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The San Pedro Sun

Wolfe's Woofers: Words of Wisdom
"Ring!" "Hello, Dennis speaking." "Dennis, this is your big sister." "Geney, what's up with you?" I asked. "Is everything going O.K. in West Virginia?" "Not really," she said. "Grandma is on her deathbed. You need to come home." When I got to West Virginia the whole family was gathered at the bed of my 103 [�]

Police Report
On Saturday, December 14th, 46 year old Daniel Nah visited the San Pedro Police Station to report that on Friday, December 13th his house had been vandalized. According to Nah, sometime around 11:30PM he was awakened by his common-law wife, Sylvia Lopez, who informed him that she heard someone throwing stones at the house. Nah quickly responded and went to investigate what was causing the disturbance. Upon investigating, Nah found a Hispanic male, known to him as Nigel, throwing stones at his house. Nigel was taken away from the font of the house but returned shortly again and continued to throw stones, which hit Nah's glass door causing it to break. According to Nah, the door is valued at $800. Court action was requested.

Doctor Love
Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length. Dear Doctor Love, We have lived together for sixteen years. When we first started sharing a house it was understood that it was temporary. We would [�]

Misc Belizean Sources

Power brokering!
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez Instead of listening to the noise in the market we should have checked our change The Mennonite community won't let any dictator make their own estranged They are power houses within the country Those have in the past helped to finance political parties States within the state For example the Mennonites are multi-millionaires Look what they have been able to achieve after fifty years They have been establishing communities every where Orange Walk, Cayo and Corozal They produce food, furniture, houses and even mechanical equipment for all

BVAR The Experience
A quick little video with some highlights of the 2013 BVAR Field School experience. All the (session 1) filming was done at Baking Pot, Cay Caulker, and Hode's Restaurant.

YNOT Bakery and Deli celebrates its first successful anniversary
Where there is a will there is a way. YNOT Bakery and Deli celebrates its first successful anniversary on Saturday December 21st in Corozal. If you're craving doughnuts, jelly-filled bismarcks, cakes or fresh-baked breads, you're in luck. The YNot Bakery is truly a special family affair and offering just in time for Christmas to stack up on your special sweets and treats for friends and family. The bakery is the brainchild of "Don" Polin Herrera with the assistance of his son Tony (YNot - spelt backwards) Herrera and his wife Mercy Herrera of Corozal Town. Assisting in the bakery is Mr. Polin's humble wife, Mrs. Rosa Maria Herrera. (Pictured above Left-Right, Tony, Rosa Maria, Don Polin and Mercy Herrera). The managers and staff of YNOT Bakery wish everyone in Corozal a warm and sweet Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Sailing boat that ferry villagers and cargo to and from town
There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them - Denis Waitley. Here is one innovative way our fellow brothers and sisters of Sarteneja Village and the surrounding areas have been travelling to Corozal Town for sometime now because of the extreme bad road conditions in that area. Here is a sailing boat that ferry villagers and cargo to and from town. If you happen to see so much people from Sarteneja in town recently, it is becuase they would normally end up in Orange Walk when the road was passable to do their daily business of trade and shopping. Let us treat our fellow villagers warmly and kindly while they visit and shop with us here with the hope that with this experience, they will be no longer need to continue shopping elsewhere. Merry Christmas to all our brothers and sisters of Sarteneja, Chunox and Copper Bank.

Know where your Cheese comes from
Contraband cheese found stuffed in a Corozal Free Zone garbage truck, and yes the garbage truck was full of garbage.This could be a potential health hazard for anyone who may be buying and consuming this contraband cheese. We have no idea how long it has been happening. For many in the hustle sector of the economy, Christmas is contraband time, and the hustle often starts at the two borders but particularly in the Corozal Free Zone where premium liquor and Mexican beer is cheap. And for those who can get past the customs checkpoints, it can mean making a killing on contraband. But, getting past those checkpoints has been tough lately, and we are told, even a few customs officers have been caught. And so that's why one group of smugglers found a novel way to get their contraband out of the zone: They hid it in a garbage truck! You heard right, a garbage truck. Yesterday morning at 5:00 am, the truck entered the zone and went about its garbage collection business, but when it left at 6:30 am, customs, acting on excellent intelligence followed it. The truck went about a mile and a half to the nearest dumpsite, which wasn't unusual. But when they got there, they started to unload a major contraband haul!

Twocanview on Blog Radio Dec 29, 2013 @ 2pm
Communication is awesome, revolutionary and fast-paced. The mediums are growing that are empowering the average non-corporate citizens of the world with a voice in a seemingly powerless world. I was approached by someone who will sponsor me for a radio blog to enhance my current blog Hubert Pipersburg initiative to start his own radio blog addressing pressing issues facing Belize is revolutionary. Issues in Belize are many times clouded by political labeling, fear of political backlash and apathy borne out of years of failed promises. Please listen to Hubert premiere show here:


Prisoners Take Over Chetumal Prison
There is disturbing news coming out of Chetumal Quintana Roo tonight. Mexican Newspaper Por Esto is reporting that the Prison in Chetunal has been taken over by criminals. The report states that a number of prisoners, headed by Carlos Cabanas Catzin, detained in the month of February 2013 for the trafficking of 45 kilos of Crystal meth are carrying out illicit activities inside and outside prison walls. What's more alarming is that, according to reports, prisoners carry out their criminal activities under the protection and administration of Secretary of Public Safety Carlos Bibiano Villa Castillo who is protected by two men accused of the murder of a police officer.

2014 To Bring Reduction In Electricity Rates
Belizeans will see a decrease in their light bill come the New Year. That's according to the Public Utilities Commission who has taken the decision to reduce electricity rates by eight percent. The decision was made after the Belize Electricity Limited submitted a proposal to the PUC to reduce electricity rate in January 2014 by 3 cents. The good news is that after review the PUC decided to reduce the rate by 4 cents and it was all due to the rainy weather. "BEL when they presented their proposal they suggested a three cents reduction, the PUC has decided a four cents reduction, or every hundred dollars you spend on the bill you now going to spend $92 because you get a 8% reduction, a number of things happened this year 2013 which cause this situation that we can reduce the rates, first one being CFE prices you could say on average reversed and it went back to normal, in 2011 CFE prices were approximately thirty cents per kilowatt hour, in 2012 it went to thirty seven cents and in 2013 it went back down to thirty cents, so that is the first thing that happened, that is a substantial amount of money of saving that can be passed on to the public, the second thing that happened is that the hydro production which is energy at let say twenty cents per kilowatt hour also increase in other word it went back to the levels that it was in 2011."

Corozal Police Hunt For Two Men Considered Armed And Dangerous
Corozal Police is tonight asking for the public's assistance in locating two men wanted for the crime of robbery. Alex Reid (aka cat) and Kevin Manzanero (aka midget), both from the Cayo District are considered armed and dangerous. Andrew Ramirez- O/C Corozal Police Formation "I ask the public at large, we are still trying to locate the individual who committed the crime of robbery here in Corozal namely Alex Reid and Kevin Manzanero, we still consider these guys to be armed and dangerous, they are wanted by other municipalities specially San Ignacio, we were made to understand that these guys were from the Cayo area however we may still believe that they may be lurking around so we asking the public to please be on the lookout for these individuals don't approach them but call the police who have the necessary resources to try apprehend them of course alive preferably."

House Is Gutted By Fire, Family Of Three Is Left Homeless
An Orange Walk family is left wondering what they will do for Christmas after their home was destroyed by fire on Thursday night. Luckily, no lives were lost. Reporter Maria Novelo went looking for answers in the cause of the misfortune and filed this report. Screen_Shot_2013-12-20_at_8.01.42_PMMaria Novelo - Reporting Less than one week before Christmas, an Orange Walk family is picking up the pieces after a fast moving fire broke out at their home sometime after nine on Thursday night. Charred remains of what were the possessions of the Ramirez family were all that was left when we arrived at the scene this morning. At the time of the blaze, the house was being occupied by two females and a minor, who were awoken by the smoke. A relative of the family recounted the tale. Relative "My sister called and then she told me that the house is on fire and then she manages to come out with my sister in law and my nephew and then when my mother ran to bring my brother over there it were already on fire." Senior Officer at the Orange Walk Fire Station, Kenneth Mortis, told us what investigations have reveled so far. Kenneth Mortis - Senior Officer at the Orange Walk Fire Station "We responded to a fire on Doctor Guerra Street and on arrival se observed a cement bungalow house totally engulf in flames, the fire department got into operation in trying to extinguish the fire and from there we did a preliminary investigation as to the cause and origin of the fire."

Onions Rot In The Fields, Huge Losses Are Recorded
The source of our vegetables for most of us is of no concern. Who toils the soil, cares for the crop, basically the entire work it entails before the vegetables reach the market. The only time consumers complain or grow concerned is when prices are extremely high or when there is a shortage in one item. Presently the price of several vegetables keeps rising but soon enough consumers will be facing a shortage of onions. Our news team travelled to the largest onion producing community in the Orange Walk District, San Carlos Village to find out why. In San Carlos Village a majority if not all families make a living through farming. Here farmers grow mainly potatoes, carrots and onions. The latter is produced in the largest quantity by some thirteen to fifteen farmers.

Three Brothers Charged For Contraband Goods
As the days to Christmas narrows down the hustle at the Northern Border increases, especially due to the Corozal Free Zone where premium liquor and Mexican beer are cheap. While Belizeans often visit the zone, getting their purchase goods pass the Customs Checkpoint at the Northern Border is a whole other scenario. In fact, at this time of the year, it is a complicated one since Custom Officials are on high alert looking for those contraband goods. But as they say where there is a will there is way,the only risk taken is if you get caught. And that is exactly what happened to three brothers from Corozal who were caught smuggling contraband goods out the free zone in no other than a garbage truck. This morning Ezekiel, Edward and Carlos Hall were arraigned at the Corozal Magistrates Court where they were charge for being recklessly in control of un-customed goods and recklessly carrying un-customed goods.

Days After Being Set Free Darwin Salazar Is Brutally Murdered
With only eleven days remaining in the Calendar year, the relatively calm community of Corozal Town was rattled with its fifth registered murder for the year. It was a brutal one which saw the untimely death of a 28 year old man from Joseito Layout in Corozal Town. All indications are that the victim was brutally beaten, stabbed and bludgeon to death. And tonight, Corozal police are left piecing the puzzle to this latest homicide; Reporter Victor Castillo has that story. Tonight there are more questions than answers as the family of Darwin Salazar is clueless as to why someone would want their loved one dead. The incident occurred around 7pm last night when police from the Corozal Department where called to an area within the village of Chan Chen where the body of 28 year old Darwin Salazar was seen lying motionless on the road side in a pool of blood. According to Officer commanding the Corozal Police Department Andrew Ramirez, his department is looking at all possible angles.


San Pedro Scoop: My Best of 2013 - Part Two
Yesterday I meant to do a recap of my year (Part ONE) and going through pictures, I made it through 2 months only. I guess I was busier than I thought in 2013. Not a bad thing�not a bad thing at all� SAP ALERT! Belize is really the coolest country ever. I spent about 5 years living on just Ambergris Caye�not a bad gig at all. But over this past year�year and a half, I've had a chance to explore so much more of my new home - from the mountain Pine Ridge area to the deep south, Punta Gorda to Orange Walk - I am surprised on each and every trip. By how diverse the people and the landscape are�by how friendly, welcoming and proud Belizeans are to me and just how much I love this country. I can't think of another place I want to live. Stop rolling your eyes! Let's get to the pictures: July! I started going to Crossfit Belize here in San Pedro and met a very cool group of people. We took a boat trip to Grand Belizean Estates on the lagoon side of the island.

How to Cross the Guatemala - Belize Border. Plus, Meeting the Keystone Cops
The time had come. That time every digital nomad at first loves, because it feels exciting and new� until later it becomes one more inconvenience in a long list of gripes. It was� Tourist visa renewal time! In Guatemala, you can renew your visa at the 90-day mark without leaving the country. After your visa is renewed, you can take your passport to SAT's Custom's office and extend your vehicle's permit as well. At six months, or 180-days, one HAS TO leave the country. Rule also applies to whatever foreign vehicle you've brought with you, because its Temporary Import stamp has to match your passport. It took about 4 hours, from Guatemala City, to reach the turnoff for Peten (Tikal) and the Belizean border. From the turnoff, it was about 35 minutes to Rio Dulce, a cool little town next to Lake Izabal and home to the largest bridge in Central America. From Rio Dulce, it takes about 3 hours to reach Flores, the base of expeditions into Tikal and other archaeological attractions in the Peten Department.

Homemade Ginger Snaps
Ginger Snaps are Joe's favorite biscuits or cookies. This recipe is pretty simple and tasty. The cookie is very hard just like Ginger Snaps usually are and the ginger is just the right amount for any palate. I'll never buy store bought Ginger Snaps again.

"Back When" in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Instead of starting today's edition by regaling you (well I think some of you find it amusing) with my early morning exploits- you know, black coffee, etc - I thought I'd start off by including another of Melissa and Ken Fellure's pictures from yesteryear. The Barrier Reef Hotel in Barrier Reef Drive (front street). One of the first meals that Rose and I had when we first visited Ambergris Caye was back when The Barrier Reef Hotel was operational. We had dinner on the veranda and if I recall correctly it wasn't the greatest cuisine I've experienced but the atmosphere and the view (Rose of course -she was as 'tasty' then as she is now) were tremendous.

International Sources

4,000 People Arrested during INTERPOL's "Operation Cage" that Targeted the Illegal Trade in Birds
More than 8,700 birds and animals, including reptiles, mammals and insects have been seized and nearly 4,000 people arrested in an operation across 32 countries coordinated by INTERPOL against the illegal trade and exploitation of birds and their products. Operation Cage, which included national wildlife enforcement authorities, police, customs and specialized units, also saw the seizure of trapping equipment, guns and ammunition during a series of interventions and raids conducted at sites including ports, airports, postal services, markets, pet stores and taxidermists in South and Central America and Europe. While the operation focused on the illegal trade of birds, a number of other fauna and flora were found, including elephant ivory, turtles, fish and other live wildlife which were rehabilitated where possible. Operation Cage was launched in response to the growing illegal transborder trade of captive-bred and wild birds and eggs, and the increasing involvement of organized crime networks in their transit from Latin America to Europe. "Operation Cage once again clearly demonstrates the global scale of the problem of the illegal trade in birds and other wildlife, which is not just an organized crime issue, but also represents a biosecurity risk," said David Higgins, manager of INTERPOL's Environmental Crime Programme.

Belize urges solution to Guatemala's long-standing territorial claims
Guatemala's claim to more than half of neighboring Belize has gone on way too long, say Belizean officials, warning that the ongoing territorial dispute is an "existential threat" to the former British colony. Belize is slightly larger than El Salvador but has fewer than 350,000 inhabitants, making it the most sparsely populated country in Central America. It is also the isthmus' only English-speaking republic. For nearly two centuries, Guatemala has claimed the 12,272 square kilometers of Belize south of the R�o Sib�n as its own. The controversy dates to 1821, when Guatemala gained independence from Spain, and England was occupying what later became Belize. Earlier this year, the Guatemalan government outraged people in Belize by introducing a new passport that depicted a map of Central America on its cover with Belize and Guatemala separated by a dotted line - not a solid line indicating an international border.

Drone Use Soars in Latin America, Remains Widely Unregulated
From aerial surveillance to three-dimensional geographic modeling of rugged terrains and even speedy pizza delivery service, manufacturers have begun to promote the infinite capabilities of domestic drones. At the same time, they are specifically targeting developing markets in Latin America for the martial use of drones in law enforcement and military operations. In response, human rights groups have been raising concerns over these fast-evolving technologies, citing the potential for abuse by various state agencies. Recent advancements have allowed governments to adopt and, in some cases, begin building their own UAV fleets, but regulation on domestic drone use remains non-existent throughout the Americas aside from preliminary laws adopted in Brazil, Canada and the United States.