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Today's Belize News: March 22, 2014 #488459
03/22/14 05:52 AM
03/22/14 05:52 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 82,904
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Laura Esquivel forced to resign as Director of BTB
There is major discontent in the family of the former two-term United Democratic Party (UDP) Prime Minister Right Honorable Doctor Sir. Manuel Esquivel. The discontent stems from an issue which his daughter, Laura Esquivel-Frampton,who was forced to resign as the Director of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB). Esquivel-Frampton had been at the head of the BTB for 22 months following the resignation of Seleni Matus. But on March 11th, a letter signed by seven members of her senior executive management team was leaked to the media in which they lodged an unexpected vote of no confidence, calling for her resignation. According to various media reports, there have been serious differences between Frampton and the current CEO Tracy Taegar-Panton, which has been carried over to senior management. What makes matters even worse is that this year there are reports of a deficit in the finances at BTB, which is believed to be in the millions of dollars, and according to Channel 7 News, it is being put at the door of Frampton. It was an unprecedented and not too happy departure for Frampton, since over the past six years, under the watch of Heredia, BTB has seen the resignation of three different directors and two Board Chairmen.

2014 Scholarship Opportunities at the University for Information Science and Technology “St. Paul the Apostle”
The Organization of American States (OAS), through the Department of Human Development, Education and Employment (DHDEE) and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, through the OAS Partnerships Program for Education and Training (PAEC), are offering scholarships to qualified candidates of the Americas to pursue undergraduate degrees at the University for Information Science and Technology “St. Paul the Apostle” (UIST). All information regarding the programs is available at The program application deadline has been established at April 30, 2014 and the scholarship application deadline at May 15, 2014. Further questions and concerns may be directed to [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]

Ambergris Today

A Messy Situation at Boca Del Rio Area
San Pedro Mayor, Daniel Guerrero, explains that the San Pedro Town Council is in charge of garbage collection from Palapa Bar (in the Tres Cocos area) and down to the bridge. He indicated that there is a private business that collects trash from homes and resorts further up in the north of the island and barges it down to town where garbage truck pick up and transport to the dump site. Mayor Guerrero was not aware that this was happening at the lagoon-side of the Boca del Rio. Mayor Danny stated that the San Pedro Town Council will take necessary measures to ensure that this stops and conduct inspections so as to identify who is carrying out these illegal dumping of garbage. The Council has been working very hard in keeping the community safe and clean and is constantly carrying out clean up campaigns at different areas of the island. The Town Council has even implemented a system and schedule as to how garbage will be picked up throughout the course of the week at different areas so as to maintain order and to have the island looking spick and span. The general public is asked to report any similar incidents such as this one to the San Pedro Town Council so that matters can be dealt with accordingly and in a timely manner. The phone number for the SPTC Office is 226-2198.

Great community effort to take care of those who are tasked with caring for us!
First day of feeding program successfully completed!!! Stew beef, rice and beans with cold slaw packaged and picked up! Thanks for making this possible today! We welcome all the help we can get! Pass by El Fogon to drop off donations!!! (3 photos)

Misc Belizean Sources

5 Things to do in Belize this Easter
Easter is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in Belize due to the fact that more than 80% of Belizeans are Christians. It is a time when a lot of Belizeans are off from work and school and travel around the countryside to enjoy Belize’s beauty. Not only is the weather perfect on Easter, but it is also a good time to go diving with whale sharks, snorkeling in the turquoise waters of the grand Barrier Reef, as well as exploring the famous Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave or even climbing Xunantunich Maya Temples.

Police say San Ignacio man allegedly admits to killing Kayla Burgess
Police in San Ignacio have two persons in custody pending the outcome of their investigation into the death of 24 year old Kayla Burgess. Burgess, a resident of Independence village, Stann Creek district was found dead inside her vehicle that was parked near to a bar on the Santa Familia Road in Bullet Tree Falls village, Cayo on Thursday afternoon. The official report says that when authorities found Burgess’ body, she was “lying face up on the extreme rear of the vehicle with a plastic bag over her face and a white plastic strapped around her neck.” The official police report further states that a 21 year old man from the Kontiki area of San Ignacio town has reportedly confessed to strangling Burgess.

COLA prepares for next week’s first hearing of the private prosecution of disgraced Minister of State Elvin Penner
As COLA prepares for next week’s first hearing of the private prosecution of disgraced Minister of State Elvin Penner, we have written to Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie and Auditor General Dorothy Bradley asking for any information they have gathered in their investigations of the Kim Won-Hong scandal and, in Mrs. Vidal’s case, her support to prosecute the matter. COLA has retained Kareem Musa of Musa and Balderamos as its attorney and we have been informed by the DPP that she will be present at next week’s hearing in support of COLA and the private prosecution. Prior to that, she will meet with Mr. Musa next week to go over the case.

Aracely Cahueque has been acquitted of charges for Abatement to Murder
Twenty-two year old Aracely Cahueque has been acquitted of charges for Abatement to Murder. Aracely Cahueque was accused of being the mastermind behind the murder of eighteen year old Raylene Dyer back in October 2010. The jury was impaneled on March eleventh and after a voir dire, her trial for three counts of Abetment to Murder started on Tuesday in the Belmopan Supreme Court before Justice Denis Hanomansingh. The case highlighted the shocking circumstances under which Raylene Dyer was taken to Roaring Creek, butchered to death and her body allegedly thrown into a river and never found.

Western Ballaz Defeat Bandits
The Western Ballaz defeated the Belmopan Bandits last night at the Jaguar auditorium in Belmopan. The final score was 46-58. "The Western Ballaz, and a couple 100 of their fans, travelled to Belmopan to play the Bandits. It was a good game, with a good turnout, and the Ballaz won 46-58. The Ballaz travel to Dangriga next weekend to play the Warriors. The after party was at Wing Stop Belmopan."

Cayo Weekly Classifieds 18-Mar
This week's Buy and Sell Weekly classifieds are out. They talk about massage in the Wellness Corner this week. "Belize's original classified ads publication. Private Party Ads (people selling personal items) are now FREE. Business Ads start at $15 per week with designs included. Deadline to place ads are every Saturday @ 12 pm. Don't pawn it! ... sell it fast with our Buy and Sell Weekly Classifieds."

Rosita May is Woman of Culture 2014
Congratulations, Ms. Rosita May, for being named 'Woman Of Culture 2014' by the National Institute of Culture and History! Definitely a woman of culture.

Belizean living in Chicago dies after altercation
A man from Belize who had been living in Chicago for a number of years died this week after an argument with another man. 59 year old Michael Tingling collapsed and later died after he got into an altercation with another man who was allegedly making inappropriate gestures to his teenage daughter. A report by a local Chicago CBS 2 News said that 59 year old Joseph Firek, allegedly pushed Tingling and punched him in the chest, while continuously making racial slurs at Tingling. Although was rushed to the St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, he later died. An autopsy confirmed that Tingling dies of hypertensive cardiovascular disease, with stress being listed as a secondary factor.

San Pedro Pre-School students dress as community workers
Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Councilor Carlos Barrientos visited the children and teachers from the San Pedro Pre-School this morning where they were all dressed up as community workers: Police Officers, Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, Fire Fighters, Traffic Wardens, to name a few, as part of the Child Stimulation Month activities. The children also did models of the buildings of the Police Station, the Fire Station and the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic II to name a few. The children were all enthusiastic to pose with the Mayor and Councilor with their costumes and models. (18 photos)

Cayo Christian Academy Science Expo
CCA had their annual Science Expo today, and the students had a great time doing their experiments.

Xunantunich Welcome Center Inauguration
The Xunantuncih Welcome Center Inauguration was this week. Dr. Jaime Awe, Diane Haylock, and Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia, as well as the Benque Marimba Academy, were all there for the ribbon cutting. Quite a few Cayo attractions have gotten upgrades over the last couple of years. ATM got new bathrooms, and Cahal Pech got a new walkway. Which site will be next?

Mr. and Ms. SHC Pageant
Sacred Heart College's Mr. and Ms. SHC Pageant is next Friday, March 28th, at the Bedran Hall. Go root on your favorite. "Thanks to all our sponsors for Mr. and Ms. SHC Pageant: Scotia Bank, The Dollhouse, Estella Recinos, Nail Addict, Patty's Salon, Blooming Beauty, Adma's Photography, Hode's Place, Lisa's Boutique, Aguada, High Street Fashion Boutique, Corie's Hair Salon, Tech Gadgets Belize, Joris Hendrik and Pop's Restaurant. The pageant wouldn't be possible without our sponsors. Thanks from SHC."

Power interruption 8:00am to 4:00pm on Sunday, March 23, Belize City
Mile 1 to Mile 3 along the Philip Goldson Highway. BEL to reconfigure structures carrying high voltage lines to meet new standards. Two 15-minute power interruptions from 8:00 to 8:15am and 3:45 to 4:00pm will affect Buttonwood Bay, Coral Grove, Sunrise Ave, Blue Marlin Blvd, E St, Dolphin Street, Park Avenue and Belama Phase 1.

Power interruption 8:00am to 12:00noon on Saturday, March 22, entire Caye Caulker
BEL to conduct urgent repairs to hot spots at the Caye Caulker Substation.

Video: 2014 La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge Day 4
Burrell Boom to the Belikin bridge in Belize City. Interviews with the finalists.

Video: Tarpon On Fly- Awesome Take Gopro Belize HD
A video of my brother jumping a tarpon on fly. Fishing out of El Pescador Lodge in Belize with Tomas. I highly recommend this lodge as we saw tons of fish while we were there. Bones, permit and tarpon. My brother was lucky enough to get this on his Gopro

Video: Howler Monkey! Belize Zoo
Killer sound

Video: Belize Vacation - Part 3 Mayan Ruins
Join us for part 3 of our Belizian Adventure as we visit the Mayan Ruins at Lamanai

Video: Snorkeling in Belize
5 minutes

Video: Xunantunich Visitor Center Becomes a Reality

Video: A River Somewhere: Turneffe Islands Belize
27 minutes

Video: SunBreeze Hotel - San Pedro - Belize
Featuring an outdoor pool, a restaurant and free Wi-Fi, the SunBreeze is in Belize's island of Ambregris Caye. This hotel has air-conditioned rooms with views of the tropical gardens. In San Pedro Town, this Caribbean-style hotel features a massage studio, an Art Gallery and a bar. The restaurant serves tropical dishes including seafood and poultry. The rooms at the hotel have tile floors and mahogany furniture. Each comes equipped with a flat-screen cable TV, a work desk, a ceiling fan and has a private bathroom with toiletries. SunBreeze Hotel arranges activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling with sharks or trips to the Mayan Ruins. San Pedro Airport is only 525 ft from the hotel and the island can be reached in a 15-minute flight from Belize International Airport.

Video: Mission Silk Grass Belize 2014
Mission: Silk Grass, Belize -- Dr. Lloyd J. Earles, Tyrone Domingo and Wayne Domingo of the Altadena Church of Christ in California greatly enjoyed their visit with the Silk Grass Church where Rayan Gordon is the minister. Nine new souls obeyed the gospel and were added to Christ's Church. The ministry at the Belize Central Prison also continues successfully. Special thanks to everyone involved.

Channel 7

Kidnapping/Murder to Love Crime?
Tonight Cayo police are close to charging a 21 year old man from San Ignacio for the death of 24 year old Kayla Burgess. When we left you last night, it was with the news that Burgess, who is originally from Independence, but lives in Belmopan - had been found murdered. Her alleged hostage taker, demanded a ransom, and then killed her. At least that is how the early narrative went. Well tonight, it appears that was all a ruse, a smokescreen to cover the fact that she had been killed before any ransom message was sent, and the killer is believed to have been a boyfriend - who likely killed her at his house in the Kontiki Area of San Ignacio, and then took her body in her vehicle out to Bullet Tree to make it seem like some Guatemalan hostage business - similar to the one that happened in that same village in January.

Aracely Acquitted of Raylene Dyer's Murder
Not guilty, that's the decision that came out of Belmopan today in the Aracely Cahueque trial, she become the 4th defendant to have been acquitted of the murder of 18 year-old Raylene Dyer. It looked to be a marathon trial where over 17 witnesses were scheduled to testify for the prosecution. But it came down to the main witness, Brandon Budna. As we told you, Budna gave police a 2 statements, and in the second, he agreed to cooperate with the DPP's Office as a witness against Aracely Cahueque. DPP Cheryl-Lynn Vidal took the stand on Wednesday and gave evidence for the prosecution in this case in which how that second statement was gotten, and how it would have been used.

Raylene's Family Rage At Aracely's Acquittal
As you saw in our story, Raylene Dyer's family is nothing short of furious at the outcome. Her throat was cut, she was decapitated, her body was thrown into a river, and it was never recovered. The 4 persons who were charged for it, got off of one of the more disturbing killings we've reported on. While the rest of the family was too angry to speak with the media, Raylene's sister, Ingrid Cayetano was a bit more patient today, and she gave us a reaction. Even then, she didn't temper the rage that she felt when speaking with Daniel Ortiz. Here's what she told us about that fight outside of court: Indira Cayetano - Sister of Deceased "Put yourself in my family's position, how would you feel sir?" It doesn't give them right for what happen in Belmopan today. I will not apologize but thats how it went." Reporter "Now that the case is wrap up and its finally over, what next for your family?" Indira Cayetano - Sister of Deceased "Pick up the pieces and move on like nothing happened."

National Bank's First Manager Fired
Just six months after the National Bank of Belize opened its doors - manager Jose Marin has been shown the door. At 2:00 pm today, Chairman of the Bank's Board, Minister of Energy, Science and Technology Joy Grant went to the bank to tell him that the board had taken the decision to terminate him. But, Marin, a veteran banker says he's happy to be gone, and actually wanted to resign a month ago. This is because he's been having frequent clashes with the Board and told us candidly today on the phone that they wanted him to do, quote, "things in banking that you cannot do, things (that are) not ethical and not professional." He named Chairman Grant directly as driving this behavior. She told us today, quote, "Anyone who knows me knows I would never urge anyone to do anything unethical." End quote. Grant did not want to get into a back and forth, only saying that it was time for a separation and that she was thankful to Marin for his service.

Customs Make High-Grade Weed Bust
The market for marijuana in Belize is almost insatiable, and one of the most sought after products is the weed that comes from Mexico known as Oaxaca. That's what customs at the northern border may have gotten yesterday when they busted a Chrysler van that was coming over from the Mexican side. Around 5:30, a rented van coming over from Mexico driven by Derrick Thompson pulled up at the border. 3 passengers went through the passenger control, and when the vehicle got to the checkpoint Thompson said they had nothing to declare. A search was conducted and in a compartment on the floor of the van, customs found (3) parcels of suspected cannabis weighing 1.1 kilos, .97 kilos and 1 kilo. That's a total of three kilos or 6.7 pounds, with a street value of about ten thousand Belize dollars on the streets.

Bill Lindo; A Citrus Expert Now
We've spoken plenty about the citrus industry recently - mostly about the government funded bailout. But very little of that talk has been about the citrus greening disease which threatens to decimate Belize's citrus industry. There are ways around greening, but once a tree is affected, it is incurable. Just last month, the New York Times quoted a senator as saying that Florida's citrus crop is quote, "totally threatened….If we don't find a cure, it will eliminate the citrus industry." That's how serious it is, and "concerted efforts by growers and millions of dollars spent on research to fight the disease have so far failed." University of Florida agricultural analysts concluded that between 2006 and 2012, citrus greening cost Florida's economy $4.5 billion dollars and 8,000 jobs. All that from a disease spread by an insect smaller than the head of a pin. The insect snacks on citrus trees, depositing bacteria that gradually starves the trees of nutrients.

Fishermen Train To Deal With Industry Hardships
And while citrus farmers have to contend with citrus greening, fisherfolk have a whole host of issues that are threatening their livelihoods. First, there's overfishing, then there's climate change, then there are those pirates looking for drugs on the high seas. That's why the Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association had a training workshop today at their Belize City office. The Chairman told us what the fishers were there to learn:... Pedro Alvarez, Chairman - BFCA "We see it necessary because as the time goes along with the fishing industry we need to educate our members more about what happen in the fishing sector. We have first time climate changes which is a great impact in the industry right now."

Seafront Fight At 'One Mile'
If you've travelled to Punta Gorda, you probably know about the area called "One-Mile" - which is the seafront area entering the town. It is one of the nicest stretches of seafront you'll find, and there's also a small beach area that towns-people use to swim. But now, one resident says it is under threat because a developer wants to build a restaurant and docking area there. Darius Avila who owns a hotel in the area told us more:... Darius Avila, PG Resident - Hotel Owner "I investigated with the mayor and he confided that he and the town council had agreed to the lease of the space to private individual who will put up docking facilities, apparently a grill and perhaps a restaurant and do other developments. Although the mayor mentioned that yes the public will still be allowed to use the area. The common sense of it is that once a private individual is investing in a parcel of land then he will want to see returns. I could see that public access will be restricted."

Celebrating the Importance Of Water
Simply turning on your tap, and going to the shop to buy water is a luxury that you may take for granted, but around the world, there are millions of people who don't have access to potable drinking water. That's why Belize joins the international community in celebrating World Water Day 2014, which now has now been done for 20 years now, since it was first adopted by at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Brazil. Today, the Government and its stakeholders in the industry of water and its uses observed World Water Day at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel in the Cayo District and 7News stopped by. Here's what one of the organizers told us about its success: This year's theme is Water and Energy, highlighting how water can be used to generate energy, such as electricity. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture reports that 8% of the global energy generation is used for pumping, treating and transporting water to various consumers.

Central American Importers Are Up To Standards
For months, we've been putting the Central American LPG importers on blast for selling sub standard butane. Last night we told you that they were now charging almost the same for LPG with a high propane content as other importers are for LPG with a far higher butane content. Well, we are happy to report that this time we were wrong, the Central American importers have finally gotten up to standard. The Manager of TOMZA gas today came and showed us this certificate which proves that as of February 15th the Central American companies, meaning BWEL, TOMZA and Z-Gas are bringing in LPG with a 70 - 30 mix - meaning 70% propane and 30% butane. This is far more efficient for households - because the higher butane content burns hotter. In the past these companies would regularly bring in 90 - 10 mixes which are unsafe and inefficient. They said they had until March 31st of this year to comply with the news regulations.

PROFILE: Felicia Castillo
Tonight, We continue with the I Am Belize Profile, focusing on Teachers, and the influence they wield in the classroom and on the life of young Belizeans. This week's profile focuses on Felicia Castillo, a teacher at Saint Johns' Anglican School. She tells the profile who she fell in love with the teaching profession in trying to search for her calling in life:

Channel 5

Aracely Cahueque freed of 3 counts of abetment to the murder of Raylene Dyer
Corozal Beauty Queen Aracely Cahueque was set free…acquitted of three counts of abetment to murder this morning. We’ll have her first words as a free woman since October, 2010. But [...]

Hell breaks loose; Dyer and Cahueque families get physical
After the verdict, hell broke loose as Cahueque was being processed out of custody at the Belmopan Police Station. At ten-thirty this morning, Cahueque stood in front of the Police [...]

Aracely Cahueque speaks to the media
Cahueque’s first minutes as a free woman this morning were not happy ones, as she was attacked outside the Belmopan Police Station and her mother punched in the face and [...]

Managing Director of National Bank of Belize is forced out
There is another resignation from a senior government post to report tonight following on the heels of the departure of the Esquivel family from government. When Laura Esquivel-Frampton was forced [...]

Kayla Pandy found murdered in Bullet Tree falls
Late Thursday evening, News Five reported the alleged murder of twenty-four year old Independence resident Kayla Burgess. The family had previous posted it as a kidnapping, but by seven p.m. [...]

Crops in Valley of Peace destroyed herbicide sprayed by Green Tropics
About a million dollars in vegetables have been destroyed in the Valley of Peace area, Cayo District.  The community is the largest provider of vegetables to two districts, but the [...]

Belizean murdered in Chicago
The Chicago Tribune is reporting today that a Belizean was murdered in Chicago on Wednesday. Michael Tingling was protecting his fifteen year old daughter, Masharah, when he was punched on [...]

4 persons caught with 7 pounds of weed at Mexican border
At the northern border on Thursday evening, custom officers busted a group of men returning from Chetumal. Belize City resident thirty-two year old Derrick Thompson was behind the steering wheel [...]

Noel Zetina granted Supreme Court bail
He was accused of shooting at an Orange Walk man back in January 2013 and even though he had fled the jurisdiction, Noel Zetina was granted Supreme Court bail in [...]

COLA prepares for private prosecution of Elvin Penner
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action….The organization says that they are providing the public with the final resort to have former Minister of State Elvin Penner, before a court to [...]

CWU supports former Bowen & Bowen employees
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize called for a boycott of Bowen and Bowen products today after the recent termination of thirteen employees from the company. The employees were [...]

Butane gas prices up again
Butane prices are up once again. The Belize Bureau of Standards has approved the increase effective Thursday. The new controlled price for liquid petroleum gas (LPG) depends on the supplier. [...]

A 12 hour strike by stevedores over subsistence
A gang of fifteen stevedores on Wednesday pulled off an unexpected strike at the compound of Port of Belize. The gang was scheduled to unload ninety-five containers from Seaboard Marine [...]

APAMO supports injunction to stop pre-drilling activities in Sarstoon Temash National Park
SATIIM has applied to the Supreme Court for an injunction to stop US Capital Energy from starting pre-drilling operations within the Sarstoon Temash National Park pending a court decision.   Today, [...]

Fishermen get much-needed training
A training workshop for fisher folks was held today at the office of the Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association. The workshop is part of a project funded by the Community Management [...]


Butane Prices Continue On The Rise
The last time we reported on an increase in price of hundred pound cylinder of Butane was back in the month of February when the price for the high grade increased by three dollars and the price for the low grade increased by five dollars. Today, Government announced another change in the price, but don’t get your hopes up because it is not a decrease. A hundred pound cylinder of butane imported from Mexico is now selling for a dollar more, while butane imported from Central America is selling for two dollars more. The new controlled price per 100 pound cylinder for LPG imported by Belize Gas limited and Western Gas Company limited from PEMEX in Mexico is as follows:

BNECT Donates 200 Chairs to Libertad Methodist School
Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust is an organization that is committed to the development of the Belizean people and their communities. The Trust provides funding to organizations, individual programs and projects that aim at the empowerment of the people and community. Since 2009, over six hundred million Belize dollars have been spent in the development of this country through educational infrastructure, student loans and Micro Enterprise projects. And today, BNE continued to give back to the community. This time, the proud recipients of the much needed assistance was the faculty and staff of Libertad Methodist Primary School in the Corozal District. Victor Castillo reports from Corozal. Victor Castillo – Reporting Last year the faculty and staff of Libertad Methodist Primary School saw the necessity of acquiring new furniture for the students of the school. With that in mind, the managing staff submitted a letter to Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust asking for the donation of 200 large arm chairs for the students. In October 2013, BNE Charitable Trust responded to the schools request, a starting point to make their pleas a reality.

Mexican Authorities Confiscate Hundreds Of Boxes Of Contraband Cigarettes
In regional news, Mexican authorities intercepted a large contraband of cigarettes in Mexico City last week. What has caught our interest in this report is that the Mexican media is reporting that the cigarettes originate from Belize. The amount intercepted is reportedly over fourteen million cigarettes, the most that authorities have intercepted since January last year. The goods, one thousand four hundred two boxes, were found in a trailer. They ranged in brands including Bronco, D & J, Royal, and Supreme and Gold Seal. The cigarettes were crossed into Mexico through the Belize Mexico Border and no duties were paid on the products. The trailer was being driven by forty two year old Juan Ramirez Sanchez who presented false documentation for air conditioners.

Fishermen To Receive Capacity Building Training
In regional news, Mexican authorities intercepted a large contraband of cigarettes in Mexico City last week. What has caught our interest in this report is that the Mexican media is reporting that the cigarettes originate from Belize. The amount intercepted is reportedly over fourteen million cigarettes, the most that authorities have intercepted since January last year. The goods, one thousand four hundred two boxes, were found in a trailer. They ranged in brands including Bronco, D & J, Royal, and Supreme and Gold Seal. The cigarettes were crossed into Mexico through the Belize Mexico Border and no duties were paid on the products. The trailer was being driven by forty two year old Juan Ramirez Sanchez who presented false documentation for air conditioners.

Residence Complain About Unsanitary Conditions Of Drainage System
Viewers might recall that back in the month of October 2009 a $2.5 million drainage project for residents of Black Water Creek was launched by the Government of Belize to alleviate flooding in the area. Phase one of the project was carried out by more than one contractor including D-Mar’s Construction Company. In 2011 the project was still incomplete and if our records are correct the last phase of the project was not completed until late 2012. Since then, the drainage systems put in place, has been wreaking havoc for several residents. To be exact, a total of seven properties in which the drains flow through, are feeling the effects of the problem. So what is causing quite a stir amongst the residents? Reporter Maria Novelo and video journalist Jesus Melgar followed the lead and filed this report. Maria Novelo – Reporting Julio Godoy – Concerned Trial Farm resident “Hay tiempos que pasa el agua con sangre, hay tiempos que pasa con puro jabón y cuando pasa con sangre apesta bastante y nos afecta porque yo por eso no hago que mis nietos venga aquí por medio de que hay ratos que apesta mucho y por eso yo hago que se vaya por que se ve malo.”

Orange Walk Resident Stabbed By Minor
A minor remains in stable condition at the KHMH whilst another is detained at the Orange Walk Police Station pending charges of wounding. Second in command at the Orange Walk Police Station, Inspector Selvin Tillett, gave us details on the incident. Inspector Selvin Tillett- Deputy Officer in Charge, OW Police “Yesterday about 1:30pm upon information the police visited the northern regional hospital where they saw one Kenny Perez 16 year old construction worker of Orange Walk suffering from two stab wounds, initial investigations reveal that Kenny was along with other friends when they met another minor when Kenny and this minor were involved in a fight resulting on Kenny receiving wound stabs so far the police have detained the other minor in this stabbing incident and we continue with our investigation.”

Tourism Information Centre Repainted
Weeks ago the building owned by the Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter was vandalized. The building was recently painted when it was riddled with graffiti once more. Not willing to give up, this morning, the Orange Walk Town Council assisted the BTIA in repainting the building thus covering the defaced sides. Deputy Mayor and Councillor in charge of parks and playgrounds Ian Cal, says the assistance rendered is just the start towards a bigger project to upgrade Central Park. Ian Cal – Parks and Playgrounds “What we want is to have good, clean park and for the visitors to come around we will pretty much see the upgrade of the Central Park coming next month we should start to see a new Central Park and we want to start teaching it from now to take care of things that it belongs to the people of Orange Walk, it is not for the council of BTIA but for the people of Orange Walk and we need to be proud of what we have so we ask to take care of the things that we have and the council be stepping up its security in the park to ensure that this doesn’t happen again and we will be following up on who doing these things and we saw the graffiti they did on the building and that shouldn’t be.”

Solomon's School Holds Cultural Day
Over the course of the years education has shifted and schools are incorporating a lot more hands on activities and more practical sessions in their lessons. The strategy has received much favourable feedback and the students have been enjoying the changes. One such school that has put the initiative into practice is Solomon’s Seventh Day Adventist Primary school which today held its first ever Culture Day. Reporter Dalila Ical takes a look at what was on display. Dalila Ical – Reporting Preparing for the big day has been an exciting one for children says school principal Cheryl Distan. Teachers she adds went full force for their first ever Culture Day Cheryl Distan - School Principal “There was a lot of excitement maybe because it was the first one but I know that the children and the teachers they came on board full force for this event.”


Authorities Team Up for Ops in San Pedro
Military, Coast Guard and Police officers including members of the Gang Suppression Unit teamed up yesterday and travelled to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to conduct an operation on the island. After carrying out searches on over ten homes, the team came up with several parcels of cocaine and marijuana. As the operations continued through to the evening, 1,210 grams of cocaine along with 540 grams of cannabis were confiscated in the operation. The operation team was led by Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster and Superintendent Linden Flowers. L

Cases of Murder and Child Stealing End with Four Acquittals
When the media reported the horrific murder of Raylene Dyer back in October 2010, it seemed like a movie coming off the silver screen as she was brutally butchered at a slaughterhouse in the community of Valley of Peace in the Cayo District and then disposed of in a nearby river…..but the story didn’t end there as Dyer’s 3-month old baby was stolen. Investigations into the murder led to the arrests of three men, namely, Jason Anderson, Darren Banner and Brandon Budna. The trio was charged with murder while a fourth arrest of a woman, Aracely Cahueque led to a charge of child stealing, as the baby was found in the woman’s possession in the Corozal District a few days after the murder. It has been a trying time for the family of the murder victim as they have since been waiting to see justice served on the accused persons but their hope for justice began dwindling, as exactly one week ago, the three men were set free.….Today, however, that hope for justice inside the court room disappeared as Cahueque exited the court room of Justice Denis Hanomasingh in Belmopan, a free woman. Cahueque’s attorney briefed the media following the delivery of the verdict.

Businessman Says Employees Robbed Him of Over 25K
More than twenty five thousand dollars has been stolen from Sausage Factory in San Pedro Town. Police says that the owner of the establishment, an American businesswoman of Santa Monica, California, Christina Askew, reported that on Friday of last week she fired the Factory’s manager and assistant manager. And it turns out that she did so for a reason because after Askew conducted an internal audit of the business she discovered that twenty five thousand five hundred and seventy seven dollars were missing. Askew told police that she believes that the monies were stolen by her former employees. Police are investigating.

Romance Turns Deadly for Young Woman
A family in Independence Village in the Stann Creek District is in mourning after police in western Belize found the body of their relative, 24-year-old, Kayla Pandy Burgess. Renee Trujillo and cameraman, Brian Castillo travelled out west today to get the details of this horrific incident. RENEE TRUJILLO REPORTING “I’m standing at the morgue here in San Ignacio Town where the body of 24-year-old, Kayla Pandy Burgess has just been transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City where it will undergo a post mortem examination. Kayla’s body was found late yesterday evening on the Bullet Tree Road inside her 2005 gold Kia Sorento. She was found strangled to death. Love News travelled to San Ignacio to get answers from the police investigators as well from her brother, Caral Pandy. SGT. JAIME GONZALEZ “Sometime after 5pm, Thursday, March 20, we received information from our counterparts in Belmopan city of a possible kidnapping and the victim was last located in the vicinity of the Bullet Tree Village. We responded to the area; we later located a vehicle with the description given to us a Kia Sorento vehicle, gold in colour with Stann Creek license plates.”

COLA Pursues Private Prosecution Against Penner
Next week Thursday, Citizen’s Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, will take their private prosecution of Former Minister of State, Elvin Penner a step further. After filing for a private prosecution on February 28th in the Belmopan Magistrate Court, the Judge set March 27th as the day in which Penner will answer to COLA’s private prosecution. Yesterday COLA sent letters to the Director of Public Prosecution, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie and Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley, requesting all files and evidence as it pertains to the case. The DDP has answered stating that she will be present for the hearing on the 27th. Penner will also be served with a summons and President of COLA, Giovanni Brackett, says that three scenarios can unfold this Thursday.

Re: Today's Belize News: March 22, 2014 [Re: Marty] #488460
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UB student, 23, murdered
The breaking news tonight is that a mother’s nightmare was made real when she was taken to the scene at an area outside Bullet Tree Falls to identify the body of her daughter, Kayla Burgess, 23, of Independence, a student of UB Belmopan who was found dead at about 6:00 this evening, strangled in her car. Police have reportedly detained a person in connection with the murder. Kayla Burgess’ family were hoping and praying that it was not her body which had been found. According to Plus TV, Burgess was reportedly kidnapped earlier today, somewhere between Belmopan and Cayo. Her parents were sent a message and they went to the Independence Police Station to make an official report. They showed police a text message that they had received which said that their daughter had been kidnapped and that if the kidnappers received the $250,000 which they reportedly demanded for her return, “nobody else will be hurt.” One media source is reporting that when the brother tried to call Kayla’s phone, a man answered and warned the brother not to get the police involved.

Student, 8, knocked down in Ladyville
Another unfortunate traffic accident which occurred early yesterday morning in Ladyville underscores the importance of safety measures for schoolchildren who exit buses to get to school, especially during peak hours when drivers are making their way to the Old Capital, mainly for work. The family of an 8-year old female student of Our Lady of the Way RC School in Ladyville is presently reeling with disbelief and anger after she was knocked down right in front of her school compound as she made her way to school this morning. Around 7:30 a.m., Kyeisha Joseph, who is a resident of Double Head Cabbage in rural Belize, reportedly exited her school bus and was about to cross the Philip Goldson Highway to make it to classes when she was hit by an SUV which was headed towards Belize City. The standard 2 student suffered injuries which have left her in a critical condition and clinging to life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH).

Yesterday, a former beauty queen contestant, Aracely Cahueque, 21, appeared relaxed, clutching a New Testament in her hand as if she was in another world, occasionally leaning backwards on her seat in the prisoner’s dock inside the Belmopan Supreme Court, where a 9-member jury began day two in her trial for three counts of abetment to commit murder before Supreme Court Justice Dennis Hannomansingh. Cahueque is believed to be the mastermind behind the October 2010 murder of Raylene Dyer, 18, who was beheaded, and her body dumped in a river, from which it was never recovered, according to caution statements the three men accused of carrying out the brutal execution gave to police. The motive for the murder is said to have been because Cahueque wanted Dyer’s baby girl. The three men whom Cahueque allegedly abetted to commit Dyer’s murder were acquitted last week. One of them, however, Brandon Budna, 28, who is a former University of Belize student, had given two statements to police in which he not only implicated himself, but also linked Cahueque to Dyer’s murder.

It took Magistrate Dale Cayetano almost two hours to read 117 counts of theft to Rashida Kira Sedacy, 24, as he arraigned her on the allegations that she stole $83,629.79, over a period of several months from her former employer, Traveller’s Liquors Ltd. Sedacy, a resident of Los Lagos, was represented by attorney Darrell Bradley, who is also the Mayor of Belize City. She pleaded not guilty to all the charges and was released on bail of $15,000 plus two sureties of $7,500 each. Apart from ordering her to surrender her travel documents to the court, Magistrate Cayetano stipulated that Sedacy is to report to the Ladyville Police Station every week. On Saturday, March 15, police arrested Sedacy, who is employed as a secretary at Rangers Security, and she remained in their custody until this morning when she was returned to court. Her arraignment was originally to have taken place yesterday, Monday, but was delayed until this morning after the court’s bureaucracy experienced logistical difficulties due to the volume of the charges.

Facebook has hundreds of millions of unique visitors every month, and it is deemed the most popular social network online site. The reality is, though, that minors could fall prey in a vast sea of online sexual predators—some several hundreds or thousands of miles away from their targets, others very near, but who use the online tool to hook their targets before closing in for an intimate—albeit illicit—sexual experience. Randy Lee Shill, 45, of Southeast Portland, was arrested in the US by FBI agents on November 10, 2010, when he went to meet a 16-year-old girl in the US for sex, equipped with condoms, flowers, alcohol, and a bottle of Viagra. After having pled guilty, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, followed by a five-year term of supervised release.

Paul Patt, 32, of Buena Vista, Corozal District, told police that two robbers fired twice at him with a shotgun while he was travelling on his motorcycle on the Buena Vista Road on his way to Caledonia at about 3:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon. Patt, a farmer, was on his way to pick up some money owed to him. Patt told police that he saw three men standing on the road with shotguns, and their faces were covered with masks. On seeing the bandits, Patt quickly turned back, but the bandits fired twice at him.

Kenny Perez, 16, of Orange Walk, is recovering at the Orange Walk Hospital after he was stabbed in his abdomen and the right forearm at about 1:30 yesterday afternoon by another youth, 17, during a fight on San Felipe Street, in Orange Walk Town. The 17-year-old has been detained by police and will be charged with grievous dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. Perez told police that he and two of his friends were walking on the street when the 17-year-old, whom he knows, rode up on a bicycle and stopped in front of him. There was an exchange of words and the young man attacked him, he said.

The police are seeking a man who raped a 12-year-old girl, and, in a separate incident, arrested and charged a stepfather, 49, for carnal knowledge of a 13-year-old girl. The stepfather was remanded today to the Belize Central Prison by the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court until his next court appearance on Friday, May 30. Police say that the 13-year-old told them that she had been sexually molested numerous times by her stepfather. Doctors at the Punta Gorda Hospital who examined the girl confirmed that she is 20 weeks, 6 days pregnant. The girl, a resident of a village in Toledo, had reportedly become fed up with the frequent rapes and the sexual abuse she was enduring at the hands of her stepfather, and told her mother what was happening. Both of them then went to the police and reported the matter.

Residents of the Tres Cocos area of San Pedro captured a thief who was burglarizing a woman’s house. It is reported that when the owner of the house chased him after she found him in the house, the burglar fired at the owner. Misty Plemons, 31, told police that about 10:30 Wednesday morning, she was at home when she heard noise coming from her bedroom. When she checked, she saw a masked man, with a rag tied around his face, in her bedroom. On her approach, the thief quickly closed the room door and escaped out of the house through a window. Plemons then pursued the bandit, who fired in her direction, but missed. According to the San Pedro Sun, the neighborhood watch group of Tres Cocos were alerted by the gunshots in their vicinity and a woman’s cries for help, and ran after the burglar, whom they caught and tackled to the ground. The group overpowered him and held him for police, who took him to the San Pedro Police Station, where he was identified as Juan Martinez, 18, a fisherman of the San Pedrito area.

A licensed .38 Special Amadeo Rossi revolver was stolen at gunpoint from its owner, who was pistol-whipped and robbed while at a house at the corner of West and Basra Streets at about 1:40 yesterday afternoon. The gun owner, Theodore Chavarria, a technician living in Sandhill, told police that while seated in front of the house, he was approached by two men riding on separate bicycles coming from the direction of George Street. The two men were each armed with 9mm pistols. Both men took out their guns, cocked them and pointed them at him. Chavarria said that while one of the robbers held him at gunpoint, the other robber beat him in the head with the butt of his pistol, then put his hand into his pocket and stole his gun, valued at $1,000, and other personal belongings.

A young couple was robbed at about 8:30 Saturday night on 1st Avenue in Corozal Town, in the area of Vamps Chill and Grill Restaurant, by two thieves armed with knives, who escaped with over $810 in valuables and cash. The couple, a 17-year-old young lady and a 20-year-old young man, both of Corozal Town, told police that the two men rode up and stopped them. At knifepoint, one of the thieves stepped up and pulled off the necklace that the girl was wearing around her neck, which had a cross medal attached to it, valued at $100, while the other thief stayed a short distance away and acted as a lookout. Fearing for her life, the girl took off her three gold rings, all valued at $150 each, and gave them to the thief. She also handed over her purse, which contained $10, her lipstick, and her Digicell Samsung cell phone, valued at $250. The thief also stole her bracelet and her wristwatch. The youth also gave them his cellphone.

Earl Johnson, 43, who is employed as a security guard at Hour Bar, located on Newtown Barracks, pleaded guilty to one count of wounding when he was arraigned before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton. In his mitigation plea, Johnson told the court that he is a father of three children, and that this is his first offense. Hamilton fined him $1,000, plus $5 cost of court, which he has to pay by April 28; if he defaults in payment, he would have to spend one year in prison. The incident occurred on Sunday, March 16, around 3:15 a.m., when Johnson got into an altercation with a co-worker, Leopold Piñeda.

Students and staff of the Biscayne Primary School have been deprived of much-needed equipment for the smooth running of the school after thieves burglarized the school and got away with 4 desk computers and other electronic equipment totaling about $7,000 in value. The break-in was discovered yesterday morning when teachers reported to work and found that the classroom in which the computers were kept had been broken into via the door. The teachers reported that they had locked the classrooms Monday evening at the conclusion of the school day. A teacher reported that yesterday morning while going to school aboard the bus, he could see that the door to the room where the computers were kept was damaged and open. He later discovered that beside the laptop computers, the stereo set and the projector were also missing. The missing laptops are 3 Dell computers and one Lenovo. The loss of the computers will significantly impact the teachers and the school.

The US wants to control our oil again, says Venezuelan Ambassador
Thirty deaths in thirty days: This is the devastating human toll of ongoing street violence in Venezuela, which the country’s Ambassador to Belize, H.E. Yoel Perez Marcano, told the media at a press conference held at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City Thursday morning, was engineered by what he termed the “political and economic elite” – backed, he said, by the United States of America. Marcano furthermore charged that a move by the local elite and the US to regain control of Venezuela’s oil is at the heart of the conflict. Marcano charged that the administration of Barack Obama—president of the United States, which he said controlled Venezuela for 100 years with an oil-based economy, before revolutionaries forged the creation of a new socio-economic model—is behind what he said is this new attempt to fracture the political administration of Venezuela president Nicholas Maduro, who was elected to office after Venezuelan revolutionary Hugo Chavez died last year, in 2013. The Ambassador said, “We have to talk with Obama and we are willing to talk with Obama,” and if the US joins Venezuela in a dialogue for peace, “the crisis situation created by the elite will end immediately.”

NTUCB asks for immediate termination of new director of drug inspectorate
The Pharmacist Association of Belize (PAB)—the group which last week issued a public statement decrying the manner in which the Ministry of Health had hired Danina Contreras, daughter of Minister of Trade Erwin Contreras, for a newly created post—told Amandala today that they had just received a request from the Ministry of Health to meet, but they could not disclose details because they had not yet consulted internally on the matter. PAB now has the support of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), which issued a statement earlier this week in which it expressed solidarity with PAB and called for “…the immediate termination of Ms. Contreras from the Public Service.” The NTUCB said that it, “Furthermore …insists that the post of director of drug inspectorate [for which she was hired] be advertised and that the due process be undertaken in accordance with the Public Service Commission Regulations/Public Services Commission: the sole authority responsible for appointments in the Public Service; in order that a suitably qualified and competent person be hired to fill this post… one that has been long advocated for the Pharmacists Association of Belize, complemented by an entire Inspectorate UNIT.”

TB workshop held for medical practitioners
In commemoration of World Tuberculosis Day – which will be observed next Monday, March 24 – the Ministry of Health organized a workshop at the ITVET Compound in Belize City today, which was aimed at keeping nurses and caretakers “in the know,” as it relates to dealing with patients who contract the disease. The participants received advice on how to deal specifically with isolated cases of tuberculosis – also known as “TB,” and how to administer medication to patients based on the severity of their condition, among other presentations which were conducted by the workshop’s facilitator, Dr. Francis Morey, who is also the director of the national tuberculosis program. Morey told Amandala about today’s undertaking as well as some of the problems associated with eradicating the curable, but deadly disease. He said, “This activity is being held to increase awareness in regards to the existence of TB in our population and how to diagnose it, treat it early, and hopefully decrease the number of individuals who are affected by tuberculosis in our country.”

The Pharmacist Association of Belize (PAB)—the group which last week issued a public statement decrying the manner in which the Ministry of Health had hired Danina Contreras, daughter of Minister of Trade Erwin Contreras, for a newly created post—told Amandala today that they had just received a request from the Ministry of Health to meet, but they could not disclose details because they had not yet consulted internally on the matter. PAB now has the support of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), which issued a statement earlier this week in which it expressed solidarity with PAB and called for “…the immediate termination of Ms. Contreras from the Public Service.” The NTUCB said that it, “Furthermore …insists that the post of director of drug inspectorate [for which she was hired] be advertised and that the due process be undertaken in accordance with the Public Service Commission Regulations/Public Services Commission: the sole authority responsible for appointments in the Public Service; in order that a suitably qualified and competent person be hired to fill this post… one that has been long advocated for the Pharmacists Association of Belize, complemented by an entire Inspectorate UNIT.”

Tribute to Mr. Falo Fonseca
(The following is the FROM THE PUBLISHER column published in Amandala no. 745 of Friday, October 14, 1983) Probably the worst thing happen to Belize in the last five years was the death in December, 1978 of the first Belizean Financial Secretary – Rafael Aloysius Fonseca, C.M.G. Mr. Fonseca died in a traffic accident on the Western Highway days after Anglican Bishop Eldon A. Sylvestre and his wife perished in another traffic accident on the same highway. Within the space of one week Belize lost the only churchman who was not afraid of George Price (as a Canon, Sylvestre had defied Price by blessing the first UBAD parade in 1969), and the man who stood between Belize and fiscal irresponsibility.

Four female and four male high school softball teams, champions of the four country zones, converged at King’s College in Lucky Strike Village, Belize District, to compete on Friday and Saturday, March 14-15, in the National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) 2014 Softball Championship. The tournament followed a simple knockout format, with Friday’s losers playing for third place on Saturday, and Friday’s female (F) and male (M) winners meeting for the championship on Saturday. There were some exciting duels in this year’s Nationals, with both championship games ending in low scoring shutouts. Representing their respective zones were: NORTH – (Female) Belize Rural High School (BRHS); (Male) San Pedro High School (SPHS) CENTRAL – (Female) Gwen Lizarraga High School (GLHS); (Male) Nazarene High School (NHS) WEST – (Female) Alvin Young Nazarene High School (AYNHS); (Male) Belmopan Comprehensive High School (BCS)

Sir Manuel and Lady Kathy Esquivel’s decision to resign simultaneously from their respective posts in the administration of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) was an attempt to embarrass the Dean Barrow administration while registering massive protest at the forced resignation of their daughter, Laura Esquivel–Frampton, as head of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB). Their public protestations to the contrary, it is impossible not to believe that Laura Esquivel’s parents expected some kind of noisy mobilization of their loyalists to take place once they resigned so dramatically from their various posts. Such a noisy mobilization of Esquivel loyalists did not take place, and the question has to be where exactly is the Esquivel power base. To respond to this question, there is a need to examine Sir Manuel’s political history. A physics teacher at St. John’s College and St. John’s College Sixth Form, Esquivel was a nobody when he entered local politics as an official of the Liberal Party in late 1972/early 1973. Sir Manuel was already married to the former Kathleen Levy, who had come to serve in Belize from Britain as a Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO) volunteer.

Older brother stabs younger brother multiple times
Henry Baptist, 25, of San Ignacio, the elder brother of Luis Espat, 23, also of San Ignacio, has been arrested and charged with aggravated burglary, aggravated assault, wounding, and threatening words against Doreth Wellington, 67, his grandmother, after he went into Espat’s room, in her house, and allegedly stabbed him in the head, lungs, leg and arm. When Wellington intervened to save her younger grandson, Baptist stabbed her on her hand, which began to bleed, Wellington told police. Baptist was taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court on Friday, and was released on bail of $3,000 and a surety of the same amount and ordered to return to court on May 28. Espat is now suffering from five stab wounds. Deputy Commander of San Ignacio Police, Inspector Reymundo Reyes, said that Espat refused to make a statement against his brother, Baptist, and did not report the stab wounds, so Baptist was not charged for the attack on Espat.

There is an internal breaking down in the United Democratic Party and it is as if the party is now practicing cannibalism…. Yes, they’re eating up each other from inside, and the blood spewed from the jaws in each other’s throat is now spilling into the public domain. We the people not close enough to the inner circle are now seeing how vicious the inner workings are and whose jaws are on whose necks. Clearly they are going for the jugular. Bleeding jugular Laura Esquivel-Frampton must have a jugular that is bleeding so badly because when her management team, clearly with the support of the BTB Board, the Minister of Tourism and his CEO, went after her, it was to see her dead. I do not know if what they claim is true or not, exaggerated or fictional…, but I do know that the letter they sent dated March 5, 2014, was not diplomatic, and was intended to go for the kill. It is as if they had to put in writing the marring of her name and reputation…. No mercy! But what I find amazing is that the management team in the first sentence makes it known that they have been holding meetings with “…you [Minister of Tourism], past and present chairmen of the Board, Board of Directors and the CEO of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture…,” and it is after these meetings that they were now forwarding their “vote of no-confidence”. So my question is, could not the young Esquivel have been removed without all the bloodshed?

The 10th Day of Healing in the City
Another Day of Healing – the tenth of its kind— will be held in the Taylor Alley area of the city from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 29. There will be games, entertainment by local artists and entertainers, and a candlelight vigil in memory of those who have lost their lives due to the senseless gun violence. Entertainers at the event will include Bobo Youth, Blackberry, Positive Vibes, Barbie and, depending on their availability, TR Shyne, Nello Player and Dylan Diamond. Social activist Perry “Stickz” Smith, the organizer and director of the Day of Healing, said that the aim of the event is to bring people of the community together to work for the betterment of their community. Smith said that for the continued healing of the city, hatchets should be buried, and warring factions should learn how to respect and love one another by coming to together to work for the improvement of their community.

Belize Ambassadors make case for closer collaboration with Guatemala
This morning at the House of Culture in Belize City, the 30-member Referendum Commission met to discuss the Belize-Guatemala territorial differendum, and this afternoon, key Government officials, including chairman of the Commission, Ambassador James Murphy; Coordinator of the Referendum Unit, Ambassador Stuart Leslie; and Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Natural Resources, CEO Alexis Rosado, met with the media to update the public on plans to tighten cooperation between both countries. CEO Rosado, who heads the Belize delegation on the Belize-Guatemala Joint Commission installed earlier this year at the launch of a new roadmap, told the press that Belize remains committed to finding a legal solution to the problem, and they are trying to find a way to ensure that the public information campaign is continuous. He said that they are also gathering data, building a great research library, and assisting in every way possible to move things to the next phase of confidence-building negotiations.

GOB looks at revamping butane sector
At an exorbitant high of $128 for a 100-pound cylinder, the prices for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) have consistently been escalating in the country, but the Government of Belize is negotiating with Mexican officials for a concessionary arrangement that it said could ensure quality supply at a stable and more affordable price. The national demand for LPG, a mixture of butane and propane, is 1.2 mil gallons per annum, said Jose E. Trejo, Director of the Belize Bureau of Standards. Trejo said that although Belize’s energy policy pushes for more renewable energy and higher efficiency, the country has to establish a balance between renewable and non-renewable energy sources, such as LPG and LNP, so as to meet the local demand. He told Amandala today that the Government of Belize has been in talks with Mexican officials, as part of a bi-national initiative, similar to the PetroCaribe model under which the Government imports fuel under concessionary financing terms from Venezuela. Payment terms have not yet been disclosed.

Vehicle overturns on the Philip Goldson Highway
Walter Flores, 23, a cargo truck driver of San Estevan, who police said was driving a vehicle while intoxicated, escaped unhurt after the truck overturned between Miles 66 and 67 on the Philip Goldson Highway at about 6:45 Sunday evening. Flores was arrested and charged for driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention and driving a motor vehicle with alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit. A urine sample was also taken from him for analysis. Police reported that the black Volvo truck with license plate OW-A-00585 was overturned on the passenger’s side across the street with the right side of the truck damaged, and its windshield was shattered. According to police, Flores had been travelling from Corozal to Orange Walk, and upon reaching between Miles 66 and 67, he lost control of the truck and as a result, it overturned.

Two women found dead in their rooms in Corozal and Cayo
Two women, one in the Cayo District and the other in the Corozal District, were found dead in their rooms in two separate incidents. One of the women, Norma Lopez, of Santa Cruz, Santa Elena, Cayo, was 85-years-old, while the other, Delma Cristelia Sosa Murillo, was a 26-year-old Honduran young woman who worked as a waitress at Palacio Dulce Bar, located in Ranchito, Corozal District. Lopez was found decomposing on the floor beside her bed a little after noon, yesterday, Tuesday, while Murillo was found lying face-down on her bed, lifeless, at about 7:30 Sunday night, March 16. Neighbours of Lopez had started to smell a foul odor, and when caretakers of hers took food for her on Monday, they had to leave it at the door, which was locked. When they returned yesterday, Tuesday, and found the food untouched and the door still locked, however, they raised an alarm.

SATIIM moves to stop oil drilling by US Capital
The challenge mounted by the indigenous Maya of Toledo against the Government of Belize and US Capital Energy – over plans to drill for oil on ancestral lands amid unresolved legal disputes – has intensified, with a recent move by the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) to get a Supreme Court injunction to stop US Capital from pressing ahead with pre-drilling works at the Temash #2 site in Toledo. Supported by four affected indigenous communities in Toledo, SATIIM took US Capital and the Government to court last year, challenging the decision by the Government to grant the company a concession to drill on ancestral lands, without getting the informed consent of the Maya who hold traditional land rights in the area; but SATIIM also challenged the decision of the Government to include the Sarstoon Temash National Park in the concession – a decision which the NGO contends is a blatant violation of the National Parks System Act. SATIIM had initially intended to get a court injunction to stop US Capital from drilling – but it withdrew after indications from US Capital that it would not drill before November 2013.

No Limit Soldiers
After the No Limit Soldiers suffered a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of the Cayo Western Ballaz in San Ignacio a week ago, the Belize City squad regrouped and refocused for their next challenge, which would come in the form of the visiting Belmopan Point Bandits on Friday night, March 14, at Bird’s Isle. Going into the big matchup, the Point Bandits were just ahead of the No Limit Soldiers in the standings, as the Bandits occupied the number 4 spot while the Soldiers were at number 5. Only 4 teams will make it to the playoffs, so every one of the remaining ten games for team No Limit is crucial if they are to make a run at the title. The Point Bandits opened the scoring in the 1st quarter, as Adam Carswell would convert the put-back layup off a missed shot. After that, the game would remain close for the rest of the 1st quarter and much of the 2nd, as both teams were hungry for a victory. The No Limit captain, Greg “Chippy” Rudon would get hot early, as he scored 8 of the No Limit Soldiers’ first 10 points, with 2 field goals coming from beyond the arc. There were a total of 5 lead changes in the game, including 4 ties, and at the end of the 1st half the score was 31 to 31.

A foreigner, Ignacio Prado of Mexico
The last big race before the historic Cross Country was a reminder to the Belize cycling community of the challenge facing our cyclists from international competition, as Sunday’s 33rd Annual SMART Belmopan Cycling Classic was won in commanding and intimidating fashion by a 20-year-old Mexican newcomer, Ignacio Prado, riding for the Benny’s Megabytes cycling team, whose lead rider, Byron Pope, was unable to secure a spot among the top 5 finishers. In the Female category, reigning Cross Country champion Shalini Zabaneh was first, and in the Juniors, Tarique Flowers took the top honors. Open/Elite/Masters – 100 miles The 100-mile Open/Elite/Masters race left at 8:00 a.m. from in front of the Smart headquarters near Mile 2 on the Philip Goldson (Northern) Highway, passed through Belize City proper, travelled on the George Price (Western) Highway to Belmopan, and returned on the same route to the finish, with one circuit around the two nearest highway roundabouts before ending in front of the Smart headquarters.

Dangriga sports stats
Cycling: The Dangriga Amateur Cycling Association will be hosting its last Sunday in the month monthly race on Sunday, March 30. This race will start (and finish) from in front of Ilagulei Sports Bar at 11:00 a.m. and head all the way to Sittee River junction and back. Classic Gold Mayor’s Cup: Week 1 games in the 2014 Classic Gold Mayor’s Cup tournament, sponsored by Traveller’s and Belikin, were played over the weekend at the Carl Ramos Stadium. In game 1 on Friday night, March 14, Southside won over Riverside Nets, 2-1, with both Southside goals coming from Lennox “Namule” Mejia; while Dave Brackett got Riverside’s only goal. Game 2 saw Alliance FC getting the 2-1 victory over Wagiya. Michael Cho and Hector Gomez scored 1 apiece for Alliance FC, while Wagiya’s only goal came from Brandon “Rasmo” Cacho.

Belize’s modern day sports dynasty
Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, defines a sports dynasty as a “team that dominates their sport or league for multiple seasons or years.” It also goes on to say that often these teams’ recognition in such a capacity is, more often than not, subjective and retrospective. When sports enthusiasts speak of dynasties from an international standpoint, they usually connect the UCLA Bruins men’s college basketball team from 1964 to 1975; the Oakland Raiders of the 1970’s and 1980’s; the Boston Celtics during the period 1956 to 1986, who won 16 of 30 NBA championships; and the Chicago Bulls, who won 6 of 8 NBA championships during the period 1989-1998. Meanwhile, on the local scene, the first teams that come to mind when we speak of dynasties are the Kremandala Raiders basketball franchise, who won an unprecedented 7 of 8 semi-pro basketball championships during the period 1993-2000; and the Juventus football team from Orange, who won four consecutive semi-pro championships thru 1995 – 1999.

Originally printed in the Sunday, July 24, 2011 issue of the Amandala. A Pledge of Allegiance The American influence on the lives of Belizean is pervasive. We copy their dress and their attitudes. We sing their songs and are influenced by their politics and social vicissitudes and their God is our God – materialism in all its forms. Still, there is one thing to which we are impervious, their sense of nationhood. There are pockets of individuals who are patriotic because of their narrow self interests and, those whose conditions of living make them disaffected but, mainstream Americans love their country, think it is the best in the world and, would do what they can to keep it so. I think one of the reasons for citizens of American’s great devotion to their way of life is that they were taught and required to say at the beginning of each school day, their Pledge of Allegiance. I think that pledge is a powerful unifying force and colors and flavors how American children look at themselves and their society.

From The Publisher
Where moral and religious issues are concerned, that of abortion is probably the most explosive one in the United States. Those who are against abortion are described as being pro-life, whereas those who are in favor of a woman’s right to abort, are called pro-choice. In America there are abortion clinics which make these procedures conveniently available to women, and they have been the targets of violent crimes, including bombings, over the decades. This is how explosive the abortion issue is in the United States: people who are pro-life commit murders in pursuance of their cause. They believe that human life commences at conception, and that those women who abort fetuses and those who assist them in doing so, are themselves real murderers. This is not an issue about which I know a lot, and no doubt I should have done some academic research before writing this column. My excuse for not doing research is that this column is about specific Belizean circumstances in colonial days, and the shadowy, fearful world in which some abortions were performed.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Belizeans with dual citizenships can no longer depend on the UDP for support
When I first came to America in 1978 to live, most Belizean Americans wanted a change of government. Many of them were complaining that they came to this country because they were victims of victimization committed against them by the People’s United Party, and I was one of them who felt and experienced it. I remember attending a “No Guatemala Demonstration” in April of 1977 along with other Corporals of Police like myself. After the demonstration that same week, I was given an immediate transfer to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The problem was that I was scheduled to commence my three-month leave in the month of July that same year. I went to the Commander of Eastern Division at the time, Superintendent Gilbert Franklin, to file a complaint against the transfer, but he said he could not do anything about it. I then decided to go and appeal to the Premier George Cadle Price, and he said the same thing, but referred me to the Minister of Internal Affairs, Carl Lindbergh “Lindy” Rogers.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Who were the real conquistadores?
I recently heard an ad on the radio promoting a ceremony depicting a Spanish conquistador “taking” for his wife a Mayan princess! The true history of the Spanish conquest of Mexico was hidden for centuries so as not to reveal who were the real conquistadores. The bold and brave Maya drove the Spanish masters and “patrones” to the coast of Yucatan and across the border of the Rio Hondo, and they only turned back for home when they realized that it was time to plant their corn, which was life to them. Valuable and unique ethno-historical sources, accessible as never before, offer a compelling new perspective on the Spanish conquest.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: The end of my patience …
I have been patient since last year with the governing bodies of Belize and I have reached the end of my patience. We have all kinds of things happening in Belize. Prices are going up all over in everything. Now as I drive around Belize City, a 10-minute drive now takes up to 45 minutes; needless to say, that it is an inconvenience, but between BWS and CISCO, it is even worse. There is Central American Boulevard at the gas station blocked off; Partridge Street where it meets the highway, blocked the other side; beside Carter’s is now one-way; Vernon Street blocked off all by government work. Yes, I say GOB because they own BWS and BTL and all the work being done is by those two entities. We, the public, are the ones suffering from all these blockages. Gas is not cheap!!!! We seem to do work haphazardly. Why don’t they concentrate on one street at a time and why do we stop at the end of the day? Works like street repairs should be day and night. It is all nice that they are trying to make jobs, but at the same time, whilst making jobs, the public suffers.

I would like to publicly draw attention to a serious concern about a certain section of the textbook, ¿Qué tal? An Introductory Course, sixth edition by Thalia Dorwick, Ana Maria Pérez Gironés and others. This textbook has been used over the years by St. John’s College Junior College, and perhaps other schools in Belize, for the teaching of Spanish. Part of the Spanish exercises presented in the book are sections entitled, “Enfoque cultural:…” where snapshot presentations are made of each country in Central America and other several other countries in Latin America, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Chile and others. It is disturbing to read the section under Capitulo 5 entitled, “Enfoque cultural: Guatemala” pg. 137 – 146. This section about Guatemala includes Belize and has this to say: “Belize, formerly known as British Honduras, has many beautiful beaches and coral reefs that attract an increasing number of tourists, particularly those interested in world-class scuba diving. Belize (in Spanish Belice) was once a part of Guatemala, though under British occupation at the time…”

The ongoing crisis in the Ukraine presents strategic lessons for Belize which should guide our response to the “eastward drift” by Guatemala. The Ukraine has for the last couple of years been a covert battlefield for the so-called West as they try to penetrate Russia’s sphere of influence. Under the guise of democracy, the West supported, if not orchestrated, the overthrow of a democratically-elected government solely because that government was, in their view, eastward leaning. It is safe to say that the West, in their zeal to topple Yanukovych, severely miscalculated the likely Russian response. Western leaders have been quick to draw similarities between Russia’s Crimean experiment and Germany’s invasion of Poland. There are significant differences, of course, but this is not the focus of my treatise.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Defender of Rt. Hon. Esquivel
Rt. Honorable Dr. Manuel Esquivel has resigned from the political picture in Belize. Sadly, there are not many who are lamenting. So, so sad. This is the man who straightened out the Belizean ship when the rudderless PUP nearly sailed us into the reef of economic shambles. Many of the PUP party faithful will not agree, but true businessmen could smell the reef coming. No foreign exchange at the financial institutions was the biggest sign. Rt. Honorable George Price was a great politician, but not very adept at financial matters, and as my elders noted, when he tragically lost Mr. Fonseca as financial advisor, he had no one to replace him. Dr. Esquivel came on the scene when Belize needed an administrator more than a politician, ‘cause that’s what he was. Good administrator, bad politician. He straightened out the financial ship, but got beaten at the political game, only to be re-elected a second time by fate’s decree. Beaten again, he resigned.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Claims BTL dividends “cut by over 60%”
The Government of Belize found it in the best interest of the people and the economy of the country to nationalize the national telephone system. As they took possession of management, the directors offered a new issue of common shares to the public. While there were no specific guarantees offered, there also was no warning that the new management would find it necessary to reduce the dividends that previous management had paid to shareholders, leaving the investing public to assume that the rate of dividends would be more or less equal to what had been paid in the past. Since the government takeover, however, the rate of dividends has been cut by over 60% and there are no buyers for the shares. We bought these shares to finance our daughter’s college expenses, and now that she has been accepted by a top college in London, we find that there are no scholarships and we cannot access the money we have saved for this purpose.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Our parasitic elites
I read your editorial dated March 16, 2014 with much interest. I don’t think that most Belizeans understand that our mode of operation as a country is unsustainable and we must collectively do something about it. The problem with Belize lies primarily with our elite, whether educated elites or economic elites. The elites of a country are supposed to move its society forward; that is why they are given so many privileges, so that they have the leisure and the means of production. I don’t want to get too academic, but if you look at history, people like Hippocrates, Aristotle, Galileo, Alexander Graham Bell, Bill Gates, etc. are all members of the elite in their society, even if they were the educated elites. They simply use the resources, hoard them and give very little in return.

The Reporter

For the second time in less than three years two Directors of Tourism in Belize have abruptly resigned. In September 2011, Ms. Seleni Matus, a talented and enterprising Belizean woman, resigned out of sheer frustration. She had been recruited to point the Belize Tourist Board in a new direction, and […] Former NAC Chairman

Kathy Esquivel says her reason for resigning was “personal”
Kathy Esquivel, the mother of Laura Esquivel-Frampton who resigned last week from the Belize Tourism Board, has denied that her reason for resigning as the Chairperson of the National AIDS Commission had to do with Frampton’s resignation. Mrs. Esquivel told The Reporter this week […]

Gary Seawell awaits extradition ruling
Attorney for accused drug trafficker sought by the U.S. state of Ohio Gary Seawell, Arthur Saldivar, hopes to convince Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana of what he could not convince Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith last October: that his client […]

VIP supports Belizean Transparency Reform
Hubert Enriquez, Chairman of the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) Party, said Belize should take note of Mexico’s recent reforms to their transparency systems and demand greater transparency and accountability from the government. Enriquez told The Reporter that better legislation is necessary in […]

American teacher arrested, planned sex with Belizean minors
An American teacher was arrested in Florida on charges of enticing two Belizean girls to have sex with him. Federal agents arrested 48-year-old David Wendel Thompson in Miami on Friday during a lay-over after returning to the U.S from Belize. Thompson was denied entry […]

“Multivitamins a waste of money,” experts say
“Enough is enough! Stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements,” say medical experts in an editorial of a leading journal that has just published three new studies examining whether routine use of vitamin and mineral supplements brings health benefits. Writing in Annals of Internal Medicine, the editorial authors conclude […]

Does cracking knuckles cause arthritis?
Cracking of joints, also referred to as “popping”, is a form of joint manipulation that produces a popping or cracking sound, as may occur during knuckle-cracking, a deliberate action. People can crack several joints in their bodies, including the hips, wrists, elbows, back and neck vertebrae, toes, shoulders, feet, jaws, […]

PG town councillor found dead at home; no foul play suspected
Simon Paulino, 59, a Punta Gorda town councillor, was discovered dead inside his home on Sunday morning. The former PUP deputy mayor was discovered lying face up shortly before eight a.m. on his bed at his home on Far West Street. While his death […]

Still no charge against Townsend’s alleged killer
More than a month after a 19-year-old resident of Benque Viejo allegedly confessed to the murder of Canadian Seventh Day Adventist Missionary, Brian Townsend, 64, police are yet to charge the individual. The reason given by the Officer Commanding the Belmopan Police Formation Assistant […]

Conflict between market vendors and San Ignacio Town Council over trade license fees.
Some vendors at the San Ignacio Town market say they are at odds with the San Ignacio Town Council over the fees it charges for trade license. The vendors say that they have taken their complaint to the Council but it did not yield […]

Ignacio Prado wins SMART Belmopan Classic
By William Ysaguirre Freelance Reporter Mexican rider, Ignacio Prado, of Benny’s Megabytes team won the elite race of the annual SMART Belmopan Cycling Classic on Sunday. The race, organized by the Cycling Federation of Belize, and which started on the George Price Highway, finished at the SMART headquarters on the […]

Shalini Zabaneh wins SMART Belmopan Female Classic
By William Ysaguirre Freelance Reporter Defending three-time women’s Cross Country Champion and National Road Champion Shalini Zabaneh of the Sagitun team won the 60-mile women’s race from La Democracia. Shalini rode in solo in 3:19:54 to win the $750 first prize, a trophy and a massage at Oltsil Spa. Kaya […]

DPP to share Penner files with COLA
The Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal has reportedly decided to join the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action in their private prosecution against former Minister of State in Immigration, Elvin Penner. The case is scheduled to continue next Thursday, and The Reporter was […]

PetroCaribe arrangement in tact
Venezuela will keep its exclusive PetroCaribe arrangement with 18 countries in the Caribbean and the Americas, including Belize, despite a month-long spate of protests against President, Nicolas Maduro’s government. The upheavals, according to Venezuela’s Ambassador to Belize, Yoel del Valle Perez Mercano, are a […]

Unions call for Bowen & Bowen boycott
Several trade unions have called for a boycott of Bowen and Bowen products this weekend. The move, the unions explained via separate, a but almost identical press statements, is to show support for the Bowen & Bowen workers who were recently terminated from the company. […]


Once again Belize makes top ten happiest countries in the world!
You may remember back in August last year when we reported that the Travel Channel listed Belize as one of the top 10 happiest countries in the world? Well, it’s happened again, the time the March 18th edition of the Wall Street Cheat Sheet, an investor’s guide and lifestyle site e-zine, listing Belize as one of the world’s ten top happiest countries. No surprises there… I mean, just walk around the place…. But it is nice to be recognised again, and, of course, give us one more reason to be happy – we live in one of the top happiest places on earth! Think about that when you wake up tomorrow… Norway (of course), Denmark, Vietnam, Sweden, Holland, Costa Rica Canada, Colombia and El Salvador made the list, but only Belize is so small and intimate with that rare combination of such excellent weather (sorry Norway) close proximity to jungle, beach and Maya archaeological sites.

Lunch at Elvi’s Kitchen on Another Perfect Beach Day
I wasn’t going to eat lunch out…but the call of San Pedro’s best dessert (here are all the winners) was just way too strong for me. Miss Elvi’s Coconut Pie. Warm with iced cream. I headed over to Elvi’s Kitchen on Middle Street.Is pie going to be enough? Hungry, I took a look at their new menu. Elvi’s has been on the island for years…and years. See this tree covered it lights? The original Elvi’s Hamburgers was a tiny outdoor place beneath this tree. Elvi’s is featured in every guide book there is. It’s a spot that could easily sit back and rest on its laurels. But they don’t. Not at all. In fact, in the past few years, Elvi’s has crept into, easily, my top five favorite restaurants. Jennie Staines, hometown girl and the chef at Elvi’s, is SUPER passionate about food, both local and international. She has updated but not changed many of Belizeans classic dishes and made them even more appealing. You’ve got to try it out. Here is just a section of their brand new menu.

“Poetry in Motion” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
On Monday Rose and I had the pleasure of spending time with Esme and her six year old grandson Tyler. Esme originates from Honduras but has lived in Belize for over twenty-six years but in all that time had never visited Ambergris Caye. Caye Caulker yes, but never in all that time has she made the extra twenty minute journey to Ambergris Caye. So, why after such long a long time did she make the trip you’re thinking. Simple, she was delivering the remaining half of a pig that her husband Stephen had butchered (sounds horrible doesn’t it but I’ve never professed to be a vegetarian) for us. Stephen served in the British as a Master Butcher (come on, an army marches on its stomach) and occasionally (very occasionally we understand) can be persuaded to use his skills for acquaintances. And he very fortunately granted us this favour.

Belize Peoples Front Press Release on Sexual Exploitation of Children
In light of a recent news article featured in several US news outlets and Belize’s local news Media – LoveFM that shows a US teacher on spring break visiting Belize to have sexual encounters with underage children. As per WFLA, a local Florida news agency: Federal authorities busted Thompson after they say he used Facebook to entice two teenage girls, 13 and 15, to have sex with him. The Belize People’s Front condemns these actions and hereby calls on Belizean Authorities to become more vigilant against these practices. We commend the US authorities on their efforts to protect our women and children, and to have been so swift in capturing this individual. We call on the Government of Belize to: Start investing in technology and manpower that can assist in better tracking and quelling these incidents. Start an education and support program for families to learn how to recognize warning signs and deal with them, also how to work with the technology in their homes. To institute a full ZERO TOLLERANCE policy to be setup to deal with the Sexual Exploitation of our children as per the call from UNICEF:

The Deading of the Fourth Estate in Belize
I read half of the comments about my blog on the murder Kayla Burgess made by a media colleague and the entire comment by a purported Galen alumni. I was interested in what someone else supposedly close to the parties in the terrible tragedy had to say. My hopes were dashed when I was made the target of their objections….typical “shoot the messenger mentality”. It was well executed. Congratulations! Now as for my colleague, I care nothing about his unctuousness about my blog. As the Galen alumni rightly said, I’m entitled to my opinion. I cannot help but detect a little bit of envy on his part that he wasn’t playing a starring in this one. It is the disgusting and counterproductive behavior of some in Belize’s nascent media environment that I detest. The news is NEVER about the reporter!

Former UB Student Takes Ill-fated Trip Out West to Her Death
Things quickly unraveled after news broke around 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 20th that Kayla Burgess, 24 of Indpendence Village had been kidnapped. Burgess a recent graduate from the University of Belize in Belmopan, left her home in Independence village, Stann Creek District sometime on Thursday morning in her Kia Sorento en route to Belmopan. Her early departure didn’t raise any alarm bells but as families do, Kayla checked in with her brother around midday. She seemed to be in good spirits and nothing seemed ominous. According to a report carried by Patrick Jones, Kayla informed her brother, Caral Pandy that she was heading out west to Bullet Tree Falls village in the Cayo District. A cousin who spoke with Kayla face to face in Belmopan around the same time on Thursday also reported that she was told by Kayla was on her way to Bullet Tree to meet with someone. When questioned by her cousin about her mission in Bullet Tree since it was assumed that she was unfamiliar with the area or anyone from the area, Kayla only said she was going to meet someone there.

An Adventure Through Ancient Mayan Lands – Belize Family Travel Series
What’s next on this Belize vacation? Mayan artifacts, horseback riding through lands once home to an ancient Mayan civilization, and a relaxing respite along a river deep in the jungles of Belize. No experience required for this fun time. Just a sense of adventure, and a willingness to climb upon the back of a horse. Footstools provided for us shorter folk! The adventure begins where an ancient civilization left off – on a citrus farm at the edge of a jungle, the very same grounds ancient Mayans once walked. Imagine life as it might have been in a time long ago. It’s not that hard when your guide and host, both of Mayan descent, narrate life as it was back in “Mayan days.” Witness the remains of a lost civilization. Who knows? Your host might just hand you a piece of history. For real! These are actual Mayan artifacts discovered on the farm. You might find yourself holding the very same obsidian blade quite possibly held by a Mayan farmer long, long ago. Handle with care!

International Sources

Mar Caribe roba costas en Izabal
Here is a link on news regarding a study that was made on effects caused by climate changes in Caribbean coast; link was sent by Central American colleagues of ACCSD. (article is in spanish). Ese fenómeno pone en riesgo a cientos de familias en costas del Caribe guatemalteco, principalmente en Lívingston, Izabal, según un informe sobre vulnerabilidad en el Caribe, que presentó ayer en Costa Rica el Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza. El estudio, presentado en el Cuarto Congreso mesoamericano de áreas protegidas, analiza las costas de Belice, Guatemala y Honduras, con base en datos satelitales comparativos desde 1992 a la fecha, y la construcción de escenarios climáticos a partir de los efectos del calentamiento global. Lenin Corrales, biólogo investigador adjunto del Programa de Cambio Climático y Cuencas, coautor del informe, señaló que entre los impactos directos de esos cambios está la fuerza y frecuencia con que los huracanes y tormentas pueden golpear las costas del Atlántico en las próximas décadas.

Embassy of Mexico to Belize
- Embajada de México en Belice Announces scholarships being offered to Belizeans.

EU bans fish trade with Belize, Guinea, Cambodia over IUU
The EU’s executive arm will on Monday announce a ban on fish imports from Belize, Cambodia and Guinea (Conakry), in a move that could have repercussions for tuna companies such as MW Brands and Pervasa. The ban is part of the EU’s efforts against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The European commission had proposed banning fishery imports from those three countries in November, while also issuing “yellow cards” to Ghana, South Korea and Curacao. The EU fisheries council will now decide favorably on the proposal this coming Monday, said the commission in a statement.

Olson Engage wins top PR honors
Attention-grabbing campaigns for the Belize Tourism Board with a “Breaking Bad” theme and a road rally featuring Oscar Mayer’s popular Wienermobiles earned the Minneapolis public relations agency Olson Engage top honors in its field this week and renewed the Twin Cities’ ticket as a go-to address for PR assignments. Olson Engage, the PR unit of the ad agency Olson, was named “Agency of the Year” in a New York ceremony Thursday evening by the trade publication PRWeek in an awards contest that featured the best PR agencies in the United States. It was the second agency-of-the-year award for a Twin Cities PR firm in as many years — Carmichael Lynch Spong was named the top U.S. creative PR agency by the Holmes Report last year — and added to a long list of gold, silver and bronze awards given to Twin Cities agencies in other contests as well.

Re: Today's Belize News: March 22, 2014 [Re: Marty] #488461
03/22/14 05:54 AM
03/22/14 05:54 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 82,904
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

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The Caribbean’s quest for reparations expands to seek compensation for the genocide of indigenous people
The 360-foot, weather-beaten tunnel, carved out of volcanic rock and leading to the rough surf of the Atlantic, remains one of the few remnants of this eastern Caribbean island’s vexing past. Constructed by shackled black hands in the early 19th century, it served as a pivotal route to ferry sugar to waiting ships. But what Black Point Tunnel, 20 miles north of the capital, doesn’t reveal is the massacre, forced exile and stealing of the native Caribbean people’s lands by colonists to produce the sugar that fueled Britain’s development and wealth.

The Beautiful Bacalar, a Mexican Sanctuary
Bacalar is one of the world´s true natural treasures with turquoise freshwater, white beaches, cenotes, jungle, mangroves, unique ecology, culture, and history. Derived from the Mayan words Bak Halal, “place surrounded by reeds”, Bacalar is a lakeside town 24 miles northwest of Chetumal and 3 hours of Cancun, it sits near the coast just before Belice and the river that divides Belize from Mexico. Bacalar lagoon is linked to the Rio Hondo by the Chaac canal. Bacalar Lagoon, also known as “the seven colors lagoon” for its varying shades of turquois and blue color, is a retirement paradise with a length of some 35 miles from north to south and about 1 mile wide, where fishing, windsurfing, kayaking, water-skiing, rowing, sailing and birdwatching are popular activities.

Fortis Inc. - Dividend Fact Sheet
Overview Fortis Inc. (OTCPK:FRTSF) is the largest investor-owned Canadian-based electric and gas utility. Despite being based in Canada, Fortis also has utility-related assets in the USA (e.g. New York) and in the Caribbeans (e.g. Belize). Fortis trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the ticker "FTS", and also trades on the Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) under the ticker "FRTSF". Throughout this article I will refer to Fortis as FTS. FTS is part of the S&P/TSX60 index. FTS is a Canadian corporation and therefore pays its quarterly dividends in Canadian dollars. All the following figures are thus in Canadian dollars. Notably, foreign investors will likely be subjected to withholding tax.

Russia Becoming More Visible on Caribbean Shores
Russia intends to take a more active role on the international arena, including in the Western Hemisphere. Russia's base countries in the region are Cuba and Nicaragua. Since the times of the Soviet Union, relations with these countries were perceived by Washington as a threat which must be «neutralized» by any means. After the collapse of the USSR, many Russian embassies, trade missions, and news bureaus in Latin America were closed, and hundreds of specialists on Latin America were out of work. Over the past decade, the Russian government has made significant efforts to rebuild and further strengthen Russia's position in Cuba and Nicaragua.

Retired Boxer Protecting his Daughter Dies After Rogers Park Fight
A retired boxer from Belize who died after a Rogers Park street scuffle Wednesday had been trying to protect his daughter, relatives and witnesses said. Michael Tingling, 59, picked up 15-year-old Masharah Tingling from the Chicago Math and Science Academy, 7212 N. Clark. St., around 1 p.m. Wednesday. The teen had a doctor's appointment later that day, her mom said, and Tingling hoped to sneak in some father-daughter doughnut time beforehand. Masharah was his only child. As the pair walked down the 7100 block of North Clark Street, a man in his 50s began eyeing Masharah. He started to approach the teen, but Tingling stepped in and told him to go away.

From Caye to Cayo: Top 4 Experiences in Belize
The Cayes and the Cayo. Typographically, they may be very similar, but topographically these distinctive regions in Belize are worlds apart. The Cayes (pronounced "keys") are the hundreds of islands that stretch the length of Belize’s coast, ranging from tiny spits of sand and tangled networks of mangrove, to the 25-mile long Ambergris Caye. About half the size of Barbados, Ambergris is a laid-back Caribbean beach town with a decidedly “no shoes, no shirt, no problem” attitude. On its narrow, sandy roads numerous “Go Slow” street signs maintain an orderly flow of golf-cart traffic (there are no car rentals here), while on the water dozens of speedy boats and water taxis whisk vacationers to beachside resorts and some of the best dive and snorkel spots in the world. The Cayo District is western Belize’s rolling, mountainous region, covered with broadleaf jungles that harbor ancient Mayan sites. Nearly two-thirds of the Cayo lies within national parks and forest reserves, creating protected lands that are a haven for hikers, cavers, canoeists, kayakers, and birders. With more than 30 jungle lodges, the Cayo has more close-to-nature accommodations than any district in Belize.

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