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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

SPTC celebrates mothers in annual extravaganza!
Mothers of La Isla Bonita were treated to an extravaganza of entertainment, drinks, food and fun this Mother's Day. Hosted by The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), the Saturday May 10th event saw a variety of dances and music and comedic entertainment for hundreds of mothers who gathered at the old football field. Greeting the mommies with flowers and big smiles were members of the SPTC and Miss Chiquitita Zillah Flota. Flowers in hand, mothers were then seated and tended to by students of San Pedro High School. By 8:30PM, the show, which promised to be full of entertainment and laughter, began.

Ellen the sea turtle
As one of the activities for Reef Week organized by Hol Chan Marine Reserve under the theme "Our Reef Needs Our Protection for Future Generations", Ellen the sea turtle is being released into her natural habitat. Ellen was brought from Placencia in March and is now ready for release.

Ambergris Today

Team Coco Beach Wins Toughest Lagoon Reef Eco Challenge Yet
The 10th Annual San Pedro Lagoon Reef Eco Challenge proved to be one of the toughest kayak races to date as teams battled through rough seas driven by close to 20mph winds that battered them during the two days of competition. Close to half of the teams did not manage to complete the race and dropped off the competition after the first day. Twenty teams entered the kayak race that commenced on Saturday, May 10, 2014, departing from the lagoon side of the island at by the Sunset Boardwalk. They all faced the tough challenge to paddle 25 miles to the northern border of the island on day one and back down the 17 miles to the finish line in town. But this year the race was a huge mental and physical challenge due to the weather conditions; high winds, strong currents, choppy seas and the beating sun were all factors that made the race even more challenging.

Video Highlights of Mothers Day Extravaganza 2014
The Hon. Louis "Cus" Sylvester Sports Field was the venue for this year's Mother's Day celebration in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye Belize. The event was teeming with mothers of all ages, all having a great time with entertainment by special comedian guest Ismael Salazar and much more.

Misc Belizean Sources

FISHING REPORT: Week of May 4th - May 10th , 2014
The tough winds put the brakes on the tarpon and permit fishing success rate. We still hooked a few but none came to the boat once the winds kicked up mid week.

The Pools of Cara Blanca
If ever there was a magical land, a mystical place, a spiritual pool, that begs - no demands - our respect and protection, it is The Pools of Cara Blanca. Sunken Mayan structures, fields of giant sloth fossils, huge veins of calcite crystal growing from limestone, springs which bubble sand, thousands of fish and associated life and underwater forests complete with a calcium carbonate fog of super saturated freshwater ... it is criminal to watch the lands to the south of the pools be cleared and to think your children will never have the opportunity to experience such exquisite and elegant natural beauty. So sad that such ethereal sites as this skeletal forest will soon no longer exist ... feast your eyes now while you still can.

Cayo Represented at BETEX
Cayo was well represented at BETEX 2014. Rumors Resort, Midas Resort, Ka'ana, CAT, Maya Mountain Lodge, Windy Hill, Cahal Pech Resort, and many other Cayo lodges and tour operators had displays set up to exchange information.

Preparation for BETEX
Here are pictures that show how much went into setting up the BETEX conference.

Belmopan Beat Belize No Limit
The Belmopan Bandits beat the Belize City No Limit last week. They are coming to Cayo on Thursday to play the Western Ballaz in the last weekend of normal games. "We need to pack the UB Gym and come out to support our beloved Point Bandits in their quest for payoffs!!!!! We beat Belize City and stand 7-6!!!"

NAC App Gaming Competition
The National AIDS Commission is having an App Gaming Competition. If you have an idea for a unique game app, send it in. You can call the NAC at 223-7592 for more information. "The National Aids Commission is inviting game creators and developers from around the country to design 'one of a kind' games that will be adapted as a part of the first ever NAC App (downloadable to any device). Please take a look at the flyer below maybe this is something you or someone you may know would be interested in."

Ecology of Benque Seminar
Learn about the Ecology of Benque at 7:00pm on Thursday, at Centennial Park. Kimo Jolly, a well known ecology expert, will be leading the lecture, courtesy of CACHE. If you haven't seen him teach, you should definitely go, and enjoy.

Payment for Land Transactions
Government of Belize Press Office Press Release:

Ministry of Health Commemorates Nurses Week
Government of Belize Press Office Press Release:

Channel 7

Felix's 3rd Murder Trial Moved North
At news time tonight, a jury of 12 is deliberating the fate of brothers, Maurice and Emory Felix, who are on their second retrial for the murder of 29-year-old Mitchum Heredia. This case was heard before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in the Corozal Supreme Court. Heredia was gunned down just before 6:30 p.m. on April 10, 2006 as he arrived at his house on T Street. He was entering his yard in a Nissan Maxima car, when 2 armed men, ambushed and shot him 6 times at close range. This crime happened in Belize City, and so rightfully, the trial for this case should have taken place at the Belize City Supreme Court, as has happened in the first 2 trials. But this retrial took place all the way in the Corozal Supreme Court. That's because Sheneiza Smith, the Crown Counsel prosecuting the case, made an application over a month ago before Justice Gonzalez that the venue be changed. Justice Gonzalez asked that evidence be provided, and if the DPP's Office could do so, then he would grant the application.

Hulse: Tomlinson Free To Travel To Belize
Last week we told you about Maurice Tomlinson, the gay Jamaican man who's gone to the Caribbean Court of Justice to challenge Belize's Immigration law. That law says prostitutes and homosexuals are barred from entering Belize. Tomlinson says that discriminates against him as a CARICOM national and deprives him freedom to travel throughout the region as a CARICOM national. Today Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse said that while the law may be on the books, it's not in practice:. Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration "The law is a 1963 law, let's face it. In the heady days of puritanism and all the rest. You know there is this gender policy and one has to be careful what one says. I am never careful with what I say. For me the position is very simple; nobody at immigration is going to ask anybody to declare their sexual orientation and that's not a question coming into the country. So, how on earth are you going to know who is who and who is what to refuse or otherwise allow them entry? There striking it out makes no difference to the law at all."

PUP Says UDP Mother's Day Gift Programme Demeans Democracy
Last night we showed you how the Barrow Administration's Mother's Day Gift Programme works. Each UDP area representative was earmarked fifty thousand dollars to distribute to mothers in their constituency. Most, we gather, distributed fifty or a hundred dollars vouchers, while others gave gifts of an equivalent value. The programme is alleged to have cost 850 thousand dollars and based on the feedback we have gotten, it was shored up amongst fifteen to twenty thousand recipients, presumably all mothers living in divisions with UDP representatives. The 14 PUP Representatives didn't get anything - unlike what happened with the Christmas Cheer Programme - when they got, but significantly less than their UDP counterparts. That's politics as usual, but today the Opposition cried foul. They held a press conference to say that it demeans democracy:.. Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Area Rep. - Bze Rural Central "What we disapprove of in the strongest terms is the use of the people's money - tax payers' money to fund gifts and parties in connection with mother's day in a way that is partisan, patronizing and political. Such is move is just plain wrong. The misuse of Belizean tax payers' money for solely partisan political purposes. As our secretary general has told us belittles and cheapens our democracy. We therefore call on all of Belizean civil society including our religious and faith leaders to join us in condemning this dishonest and offensive approach to carry in favor."

Hon. Hulse Says Politics At Executive Level Is A Team Game
One man who should have an interesting perspective on all this is Senator Godwin Hulse. He is now a UDP Minister but he came from civil society where state sponsored patronage is universally frowned upon. But now he's on the inside, and he told us that basically once you're on the Cabinet Team, you have to go with the flow:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration "With respect to the mother's day program, this is a government and a cabinet decision. There are thousands of mothers who have benefitted, the names are public, the funds are accounted for and it's a government program. We will take the criticism of course that it's not given to everybody, but that is the nature of the political beast. I have no absolute problem with respect to the fact that it's done open and transparent and upfront which has always been my mantra. I personally had always seen it from an equitable position in lots of ways, but I also seen the cabinet from things that should and shouldn't happen - I am a member of a team, a member of a football team, so to speak and when I was outside the team I spoke to the team. I am in the team. There are lots of things in cabinet I don't agree, but they are not big enough for me to walk away from because there is a bigger agenda and a bigger program that I want to further and so I stay there to further that and the small things I dismiss. I am a member of a team, I might not like how my colleague kick a goal or not kick a goal, but it's a member of a team."

Hon. Martinez Scolds Channel 5
Minister of Human Development Anthony Boots Martinez was not so casual when the media asked him about the programme today. Btu that's probably because Channel 5 was doing the questioning. Here's how that testy exchange went:... Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez, Port Loyola Area Representative "Listen to what is going on: I think you might need to go and ask the people of Port Loyola what they received. You all are trying to make a political thing especially Channel 5." Mike Rudon, Ch 5 "Sir, was the $50,000 government money or party money?" Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez "What.... you gave me $50,000 sir? Did you give me $50,000? Where did you get $50,000 from?"

Thieving Policeman Dodges Jail
27 year old Police Constable Brandon Hertular, who was convicted of theft yesterday, caught a lucky break in court today when he got a fine instead of a custodial sentence. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith heard mitigation pleas today from 3 character witnesses: Hertular's mother, his common-law wife, and his brother-in-law. She also heard pleas for mitigation from Hertular and his attorney, Anthony Sylvestre. Hertular, a father of 2, said he is the sole bread winner for his family and he has been a police officer for 5 years. Hertular expressed remorse for what he did. Chief Magistrate Smith sentenced him to pay fines to a total of $2,400. He was given until June 6 to pay, and if he defaults on payment he will serve 1 year.

Man Critical After Chopping
Tonight, 24 year-old Joseph West, a resident of Libertad Village and brother of famous national team goalkeeper Woodrow West, is in jail after being taken to court for a chopping in the Corozal District. West is accused of attacking 34 year-old Giovanni Borland at around 10 o'clock on Sunday night, May 11th. The incident happened at a bar in Libertad where both men were in an argument. West reportedly tried to de-escalate the situation by leaving the bar. He started walking to another one 2 lanes away, but Borland followed him. Borland then allegedly got a hold of a machete and advanced on West where the two got into a struggle, but West managed to take away the blade. Police say that Borland then targeted West's brother and attacked him with an object. Joseph West realized what was happening, and that's when he allegedly chopped Borland in the head. Borland had to be rushed to the Corozal Community Hospital, and he was later transported to the KHMH, where he remains in a critical condition.

Hon. Faber Explains Why Union Backed Out On Nat'l Teachers' Rally
2 Friday's ago, we told you about the impasse between the Ministry of Education and the Belize National Teachers Union which caused the 2014 National Teachers Rally to be cancelled. Basically what happened is, the ministry and the union couldn't agree over money - who would pay how much for what. The ministry asked the BNTU would be able to come up with one - third of the money required to hold the massive national event, which would have been more than $30,000 dollars. The BNTU instead said that they didn't have that much, and instead, they were hoping that the Ministry would accept a $10,000 contribution toward the rally. The Ministry couldn't accept that offer, and so the national rally, which was supposed to honour all the teachers around the country, had to be downsized to government funded district events. Today, we caught up with Education Minister Patrick Faber, and he gave us a reaction to the disagreement:

Hulse Says He wished Police Would Have Dug Deeper Into Immigration Irregularities
And, from education, back to Immigration. Eight months after the Citizen Kim scandal broke, the issue remains live. And that's probably because no one has really been prosecuted for it. Sure, Minister of State Elvin Penner has been stripped of his post and put aside by his party, but, in real terms, no one has been made to face a legal or administrative consequence for it. The five immigration officers who have been named, all remain on the job, while Penner faces a shaky private prosecution. That private prosecution needs evidence to bolster it. The activist group COLA and its attorney Kareem Musa have been seeking assistance in places both high and low - but to no avail. Today the media asked Hulse if he could help. He says, "with what?":.. Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration "The evidence I think that COLA wants in the case of Elvin Penner is no more than has been on the news, has been on Channel 7, Channel 5 and everywhere and while I look at it I continue to wonder what is it beyond that that they are seeking. As you know there was and is no file that we've been able to find and that would have been the fundamental evidence. The evidence that is out there is the same that you have: a copy of a nationality certificate. We haven't found the original, the person probably has that, a passport; the original passport was in Taiwan. I think it will come to Belize sometime this month by special hand of the ambassador when she arrives and that about it and I think also the application form that was filled out has already been given over to COLA. That is certainly with the police and everybody else - it's been public knowledge."

Love Thy Neighbor: Until He Builds On Your Fence!
A dispute between two neighbours over a cement structure has led to a criminal charge. Darrell Vernon - a resident of 9771 Riverside Street in the Lake Independence area was charged with damage to property after his neighbour reported to police that Vernon damaged a few sheets of zinc on his two story building. But Vernon says he is being wrongfully charged and violated. The two story cement structure is being built on a fence which should be the property line - and the eaves of the zinc roof is hanging a few feet over Vernon's property. And while that is one concern, they are others such as the safety of the structure and is it even legal to build on a property line - much less on a fence? 7news contacted the Central Building Authority who told us that the law states that a structure should be minimum setback of four feet from the property line. And so this man who has been living on his property for 20 years - and now faces criminal charges - is speaking out in hopes of getting some kind of justice.

BOOST Programme Gets Regional Traction
Human Development ministers from Grenada and Dominica joined their Belizean counterpart today to learn about Belize's Boost programme. BOOST, as you might now, is a conditional cash transfer programme; the acronym BOOST stands for Building Opportunities of our Social Transformation. It was activated in 2011 in Belize, built on similar programs in Brazil and Mexico. And now, it has been recognized as a model programme, praised by the World Bank for its effectiveness and transparency. So representatives from eight Caribbean countries are in Belize to learn all about it. Social sector policy level workers from Bahamas Barbados Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia, Grenada and Dominica are at the Radisson for a sort of study session on Boost. CEO Judith Alpuche explained their interest. Judith Alpuche, CEO Human Development "A number of countries expressed an interest in taking a closer at BOOST. I think because we are close on size especially to the Eastern Caribbean states." Laura Blanco, Project Officer - OAS "The OAS hopes to contribute to the enhancement of the knowledge base on participating countries in the development and management of social protection programming."

Educators Meet, Discuss Research
This week is being celebrated as Education Week, and a part of that observance, the Ministry of Education held its second biennial Teachers Education Conference. Almost exactly 2 years ago, the first conference was held, and the goal has not changed. Teachers who are participating are trying to catch up with the findings from recent education research. A few of the topics on the agenda include training methods in Early Childhood Education, Vocational and Technical Education, Special Education and quite a few others. Education Minister Patrick Faber told us that the main goal of the conference is to keep teachers revitalized and motivated towards self-improvement: Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "It is a conference developed by the teachers education development service unit of our ministry that's is charge with of course encouraging and supporting teacher education across this country, so two years ago we decided to start with it and this is of course the second of the kind of conference. Teacher education for us is very important. As you know I embarked at the time of becoming minister on making sure that we had more properly qualified teachers. While many of our teachers have associate degree and even bachelor degrees at the primary school and even secondary school level, many of them lack the pedagogical training, the professional teacher training if you will and so we see this as a kind of effort to encourage the stakeholders of education to support teacher education across the education system of Belize."

Is Race Rearing Its Ugly Head In Cotton Tree
Villagers of Cotton Tree have to be getting ready for some new neighbors - because the Barrow Administration has set aside 240 lots to be shared up between eight UDP controlled Belize City constituencies. But as we've told you Cotton Tree's Village Council says Central Government insulted and ignored its villagers by not consulting or offering the land to them. Boots Martinez has been targeted as the main culprit probably because he's been to the area many times to tell Hispanic villagers who were squatting that they need to make way for his constituents - who are invariably creole. Indeed, the racial undercurrent is the elephant in the room on this one, and today Martinez addressed it head on:.. Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez "First thing they talk about "come ya." Well first thing I must remind the chairman that there is no "come ya" for me who born and the other Belizean people who were born here - there is no "come ya" and secondly, that that land was bought government, acquired not for any village extension in regards to supplying lots to Belize City residents. This is not about balkanization, I have problems when it deems to me that it is about balkanization and also having heard the chairman making comments about people who are from the City and so. Port Loyola have doctors, we have nurses - thugs are coming up there and thing. I am sorry, I totally dismiss that."

Placencia Village Council Exasperates Hulse
Last week, on May 8th, Placencia Village residents and the Village Council are reported to have held a night meeting where they unanimously re-affirmed their opposition to mass cruise ship tourism for southern Belize. That exasperates Godwin Hulse to no end. He's the minister in charge of the Cabinet Subcommittee for investment and he's been to Placencia to try and convince the village council more than once. Today he told us he thought he had convinced them:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse "I'm dismayed. I met with them the previous Wednesday, and in a meeting with the full council, we had, and this was in the presence of my C.E.O., the Director for Local Government, the Fire Chief, the Director for Rural Development - we had their one hundred percent unequivocal endorsement of the project when we explained how the project was being developed. This whole matter of mass tourism, we explained to them carefully�that when NCL was developing its project, because there was such a hue and cry against tourism in the south, they wanted to develop their exclusive island.

Hulse On D. Contreras: No Dispute, No Intervention
And finally from Hulse tonight, we also asked him about Danini Contreras. The Public Service Union has asked the Labour ministry to investigate the circumstances of her hiring. He told us indeed they have received and responded to the request, but they are no aware of any dispute that needs to be investigated. Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Labour "The Labour Commissioner who is the person that is responsible has written back to them. I think in fact he wrote to them yesterday to say please outline the areas of dispute, because the letter asked us to intervene in the dispute, but the areas of the dispute have not been detailed. So first of all we have to be clear that there is a dispute. Normally a dispute arises between the employee and the employer. And in this case the dispute is not between the employee and the employer - the employer being the Government of Belize and the employee in question being Ms. Contreras, and there seems to be no dispute between them."

Gracie Rock Residents Concerned About Their River
And moving on now from the ether of bureaucratic wrangling to the solid landscape of a village problem�.On Monday villagers of Gracie Rock woke up to see their beloved Sibun River milky white. It's a major event in this small community where residents fish in the river and earn tourism dollars from it. Now, no one knows for sure what causes it; all they know is some development is happening upstream which discolors their stretch of the river. We spoke to a resident who told us that how his family business is being affected.

PUP Blasts PM's Wife On Harpers Bazaar Spread
Last week we told you about the impressive 11 page spread in Harpers Bazaar Interiors featuring the Prime Minister's wife Kim Barrow at some of the most exotic getaways in Belize. The BTB sent out a statement saying that it worked out to be inexpensive high grade promotion for their tourism product. But the PUP is not impressed. At a press conference today, that was one of the main issues presented. Yolanda Schakron said the spread is out of touch with reality:... Yolanda Schakron, President - PUP United Women Group "Money that was taken from the Belize Tourist Board to fund the vanity - that's what I call it ladies and gentlemen - vanity, that went into Harper's Bazaar Interiors Magazine. We believe that these activities under her office as Special Envoy for Women and Children do nothing, absolutely nothing about the serious situation that our women and children face every day in Belize. We are therefore compel to say that it is not right for the Special Envoy to focus on her vanity projects when so much needs to be done for women and children in Belize."

Ebeneezer Students Have High Hopes
In our last segment, we showed you the teacher education conference as part of education week. Well, Ebenezer Methodist Primary School is also observing this week's importance. The entire school organized a career day, where the students choose a particular career that they're interested in and dressed the part. 7News stopped in and caught up with some of the aspiring young doctors, lawyers, nurses and law enforcement officers. Here's what the students told us about the career they chose: Ebenezer Methodist Primary School continues their observance of education week with their version of crazy called "Wacky Wednesday."

GOB Bigwigs Descend On Sympathetic Sundaywood
It is been two weeks now since Sunday Wood Village, the Mayan community within the buffer zone in the South openly declared their support for US Capital's continued oil exploration within the Sarstoon Temash National Park. They joined Barranco Village in loud opposition to SATIIM and the other communities who want to stop the oil company from operating. Well they went a step further on last week Thursday and requested that members of the Government of Belize go down to meet and consult with them. Their request was granted and Ministers Wilfred Elrington and Joy Grant visited the community along with other representatives within their ministries. Present also were personnel from the oil company, and with the community of Sunday Wood, a 2 hour meeting was held. It started from 6:00 in the evening where all parties got an opportunity to speak openly about the concerns of the oil company's continued presence. Courtesy the press office, here's but a short excerpt from Attorney General Elrington explaining that Government is trying to look after the best interest of all the buffer communities:

Health Update
Last night, we reported that the Minister of Health, Pablo Marin, used his office to intervene last year to halt the allowance of persons studying nursing to sit their certification on the grounds that he had over the years a consistent pattern emerged that 50% of persons failed the exam. We were mistaken. Marin was referring to certification exam for aspiring pharmacists to become licensed to practice the trade. Also of important note is that he suggested in that interview that something was wrong with the curriculum of UB's pharmacy program, that's why there were mass failures. We followed up on that claim with the Pharmacists Association's Vice President, who told us that she doesn't know on what grounds Marin made that declaration. Vice President Marisol Melhado told us that as February 2014, of the last batch of candidates who sat the exam coming out of the UB curriculum, 80% passed the exam. Melhado told us that Marin should justify such a statement by indicating which years he was referring to when 50% of pharmacy candidates who sat the exam ended up failing.

Last Saturday the Ariel Rosado Memorial Foundation, held its 3rd annual ride to raise funds for its scholarship programme. Over 100 cyclists participated, and managed to complete the ride which was about 60 miles. They group started at Galen University at around 6 a.m. and they reached Belize City just before midday, where they ended off at the Hour Bar. Each cyclist made a pledge of $25 dollars and more to participate. There was a barbeque sale at the end of the ride, and coupled with the patronage of corporate sponsors, the Foundation managers tell us that the ride was very successful. A final dollar figure hasn't been reached as yet because pledges are still coming in, and the Foundation has outstanding bills to pay. Dr. Alvaro Rosado, the President of the Foundation, told us this evening, that although they are still counting the money, enough has been raised to provide 2 more scholarships. He also noted to us that 4 of the students benefiting from the scholarship program will be graduating this year: 3 from high school and 1 from university.

Channel 5

Has the passport issued to Won Hong Kim been cancelled?
Today, Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse was corralled by the media and subjected to a grilling usually reserved for Prime Minister Dean Barrow. We have it all, but first the [...]

Godwin Hulse comments on police investigation into Immigration Department
Apart from a private prosecution of Elvin Penner by COLA, the disgraced former Minister of State Elvin Penner has escaped all scrutiny. The COLA case has been negatively impacted by [...]

Final report from Auditor-General on Immigration Department still pending
The Auditor-General's department has been inside the Immigration Department since October 2013, allegedly to get to the bottom of the corruption. While the public remained unaware, a preliminary report on [...]

Minister Hulse shocked by thumbs down given to NCL project
The multi-million dollar Norwegian Cruise Lines tourism project in southern Belize has been all but given a green light by the Government of Belize. But government's approval is not the [...]

3 female minors missing from Marla's House of Hope
There is a disturbing report tonight that three female minors are missing from Marla's House of Hope in Belmopan. When we contacted the Home today, a spokesperson confirmed that three [...]

Mother's Day Cheer draws controversy
Last week the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Finance, disbursed fifty thousand dollars to each of the seventeen U.D.P. Area Representatives, titled as a mother's day program. It's [...]

Opposition bashes Government's cash giveaway
As we said, close to a million dollars from the public purse were disbursed to select members in U.D.P.-controlled constituencies and there is growing controversy surrounding the initiative. U.D.P. area [...]

"Boots" Martinez denies then admits constituents got $50,000
Port Loyola Area Representative Anthony Boots Martinez is also part of that team, and yes, he also got fifty thousand dollars to give to his constituents. Today, he seemed a [...]

Godfrey Smith selected as P.U.P.'s national campaign manager
For several weeks it has been reported that former Pickstock area representative, Godfrey Smith, had been selected as the People's United Party's national campaign manager.� Smith, who is a former [...]

P.U.P. gears up for upcoming municipal elections
Municipal elections are less than a year away and both political parties are gearing up and putting together their respective slates to contest the various seats in local government. The [...]

Cop fighting for his life after falling off his motorbike
A police man of Double Head Cabbage is tonight fighting for his life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital following a traffic mishap on a stretch of road in the [...]

Immigration Minister says Jamaican Gay Activist can visit Belize
Jamaican gay rights activist Maurice Tomlinson will have his day in court - the Caribbean Court of Justice, to be specific. He has been given leave to challenge the Immigration [...]

Senior educators converge to discuss the state of teaching services
Senior educators are meeting at the Belize Biltmore Plaza in a two day conference to discuss the state of teaching services. The theme is "Sustaining the twenty-first Century: Teachers Raising [...]

Horizontal Cooperation Exchange on Social Protection focuses on BOOST program
And over at the Radisson, representatives from eight Caribbean countries including the Bahamas, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Grenada and [...]

Minister of Labor speaks on dispute over the appointment of Danini Contreras
The new, not yet approved Director of Drug Inspectorate, Danini Contreras, has become a highly controversial figure. She is the daughter of U.D.P. Minister Erwin Contreras, and technical experts including [...]

Suspended immigration employees back on the job
Senior Immigration staffers Ady Pacheco and Gordon Wade came under scrutiny for their roles in the Won Hong Kim passport scandal. An internal Immigration investigation fingered both of them, and [...]

Minister "Boots" Martinez takes a swing at Cotton Tree residents
Two hundred and fifty-four lots in Cotton Tree have been given to residents of Port Loyola.� The Village Council has reacted by taking government to court saying that G.O.B. has [...]

Harper's Bazaar feature on Kim Simplis-Barrow criticized
Kim Simplis-Barrow is featured prominently in a recent publication of Harper Bazaar's Interior Magazine, a spread which reportedly costs over a hundred thousand dollars.� The fashion and lifestyle periodical has [...]

P.U.P. women ask for full financial disclosure of Simplis-Barrow's projects
The Inspiration Center opened its doors to special needs children across Belize in March.� While the modern facility has been celebrated as a premium care giving center, the women of [...]


One Man Charged Bar Brawl In Libertad Village
Last night we told you about the bar brawl in Libertad Village Corozal that has left a man from Belize City clinging to life at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital, another hospitalized at the Corozal Community Hospital and a third behind bars. Yesterday not much was revealed by authorities as they were still carrying out their investigations. Tonight though, there is a bit more of information coming out of the Corozal Police Station as it relates to how the fight actually started. Reports are that at around 10:00pm on the 11th of May, 34 year old Giovanni Borland of Western Pines 8 miles, Belize District and Joseph West were at a local bar in Libertad when an argument ensued between them. At that point West left the bar and headed out to another bar located about two lanes away. But it seems that Borland was not willing to let things go because reports are that he followed West and picked up a machete on his way. When he caught up with West a struggle ensued between them.

Jury Deliberate Faith Of Felix Brothers
A little over 8 years ago on April 10th 2006, Mitchum Heredia was ambushed and killed near a car outside his T Street home in Belize City. He had just arrived home when two men held him up and shot him multiple times to the head and body killing him on the spot. A year after the incident, two brothers, Maurice and Emory Felix had been pinned to be the men who pulled the trigger on Heredia. They were jointly found guilty of Heredia's murder by a 12-member Jury. They were sentenced to life imprisonment but upon appeal, on June 20th 2008, a retrial was ordered. The retrial was granted after the judge of the Court of Appeal ruled that the men never got a fair trial when no identification parade was held in the case against them.

DPM Disperse His Share Of Government Funds
Government's spending of public funds, eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars to be exact, has many people questioning the judgment of the government and its priorities. As we reported last night, all seventeen UDP Area Representatives were handed fifty thousand dollars each to hold a mother's day program in their respective constituencies. The money, we understand, was specifically for a Mothers' Day program but many of the representatives found it much easier to distribute the money to mothers. Reports are that it was not equally done either as only party supporters were handed money between fifty to three hundred dollars each. Mothers in Orange Walk North it seems received their share today. Women of all ages lined outside of the treasury office in Orange Walk Town to collect their share of the cash. No one could say how much they were receiving but we were made to understand that the women who received the money were handpicked by Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega.

IMF Releases Its 2014 Article IV On Belize
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Jacques Bouhga-Hagbe has concluded its 2014 Article IV Consultation on Belize. The team arrived in the jewel on April 28 and held its consultations up to May 9th. The report shows that the Belizean economy is estimated to have grown by only 0.7 percent in 2013 mainly because of continued decline in oil production and weak agricultural output, especially sugarcane and citrus. Inflation eased to 0.5 percent from 1.3 percent a year ago, as commodity price pressures abated. Private sector credit grew by 3.8 percent (y/y) in March 2014. While declining, Non-Performing Loans remained high at 17.6 percent of total loans at the end of 2013 while the banking system's capital buffers improved and weaknesses in the system are being addressed. The external current account deficit widened to 4.5 percent of GDP up from 1.2 percent in 2012, as exports of oil and agricultural products fell sharply, while imports of fuel and electricity picked up. Nonetheless, the report shows that international reserves improved to 4.3 months of imports (up from 3.3 months at end-2012) owing mainly to PetroCaribe financing and private capital inflows.

Women's Department Empower Women Of Orange Walk
The Women's Department in Belize has worked with hundreds of women in many aspects of their lives. Among their efforts is assisting women with economic empowerment that is achieved through several different skills training. This morning, thirty-one women graduated from one such program and here is a look at what their experience has been. Dalila Ical - Reporter The women's department has successfully completed another economic empowerment training for women in the Orange Walk District. Thirty-one women took the cosmetology class for a period of fourteen weeks. Makeesha Swazo is the Women Development Officer for the Orange Walk branch. Makeesha Swazo - Women Development Officer "It has to do with nail designs, manicure, pedicures and acrylics, it is an economic empowerment program that serves to motivate women and give them the skills so that would be able to go out in the work force and be able to open their own small business and make their own monies for themselves and their families."

Nurses Week Celebrated In Belize
International Nurses Day is celebrated every year on May 12th and in Belize, the Ministry of Health joins the International Council of Nurses and all nurses across the country in celebration of Nurses' Week, which is being observed this week from May 11th to the 16th. International Nurses Day was observed on May 12th, 2014. This year, the week is being celebrated under the theme: "Nurses: A Force for Change a Vital Resource for Health". Health regions across the country have a weeklong series of activities including church services, trainings, social events, health awareness in schools and publicity appearances on media shows. The main activity will be the National Nurses Conference to be held this Friday, May 16th in Dangriga Town. In January 1974, officials decided to celebrate the occasion on this date to coincide with the anniversary

Fifteen year Old Benquena Missing
Orange Walkenos are asked to be on the look for a 15 year old girl from Benque Viejo Del Carmen whose family is asking for the public's assistance in locating her. Carmencita Guadalupe Reyes, who is believed to have travelled to Orange Walk, left home on Monday without her mother's permission. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Carmencita Guadalupe Reyes is asked to call the police in Benque Viejo del Carmen at telephone number 803-2038.

OW Residence Concern About Increase In Crime, Police Say All Is Good
Residents have called our studios to make complaint of what they say is an increase in crimes such as robbery and assault. While the Orange Walk Police Formation says that this is not the case, residents say they are growing tired but most of all concerned about their safety within the town. One of the reports reaching us alleges that a young man who was headed home after mass was assaulted at the corner of his house. A group of boys allegedly approached him and punched him. The report adds that it may have been just for the mere pleasure of the attack since the young man had no money on him and the boys took his cellular phone and threw it to the ground. A second report indicates that a man was assaulted and robbed of his bike by SP and Western Diaries on Progress Street. Another report states that on the same street, someone riding a bike snatched a woman's chain from around her neck in broad daylight. Another report claims that a house on Dunn Street has been burglarized and neighbors witnessed the thieves making their escape but when they turned to the police, authorities said they could do nothing.


Police Escapes Custodial Sentence After Theft Conviction
Twenty-seven year old police constable Brandon Hertular, who was found guilty of three counts of theft yesterday, was spared a custodial sentence when he appeared today before the Chief magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Hertular was fined one thousand dollars for the first count and seven hundred dollars for each of the other two counts. He was given until June 6 to pay the fines. If he defaults on payment he will serve one year. Before she decided on the sentence, Chief magistrate Smith heard pleas for mitigation from three character witnesses, the convict and his attorney, Anthony Sylvestre. The character witnesses included Hertular's mother, Anna Hertular, his common-law wife, Michelle Smith and his brother-in-law, Joseph Lawrence. Hertular, a father of two, said that he was sorry for what he did and that he is the sole bread winner for his family. He also said that he was a member of the Police Force for about 5 years.

July Deliberates Fates of the Felix Brothers
A 12-member jury is deliberating today in the court of Justice John Gonzalez to see if it can reach a verdict in the trial of two brothers, Maurice Felix and Emory Felix, charged with the murder of Mitchum Heredia. Heredia was shot and killed on April 10, 2006 at his residence on T Street in Belize City. The venue for the trial was moved to Corozal Supreme Court because there was evidence of jury tampering at the two previous trials that were held in Belize City. The jury was unable to reach a verdict at the first trial and the guilty verdict at the second trail was overturned by Belize Court of Appeal and a retrial was ordered. The main witness, Rommel Palacio Jr., was unable to testify because he is presumed dead but the statement he gave to the police was admitted as evidence. Palacio's father, Rommel Palacio Sr. was killed before him in what police believe was a case in which the shooter went for the son and killed the father when the son could not be found.

Immigration Minister Says Tomlinson's Proposed Change Makes No Difference
On Thursday May 8, the Caribbean Court of Justice ruled that Maurice Tomlinson does have a case to challenge Belize's Immigration law that prohibits homosexuals from entering the country. The CCJ gave Tomlinson seven days to file the substantive case. Today Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse, weighed in on the matter. HON. GODWIN HULSE "The law is a 1963 law; let's face it, in the heady days of puritanism and all the rest. You know, there is this gender policy and one has to be careful about what one says and I am never careful about what I say but for me, the position is very simple, nobody at immigration is going to ask anybody to declare their sexual orientation; that is not a question coming into the country. So, how on earth are you going to know who is who and who is what to refuse or otherwise allow them entry; therefore, striking it out makes no difference to the law at all.

Minister Hulse Dismayed at Placencia Residents
Minister Hulse has many responsibilities and acts in several capacities including the Chairman of Cabinet's subcommittee of Investment and today he spoke about the Norwegian Cruise Line Project on Harvest Caye. In an email sent to the media, the Placencia Village Council and its residents reaffirmed their opposition to Mass Cruise Ship Tourism. The council says that a meeting was held on May 8 in which the villagers unanimously voted against NCL's project. Minister Hulse who has been involved in the project from the onset, says that he is dismayed at the council's decision since he had previously met with the Village Council who, at that moment, expressed support for the project. HON. GODWIN HULSE "I'm dismayed. I met with them, the previous Wednesday and in a meeting with the full council, we had and this was in the presence of my CEO, the Director for Local Government, the Fire Chief and the Director for Rural Development.


Happy Hour Results in Chop to the Head
There is another incident coming out of a local bar, this time, in the district of Corozal According to Police reports on Sunday, May 11th, at 10:00 pm., Giovanni Borland and Joseph West were at a local bar in Corozal Town when an argument between them started. According to...

Belmopan School Burglarized
St. Michaels Roman Catholic School, located in the area of Las Flores in Belmopan, was broken into sometime over the weekend. According to Joan Sanchez, Principal of the school, before classes began on Monday morning, some of the students told teachers that one of the...

Pharmacists' Association Appeals to Labour Ministry
The dispute between the Ministry of Health and the Pharmacists' Association of Belize could be settled by the Ministry of Labour. Minister of Labour, Senator Godwin Hulse confirmed today that the machinery is in motion to file a formal complaint. Senator Godwin Hulse- Minister of Immigration and Labour "The...

Confiscated Rosewood Mysteriously Disappeared
The issue regarding Rosewood just seems to not want to go away. Just last month in April, Plus News reported two suspicious movements of rosewood in the south; only one week apart. The first sighting was on Sunday, April 6 when PGTV reported about 7000 board feet of freshly cut rosewood...

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Rest in Peace, Young Lion!
In the early morning hours of Saturday, the news began to circulate among the Kremandala family that Evan Garnett, Jr., had been killed in a traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway, when he lost control of his car and crashed into a derelict bus that was parked on the roadside in front of Arthurs Junkyard, in the vicinity of El Cas Hardware store, around Mile 11 �. The 19-year-old Garnett was returning to his home in Los Lagos when the accident occurred. He was less than a mile from his home. According to Ladyville Police, the accident occurred around 4:40 a.m., and when they arrived on the scene, they reported that they found Garnett motionless in his white Honda Accord that had been extensively damaged. Police confirmed that he had been wearing his seat belt. Evan was pronounced dead at 6:36 a.m. at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

Cop convicted of theft
In just three weeks, in different cases, three police officers have been convicted of serious offences in the Belize City Magistrate's Court. Two of the convicted cops were sentenced to prison terms for firearm offences, and today, in a separate case, a third cop was convicted, this time for theft. He has been remanded to await his sentencing from Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. That has been set for tomorrow, Tuesday, at 10:00 a.m. PC Brandon Hertular, who was charged with burglary and theft, was found guilty on the two charges. But his attorney Anthony Sylvestre told Amandala that he is planning to appeal the conviction, especially the burglary conviction. Sylvestre is contending that his client entered the home from which the items were stolen as a police officer, and not as a trespasser. The charges against Hertular date back to March, 2012, when the Chicas family's home was reportedly invaded in an apparent burglary and a number of items, including a black Glock P19 .9mm pistol with serial number PYG 313, with a magazine containing 15 rounds, were stolen.

Mother's Day murder in Punta Gorda
Mother's Day, yesterday, Sunday, brought heavy sorrow to the family of Janice Florice Vargas, 28, of West Street, Punta Gorda. The pregnant mother of a 2-year-old daughter died after she was shot by a man who went into her workplace at the Jamaica Bar in the Indianville area of Punta Gorda Town at about 1:25 yesterday morning. Reports to Amandala are that the bar had closed for business at about 12:30 yesterday morning when the shooting occurred. Robbery was not the motive for the shooting, so the reason for the young woman's death is yet unknown. Police said that on their arrival at the bar, they saw Vargas lying unconscious in a pool of blood in a corridor leading to the back door. She had been shot in the upper right shoulder, but the bullet had lodged in her chest. Police immediately took her to the Punta Gorda Hospital, where her condition was declared critical, after which she was rushed to the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga for further treatment, but she died on the way to that hospital. She was declared dead on arrival at about 4:30 yesterday morning.

Belmopan "facey thief" shot by police
A robber armed with a machete who allegedly committed two bare-faced robberies - stealing $6,500 from Scotia Bank and an assortment of clothing valued at $210 from a store - is alive but suffering with two gunshot wounds after he was shot by a policeman at about 11:30 Friday morning on Slim Lane, and has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in a critical condition. According to police, a bank teller at the Belmopan branch of Scotia Bank, reported that on Friday, at about 10:00 in the morning, while a customer was making a deposit in cash and cheques, a tall, dark-complexioned man, later identified as Canon Augustine Obispo, 25, of Teakettle, Cayo District, walked up to her booth, grabbed $6,500 that was in the wicket from the depositor, and ran out of the bank. Police said that Obispo had stolen $210 worth of clothes from Classic Clothing Store in Belmopan just a short time before he went to the Scotia Bank and committed the robbery.

Belize Coast Guard rescues 3 Honduran fishermen
Three Honduran fishermen who were adrift at sea for almost one week were rescued today by the Belize Coast Guard, after they drifted into Belizean waters near Columbus Caye, which lies some 35 miles from Belize City. The Coast Guard made the announcement about the rescue this afternoon, when Lieutenant Gregory Soberanis, the Coast Guard's Operations Officer, briefed reporters at their headquarters. Soberanis said that last Thursday, the Belize Coast Guard received a call that there were three Honduran nationals who were reported missing at sea. "The families of the men believed at the time that they had drifted into Belizean waters," Soberanis disclosed. "As a result the Coast Guard patrol station at Hunting Caye was put on alert to be on the lookout for these three Honduran nationals, as they operate in that sector," he said. Soberanis recounted, "This morning after 7:00 a.m., we received a call from a local fisherman on Columbus Caye that a 30-foot vessel had drifted into his vessel that was anchored at the time."

20 deaths and countless injuries from road accidents January to April
Twenty people have been killed due to road traffic accidents since the beginning of the year - with 6 of the fatalities occurring in March alone, although some of the individuals who died in March had actually been involved in accidents in February, but survived for a short time before succumbing to their injuries. Some of the other victims who escaped death suffered massive injuries, and the accidents also caused damage or destruction of several vehicles. The first fatality to result from a road traffic accident for 2014 was the death of Charles Noralez, who was travelling on his motorcycle from Silk Grass to Dangriga. He was killed at about 6:30 Monday evening, January 6, when he slammed into the rear of a bus that was parked on the roadside. He was thrown onto the pavement and died on the spot. At about 8:00 Wednesday night, January 15, a 3-vehicle collision occurred on the Philip Goldson Highway between Miles 87 and 88. As a result, Marcelo Damian Aguilar of Concepcion was killed and several others were injured.

Impasse between pharmacists and Ministry of Health
An official of the Pharmacist Association of Belize (PAB) told Amandala today that there is still an impasse between the association, which represents 150 registered pharmacists across the country, and the Ministry of Health, over a gamut of issues that surround the quality of the medicine supply in the country. At a Ministry of Health press conference on Friday, Samira Gongora, Senior Pharmacist at the Central Medical Stores, one of the persons recently authorized to sign customs entries along with Anderson, revealed that while Quality Assurance Product Cards were last issued in 2013, standardized testing has not occurred since 2012, when the last batch sent overseas for testing got lost in Jamaica. The Ministry of Health was at the center of controversy in March over PAB's public objections to the hiring of the daughter of Minister Erwin Contreras, Danini Contreras, a recent university graduate with no experience in the field, as the director of the drug inspectorate. Things came to a head again when Health CEO, Dr. Peter Allen, included Contreras on a list of new persons authorized to sign customs entries for pharmaceuticals.

Regional report says Belize's internet rates are costly, while speed is sluggish
Two days ago, ICT Pulse - a telecoms analyst which has been comparing internet speeds and pricing across the Caribbean on an annual basis since 2011 - reported that Belize's internet plan is not only one of the slowest in the Caribbean, but it is also the most expensive as compared to 18 other Caribbean countries. The lowest available download speeds in 12 of the 19 countries surveyed, was below 2 megabytes per second, with Aruba, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands having internet packages with download speeds as low as 128 kilobytes per second, while 15 countries offer broadband packages with a maximum advertised download speed of at least 8 megabytes per second, with the exception of Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname. Currently, there are 6 countries offering a maximum of 8 megabytes per second, and 5 of them - Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, St. Kitts, the Turks and Caicos - do so for less than US $150, while Belize offers the same service for USD $353.57.

Nat'l Health Sector Strategic Plan launched
An official blueprint of the Belize Health Sector Strategic Plan and the National Plan of Action for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) was presented by representatives of the Ministry of Health this morning at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel. The plan - which seeks to improve quality health services for a safer and healthier Belize by 2024 - is geared towards forming partnerships with stakeholders through innovative and collaborative efforts, and supporting the provision of effective health services for the overall wellness of the population and national development. The Ministry of Health's Lizett Bell, Health Planner and part of the steering committee for the national plan, stated that the plan - which at times proved challenging to develop - was first orchestrated in August 2012 and started to progress more steadily in May of 2013 when the Policy, Analysis and Planning Unit decided to establish a steering committee to ensure collaboration between the Ministry of Health and its stakeholders in the implementation of the plan, which is aimed at reducing the prevalence of NCDs and improving the management of these conditions to prevent complications and premature mortality.

Butane prices take the plunge
Finally, consumers are seeing an ease in the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), with a fall of 10% in the price of butane sourced from Mexico and a 12.5% fall in the price of butane sourced from Central America. Consumers in Belize City should now pay $115 for a 100-pound cylinder purchased from Belize Gas Limited and Western Gas Limited, whose supply comes from Mexico, and $112 for a 100-pound cylinder if they buy LPG from Belize Western Energy Limited, Southern Choice Butane, Zeta Gas or Gas Tomza Limited, whose supply comes from Central America. Prices vary in the districts, with LPG being most expensive in the southernmost municipality of Punta Gorda, where it may be sold for $117 or $120 per cylinder, depending on the source.

Teenager facing manslaughter by negligence and related charges
A Belize City teenager who was involved in a traffic accident that resulted in the death of a 5-year-old girl on Holy Saturday was charged with manslaughter by negligence and several other related charges, when she was arraigned in the Magistrate's Court yesterday, Thursday, May 8. Magistrate Dale Cayetano did not have to take a plea from Visiona Carcamo, 18, because the offenses will be heard on indictment in the Supreme Court. The court prosecutor did not object to bail, and Carcamo was released on $5,000 bail plus one surety of the same amount. She is due to return to court on July 14. Apart from manslaughter by negligence, police also charged the Fabers Road resident with causing death by careless conduct; driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention; negligent wounding; using a motor vehicle not covered by third party risk insurance, driving a motor vehicle without a valid Belizean driver's license, and driving with passengers in excess on a vehicle.

Five persons reported missing
Five persons from different parts of the country, including Carmelita, Cayo and Belmopan, have been reported missing. At about 2:00 Wednesday afternoon, April 30, Ricardo Garma, 22, of Carmelita, in the Orange Walk District, left home and was last seen walking on the Philip Goldson Highway towards the BSI Tower Hill junction at about 9:00 on the night of Saturday, May 4. He was reported missing by his father on Thursday, May 8, when he failed to return home. Garma, who is a mental patient, was last seen wearing a pair of yellow tennis shoes, plain white socks, a red short-sleeved shirt and a pair of red � pants. He is about 5 feet 6 inches tall, is of fair complexion with straight, dark, low-cut hair, and has a scar on the upper part of his head. He also has a tattoo of a skull on his right fist and a rose tattoo on the left side of his chest area.

$2 parking fee in effect at KHMH
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) opened its newly upgraded parking lot this past Monday and, as promised at the signing of the contract for the renovation of the space, the public hospital has been charging customers to use the parking lot. The rumor mill suggested that those parking fees would be extended to those visiting the hospital to see sick relatives or to conduct business at the hospital; however, chairperson of the KHMH Board of Directors, Chandra Nisbet-Cansino, said that only those who are not accessing KHMH services will be charged for using the parking space. She said, "The procedure for charging just started at the beginning of this week and we have been receiving complaints from persons who have to pay to use the parking lot. The greatest concern for us was when we heard that patients and people who are accessing the services at the hospital are also being charged, and so we had a Board meeting today and the topic came up, and systems will be put in place to ensure that patients that are using the hospital and who are receiving treatment from the hospital will not be charged for using the parking lot - that was never the intention. The intention was to capture some revenue from the businesses and other places around here whose clients use the parking lot, to generate some income for the hospital."

Ministry of Lands tells Harmonyville squatters to move, or else �
Late this evening, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture issued an Eviction Notice/Cease and Desist Order via a press release which specifically said that, in respect of persons who are currently occupying the Harmonyville Development Area, it is "unlawful to clear and occupy any land designated as a Buffer Zone Area (Reserve)." The Ministry of Natural Resources said that it was "subsequently providing an ultimatum to those persons to clear the area or face the full extent of the law." The release states that on April 29, 2014, the Lands and Surveys Department issued an Eviction Notice and a Cease and Desist Order to individuals of the Harmonyville Development Area regarding the "unlawful clearing and occupation of the land designated as the Buffer Zone Area (Reserve) within that subdivision or development scheme." The Ministry then warned that "any non-compliance with the aforementioned orders will be dealt with forthwith according to the law and with the ultimate consequence resulting in demolition."

Bandits shock Police
After storming into the Premier League Closing Season Finals on the strength of two convincing semifinal victories over 4th seed BDF, 2-1 in Dangriga on May 3 and 3-0 in Belmopan on May 8, regular season #1 seed Police United were brimming with confidence going into Saturday night's Finals Game 1 against defending champions Belmopan Bandits, seeded #2, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan. For their part, the beleaguered Bandits, having lost their #1 striker, Deon McCaulay, early in the season to the NASL's Atlanta Silverbacks, were all of 8 points behind Police at the end of regular season, and only claimed the #2 seed position by virtue of goal difference over 3rd seed Verdes FC. The Bandits, who had only won 4 games, drawing 6 and losing 2, in regular season, had apparently made it through to the playoffs on the strength of their defense. The only other team to lose only 2 games in regular season and also allow only 7 goals was Police United, but they had posted 8 big victories, with a league leading 17 goals scored, to the Bandits' 13.

3 teams battle
With one more week of regular season games remaining, the race to the Top-4 playoffs is sizzling hot in the inaugural National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) tournament. As close as the race is to the playoff, this week's Week 14 games to end the regular season will decide which 4 teams make it to the semifinal playoffs. Two teams are already secure - San Pedro Tigersharks (11-2) and Cayo Western Ballaz (11-2); while 3 teams - Dangriga Warriors (8-5), Belize City (Smart) No Limit (8-5) and Belmopan Point Bandits (7-6) are battling for 2 remaining spots. And two of them - Dangriga Warriors and Belize City (Smart) No Limit clash this Friday night at Bird's Isle. Week 13 results from the past weekend were: (7-6) Belmopan Point Bandits, 71-59, over (8-5) Belize City No Limit on Thursday, May 8, in Belmopan; (3-10) Corozal Heats, 71-55, over (2-11) Orange Walk Running Rebels on Friday, May 9; (11-2) Cayo Western Ballaz, 79-77, over (2-11) Toledo Diplomats on Saturday, May 10; (8-5) Dangriga Warriors, 58-46, in a big upset victory over (11-2) San Pedro Tigersharks also on Saturday, May 10; and (8-5) Belize City No Limit won by forfeit over (2-11 Toledo Diplomats, who failed to field enough players, on Sunday, May 11, for a back match in P.G.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Brainwashing: what is it?
The purpose of this essay is to enlighten and educate those who are open-minded to what will be discussed about the concept of brainwashing. So now that I have your attention, what exactly is brainwashing? Every deep and logical thinker probably has his or her own definition, but according to the Collins student's dictionary it means "to cause a person to alter his or her beliefs by methods based on isolation, sleeplessness, etc." In my opinion, too many members of society, and by extension our country, are not aware of the extent of this reality. They can't explain what it means and are not cognizant of the impact that this phenomenon has on their daily lives. This is where the masses fall to ignorance and confusion. Let me break this down to the best of my humble abilities.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Response to Dr. Sharmayne Saunders
Dear Dr. Saunders, I fully agree with the contents of your letter to the mayor in the Sunday, May 4, 2014 edition of the Amandala newspaper. A mechanical street sweeper will do a great service in keeping the newly cemented streets clean and in addition to being cost effective, will provide a healthier environment for the citizens of Belize City. In view of your most welcome comments, I must, however, also make mention of the present Belize Waste Control Contract that was signed under a previous PUP City Council; not only was that contract beyond the time of the then City Council's term of office, but it is beyond the tenure of this present Council and all future Councils' governance.

EDITORIAL: An anniversary for the ages
Strictly speaking, it is not this newspaper's responsibility to focus on ethnic issues in Belize. But, we grew up where we grew up and we work where we work. We therefore remain conscious of the role ethnicity has played and continues to play in Belize. Mexico's official policy is that all Mexicans are just that - Mexicans, and that is supposed to be the end of that. It is not the end of it. After the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the new government supposedly announced that racism was "solved." It was not. There are different perspectives from which to view the Ex-Servicemen's uprising in July of 1919 in Belize Town. But, the fact of the matter is that this was unquestionably a major uprising, and it occurred. It should form part of Belize's twentieth century historical matrix. It does not. There can be no doubt that the colonial administration of British Honduras wished for the episodes of July 21 and 22, 1919 to be obliterated from Belizean memory. Clearly, they succeeded in doing so. One can understand why the People's United Party (PUP), when it came under the leadership of Rt. Hon. George Price in 1956 and held power until 1984, leading Belize to self-government in 1964 and independence in 1981 in the process, would not have been interested in raising the 1919 issue. The PUP would have considered the issue somewhat decisive. Mr. Price's father, for instance, had been on the wrong side of history.

Tourist arrivals up in 1st quarter of 2014: BTB
The Belize Tourism Board is reporting that arrivals for overnight, cruise and airport visitors went up between January to March 2014, when compared to the same period last year. In respect of airport tourist arrivals, there was a ten percent increase for visitors arriving at the Philip Goldson International Airport, which amounts to over seventy-seven thousand visitors in the first three months of the year. For overnight tourism, the number went up by nine percent compared to the same period last year. It was cruise ship passenger arrivals, however, that registered the greatest increase. The numbers shot up by twenty-two percent in the first few months of this year.

Teenager facing manslaughter by negligence and related charges
A Belize City teenager who was involved in a traffic accident that resulted in the death of a 5-year-old girl on Holy Saturday was charged with manslaughter by negligence and several other related charges, when she was arraigned in the Magistrate's Court yesterday, Thursday, May 8. Magistrate Dale Cayetano did not have to take a plea from Visiona Carcamo, 18, because the offenses will be heard on indictment in the Supreme Court. The court prosecutor did not object to bail, and Carcamo was released on $5,000 bail plus one surety of the same amount. She is due to return to court on July 14. Apart from manslaughter by negligence, police also charged the Fabers Road resident with causing death by careless conduct; driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention; negligent wounding; using a motor vehicle not covered by third party risk insurance, driving a motor vehicle without a valid Belizean driver's license, and driving with passengers in excess on a vehicle.

Epileptic man reported missing from Sandhill
The family of Julian Cacho, 60, of Sandhill, who is an epileptic, is worried about him. Cacho, the family says, has been missing since Tuesday, May 6. The family said that he suffers from seizures and gets disoriented. They are worried that he may be somewhere hurt and helpless, and starving. The family was told that he had been found, and that he was at the bus stop, but when they went to the bus stop in Sandhill, he was not there and has not been seen or heard from since. Julian Cacho is of Creole descent. He is about 5 feet 5 inches tall, of slim build, and weighs about 140 pounds. He was last seen wearing a blue shirt, a pair of long, dark pants and a pair of blue-and-white tennis shoes.

Ladyville resident shot in Belize City
Last Wednesday, Vince Martinez, a 27-year-old Belize City resident, was gunned down execution-style at a bus stop in Ladyville, and yesterday, a shooting occurred in reverse circumstances - a Ladyville resident was shot in Belize City. Luckily, however, he survived. Ladyville police reported that they visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Sunday, May 11, at about 11:30 p.m. and observed Ronnie Leal, 18, a gas attendant of a Lords Bank address, with an apparent gunshot wound in the left side of his abdomen. Upon investigation, they found out that Leal was traveling in a car on Kraal Road in Belize City with a man earlier that night, when another man came out of a yard where a party was being held and fired several shots at the vehicle, causing the injury to Leal.

Man busted with firearm by Village Chairman
A villager of Indian Church in the Orange Walk District is being sought by police after he was busted with a gun by Mauricio Aquillar, the Village Chairman, who is a Special Police Constable. Aquillar has since handed over the gun to police and police are looking for the man to charge him with the firearm-related offences. Aquillar said that at about 5:30 yesterday evening, he was on patrol in the village when he saw the village resident with a shotgun in his hand. He approaches the villager and took the shotgun from him and informed him of the offense that he had committed.

Ricardo Marin, 46, Oasis Bar owner, pleaded guilty to immigration offenses
Belize City businessman, Ricardo Marin, 46, the owner of Oasis Bar, was spared jail time and was fined instead after he pleaded guilty to two immigration offenses when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today. Officers representing the Immigration Department charged Marin with two counts of employing workers who are not in possession of valid working papers at his bar, located at Mile 4 � on the Philip Goldson Highway, near the Haulover Bridge approach. Before imposing the fine, the Senior Magistrate explained to Marin that under the Immigration Act, the offense is a very serious one which also carries a prison term of two years. She told him that the fine can go as high as $5,000 for each undocumented worker that an employer hires.

Two escape from Independence police lockdown cell
Independence police are seeking two persons who escaped from their lockdown cell. Police said that at about 7:50 on Saturday evening, they heard a loud bang coming from the cell-block area at Independence Police Station. Police who went to check what was happening saw that the door on a cell was completely knocked from its hinges. Two men who were in that cell, Dale Augustine, 26, of Seine Bight, and a minor, 15, of Bella Vista, had escaped. Police are now looking for both of them, and a charge of escape will be added to their offenses.

Butane gas office robbed in San Ignacio
The Belize Western Energy Limited (BWEL), a butane gas company located in San Ignacio, was robbed by two thieves who escaped with thousands of dollars in cash, cheques and valuables at about 2:30 Thursday afternoon. The supervisor was in the office when two thieves, one armed with a pistol, entered. The gunman pointed his gun at the security guard who was on duty in the office and disarmed him. While the armed thief held the security guard and the supervisor hostage at gunpoint, his accomplice went into the cash register and stole all the money that was in it, amounting to about $1,95l, which consisted of the proceeds from the sale of butane for the day.

Conmen targeting senior citizens in the city
A conman posing as a cable company worker, in one instance, and a City Council official in the other instance, robbed two elderly citizens in separate incidents in Belize City and has gotten away with over $530 in cash and jewelry. Police have since released a flash bulletin advising the public to be on the lookout for this con artist. A retiree reported to police at the Queen Street Police Station that at about 9:30 yesterday morning a thief posing as a Baymen Cable Company worker went to his home, where he identified himself as Reginald Flowers of Burrell Boom, and said that he was there to check the cable connection and wire. The retiree said that at the time when the worker came he was preparing breakfast. When he saw the worker near the bedroom, he became alarmed, but continued preparing his breakfast.

3 thieves arrested in Teakettle; 1 shot and two arraigned in court
Three robbers who stole a pickup truck after beating and robbing the driver and stealing $30 from his wallet have been arrested, after one of the thieves was shot. The three thieves, identified as Kenroy Humes, 24, who is recovering from the gunshot wound; Ervin Santos, 21; and Nigel Usher, 27, are all of Camalote. Santos and Usher were taken to the Belmopan Magistrate's Court this morning on charges of handling stolen goods, because they were found with the stolen pickup truck. Police said that they are conducting further investigations, after which other charges will be levied against them. Humes will be taken to court when he is released from the hospital.

Gunman opens fire on innocent minors on Antelope Street
A group of minors who were playing in an abandoned lot on Antelope Street were forced to sprint for their lives when a gunman who was reportedly in pursuit of another individual mindlessly opened fire in their direction, injuring a 15-year-old minor in the process. Police reported that they visited Antelope Street in Belize City last Friday, May 9, at about 4:45 p.m. and saw five expended shells and what appeared to be blood on the street. According to police, checks were then made at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, and a 15-year-old male student of Belize City was seen with an apparent gunshot wound to his right foot.

Patrick Jones

Joseph Budna gets more years behind bars in Guatemala
Belizean national Joseph Budna was today convicted of a second count of kidnapping and abduction by a court in Guatemala. And the judge wasted no time in handing down a stiff 30 years prison sentence. Added to a previous sentence of 25 years in jail on another kidnapping and abduction charge, Budna's jail sentence now balloons to 60 years behind bars. But while that is the sentence, in reality, according to Guatemalan law, he will only spend a maximum of 30 years behind bars. And his troubles are not yet over as he is yet to be charged and sentences for escaping from lawful custody on April 21.

Caribbean partners invited to study BOOST program
Following great reviews from international partners despite criticism at home, the Building Opportunities for Our Social Transformation (BOOST) conditional cash transfer program is the now the subject of a study by regional governments under the stewardship of UNICEF and UNDP. At today's launch in Belize City, the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation got an opportunity to tout its successes which are transforming lives every day - nowhere more so, says Minister Anthony "Boots" Martinez, than in his native Port Loyola. Hon. Martinez reiterated the Ministry's commitment to seeing that the program impacts even more lives. Colleague, Senator Godwin Hulse noted that with the payments they receive for adhering to a series of conditions such as attendance in school, consistent vaccination schemes and so on, people can begin to lift themselves out of poverty and into prosperity.

Mother's Day Cheer was open and transparent says Government; PUP disagrees
Mother's Day has come and gone but the controversy over $850,000 handed out by the Ministry of Finance to the seventeen sitting UDP area representatives to distribute to mothers in their constituencies continues to simmer. Port Loyola representative Anthony "Boots" Martinez said he gave out gifts to residents, while some others chose to distribute cash. But Hon. Martinez was at pains to point that he received no money personally: as the Government has done with the Christmas Cheer program, the monies were disbursed transparently and the records are available. He accused Channel 5 News of attempting to subvert a kind-hearted gesture into a political stunt, even saying he had "trouble" with giving them interviews because of their negative coverage of the Government. Be that as it may, is it right?

Minister Godwin Hulse offers update on immigration scandal
Auditor General Dorothy Bradley has issued her preliminary report on the investigation into the Immigration Department to the Government. But when will it become public, and will have it anything incriminating on former Minister of State Elvin Penner, who seems to have skated away from every allegation made against him? Minister in charge of Immigration Senator Godwin Hulse says the report is before Cabinet and will shortly be tabled before the National Assembly. He says it does not contain anything new. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality limps along, severely wounded by the actions of former Minister of State Elvin Penner. Today Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse responded to news of stalling in the private prosecution case filed by COLA, saying that they have most of what they need to proceed with the private prosecution, including documents implicating Penner, and the Kim passport will be brought to Belize in the next month.

Minister accuses Placencia Village Council of flipflopping
It seems no one is in love with the Harvest Caye project sponsored by Norwegian Cruise Lines. Despite the best efforts of the Government to sell the benefits of the project for the South, a key backer is now backing out. The Placencia Village Council now opposes the project, leaving Cabinet Investment Sub-Committee chair Godwin Hulse disappointed. He says that as recently as last week, a concern brought up by a member of the Council was addressed - a water pipe running on the peninsula that may be damaged by passing cruise ships.

Government minister says Belize will not single out homosexuals
While the position of the Ministry of Immigration is limited because the case is before the Caribbean Court of Justice, news that homosexual activist Maurice Tomlinson had presented an arguable case to strike down the law banning gays from entering Belize raised more than a few eyebrows. Today the Minister responsible for Immigration repeated that Belize's practice differs from its law, and the possible removal of the latter would not affect the former. Immigration officers, says Hulse, do not routinely ask visitors their sexual preference as a condition for entering the country.

PUP Women's Group leader challenges Kim-Simplis Barrow
Yolanda Schakron burst onto the political scene in dramatic fashion as a social crusader with Belizeans for Justice, ending as a short-lived political candidate. She now serves as president of the United Women's Group of the PUP and today hit out hard at Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis-Barrow. The wife of the Prime Minister was recently featured in a special magazine spread. Schakron's question is what does that do for Belizean women? She believes the $100,000 spent could have been used for other initiatives that would directly affect women.

Allen and Marin should step aside from Ministry of Health says PUP
Dr. Peter Allen continues to be supported by Minister Pablo Marin despite conflicts with senior staff and the Pharmacists Association. Medical professional and PUP Cayo West standard bearer Dr. Lesbia Guerra-Cocom said today, however, that because neither man has been able to properly address issues of health nationwide, they should step down.

The Belize Times Newspaper reportedly owes GST
Since its relaunch last year after a staff shift the party organ of the PUP, The Belize Times, has been presenting the party's views on national issues. But now it is in the news because it owes thousands of dollars in General Sales Tax. Party Leader Francis Fonseca says he was unaware of the financial troubles, but fortunately, the matter is being addressed by the newspaper's managers. The debt goes back to 2010. According to Fonseca, there is no suggestion that the party cannot pay its debts.

PUP reshuffles national executive: Godfrey Smith in, Ralph Fonseca out
It was reported that the People's United Party had welcomed back former area representatives and senior officials Godfrey Smith and Ralph Fonseca to posts within the national executive. Smith was named national campaign committee chair and Fonseca was said to be special advisor to his relative, the Party Leader. Turns out it's only one of two, as the PUP leader confirmed the former Pickstock representative's return but ruled out such a welcome back for the divisive and controversial Ralph Fonseca, a former three term area representative whom many blame for the party's sound defeat in 2008 and losing its way prior. Apparently the purported appointment was leaked to Channel 7 News by senior party officials.


Celebrating Kim Simplis Barrow in Harper's Bazaar and enjoying BETEX
The Belize Tourism Expo opening night Party at the Elite room was lots of fun, we enjoyed meeting new people, appetizers, entertainment speeches and dancing. One of the highlights of the evening was celebrating Kim Simplis Barrow's recent photo shoot Belize in the May June Issue of Harper's Bazaar Interiors. The magazine features an eleven page spread showcasing beautiful Belize and signed framed copies of the cover were given out to businesses who helped make it possible. The magazine photo shoot was a 5 day event with fashion designer Joris Hendrik and make-up artist Vanessa Awe on hand to make it picture perfect. They traveled around the Country and featured the following premier places, Victoria House, El Secreto, Cayo Espanto, Turtle Inn, Silk Cayes & Splash Dive Center and Lamanai. To see more pics of the magazine spread visit San Pedro Sun newspaper article Kim Simplis Barrow promotes Belize in Harper's Bazaar Interiors.

Tips for choosing a tour guide in Belize
I am a strong advocate for hiring a local guide whenever travelling. Guides have a wealth of knowledge of the destination and are trained to spot things that you would miss. When it comes to choosing a tour guide in Belize, it's easy, being certain that you've selected the best possible guide is a different story. This is because with the rise of tourism, and lack of jobs in other industries, more and more people are deciding to become guides but truthfully, not all of them have the passion and drive to be exceptional at their jobs. And as my job to educate you on Belize, I will offer you a few tips that can assist you in picking the right Belizean guide. Tour operator or free-lance guide Tour operators usually charge more for tours but you can find deals when booking as a group. Many of the best guides are usually under their employment since they offer a steady salary. You can find free-lance guides while walking the streets or at sites. These guides are typically cheaper to hire but you must ask about their reputation. Do note that some of the guides who work for tour operators might also work free-lance.

Accommodation Spotlight: Victoria House, Belize
The palm trees swayed slowly from side to side, gently rocked by the same summer breeze that rippled the crystal clear Caribbean waters. We placed our bags at our feet and relaxed next to the immaculately clean pool. A smiling waiter placed two complimentary drinks beside us and said, "Welcome to Victoria House". This is the kind of warm welcome you can expect when visiting Victoria House Resort on Ambergris Caye in Belize. But the relaxation had just begun. As we sipped our delicious rum punch and gazed out at the sea, we realized just how happy we were to be in such a stunning paradise.

For God Sake Mr. Chairman - Keep "it" In Your Pants!
We didn't think we'd hear from UDP Chairman Alberto August this soon. After our last publication went viral soon as it was launched into cyberspace, the embattled chairman attempted to do some damage control. The following is the email sent out by August on Tuesday night after we released, "UDP Chairman Alberto August - Torn Between Two Lovers"... image.... Was that an Freudian slip? "While temptations abound, please know that I am happily married to a wonderful supportive woman and will compromise this solid relationship for no one or nothing in this world." Of course Mr. Chairman, "temptations abound" and you had your fair share and indeed - you compromised your so called "solid relationship." Now you hurt your wife, driver, secretary, editor, etc.

International Sources

Watch Stunning Live NASA Feed of Earth From Space
Cloud watching, that most ancient pastime, enters the modern age, thanks to the astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Ever wish you could just sit back in space and gaze as the Earth lazily rolled by beneath you, just like the astronauts? Well, NASA is offering the next best thing to being there in person, courtesy of a suite of high-definition video cameras installed on the exterior of the International Space Station last month. Now we can all enjoy the mesmerizing online footage of clouds, oceans, and continents floating by on our screens anytime. The four always-on HD cameras, housed in temperature-controlled and pressurized housings, were turned on April 30. They are part of an experiment to determine whether current camera technology can survive long-term exposure to the extreme radiation of space. Watch long enough and you will see cameras switching between various views, including sunrises and sunsets every 45 minutes. That's because the orbiting lab takes only 90 minutes to circle the Earth while traveling at some 17,000 miles (27,359 kilometers) per hour. So don't be surprised when your screen goes dark for extended periods as the station rounds the night side of the planet. Joining NASA's cosmic video show soon will be two more commercial HD cameras, made by Canadian company UrtheCast (pronounced "Earthcast"). Installed on the outside of the space station back in January, they aim to stream near real-time imagery of Earth as well. So, while we might only dream of becoming an astronaut, we can at least enjoy jaw-dropping views from space anytime.

My Search Intensifies for Belize's Best Chicken: Friendship Restaurant
They say that stew chicken with rice and beans is the national dish of Belize but I'm not so sure about that. Much like the U.S., where the national dish might be apple pie but the unofficial national dish is probably a super sized carton of French (Freedom) fries, Belize's thriving fast food industry gives stew chicken a serious run for its money. Chinese food here is the fast food of Belize. And I'm pretty sure that if you arrived fresh from a small village in China, you wouldn't recognize these restaurant's most popular dish. Fry chicken with french fries and TONS of sweet sweet SWEET ketchup. Served always in a flip top styrofoam container. Here is my huge $5bzd or $2.50US helping from the VERY popular Li Chee in Belize City.

Belize Tourism Expo BETEX Reflects Eco-Tourism Growth
This year's Belize Tourism Expo, BETEX 2014, held May 7 to 12, highlighted the little country's increasing range of tourism options and confirms Belize's maturity as a world class travel destination, according the owners of the Lodge at Chaa Creek. "Compared to the first expo, BETEX 2014 reflects how far Belize has come in terms of sophistication, service delivery, infrastructure and continuous improvement," co-founder and GM Lucy Fleming said from the Chaa Creek display at the Princess Ramada Hotel in Belize City. "For to those of us who have been involved with the evolution of Belize's eco-tourism industry from its very beginnings, it's very gratifying to see how quickly it's grown without compromising the environmental and social obligations we identified early on," she added.

Slow-Motion Collapse of West Antarctic Glaciers is Unstoppable, 2 New Studies Say
Human-caused global warming has set in motion an unstoppable slow-motion collapse of the glaciers in West Antarctica of massive scale and power, said scientists at a NASA press conference and press release on Monday. The scientists, led by glaciologist Eric Rignot of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory/the University of California, Irvine, analyzed 19 years of satellite data to show that the fast-melting glaciers that drain into West Antarctica's Amundsen Sea had passed a point of no return, since their bottoms are grounded below sea level. The glaciers had been lodged on "pinning points" on the bedrock--projections that snagged the glaciers from underneath and kept them from sliding toward the sea. Melting due to warmer ocean waters has been eating away the glaciers from beneath, freeing them from their pinning points, and setting in motion a slow-motion collapse that appears "unstoppable", Rignot said at the press conference. The glaciers contain enough ice to raise global sea level by 4 feet (1.2 meters) in a few hundred years at their current rate of melting, Rignot added. The research has been accepted for publication in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Relax to the max in Latin America with wellness tourism on the rise
Taking Latin America's market share to a predicted $42billion, one resort that is certain to enhance this figure is The Baymen Resort and Spa in the Cayo region of Belize. This luxurious rainforest resort has 'wellness' at its heart and features a sumptuous spa with infinity pool and hot tub, fed by stunning natural Maya spring pools and waterfall. The Baymen's eco-credentials are also central to its feeling of wellbeing, with the majority of the lodge sitting amongst the rainforest canopy, and an infinity pool that appears to float like a tablet of water suspended in mid-air, allowing guests to feel as though they are truly part of nature, making it easy to unwind. Wolf Worster, MD of Wolf W�rster Associates, Inc, the global property consultancy specialising in the sale and rental of ultra-luxury villas in some of the world's most sought-after locations, who are marketing The Baymen, explains, "With the everyday stresses of modern life getting increasingly intense, it is no surprise that wellness tourism is on the up and with a great deal to offer the discerning traveller searching for true relaxation, it is easy to see why Latin America's slice of this market is growing too. Belize is one location that is rich in 'wellness' attributes - a warm and sunny climate, a wealth of natural features, amazing wildlife - and it is these factors combined with the development's focus on luxurious relaxation and revitalisation that make The Baymen the perfect wellness retreat."

'Tiny, tenacious and tentatively toxic:' Texas A&M scientist makes two discoveries that were hiding in plain sight
Sometimes we think we know everything about something only to find out we really don't, said a Texas A&M University scientist. Dr. Kevin Conway, assistant professor and curator of fishes with Texas A&M's department of wildlife and fisheries sciences at College Station, has published a paper documenting a new species of clingfish and a startling new discovery in a second well-documented clingfish. Conway said clingfishes are globally distributed at temperate and tropical latitudes, and get their name from their ability to anchor themselves using their large belly sucker. The species Conway and his team discovered is a tiny marine fish less than an inch long that lives between pieces of coral rubble in very shallow water along the coast of Belize and islands in the Caribbean and Bahamas.

500 Pounds of Man-Eating Stealth
In the Sundarbans region of India and Bangladesh, some of the world's last wild tigers roam free and ravenous. An expedition to film these elusive predators is tricky business. You may not see them, but they almost certainly are watching you. Through the eyes of a tiger, the colors of the forest are muted, but its outlines are very, very sharp. Staring ahead, the tiger also sees far to the right and far to the left, due to exceptional peripheral vision. The tiger is crepuscular, meaning it hunts at twilight or in the twilit light before the dawn, and being a cat, its night vision is among the best in the animal kingdom, some six times better than man's. So when rangers from India's Forest Service led world-renowned big-cat biologist Alan Rabinowitz onto the beach of Kalash Island in the dark before the dawn, the tiger undoubtedly saw them.

Fortis Inc. Announces Third Quarter Dividends-2014
Fortis has designated the common share dividend and preference share dividends as eligible dividends for federal and provincial dividend tax credit purposes. Fortis is the largest investor-owned gas and electric distribution utility in Canada, with total assets of approximately $18.6 billion and fiscal 2013 revenue exceeding $4 billion. Its regulated utilities account for approximately 90% of total assets and serve approximately 2.5 million customers across Canada and in New York State and the Caribbean. Fortis owns non-regulated hydroelectric generation assets in Canada, Belize and Upstate New York. The Corporation's non-utility investment is comprised of hotels and commercial real estate in Canada.


Video: Belize Tourism Expo 2014 opening night party, 1min.
The opening night Party at the Elite room was lots of fun, we enjoyed appetizers, entertainment speeches and dancing. The flashing glasses at the bar were the inspiration to make this short clip.

Video: Diving the Great Blue Hole in Belize, 27min.
My dive in the Great Blue Hole in Belize. We went down to 130 feet before making a slow ascent back up to the reef and the surface.

Video: Toffee Canyons, Belize (#12), 11min.
Saw a grouper, lionfish, nurse shark, and a huge stringray. May 5th, 2014 -

Video: My Home..... by Marty O'Farrell, 3min.
Things I am blessed to see and shoot on the reef....

Video: Belize Highlights 2014 GoPro Hero3, 3min.
One week vacation to Ambergris Caye.

Video: Belize Recreation Day: Scuba Dive, 3min.
Scuba diving on our recreation day.

Video: Belize Mad Dancing Skills, 2min.

Video: April and Sean Brennan in Belize with Belize Pro Dive Center, 5min.
Our first time in Belize and we decided to finish our certification with Belize Pro Dive Center in San Pedro, Belize!! Best choice we made....Ian Oliva was our Dive Master/Instructor and he made us so comfortable, I couldn't be more happy with the choice we made thanks to my husband Sean Brennan for doing the research we were in great hands.

Video: Accommodation Spotlight: Victoria House, Belize, 5min.
During our 2 week trip to Belize, we were offered to stay at the stunning Victoria House Resort on Ambergris Caye. This video is a Goats On The Road Accommodation Spotlight from Victoria House Luxury Resort In Belize!

Video: Swiming with the fish - South Water Caye BELIZE, 1min.
Nice view... short video

Video: Belize gopro snorkel Shark Ally, 5min.
My first time snorkeling, in belize. Wait for the sea turtle

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