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Misc Belizean Sources

Mr. Francisco Leal
Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the leal family on the passing of Mr. Francisco Leal. May his soul rest in peace.

The widespread impact and sustained flooding is described as the worst adversity to have affected farmers nationally and even more severely in the Belize District. Increased and continuous rain combined with the inability of channels to carry off floodwater discharge has resulted in the damage of key agricultural products and areas inundated. The unfavorable conditions have resulted in pasture loss, decreased livestock production as well as increased pest and disease in key local agricultural commodities. In response to the challenges caused by climatic conditions the Ministry of Natural Resource and Agriculture has committed itself to providing assistance in the form of animal feed and some agricultural inputs to severely impacted farmers in highly vulnerable agricultural zones.The planned action was drafted as a result of feedbacks from farm visits, farmer meetings and extensive consultation with national counterparts resulting in an identified and prioritized strategy to help alleviate the existing conditions. The proposed intervention will commence on Saturday 4th January with the provision of cattle feed to livestock producers in the Crooked Tree and Blackburn livestock productive zones. On Wednesday January 8th assistance will be provided to the communities of the Belize River Valley and on Friday January 10th the communities along the old northern highway (Maskall zone). There are several other supportive actions expected to be realized during the two month timeline offering direct complementary support in the form of training, capacity building and developing resilience to climate variability and change. All farmers and agricultural producers affected by rain and flooding in the Belize District are called to the attention of this release and urged to contact the Department of Agriculture at 203-2842 for consideration.

ISIS Students Check Up on Iguanas
The Institute for Sustainable International Studies has another group of vet students in, and they've been doing check ups and cleanings on the resident iguanas at the Green Iguana Conservation Project. Have fun, and thanks, ISIS. In related news, the Green Iguana Conservation Project has a like page so you can keep up to date on Roxy and the other iguanas. "The first field trip is always a hit! Thanks to the always enthusiastic and well trained guides at San Ignacio Hotel Green Iguana Project, and of course thanks to the many amazing green baby animals... a great time was had by all. This was the introduction and we will be back to get a bit more 'involved' for the regular check up and maintenance of 70 - 100 iguanas next week."

Overtaking on a hill?
The dangers of driving on our roads and highways are sometimes magnified by seemingly insignificant things that motorists do. Recently on the Hummingbird Highway at Mile 29, this scene was captured, showing a frightening occurrence involving three large trucks. The driver of truck laden with a load of oranges decided to overtake another truck hauling oranges. The thing is, the overtaking was done on a hill and at the same time another cargo truck was coming in the opposite direction.

Golden Arrow Technical Divers "Exploring The Elbow" Turneffe Marine Reserve
Featuring Golden Arrow Technical Divers our guest from Dominican Republic, Brazil and Panama. Join as we explore 'The Elbow" Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve, Belize. Central America. "Denis, It was a pleasure diving with you all and we look forward to your return."


"Take That to the Bank" in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
It's been relatively quiet since the last edition on New Year's Day. I've (obviously) been getting up in the morning having my 'me time' on the veranda (the western one on the first floor if you are interested) with a mug of coffee (black) and my iPad. Not the new one though. It's been too damp (it's rained a lot over the last few days - well months actually) to expose my new iPad Air to the elements! Work on the fence had slowed to a standstill because Rubio (the main man) had told us that after working on 30 December he was heading off to spend time and celebrate the new year with his family in Punta Gorda and would not return to work until Monday 6 January. Although Rubio hails from the mainland he has lived most of his life on Ambergris Caye having arrived here in 1975 fearing that the San Pedranos would not allow him ashore. They did though, and he has been here ever since. Rose and I took advantage of the lull in the fence building. She by starting work on making the curtains ((more on this in a future edition(s))for our new home. And me? Well I picked up on some 'must do' administrative stuff. Our "QRP" (Qualified Retirement Program) status needed renewing (although I didn't gain entry in to the 'Program until the end of last May the permit (card) expired on 31 December - all permits, whenever they are issued, run as per the calendar year).

International Sources

FBI Fugitive for Murder Has Strong Ties To Belize
PLEASE PLEASE publish this in your paper and on your has been a month and this murderer is still at large and being sought by the FBI...he slit my nieces throat several times and stabbed her to death after beating her so badly she was hardly recognizable. He left behind 2 little girls (2 and 5 years old) who adored their mommy who was an amazing person. He has family and friends in Belize who may be harboring him and may not even know what he has done...

A case for compensation for climate change
CAN the countries of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (Caricom) take international legal action against the states that are warming the planet with devastating consequences, not only for their survival, but in some cases even their existence? This question comes into sharp focus in the wake of the damaging effects of flooding and landslides in St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia, and Dominica as 2013 came to an end.

Stalking complaint dismissed against McAfee
A judge in Oregon dismissed a civil stalking complaint on Friday against an anti-virus software entrepreneur who left Belize to avoid police questioning in a fatal shooting. The temporary protective order against John McAfee was obtained in November by Connor Hyde, property manager of a high-end Portland apartment building where McAfee lived. Hyde claimed the evicted McAfee had threatened him. The complaint was dismissed by Judge Terry Hanson after neither Hyde nor McAfee appeared in court for a hearing on whether a permanent order should be granted. McAfee, 68, moved to Oregon last winter after leaving the Central America nation of Belize, where authorities sought to question him as a person of interest in the fatal shooting of Gregory Faull, a U.S. expatriate who lived near McAfee's home. McAfee has denied any involvement.

Challenging teen pregnancy -- new focus of Caricom/UNFPA
Over the past week, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) disclosed in its latest report what is widely known by citizens across the Caribbean/Latin America region - that 2013 was not a good year for economic performance. Additionally, that the forecast for 2014 is an estimated less than three per cent growth in gross domestic product. But it is the assessment of a serious human rights threat facing teenage girls of our Caribbean Community, as assessed by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Caricom Secretariat, that is the primary focus of this article. With an estimated one-third of Caribbean teenage girls being married before their 18th birthday, among them those compelled to do so by unexpected/unplanned pregnancies, this very challenging problem had engaged the attention of Caricom's Council for Human and Social Development (COSHOD) during 2013.