the most highly regarded vaccination programs in the entire region, providing thirty-thousand immunizations yearly. The Ministry of Health vaccinates against ten general diseases, including polio, mumps, [...]

Climate Change and its impact on the Tourism Industry
The impact of climate change on the tourism industry was addressed head-on this morning at the annual general meeting of the Belize Tourism Industry Association. The economies of Belize and [...]

Businessman Yhony Rosado believes he is being targeted by B.T.B.
Businessman Yhony Rosado, proprietor of and executive member of FECTAB, was involved in a brief spat with police officers, as well as officials from the Belize Tourism Board on [...]

C.E.O. speaks on the misappropriation of funds at the Central Health Region
Almost six weeks ago News Five received reports of misappropriation of funds in the Central Health Region of the Ministry of Health. Those reports were confirmed, but not much information [...]

Meet the winners of 2013 Spelling Bee fro the Hearing Imparied
After preparing for months, sixteen students competed in the 2013 Spelling Bee for the Hearing Impaired. The competition was divided in two categories for juniors and seniors and was held [...]

Nelson Mandela, dead at 95
The world is tonight mourning the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela, a global icon and international human rights leader, who is dead at ninety-five.� The respected anti-apartheid [...]

Healthy Living takes a look at puberty
Children of today are bombarded with a wide array of messages on a daily basis. Television programs, music and the internet are the new teachers in our modern societies. For [...]


WPC Chopped Several Times While Making An Arrest
A woman police constable is in stable condition after being brutally attacked this afternoon with a machete. Orange Walk Police are still looking for her assailant who we understand is also wanted in connection for another matter. Dalila Ical has more on the story. By the time police responded to the chopping incident on this street that extends off East San Martin Street in Trial Farm Village, the perpetrator had made good his escape. The incident played out sometime around two thirty in the afternoon in the yard of senior citizen Vicente Cho. According to one eyewitness, she was coincidentally standing at her door when the incident occurred and saw part of what had transpired. She says a red pickup truck pulled up in the area and three persons stepped out and approached the house while the driver remained inside the vehicle. One man whom we understand is Oscar Hernandez was in the yard at the time and spoke with the three individuals.

One Arrested For The Stabbing Of Two DJ's
A resident of Corozal has been dealt the long arms of the law and charged with 6 varying counts of harm. Authorities in Corozal have arrested and charged 26 year old Jason Matura with: (2) Counts of Attempted Murder, (2) Counts of Use of Deadly Means of Harm and (2) Counts of Dangerous Harm. As we reported on Monday, 21 year old Adrian Vasquez, Belizean DJ of Santa Barbara Street, San Ignacio Town and 29 year old Alex Hernandez Belizean DJ of Sand Hill Village, Belize District were playing for an event at the Andres Campos Civic Center located on 4th Avenue, Corozal Town when they were nearly fatally wounded. This was as a result of the DJ's cutting off the music at an event which allegedly sparked anger from a group of about eight male persons who attended the event. Vasquez was stabbed to the left side of the abdomen and received a swollen right eye and a cut over the right eye. Hernandez sustained injuries to the right upper chest area and right side of the lower back.


“Death is Allowed” – Art Exhibition Opens
The Embassy of Institute in Belize City is invited the public to the exhibition, "Death has permission "with works by Mexican illustrator Jos� Guadalupe Posada, on the centenary of his death. The exhibition consists of 59 works, which are facsimile reproductions of some of the most significant prints of Posada. Director of the Mexican Institute, Domingo Rodriguez told us more. DOMINGO RODRIGUEZ "He is an important painter of Mexico. He died 100 years ago in 1913 and in this exhibition you can see his work he worked for the newspaper and another magazine of his time and you can see the Mexico at the beginning of the 20th century. The name is "The Death is allowed". But his arts paint a lot of images of death. You see the Katrina is now a symbol for Mexico especially for the Dia De Muertos." The exhibition will be open to the public until December 12.

Spelling Bee Competition for Hearing Impaired
Today the 18th National Crystal Spelling Bee for the Hearing Impaired was held at the Belize Elementary school auditorium. Crystal has been sponsoring the competition for the past 13 years and the coordinator for Crystal, Jason Soliz told us more. JASON SOLIZ "It's not only a spelling bee; it's something that brings awareness to people with hearing impairment. So, it is something very important to Crystal and this is our 13th year sponsoring it and so it's something that's growing and growing and it's a forum for kids to come together that have this disability and socialize and interact and show off their talent and intelligence. So this is something that we are very proud of sponsoring again this year. We have kids from Cayo Deaf Institute, San Antonio, Toledo, and Stella Maris. Today's competition we had seven senior contestants and six juniors. It was a great competition; we had schools come together from all over the country to participate and as you can see we have our winners accept their prizes which were kindle tablets for 1st and 2nd place for juniors and seniors and other prizes that are relative to kids with hearing impaired disability. That is something that we feel is very important not only for them but for the country of Belize to raise awareness to the wider public about how these kids go about their daily lives and that they overcome these challenges and thrive and that they can go on a stage just like this and be talented and be intelligent and go head to head for a spelling bee and it's something that's very important to Belize and giving them this forum is very important for us."

Mayor Bradley Says Council Will Make Good on Garbage Payment Arrears
The Belize Waste Control says that it continues to have problems in collecting its garbage collection fees from the Belize City Council and that if they receive no further payment, they will have problems in paying their workers. Love News spoke with the General Manager of Belize Waste Control, George Lamb, who said that they have had to cut staff and now they simply can't meet next week's payroll without a payment. George Lamb Earlier this year, to be more exact, around August, we have been at City Council in order for them to try and make due on the outstanding arrears they have for the weekly payments for the weekly pick up of the waste from Belize City. Since then we have been receiving commitment from the Mayor but however they were unable to catch up. As a matter of fact, we are at our worst when it comes to garbage collection when working for the City Council. We had problem with previous Mayors where it would be outstanding up to 8 weeks in a rare case probably about 10 but we are like 15 weeks and counting outstanding over $700,000." MARION ALI "Now when I last spoke with the Mayor he told me that he had made a payment I think a couple payments but had miss one after that about 2 weeks ago." GEORGE LAMB "Basically that's what it's all about. He would make maybe one or two payments and then he would miss some payments."

BTIA Concerned Over Infrastructure as Tourism Season Kicks Off
The Belize Tourism Industry and Association held its 28th Annual General Meeting today. One of the main topics discussed is how to further develop the tourism industry of Belize. According to the president of the BTIA, Herbert Haylock, expressed that before goals are met, the Association must deals with the challenges specifically how climate change has affected the tourism industry. HERBERT HAYLOCK "I think when you take into perspective we have seen a lot of the internal damages that have impacted our locals, our Belizeans pretty much with day to day life and activity from the North to the South. What is important to underscore is that we are simply getting into and going into what is our tourism season. We have entered that point; December starts off in normal terms , the season and we anticipate and expect that we will begin to see incoming visitors; that's not to say that we have not started to see in flows earlier but the real movement of traffic really starts this month and forward for the next few months. The obvious critical concern is making sure and basically asking questions to the relevant authorities in regards to whether or not the infrastructure will be taken care of, fixed or repaired and made accessible because you recognize that people will come and visit but it's not necessarily simply staying in one location. They may be up and about doing tours, moving around, they may be taking rental vehicles out and driving around. These are all critical things that we need to be aware of and conscious of as we plan ahead as the industry looks ahead to make sure that we are not running into any dangerous situations, putting our guests or visitors in any dangerous situations or that we don't have road infrastructure that might impede or impact their visitation and their stay."

BDF Driver Arraigned Following Toddler’s Death
Thirty-six year old Hubert Martinez Jr, a civilian driver for the BDF, was charged with 5 traffic offences when he appeared today in the court of Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart. Martinez was charged with manslaughter by negligence, drove motor vehicle without due care and attention , causing death by careless conduct, drove motor vehicle with alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit and negligent wounding. Magistrate Stuart did not take a plea from him because the offences are indictable. She also denied him bail and remanded him into custody until January 7, 2014.

Woman Police Chopped in Northern Belize
A Woman Police Officer attached to the Orange Walk Department is recovering from two chop wounds she received while in the line of duty. Arturo Cantun reports. ARTURO CANTUN REPORTING WPC Marilyn Pate is tonight hospitalized at the Northern Regional Hospital after she received two chop wounds to the left side of the head. Pate, along with Human Development Officers, had responded to a domestic abuse report at a residence on San Martin Street in Trial Farm Village. Second in Command of OW Police Inspector of Police Julius Cantun told us more. INSPECTOR JULIUS CANTUN "Upon arriving at the suspect's house they approached the suspect whereby he was informed of the report made against him and that he would have been detained pending an investigation of the report. Something transpired during that process where the suspect was able to get his hands on a machete which he used to inflict 2 injuries to the head of the woman police officer. She sustained two cut wounds to the left side of the head. As a result the suspect escaped. The police officers as we speak are on the manhunt for this suspect. Ms. Pate was brought into the Northern Regional Hospital and doctors where able to stop the bleeding."

Elderly Man Knocked Down on Highway
An elderly man was knocked down and killed yesterday evening on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Reporter Hipolito Novelo has the story. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING Seventy five year old Gregory Leon Lopez was riding his red beach cruiser bicycle yesterday night at about 6 o'clock when he was knocked down by this white dodge ram truck. Lopez was hit from behind and he landed some 62 feet away from the vehicle. According to Lopez's Grandson, Gregory Sainsbury, his grandfather always rode alongside the highway on a daily basis. GREGORY SAINSBURY "That is one issue that we tend to have with him; he loved to ride his bike every day. He stayed with me and yesterday was the last time I saw him; he brought some food to eat and said he was coming back. Normally, he would ride to Hattieville to his other granddaughter and we always used to tell him not to go on the road but he is a fit old man and unfortunately this happened to him." HIPOLITO NOVELO "What would be the last thing he said to you?" GREGORY SAINSBURY "The last thing he said to me that I could recall, I was just getting up for work and he normally wakes me up and he said to me, 'it's time to go to work' and I told him, 'take care Gramps'.

30 Years Plus For The Council for Visually Impaired
The Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI) was established in 1981 and since its inception more than 30 years ago has helped thousands of Belizeans battling various degrees of visual impairment. The services provided by the BCVI range from correcting refractive errors to integrating children who are blind into the school system. Carla Ayers Musa is the Communications Officer at BCVI. KARLA AYERS MUSA "BCVI works on what we like to call and what is considered a comprehensive service; so, we just don't deal with preventing blindness and treating blindness, we also deal with people who are blind and we deal with rehabilitating and providing educational support and lifetime support for those people. There is a technical definition for visual impairment; visual impairment doesn't mean that you are completely blind. Some people still do have light perception, some people can still count fingers that are close enough to their eyes and some people are what we consider totally blind but blindness is defined before you reach that point." For a new parent who has excitedly planned on a productive and successful life for their child, getting a diagnosis of blindness or visual impairment may be devastating. Musa offers hope to these parents.

Health Officials Say Vaccinations are Safe and Secure
A lot of speculation was casted on the public as it concerns the death of 12 year old Sabrina Almendarez. It was first suggested that the active 12 year old died as a consequence of tetanus vaccine. To put all doubts to rest, this morning a special interview session was organized by the Ministry of Health and the Pan American Health Organization. Dr. Peter Allen, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health and Dr. Gerardo de Cosio, PAHO's Belize Representative hosted the session which focused on Belize's vaccination program. Both medical professionals expressed that the vaccination program that Belize adopt is safe and secure. DR. PETER ALLEN "There have never been any fatalities; there have never been any significant adverse reactions to any immunization in Belize as far as I am aware. In the case of this tragic incident there is absolutely no evidence of allergy in the previous dosage of the exact same vaccine. Over a hundred children were administered with the same vaccine on the same day and there is no adverse reaction in any of those children. Of the specific vile because you will see when Nurse Kelly is kind enough to give my booster dose in a moment, of the specific vile there are usually ten doses in the vile; there is usually a little bit of wastage. Not the exact amount is drawn, so, we usually say about 8 or 9 people will get vaccinated by each vile. 8 or 9 other children were vaccinated with the same vile that this young lady was also vaccinated from and again we have checked with them and there are no adverse reactions. We are also engaged in strong surveillance activities to make sure we know exactly who is immunized, who needs to be immunized and so that we make sure that if there are any adverse reactions and usually there would be a small rash around the injection site, sometimes a slightly elevated temperature or fever. We purchase all of our vaccines all our supplies at the highest possible quality through the Pan American Health Organization and they only purchase vaccines and supplies from pre-qualified suppliers who have met the highest international standards. "

Principal McKay Speaks on Stabbing Incident and Fund Raiser for Gwen Lizarraga High School
A female student of Gwen Lizarraga School was stabbed a few days ago. Principal the school, Dr. Lorna Mckay told us what transpired. DR. LORNA MCKAY "It was one of our students, a third former who was a transfer, who just came to our school. She had an issue and an outsider came and attacked her on the street while she was going home. We have a good counseling program; we deal with the discipline; we cannot discipline the outsider and so we called the police and asked the police to deal with it. It is going through the court; it is something that is beyond our control to have an incident like that happen outside of the school because we cannot protect our kids while we are out there walking." With that recent incident taking place just outside of the school compound, Dr. Mckay says that extra security will be hired for their annual Christmas Bizarre which will occur tomorrow. This year the bizarre is being held as a fundraiser event.


US Embassy recognizes World AIDS Day
The World Day of Aids was celebrated on Sunday, December 1st all around the world under the theme "Getting to Zero", instated in 2011. But though the official day was celebrated this weekend, the US Embassy in Belize held their World Day of AIDS symposium today; 'better late than...

Sabrina's Mysterious Death Unfolds More Physical Cause
The post mortem results in the death of Sabrina Almendarez has been released and confirms that the 12 year old died as a result of bleeding and swelling of the brain. According to pathologist Dr. Hugh Sanchez, the findings are consistent with "blunt trauma to the right forehead." Sabrina...

Mother of Two, Winning the Challenge on Laboural Case
Mother of two, Ms. Shari Muschamp was, a few weeks ago, unsure how she would survive from day to day after being relieved for her post as receptionist at the International Business Companies Registry. The excuse: the Government, which took over the Registry while she was on maternity leave, was...

Center for Employment Training Showcases the Importance of Skill Gaining
The hands-on training in the field of technical labor has equipped countless young men and women with the skills and know-how to not only contribute to the development of their community, but to serve as a prosperous means of income. Students at the Cayo Centre for Employment Training (CET), were...

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The Guardian

Police Sergeant Charged for Murder
Sergeant Julio Shal,41, an officer attached to the Placencia Police Station, has been charged with murder for the death of Tyson Rodriguez, the main suspect in the home invasion of an elderly Canadian couple, which happened 2 weeks ago on the Placencia peninsula. Shal, the senior officer who was with Rodriguez on the night he died, was arraigned on Tuesday in Dangriga Magistrate's Court and was remanded to prison until March 13, 2014, his next court date. The charge was brought with the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions because new evidence came to light from an eyewitness which refuted the version of events presented by Shal and the 2 constables who were with him that night. As the Guardian had reported in our previous issue, the officers told their superiors and the investigators that on November 22, at around 10 p.m., Rodriguez indicated that he intended to cooperate with their investigation. He offered to take them to an area where he and his accomplices hid some of the loot they had stolen from the Canadian couple the night before. They claimed that he jumped out of the moving vehicle, while handcuffed, and ran to the beach where he supposedly drowned. This sudden demise, they claim, they didn't even witness; they only happened to stumble on his body after losing sight of Rodriguez briefly.

Hitting the ground Running in OW East
Assistant Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon Junior has officially submitted his resignation from that position. No sooner had he done so than he announced that he will be contesting the Orange Walk East constituency. Aragon quickly rose to the upper command of the police department where he greatly contributed to the development of the department. Speaking to the Guardian, Aragon said it was now time for him to move on and the logical choice was the political arena- and does he have a lot to offer! The son of Elodio Aragon Sr., a three time area representative in Orange Walk and a former minister of education in the UDP's 93-98 tenure; Aragon Jr. has already hit the ground, and he has done so running. In the short space since his entry, he has activated a constituency committee and has begun to make the rounds in the villages of Orange Walk East. As he did so, this past weekend he visited Carmelita village and Santa Martha village. For him it is notable that the constituency needs proper representation and he has already been able to secure resources to improve the conditions of residents in these two villages.

Employment by the hundreds
Wednesday, November 27th, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that monies will be made available to all municipalities for remedial infrastructural work to be done after severe rains pummeled the streets for at least two months. As soon as the Prime Minister made the announcement, work crews were activated across the country to carry out the work. Nowhere was that immediate action more visible than in Belize City where work crews were deployed to the Flag Monument roundabout, the entrance to Belize City at the Lord's Ridge Cemetery, Pen Road, Baymen Avenue and Newtown Barracks. The work is being carried out with impressive speed; the work at the flag monument was completed within five days, making the driving experience more pleasant. Work is also ongoing at the entrance to Belize City which will be concreted by the contractor RJB; Pen Road is also well underway. But while the work is ongoing, the two most impressive street works are being carried out on Newtown Barracks and Baymen Avenue. The contract to complete both these streets was awarded to CISCO construction and as it has now become the trademark of this contractor, the work is being done using a large pool of workers. According CISCO's Francis Woods, 50 men are being employed at the Baymen worksite and another 50 are being employed at the Newtown Barracks road.

Young Heroes Make another donation to Cancer Organization
In December of 2012 Salima Barrow and her schoolmates from the infants division of Hummingbird Elementary School donated over $3,100 to the Dangriga Cancer Center, and on Tuesday, December 3rd, of this year they made another significant donation to an organization dedicated to assisting people diagnosed with cancer, the Belize Cancer Society. The group of infants called Children Helping Children visited the Belize Cancer Society's main office on Mercy Lane at 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday and handed over a gift box containing $2,226.50. Salima Barrow, Hayley and Abigail Thurton and Halle Fuller presented a symbolic cheque to Dianne Finnegan, Acting President of the Belize Cancer Society. Finnegan said "We are truly, truly appreciative of this gesture done by the kids. Often times advocacy comes in pockets and it is usually an adult thing but when you see children involved then it really gives us the additional motivation to say we got to do this- we got to come together in an effort to minimize the kind of hurt that people living with cancer are carrying."

Successful First-time Cardiology Pediatric Services for Belize from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
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. Both parents of the child expressed sincere gratitude to the Ministry of Health and to the Government and people of Venezuela for the assistance in getting the urgent medical attention required to safeguard the health of their daughter.

Canada Improves BSAG's capabilities
The Belize Special Assignment Group (BSAG), on Wednesday December 4th, was bolstered with a hefty donation of 1.2 million Canadian dollars worth of equipment to improve their operational ability. According to Lt. Col. Hank Szelecz, Commander Officer of the Canadian special forces, the donation consists of "soldier systems to enhance capability of soldiers." The equipment donated include personal items such as boots, uniforms, surveillance gears including night vision and thermal cameras as well as equipment to improve mobility such as small inflatable boats. The donation came as part of Canada's Initiative of Security in Central America where the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper committed 25 million dollars to support security capacity to countries and citizens in this hemisphere. High commissioner of Canada to Belize Stuart Savage told the press that "Canada has special relation with Belize" where this country was chosen as a focus for military and political cooperation. He added that Belize and Canada's relations go as far back as the 1980's where there has been training both by Canadian personnel in Belize and Belizeans in Canada. The donation is a great bolster to the BSAG which is the BDF's special forces and Lt. Col. Szelecz notes that it will assist in anti narcotic operations conducted in Belize. Canada he stated is interested in stability in the region and this benefits everyone. While Canada is not as consumed with the narcotics problems as the U.S. is Szelecz stated that "counternarcotics is a problem that everyone faces" and even if the equipment is not used in this field the intention is to focus on military to military cooperation concentrating on soldier skills.

Large Christmas Tree lit in San Ignacio Town
A large and fully decorated Christmas tree was lit in San Ignacio Town last Friday night. The Christmas Tree was lit at about 7:00 pm by the Mayor of San Igancio and Santa Elena Towns, John August, at the Cayo Welcome Center; following was an evening of Christmas themed music. The Christmas tree itself was sponsored by Bowen & Bowen Ltd, whose workers spent the night giving away free drinks. "Christmas is a time we share with our neighbors, it is a time that we unite, also we must thank God for giving us all the days of the year," stated Mayor John August, to the hundreds who had gathered to witness the Christmas lighting in San Ignacio Town. Entertaining the crowd on Friday were the Eden High School Choir as well as the Panorific Steel Band. Numerous businesses in central San Ignacio have already decorated their establishments with Christmas lights as they expectedly prepare for the numerous customers that regularly come from other parts of the Country during this festive and most important Season of the year.

Grand Tree Lighting Ceremony in Belize City
Downtown Belize City was packed on Friday night, November 29th, for the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony of the Belize City Council. Albert Street was blocked to vehicular traffic from the Swing Bridge to Church Street for the spectacular event staged at the Mule Park. Mayor Darrel Bradley said, "This has become an important tradition for us and everyone- especially the kids- really looks forward to it." The event was sponsored by Bowen and Bowen's Coca-Cola. There were live performances by the Pantempers Steel Band and the General Supa G. Mayor Bradley said, "for us it marks the beginning of the Christmas season and it is really refreshing to see so many people out here in that Christmas spirit to show goodwill among men and women which is what Christmas is really about." After Mayor Bradley and Michael Bowen, CEO of Bowen & Bowen, lit the Christmas tree, Coke and cupcakes were given to every child. Many who attended the event noticed that no gifts or goody bags were given away this year. The Council says that is because they are going to do so at the re-opening of BTL Park on December 20th.

Minister Grant Inviting Proposals for Energy Generation
According to the Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission, John Avery, last year the Belize Electricity Limited spent about $40 million more than anticipated on cost of power. Unlike this wet year, last year was not a good year for hydroelectric power generation and B.E.L. had to rely more on power from Commision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) than initially projected. Senator Joy Grant, Minister of Public Utilities, Energy, Science and Technology wants Belize to become energy independent and she outlined the Ministry's plans in an address to the nation on the occasion of National Energy Week. According to Minister Grant, in 2013 the Ministry held conferences in Belize City, Corozal and Dangriga to consult with private sector partners about priorities in energy investments. As a result, the Public Utilities Commission has invited individuals to present proposals for energy generating projects and, according to Avery, forty individuals have expressed some kind of interest and as much as ten have already formally applied to be a part of the process. Grant says the long term goal of the ministry is to "build a dynamic public-private partnership to transition to a green economy overtime". The Ministry has implemented an Energy Effectiveness Project to improve on energy efficiency. Four Government buildings are being energy audited and will be retrofitted to decrease energy use and save on electricity bills. The Ministry is also mapping energy use countrywide to guide decision making in the year ahead. Minister grant says we must "utilize our renewable energy resources and improve efficiency to become energy independent".

Hon. Mark King in Panama for better youth programs
On Tuesday, November 12, 2013 the CAPS project undertook a Technical Exchange Tour to Panama which was funded through the IDB. The primary goal of the Technical Exchange is the transfer of knowledge and technology for the development, validation, and dissemination of techniques and models for the management of Crime and the implementation of the Community Intervention Strategies. The operation facilitates such transfer of knowledge and practice via experiential observations of the techniques employed in the host community and the visiting technicians. The technical exchange tour also fosters an enabling environment for dialogue between and among the personnel from these countries. The tour was from 12th - 16th November 2013 and comprised of the Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Mark King, Director of Community Rehabilitation Department - Ms. Starla Acosta, Director of Youth Services, Ms. Jewel Crawford, Director of Education Services - Dr. Candy Armstrong, Procurement Specialist (CAPS) - Ms. Stephanie Pouchie and Project Coordinator (CAPS) - Mr. Elvis Requena. Upon arrival the team was met by Ms. Beira Guerrero from the Office of Integral Security of the Ministry of Public Safety. She arranged the agenda and accompanied them on most of the activities.

Ribbon Cut for Benque Viejo Market
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held in Benque Viejo del Carmen on Thursday of last week at the Corner of Wyatt and Kennedy Street in the most Western Municipality. Cutting the ribbon was the Mayor of Benque Viejo, Miguel Velasquez, who took the opportunity to give a brief on the market plan. Plans for the Benque Viejo market includes six permanent stalls that will be opened from 6:00 am to 9:00 p.m. every day, with Saturday being the market day. JEBCO Construction Limited has already gotten the go ahead for the market, under a contract worth $649,060.00; with funding coming from a European Union Grant as part of the Belize Rural Development Project Two. The construction phase of the intended Benque Viejo Market itself will be managed by the Ministry of Works. When opened, the Market for Benque Viejo will also pave new opportunities for farmers, agro processors and small enterprises to work in an enabling environment. The new market will also create new employment opportunities for many Benque Viejo residents. When fully operational, the much anticipated Benque Viejo Market will be managed by the Benque Viejo del Carmen Town Council and the Town Administrator. There will also be a Market Advisory Committee in place to advise the Town Council in resolving potential problems.

Uncle Sam can't get Fahkrul Alam Salim
Bangladeshi Belizean Fakrul Alam Salim, who was wanted by the US Government to stand trial for the manufacture of the drug called crystal meth, and managing money gotten from the sale of the drug, will not be extradited to the United States to stand trial. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith has ruled that the US has not produced enough evidence against him. A grand jury of the state of Virginia has charged him with methamphetamine importation and money laundering. The charges state that around January of 2011, Salim and other "unlawfully, knowingly, and intentionally combined and conspired to manufacture 500 grams or more of a mixture containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, knowing that it was to be imported into the United States." The US authorities claim that he used his connections and influence to transport a shipment of pseudoephedrine (a chemical precursor to methamphetamines) from Bangladesh through various international ports to Mexico. Another charge brought against him was that he and other "knowingly and intentionally combined and conspired to transport or transmit funds to be used for the manufacture of methamphetamines." According to US drug authorities

Government Launches Youth and Community Transformation Project
On Thursday, November 28th, the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation launched the Youth and Community Transformation (YCT) Project. Under this project, $14.7 million will be spent on construction and rehabilitation of critical community facilities including a new resource centre in the Lake Independence area (the Lake Independence Resource Centre) and the upgrading of the Wilton-Cumberbatch Field. The project is being made possible through a US$5.2 million loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) that was approved in September of this year. The Government of Belize is providing $4.1 million and the CDB is including a grant of $210,000. Hon. Mark King, Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, said, "Participating in this launch fills me with hope because this is a significant opportunity to fill some of the gaps that exist in the services available to our youths." Agencies participating in the project include the Y.M.C.A., Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence, Youth for the Future, National Committee for Families and Children, Yarborough Community Policing Center, Literacy Unit of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, National Sports Council, Restore Belize and the National Institute of Culture and History.

Life Imprisonment for Alwin Gabb
Dolphin Street resident, Alwin Gabb who has been on remand for the past 6 years was tried for murder and on Tuesday, December 3rd, and was sentenced to life imprisonment. At 1:10 p.m., a jury of 12 persons stepped into the deliberating room to decide the fate of Gabb who was accused of the July 6, 2007 murder of Nolan Arana, a friend of his estrange common-law wife, whom he stabbed multiple times on July 1, 2007 through an alley on Neal's Pen Road. Within minutes of being found guilty, Justice Troadio Gonzalez sentenced Gabb to life imprisonment. During his trial, Gabb was represented by Attorney, Carlo Mason. Prosecutor in the case was Leeroy Banner who was assisted by Kileru Awich.

DNA tests needed to identify Daniel - Family losing their home!
The family of 37 year-old Daniel Aguirre, the 2011 KTV Latino Champion who is believed to have been killed in September and burnt up inside his taxi, is at risk to lose their family home to the bank because they can't pay the mortgage. The charred remains found inside his vehicle in September has still not been confirmed by police as being Aguirre, and even though the family believe that it was him (who they have already buried), they don't have absolute proof of confirmation. The insurance company which Aguirre subscribed to has therefore withheld payments to his family because they need that proof in the form of a death certificate. That certificate cannot be produced because police also need confirmation from the DNA tests on the samples of the remains which they forwarded 3 months ago to the National Forensic Science Service. Meanwhile, Aguirre's common-law wife is being pressed to make monthly installments of $460 on their $30,000 mortgage to Scotia Bank for their family home. The bank is expecting that she will honour the contractual arrangement on the mortgage, or else they will have to foreclose. Aguirre's common-law wife has told the media that she has been given some more time to try to get the certificate to satisfy the insurance company.

Belize Elementary girls and Ebenezer Methodist boys re Belize City primary schools football champions
Belize Elementary girls and Ebenezer Methodist boys are Belize City primary schools football champions The 2013-2014 Belize City Primary Schools Football Competition came to an end on Friday, November 29, with the championship games being played at the MCC Grounds. In the girls' championship game, Belize Elementary School defeated Holy Redeemer School in penalty shoot out by the score of 3-1. At the end of the regulation time, the game had ended 0-0 and had to go into overtime, however, at the end of over time it was also 0-0. The goal scorers for Belize Elementary School were Keila Oyuela, Kristin Musa and Juliana Ramos. Meanwhile, the lone penalty that was converted into a goal for Holy Redeemer was scored by Kelsie Moss. In the boys' championship game, Ebenezer Methodist School blanked St. Martin De Porres School by the score of 3-0 to capture the 2013-2014 Belize City Primary Schools Football Title. The goals for Ebenezer Methodist School were scored by Tyreek Muschamp, Dion Cacho and Bernard Bailey. The Belize District Finals is scheduled for Tuesday December 10, 2013 at the MCC Grounds. Belize City will be represented by Belize Elementary School and Holy Redeemer School in the girls' championship and Ebenezer Methodist School and St. Martin De Porres in the boys' competition. We say congratulations to the champions and sub-champions of the Belize City Primary Schools Football Competition.

Brown Bombers top seed in SMART 13 competition
The regular season for the Smart 13 and under competition came to an end on Saturday, November 30, at the MCC Grounds. In the games played, in game one, third World won via the default route over Belize Elementary. In game two, City Boys defeated Collet Strikers by the score of 1-0. Kenroy Linarez scored for City Boys. In game three, Rising Stars defeated Survivors by the score of 2-0. The two goals for Rising Stars were scored by Andres Velasquez. In the fourth game of the day, Brown Bombers, the top seed into the semi-finals, blanked Ladyville Jaguars by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Jovann Ramos. In the fifth and finalgameof the day, Hattieville United won over Young Stars via the default route. The semi-finals will commence on Saturday December 7 commencing at 1:00 pm. In the first game Brown Bombers (seed 1) will go up against Rising Stars (seed 4) and in the second game of the afternoon, it will be City Boys (seed 2) against Hattieville United (seed 3).

Paradise/Freedom Fighters remain at the top of the Belikin Cup competition standings
The Belize Premier League Belikin Cup competition 2013 continued over the weekend with a number of games across the country. The three games played over the weekend all ended in an identical 1-1 draw. On Sunday, December 1, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the home team San Ignacio United and the Belize Defence Force played to a 1-1 draw. The home team San Ignacio United was the first to get onto the scoreboard when Carlos Vasquez scored the first goal of the game in the 29th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The San Ignacio United team took the 1-0 lead well into the 2nd half of the game before the visiting Belize Defence Force was able to score. The Belize Defence Force finally got onto the scoreboard when Kahlil Velasquez scored the equalising goal in the 89th minute of play. Out at the Toledo Union Field in Punta Gorda Town, the visiting defending champions Police United and the home team Paradise/Freedom Fighters also played to a 1-1 draw. The host team Paradise/Freedom Fighters was able to get on the scoreboard first when Alexander Peters scored the only goal for his team in the 85th minute of play to give his team a temporary lead. However, the temporary lead was short lived as Bernard Linares scored the equalising goal for Police United in the 86th minute of play.

David Henderson wins Twilight Criterium
The Belize Cycling Association in collaboration with the Belize City Council sponsored its usual Thursday night criterium on November 28, 2013. In the Junior race which was 30mins and 5 laps on the Marine Parade , 1st place went to Delawn Abraham who completed the course in a time of 43.20. Darrian Anderson finished second in a time of 47.05 and third place went to Darrell Garcia in a time of 50.17. In the Elite race which was 45mins and 5 laps along the course, 1st place went to David Henderson of Benny's Megabytes who completed the race in a time of 59.55 mins. Henderson's team-mate Byron Pope finished second while Richard Santiago who is unattached finished third in a time of 60.58.

Belize City Mayor's Cup rolls on at the MCC
The 2013 Belize City Mayor's Cup competition continued last week at the MCC Grounds. On Saturday, November 30, in the first game played, Kulture Yabra edged Ladyville Jaguars by the score of 3-1. Edward Rubio scored 2 goals while Withfield Fisher scored the other goal for Kulture Yabra. For Ladyville Jaguars, the only goal of the game was scored by Erick Garcia. In game two, Kephawn Pawn Shop won over complex Admirals via the default route. In the final game of the day, West Lake won handily from Tulish by the score of 5-0. The goal scorers for West Lake were Delory Andrews (2), David McCauley Jr., Melhern Hernandez, and Nigel Franklin. On Thursday, November 28, in the only game played, Kephawn Pawn Shop defeated Hattieville United by the score of 5-2. The goal scorers for Kephawn Pawn Shop were Kenroy Martin, Kareem Flowers and Francis Lemott while Dalton Cayetano scored 2 goals. For Hattieville United, the goals were scored by Dejean Thompson and Ralph Spain. The competition then continued on Wednesday November 27, where Fort George defeated Ebony by the score of 5-0. The goal scorers for Fort George were Raymond Marin, Tyrone Muschamp, Francis Andrews and Clinton Gill who scored 2 goals.

Do We Have the Will?
Activities for the annual observation of 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women are being promoted once more to raise awareness about this important issue. Essential as it is to remind everyone that this issue must be addressed, it is important to evaluate whether heightened awareness has reduced violence. Sadly, the data indicates that violence against women has not been reduced. This may be partly because more women are reporting violence rather than just accepting it as a fact of life, but the fact remains that violence against women is still a huge problem. Awareness can therefore be seen as a necessary but not sufficient component in reducing gender violence. Violence occurs when there is a real or perceived power imbalance between the parties involved and thus the perpetrator feels free to inflict violence on the victim. Actions to redress this imbalance must therefore be an integral part of the response and this means that we must address the inequity of female representation within the decision making apparatus. Only 36 lower houses of parliament worldwide have reached the 30% threshold considered necessary for women to have a meaningful impact on political decision making. By this measure the United Kingdom at 23% and the United States of America at 18% both fail, and Belize with 3% elected females and less than 10% counting appointees is very near the bottom of the pile. Contending for political office is a daunting task for anyone but for a multitude of reasons the system is even more difficult to navigate for women than for men. This includes lack of role models, lack of family and social support, fear of violence, fear of lost reputation and multiple family responsibilities that leave little time for running a political campaign. Women are generally uncomfortable with adversarial systems, and through socialisation and maybe biology they are generally modest and reticent about promoting their own competence and other virtues. (Numerous studies have shown this effect in business, politics and other social occasions.)

Ecumenical and Candle Light Vigil held in San Ignacio Town
An Ecumenical and candle light vigil was held near the Columbus Park in San Ignacio Town this past Sunday. The events formed part of the Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence and was organized by the Women's Department. In the short religious service near the San Ignacio Police Station, residents from Benque Viejo del Carmen, San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town, dressed in purple, pink and other colors, listening attentively to the broadcast messages. (There were women dressed in purple and bright orange, signifying awareness against domestic violence and red clothing to observe World Aids Day. Bright orange is worn on the 25th of every month) "As we go through these 16 days of Activism, I pray that we will be women of fire, women of Spirit and women of purpose�men, you were not created to abuse us and abandon us; you were made to support us," stated Sherilyn Flowers, a Professor from the Eden Seventh Day Adventist High School in Santa Elena Town. The congregation then proceeded to walk in pairs with candles along the principal streets of San Ignacio, with the San Ignacio Community Policing Unit at the lead. The event held Sunday also coincides with World Aids Day.

Norwegian Cruise Line Brings Christmas Cheer to Belize City Children
On Wednesday, December 4th, over two hundred children from Belize City received Christmas gifts from Norwegian Cruise Line at the Belize Tourism Board's Annual Children Christmas Party on the grounds of the House of Culture. Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hon. Manuel Heredia, says the Children Christmas Party is the event he looks most forward to. He says, "There is nothing like seeing the joy on these children's faces at this event. This party is what gets me into the Christmas spirit." In a brief greeting to the children, Heredia thanked the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association for partnering with the Belize Tourism Board to make the party an annual event. Alro Cansino, Destination Planning and Development Assistant of the BTB, says the majority of the children are from the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center and the St. John's Anglican Primary School. Organizers invite children from Dorothy Menzies and a different primary school each year. This year a number of invitations were also given to community organizations in Lake Independence, Queen Square, Port Loyola and Collet constituencies. Cansino says the organizing committee was granted a waiver by the Ministry of Finance to bring in the gifts from Norwegian free of duty.

Long time government Worker loses Life in Traffic Mishap
Efrain Cowo, 41, a long standing employee of the Ministry of Rural Development, was killed on Friday night in a traffic accident between mile 46 and 47 on the Western Highway. Just before 5 p.m., Government Employee Ernesto Banner was driving a white Isuzu D-Max, which belonged to GOB, he was accompanied by 25 year-old Ginnie Neal, 29 year-old Kendra Arnold, and Cowo, who were passengers in the vehicle. When they arrived at that location on the highway, Banner lost control of the vehicle and slammed head-on into a green Ford Explorer, being driven at the time by 45 year-old Bert Ramos, who had 22 year-old Avery Flores and 19 year-old Chevon Williams in his vehicle with him at the time. All 7 persons suffered varying degrees of head and bodily injuries and had to be rushed to Western Regional Hospital. Phillip Willoughby, Belize City Councillor with responsibility for Emergency Management, was very instrumental in the first response after the accident happened. He activated immediately and ensured that everyone was able to arrive on time. Nevertheless, medical practitioners did everything they could to save Cowo's life, but the extent of his injuries were too severe, and he passed away while being treated.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Is Sand Being Transported Off The Island?
There are unconfirmed reports that sand is being transported from the Bahia area unto a barge at the back pier to be taken to San Pedro. If it is indeed true, don't we need this sand for our streets? What does the Village Council think of this?


In Belize time often flies too fast
A week has flown past in the blink of an eye and the dog ate my what I did for American thanksgiving day post :) Thankfully the pictures were saved and I am doing it again today, unfortunately minus the salon first turkey after. Since we do not have a a local Oriental medicine clinic to choose a professionals from, Cindy and Andy's reports of a woman that comes from Belize City and does affordable, enjoyable and successful treatments were enough for us to want to get on the treatment list asap. In case you are not totally familiar with benefits of acupuncture and getting a treatment: it can relieve pain, reduce symptoms and balance the body. The acupuncturist may insert up to 20 different needles at various points and you will feel a small prick when the needle is inserted. Keep in mind that pain is subjective, and many people experience little or no pain from acupuncture while for others it may be stronger.

Experience Mayan Culture in Southern Belize: It's SERIOUSLY Hard Work!
The Living Maya Experience is a relatively new initiative and home visit that you should go on when you are in the Punta Gorda area. You spend time in one or two homes that offer a very cool look back into a culture that is quickly disappearing�a time when the Kek'chi Maya depended on the land for everything from food to furniture to medicine. I mean EVERYTHING. Since my life may be the complete opposite (lots of Internet time & microwave popcorn)�my friend Jackie and I thought this would be super interesting. And we were right. We also found that we are naturally gifted in areas that we didn't even know about. Jackie, naturally talented at stone grinding masa and me? I've got skills at weaving tai tai baskets. At all the other skills, we were pretty crap. But it was certainly fun trying. A balsa bark bed. We drove the 15 miles from Punta Gorda to the village of Big Falls. (Also on the main bus route if you don't have a car.) Our first visit was with the Cal family. On their property, they have set up a home as it would have been 50 years ago. When we arrived, some of the Cal ladies were working on the meal�Chris and Anita have 10 children. And Alva, the youngest, wants to be involved every step of the way.

Belize on the Move in More Ways than One
In local news from the far side of the world, ABC Radio (that's the Australian Broadcasting Corporation) reports that an increasing number of aspiring doctors from India are electing to obtain their medical education in Belize. We admit to missing the actual broadcast, but the tagline under the transcript's headline for the 2 December 2013 broadcast, "Indian students head for China, Russia, Nepal to study medicine" stated "More and more Indian students are heading to countries like Russia, China, Nepal and Belize to obtain medical degrees." Now that caught our eyes, especially as it follows our media release and blog of 24 October 2013 "Chaa Creek Welcomes News of Medical Tourism in Belize" which said that "The Lodge at Chaa Creek said it is closely watching the newly-formed Belize Medical Tourism Association, which has recently been announced in the International Medical Travel Journal." That news release quoted The Belize Trade and Investment Development Services (BELTRAIDE) as saying, "Belize possesses a number of competitive advantages that put the country in a good position to become a medical tourism destination. Those are proximity to the US, being an English speaking country, branding as a top natural tourism destination, famous retirement destination, and experience with dental tourism."

Practicing the lionfish spearing, then dissection and dinner!

Cooking with Flavors of Belize & Chef Sean Kuylen - Shrimp Tostones
Belizean Cooking at its Best! The premiere of Cooking with Flavors of Belize featuring Chef Sean Kuylen. On the menu is Shrimp Tostones with Guacamole all the way from San Pedro's Red Ginger Restaurant at the Phoenix Hotel.

International Sources

An Ancient City Is Discovered Underwater. What They Found Will Change History Forever
The city of Heracleion was engulfed underwater 1500 years ago. This grand city had been mentioned by the Greek writer Herodotus, the 5th-century BC historian. He had told a wonderful tale of Helen of Troy, who traveled to Heracleion, then a port of 'great wealth', with her Trojan lover, Paris. When French marine archaeologist Franck Goddio stumbled upon some relics, it led them to one of the greatest finds of the 21st century; a city underwater. The discovery took place when Goddio had been in search of Napoleon's warships from the 1798 Battle of the Nile, when he had been defeated by Nelson in these very waters, but to his surprise, he stumbled upon this magnificent discovery. The discoveries include the colossal statues of the Egyptian goddess Isis, the god Hapi, and an unidentified Egyptian pharaoh, all preserved in excellent condition by their muddy burial shroud. Along with these 16ft statues there are hundreds of smaller statues of Egyptian gods, among them the figures that guarded the temple where Cleopatra who was inaugurated as Queen of the Nile. Dozens of sarcophagi have also been found, containing the bodies of mummified animals sacrificed to Amun-Gereb, the supreme god of the Egyptians. Many amulets, or religious charms, have been unearthed, too, showing gods such as Isis, Osiris and Horus.

The Most Important Image Captured By Hubble
In 1996, scientists took a huge risk when they pointed the Hubble telescope to an inky field that they believed to be void of stars and planets. As images from Hubble are in constant demand, the worry was that devoting so much time to a black space would prove futile. Once the photons finally registered, though, that leap of faith proved fruitful: light from over three thousand galaxies illuminated the image. A few years and missions later, Hubble's glimpse into what is known as the deep field has revealed that we are just one tiny part of a vast system comprising 100 billion galaxies.

Forget flying cars, check out these cool flying robots
These awesome flying robots are taking unmanned flight in new directions. Watch them hover like a bee, flap like a bird and bounce like a ball. The Distributed Flight Array system consists of multiple six-sided flying units -- each with its own motors, sensors, propeller and power source -- that join together in various configurations to form a larger vehicle. The individual units are unstable in the air, but when they are combined via magnets they form a stable system that can hover for several minutes. It's being developed by the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control at ETH Zurich and is intended as a research and teaching tool.

Where to Go in December: 20 Places to Travel Now
With hurricane season over, now is a good time to dodge the January crowds and make the most of sun-soaked Belize. While you'll likely have to pay high season prices traveling this month, it's the perfect weather for taking in the country's varied sights, from delving into Mayan history on a tour of ancient Xunantunich and the vast Caracol archaeological site, to lounging on a beach along the Caribbean coast. Belize is also renowned for its adventure activities, so head to the island of Ambergris Caye where you can enjoy snorkeling, zip lining and tubing, or go scuba diving at the incredible Great Blue Hole.

5 Incredible Grand Tours You Can Actually Afford
Central America for the trail-blazing history buff Highlights: Tour ancient ruins and jungles in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Dreaming of visiting the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum, Palenque, Chich�n Itz�, Tikal, and Cop�n? This extensive small-group tour starts in Mexico City with a vast cultural tour of Mexico -- explore the colonial buildings of Puebla, Oaxaca, and San Cristobal de las Casas before heading north to the Yucat�n cities of Palenque, M�rida, and Playa del Carmen. Next, you'll cross the border to Belize and soak up the Central American sun in Caye Caulker, before heading south to Flores, Guatemala -- shop for the perfect souvenir at the local markets of Chichicastenango and take time to roam the colorful city of Antigua. Ponder the past at the Mayan ruins in Cop�n and relax on the beaches of Roat�n Island during your time in Honduras. From here, the tour heads south through Granada and Ometepe Island in Nicaragua before finishing up with trips to Costa Rica's tropical cloud forests, Arenal Volcano National Park, and San Jos�, the country's capitol city. The breakdown: You'll end up spending $69 per day including all ground transportation, guided tours, and 45 nights' accommodations in hotels, one night in a local homestay, and one night on an overnight bus. Intrepid Travel's Central America Explorer, from $3,195 for a 46-day trip. Average group size: 16 people.

Snorkeling Shark-Ray Alley, Belize
Snorkeling at Shark Ray Alley off Ambergris Caye offers the chance to snorkel with southern sting rays and nurse sharks. This is an old fishing boat cleaning spot and the marine life come alive anytime a boat anchors.

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