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Today's Belize News: December 18, 2013 #480175
12/18/13 05:25 AM
12/18/13 05:25 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 79,750
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Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

Fisheries Department now licensing
The Fisheries Department hereby informs the PUBLIC that it will start the renewal of fisherfolk licenses for 2014 on December 16st 2013. Applicants are advised that they must present the following documents when applying: 1.FISHERFOLK LICENSE REQUIREMENTS FIRST ISSUE/RENEWALS BELIZEAN (a) Applicant must be 18 years or older and (b) Present a valid Social Security Card or (c) Voters Identification Card along with a Birth Certificate or (d) Valid Passport NATURALIZED BELIZEAN (a) Applicant must be 18 years or older and (b) Present Nationality Certificate and valid Social Security Card or (c) Valid Passport PERMANENT RESIDENT (a) Applicant must be 18 years or older and (b) Present Residence Stamp on valid Passport and (c) Present a valid Social Security Card

Head of Coast Guard apologizes to Senior Reporter Jorge Aldana
Head of the Belize Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Borland apologized to The San Pedro Sun Senior Reporter Jorge Aldana regarding an unfortunate incident that took place on November 16th. The apology was made on Friday November 29th following an interview with the press at the event of the inauguration of their San Pedro Town facility. On November 16th, Aldana had claimed that a few Coast Guard Officials intimidated him, pointed guns at him, deleted his pictures from his camera, deleted his contacts from his cellular phone and was subject to a search as he was performing his journalism duties. Following the incident, Coast Guard Lt. Commander Elton Bennett did agree that a search was conducted and that his pictures were deleted but denied that guns were ever pointed at the senior reporter. He said that the Coast Guard officials were on a special assignment and that the pictures taken could have compromised the identity of the officers.

Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow Attending Meetings in Panama and Venezuela
Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, left the country on Friday, 13th December, 2013, for Panama to attend a Summit Meeting of Heads of State and Government of the Central American Integration System, better known as SICA in its Spanish language acronym. From Panama, the Prime Minister travelled to Venezuela, arriving Sunday, 15th December, to attend the Second Extraordinary Meeting of ALBA/ PETRO CARIBE Government Leaders which commences tomorrow, 17th December, 2013. On the 18th December, 2013, the Prime Minister will then proceed on a few days personal leave with his family. Prime Minister Barrow returns to the country on 22nd December, 2013. During his absence, the Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister of Belize, will act as Prime Minister.

Governor General hosts annual Children’s Christmas Party
It has been announced from Belize House that the Annual Christmas Party for the Children of Belize was hosted by the Governor General, His Excellency Sir Colville N Young. One hundred fifty children were invited to the annual event held at the House of Culture in Belize City on Saturday 14th Saturday, 2013. Each child in attendance received a present from the Governor General along with a bag of goodies in addition to the traditional meal and refreshments. The Governor General wishes to thank all those who gave generously of their time or donations to make this a joyful event for the children.

Letter to the Editor: Saga says Thanks
Dear Editor, Saga Humane Society would like to give our sincerest appreciation to Fido’s Restaurant and Kelly McGuire for hosting “Singing for Saga” on December 3. There was a full house to listen to the incredible music of island favorite Kelly McGuire. The crowd was enthusiastic in their support of Saga HS during our live auction with Kelly. To everyone’s delight Cowboy Doug, a livestock auctioneer from Texas, took the stage to help Kelly on a few items. Thank you Fido’s, your hardworking staff and Kelly for helping make the night a barking success. With the proceeds from the night Saga HS will be able to SNIP and vaccinate over 50 island pets. Saga HS is truly grateful to the support of our local business community and their generous donations to our auction and raffle. Romantic Travel Belize, The Lady Leslie, Sausage Factory, Fido’s Restaurant, Palapa Bar & Grill, Caliente Restaurant, Debbie Cooper, No Rush, Go Fish Belize, San Pedro Scoop and Tamara Sorensen. Please show your support to local businesses that support their community. We are grateful to our hardworking volunteers who helped make this event a hit Illiana Paj, Haylay Baer and Rebecca Coutant.

Ambergris Today

Twenty Five New Taxis - Really!
And while our good mayor has explained to the public that this is a pilot project that he wants to experiment on because the present taxi associations are misbehaved, he did not go to the public for consultation. Is it too late? This and many other questions arise. Can the decision be reversed? Are the approved licenses already bringing in their weapons of Island destruction? Will people sit back and do nothing? Are other Belizeans going to apply for licenses and be treated equally as Belizeans? What if 25 more apply and are rejected, is that equality and fairness and justice? What about the rest of Belizeans who must take one out, will they still fall under that order? Or will they be able to just bring in theirs and test whether there is any justice? These are not rhetorical questions with obvious answers. These are really tough questions that the public must answer and, most of all; our good Mayor is faced with after his release on the Good Morning San Pedro Show on Reef TV. This is a tough one for the Mayor and very few would like to be in his shoe. Unfortunately it is a Pandora’s Box opened by our good Mayor when in his good heart he proclaimed on one talk show that HE WILL NOT DENY a vehicular permit for a license to any Belizean. Now we are sure that there are hundreds of wolves, rather Belizeans, who are ready to go for the give-a-way. The final question is “To be or not to be?” “To taxi or not to taxi?

Belize Brand Ranking at 28th in Tourism and 30th in Trade
According to the newly released Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking © 2013, in the Americas, Belize Nation Brand ranks 28th in Tourism and 30th in Trade. Bloom Consulting has just announced the release of its Bloom Consulting Country Branding Ranking © 2013. According to the recent Google study "The 2012 Traveler", 70% of leisure travelers begin researching their trip online without a specific destination or mode of travel in mind and according to The Economist Intelligence Unit more than 58% of investors assess investment risk online, against 49% who consult directly with their financial advisors. This is a clear indicator that countries, regions and cities, regardless of their size, can impact tourists and investors in a completely new way, compared to 5 years ago As a reference, in 2012 alone, tourists made around 375.000.000 online searches related to tourism activities at a country level and investor made around 63.000.000 online searches related to investment activities at a country level. With this in mind, Bloom Consulting has developed a proprietary tool, the Online Search Demand (OSD ©), in order to understand the online behavior of potential tourists and investors. The ranking covers two dimensions, Trade and Tourism.

Christmas Shows in San Pedro, Belize
The spirit of christmas is in the air on La Isla Bonita and many attended two spectacular shows. The Isla Bonita Elementary School invited many to attend their annual Christmas show at the paradise theater, with impressive dances, songs and much more.

Misc Belizean Sources

Preheat oven. Grease and flour a 10 inch tube or Bundt pan. Sprinkle nuts over the bottom of the pan. Mix together the cake mix, 1/2 cup dark rum, eggs, 1/2 cup water, oil, and vanilla pudding mix. Pour batter over the nuts in the pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool, and invert cake on a serving plate. Prick the top of the cake.

Chiquibul's Macaw protection crew
A documentary about the Chiquibul national park in Belize, and the people protecting it from poachers , a look at conservation today with Scarlet Macaw protection, and a short look back on Challilo Dam issue, and environmental destruction, with Sharon Matola, Greg Cho and people in Cayo. Film is produced by Roni Matinez, Charles Britt and Filmmaker Daniel Velazquez active wildlife conservationist in Belize, this is also a creative art media project, in wish we gave cameras to the protection crew, and they took part in documenting.

BWRC and Chiquibul Scarlet Macaws
Feelgood news of the day. The BWRC teamed up with Scarlet Six and FCD to go check on the Scarlet Macaws in the Chiquibul Forest. Dr. Isabelle Pacquet Durand gives a wonderful account of the trip to do some check ups. "Muddy holidays with grey skies in Belize aside... 2013 has been an incredible year! One blog could not summarize it. So, as done in many regards during this year, I shall focus on individual, positive activities. The world seems full of bad news and negativity and I believe this rarely leads to positive outcomes. I prefer positive news, in order to hopefully inspire more of you to join in and to help one of the many individuals and organizations protecting nature, and wildlife, and ultimately your own existence."

Reengineering the Cultural Economy
Reengineering the Cultural Economy is an interesting, and informative essay from Alan Slusher, which he presented at the annual meeting of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. It's really worth a read. "The word 'economy' has to do with all aspects of production, exchange, consumption and investment activities through which a people generate value and share the material and social goods that are required first for survival, and then, after the basic survival requirements are satisfied, for recreation, enjoyment, and intellectual and spiritual reflection and exploration. These latter processes, of course, also lead to expansion in the production of goods and services, of income and wealth, and most importantly, they lead to changes in the patterns of behaviour and representations of those patterns, that, taken together, define the group’s culture."

Video: Belize River Flooding
The Baking Pot Ferry at Central Farm is also closed to vehicular traffic due to flooding of the Belize River

Video: Iguana Creek Flood
The Iguana Creek bridge remains closed to vehicular traffic due to flooding.

Toledo village celebrates 5 weddings in one day
It was a historic day on Sunday, December 15 in the village of San Marcos, Toledo. Five couples got married at the Nazarene Church in the village, sealing their vows before God and their loved ones. Multiple weddings had never been done before in the village, and who knows when it will happen again. Congratulations to: Antonio & Shirley Chun Ambrosio & Petrona Teul Luis & Candelaria Bolon Danie & Maria Muku And Isidro & Alicia Cus .

Cooking with Flavors of Belize & Sean Kuylen - Black Cake
One of the most important items on the menu for a true Belizean Christmas. Chef Sean Kuylen tries his hand at baking, adding some flavor to this timeless recipe and almost burning off an eyebrow in the process! If you are looking for an authentic homegrown Belizean recipe (with a spin, of course) to try this Christmas - our Black Cake recipe is perfect.

Channel 7

Marsha Reid Was Provoked, Killing Lover Was Self Defence
She confessed to killing her ex-lover BDF Corporal Donovan Castillo, but today in Dangriga a Supreme Court judge set Marsha Reid free, and she is at home tonight, after over 1 and a half years on remand while awaiting trial. Justice Denis Hanomansingh found that it was a case of justifiable homicide because she had been provoked by a beating and that she killed him in self-defence. Justice Hanomansingh found that the prosecution's 3 witnesses, caution statement, and Reid's dock statement all lined up to show that she had no other alternative but to kill Castillo. That's a major development because prosecution was relying on the section of the statement to be interpreted as Reid attacking first, causing the situation to escalate where Reid provoked the physical confrontation.

1 More Cop Charged For ATM Shakedown
Today, 30 year-old Special Constable Joslyn Gill, seen here, became the 3rd police officer out on bail for charged in relation to the Thyrel Hyde shakedown which was caught on tape. This afternoon, Gill was arraigned before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart, for theft of $260, which was withdrawn from Hyde's account on September 8. He pleaded not guilty, and he was granted bail of $4,000, which he was able to meet. Staying true to the cop culture at the court, SC Gill tried his best to avoid the media, with the help of his fellow officers. He was supposed to be arraigned in the morning, which did not happen, and even though he was in custody, he was allowed to slip out the back door, without a police escort so as to not draw attention. Now, that is very irregular because ordinarily, persons who are charged and have been escorted to court, are in police custody, and they should not be released until they have been arraigned, and bail is met. That didn't stop Gill from leaving the court as though he was a free man.

Minister Avoids Head On Collision
Perilous and wet conditions are again making news tonight. Minister of the Public Service Charles Gibson narrowly avoided a head on collision on the Western Highway this evening when a Valencia bus veered out of its lane. At around 5:40, Gibson was at mile 20 heading to Belmopan when he saw a bus coming in the opposite direction, rounding the corner from mile 21 and it was in the middle of the road - well into his lane. Gibson told us he tried to avoid it by driving unto the shoulder, but the bus still hit the back of his Toyota Four Runner. It then barreled into a Police Van which was coming behind him - and also hit the rear end of that vehicle. Gibson reports that he was not hurt and neither was anyone in the police van, which was for prisoners.

GST Goes After Major Importer
For the past 2 years in April, Jitendra Chawla, better known as Jack Charles, the owner of Extra House, has made the news for his unusual birthday party for the country's children who shares their birthday with his son, Vansh. Well, tonight, he's making the news because he has been charged with GST offences, and he dodged being sent up to prison. Officers of the General Sales Tax are reporting that he and his employee Rakesh Marjani Bhudjwani refused to allow them to enter their business place, Orkay Imports on September 11, which is a GST offence. They were to produce copies of purchased invoices which would show GST how much revenue the business place was making for previous years up to September 2013. They didn't and when the officers showed up to pick them up themselves, on the orders of both men, allegedly, they were denied entry.

GDP Growth Flatlining
The latest economic indicators have been released by the Statistical Institute of Belize - and for the government of Belize they aren't good. First off, GDP growth has more or less flatlined. The SIB says that from July through September this year, the economy expanded by 0.3 percent when compared to the same period in 2012. That puts the cumulative economic growth for the first nine months of 2013 at a marginal 0.4 percent - which is very far off from Government's projected GDP growth rate of 2.5%. What's causing the sluggish economic performance? Well, the SIB monitors production from all sectors and it says downturns in Agriculture and oil production are the major factors. In Agriculture, banana production fell by 6 percent, while Oil production was down for the third consecutive quarter, and recorded its lowest output since 2009. As has been reported this is because the Spanish Lookout oil field is near depletion. SIB reports that Transportation & Communication sector was also down by 2.3% while Fishing was down 3%. In fishing they report that lobster production, quote, "plummeted by a large margin."

KHMH Getting A Fix Up
The KHMH will be fixing up in the new year - in the parking lot and the intensive care unit. The ICU will get a 384 thousand dollar makeover, while the parking lot will get a 256 thousand dollar re-design. Contracts were signed with contractors today at the hospital. First to the parking lot - where users who are not staff or patients will have to pay for use:.. Dr. Francis Gary Longsworth, CEO - KHMH "In the case of the parking lot we've been feeding complaints now for the last 4 plus years and its gotten worse as the present surface has sunk and when it rains, more than half of the parking lot is un-usable, its long overdue, it will improve, it will allow us also to monitor and control parking." "Patients and visitors will have access obviously, but people from outside who want to have access will have to pay a small fee to get access."

Fabian Bain Convicted
Fabian Bain, also known as Carlos Escalante, was convicted of manslaughter this evening after a jury of twelve deliberated for over four hours on his fate. Bain was accused of the November 23, 2006 murder of Fortunto Chun, a security officer of Belize Water Services Limited. Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith of the DPP's office prosecuted the case and called several witnesses to the stand including Kenrick Reneau, who was along with the accused at the time of Chun's death. Reneau, who turned crown witness, had to be treated as a hostile witness, when he took the stand because he forgot what he had told police about that day. In his statement to police, he told them that they had planned the attack on Chun in order to steal his service issued firearm. After the Crown presented its case, Bain, who was represented by Attorney Ernest Staine, took the stand and testified that he was nowhere around BWS when the shooting occurred and he had no knowledge of it.

Cane Farmers Say They Are Not Greedy For BSI’s Investment
Throughout the dispute between the cane farmers and BSI/ASR, there has been a strong sentiment that the farmers are trying to cash in on the hard work, investment and innovation that BSI has created to turn Bagasse into electricity which BEL can buy. Well, on Sunday, we asked them about that perception, and they told us that they are preparing for 2015 and 2017 when the preferential market status ends with the European Union. Here's how the Chairman of the BSCFA's Finance Committee explained it: Leocaido Javier Keme, Cane Farmer "It is very important for two main reasons; our sugar market which is mainly Europe, London - it is going to pass through several changes by 2015. That will be the first change where the preferential access that we as ACP Countries (African, Caribbean and Pacific) enjoy the preference of exporting our sugar into Europe without paying any tariffs. This will come to an end in 2015 and then we will have to compete with countries like Brazil, which would be able export or import sugar the EU without paying those tariffs that they have to pay right now. That would be a major challenge because they have a cheaper cost of production than us."

Man Remanded For Relations With 14 Year Old Girl
This evening, 22 year old Jose Angel Novelo, a resident of Bahia Puesto Del Sol, Caye Caulker, was remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he was charged with ten counts of carnal knowledge in Magistrate's Court #4. It is alleged that he had numerous sexual encounters with a 14 year-old girl. According to police, the child reported that Novelo had intercourse with her on ten separate occasions, dating back from April 5, of this year and as recently as December 8, last week Sunday. Since the charge is an indictable one and will be heard in the Supreme Court, no pleas were taken from Novelo and neither could he be offered bail on the matter. Novelo was then remanded by Magistrate Dale Cayetano, and he is due back in court on February 17, 2014.

New Southern Bus Station
Yesterday a new bus station was inaugurated in INDPENDENCE VILLAGE. It's a gift from the European Union and the Ambassador was in Belize to explain that it is part of a European assistance programme to the banana belt:

Teachers As First Responders
In any disaster involving children many times teachers are the first responders, and that's why city councilor with responsibility for disaster management Phillip Willoughy is having a first aid training for teachers at all levels. He explains that it has to do with one time when an ambulance couldn't get into a school promptly because of all the vendors: Phillip Willoughby "One day there was an incident at a particular primary school and the ambulance in one occasion couldn't get in off the particular to get into the school, likewise in a second incident for the fire trucks. It was that in mind that I said maybe as a part of strengthening our capabilities that we ought to do this collaboration and it did materialize through the good offices of NEMO and the Red Cross. We did the collaboration to get the schools involve here today and over the next two days." "We hope that we would be able to get support from the schools and the wider public in regards to how we look at how vending is done near schools and how we regulate probably the flow of traffic as well as how the kids traverse in the areas, so as to probably alleviate any additional stress in an emergency. Leading up to that we are doing this training to equip the schools and its management to provide such service until the primary responders get to the school."

Monica Is Island Bound
All of last week, we showed you Monica Bodden's fam trip to Cayo and Belize City. Tonight we have the last leg when she shows us what she experienced in the Cayes, san Pedro and Caye Caulker. Here's her story:..

BTL Hooks Up with Dara
It's the season of giving and that's exactly what Belize Telemedia is doing. Today the company donated 20 food hampers to much needed families. It might seem like a small donation for the biggest telecommunication company in Belize, but it was greatly appreciated and 7 news was there to capture the distribution. The company plans on expanding the initiative.

Hundred Year Old Wisdom
Last week we got to visit with a special lady who's seen 100 Christmases. Leonora Patnett lives on Wagner's lane off Albert Street and on Thursday she told us what it feels like to reach one double 0.

Channel 5

Whatever happened of Treaty Belize Energy, the drilling at San Juan and its promises to the community?
In May of this year, Treaty Belize Energy went full steam ahead with oil drilling operations in the south at San Juan near Independence. That was despite a court ruling [...]

There is little update on drilling by Maranco Energy Belize
Since announcing a promising oil discovery in June, there has been much talk about oil in the northwest corner of the Orange Walk District.  News of the encouraging show was [...]

Investigation into Nationality Scam
In September 2012, there was an upheaval in the Immigration Department after it was discovered that a Lebanese-American, allegedly with ties to Hezbollah, received a Belizean passport in two days. [...]

Occupational Safety and Health Bill to be introduced at next House Meeting
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize has been agitating for the introduction of the Occupational Safety and Health Bill for quite some time. On Thursday when the bill did [...]

Do you think the Director of Immigration should be removed from her post?
Do you think that the Director of Immigration, under whose watch the immigration scandal occurred, should be removed from her post? Yes or No. Send your comments and responses using [...]

Marsha Reid found not guilty of killing her common-law-husband
Marsha Reid is the woman from Dangriga who was accused of murdering her common-law-husband, B.D.F. corporal Donovan Castillo. In the Dangriga Supreme Court this morning Reid was found not guilty [...]

While Fabian Bain is sentenced to 20 years for 2009 shooting of KBH Security Guard
Fabian Bain has twice been charged for manslaughter but today he was convicted in the Supreme Court for the 2006 shooting of Fortunato Chun. Chun was a KBH security guard [...]

Special constable charged for the theft of Tyrell Hyde
And in the Belize City Courts, thirty year old Special Constable Joslyn Gill, has been granted bail of four thousand dollars after being charged with theft of two hundred and [...]

The deplorable street conditions in Belize City
Streets and major roads across the country which were already in less than spectacular condition have been gutted by the incessant rains in the past weeks. In rural areas in [...]

Launch of newly renovated B.T.L. Park delayed, but park 90% done
The newly-renovated, quite spiffy looking B.T.L. Park was to have launched on Friday, and the first event to greet that launch would have been City Hall’s annual Christmas event. But [...]

BWC to receive payment from CitCo; debt down to 10 weeks
While City Hall’s street woes inhibit Christmas cheer, there has been an attempt to deal with the sanitation company crisis. In early December, the Council was behind in payments to [...]

Cost of Living up!
The Statistical Institute of Belize has issued the Consumer Price Index or CPI for September 2013. Not surprisingly, for consumers who have been feeling the pinch, the statistics show that [...]

K.H.M.H. sign contracts to spruce up the ICU and parking lot
Contracts were signed this morning between the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and contractors for works to be undertaken at the national referral in the upcoming New Year. In the first [...]

…But it comes at a price; public to be charged for parking
Government provided a subsidy of eighteen point five million dollars to the K.H.M.H. this year. Notwithstanding, the renovations to the hospital will come at a cost to the public. As [...]

India court rules on constitutional challenge to Sodomy/Unnatural Acts law
A decision by the Supreme Court on a constitutional challenge to repeal Section Fifty-Three of Belize’s Criminal Code remains pending, despite closing arguments in early May by high-powered attorneys representing [...]

An exhibition by Nelson Young inspired by the Mayan glyphs
You can find Nelson Young’s paintings on the walls of many businesses and certainly in residences in Belize; but his pieces can also be found internationally. Based in Caye Caulker, [...]


Santa Arrives In Orange Walk Central
As the countdown continues toward Christmas Day, the pace is already picking up in Orange Walk. Shoppers are busily searching for those special gifts for their loved ones, trees are being dusted off and decorated and houses and fences are sprouting lights like magic. While Christmas is generally enjoyed by all traditionally it is a time for the children. That philosophy held true as Orange Walk Central Area Representative Honorable John Briceño hosted the annual Children’s Christmas Party in San Lorenzo Housing Site, Philip Alvarez Park and the Village of San Estevan which all fall under his constituency. The celebration has become tradition and of course we were there to capture all the beautiful smiles that lit the night. Carmelita Perez – Reporting The annual Children’s Christmas Party hosted by the Honorable John Briceno and the Orange Walk Central Committee kicked off on Friday with prizes and surprises. The fun continued on Sunday, this time at the Philip Alvarez Park, where more than one thousands kids waited patiently for Santa’s arrival.

Drunk Driving Will Not Be Tolerated For The Festivities
It is as popular as the ham and turkey for the Christmas, but while drinking is here to stay, drunk driving needs not to be tolerated. The Corozal Police Department will be on high alert during the festivities looking for drunk drivers. Their aim is for the merry mood not to suddenly switch to horror with word that there was a traffic accident and a family has lost one of their loved ones. Victor Castillo – Reporter “Now we know that there is a prescribe limit for alcohol in your system for you to be able to drive, wha tis that percentage?” Andrew Ramirez – O.C Corozal Police Formation. “The alcohol level differs in alcohol in the blood system and in the urine, the blood is 80 and then in the urine would 110 but again I want to emphasizes that the persons metabolism might differ, somebody might consume ten beers or ten stout and it does not reach the alcohol level other might be with two or three it differs because one of the things that I want to emphasize the police would act on suspicion, the suspicion would the manner the person is moving the vehicle, if it goes from left to right on stable I would create attraction to the police officers then the process would be that the police would then ask the driver, inform him I believe that you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs and it recommend or ask the person if they want to submit to a urine which can be done at the police station and if they want to submit the blood they must go to a medical doctor, then that item would be taken to the forensic in Ladyville and of course if it comes over the 80 then the offence of driving under the influence would be going into effect, if it pass over the 110 again it would be the offence driving under the influence but you notice that the police would charge first then send the blood or whatever into testing.

Corozal Police Heights Security For Christmas Season
We are just a week away from celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and with all the last minute hustle and bustle we tend to forget that it is also that time of the year when criminals are working overtime looking for their next victim in order to make a quick buck. This year though they won’t have it that easy because in Corozal the police department is out in full patrolling the busiest streets of that municipality in order to protect residents and visitors from ruthless criminals. “As part of our national action plan from the police headquarters level, we have commenced November the 15th where extra patrol is being conducted by the rank and file, and the extra patrol goes from 6pm to 10pm and that will conclude on January the 15th, so we have stepped up our game and we ask the community to support us and to report any suspicious person or vehicles within their community, I implore on them because these are times that we have outside persons referred as transport criminals that want to pounce especially the northern districts but as long as I am here I will try to ask the community to support us in relation to our crime fighting measures; do not leave curtain tied up, do not leave lights on because that will give the criminal the upper hand in relation to safety so implore them and i ask those again the business community to support us, to close within the prescribe hours and do not condone officer to be consuming liquor in uniform that is one of my serious concern right now that I have, we still getting complains about police officers in uniform being intoxicated and I don’t want those community to support those activities.”

Person Of Interest In Murder Of Canadian Retiree Is In The US.
The fourth murder for the Corozal District was recorded in the month of October when the life of a 57 year old Canadian retiree Lynn Nichiporowich was viciously ended. From the onset there have been very few clues that could lead police to Nichiporowich’s killer or killers who stabbed her several times while she was alone in her home located in the village of Consejo. Today when we caught up with Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Formation, Andrew Ramirez, he gave us an update on the murder. Andrew Ramirez – O.C Corozal Police Station “The four murders that we have had for this year are villages and I just want to recap to the media and to the listening public that we have had a murder between the Chan Chen/Patchakan roads with a gentleman Mr. Tuyul who had died and we had an incident in Libertad where a gentleman Osorio had died, then we had an incident in Sarteneja where a young lady Gonzales Veronica was stabbed and then the recent with the Canadian who died unfortunately in Consejo but none in Corozal town so to speak.”

OWTC Cements Portion Of Fonseca Street
Heavy rains have only compounded the dilapidated state of the streets in Orange Walk Town and more than ever most of the streets are in need of urgent repair. Several of the streets are in need of almost complete rehabilitation but the work has not been forthcoming. One of the major reasons has been limited resources at the Orange Walk Town Council. Notwithstanding this, Mayor Kevin Bernard says the street conditions have always been a priority for the Council. In an effort to address the situation, Mayor Bernard says they have devised a plan that they are starting on Fonseca Street. Kevin Bernard – Mayor, Orange Walk Town “We saw the need for urgent repairs and what we are doing here this is a first pilot project that we are addressing we are going to be cementing sections of this Fonseca road, what you see we are preparing here we will be cementing this road we have several sections that we will be doing this is one, there is another section at the corner that meets Fonseca and San Narciso Street, and we are also going to be doing the junction by San Andres and Fonseca Street, these are areas that we said are heavily traffic and we saw that more than one time we have come in this area resurfaced using asphalt patching decided that instead of continuing with that route lets look at a last longing solution and as such we decided to put some concrete on this area and we were hoping that we could look at other areas as well, we are trying to focus especially the corners, the junctions, but it is a start we as a council are doing it as a pilot project to see what it will actually cost the council to carry out these type of work because we want to come at the end of the day with a long term proposal that we can do to address many of the street in Orange Walk Town.”


Mexico Sees Decline in Belizean Visitors
LOVE NEWS understands that a meeting was held yesterday in Chetumal, Mexico between the Mexican Ambassador to Belize, H.E. Mario Velazquez and Mexican Director of Immigration at Subteniente Lopez, Alonzo Marquez. The details of what was discussed are not known but our sources tell us that both men met to address the issue of the new border crossing cards which replaces the FMVL card. We know however that pressure has come from the National Mexican Chamber of Commerce in Chetumal as a little more than 30% of Belizeans with a FMVL did not acquire the new border crossing card which has resulted in 20% drop in sales since the beginning of November 2013. For this reason the Mexican Chamber of Commerce requested from their authorities to accommodate Belizeans.

New Bus Terminal for Southern Residents
A new bus terminal was opened today in Independence Village in the Stann Creek District. The George Murray Bus terminal will serve as a hub for the surrounding villages in the banana belt. The project is one of several funded under the Banana Support Programme. Guest speakers at a special ceremony held yesterday were Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Belize Ambassador Paola Amadei and Minister of State Edmund Castro. HON. EDMUND CASTRO “The aim of the project was to promote the efficiency and the competitiveness of the banana industry thereby ensuring economic growth and poverty reduction in the rural communities of the banana belt in southern Belize. Ladies and gentlemen, we are thankful to the European Union and Government of Belize; there are lots of things in Independence, we have a lot to be proud of and welcome to this beautiful George Murray building.”

Numbers and Figures Released As Consumer Price Index
The Statistical Institute of Belize has issued the Consumer Price Index for September of this year as compared to the same month last year. The figures show that this year September it stood at 102.8, which was point eight percent higher than September 2012. The Statistical Institute attributes this increase to increases in transport, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels and food and non-alcoholic beverages. These were offset by lower clothing and footwear prices and insurance premiums. The Institute also recorded the inflation rate for the first nine months of 2013 at point three percent. Food prices, however, were up by 2.3 percent, but the most notable changes were in beef, rice and vegetables during the period under study. The most significant increases were for cabbage, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, sweet peppers, red kidney and black beans. But poultry prices, on the other hand, went down by one percent. The increase in the Transportation index was largely due to higher international airfares. While the price of diesel and regular gasoline rose in comparison to last September, there was a drop in the price of premium gasoline. Fuel increased by 0.6 percent on average between August and September. Health and motor vehicle insurance costs declined in response to sluggish consumer demand, and Belmopan showed the highest rate of inflation of all six municipalities. The lowest occurred in San Ignacio and Orange Walk.

Family Seeks Missing Man
The family of 53-year-old, John Tillett of San Ignacio, Cayo is still awaiting word on their loved one. Tillett has been missing since last Friday. According to reports he was last seen at Hode’s Place about ten thirty on Friday night. John Tillett, also known as Uncle John or the Dancer, stands about five feet eight inches tall, weighs about 140 pounds, is slim built with gray and black hair, a narrow face and wears eyeglasses. If anyone knows the whereabouts of John Tillett you are asked to call the nearest police station or telephone numbers 625-5395, 633-6080 or 621-6851.

Mayors Gather at Sugar Capital
The Mayors Association monthly meeting was this today in Orange Walk Town. Mayors from across Belize with the exception of Hilberto Campos and Darrel Bradley attended the meeting. The main topics on the discussion were the progress of the municipal development plan. John August mayor of San Ignacio / Sta. Elena is president of the association. JOHN AUGUST “The key issues today that we discussed were the municipal development road plan that presently all councils are working on through the Municipal Development Project being funded through the World Bank. We discussed that and how we are progressing with that and also we discussed the expansion of our town boundaries which is a major issue that is affecting all municipalities in this country. It was brought up by the Ministry of Local Government and they will be looking at it again early in the coming year. So, we are hoping that next year we can address that issue.”

A Toyota Pickup for Christmas
The Rotary Club of Belize launched its annual raffle to raise funds for a number of community-based projects. This year the club will be raffling a Toyota Hilux and according to President of Rotary, Lynn Young told love news that all the tickets have been sold. LYNN YOUNG “We have sold all the one thousand tickets; there are still stubs that are out there that you need to get into the barrel but it was extremely successful and we want to thank everyone who supported Rotary and everybody who bought tickets and wish them the best of luck. The drawing will be on December 23 during Love FM’s 12 Days of Christmas. On the 23rd, look out and the luckiest person will win. In addition to the tickets we sold, we got substantial sponsors and so all in all, I think we have come to realize over forty thousand dollars from the efforts and that money is being used for our Gift of Life program, the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Centre, we have school feeding program at St. Joseph and the different schools, we have the house building project for needy families. The prize is a Toyota Hilux; a very popular pickup truck, one of the best in the market and I am sure anyone who wins it would be just delighted.”

Re: Today's Belize News: December 18, 2013 [Re: Marty] #480176
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Belizean Miguel Matus on Interpol Most Wanted List
Miguel Matus is the convicted killer who escaped from police custody on February 3rd of 2011 while on a Dental Clinic visit in Belize City. There have been no leads as to the fugitives’ whereabouts since then and as of recent he’s been listed on INTERPOL’s OPERATION INFRA AMERICAS...

Special Constable Joslyn Gill Walks Out on Bail for Alleged Theft
This afternoon PLUS News had quite the adventure at the Magistrate’s Court, where a third suspect in the Atlantic Bank September shakedown of Thyrell Hyde was read his charges. Special Constable Joslyn Gill, 30, was charged for theft of $260 from Hyde before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart. He pleaded...

Financing Director Addresses Parking Lot Problem of the KHMH
And from the inside to the outside, where the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital parking lot will see a facelift. Costing $256,000, it will also see a re-organization of parking for all who use it. Dr. Gary Longsworth gives details. Dr. Gary Longsworth- Director of Financing “As you rightly point...

Another Convicted of Attempted Murder Sentenced to Jail
A man was sentenced today in the Dangriga magistrate’s court after being convicted of attempted murder. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports. Mr. Harry Arzu- Correspondent for Dangriga Town “In the seventh session of the Supreme Court of Belize, another trial concluded today here in this municipality. on the 29th August,...

Senator Shoman and President of the Senate in Strains on Ruling Proceedings
As we told you yesterday, Senator Lisa Shoman’s application to introduce a motion for the appointment of a Select Committee of the Senate was struck down by the Senate’s President. The Special Committee would have been tasked with evaluating ongoing investigations at the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality. ...

New Belizean History Soon to be Commissioned and Updated
Belize boasts of its rich and diverse culture and colourful ethnicity intricately braided in our Jewel’s history. For this reason there has always been a great demand for accurate representations of Belize’s history. This formed the basis for this morning’s information session at the George Price Center in Belmopan. ...

Christian Workers Union Elects a New Executive
On Saturday, The Christian Workers’ Union (CWU) held a special convention at St Mary’s Parish Hall to elect new officers. The following were endorsed to their positions on the executive for a three year term: President Audrey Matura Shepherd, Vice President Basil Brannon, Organizer Stephany Gongora and Treasurer Amy...

UN Envoy says Belize Can do More on Human Trafficking
Following a four-day visit last week to ascertain the prevalence of human trafficking and what is being done to remedy it, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Trafficking, H.E. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, release preliminary findings that indicate that Belize has some important work to be done before it can rid...

Homeowner Lay-waits Returning Burglar
After realizing that his home was broken into, the homeowner lay-waited the burglar, anticipating that he would return… and he did. Sometime between the 10th and 13th of this month, a businessman of Burrel Boom discovered that his bungalow was burglarized. Later, he told Police that he remained inside...

17 year Reportedly Tried to Hide Loaded Gun Near Store Shelf
Police have in their custody, a 17 year old San Ignacio resident, who reportedly attempted to hide a loaded gun behind a store shelf. On Friday, at about 11:30am, while on Police were on mobile patrol on Flamingo Avenue, the observed a young man known to them, walking into...

Farmers’ Demand on Bagasse Money May Soon See a Sunrise
On Sunday in Corozal caneros met to consider the proposal from Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI) to begin negotiations over the long awaited payment for bagasse. BSI wrote the Prime Minister last week outlining what it was and was not willing to speak about and that letter was read...

A Fraction of Market Vendors Protest Against City Hall’s New Measure
The plea of the Belmopan Market Vendors continues and today we spoke with the acting City Administrator Yolanda Chun, who updated us on the Council’s position in the matter. Yolanda Chun- City Administrator “The process that we took is that we had looked at the history of our...

Immigration sets the Trail of Roberta Medina
24 year old Rafael Alexander Vasquez Medina is the latest poster boy for the mess at the Immigration and Nationality Department, caught trying to obtain a replacement Social Security card with a nationality certificate claiming that he was Belizean by descent through his mother, Roberta Medina, a woman he...

Senator Shoman’s Select Committee Motion Rejected by Senate’s President
On Tuesday, we told you of PUP Senator the Hon. Lisa Shoman’s application to introduce a motion for the appointment of a Select Committee of the Senate at the upcoming sitting of the Senate. The Select Committee would serve as inquirer of the duties and the execution of function...

Belizean Miguel Matus on Interpol Most Wanted List
Miguel Matus is the convicted killer who escaped from police custody on February 3rd of 2011 while on a Dental Clinic visit in Belize City. There have been no leads as to the fugitives’ whereabouts since then and as of recent he’s been listed on INTERPOL’s OPERATION INFRA AMERICAS...

Traffic Accident Claims the Life of a Volunteer Police Constable
This weekend saw a number of traffic mishaps, two which claimed the life of a motorist and a pedestrian. We begin with a fatal road accident in the south. Our Dangriga correspondent Harry Arzu reports. Mr. Harry Arzu- Dangriga Correspondent “A resident of San Isidro village of the Toledo...

Three Traffic accidents, First Kills Elderly Man
The next three traffic accidents that we report on last night occurred on the same highway in a 30 hour span. On Saturday around 4:00 a.m, an elderly man, not identified by police, was struck by a vehicle and knocked down and killed around Mile 2 1/2 on the...

Man Electrocuted in Sandhill
A young man of Sandhill is critically injured at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after an unfortunate run-in with electricity. According to police, 26 year old Tyrone Vernon of the Salt Creek Road area was out catching blue crabs and stuck his implement by accident on an underground...


What would you do if you found yourself in a situation where the hard-earned assets that you have acquired over a lifetime were about to be disposed of in front of your very eyes, and you are absolutely powerless? Today, Amandala spoke with a group of people from the “tourism mecca” island town of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, who have resorted to seeking the assistance of the media to address what they term as a “very real” issue that is currently affecting some residents of the island. It appears that a group of mainly prominent, native San Pedranos are in danger of losing either their businesses, or properties that they have essentially toiled for during the course of their entire lives because of unforgiving creditors who refuse to take into consideration the stagnant economic conditions that have beset the island in recent years. According to one of the hoteliers who have been affected, the situation has been created by the constantly rising costs of living, compounded by the fact that the unsuspecting borrowers procured loans at a time when the economic outlook was bright on the island; however, they have now found themselves in a distressing predicament – stuck between “a rock and a hard place” – and facing potential bankruptcy because of their inability to service those loans, which is ultimately leading to the complete loss of their homes and/or businesses.

Interpol has released wanted posters for 16 fugitives wanted by police locally, regionally and internationally for various crimes, including murder. Among those on the list is Belizean Miguel Matus, wanted for the murder of Pricella Tzib, 17, which occurred in October of 2005. He was convicted of murder and given a life sentence. In February 2010, however, Matus escaped from prison authorities when he was taken to Bennett’s Dental Clinic on Newtown Barracks. Reports are that after his dental checkup, Matus borrowed a warden’s cell phone to place a call, and then the group waited outside the dentist’s office building. At about 11:40 a.m., a grey Mitsubishi Galant drove up to the premises, and Matus absconded. Interpol has classified Matus as armed and dangerous. If seen, he is not to be approached; anyone who spots him is advised to instead call the nearest police station.

Rains may continue until year ends. Belize’s rainy season typically spans June to November, but unusual rains this month have surpassed even the average November rains. Moreover, conditions triggering the unrelenting rains which have been showering Belize since last week could continue until the year ends, according to local authorities. Forecaster Frank Tench, Jr., told Amandala today that up to this morning, the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) had recorded 210 millimeters (about 8.5 inches) of rainfall. For today, said Tench, the PGIA had recorded 26.7 mm or over an inch, as of 9 a.m., signaling that rains for December at that station would have surpassed 9.5 inches by the end of today. Tench said that rainfall for this December is roughly 40% – 50% above normal, although it is not yet a record. The reason for the prolonged rains is a series of cold fronts which have come down to the Yucatan area, but which remain stationary as they interact with surface troughs from the Caribbean, which bring with them a lot of moisture.

“Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.”(From an interview for the documentary Mandela, 1994) One day after tens of thousands of guests witnessed the state funeral of anti-apartheid activist Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, an imposing 30-foot bronze statue, weighing a reported 4.5 tons, was unveiled at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa—the same venue where Mandela’s body was viewed by tens of thousands of people last week. Government officials there said the inauguration coincided with the December 16th Day of Reconciliation in that country. Furthermore, South African President Jacob Zuma said the Union Buildings—where the statue was erected—has been declared a National Heritage site.

New crop season will only start after legally binding agreement is signed. The executives of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) met with almost 1,000 unwavering sugar cane farmers who collectively converged in San Roman Village in the Corozal District yesterday, Sunday, in order to scrutinize the proposals that have been put forward by the executives of American Sugar Refineries (ASR), the parent company of Belize’s local sugar producer, Belize Sugar Industries (BSI). During the meeting, the cane farmers considered the so-called breakthrough in the bagasse dispute which Prime Minister Dean Barrow brokered with ASR representatives in a meeting last Wednesday, December 11. Last Wednesday afternoon, Barrow also met with the executives of the BSCFA, and he told them that earlier that day, ASR had agreed to pay them for bagasse, and that a quantum would be settled in negotiations.

The Central American Black Organization (CABO) was addressed by Julius Garvey, son of the late Marcus Mossiah Garvey, world renowned promoter of Black unity and progress, at its XIX Assembly held in Nicaragua about a week ago. Garvey pledged to work with CABO for the advancement of Blacks in the region. He told those attending the meeting that the event coincided with the 50th anniversary of African Unity. The main thrust of Garvey’s message, which he sought to impress on those at the CABO meeting, was that Blacks are “a powerful people, potentially”—the third largest world population next to the Chinese and Indians—and that they have a responsibility to carry on the work of legendary leaders who went before them. “We have not achieved the fullness of our potential,” Garvey declared. “It is up to us who are gathering here today—and I am very pleased to see so many young faces in the audience—it’s up to us to maximize that potential so that we can truly be a political force within the world economy and within the world socio-political scene.”

Yesterday afternoon at Bird’s Isle, where the Belize Boxing Federation kicked off its “Road To Glory” boxing elimination tournament to select representatives for next year’s international tournaments, 80-year-old legendary female boxing trainer, Ms. Henrietta Gill, climbed gingerly between the ropes and into the boxing ring, to present her personal trophy of appreciation to bronze medalist boxer, Sherman Galvez, whom she had trained for the first two years of his boxing career before she left Belize for Los Angeles, U.S.A. Ms. Henrietta, on vacation in Belize, said she had cancelled her return flight, at a cost of $400.00, when she learned that Sherman was “going astray,” and had a good talk with him about his life and boxing. She was pleased that Sherman listened to her advice, and wanted to publicly congratulate him for his achievement.

The Belize Volleyball Association (BVA) will host its Christmas Volleyball Camp at BES Auditorium starting on Tuesday, December 17, with the following schedule: Date Tuesday to Friday, December 17-20 Monday, December 23 Friday, December 27 Monday & Tuesday, December 30 & 31 Thursday and Friday, January 2 & 3 Time 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for boys and girls 5 to 8 yrs old. 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon for boys and girls 9 to 12 yrs old. 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. for girls 13 to 17 yrs old. 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for boys 13 to 17 yrs old.

The National Championship Regatta at Birds Isle (BIZ-13) has been postponed to the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, January 4 & 5, 2014. This regatta is the final in the series of seven regattas scheduled for 2013 and also considered for selection to the Optimist North American Championship (OPTINAM14) scheduled for July 2014 in Vallarta, Mexico. The regattas scheduled for 2014 which are also part of the selection process are: Corozal Bay on February 8 & 9 Buttonwood Bay, March 8 Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta, March 9 Placencia Regatta, May 24 & 25 Thirty four sailors have registered for the BIZ-13 regatta from clubs in Belize City, Corozal, Placencia and San Pedro Ambergris. The newly formed club in Caye Caulker will soon have sailors qualified to participate.

In the last two decades, on two occasions we Belizeans have seen the “second coming of Christ” on Belize’s socio-political scene. The first individual was absorbed by the People’s United Party (PUP), and the second could not resist the blandishments of the United Democratic Party (UDP). It should be noted that we Belizeans came out of slavery only six generations or so ago, whereupon we entered colonialism, a more sophisticated form of slavery. At the base of the socio-economic pyramid, Belizeans physically rebelled against colonialism in 1919 and 1934, and then our first real political party was formed, which was the People’s United Party (PUP) in 1950. This was only 63 years ago, a couple of generations. The PUP was built on a foundation which had been laid by a workers’ union – the General Workers Union (GWU). By 1958, however, the PUP politicians had gobbled up the GWU, and in 1959, it appears, the PUP leadership came to a kind of truce arrangement with the British colonial masters. Belize was granted self-government in 1964 and would have become independent soon after, had it not been for the Anglo-Guatemalan dispute over the territory of Belize.

I must admit that there are times when I am shaken by the awesome, sinister nature of the forces which are engaged in attacks upon our Belizean way of life and our nationalist Belizean aspirations. Between Thursday and Saturday there were several instances in which I was forced into pessimist mode. One of these instances did not even involve Belize. On Thursday, news broke that the Mexican government had won a preliminary vote to open up the Mexican oil industry to American and British oil companies. Essentially, what you have in Mexico presently in this oil issue is collusion between the ruling PRI and the PAN, which are the two larger and neoliberal political parties, and they are being opposed by the PRD, which is the roots party. When the Mexican Revolution began in 1910, the republic had been ruled with an iron hand for roughly three decades by the man Porfirio Diaz. During the so-called Porfiriato, Mexico was thrown open to foreign investment, these investors including British, American, German, and French companies. In addition, cronies and predators inside the Mexican ruling classes began to grab massive amounts of land. The Mexican oil industry was dominated by the British and the Americans.

Belize Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dean Barrow, is in Caracas, Venezuela, today for the II Extraordinary Session of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and PetroCaribe, which is being convened Monday, December 16, and Tuesday, December 17, 2013. Accompanying the Prime Minister is Belize Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, who also accompanied him at the 42nd Heads of State and Government Summit, held in Buenaventura, Panamá, last week, under the umbrella of the Central American Integration System (SICA). On Friday, December 13, SICA announced that it had sealed a new alliance with the European Union (EU), with the signing of the Agreement of Association between Central América and the European Unión. A summit was also held with EU President, Joao Durao Barroso, of Portugal.

As 2013 draws to a close, verdict on LGBT challenge to Belize’s anti-sodomy law and immigration law pending. As 2013 draws to a close, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has yet to announce whether it will permit a legal challenge by LGBT activist Maurice Tomlinson against the immigration laws of Belize and Trinidad and Tobago, on the claim that those laws restrict his right to free movement enshrined in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, establishing the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME). The legal challenge to Belize came after UNIBAM went to the Supreme Court of Belize with a constitutional claim – challenging Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code, which includes provisions with penalties for unnatural intercourse, including sodomy and bestiality. As 2013 draws to a close, the decision by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in regards to that challenge is still pending.

Two road traffic accidents occurred yesterday, Sunday. The incidents occurred about ten minutes apart. Police reports are that at about 5:20 yesterday evening, Elidoro Gutierrez, 68, a laborer of Libertad, Corozal District, was riding his bicycle between Miles 76 and 77 on the Philip Goldson Highway, when he was knocked down by a pickup truck travelling in the same direction, from Orange Walk to Corozal. Gutierrez complained of pain in his back. He was taken to the Corozal Hospital, and later to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for further medical treatment, and he is now recovering in a serious but stable condition. On their arrival on the scene, police saw Gutierrez lying injured on the road on top of his blue beach cruiser bicycle. On the left side of the highway about 5 feet away from where Gutierrez was lying on the road, was a parked 4 -door Toyota Hilux pickup truck with L/P BZE-C-1814, which had a broken front grill. The driver was Yu Ming Chuang, 57, a Belizean businessman of Belmopan.

A resident of Salt Creek is in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where doctors are working to help him. Police said that about 4:00 Saturday evening, Tyrone Vernon, 26, of Salt Creek, was striking blue crabs in the area when he accidentally pierced an underground BEL cable. Both of his hands suffered serious burns as a result. He was rushed to the KHMH in a critical condition.

This morning, Brian “Yellowman” Audinette, 31, the Mace Bearer in the House of Representatives and a UDP “stalwart,” and Allan Kelly, 30, had their charges dismissed this morning by Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart after the main witness and alleged victim, Phillip “Fawda” Henry, failed to make an appearance in his trial and the other witness, police corporal Wilbert Chi – another alleged victim of Audinette and Kelly – could not identify his alleged attackers. Henry had gone to the media and alleged that at 5:20 a.m. on July 12, he was attacked by Audinette and his friend, Kelly. The two men then allegedly attacked a police officer, Corporal Chi, when he intervened in the matter. Audinette and Kelly were charged with assaulting a police officer, wounding, harm, and threatening words, to which they both pleaded not guilty when they were arraigned. They were offered and met bail of $3,000, and appeared this morning for the trial.

Police confiscated two firearms, as well as ammunition and drugs, in separate incidents in the Cayo district. Police in San Ignacio said that about 6:20 Friday evening, they were on an anti-drug operation, in Hillview, Santa Elena, when they searched a bushy lot, to look for weapons or drugs. The search yielded a 16-gauge shotgun. No one was in the area at the time of the search and no arrests were made in connection with the discovery. The gun was deposited as found property, and will be handed over for destruction. Earlier that Friday morning, around 11:30, police found a 17-year-old young man in the possession of a gun loaded with 2 live rounds and a small quantity of ganja when they searched him in a store in San Ignacio. The boy has been remanded into custody. Police said that on Friday morning they were on mobile patrol on Flamingo Avenue, in San Ignacio, when they saw the young man walk into a store. They went into the store to see what was happening, and when the boy saw them, he quickly took out an object from under the waist of his pants and put it on the floor behind a shelf in the store. The object turned out to be a chrome 9mm Smith and Wesson pistol loaded with 2 rounds in a magazine with a 15-round capacity. Police quickly arrested him, and as he was being searched, he took out a bag from his pocket which contained marijuana and handed it over to police.

A policeman attached to the San Ignacio Police Formation has been remanded to prison on charges of aggravated assault of an indecent nature after he allegedly sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl in the girl’s home in Benque. The incident occurred about 4:30 Saturday morning. The child told police that she was in her bed sleeping when the policeman touched her private parts. Police Constable Rupert Thomas was subsequently arrested and charged with the offense, and taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court yesterday, where he was remanded until December 31, when he will be returned to court. The child told police that she went to her sister’s house in Benque to spend the weekend on Saturday, December 7. According to the child’s report, at about 4:30 that Saturday morning, while in her bed with other relatives, she felt someone touching her private parts.

Andre Hutchinson, 27, a resident of Ladyville and the son of former UDP Minister of State Michael Hutchinson, was charged with common assault today when he appeared before Magistrate Clive Lino. A 14-year-old student of Ladyville went to the Ladyville Police Station along with her mother and reported that Hutchinson, on December 12, assaulted her. Hutchinson was unrepresented when he appeared in court today and pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was offered and met bail of $1,000 and one surety of the same amount, and is to appear back in court on February 28, 2014.

William Tiabo, 30, a resident of Ladyville, was arraigned on a burglary charge after he and others allegedly broke into the home of Troy Gabb, Jr., and stole an assortment of electronics, watches and footwear valued at $15,338. According to police, Gabb reported that between November 8, 2013 and November 9, 2013, someone broke into his house and stole a 52″ television valued at $2,500; a 32″ television valued at $1,800; a microwave oven, a pair of Nike brand tennis shoes, a pair of Jordan brand tennis shoes, a pair of gold bangles, a gold watch, an XBOX Kinect, a laptop computer, 10 cases of beer, and other electronics and cash.

A businessman, Anselm Gillett, 43, of Brian Estate, Burrell Boom, “lay-waited” a thief and captured him when the thief returned to the scene of the crime to steal some more of Gillett’s belongings. Gillett reported that when he arrived home about 6:30 Friday evening, he found that his house had been broken into after seeing signs of forced entry. Gillett surmised that the thief would return to loot his home some more, and lay-waited the thief. Gillette told police that shortly after, at about 11:00 that same Friday night, he saw a man of Creole descent coming into his house through a window that had been previously damaged by the thief. He quickly tackled the thief and held him down while he called the police, who came and arrested the burglar in the house.


John Hopkins University Survey, Street Beat Training for San Pedro and a Big shout out
This past Saturday, Ms. Jessie Young and Mr. Terence Woodye from Belize City conducted part two of the American Red Cross/John Hopkins University end-line survey to gauge project impacts on the community’s awareness and preparedness for emergencies and disasters today in San Pedro. Thankfully the weather was nice for them after all the recent rains we have been experiencing. The survey was developed by John Hopkins University for the American Red Cross that gauges community awareness and preparedness for disasters. It was not done as assessment or targeted at any businesses in particular. The survey was conducted using a questionnaire on a cell-phone program and it was based on a 100 sample questions with a random selection method developed by John Hopkins University. The same questions were asked in early 2012 and comparing difference in the responses between the two years will help to give an idea of the project’s impacts on communities in Belize. In order to close out the “Saving Lives in the Caribbean Through Preparedness” project, the Belize Red Cross needed to get the survey done before the end of the year. Since we are going into the Christmas holidays it will be sometime in the New Year before the results will be shared with the San Pedro Branch. First they need to be tallied and analyzed by the American Red Cross.

Orange Walk, Belize: Tacos, Tacos and A Look Around
I’ve been in Orange Walk District, in the North West corner of Belize, for a day and a half now. The area is known to tourists for the Lamanai Ruins and to Belizeans for its sugar, tacos and rum. It’s the fourth largest town in Belize and on the beautiful New River. THERE ARE TRAFFIC LIGHTS! I would guess you could count the number of traffic lights in Belize on one hand. There is literally a taco stand every 20 feet. If not more often. Here’s the best one that I’ve found so far. Alicia’s Taqueria.

Maya of Belize Exhibition Warms up Frozen Minnesota
A major exposition of Belizean Maya artefacts currently on display at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St Paul is being promoted by its curators as being the largest collection of Belizean artefacts ever shown in one location. And Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed is already drawing crowds and rave reviews, with some 3,000 visitors sharing the experience on some days. Due to an arrangement with Belize’s National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), some 200 of the 300 artefacts on display come from Belize, and some have been excavated less than a year ago. Curator Dr Ed Fleming considers it a major coup both for the Minnesota museum and Belize. The exhibition has its genesis when Dr Fleming participated in an archaeological field school in Belize that was directed by Dr Jaime Awe in the mid-1990s. Now, 20 years later, having earned a doctorate in archaeology and acting as the Science Museum of Minnesota’s curator of archaeology, Dr Fleming brought in his former mentor, Belize’s Dr Jaimie Awe to insure the exhibition’s integrity.

Garden to Table: Take A Tour of Our Organic Garden
At Ka’ana we believe in sustainability. Our relationship with the environment is one of our resort’s top priorities. We also believe in delicious food! We’ve brought these two loves together in our gorgeous two-acre organic garden. Every day our guests dine on the freshest tomatoes, spinach and cucumbers picked just steps away from our restaurant, La Ceiba. Having all these fresh ingredients on-site is so important to our chefs. Up to 80% of the vegetables used in our kitchen come straight from the Ka’ana grounds. When they decide a dish needs some fresh cilantro, pumpkin, or sweet peppers, they just pop outside to our own mini-farm and pick the finest produce straight from the ground.

Twocanview wishes everyone Happy Holidays/Holy Days and Merry Christmas!
As I complete my second year blogging, I must say the experience has turned out to be far more rewarding than I anticipated. I have gained friends, enemies and frienimies. I have gained the trust of readers and supporters from countries all over the world. This year proved to be a rewarding year for me. My first born son completed high school and became an adult; I became a U.S. citizen; and I graduated from University of South Florida with a Master’s in Public Administration. I remain thankful and humbled by the opportunities that life has afforded me. I recall coming to America with practically no funds and a dream to achieve…sometimes in life, a leap of faith and an action plan guided by a trust in God is all you need!

International Sources

Cuba Backs all Efforts Aimed at Latin American Integration
Cuba supports all efforts by organizations committed to Latin American integration in favor of increasing regional development and unity, said Cuba's First Vice-president Miguel Diaz-Canel in Caracas, where he is heading the island's delegation to the Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our Americas and PetroCaribbe regional integration initiatives. Such entities have played an increasingly important role, since in just nine years they have had an impact on our societies, said Diaz-Canel and he also referred to the Cuba-Venezuela integral cooperation accord,under which over 30 thousand health professionals and more than 10 000 experts in other sectors are offering their services in the South American nation. The top government Cuban official stressed political coordination mechanisms operating under the Bolivarian Alliance, which express the bloc's position on different developments in the Americas and the world.

CRFM states to expand use of Fish Aggregating Devices in 2014
Several Caribbean countries are exploring the use of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) to bolster earnings, increase employment opportunities and improve management and conservation of ocean pelagic species within their jurisdictions. The expanding role of FADs in the Caribbean was explored at the CRFM / WECAFC-IFREMER-MAGDELESA / CARIFICO Workshop on FAD Fishery Management held in St. Vincent and the Grenadines from December 9 – 11, 2013. Milton Haughton, Executive Director, CRFM Secretariat, said at the three-day workshop that, "Pelagic species, such as, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, blackfin tuna, marlin, and dolphinfish--which are the ones targeted by the use of fish aggregating devices--are very important to Caribbean countries because of their contribution to food and nutrition security and livelihoods in coastal communities.” Haughton said that the reason why countries and fishers in the region are very interested in FADs is because they provide cost effective means by which the people of the region can obtain a greater share and optimum sustainable benefits from these straddling and highly migratory fish stocks which are utilized by several States within the region and beyond, in some cases.

Active-duty Marines to lead training mission in Central America
Twenty Marines will deploy to Central America as the region’s new security cooperation team, the first active-duty team to work for an extended amount of time in the area. The Marines graduated from the Marine Corps Security Cooperation Group’s schoolhouse here on Friday. The team comprises Marines from 17 units, with a variety of military occupational specialties, said Maj. Andrew Dirkes, who will serve as the officer-in-charge. They’ll be split into three smaller teams that will be placed in Guatemala, Honduras and Belize, he added. Reserve units have deployed in recent years to the Caribbean and Central and South America, where they work with local militaries that are on the front lines of the drug wars. But this is the first time active-duty Marines, working out of Marine Corps Forces South, will conduct the mission, said Maj. Mike Alvarez, a spokesman for the command. To prepare, Dirkes and his Marines attended a five-week Global Adviser Course here. It gave them not only the basics on advising other militaries, but also region-specific operational and cultural information about the countries to which they’re deploying, Dirkes said.

Your winter escape plan: 7 top warm-weather getaways
Let's face it: winters are tough. When it gets dark at 4:30 p.m. and there are sheets of freezing rain outside, it's hard not to fantasize about getting out of dodge. But choosing where to escape to can be overwhelming; with so many options, where does one begin? Luckily for you, planning vacations is one of our favorite things. We've selected some of our favorite winter getaway destinations and shared what we love about them as well as a top hotel pick for each. Why We Love Belize: Belize is most famous for its snorkeling and scuba diving, which are among the best in the world: The barrier reef off shore is second only to the Great Barrier Reef off Australia, and visitors can see turtles (both green and leatherback), nurse sharks, stingrays, and a variety of tropical fish. Divers swarm the Blue Hole, a large sinkhole. But we're also enchanted by the country's lush rainforests and Mayan ruins.

The Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations Of 2013
6. Belize Latin America has become a honeymoon hotspot in recent years, and Belize is top-notch, attracting celebrities and honeymooners alike. It's one of the few places on earth where you can visit ancient Mayan ruins, wander through the rainforest, relax on a white sand beach, and also swim along one of the largest coral reefs in the world.

Arriba! Inside Latin America
If you imagine a honeymoon filled with sunny days and sandy beaches, outdoor adventures and flavorful food, all set to a sexy soundtrack, then head south—past Mexico, past the Caribbean islands, and down to Central and South America. Stretching from compact Belize, which borders the calm Caribbean Sea, to Cape Horn, Chile, the southernmost point of the continent, this region is diverse, vast and ripe with opportunities for romance. Here, we spotlight four favorite destinations, all perfect for your trip of a lifetime. Why we love it: There are few places on earth where you can visit ancient Mayan temples, wander through a rainforest, chill on a white sand beach and swim along one of the largest reefs in the world. And this rustic paradise beckons honeymooners to recharge under the stars.

Most Googled destinations in 2013
One country's dusty backyard is another country's dream vacation, according to Google's 2013 year-in-review list. Published Tuesday, the Zeitgeist charts reveal the hottest travel destinations by country. The data is divided into two kinds of lists. The first reflects the "trending" destinations -- those that show the greatest growth in searches when compared to last year -- while the second shows rankings of topics with the largest total search volumes. Google is the world's most popular search engine, with 71% of the global search engine market share. The roundup yielded some surprising results -- Macau was the most searched destination in India this year, for example. U.S. searches for honeymoon locations (trending) 1. New Zealand 2. Cancún 3. Maldives 4. Bali 5. Thailand 6. Belize 7. St Lucia 8. Tahiti 9. Caribbean 10. Croatia

Where In the World Should You Retire?
From sandy beaches to surprisingly affordable living costs, the latest ranking of foreign retirement destinations by International Living magazine makes becoming an expat retiree look very attractive. But is retiring abroad really as easy — and affordable — as it sounds? If you're retiring abroad to indulge an adventurous streak, you're on the right track. Colombia, for instance, has made great strides in public safety and appears on this year's International Living list. But if you're looking to stretch your retirement dollars, you may be in for some surprises. • Income taxes. In many countries, you'll be paying local as well as U.S. taxes on your income. In others, you'll find a decidedly favorable tax environment. For instance, several Latin American countries, including Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Uruguay, don't charge tax on foreigners' retirement income. A few others have agreements with the U.S. that credit your U.S returns for taxes paid abroad. The upshot: Work closely with your accountant and financial adviser to weigh the tax consequences of moving to your chosen destination.

New Jersey Couple Find Health and Freedom in Placencia, Belize
At 50 years old, Eugene Upham was too young for retirement. But he was too old for second chances—or so people said. Then Eugene had a heart attack. Though he survived, the part of him that listened to those voices didn’t. As Eugene was recovering, New Jersey was blanketed in several feet of snow. And, as his wife Lynne says, “We knew we had to reevaluate our life.”

Beach Homes with the Caribbean on Your Doorstep
It’s no coincidence that commercials for vacations, resorts, or cruises in North America prominently feature the white sands, clear-blue waters, and laid-back vibe of Caribbean beaches. It is paradise and close to home. Maybe that’s why it’s been a premier vacation destination for decades. But thanks to affordable real estate available throughout the region, you’re not limited to the all-inclusives—it is possible to enjoy the Caribbean lifestyle year-round from your own home.

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