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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Tourists fall victim to credit card fraud on Ambergris Caye
For over a year, tourists to Ambergris Caye have been claiming that they have been victims of credit card fraud. The matter simmered down after those operating the scam got wind that the Ministry of Tourism and Culture was alerted and hadasked for the intervention of the Financial Intelligent Unit (FIU) and local police. However the credit card fraud operatives are back at it again. Recently, two victims have gone public with their cases. According to the visitors, the only common place they both used their credit cardsat was at a local golf cart company. The victims first posted their experiences on TripAdvisor and indicated that the fraudulent charge apparently came from Ethan's Vege Store. "While there (on Ambergris Caye) we paid cash mostly and only used our credit card two times, once with a reputable cart company and once with a reputable tour company. Now looking at my credit card statement I see that I have charges for over $300 for Ethan's Vege Store with the transaction date the day after we returned to California. We can't think of anything else that would have cost over $300US, especially not groceries. Ethan's also charged a smaller amount of $26 first, which is apparently what credit card fraud people do the 'test the waters' so to speak," said one of the tourists from Belmont California USA.

Santa Elena Football Complex and Facilities to be updates
Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), a public sector agency of the Government of Belize (GOB), is undertaking the design, construction and management of capital projects in Belize with particular emphasis on sporting and other multipurpose facilities. Investment project was initiated on January 21st, 2014 with contract signature for consulting services and architectural designs for infrastructure at the Santa Elena Football Complex and Facilities. BIL, along with technical support from MOW, is working closely with the Local Government Representative for the area. The investments to be financed as a prerequisite to any commencement of the civil works, and relevant to this consultancy, include a feasibility study, inclusive of public and one-on-one consultations with the community and relevant stakeholders, socio/environmental studies as related to any environmental management, approved design plans, bidding documents inclusive of all cost estimates, and operational recommendations for the Santa Elena Football Complex and Facilities.

Mountains of garbage on Marina Drive is "plain nasty" and "unacceptable" says the Mayor
There are major concerns being expressed regarding tons of garbage dumped on Marina Drive in the southern portion of San Pedro Town, specifically the section between the DFC subdivision and the town's municipal marina. It is an issue that the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) said they are equally concerned about. The council indicated that garbage disposal remains a major challenge for the local municipality. In fact, the amount of garbage generated by islanders is in the millions of pounds per year, some of which is not properly disposed of. "I went to the area on Monday (January 20th) and we took pictures so that we can share with our residents via social media because we want to show them the challenges we are faced with. It is shameful that we have residents dumping garbage there. The sight is unpleasant, plain nasty and unacceptable," said Mayor Guerrero when questioned about the concern.

Pickin' & Grinnin - Who are these HAPPY people?
Each year American country musician Jerry Jeff Walker fans migrate from across the globe to San Pedro for the legendary Camp Belize concerts and island merriment. One thing is for sure, these gregarious fans are certified music junkies! When they are not attending one of the four concerts Walker puts on over the two week period, they are busy making music of their own! Pickin' Parties pop up daily at local bars, such as Lola's, Wet Willy's, Crazy Canucks, Country Caba�a and Average Joes. And if they aren't behind an instrument like a guitar or ukulele, you can find them behind a mike singing "SherryOkie" at the Road Kill Bar.

Ambergris Caye Educators join Belize District Teachers Protest
The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) is continuing their initiative for a salary adjustment and on Friday, January 17th, hundreds of teachers converged in Belize City for the second teachers protest demanding the Government of Belize to adhere to their concerns. Attending the protest were teachers from San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker Village who walked in solidarity for the cause. The protest commenced at Constitution Park and ended at the Battlefield Park. The countrywide strategy began on Friday, January 10th, when teachers from Corozal and Orange Walk District banded together in protest. According to the BNTU, the protest was not only to demand a salary adjustment but for overall social justice. Since 2008, BNTU has been demanding better working terms, including a raise in pay. On October 9, 2012, GOB and BNTU signed an agreement to open negotiations, and since then, the GOB has agreed to a salary adjustment but not exactly the amount the teachers were hoping for. BNTU expressed disdain towards the GOB's decision to not meet the teachers' minimum requirement and as such they continue fighting for what they believe is a just cause.

Ambergris Today

Manelly's Brings Marquesitas to San Pedro
There's a new afternoon treat in town that is creating a huge buzz on the island! People are going wild for Marquesitas! Both lovers of the delicious Mexican treat, the Angels, of course, are not going to miss out on it. A quick call to Manelly's Ice Cream Parlor and the Angels arranged a private "Marquesitas Session". They met with Ivan Staines who was the intuitive one to bring the Marquesitas stand to the island. What are Marquesitas you might ask? Well, they are crispy rolled up wafers stuffed with Dutch cheese or/and other delicious fillings. Not only did we want to try these delicious treats but we also wanted to get in the fun of making them. Ivan wasted no time in getting the Angels in the kitchen to help him make the sweet batter for the wafer. Angel Perlita stepped up to do the mixture and followed directions very well into making the perfect batter. A little sugar, flour, vanilla and some other secret ingredients, mixing, sifting and a elbow grease, in no time we had prepared a good batch of marquesita magic.

Daniela Salazar Celebrates Quincea�os
Celebrating her Quincea�os (15th Birthday) last week in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, was lovely Daniela Salazar. She celebrated with close family and friends at a private party held in her honor inside Jaguar's Temple Night Club. Daniela is daughter of Ilsa and Hector Salazar; she was officially presented to society by her cousin Andrea Nu�ez, grandmother Isabel Salazar and uncle Gabriel Nu�ez. Daniela turned 15 on January 12. Congratulations!

Misc Belizean Sources

The Chamber has heard Hon. Patrick Faber's comments in the House yesterday and is compelled to clarify our press release of January 17, 2014. In that release, we advocated for a phased-in approach to increases in teacher's wages, based on responsible financial management principles. Belize has excellent teachers, mediocre teachers, and teachers who should seek another profession. The object of a merit-based increase is to motivate our teachers to consistently improve, which will only serve to better our country and our future generations. In these times of widespread poverty and illiteracy, we can no longer afford to skimp on education. This is why the Chamber, in supporting the teachers' request for a wage increase, and being mindful of the limitations of the public purse, suggested that any increase be phased in over a number of years, and must be merit-based.

Why we continue the fight against Norwegian Cruise Line. "It's a done deal!" "You can't win against a big rich company like NCL!" "You can't fight the Government!" We have all heard these words before, both in Belize and around the world. They are the words of people who are counting on average citizens to shut down their brains, shut up their mouths and bow down to their masters. At tonight's public consultation these same people-Norwegian Cruise Line and their paid agents-will try to impress you with a large crowd and a lot of noise. Why? Because that's what you have to do when you don't have the facts on your side. All we ask from the Department of the Environment, the National Environmental Appraisal Committee and those citizens attending this consultation is to look at the facts behind the Harvest Caye cruise port and decide for yourselves whether it will make life better for you, your children and your grandchildren.

SIRH's First Signature Dish Cook-Off
Deliciousness of the day. The San Ignacio Resort Hotel had their first Signature Dish Cook-Off, and those dishes look amazing. Congratulations to Samuel Salam, who won with his Lobster a la Mia. Can't wait to try it. "San Ignacio Resort Hotel's First Signature Dish Cook-Off. Testing our talented Kitchen staff in a creative and fun way!"

Kazoku Shotokan Karate Classes
Was 'getting into shape' one of your New Year's resolutions? Karate is one way to get into, and stay in shape. Cayo's Kazoku Shotokan Karate Dojyo is offering classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 6:30pm. For more information, contact Rito Fernandez, the Vice President of the Belize Karate Federation, at 604-0462, or email [email protected]. Have fun, get in shape, and learn a valuable skill all at the same time.

U Janal Aj Maya: Traditional Maya Cuisine
U Janal Aj Maya, which means 'Food of the Maya,' has been released. It was written by Aurora Garcia Saqui, one of the famous Garcia Sisters from San Antonio. While you can visit San Antonio and get a copy, it's also on Amazon: "Nothing is better than a home-cooked meal that is wonderfully flavoured with native plants, and served with love"

The Community of Artists for Cultural and Historical Endeavours is having their AGM tonight at the Benque House of Culture. "Act now and become a member of a dynamic organization that has been promoting the Arts, Culture & History since 1991 in Benque Viejo. Join CACHE! Volunteer your time with us and impact the communities social and cultural life. Be a part of History in the making... an AGM will be held on Friday January 24th, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. This can be your first opportunity to interact and engage with other active members."

Wanaragua Book Launch
The Waranagua book launch was last week at the National Heritage Library. Artist Pen Cayetano, whose family created the book, was in attendance.

Kim Simplis Barrow brings motivational message to girls in the south
The national information campaign on the commercial sexual exploitation of children made its latest stop this afternoon in Punta Gorda town. Hundreds of school girls from the Toledo district gathered at the Sport Complex in PG to hear a message from the Special Envoy for Women and Children Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow. The message from Mrs. Barrow to the girls was simply that their body is precious. On Wednesday, the "My Body Is Precious" tour stopped in Dangriga town where hundreds of girls got to hear a personal message from Mrs. Barrow.

Elvin Penner returns to the House of Representatives
After missing three House of Representatives meeting since the passport scandal broke last September, the Honorable the member for Cayo Northeast, Mr. Elvin Penner was back in the lower house of Parliament on Wednesday. The House met in a special session and Penner made an appearance. Prior to the scandal and his subsequent firing as a junior minister, Penner sat on the backbench behind the Honorable the Prime Minister. On Wednesday, Penner was isolated to the far right hand side of the backbench on the government side of the House. In effect the opposite side of the back bench where he was seated prior to the scandal.

Police in Cayo investigate separate carnal knowledge cases
There are two reported cases of carnal knowledge involving teenage girls in the Cayo district. The latest incident is reported to have happened on Saturday night in San Ignacio. According to police reports, a 15 year old student went to the police station in San Ignacio along with her mother and reported that around 6:45 pm on Saturday a man she knows took her to his house in a van. The girl says that while at the man's house, he had sexual intercourse with her. Police say that a medical examination was conducted on the minor where the doctor confirmed that there were signs of sexual contact. Police in San Ignacio are now looking for the man in the van, pending investigations.

High School student hurt in road traffic accident in Corozal
A traffic accident this morning on the Phillip Goldson Highway in the Corozal district has left two people injured and others shaken up. Reports are that the incident happened after 8 am today and involved a passenger bus belonging to Armstrong Bus Service and an SUV. The vehicles were traveling in opposite direction, the bus carrying students towards Corozal town. Reports from Corozal say that the blue Cherokee swerved into the lane of the passenger bus. To avoid a head on collision, the driver of the bus reportedly swerved off the right hand side of the road ending up in a cane field.

Channel 7

PUP Says 76 BAA Cheques Are From Castro
Tonight, the heat is mounting on Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport Edmund Castro - after the PUP released 76 cheques they say were issued at his request from the Belize Airports Authority to various individuals, institutions and businesses. All in all, the cheques, totaling some 116 thousand, 155 dollars and 19 cents, and issued between December 28, 2012 and September 11, 2013 show a pattern of the Minister of State using the Airports Authority as a kind of political piggy bank. Indeed, it is an old practice with politicians and statutory boards, but it's never been revealed before and not in such lurid details. We say lurid because 10 of the cheques were issued to his son, Jafari a few to his driver Norman Middleton, a few to a business associate, a few to Castro himself, and many to schools and businesses. And while some - such as those to schools or even chicken, butane or beverage companies can be justified as legitimate political work, it's tough to find the same justification for the 10 cheques issued to his son, Jafari. Or for that matter the over four thousand dollar cheque paid to Cellular Plus.

Belize Bank Employee Charged For Theft Of Quarter Mil.
Rosalva Kotch is an administrator at the Belize Bank in Dangriga - but tonight she is the suspect in a major case of theft from the bank. The 34 year old was taken to Dangriga Magistrate's Court yesterday and charged for 256 counts of theft from the Belize Bank Dangriga branch. The allegation is that she stole 271 thousand dollars over a period from January 2008 to December 2013. We called the Belize Bank Headquarters today, but were told only the President could comment and he was in a meeting. We need to stress how unusual it is for a bank to actually bring criminal charges against an employee. Typically so as not to startle depositors - these matters - which do happen - are dealt with internally, the employee is terminated and usually some discreet re-payment plan is agreed to. But, in this case the quantum or the severity of the allegations may have forced the bank's hands in going public.

Cruise Consultation In Independence Is Incendiary, Illuminating
Since April of last year there has been a campaign in the south from private tourism interests who are trying to resist multinational cruise company Norewegian Cruise Line from building a port to call near to the Placencia peninsula. The campaign has been creative, but after months of small encounters between the two, both entities met under one roof in Independence Village for a public consultation meeting for the Environmental Impact Assessment on the proposed port to be built on Harvest Caye. NCL is at the final stages to getting the project off the ground, but those private interests and concerned environmentalists are determined to fight to the very end. 7News was embedded in that meeting last night where sparks flew. Daniel Ortiz has this report: Daniel Ortiz reporting About 320 residents of the South gathered at the Independence High School Auditorium last night. They listened intently to the presentations made by the representatives of Norwegian Cruise Line and their environmental consultant.

After Meeting, Both Sides Claim Victory
And while that bubbles in the south, on a parallel track in the Belize District, the Barrow Administration has given the green light to Mike Feinstein's Stake Bank Project. A bill introduced yesterday in the house is named the Stake Banks Cruise Docking Facility Development Bill. The Prime Minister explained how it will work:.. Stewart Krohn - President, BTIA Placencia "You were here just like I was; the opposition was virtually unanimous. Out of all the hundreds of people that were here only one person spoke up directly in favor of the project and he read from a script that was obviously written by somebody else. I think its clear, the people here and the people of the south realize that this project - nobody ask for it, nobody needs it - there is the new development at Stake Bank that just today was approved and endorse by the national Assembly - that is the way to go. It's clear, there is absolutely no need for this cruise port at Harvest Caye for a million different reasons that we've gone over many times before." Daniel Ortiz "Did you expect such a negative feedback from the public?"

Government Greenlights Stake Bank Project
And while that bubbles in the south, on a parallel track in the Belize District, the Barrow Administration has given the green light to Mike Feinstein's Stake Bank Project. A bill introduced yesterday in the house is named the Stake Banks Cruise Docking Facility Development Bill. The Prime Minister explained how it will work:�

This morning, about 50 students from the Belize Adventist High School in Calcutta village had a major scare when their school bus had a head-on collision with a Jeep SUV between miles 70 and 71 on the Northern Highway. Fortunately, there were no fatalities, but 7News understands that the driver and a female student who was flung from the bus suffered minor injuries. It happened this morning at around 7:00. An Armstrong bus was carrying the students to their school compound in Calcutta, Corozal when the bus slammed into the jeep. The driver the bus, the driver of the SUV and the student who got hurt were all taken to receive medical treatment. The principal of Belize Adventist High School told our colleagues at CTV3 News that classes were cancelled for the other 49 students who were on the bus during the accident.

Vehicle Flips On Hummingbird, Scary Scene, No One Hurt
7News arrived on the scene of another accident at Mile 28 on the Hummingbird Highway at around 9 o'clock this morning where 3 men also walked away from a delivery truck which ended up on it's right side. The received minor injuries, and as Daniel Ortiz found it, the 3 men are very lucky:

Chamber Swipes Back At Hon. Faber
Yesterday in the House of Representatives, Patrick Faber laid it on the Chamber of Commerce. That's after the Chamber sent out a release saying it supports the teachers for a raise. Faber said why don't they raise the minimum wage, and let the business community stop gouging consumers. That's a double ouch, and today the Chamber fired back. The Chamber says it has to clarify, that it supports a phased - in, merit-based increase. It seems to backtrack, somewhat, saying, quote, "We cannot support the notion of an across-the-board public sector wage increase." As to his cutting remarks about the minimum wage, the Chamber says, quote, "our response is that businesses that are good corporate citizens pay a disproportionate amount of taxes, leaving a diminished amount of resources with which to create jobs and pay employees." It adds, quote, "those disproportionate taxes cause the citizens of Belize to pay higher prices on goods and services because they directly and severely impact the cost of doing business."

The Kidnappers Called Back!
For the past 2 nights, 7News has been telling you about the kidnapping which happened in Copper Bank, Corozal. The captors managed to get with $15,000 in cash, but it seems that this amount wasn't enough. Supt. Andrew Ramirez, the officer commanding Corozal Police, confirmed to our colleagues at CTV3 News that the assailants made contact with the family today demanding more money. Viewers may remember that when the 4 men stole the money, they took Eduardo Nah's cell phone and gave him a chip which they would use to contact him. They did so today. Corozal Police have been busy today tracking down leads, trying to find out who these individuals are, but they have not made any progress as yet.

Gladden Gets Three For Drugs
40 year-old Ernest Gladden, a fisherman of Victoria Street is spending a 3 year sentence in prison after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking today in Magistrate's Court. According to police, they searched his house and found 0.19 ounces of marijuana in one parcel, 11 ounces in another parcel and a final 4.89 ounces in a third parcel. Police arrested and charged him with 2 counts of drug trafficking and one count of drug possession. He was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, where he pleaded guilty. He had outstanding finds for a separate drug possession conviction, and so he was sentenced to 3 years in prison, and he must pay 2 additional fines of for $10,000 each drug trafficking conviction. If he defaults, he risks another 3 years in prison.

How To Discount Gift Certificates
Last night we closed our story on Caribbean Shores Area Representative Santino Castillo with a hanging question: how do you get discounts on gift certificates? He said he had steered all the business from the Christmas cheer programme to his family's stores, which we said was a conflict of interest. He said that in fact, he was doing government a favour since he gave a substantial discount - and sold the items at cost. But, how do you get a discount on a gift certificate, or buy at cost since all the items have to be bought at shelf prices? Well, during the news Castillo sent a text message explaining that if the government bought $90,000.00 in gift certificates from SAVE-U, he gave them 10% more in total value, bringing it up to 99 thousand dollars. Castillo says that translates into giving customers 10% off, being able to reach more people or giving each person more money per certificate. He says, his discount to government was more than 10%.

"Down Di Lane, Eena Di Drain!"
The timeless truism says that progress brings problems - and nowhere is that on more ample display than Belize City. The cementing of 100 plus streets in less than a year has been truly remarkable, but a few important things like drains have suffered. One man who knows that too well is contractor Charles Bucknor. He said the drains at the property he rents on Vernon street at the corner of Youth For The Future Drive have been backed up - and sent water rushing into the apartments, damaging his electrical appliances. Bucknor says the drain is backed up with over six feet of gunk:..

Making Moves With Mayan Artifacts
Tonight, 36 year-old Godswell Flores, a Belize City food vendor is out on bail after he was allegedly caught with 2 statues which the authorities believe to authentic Mayan jade artifacts. A woman police officer spotted Flores on Tuesday afternoon on Freetown Road and detained him because he matched the description she was given of a man wanted by police for questioning in connection with at shooting incident. When she searched him, she found a black knapsack which contained a small jade figurine and a large jade mask. The officer immediately recognized the possible importance of these items and escorted him to the Queen Street Police Precinct where he was charged with failure to produce a license to possess or have in custody or control any ancient monument for the two items.

Bad Roads Make For Good Business
2013 was one of the rainiest years on record - particularly the last half of the year. And then, the extraordinary rains in November and December wrecked streets and roads across Belize, and while the Ministry of Works has been scrambling to patch up potholes, car owners are trying to get their creaky cars road worthy once again. Anyone who knows someone with a car has heard the story of front end damage or suspensions wrecked due to too many potholes and soaked highways. The folks over at West Trac have heard it too. They're one of the biggest car parts vendors in Belize and today Neil Wolfe, the Manager at West Trac told Monica Bodden that their sales have gone up in the past 7 months. Neal Wolf - Manager, West Trac "Overall our sales have increased slightly during the last 7 months. It could be due to the roads." "We do sell a lot of suspension parts like shock observers, ball-joints, tie rod ends and wheel bearings. That's one thing that tends to go bad especially when you have a lot of rains and you drive through high water."

Man Busted With Weapon
Yesterday afternoon, Ladyville police caught a man with an unlicensed weapon. They searched a house on Jackson Avenue where both occupants dashed out. Police pursued the suspects and caught one of them only. He was searched and they found a "Thunder 9mm pistol" marked Industria Argentina with a magazine containing (17) .9mm Luger brand ammunition. He was later identified as 25 year old Edilberto Madrid, tattoo artist of Roaring Creek village, Cayo. He told police he was born in Belize, moved ot Guatemala, and then came back, and is trying to head to the US. Police say they don't believe him.

Reds War In O. Walk
We've been reporting regularly on the land dispute in the city involving a UDP city council park and a private landowner with UDP connects trying to chisel in on the public parcel of land. That one has since been resolved in the public interest, but now there's news of another similar type of case in Orange Walk. This one is a little more dynamic because the house of the UDP in Orange Walk East is divided in the run - up to a hotly contested convention in that area. And that's where Orlando Burns comes in. He's the former UDP Standard Bearer who's using PUP friendly media to allege suspicious moves with a public basketball court. He suggests dubious motives on the part of his former political ally and the title for the basketball court. And he also suggests that the family of the new aspirant for the East Elodio Aragon Jr could be trying to chisel in on the land.

Oh No He Didn't!
Here at 7News, we listen to a lot of speeches by politicians. And sometimes, we hear some stuff that's just crazy. Usually we chalk it up to the temporary insanity or altitude sickness that can accompany ascension to high office, but this week two of them really caught our attention.

Channel 5

NCL Project gets the thumbs down at consultations
The Norwegian Cruise Line proposed port on Harvest Caye has been somewhat on the backburner lately, but for tourism stakeholders and residents in the south, it is certainly up front [...]

�But is project a done deal?
The discussion was tense on Wednesday because the proposed NCL tourism port is such a big deal for all involved. But perhaps the situation has been exacerbated by a perception [...]

P.M. Barrow blames both Castro and Board of Airports Authority on distasteful checks
On Wednesday, the House meeting lasted more than five hours, and a lot came out of it. We brought you the meat of the day on Wednesday, but tonight we [...]

Chamber of Commerce say the Castro cheques are clear examples of corruption
In various sectors, there is open concern that the government has not signed to an OAS anti-corruption convention called the MESICIC which stands for the Mechanism for Follow-Up on the [...]

A Freudian slip from Gappy; he predicts who will be in government next time around
The 2013-2014 sugar cane crop season starts on Friday. It's long delayed, and conditions are not optimal. To make it worse, it is raining today in the north. Still, the [...]

Faber says industrial action by B.N.T.U. is the worst kind of tough love
Teachers will hold a protest march and rally in San Ignacio on Friday. As it has been since it started, the peaceful industrial action is a source of frustration for [...]

Chamber says Minister spoke out of turn; good teachers need to be rewarded
You heard the Minister lash out at the teachers for taking time off for industrial action and at the Chamber of Commerce for daring to support salary adjustment for the [...]

Both Penner and Barrow came under fire by Former Prime Minister, Said Musa
Corruption was very much at the forefront of Wednesday's House meeting. The Castro checks situation was front and center, but with Elvin Penner's sudden and unexpected resurrection, he came under [...]

Bus collides into a jeep�a number of students are injured
A bus full of passengers travelling from Orange Walk collided with a jeep before it could get to its destination in Corozal. The bus careened into a nearby cane field [...]

Chamber of Commerce responds to jabs made by Minister Faber
At Wednesday's House Meeting Minister of Education Patrick Faber took jabs at the Chamber of Commerce saying that instead of writing release in support of teachers the private sector body [...]

BGYEA is mobilizing for the weekend
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has referred to the Ministry of Natural Resources a hotbed of corruption. And he is not alone in that opinion. The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association [...]

Godsman Flores charged for being in possession of Mayan artefacts
  Thirty six year-old Godsman Flores, a food vendor of Church Street in Belize City, appeared in court this morning for Failure to Produce a License to Possess or have [...]

Roberto Gilharry freed of Handling Stolen Goods
  Also before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, thirty-seven year old Roberto Gilharry walked from a charge of handling stolen goods. � The matter was initially before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, [...]

Ernest Gladden busted with cannabis
In a police sweep of a house on Victoria Street, the Quick Response Team found four hundred and fifty-five point one grams of suspected cannabis which is the equivalent to [...]

Roaring Creek tattoo artist caught with unlicensed firearm
A tattoo artist from Roaring Creek was arrested on Wednesday in Ladyville. Edilberto Madrid was along with another person in a small wooden house located on Jackson Avenue when police [...]

Ras Indio back in Belize for upcoming concert in Orange Walk
Award winning Belizean reggae artist Ras Indio is recognized for his conscious music and prolific production. He is a composer, songwriter and singer who has travelled around the world and [...]


Hard Talk Between Faber and Belize Chamber Of Commerce
Also in the House of Representatives yesterday, Minister of Education Patrick Faber raved about the education achievements to date from the Government, before delving further to criticize the stance from the Belize Chamber of Commerce, who supports the teacher's salary adjustment movement. Apparently, Faber was offended by the support teachers garnered from the private sector entity and said in the house that it's none of the chambers business to intervene and challenged that private sector workers get a raise as well. Here is that clip. Patrick Faber- Minister Of Education "You know, the Chamber, Mister Speaker, but out a release that I don't understand. I think it baffles me. They are saying that the teachers deserve a raise and they support the teachers getting a raise. Well for the record, this administration, nobody in here-I don't think the Prime Minister or any of his ministers-have ever said that we don't think that the teachers deserve a raise; so let's put that to rest. In fact, in his New Year's message and in those negotiations, we have agreed that a raise will be given. We just don't agree on the thirty percent and the reason why we noh agree on that thirty percent is because we can't afford it.

P.M Says There Is No Corruption In Castro's Recent Cheques Scandal
And unto more pressing issues with the Governments dishonored Ministers, Prime Minister Barrow was asked of checks paid out by the Belize Airports Authority to Minister of State in the Minister of Transport, Edmund Castro. This is after Leader of the Opposition; Francis Fonseca revealed a total of 60 checks to the House of Representatives. This move prompted the PM to react with a swift counter-response stating that in his view it was not 'Corrupt' but was 'Ill-advised and wrong". Here's how that played out. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "There are cheques here made out to him. Cheque number zero-zero-four-nine-five-four in the amount of nine hundred dollars to Edmond Castro�Belize Bank cheque Airport Authority to Edmond Castro. Cheque number zero-zero-four-nine-five-seven in the amount of four thousand dollars to Edmond Castro. Belize Airport Authority cheque number zero-zero-five-zero-six-six in the amount of five thousand one hundred and fifty-six dollars and fifty-five cents made out to Edmond Castro. Man this is absolute nonsense Mister Speaker, absolute nonsense, and that is just a sampling man.

Students Escape Unhurt In What Could Have Been A Deadly Traffic Accident
This morning our news room was flooded with calls of a traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway. The incident involved a student bus and a jeep Cherokee. Luckily, no fatalities were recorded but left the passengers shaken. Reporter Victor Castillo was at the scene and filed the following report. Victor Castillo - Reporting Around 7:00 this morning, this bus carrying 50 students from the Belize Adventist High School was en-route to the high school in Calcutta Village Corozal when it became involved in what could have been a deadly traffic accident. As you can see, the bus, belonging to Armstrong Bus Service, landed in a nearby cane field while this jeep Cherokee which was traveling in the opposite direction and allegedly swerved into the lane of the passenger bus became a mangled wreck as a result of the collision.

Crop Set To Commence Tomorrow Numerous Large Portion Of Sugar Roads Still Not Fixed
Tomorrow the long awaited start to the 2014 Sugar Cane Crop season should go into full effect as the Belize Sugar Industries Limited will open it gates to farmers from 10:00 in the morning. This will happen while cane farmers are still struggling to take out their product from the cane fields due to the extremely bad conditions of the sugar roads. While the Ministry of Works is presently carrying out works on the sugar roads, it will be quite some time before all roads are brought up to driving standards to say the least. These and other economic concerns were brought up yesterday at the House of Representatives by Orange Walk South Area Representative, Jose Abelardo Mai. But Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega lashed back saying that despite the challenges with the road and weather, the sugar crop season will commence, come rain or shine. Jose Mai, Orange Walk South Area Representative "I heard a statement that fifty percent of the sugar roads would be completed by Friday. Well that is far from being realistic Mister Speaker. I was in the area yesterday, in my constituency-which is the second largest sugar cane producing branch-and it is far from the truth. There is no doubt in my mind that the Ministry of Works is trying to do its best, but I think that there are things that still can be done. Mister Speaker, the rate of repair must be accelerated. The sugar industry cannot afford further delay and I will tell you why. Mister Speaker, we have a hundred and twenty day crop to deliver one point two million tonnes of sugar cane this year. This is the largest crop since the project of BELCOGEN came in; in 2009-2010, we had similar one point three million tonnes. Today the farmers have one point two million tonnes. The milling capacity of seven thousand five hundred a day, definitely there will be cane left out this year."

Accident In Centre Of Corozal Town Leaves Three Injured
A traffic accident in the heart of Corozal Town sent to women and a half month old baby to the Corozal Community Hospital. At around 9:40 yesterday morning police visited 5th Avenue where they observed a white Toyota Tacoma Pick-Up with Corozal license plate parked in front of a food stall facing a northerly direction and a grey Mercedes Benz Car with Belmopan license plate parked on the right hand side of the street with damages to its left front portion. Reports are that the pick-up, which was driven at the time by Angel Patt, 34 year old Belizean Construction worker of Santa Rita Area, Corozal Town, was traveling on 3rd Street South from an east to west direction and upon making a right turn into 5th Avenue, fell into a drain. In his attempt to get the pick-up out of the drain Patt accelerated the vehicle. And the vehicle did come out of the drain but as it did so it slammed into the grey Mercedes Benz at the same time hitting Janira Gamboa, 21 year old Belizean sales clerk of Concepcion Village, Corozal District, who was holding her new born and Solemi Novelo, 17 year old Belizean unemployed of Concepcion village, Corozal District. The pick-up also caused damages to the food stall belonging to Gloria Itzab.

Despite Involvement In Passport Scandal Penner Still Receiving Perks
Months after being fired from Cabinet, the infamous Cayo North East Representative Elvin Penner made an appearance at the very first House of Representatives meeting yesterday in Belmopan. As you may be aware, Penner remains in the spotlight as the mastermind of the biggest Immigration Scandal in Belize's history as information surfaced that he facilitated a Belizean Passport for Won Hong Kim who did not even step foot in Belizean territory when his passport was issued because he was incarcerated in Taiwan. Since the news broke, Prime Minster Barrow has stripped Penner of his government portofolio, but that's where it ended. He did not face criminal charges, despite credible evidence of his participation and up to date, is still receiving his full salary plus all the perks and extras that any elected Minister would receive. Well, yesterday after the House Meeting, the media spoke with Prime Minster Barrow on Penner's status and reappearance at the House of Representatives. Let's just say, the PM remains unfazed.

Kidnappers Get In Contact With Their Victims, They Want More Money
Tonight the nightmare for, 32 year old Eduardo Nah and his common law wife 25 year old Roxanie Cruz, the couple who was kidnapped by four armed masked men as they arrived at their home in the Village of Copper Bank on Monday night, continues. Today when we contacted Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Formation Andrew Ramirez for an update on the case he told us that the kidnappers have contacted the couple demanding what is believed to be a large sum of money. We understand that police are looking closely into the matter and are presently interrogating persons of interest. As previously mentioned, on Monday night the couple was abducted by four armed Hispanic men. They were taken to a cane field between Progresso and San Estevan in the family's dark grey Toyota 4 Runner. Right there and then Nah had to hand over $15,000 to his abductors in order for him and his wife to be released. Before being released the kidnappers did inform Nah and his common-law-wife that they would be contacted for more money, hence why they were given a chip to a Digicell phone. We understand that police have been doing their work in tracing the number.

Guadalupe Park In O/W East Is Now Privatized
The controversy surrounding the land where the East Sports Centre on Aurora Street and the parcel of land adjacent the centre continue to be of interest. Since the East Sports Centre Committee brought to light their difficulties faced when trying to acquire the land documents for the sports centre, the circumstances surrounding the land next to it, a land that should be government property and a community park, came to light and took the forefront in this matter. We have presented an official document that shows that the parcel has been privatized since 2012, but there are allegations that the information gathered may be erroneous. Therefore, we dug further into the story to find out more on the parcel of land and here is what we found. Dalila Ical - Reporting The documents we obtained and which is registered in the Lands Registry department shows that parcel ID: 4- 102- 2215 was first registered on October 17th, 2011 in the name of Elodio Aragon. The Status indicators section state it is "Absolute Title, Private Land, Active Parcel, Freehold". On January sixth 2012, that title was then transferred to Adin Glen Aragon.

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Sugar Cane Crop Season Opens Tomorrow; Sugar Roads Still Undone
Despite more than 50% of Sugar Roads still in dire need of attention the 2014 sugar cane harvest and delivery season is scheduled to start tomorrow as agreed last Friday. The Tower Hill factory gate is scheduled to open at 10am with the Corozal division starting the delivery. Cane farmers will deliver until 10pm at which time the Orange Walk division will get the opportunity to delivery its sugarcane for 12 hours. In speaking with Vice chairman of the BSCFA Alfredo Ortega, he told us that the crop season will start tomorrow no matter what are the setbacks. We note that this harvest season has been delayed for almost eight weeks due to difference between BSI and the BSCFA and because of the conditions of the sugar roads. When Ministry of Works personnel met with caneros last Friday, they said they need four extra days to complete at least 50% of work in the sugar roads but we understand that has not been possible. BSI needs at least 5000 tons of sugar cane delivered daily in order for its mills to operate normally. We will have more on the opening of the sugar cane crop season tomorrow.

Murder File for Former Minister’s Son Is Now With DPP
In November of last year, Michael Silva, after allegedly receiving medical treatment in Guatemala for ingesting poison two years prior, returned to Belize and gave himself up to San Ignacio Police who had Silva as the main suspect for the murder of Maritza Santos. After returning to Belize, in November 7, Silva walked into the San Ignacio Police Station where he was immediately charged with murder. Since then he has been on remand. Today Silva returned to court. His attorney, Dickie Bradley explained. DICKIE BRADLEY "Mr. Silva was brought back to court today and given a further adjournment. It is our understanding that the investigation is just about complete, they had already done all the ground work and the file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions and we are hoping that upon reading that file, it would be returned hastily so that we can move on to the next stage of the process in this matter. A person charged with murder cannot be tried in a Magistrate's Court; they must go to the Supreme Court and so we are hoping that we are not far away from the process which starts that which is called a preliminary inquiry and so the Magistrate gave an adjournment today. This is a matter that occurred from in 2011, the police did all their investigations. The person who they would want to say is their prime suspect had to be given permission to be taken abroad for psychiatric and medical treatment. He had, in fact, I was going to say ingested but let me not use one of your words, let me use my word; he swallowed poison."

More Reports of Carnal Knowledge Cases; 14-Year-Old 32 Weeks Pregnant
Two more cases of carnal knowledge are being investigated, this time by officers in the Cayo District. Reports are that a 15-year-old, in the company of her mother went to the San Ignacio Town Police Station and stated that on January 18, 2014 at around 5:45pm, a man known to her took her in a van to his home and engaged in sexual intercourse with her. A medical examination has confirmed the teenager's hymen is not intact and Police are seeking the accused. The other incident is being reported by a 14-year-old student of Ontario Village. The young girl, in the company of her sister went to the Belmopan Police Station and reported that between the months of July and August of last year, a man whom she knows went to her home and they had engaged in sexual intercourse on three separate occasions. The minor was examined by a doctor who certified that she is 32 weeks pregnant. Police are seeking the man pending investigations.

Tattoo Artist Suspected of Robberies in Ladyville
Ladyville Police have captured a 25-year-old tattoo artist of Roaring Creek Village in the Cayo District whom they believe has been responsible for several robberies in the area. On Wednesday, January 22 at around 3:45pm officers attached to the Ladyville Police Station visited a home on Jackson Avenue that was occupied by two men but upon seeing the officers, the men ran out the back door and into the nearby bushes. Police pursued the men and managed to nab Edilberto Madrid on Poinsetta Street while the other person made good his escape. A search of Madrid was conducted and turned up a Thunder Industria Argentina brand nine millimeter pistol with serial number 8-4-5-5-9-2 along with a magazine containing seventeen 9mm Luger brand ammunition.

Driver Crashes Into Mercedes; Injured Three and Destroyed Food Stand
A minor traffic incident in Corozal Town turned into a series of collisions, leaving several persons injured. At around 9:40 on Wednesday morning in the municipality, Belizean Construction worker, 34-year-old, Angel Patt of the Santa Rita area in that municipality was driving his Toyota Tacoma pickup truck on 3rd Street South when his rear tire fell into the drain as he was making a right turn onto 5th Avenue. In an attempt to get his vehicle out, he accelerated the pickup truck and managed to get it out but at that point instead of hitting the brakes on his truck to park on the side of the street, which was his intention, he accelerated further and the Tacoma pickup truck ended up on the sidewalk colliding into a Mercedes Benz belonging to 39-year-old, Ruben Menjivar of Ranchito Village in the Corozal District.

Nicodemus Beats Murder Charge and Freed
Twenty two year old Nicodimus Rodriguez is a free man tonight after he was released this morning. Rodriguez along with Gilmor Martinez and Gilbert Lamb were accused of the murder of Rodolfo Villatoro in Dangriga in April 9, 2009. This morning, Rodriguez was set free on a no case submission assertion by his attorney Arthur Saldivar. Rodriguez's mother, Anita Garcia, told Love News that her son had spent more than four year behind bars for a crime he did not commit. The two other men are in custody for the remainder of their trial. In other news from Dangriga, 34 year old Rosalva Couch, former Belize Bank Administrative Manager in Dangriga was formally arraigned in the Dangriga Magistrate Court yesterday where she heard charges against her for two hundred and fifty six counts of theft. It is alleged that between the period of 2008 and 2013, Couch misappropriated two hundred and seventy one thousand dollars from the Belize Bank with the intention of permanently deprived the bank of its property. Because of the nature of the crime, no plea was taken. She was asked to hand over her travel documents and present herself to the police station weekly. Couch has retained the legal service of former FIU director Marilyn Williams and is set to return to court on April 22.

Fisherman Convicted for Drug Trafficking
Forty year old Ernest Gladden, a fisherman of Victoria street, was given two three year sentences and two ten thousand dollar fines today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after he pled guilty to two counts of drug trafficking. Chief magistrate Smith stipulated that the sentences are to run concurrently, so Gladden will only serve three years. Gladden also pled guilty to a charge of possession of a controlled drug and he was fined one hundred dollars. The charges arose from an incident which occurred yesterday when a quick response police team executed a search at his residence. The search resulted in the discovery of five point four grams of cannabis in a Gamesa biscuit pan in his living room and 312 grams and 138 grams of cannabis in his refrigerator.

Woes in the Citrus Industry; Growers not Getting Paid
Citrus growers will attend an emergency meeting on Saturday at the Citrus Growers' Association to discuss what the CGA says are overbearing delays with payments to the growers. Today the Chief Executive Director of the CGA, Henry Anderson, told Love News that the delays in payments have extended from the last quarter of 2013. HENRY ANDERSON The Committee of Management had an emergency meeting on Wednesday and after that there was a meeting with the Chairman of the CGA, the Executive Committee, if you will and the Deputy Prime Minister and the CEO of Agriculture bringing to their attention issues in the industry with growers are not being paid for their fruits and it is not sure when they would get paid. The Committee of Management decided to have a consultation session on Saturday with the members of the CGA to apprise them of the situation and to discuss the situation with them and that is essentially what the notice is about. Since we sent out the notice, we just got word that growers will get payments for fruits delivered last week but it is uncertain, at this point, when they will get payment for the fruits that were delivered this week.

Prime Minister Settles Land Conflict in Caribbean Shores
The controversy over a piece of land in Caribbean Shores seems to be settled. Late last year we reported that residents were upset after an area they had designated as a park was given to a private individual. Last week Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley told the media why it was necessary to keep the land as it was originally designated. A caution was put on the land and a hearing had been scheduled for next week. However area representative, Minister of State Santino Castillo told the media yesterday the matter has been settled. Castillo said he has been involved from the inception in getting the matter settled. HON. SANTINO CASTILLO "I realized from the start that this was a UDP vs UDP situation and it made no sense to go public with this one and so, I have been fighting behind closed doors to ensure that the best thing had been done for everyone. I brought it up to Cabinet a few weeks ago and I have been in touch with the residents, namely, from the very beginning, Damien Gough, Sylvia Cattousse, Ann Marie Williams, Johnny Valdez and also with Giovanni Blease. I brought the situation to Cabinet and the Prime Minister, after discussing it said to me, 'if you can get me signatures from the area, from the residents, I would gladly revisit it and see how we can have a better solution and so I went back to the residents and they got their petitions to me on Monday and I brought it to Cabinet on Tuesday and sure enough the PM told the Deputy Prime Minister to let us find another piece of land for Mr. Blease or compensate him but that the land would, in fact, remain a park."

PM Says Society Will Have Final Say on Occupational Safety and Health Bill
The Occupational Safety and Health Bill was introduced yesterday. In introducing the bill, which the unions have been pushing for some time, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said while the bill is one whose time has come, it is necessary to look at what the cost might be. RT. DEAN BARROW "The key feature of the bill is the establishment of the National occupational safety and health authority (NOSHA) consisting of twelve members. NOSHA will have a secretariat called Inspectorate in the bill headed by a chief safety and health inspector; provision is also made for a deputy chief safety and health inspector, a health inspector and a minimum of one inspector per district. To defray the cost of NOSHA and Inspectorate, the bill provides for a NOSHA fund which will be comprised of the monies voted by the National Assembly coming from tax payers. Like other statutory bodies, NOSHA will submit annual budget estimates to the Ministry of Finance for approval from the National Assembly. In effect, Mr. Speaker, it is the Government that will have to shoulder the cost of another pretty sizeable bureaucracy which will not be easy to fund. Apart from this the Government of Belize as an employer and I believe as the largest single employer, will incur substantial additional costs relating to the purchasing of personnel protective gear and that sort of thing; more importantly, the requisite administrative and infrastructure changes to the existing workplace environment and to the policies and procedures to meet the standards set out in the bill.


After-House Clash Between Minister Faber and Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry today, responded to comments made by Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber, at Wednesday's Special Sitting of the House of Representatives. Minister Faber criticized the Chamber for its support of the BNTU, who is hosting countrywide rallies to bring awareness to issues of

The Prime Minister Challenges the Opposition Leader to Produce the Copies of the 60 Cheques
The glaring evidence that Minister Castro had been getting regular cheques from the Belize Airport Authority was one of the top issues discussed at adjournment of yesterday's House sitting. It was the Belize Times that first broke the news on December 20th, 2013. Since then, they have released 9

PM Says BAA Was in the Right Legal Position to Authorize those Cheques?
The scalding evidence of Minister Castro's cheques raised many concerns, and according to Hon. Francis Fonseca, the Prime Minister has a responsibility to deal with the matter and stressed that this is the not the first time that Minister Castro has been involved in such mischief. However, the Prime

Mr. Michael Silva Appears Back in San Ignacio Court
Mr. Michael Silva, charged with the murder of his girlfriend Maritza Santos, appeared in court for the second time today. In 2011, Silva's girlfriend was found murdered in his home in San Ignacio, having died from a massive blow to the head. According to police, Silva was also at

Prime Minister: "Immigration Officers Should Not Be Excused"
Three Immigration Officers namely, Senior Officer Sharon Neal and Data Entry Clerks Erwin Robinson and Omar Phillips are presently on suspension and facing possible termination, for their alleged involvement in the Kim Won-Hong passport scandal. Director of the Immigration Department, Mrs. Maria Marin, has submitted recommendation for the officers to

Island Routes Too Big for FECTAB
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) has gained a sterling reputation for never being afraid to fight - whether with the Government, or Belize Tourism Board, or especial enemy Chukka Tours which it has accused of everything short of homicide. But there is news of a...

The Guardian

Deal of the Year!
Speaker of the House, Hon. Michael Peyrefitte was in New York on Thursday, January 16th during which he received an award on behalf of the Government of Belize. The award was presented to the country after it successfully renegotiated the Superbond earning the recognition of being "2013 Sovereign Restructuring Deal of the Year." Peyrefitte received the award in Gotham Hall in New York City. It was presented to the government of Belize by the Latin Finance publication which covers markets of Latin America and the Caribbean. Speaking to Hon. Peyrefitte, he explained to the Guardian that it was an honor to have received the award on behalf of the government and he expressed great pride and satisfaction for having been able to contribute to the successful renegotiation of the bond. The award is of particular importance since this singles out Belize as having been able to negotiate the bond to its benefit. This is a big deal since other countries have not been able to do the same. Countries like Jamaica and Barbados for example are struggling to get their public debt under control with both taking actions which include wage cuts as well as retrenchment in the public sector in order for this to be done.

Close to 500 students to graduate at UB's Eighteenth Commencement
The University of Belize will honour an estimated 481 Graduates at its Eighteenth Commencement at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday 25th January at its Recreation and Events Centre at the Belmopan Central Campus. Guest Speaker for the ceremony, Ms. Kay Menzies, President of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will deliver the Keynote Address. Students will receive diplomas at the Associate, Bachelor and Certificate levels from the Faculty of Education and Arts, (FEA), totalling 197, the Faculty of Management & Social Sciences, (FMSS), with a total of 174, the Faculty of Science and Technology, (FST) with a total of 82, and the Faculty of Nursing, Allied Health & Social Work (FNAHSW) with a total of 28. Of the total number of graduates 307 are females and 174 are males representing 63.8 and 36.2 per cent respectively. During the ceremony, students who have distinguished themselves will receive the university's official honour chords. The tri-cable white honour chords recognise those graduating with Cum Laude; gold honour chords designate graduates with Magna Cum Laude (great honour); and purple honour chords are worn by graduates with Summa Cum Laude-the highest honour.

Chamber of Commerce Should Put Money Where Its Mouth Is!!!
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry issued a press release on January 20th saying, "The Chamber supports the Teachers in their demand for a wage adjustment that better reflects the increased cost of living experienced by all Belizeans�" This is no different from Government's position. Government has already committed to a wage adjustment for not only teachers but for all public officers. Now that the Chamber seems all too willing to discuss "wage adjustment that better reflects the increased cost of living experienced by ALL BELIZEANS", it is time that Government table an increase in the minimum wage that is equally "substantial" to the salary adjustment that public officers will receive. Teachers are not the only people living in this economic period; public servants are not the only people living in this economic period- workers from the private sector are shopping at the same stores as public servants. Since the Chamber is in full support of wage adjustment then Government should table an across the board salary adjustment for public and private sector workers.

Teachers Rally in Belize City
A little less than 500 teachers and supporters from the Belize District took to the streets of Belize City on Friday, January 17, in the third rally in a series that was supposedly planned before the announcement that Government would grant teachers and public officers a salary increase. This rally pooled membership from the cayes as well, where there was a possible 1,700 teachers who could have come out, but only 29% (less than a third) showed up in support. For whatever reason that amount of teachers didn't show up. Those who did tried to make up for it by taking over Cemetery Road and the downtown area for a short march to show the BNTU's machinery in action. Everyone gathered at the Battlefield Park, where majority of the BNTU Belize City Branch's activities were concentrated. Quite a number of schools in the Belize City area were closed because the teachers were out participating in this rally, and to ramp up a sort of 'civil disobedience', rally was conducted with as much gusto as required to disturb the normal flow and activity of the downtown area, in the near vicinity of the judiciary which had just re-opened for 2014, some 4 days earlier.

Belize Celebrates Technical and Vocational Education Week
The Ministry of Education is spending over four million dollars on technical and vocational education this financial year which is more than ever before. However, the technical and vocational education institutions continue to be underutilized across the country. According to Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber, "There are only three to four hundred trainees across the country that are full time and I know that it is improving but that is not the best bang for our buck." Minister Faber said, "We need to highlight and trumpet the kind of work that is being done in the ITVETs and CET across the country because the projects that are being done by these students are truly spectacular." The Ministry believes that highlighting the work of students of ITVETs and CET will attract more youths to access technical and vocational education opportunities. Regional partners, the CARICOM Education for Employment (CEFE), plans to assist Belize in marketing its technical and vocational institutions in order to increase enrollment.

Conspiracy Theories
Conspiracy theories are often and correctly written off as the products of an over active imagination. However, at times they are the true explanation for events that cannot otherwise be explained. Consider the scenario unfolding in Belize. While this region and many others are mired in negative economic growth, increasing unemployment rates, spiraling inflation and surging violence, Belize is experiencing steady positive economic expansion, greater employment opportunities, low inflation and a marked decrease in violent crime. The Superbond Monster has been tamed though not entirely defeated; the Sugar Industry that was on the verge of collapse has been revitalized bringing increased income to cane farmers; utility rates have gone down; infra-structure improvement are visible country wide; primary school completion and access to secondary school has increased dramatically with changes in education funding protocols bringing financial relief to thousands of families; and internationally admired pro-poor policies administered in a non-partisan fashion have brought hope for a better future to those most in need. Although instances of individual corruption continue to be uncovered both in the private and the public sector there is no evidence of institutional corruption such as that practiced on a massive scale by the previous PUP government. The important difference, one that opinion makers are not generally drawing, is between an individual who accepts payment to game the system and a system that is set up to siphon public funds into private well connected hands.

Belize Celebrates Technical and Vocational Education Week
The Ministry of Education is spending over four million dollars on technical and vocational education this financial year which is more than ever before. However, the technical and vocational education institutions continue to be underutilized across the country. According to Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber, "There are only three to four hundred trainees across the country that are full time and I know that it is improving but that is not the best bang for our buck." Minister Faber said, "We need to highlight and trumpet the kind of work that is being done in the ITVETs and CET across the country because the projects that are being done by these students are truly spectacular." The Ministry believes that highlighting the work of students of ITVETs and CET will attract more youths to access technical and vocational education opportunities. Regional partners, the CARICOM Education for Employment (CEFE), plans to assist Belize in marketing its technical and vocational institutions in order to increase enrollment.

Ministry of Works Assesses Performance
On Thursday, January 16, 2014, the Ministry of Works and Transport held its quarterly Technical Staff Meeting. Present were Honourable Rene Montero, Minister of Works and Transport; Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Errol Gentle; Chief Engineer, Mr. Lennox Bradley; Engineers, District Technical Supervisors (DTS), Assistant Technical Supervisors (ATS), other Technical Staff as well as Senior Staff from the Administrative and Accounts Sections. The Minister commended the staff for work well done during 2013, but emphatically mentioned the projected works in the pipeline to deal with civil works in the North to mitigate the effects of the recent rains as well as other "Hot Spots" countrywide.

Top Public Servants from CARICOM in Belize
Twenty-two of the highest ranking public servants from twelve Caribbean countries are in Belize participating in a Leadership Development Programme sponsored by the Government of Canada. Belize is being represented by Tracy Panton, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Tourism, and David Leacock, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Education. According to Marie Legault, Counsellor of the High Commission of Canada-Jamaica, the programme is designed to build the capacity of public service leaders to prompt economic growth, contribute more effectively to regional integration and promote gender sensitive public sector reform. Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, delivered the keynote address focusing on the topic "Citizen Centered Service- Answering the Call to Action". Minister Faber said it should be the goal of every administration to operate a people centered government. In order to do that, governments must know what the people want. He says, "Figuring out what the people want is simple. You do so by listening to them." He cautioned; however, that listening can also be complex. He said there are times when you may think you are doing something that everyone will be happy with only to be met with strong opposition. Minister Faber pointed to his experience with the passage of the Education and Training Act.

Jungle Jam in Fort George
Roger Espejo's 1st-ever 'Jungle Jam' was successfully held this past Saturday where scores of residents from the 'Pickstock Hutment' area enjoyed a day of community or as Roger Espejo dubs it: 'A Display of Health and Strength'. The event was part of the vision Roger Espejo has for the Fort George Constituency in fighting poverty. He strongly believes that by bringing the community closer, albeit through mundane sporting events, young people can appreciate one another more. Espejo holds that it builds sportsmanship, encourages team work, fosters peace and stems rivalry. The event was graciously opened by Mayor Darrel Bradley where the City's popular leader even played a couple basketball games with the young men of the area before the basketball tournament started. Councillor Alain Gonzalez also played a major role as he administered a free basic health clinic for anyone wanting to verify their diabetes status and/or blood pressure. Councillors Mike Theus and Alifa Elrington-Hyde were also in attendance to share their time with the residents of this marginalized but ever-hopeful area known as 'the jungle'.

Contracts for Santa Elena Football Complex signed
Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), a public sector agency of the Government of Belize (GOB), is undertaking the design, construction and management of capital projects in Belize with particular emphasis on sporting and other multipurpose facilities. The Investment project was initiated on January 21st, 2014 with contract signature for consulting services and architectural designs for infrastructure at the Santa Elena Football Complex and Facilities. BIL, along with technical support from the Ministry of Works, is working closely with the Local Government Representative for the area. The investments to be financed as a prerequisite to any commencement of the civil works, and relevant to this consultancy, include a feasibility study, inclusive of public and one-on-one consultations with the community and relevant stakeholders, socio/environmental studies as related to any environmental management, approved design plans, bidding documents inclusive of all cost estimates, and operational recommendations for the Santa Elena Football Complex and Facilities.

Social Investment Fund hands over the keys to Library in Cayo
A representative from the Social Investment Fund SIF handed over the keys to a completely refurbished library in Santa Elena Town in the Cayo District on Friday of last week. Mike Zetina from SIF delivered the documents and keys to Joy Ysaquirre, Chief Librarian Officer in a brief signing ceremony at the upper floor of the newly improved and spacious building that will be inaugurated soon. Improvements to the Santa Elena Public Library came at a cost of about $415,000.00, with some of the funding coming from the Caribbean Development Bank. The work completed at the Santa Elena Public Library involved the building of a computer room extension, equipped with fifteen desktops and a central server. This new and well ventilated computer room is in fulfillment of a vision by Cayo Central Area Representative, the Hon. Rene Montero, to usefully engage our Nation's youths. In addition to general improvements of the original structure, a six foot high chain link fence was also built for added security to the freshly painted building.

Close to 500 students to graduate at UB's Eighteenth Commencement
The University of Belize will honour an estimated 481 Graduates at its Eighteenth Commencement at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday 25th January at its Recreation and Events Centre at the Belmopan Central Campus. Guest Speaker for the ceremony, Ms. Kay Menzies, President of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will deliver the Keynote Address. Students will receive diplomas at the Associate, Bachelor and Certificate levels from the Faculty of Education and Arts, (FEA), totalling 197, the Faculty of Management & Social Sciences, (FMSS), with a total of 174, the Faculty of Science and Technology, (FST) with a total of 82, and the Faculty of Nursing, Allied Health & Social Work (FNAHSW) with a total of 28. Of the total number of graduates 307 are females and 174 are males representing 63.8 and 36.2 per cent respectively.

Kidnapping and Ransom in Corozal
Corozal Residents, 32 year-old Eduardo Nah; his 25 year-old common law wife, Roxanie Cruz; and his 24 year-old brother, Sabino Nah were the victims of a carefully planned kidnapping on Monday, January 20. Fortunately, all 3 victims are alive today, but they only survived the ordeal after handing over $15,000 in ransom. The 3 had just arrived at their home in the remote village of Copper Bank in Corozal just before 8 o'clock that night. They opened the gate and they were parking Eduardo's vehicle when 4 armed, masked men ran into the compound and held them up at gunpoint. The men spoke to them in Spanish that they recognized as distinctly Belizean. Sabino Nah was struck in the head with the butt of a rifle, handcuffed and then ordered to lie flat on the ground. The other 3 men escorted Eduardo and Roxanie into their house where they ransacked it. Sabino took advantage of his captors lapse in alertness, and he escaped while he was still handcuffed. He went to seek help from other villagers, and when he returned shortly afterwards, the 4 assailants were gone, they had taken Roxanie and Eduardo in the couple's vehicle.

Eaton Carr Murdered
Eaton Emory Carr, 36, a resident of Holy Emmanuel Street, was murdered on Sunday, January 19, he had been gunned down on Banak Street. Police found his body at around 10:19 p.m.; with multiple wounds to the neck, upper chest, right arm, and the back, a total of 7 gunshots injuries. Investigators believed that just before 10 o'clock that night, Carr was on Banak Street standing when his assailant ambushed him and shot him several times before fleeing the scene. He fell to his death in the drain, and that's where police retrieved his body. Not much is known at this time about the attack because no one has come forward with information about how the shooting unfolded, what has been reported to police is that at around the time, residents heard the gunshots, and a short while afterward, Carr's lifeless body was discovered.

Frank Garcia Charged for Attempting to Kill His Nephew
Frank Garcia,54, appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Monday, January 20th, to answer to charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm with a deadly instrument and use of deadly means of harm. Garcia is being accused of trying to kill his 23-year-old nephew, Sherwin Garcia on January 12th. At about 8 p.m. on January 12th, police responded to reports of a chopping incident at #6 Oleander Street. According to police reports, Sherwin Garcia was riding his bicycle when Frank shouted for him. When he turned around, his uncle was already charging at him with a machete and chopped him across the face. Sherwin was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment. Police have not established a motive for the chopping and charged Frank Garcia for the attack on his nephew.

Alrick Lamb Pleads Guilty to Gun Possession, Five Others on Remand
Officers of the Gang Suppression Unit were conducting mobile patrol on the Phillip Goldson Highway in Belize City on Friday night, January 17th, when at about 10:45 p.m. their attention was drawn to a red Ford F-150 pickup truck with numerous young men inside. The truck turned right off the highway and headed towards the BelCan Bridge. It was then that the driver of the police vehicle put on his lights signaling the truck driver to pull over. The driver complied and stopped on Peter Seco Street where police ordered everyone to exit the vehicle. Inside the truck were the driver 34-year-old Richard Smith, 29-year-old Everald Gray, 19-year-old Arthur Hill Jr., 18-year-old Jihadul Gill, Alrick Lamb, and Delbert Alvarez. Police searched the men and found nothing incriminating. A subsequent search of the truck led to the discovery of a .45 firearm with seven live rounds and an extended magazine under the driver's seat, all prohibited in Belize. The six men were arrested and charged with possession of prohibited firearm, ammunition and extended magazine.

Kevin "Migit" Manzanero captured in Cayo
One of two well known criminals, who had been operating in the Cayo District has been captured. Kevin "Migit" Manzanero was injured with a machete during an aggravated burglary at a house on Collin's Boulevard this past Saturday night and had gone for medical attention at the San Ignacio Hospital on Sunday. As a result Kevin Manzanero's long reign of terror has ended and he has been captured by San Ignacio Police. Kevin Manzanero's next intended victim was Galvin Castillo. The 20 year old Castillo was at home sitting in a sofa in the living room watching television at about 12:00 pm and had left a door slightly opened. Suddenly a short male person with a red rag tied over his face barged in, wielding a knife in the right hand. The intruder then inflicted a stab wound on Castillo's right arm and a struggled ensued. However; Castillo's brother, Heronimo Castillo was inside another room and came to the rescue with a machete; hitting the intruder several times. The intruder then fell through the unlocked kitchen door and rolled down the steps, where the rag on his face came off. It was therein that the brothers recognized that it was "Migit" from the well publicized photos that had been made available on the media. "Migit' then ran down Collins Boulevard in the direction of Bullet Tree Road where he was to disappear for a few hours; before re-surfacing to tend to his untreated wounds.

Robber shot dead in San Pedro A.C.
San Pedro Resident, 24 year-old Michael Wallace was killed on Sunday, January 19, allegedly in the act of committing an armed robbery. The man police believe to be his accomplice was detained shortly thereafter for questioning. 24 year-old Kirian Azueta reported to police that at around 10:15 p.m., he arrived at his house on Marina Drive, San Pedro. Readers may know that in this particular area, it is somewhat deserted, and that's what 2 men tried to take advantage of when they attacked Azueta. One of the men, who was wearing a black "Texas Tech Hoody" and a rag over his face, shoved a 9 mm pistol in his face and demanded that he remain still and not to draw his firearm. The man fired a single shot at him, which nearly struck Azueta in the face, and in that moment, he made a decision to protect himself. He pulled his licensed weapon out and shot the man with the gun. The man fell to the ground, and his accomplice, who was wearing a white hoody, ran off. Azueta didn't know that he had killed the robber, and so he ran off to get help.

Micah Williams succumb to gun shot injury
Micah Lee Williams, a 28 year-old Belize City resident, died on Tuesday January 21 after fighting for his life at the KHMH for almost 12 hours. He was shot in the head on Tuesday, January 21. His shooters came to his house pretending to have interest in buying car rims and that's how they got him to let his guard down. Williams had just dropped his girlfriend off, and when he returned to his house on Raccoon Street just before 9 o'clock, he began washing his car. 2 men rode up and asked him about the rims he was selling, and he told them that they were already sold to someone else. When he was about to look away and head inside, one of the men pulled out a firearm and shot him in the head, near the temple area.

Richard Quinn RC girls and Trial Farm Government School boys are national primary schools football champs
The National Primary Schools Football championship for school year 2013-2014 came to an end on Friday January 17, 2014, at the MCC Grounds. The championship saw the participation of champions in both girls and boys division from all six districts of the country with the girls' games played at the Racoon Street Football Field and the boys competition played at the MCC Grounds with both championship games played at the MCC. In the girls' championship game, Richard Quinn Roman Catholic representing the Stann Creek District edged Santa Elena Roman Catholic representing the Cayo District by the score of 2-1 in penalty kicks to capture the national championship. The goals for Richard Quinn RC were scored by Anita Augustine and Renisha Reque�a, while the goal for Santa Elena RC was scored by Keilin Witt. In the consolation game for third place, San Pedro Roman Catholic representing the Belize District edged San Jose Roman Catholic representing the Toledo District by the score of 4-3 in penalty kicks. The goals for San Jose Roman Catholic were scored by Cinthia Cerpa, Lesbia Guity, Jemely Chinchilla and Yakzari Jamez. For San Jose Roman Catholic the goals were scored by Benita Bol, Brigida Coh and Juanita Cal.

Albert Constituency youth basketball tourney to start
The Albert UDP Committee will be hosting a Youth Basketball Competition for boys living in the Albert Constituency and are between the ages of 11 - 15 years old. The competition is scheduled to commence on February 15, 2014 and teams are quickly forming. Boys living in the Albert constituency that are interested in participating in the competition can pick up application forms from Ms. Mary Guzman at the Youth for the Future Secretariat on Regent Street (Old Hotel Mopan) and at the National Sports Council Office at Rogers Stadium.

Belmopan Bandits lead in Belikin Cup playoff
The Premier League of Belize Opening Season for the Belikin Cup has entered its playoff round on Saturday January 18, 2014, between the Belize Defence Force the number 2 seed and the Belmopan Bandits the number 3 seed out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan. At the end of the game, it was the host team the Belmopan Bandits that defeated the Belize Defence Force by the score of 3-0 to take a 1 game lead in the playoff over the Belize Defence Force. The first goal of the game was scored by David Trapp in the 23rd minute of play via a penalty that gave his team a 1-0 lead. The lead was further increased when Deon McCaulay scored his first of two goals in the 69th minute of play for a 2-0 lead. The Belmopan Bandits final goal of the game was scored again by Deon McCaulay via a penalty in the 77th minute of play for a 3-0 whitewash of the Belize Defence Force.

Wesley College girls lead in High School Football Competition
The Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition continued at the MCC Grounds with a number of games played over the weekend. On Saturday, January 18th, in the first of two female games played, Gwen Lizarraga High School defeated Belize High School by the score of 2-0. The goals for Gwen Lizarraga High was scored by Kishay Bevans and Tyra Moreira. In game two, Wesley College continued on its winning path when it clipped St. Catherine Academy by the score of 3-1. The goals for Wesley College were scored by Elisha Bernardez (2) and Shanice Neal. Meanwhile, the goal for St. Catherine Academy was scored by Jodi Pott. In the first male game of the day, Anglican Cathedral College defeated Excelsior High School by the score of 2-1. Jose Machuka and Sergio Luna both scored goals for Anglican Cathedral College, while Jamal Ford scored for Excelsior High School.

Desperation Squared
I make it a point to steer clear from commenting on the different practices and traditions of the several religious denominations that exist in Belize today. This is because many scholars hold firm the opinion that religious intolerance between differing faiths has sparked the most appalling conflicts in our world's civilized history; several of these deadly conflicts continue without abate even to this day. That said, and I say this tongue in cheek, I will risk one comment here on a ritual which I thought was pretty uncommon and bizarre, especially coming from a nationally recognized organization who participated in this ceremony. Last week Wednesday January 15 the leadership of the People's United Party went to sing "happy birthday" songs at the tombstone of the late Rt. Hon. George C. Price, and then later went on to sponsor a press conference at Independence Hall, evoking the former PUP leader's name several times during the in-house political rally. In my view, the entire episode, but especially the part in front of the grave, came across as superficial since the PUP leaders were without question exploiting the departed gentleman's legacy for political profit in promoting their so called "new and improved" social justice agenda.

"2nd Young Belizean Entrepreneur Wins Growing Up CEO Award"
For two consecutive years, Youth Business Trust Belize received a message stating, "Congratulations! One of your entrepreneurs has been selected for the 2009 Growing Up CEO Program!" Ricardo Gongora, a second year student at St. John's College Junior College, was this year's lucky recipient. As a winner, Ricardo was invited to a three-day Inner City 100 Summit May 19- 21, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. During the Summit, he was exposed to some of the fastest growing companies in America, and had the opportunity to develop relationships with Inner City 100 winners, gain access to world class business education and advice as well as getting to meet national business and civic leaders.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Do you need a high school scholarship?
Full Basket Belize begins annual scholarship search. We have begun our annual process of looking for deserving secondary students to receive Full Basket Belize scholarships for the 2014-15 academic year. Each $1000 BZ scholarship covers tuition, books, fees, and uniforms. The first step in the process is for interested Belizean secondary schools to apply to be participating schools by completing this form by February 21, 2014. Then we send each participating school a scholarship application to photocopy and handout to students in great need of a scholarship. We are looking for outstanding students who demonstrate financial need, represent their schools positively, do well academically, and participate actively in their communities. All scholarship application materials are due March 22, 2014. If you have any questions, please email Scholarship Co-Chairpersons Erin McCool at [email protected] or Jo Link at [email protected].


Are you a sports fan? Great things coming for Belize!
When we first moved to Cayo some 30 years ago, all there really was in the way of sports facilities were a few balls and some dusty fields set aside for football, some rusty hoops here and there for basketball players, and not a whole lot else. A few loosely sponsored football (soccer to our friends up north) teams held scheduled matches between villages, and horse racing had its share of competitors and fans. This wasn't for lack of enthusiasm, for Belizeans are a sporting bunch. There just wasn't a lot of money or organisation as most people were too busy trying to make a living in agriculture and other time intensive, low-income pursuits. Schools did the best they could, but again, it was with what they had. As ecotourism and related opportunities arrived the standard of living increased and so did the sporting life as facilities were upgraded. Sponsorship of teams increased, and events such as the annual La Ruta Maya River Challenge evolved from a few guys and gals in canoes paddling their hearts out in whatever crafts they could find to the well-organised international event it is today. We love what the growth of sports has done for the Cayo District. There's the healthy competition, but more importantly is the sense of responsibility, teamwork and pride it fosters in young people, giving them healthy avenues to use that youthful energy that's always looking for an outlet. We all know that old adage about idle hands�

Strengthening the Institutional Architecture for Investment Attraction in Belize
Aside from Caribbean micro-states, Belize was as of 2009, the fourth most open economy in Latin America and the Caribbean. Belize's population is small (313,000 inhabitants), which limits the size of the domestic market and potential economies of scale. The economy depends strongly on trade with the world economy, both as market for domestic production and as a source of the wide range of products that would be costly or impossible to produce domestically. In 1997, with the support of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA), the Trade and Investment Promotion Service (TIPS) was established in 1997. This institution was mandated to be the focal point for all trade and investment information and facilitation services. In March 1997 the scope of TIPS was broadened to serve as a "one stop shop" for local and foreign investors. In the year 2000, TIPS changed its name to Belize Trade and Investment Development Services (BELTRAIDE).

Call for proposal
Calling entrepreneurs, individuals, groups who have an existing climate related technology business or new idea for development and commercialization locally and regionally! Grant funding is to become available under the Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre (CCIC) to assist with the localization, commercialization and transfer of technologies that demonstrate positive impact to environment and community. Grants will be awarded for proposals that demonstrate exceptional potential impact. Technologies or business models to be funded under PoC must demonstrate potential positive impact to environment and community through mitigation or adaptation to identified climate challenges in sustainable agribusiness, water management (including waste water) , energy efficiency, solar energy and resource use sectors.

Jump start your business- direct assistance grant!
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) officially announces the publication of the Call for Proposals for both the Accelerated and Regular Procedures grant facilities under the well known Direct Assistance Grant Scheme as part of the Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). The Direct Assistance Grant Scheme is a reimbursement grant funding facility specifically designed to provide financial assistance to legally registered firms, individuals and Business Support Organisations (BSOs) who have the potential to export their products and services.

Strengthening The Institutional Architecture For Investment Attraction In Belize: The objective of this consultancy is to conduct an End of Project Evaluation and prepare the report. The End of Project Evaluation will examine and assess the performance of the project, and take into consideration the project's relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability; and identify lessons learned during project execution.

Your photo, our front cover - Competition
The face of an entrepreneur resident in the Caribbean, together with a Caribbean landmark would replace Frederick (shown above) on the front cover of Alexander Bain's business book when it launches later this year. The inner front cover would explain in a 200 word story who the entrepreneur is and a little about his/her business brand in order to promote Caribbean business. The photographer of the winning photo will share in this exposure as his/her work would be fully attributed and reference made to an online source where more of his/her work can be found. Can either of these entrepreneurs be you? Submit your compelling story and get in with a chance to win.

"Things Have Changed" in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Well, at long last, the weather appears to have turned. For the better. Mind you it couldn't have got worse. I was starting to get concerned that I might run out of sweat tops and jumpers (pullovers for non UK readers) to wear! My 'me time' on the veranda has returned to normal. I know during the chilly (downright cold at times) period I was still 'hitting' the veranda between 04.30 to 06.00 hours (timing -fairly obviously - dictated by what time I awoke) with a mug of coffee (black, no sugar) and my iPad. Oh, and a sweater of some type or other. With the change in the weather the additional layer of clothing has become superfluous (Question - how can a word with super in it mean unnecessary? The weirdness of the English language!). Talking of words and specifically the origin of them, the subject came up yesterday evening when Rose and I had the pleasure of spending some time in conversation with Melissa and Ken Fellure at Carlo and Ernie's Runway Bar& Grill. Melissa and Ken both read my blog (obviously they have far too much time on their hands or, no taste. Or both) and Melissa happened to mention my penchant for breakfast at Estel's and then the conversation moved on to wondering what the origin of the word 'breakfast' is. I hazarded a guess when musing that it might mean a break from a fasting period.

Recipes fer Judys' Foodies: My Mennonite Chili!
6 egg yolks 1 cup milk 2 tsp. vanilla 1 1/2 cup sugar 1 Tablespoon + 1 tsp. Bakyun' Powd'r 3/4 teespoon salt 12 Tablespoons butt'r 3 cup flour Mix yolks, 1/4 cup o't' milk vanilla. Put all dry ingredyints n' mixyun' bowl. Beat n' butt'r till like crumbs. Beat n' remunyun' milk. Noe slowlee beat n' egg yolk mixture. Beat till smooth. Pour into a greeset flouret 9�13 pun bake 350 degrees 25 -35 minnuts. Poke holes n' cake wit un object about t'diamet'r o'a drankin straw. Pour Chocolate Marshmalloe Frostyun' ov'r warm cake. Smooth fer un eve finish.

What is an International Business Company (IBC)
What is an International Business Company (IBC)? An International Business Company or Offshore Company is normally formed in certain countries such as Belize for asset protection and confidentiality. Who is an IBC for? An International Business Company or IBC is for anyone who wants to engage in international trade or investments. It is also for those who want to hold assets or hold a bank account in the IBC's name. An International Business Company (IBC) is not subject to paying taxes in the country the IBC was formed. Also the person holding an IBC is also not allowed to do business with the residents of the country of incorporation. Why set-up the IBC in Belize? There are many reasons why you should set up an International Business Company in Belize. Two of the main reasons are: Belize is located near two major US hubs such as Miami and Houston. Thus travelling to Belize easier and always welcomed! Belize is an English speaking country so most people find it easy to communicate. What are the benefits of having an International Business Company (IBC) in Belize? Forming an International Business Company in Belize has many advantages. An IBC allows you to: Conduct business without using your name Avoid paying local taxes Protect your assets by registering them under the IBC name Maintain your privacy - shareholders and directors are not registered at the registry in Belize Hold accounts in any currency Rent office space in Belize Be a shareholder and/or director on multiple IBCs Own vessels under the IBC name Sophisticated banking system available for your Belize IBCs Form your International Business Company within 24 hours

International Sources

Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative: tracking the health of the Mesoamerican Reef
The Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative is an international, multi-institutional effort that tracks the health of the Meso-American Reef (Meso-Amazing Reef), the human choices that shape it and our progress in ensuring its long-term integrity. Producing valuable data on: a) existing and emerging threats to reefs, b) current health of the reefs, c) conservation action and recommendations

Centre College's Elizabeth Alexander travels to Belize to work at Ocean Academy
Elizabeth Alexander of Louisville, a senior international studies major at Centre College, traveled to one of the world's newest countries to get a firsthand look at how educational infrastructure is established and maintained. CentreTerm is the College's three-week January term that allows students and faculty the opportunity to explore a single subject intensively, often through travel abroad. The short term works particularly well for unique internships like Alexander's. "The island where Ocean Academy is located, Caye Caulker, is a few miles off the mainland and takes an hour to get to via ferry," Alexander explains. "Before Ocean Academy was founded, there wasn't a high school on the island, so students had a lot of difficulty accessing education after the eighth grade. "The school is only five years old," she adds, "so it struck me as an opportunity to help build something new and contribute to the early structuring of a really important operation."

Choose Your Own (Underwater) Adventure
If you're a water sports junkie or think you could become one, these nine hotels are the perfect place to start your vacation planning. It doesn't matter if you prefer to surf or snorkel -- whatever your pleasure, we've chosen an awesome hotel for a variety of different activities. So prepare to leave the winter cold behind (and don't forget your sunscreen).

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Central America upgrades cruise ship, airport facilities in race to attract more tourists
While Costa Rica remains Central America's top tourist destination, the region's six other countries are vying to lure tourists and increase revenues by aggressively investing in airports, cruise-ship facilities, hotels and other tourism infrastructure. A $22 million project in neighboring Nicaragua is now underway to modernize the fishing port of Puerto Salvador Allende, El Nuevo Diario recently reported. Virgilio Silva, chief executive of the state-run Empresa Portuaria Nacional, said the harbor - which is 1,300 meters long, 10 meters wide and 10 meters deep - will be upgraded to allow cruise ships and other vessels weighing up to 15,000 tons. The port, named after a leftist president of Chile in the 1970s, now receives an average 100,000 tourists per month. Following construction of a marina, retail shopping center and other improvements, that figure is expected to triple to 300,000 visitors. Adriana Dinarte, the port's general manager, said her staff is working with Helic�pteros de Nicaragua to incorporate a heliport as part of the tourism offer, and also will spend $1.5 million to upgrade Puerto Sandino. But the biggest project by far is a widely publicized plan by Nicaragua to build an Atlantic-to-Pacific canal to compete with the 100-year-old Panama Canal. Last week, President Daniel Ortega and Chinese tycoon Wang Jeng announced that work would begin this December on the 178-mile canal. His HKND Group has a 50-year concession to operate the future waterway, with an option to extend the contract for another 50 years.

Frog-Eating Bats Use Water Ripples to Hunt Tungara Frogs
Researchers from a range of scientific institutions, including the University of Texas at Austin, have established that bats prey on t�ngara frogs, principally using the water ripples cast during their mating calls. The findings of the latest study were published in the journal Science, and was entitled Risky Ripples Allow Bats and Frogs to Eavesdrop on a Multisensory Sexual Display. The t�ngara frog (Engystomops pustulosus) is typically found across parts of Central and South America, including Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala, Colombia and Venezuela. The frog typically inhabits tropical and subtropical dry forests and lowlands, freshwater marshlands and savannas. T�ngara frogs nest along the surface of small ponds, with male members of the species constructing foam nests to support and protect eggs and hatched larvae.

Meet the Rainforest 'Diversity Police'
A new study has revealed that fungi, often seen as pests, play a crucial role policing biodiversity in rainforests. The Oxford University-led research found that fungi regulate diversity in rainforests by making dominant species victims of their own success. Fungi spread quickly between closely-packed plants of the same species, preventing them from dominating and enabling a wider range of species to flourish. 'In the plant world, close relatives make bad neighbours,' said Dr Owen Lewis of Oxford University's Department of Zoology, who led the study. 'Seedlings growing near plants of the same species are more likely to die and we now know why. It has long been suspected that something in the soil is responsible, and we've now shown that fungi play a crucial role. It's astonishing to see microscopic fungi having such a profound effect on entire rainforests.

Death by Chocolate meets the King
Every year, the Fort Saskatchewan Rotary Club hosts its Death by Chocolate fundraiser. This year, a new approach has been taken in bringing in a hip-shaking theme in tribute to the King of Rock and Roll - Elvis, himself. Death by Chocolate runs as the Rotary's biggest fundraiser of the year. "Through the generous donations of local businesses, Rotary would not be able to continue our support of local youth leadership and supporting various community groups," the Rotary Club stated in a release. Currently, the local group is completing fundraising efforts towards its second major international wheelchair project in Belize, with a goal to raise enough funds to send 110 wheelchairs to Belize.

IOC Awards Olympic Broadcasting Rights in Caribbean
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has granted the exclusive broadcasting rights in the Caribbean to International Media Content (IMC), which is the parent company of SportsMax, for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. IMC picked up the exclusive English-language broadcast rights for all media platforms, excluding the Internet and mobile. The coverage includes Anguilla, Antigua-Barbuda, Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Surinam, Turks and Caicos, Trinidad and Tobago. SportsMax will be providing live coverage of the games on SportsMax and SportsMax2. Thomas Bach, IOC president, said: "This agreement is another step in ensuring the universality of the Olympic Games. Having worked with IMC to broadcast both the Vancouver and London Games, we are very pleased to be able to rely on their expertise once again in Sochi."

Missions Today: Belize Feature
Our Belize mission team experienced God's blessing in so many beautiful ways. An incredible team effort to build a classroom, dozens of eager kids at our children's outreach, people accepting Jesus as their Savior-see it all on this Missions Today feature!

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