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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Sea turtles Lucky and Ellen released into their natural habitat
This week (May 11 to 17th) is being observed as Reef Week on the islands of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. Several activities were planned for both islands by Hol Chan Marine Reserve under the theme "Our Reef Needs Our Protection for Future Generations." One of the highlights was the release of two marine turtles that had been rescued and kept for months as part of their rehabilitation. Lucky, one of the two female loggerheads (Caretta Caretta) was rescued back in October 2013 by tour guides of Tuff E Nuff Tours while on an expedition at sea. The adult marine turtle was missing her left hind flipper and had several lacerations on its other flippers due to a shark attack. Lucky also had a broken plastron (the belly of the shell) and underwent surgery where veterinarians at Saga Humane Society did all within their reach to save her. Despite the slim chances of survival given to her, the 22-inch turtle made a full recovery and is now strong enough to survive the sea. The turtle was given the name Lucky since she was able to overcome her health complications and fought with resilience to survive.

Miss San Pedro High Pageant set for May 31st
Plans and preparations are well underway for the annual Miss San Pedro High School (SPHS) Pageant. This year four lovely contestants will vie for the coveted title and educational scholarship. The four lovely young women are Erica Lopez, Marisha Thompson, Sheila Chi and Ezra Jacobs. The pageant night promises to be full of surprises and certainly unforgettable. This anticipated event will take place on May 31st at 7PM at the Rafael Angel Nu�ez Auditorium. Tickets bought in advance are $7 for General Admission and $10 for Reserved Seating. Tickets are available for purchase from students, teachers and PTA Board members of SPHS. Look out for contestant portfolios in next week's issue of The San Pedro Sun!

17 pharmacies in San Pedro, but only three practicing pharmacists
The Pharmacists' Association of Belize has brought to light serious health issues concerning the fact that several pharmacies on Ambergris Caye are operating without a licensed druggist (also referred to as a pharmacist). Of the 17 known pharmacies, there are only three registered practicing pharmacists in San Pedro Town. This is merely part of many issues within the pharmacy area of the national health sector. According to Marisol Melhado, Vice President of Pharmacists' Association of Belize, one of the typical examples of problems in the health sector has to do with licensed pharmacists as is the case on Ambergris Caye. "In San Pedro Town, you have about 17 known drug stores or pharmacies, but only three licensed, practicing pharmacists on the entire island. This is a problem because we have people selling or distributing medication when they are not licensed to do so, and it poses a serious concern as it relates to people's lives and safety. A trained, licensed and registered pharmacist is the person that keeps the doctors in check as far as the administering of medication is concern. We ensure that the right medication is being administered for the right purposes, but if you are not trained, registered or licensed you will be unable to keep the doctors in check. We find that for the most part, the main problem is that doctors want to administer and sell their own product, which is a direct conflict of interest. They are the doctor, they own their own pharmacy and turn around and administer medication from their own pharmacy," said Melhado in an interview with The San Pedro Sun.

Splash into the Rio On Pools!
Surrounded by spectacular rolling hills, high peaks and continuous cascading water ways, Mountain Pine Ridge has all the right touches for a nature lover's delight. Combine the scenic views with the euphoria of exploring one's own country, the fun and excitement is immeasurable. I enjoyed such an experience on a recent trip to The Rio On Pools in western Belize. Over thousands of years, small waterfalls have formed small pools over large granite rocks, spilling from one pool to another. Trust me, on a hot day, the water is so tempting! I can almost guarantee you'll be dipping far more than your toes! And if you're like me, always looking for a little pampering, try standing under one of the falls and enjoy a natural massage as the pressure of the water rolls along your body. It's the perfect therapy for those who want to re-energize the body after a long journey.

Policing Together to meet challenges, creating partnership, finding solutions
"The greater the momentum of a ship, the longer it takes to turn. One comforting observation is that a huge ship can nevertheless be turned by a small rudder. It just takes time and requires the rudder to set steadfastly for the turn throughout the whole turning process." Malcolm K. Sparrow. I pray that all residents of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye "La Isla Bonita" and Caye Caulker "La Isla Carinosa" give serious attention to the economical threat to the bread winning basket (Tourism) and welfare of their future, in view of the gravity of the escalating criminal violence which remain a challenge for the present and future and in particular, the availability of the drugs and firearms.

Ambergris Today

Reef Week 2014 Celebrated in San Pedro
The 9th Annual Reef Week Trivia Competition took place at the Lion's Den on Wednesday, May 14, 2014, where students' knowledge about the reef and environment was put to the test. After a few hotly contested questions and deliberation from the judges the winners were announced: Zeldeth Molina of Caye Caulker RC School took 1st Place, followed by Chelsea Rodriguez of Caye Caulker RC School and Kemra Rippon of Island Academy who took second and third place respectively. It was a week full of educational activities to celebrate our natural heritage and create awareness. Ambergris Today salutes all the schools and participants in the week-long celebration and congratulates Hol Chan Marine Reserve for all its hard work and dedication in protecting our beautiful ecosystem for future generations to enjoy.

Eight Spectacular Sunsets Around Belize
There are many beautiful sceneries to be captured in Belize and thanks to technology we all can now document and share it for the world to enjoy. It's amazing what a simple picture can do. Since I started working in the newspaper business I have learned to appreciate photography. Now that we are fully online, I enjoy taking pictures even more; simply because I get to share them on my blog for all of you to enjoy. My favorite things to photograph apart from myself (lol) are food, people and scenes. You're probably wondering with what I take my pictures with; like most people I stick to iphonography. I choose iphonography because it is easier to capture, edit and post. Last year I started a little project which entails everybody taking pictures of their Belizean vacation and hash tagging #itravelbelize. I'm glad that many have started getting into the trend with me. Therefore, since this week's blog is all about pictures, let me share with you pictures of spectacular sunsets taken from around the country, some by me and some friends.

Get ready for an Eco Kids Summer!
The deadline for applying to the annual Eco Kids educational summer camp is drawing near, and the Lodge at Chaa Creek is urging young Belizeans between the ages of 8 and 13 years old to get on board! Officially known as the Children's Summer Camp Scholarship Program, the Eco Kids camp is a great opportunity for young Belizeans to learn about their natural environment and develop skills while having fun during a weeklong jungle adventure. The adventure begins on Saturday July 20th at Chaa Creek's Macal River Camp and runs until Sunday, July 28. Twenty-four lucky young Belizeans will stay in comfortable casitas and enjoy three healthy meals and snacks each day while taking part in structured educational activities. Chaa Creek supplies all accommodation and meals, the arts and craft materials, tee shirts, 24-hour camp counselor supervision and guided tours conducted by licensed naturalist guides.

Misc Belizean Sources

Hattieville site nearing completion, principal thrilled for new preschool
Completion on a new preschool building the Hattieville Government School in Hattieville, Belize, is estimated for mid-June, and the school's principal and staff are ready to put the new facility to use. The school is one of four schools in Belize receiving new facilities as part of New Horizons Belize 2014, an exercise that provides Belize Defence Force and U.S. military civil engineers training opportunities while constructing new facilities throughout the country. "This has really come at an opportune time because the [Belize] Ministry of Education is making an effort to push more resources and emphasis on early childhood education," said Hattieville principal Rodney Griffith. "What happens in these formative years will chart the course for the rest of their lives. "This project is welcomed and something the community will benefit from greatly," said Griffith, the principal at the school for the last four years.

Plants of the Mayan World
The official book for Plants of the Mayan World "Use of plants in Food, Medicine, Art and Culture" A beautiful edition with over 2000 photos of exotic plants, gourmet plates and Mayan art and crafts! Many authentic Mayan recipes adjusted for healthy and modern living that you can try at home. A first complete illustrated guide to the diverse flora of the Mexican Caribbean and Yucatan Peninsula with the introduction into the world of Mayan traditions, culture and gastronomy. Mexico selection in the "Best in the World" by Gourmand Awards in the Best Sustainable Cook Book category for 2013

Cayo Classifieds Issue 16
The new issue of Buy and Sell Weekly is out. The Belize Audubon Society has a section on where to go bird watching.

BCS Annual Cancer Walk
The Belize Cancer Society's annual Cancer Walk is happening tomorrow morning. It will start at Camalote, and end at the DFC in Belmopan..

Revolution Artistry Makeup Class
Revolution Artistry is having another one on one Makeup Class in Cayo. They've announced the winners of their Mother's Day Makeover contest.

Power interruptions scheduled for Orange Walk District
Two 20-minute power interruptions scheduled for Orange Walk District on Sunday, May 18, from 6:00 am to 6:20 am and 3:40 pm to 4:00 pm: entire Orange Walk District. This scheduled power interruption is necessary for BEL to conduct maintenance and replace poles on the transmission line between Maskall and Buena Vista and conduct testing at the Maskall Substation.

Power interruptions scheduled for the Corozal District
Two 20-minute power interruptions scheduled for the Corozal District on Sunday, May 18, from 6:00 am to 6:20 am and 3:40 p.m. to 4:00 pm: entire Corozal District. This scheduled power interruption is necessary for BEL to conduct maintenance and replace poles on transmission line between Maskall and Buena Vista and conduct testing at Maskall Substation.

Training Workshop for the Belize-Mexico Partial Scope Agreement
On Thursday May 15th, a training workshop on the Belize/ Mexico Partial Scope Agreement (PSA) was held at the Hotel Las Vegas that included a cross section of members from the Public and Private sector. Members from the Private Sector of Belize, Quintana Roo and Merida underlined the importance of concluding this agreement to develop market opportunities and effective access to the Mexican market.

Encroachment of Buffer Zone of the Harmonyville Farming Community, Mile 41 George Price Highway
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, through the Department of Lands and Surveys wrote to Mr. Nigel Petillo on May 15th 2014 in response to a letter he submitted dated 9th May 2014 in relation to the matter at caption.

Channel 7

Digging Deeper Into Immigration Fraud
Last night, we told you about the major bust that the Immigration Department made. 11 persons with illegal documents allegedly arranged by 46 year old Marleny Castellanos, the suspected ring leader in a mass immigration scam. Today she was charged for arranging documents for eight of those persons. As we told you on Wednesday, Immigration Officers went on a mass round up on the island of Caye Caulker and San Pedro for persons with illegal documents. They were transferred to Belmopan yesterday, and today 8 of them were taken to court and arraigned. They are Cruz Reyes, Teresa Juarez, Abis Godoy, Floridalma Juarez, Francisco Reyes, Francisco Ruiz, Myrna Ortega, and Juan Castellanos, all of them Guatemalans. The first 7 were charged with 2 counts of using documents they were not entitled to use, while Juan Castellanos was charged with 3 counts. As the suspected chief arranger, Marleny Castellanos was charged with 16 counts of aiding persons to use documents they weren't entitled to use. The allegation against her is that she helped these 8 people obtain bogus birth and nationality certificates, which they've been using to pass themselves off as legitimate Belizeans.

Ebanks, Ecuador and the 2012 Election
Floyd Wendel Ebanks Jurado, the man who is one of Ecuador's Most Wanted, remains on remand at the Belize Central Prison. Beyond that neither police nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are saying anything about him. But tonight, more is becoming known about his life here in Belize. Press reports up to 2012 list him as a most wanted fugitive for murder in the Guayas Province of Ecuador - and there are reports that he is still wanted in Ecuador. Still, there is no official confirmation coming from Belize Police. There has not been any official request from Ecuadoran law enforcement, and neither has any come from US Government. And internet search, however, shows that he was detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and booked in Glades, Florida.

Former COMPOL's Gun Stolen, But He Got It Back
He is currently the Director of the National Forensic Science Service, but former Police Commissioner David Henderson proved he hasn't lost his investigative edge when he recovered his licensed firearm, hours after it was stolen from his house. Henderson spoke with 7News this evening, and he told us that he left his Glock 9mm pistol, which was loaded with 14 live rounds, at his house at mile 8 on the Western Highway yesterday. While doing his job, he was questioned if he had his firearm on him. When he made checks, he discovered that the weapon was missing, and immediately he suspected that a man who was doing some construction work on his house could have been the main suspect. He gave instructions for this man to be monitored. He told us that he went today to detain the man himself, and recovered the gun. When he got it back in hand, he escorted the man to himself to the police station, where he was formally arrested and criminally charged. That man will be arraigned in court at the earliest convenience.

Robbers Used A Machete In Orange Walk
A man was viciously chopped in the Orange Walk district today during a robbery. It happened in Carmelita Village around 8:30 this morning. Dennis Eiley who owns Prestige Block Factory in Carmelita Village was chopped between the eyes and nose. Three men arrived at the block factory asking for the owner. They went to the back and attacked him. An employee was alerted when he heard Eiley scream. When he got to the back, he saw Eiley sprawled on the ground with multiple chop wounds. The men took $3,000 thousand dollars, money that Eiley had just gotten from a horse sale. Eiley also sustained chop wounds to the left hand and is in a stable condition.

Man Shot In "Da' Hood" While Under The Hood
There was a shooting in Belize City this morning at 10:00 am. Melvin Myers was reportedly shot while he was working under a car at the corner of Kut Avenue and George Street. Police suspect it may be a neighborhood rivalry - but Myers is not known to be involved in gang activity. Police detained two persons at the scene.

Children Injured In Hit And Run
Tonight, siblings 12 year-old Francine Francis and 7 year-old Herman Williams Jr. are recovering from injuries they received after being hit by a vehicle yesterday, which didn't stop and render aid. Both students were on Mahogany Street, when a vehicle struck them from behind, but the driver callously drove off, leaving the children on the street where they had to be rescued by a concerned resident. Today, their grandmother spoke with us saying that, she is upset that the person who hit them didn't think it important enough to take them to the hospital: Wilma Whylie Thompson, Grandmother of Accident Victims "Yesterday I got a call that a vehicle knock them down yesterday evening. I was in the neighborhood of Karl Heusner Hospital, so I just went there. What really happen is that I hear that the car knock them down from backwards and the flip over the handle of the bicycle and it that was how they got their injury. What hurts me the most is because they didn't stop and render aid both my grandchildren. They just took off, I heard that it was a man and a woman in the car.

Janet Felix Wants Her Sons Home After Eight Years On Remand
All this week, we've been reporting on the Felix brothers Maurice and Emory. They faced their third jury on Monday, and again, it was a hung jury. Since the brothers have been tried 3 times already, the DPP will not bring a fourth prosecution against them - meaning they will be set free. But when? The DPP told us that at a later date, her office will be writing to the authorities to indicate that intention. When the police and the Central Prison are officially informed, the men will be released. That's too long to wait for Janet Felix who has been waiting for 8 years to see her sons who she says were wrongfully accused.

BEL Union Still Bex
4 BEL employees will be redundant effective tomorrow. They work at the Westlake Gas Turbine facility and today their union was still trying to secure a place for them at BEL. A week ago, the company's corporate services manager told us that the workers have basically acted stubbornly by refusing to accept an offer to be retrained so that they can be re-assigned to different posts within the company. But the union says they are being chanced. At a lunch time show of solidarity of the union today, the president told us that the company representative was being disingenuous because the offers they made were not as attractive as she put it. Here's how he explained it: Henry Balan, President - BEWU "They are offering the guys who has work for you for 20 years a position - a contract for one year. I don't believe herself would take an offer of that sort and this is when the union came in. Now that the union came in, they got defensive and say that termination is the other position. We've been through mediation and that has been the position from management - there has not been a word of change even at the end when the minister came in. We ask them is the position still at that? Why isn't we trained the guys and keep them? How did the contract came about and that's the problem from the union's side."

Glass Bottle Sodas Will Be Scarce
Bowen and Bowen will be experiencing a shortage of soft drinks in the glass bottles because they're having some production issues. The reason for it, we are told, is that they're in the process of upgrading equipment to meet the production demand. Today, the PR representative explained to the media: Christelle Wilson - PR Officer, Bowen & Bowen "We are currently upgrading our bottling line. We are upgrading our returnable glass bottling line, so what we had to do is we did need to slow down production so that we could make space for this new line. It's really ground breaking - we are installing new equipment, we have new equipment coming in and in an effort to ensure that we maintain the quality standards in our products that we produce we had to slow down this line and get ready to bring in the new line." Daniel Ortis "So what is happening in terms of this production line? What products are currently not on the shelves at the volume you would have wanted it?"

City Teachers Take A Break
Today was teacher's day - which, for most, meant a day off, or away from the classroom. The Ministry of Education wanted to celebrate teachers for all they do - and in Belize City that meant an event of entertainment and diversion at the BTL Park. We found out more when we visited:�

Honouring The Art Of Teaching
Similar rallies were held in all the districts - as the culminating event of what is called the May Education Showcase. Last night was the big event: the Outstanding Teachers and School Leaders Awards Ceremony. It was held at the Bliss Center where all kinds of awards were given to career professionals. The teachers of the year were the centerpiece of the event - and here are a few of the videos prepared by the ministry where they speak about what makes them teach:.. Due to time constraints, we couldn't air the stories of all the top teachers, but we promise to feature the others next week.

Jah Cure Brings His Medicine To Belize
It's his first time in Belize, but Jah Cure is no stranger in the Jewel. Many of his fans gathered at the Phillip Goldson International this afternoon as they awaited the reggae superstar and his entourage. Cure came through El Salvador, because after spending years in a Jamaican jail because he can't get a US Visa. No shame in that, in fact it is a part of his legend: he recorded his first hit song, "Prison Walls" while in jail. And since gaining freedom in 2008, he's ascended to international stardom - which has now finally brought him to Belize. In a sit down interview with Monica Bodden this evening, the singer whose songs speak of true love and righteousness, told her where he gets his inspiration from The concert is on Saturday night at the Hour Bar.

A Story About Prisoners To Set Us All Free
In November of last year, we told you about the documentary being promoted by the European Union, called "Songs of Redemption". The EU Ambassador brought it to Belize for the first time earlier this year to share with inmates at the Belize Central Prison. It was expected that they would benefit from the story because it outlines the rehabilitation effort of prisoners from the Tower Street Correctional Facility in Kingston, Jamaica. These prisoners used the power of music as an outlet to express themselves while in prison. The EU Ambassador hosted another screening of "Songs of Redemption" at the Princess Ramada Hotel in Belize City today. This time it was for the public to show that inmates shouldn't just be written off as degenerates simply because they've had a brush with the law: There will be another screening of Songs of Redemption tomorrow at 7:00 at the Princess, and the public is invited to come out and view it.

We'll Meet At The Track
On Saturday over three hundred track athletes from across the country will meet up at the Marion Jones Stadium where they will be competing in a variety of track events. The track meet is organized by Body 2000 - to give these athletes an opportunity to come together and do something positive. We caught up with the organizers today. Body 2000 plans on hosting track meets at least 3 times for the year.

Channel 5

Floyd and Christian Ebanks is the same person; he is wanted in Ecuador
It's confirmed. Christian Ebanks, remanded on firearm charges, is Ecuadoran Floyd Ebanks Jurado, wanted for murder in that country. News Five has confirmed that shortly after arriving in Belize, the [...]

More details emerge on immigration scam run by a Guatemalan couple
The arrest of a Guatemalan couple is revealing further details of an ongoing hustle at the Immigration Department. The couple was remanded to prison�on Wednesday, after they pleaded guilty to [...]

Minister Santi speaks on $50,000 Mother's Day cheer
Just before Mother's Day, the Ministry of Finance gave seventeen U.D.P. Area Representatives eight hundred and fifty-thousand dollars. Those Area Representatives then handed out fifty and hundred dollar bills to [...]

Siblings injured in a hit and run
Two primary school children were knocked down as they headed home from school on Thursday evening. Siblings, twelve year old Francine Francis and seven year old Herman Williams, both students [...]

Unitedville residents to meet with DPM on Monday
On Thursday, we broke the story of a land dispute in Unitedville in the Cayo District. The Lands Department gave title for five acres of land in the village to [...]

Bernadette Fischer takes Unitedville resident to court
As we told you, the eviction notices were delivered to the residents in 2011. They ignored it, but the matter got new life after Bernadette Fischer took one of the [...]

Outstanding teachers honored at an award ceremony
Teachers around the country today were engaged in different activities to celebrate national teachers' day. And while things with the Ministry of Education are not the best, at the Bliss [...]

Carmelita Businessman chopped to the head in a robbery
An Orange Walk businessman was chopped in the face this morning during an attack at his workplace. The victim, identified as Dennis Eiley, is the proprietor of Prestige Block Factory [...]

There's a shortage in Bowen & Bowen glass products
There have been mounting complaints from various businesses across the country that there is a scarcity of Bowen and Bowen products. The complaint is that alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in [...]

Beverage company says upgrades to be completed by June
But with a move like this by the company, there must be setbacks. Christelle Wilson spoke of the risks in taking this step.   Christelle Wilson, Internal Legal Counsel & [...]

Meet the Lady Jaguars
Belize's participation in the international football scene has been virtually absent since the Jaguars represented the Jewel in 2013 in a rather insipid debut at the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament.� [...]

Lady Jaguars Head Coach confident that team will succeed
According to Lady Jaguars Head Coach Kent Gabourel, after sizing up the competition he is confident that the team will overcome the Guatemalans.� As to the financial support, Vicente says [...]

Europe Day celebrated in Belmopan
An open day, organized by the Government of Belize and the United Nations Development Program, was held in Belmopan in honor of Europe Day.� The aim was to call to [...]

EU tackles climate change in Belize
Representing the Government of Belize was Minister Godwin Hulse.� With responsibility for National Emergency Management, some eventualities the result of climate change, Hulse says the partnership between Belize and the [...]

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More News: Scroll up from here


Complaint Launched Against NRH
The Health Sector in Belize and the community hospitals across the country have been under constant watch over the past years due to many reasons. Here in Orange Walk the NRH was in the midst of a sea of turmoil when a number of women accused the hospital of the death of their new-borns and of malpractice. Tonight the NRH is in the spotlight again and it's not in a positive manner. A family in Orange Walk Town is concerned that the treatment to a diagnosis of kidney failure given at the NRH is the culprit for the complications to their sick loved one. The mother of a jovial and energetic student of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico reached out to our media centre to voice her story saying that on Friday her daughter began complaining of pain on her side and was checked into the hospital NRH. After being screened, one doctor said the patient had kidney failure and so medications were prescribed to her. While in observation, the patient still complained of pain so another doctor attended to her and stated that she had a urinary tract infection and so prescribed a whole new set of medications. The mother of the patient said since her daughter has been taking the medications, her condition has worsened. When we met the family and the patient at their home, she was visibly weak and complained of blurred vision. The mother of the child, whose name we will withhold as is her request, says the family is simply asking the public to be vigilant of the treatment they are being provided with at the hospital.

Ebanks Remanded To Prison, Investigation Of His Identity Continues
Were Orange Walkenos and Belize City residents living among a murderer? That is the question that many are asking tonight after news broke out that Christian Ebanks could possibly be an Ecuadoran Fugitive that is being sought for the murder of another Ecuadoran National. As we mentioned last night, here in Orange Walk Ebanks is known as JR or Christian Ebanks, the owner of Skywireless located on Queen Victoria Avenue. And that's all that Orange Walkenos knew that is until last night when reports surfaced that officers of the Gang Suppression Unit could have in custody an Ecuadorian man wanted by Guayas Province Police in Ecuador for the murder of another citizen of that country. Carmelita Perez - Reporting The man officers of the GSU detained provided documents, including immigration documents, which identify him as Christian Ebanks. He was detained after police conducted a search at his Belize City residence located on Teacher Street and found an illegal firearm. But Christian Ebanks looks just like the man on this flyer, identified as Floyd Wendel Ebanks Jurado, who is listed as one of Ecuador's most wanted fugitives. Ebanks Jurado is accused of the murder of Ecuadoran National Alejandro Mart�n Te�filo Yagual which occurred on Puna Island. The following video uploaded on You Tube on October 25th 2011 lists the ten most wanted delinquents from Ecuador. Among them is Ebanks Jurado who is said to have killed Teofilo Yagual over a piece of land.

O/W Police Confiscate Over 10lbs Of Weed
Orange Walk Police made a huge weed bust as they confiscated over ten pounds of weed last night. Authorities were on mobile patrol on the Yo Creek Road when they saw two male persons traveling towards Orange Walk on a small motorcycle. The officers signaled the men to stop but they continued driving. This is when officers got suspicious and more so when they saw the male individual seated to the back throw two knapsacks into the bushes. At the sight of this the officers fired two warning shots and only then did the men stop. Police escorted both persons to the location where they had thrown the bags and retrieved it. Upon searching the knapsacks, authorities found suspected cannabis.

More Drugs Taken Off The Streets Of Orange Walk
That was not the only drug bust police made last night. At 8:00pm authorities searched the residence of Georgina Flores located in the Village of San Lazaro in the Orange Walk District. Present at the time of the search were 23 year old Tatiana Novelo, Belizean Domestic, twenty-two year old Wilson Flores, Belizean cane cutter and sixty-five year old Georgina Flores, Belizean Domestic all of San Lazaro Village. The search led to the discovery of a green plastic bag containing 62 small silver foil packets that contained suspected cannabis. All persons were escorted to the Orange Walk Police Station where the suspected cannabis was weighed which amounted to 64.6 grams.

Bowen And Bowen Speaks On The Quality Of Their Product
Yesterday we told you about a possible shortage of products from the powerhouse Bowen and Bowen Limited due to an increase demand for their products. And while we promised you a look into the production today, our cameras were not allowed to film inside due their strict international regulations. We were given a tour of the soft drink production, from start to end. After the tour and getting an understanding of 'how it works', we asked Quality Assurance Manager, Gregorio Nah on how they plan to sustain their customer satisfaction since presently, 'demand exceeds supply'. Gregorio Nah - Quality Assurance Manager, Bowen and Bowen "Every year we put in place machineries that are of the latest technology to ensure the safety of the product we are putting in there, year by year we move ahead by getting the latest technology because when we look at the human factor we are moving from there from that position, because when we have the human factor a lot of things can come in line but with machinery ones we have it calibrated then we ensure that the product we are putting out meets our specs."

Cola Writes To The PM
While the heat on the displaced Minister of State Elvin Penner has subsided a bit, the pressure is still virtually there to investigate Penner for two offences in the passport Act and Belizean Nationality Act. But while the investigation has been on a standstill, the Citizens organized for Liberty through action COLA unwavering pressure has not ceased. Today, president of the organization Geovanni Brackett wrote to the Prime Minister requesting from him to provide them with the materials and evidence under the Freedom of Information Act. The organization is requesting; (1) The preliminary report provided by the Auditor General on the 21st of March, 2014; (2) the scanned documents produced to the PM by Minister Hulse at his press conference held on the 15th of October, 2013; And (3) any and all other materials and evidence provided to him by any of the authorities that have been carrying out an investigation into the wrongdoings by your former Minister of State, Elvin Penner.

Journalism Courses Is Offered To Students Of Sarteneja Village
The Belize Adubon society has been working with the three fishing communities in the Corozal District: Sarteneja, Chunux and Copper Bank, in educating the residents on the importance marine protected areas. In an effort to keep making sure the message is spread, the Belize Audubon Society is reaching out to the young people in Sarteneja Village in a rather unique way. Dareece Chuc is the Environmental education and communications director at the Society. Dareece Chuc - Environmental education and communications director at the Society "Right now we have a program running called reef protectors and it is for high school age students and it is to exposed them to marine protected areas and conservation and the important role of marine protected areas in conservation for Belize and one of the tools that we are using is teaching them how to make videos and video journalism because they want to give them an opportunity to be able to participate, a lot of times when we do environmental education we tend to talk a lot and we don't give people an opportunity to get people involve so we felt that the journalism aspect would be a mew skill and something that they could acquire and become more active in speaking out when it comes to the environment."

Will Impasse Between MOH And PAB Lead To Industrial Action
The standoff between the Ministry of Health and Pharmacists Association of Belize over the appointment of Drug Inspectorate Danini Contreras is at the point of possible industrial action. Vice-president of the Pharmacy Association of Belize, Marisol Melhado, says they are proceeding carefully because they are part of an essential service and are working with the Public Service Union (PSU). Melhado told CTV3 News they will hold on to their demand for Contreras' exit, insisting that she does not have the qualifications nor experience for her specially-created post. Marisol Melhado - Vice President, Pharmacists Association of Belize "We have issues with it being that the person is not a registered pharmacist nor that the person has such experience to hold such a position as the Director of the Drug Inspectorate Unit. New event has been the fact that the minister of health has publicly said that they had received the letter sent by PSU in giving the 21 days' notice in terms of industrial action and they have answered saying that the public service needs to outline the dispute to what extent the dispute is about and so forth because clearly this is not a dispute between employee and employer so the public service union will be working on that and we will move on from there."


Hulse Comments on COLA’s Appeal to the PM
In all this back and forth on what has been dubbed, 'the Penner investigation', one organisation that has been adamant in seeing former Minister Penner subjected to the judicial system for his alleged involvement in the issuance of the passport to the incarcerated Korean national, Kim Wong Hong, is the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA). COLA has launched a private prosecution against Penner and is in the process of preparing for its court date on May 29 where disclosure is scheduled to occur�but it is proving somewhat difficult considering that they are saying they are yet to receive any of the documents required from the investigators. As what one may deem, a final resort, COLA wrote the Prime Minister requesting for his intervention in the matter �.. to some it may seem like a logical thing to do but as Minister Hulse explains it, there is nothing that the Prime Minister can do as members of the Executive Branch are not to interfere with the country's judicial branch.

The Case of the Missing Penner File Unsolved
Tonight there is nothing short of immigration issues to report�..recently, the media has learnt that there may be a case of the missing Penner file as the Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie and the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal are pointing fingers at each other, in terms of who is in possession of the file. Minister Hulse says he does not understand what the fuss is about. MINISTER GODWIN HULSE "Well, I don't understand the back and forth at all. Let's be clear, from day one when the story broke, everybody in the country, by now, knows that we have a copy of a nationality certificate signed by Mr. Penner ; we don't know where the original is.

Kim Wong Hong’s Passport to Arrive in Belize
In September 2013, the story of a Korean national obtaining a Belize passport while being locked down in a prison in Taiwan led to the uncovering of a series of discrepancies within the Immigration Department as well as the investigation of several persons in the department and the termination of the Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration, Elvin Penner. Well, eight months later, officials from Belize's Ministry of Foreign Affairs are expecting the near arrival of the official passport that was issued to the Korean national, Kim Wong Hong. Minister Hulse gave us the details on the expected delivery of the passport. MINISTER GODWIN HULSE "I do know they have made a request to the ministry for the original passport; that is through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who has advised us that the ambassador is coming sometime this month to Belize and will be bringing that original passport. There is an issue of the risk of that passport going awry and therefore they didn't want to do anything else except to have it couriered.

Cuban National Opts to Be Repatriated to the US
Staying on the spate of immigration issues that authorities are dealing with, we go back to a story of a Cuban national, Raonel Valdez Valhuerdi, who was wanted for a heist in the US and was found on Belize soil back in February at the Guatemala/Belize border. Our interview with the Minister of Immigration and Nationality, Godwin Hulse on May 7, had the minister saying that the fugitive's fate was in the hands of the Cuban authorities�..but later that day, Love News had confirmed that the Cuban was repatriated to the United States and was booked into the Miami Dade County Jail. Love News asked Hulse, what had changed in that matter. MINISTER GODWIN HULSE "I didn't say that; I said the protocol said that we contact the embassy for the person and the person has two choices, he returns to the country of his origin or where he chooses to go or of his choice.

Immigration Looks into Ebanks Identity Issue
Yesterday, Love News had spoken to the Head of the Gang Suppression Unit, Superintendent Linden Flowers who enlightened us on the matter of 39-year-old, Christian Ebanks who was arrested and charged following a search and the discovery of a 9mm illegal firearm in his home in the West Landivar area of Belize City on Wednesday afternoon.�..but there is a twist in this story as a photo has surfaced on the internet of someone, named Floyd Ebanks, who is wanted for murder in Ecuador. The fellow wanted in Ecuador bears an uncanny resemblance of Christian Ebanks, a businessman who has made Belize his home for the last few years, working in the political, marketing and business sectors. Today, Love News asked Minister of Immigration and Nationality, Godwin Hulse, who update on the matter. MINISTER GODWIN HULSE "I don't know about any extradition agreement but what we do know is that we are looking into his identity issue; as you know, he is here in Belize under a different name and has documents under that name and the first thing that has to be established is, and I think they are working on that, whether he is who he says he is; that is the first and most important thing because if his documents are fine, the charge will be what the police had brought for the firearm.

Minister Weighs in On Human Trafficking Ring
The process of acquiring nationality status and even the mere renewal of a Belizean passport has become somewhat tedious over the last few months �but not without reason. Following the immigration scandal that broke out in 2013, Minister of Immigration and Nationality, Godwin Hulse led the way in putting stringent measures in place in order to close the gaps in the system when it comes to obtaining immigration documents and Belizean citizenship�..but very few things are ironclad and this was proven earlier this week when an investigation revealed that a couple had used the birth certificates of deceased persons in order to obtain their Belizean documents. Marleny Castellanos and Alfredo Marcos were both charged on Wednesday and by the following day, a group of eleven persons joined them after an operations carried out on the islands of Caye Caulker and San Pedro by immigration officials led authorities to these eleven persons who were found in possession of illegal nationality certificates, allegedly obtained through a business scheme spearheaded by Castellanos. Hulse weighed in on this investigation.


Minister Mums on missing Rosewood
40,000 square feet of Rosewood, harvested illegally, was discovered on April 14th of this year. No one was around the area at the time and so it was labelled as found property and taken to the Savannah Forest Station in the Toledo District for "safe keeping". Four weeks later, that...

Orange Walk Businessman Chopped in the Face
An Orange Walk businessman was chopped in the face this morning. Reports are that Dennis Eiley, the owner of Prestige Block Factory in Carmelita Village, was at his place of business sometime around 8:30 this morning. That was when three men arrived at the work site asking to speak...

Shots Fired at Forestry Officer
A 22-year-old Belizean Forestry Officer presently residing in Belize City reported that on Thursday morning, while walking on Antelope Street, he saw a man whom he knows for the past fifteen years, riding a bicycle heading towards Central American Boulevard. He stated that the person stared at him and...

Immigration Ring Widens as Ringleaders Change Pleas
42 year old Alfredo Orlando Gonzalez Marcos and his common-law wife, 46 year old Marleni Elizabeth Castellanos, reversed their pleas to not guilty on appearing in court today, Friday, for what was to have been their sentencing. However, their troubles are only just beginning, as Immigration authorities have identified them...

COLA Wants PM to Help Them Build Case Against Penner
May 28th, the next court date for COLA and Elvin Penner, draws nearer, and with no lead as to where the missing Elvin Penner files might be, COLA is turning to Prime Minister of Belize for help. Yesterday COLA sent a letter to the PM stating that, "We proceeded...

Union Supports Terminated Gas Turbine Workers
Belize Electricity Limited, still owned by the Government, has been grappling with the issue of four employees which work at the Mile 8 George Price Highway gas turbine facility. It is a key operation needed to power Belize City up after blackouts but the company says it does not...

Delays with Dangriga Market, Costly to Council and Vendors
The Dangriga market was delayed due to alleged corruption at SIF, but all that is behind us now and a new contract was signed with new builders. However, due to the occurrences with SIF, the Dangriga market remains the only municipality where a Belize Infrastructure Development project is still...

Hit and Run Accident Leaves Two Children Injured
Police see the driver and a female companion of a white Jeep vehicle that hit two children riding home from school on bicycle on Thursday evening. According to police, 12 year old Francine Francis and 7 year old Herman Williams, Jr., students of St. Luke Methodist School, were riding home on...

Local Celebrations Held for Teachers Day
After several years of a national celebration of teachers to close out Education Week, a financial dispute between the Ministry of Education and Belize National Teachers' Union (BNTU) returned Teachers' Day to a mostly local celebration. The Union could not come up with its expected share of expenses because...


GST goes after The Belize Times for tax returns
The General Sales Tax (GST) department has summoned the Opposition People's United Party organ, The Belize Times, to court for failure to file GST returns for January and February, 2014. When the matter was called up in the courtroom of Magistrate Dale Cayetano yesterday, it could not be heard, however, because the person named as the manager of The Belize Times, Marion Marsden, is no longer employed at the Belize Times Press. Attorney Kareem Musa, who is representing The Belize Times, told the court that there must have been some kind of miscommunication, because Marsden is no longer working for The Belize Times. In the absence of Marsden, whose name appears on the GST court book, the matter could not be dealt with and was adjourned to today, Thursday. But when the matter was called up this morning, Thursday, the GST prosecutor, Jacqueline Meighan, returned with the same court book, bearing Marsden's name.

Mother of 4 stabbed 6 times in San Pedro
Lorena Montes, 32, of Swan Street, San Pedro Town, is recovering at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after she was stabbed with a butcher knife six times - three times in her back and three times in the head. One of the stabs reportedly punctured her lung. The incident occurred at about 12:20 yesterday afternoon in San Pedro, in Henry Store, owned by Montes, located at the corner of Swan and Glitter Streets. Present at the time of the stabbing were Montes' four children, who had come home from school for lunch. Police say that Montes was stabbed by another woman with whom she had been having an ongoing dispute. Montes told police that she had just come back to her store with her children when she was followed by a woman with whom she had had a brief argument, and the woman pulled out a knife and attacked her.

$750,000 for UDP's Mother's Day cheer
Earlier this week, the Opposition People's United Party went on record to condemn a decision taken by the Barrow administration to gift $750,000 of taxpayers' money to select recipients for Mother's Day, while leaving out those mothers who live in divisions which are represented by the Opposition PUP. Mother's Day is observed internationally on the second Sunday in May, and Cabinet had apparently decided that each of the constituents with a ruling party rep would receive a $50,000 allocation for the annual Christian observance. However, it appears from official information we have gleaned from Financial Secretary Joseph Waight that the constituencies represented by Opposition members of Parliament did not receive an allocation from Central Government. "The scope of the program to include Government area representatives only was a decision of the Cabinet," Waight told us.

Court of Appeal upholds GOB nationalization of BTL, BEL
The Court of Appeal this afternoon handed down what Attorney General Wilfred "Sedi" Elrington described as a "blowout" decision, in which two of three sitting justices upheld the Government's nationalization of both Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL). "It looks like it's a blowout for Government�" Elrington told the press, in response to the ruling, which Eamon Courtenay, SC, told the press would be swiftly appealed at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). The case was heard by Justices Manuel Sosa, Samuel Awich and Douglas Mendez, who ruled against GOB. "One was completely in our favor, one was completely against us, so I think the CCJ will have to have the final decision in this," Courtenay told the press.

Legal publication deposit: The gray area
Methodist church leader speaks on Gender Policy
The National Heritage Library in Belmopan is one of several public libraries in the country, but it also hosts the National Collection as well as the private collection of Belizean historian Assad Shoman - books he donated before his departure for overseas study. Amandala got a chance to see the collection, to which several Belizeans are adding publications which you may not think could be found at the library. Felene Swaso, librarian at the National Heritage Library in Belmopan, told Amandala that this is called "gray literature." "Now people traditionally associate books, journals, magazines with the library, but they don't consider that we collect funeral booklets, that we collect AGM [reports]� that we collect things, even booklets and bookmarks and a lot of other non-traditional formats.

Last Wednesday, May 7, church leaders met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow to discuss the Gender Policy and other related issues, and while some believed that it would have been a heated, confrontational session, actually it wasn't, and by all indications, it was a cordial session. On Friday, those church leaders held a short briefing to inform the media that the Gender Policy discussion was on track and that both parties have agreed to meet again in July. However, there still seemed to be some concern raised by the church leaders over an advertisement in relation to the Gender Policy which the President of Methodist Conference was a part of, and which drew some criticism because the leaders reportedly stated on the record that he was not authorized by the Catholic Church to do that, because that is not the position of the Church.

Revised Gender Policy 2013 review due in July
The Revised Gender Policy 2013-the controversial document which the church community has opposed on the grounds that its very language introduces "sexual orientation" clauses which run contrary to established spiritual norms in Belize and provisions which some fear could open the door for minors to seek abortions without parental consent-will be the subject of a review in July, by a steering committee to be headed by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches has announced. The Belize Association of Evangelical Churches has said that prayer and dialogue are the more effective means of getting through to the Government. They met with Barrow on Wednesday, May 7, over comments attributed to National Women's Commission executive director, Ann-Marie Williams, suggesting that the Government is moving ahead with the new gender policy-despite calls from the church community for a revision.

Convicted cop spared jail time, fined $2,400 for three counts of theft
"You have shown some level of remorse but your action amounted to an abuse of power�," Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith told interdicted Police Constable Brandon Hertular, 27, on Tuesday at his sentencing hearing, before imposing fines amounting to $2,400 for his conviction on Monday on theft charges. After a night in police lockdown, Hertular was brought back to the Magistrate's Court in the police prison van for sentencing on Tuesday. The Chief Magistrate imposed the fines after she heard a submission from Hertular's attorney, Anthony Sylvestre, and mitigation pleas from members of Hertular's family. In his submission, Sylvestre told the court that his client was convicted only on the theft charges, because the prosecutor did not pursue the burglary charge with which he was initially charged.

Rural Police Officer critical after motorcycle accident
A police officer from Double Head Cabbage Village in the rural Belize District is listed to be in a critical but stable condition after he was involved in a traffic accident that occurred over the past weekend. Today, police reported that last Saturday, May 10, sometime after 11:00 p.m., Jahman Flowers, 23, a police officer of a Double Head Cabbage address, was riding a red Meilun motorcycle from Double Head Cabbage to Bermudian Landing when he lost control and ran off the road, subsequently suffering head and body injuries. When police visited the scene at about 11:30 p.m., they reportedly saw Flowers lying motionless on the side of the road with a cut wound to the right side of his forehead and his damaged motorcycle about seven feet away from him.

Saint Margaret girl, 13, missing
Daisy Gibbas, a 13-year-old girl of Saint Margaret village on the Hummingbird Highway in the Stann Creek District, has been reported missing after she left home on Saturday, May 10, at about 2:30 that afternoon. Her mother reported that at about 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, she left home, leaving her two daughters at home. On her return, her eldest daughter told her that the younger daughter, Daisy, 13, left the house without indicating where she was going, and that up to that time, she had not yet returned. Daisy Gibbas is of brown complexion, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, has short brown hair, weighs about 110 pounds and has a scar just in front of her forehead, near her hairline.

Degree but no temperature!
Dear Editor, "Education empowers a nation," boasts the University of Belize. However, it appears that this truism has been rejected by an increasing number of Belizeans. Incredibly, people with degrees are now being looked upon with scorn, the phrase "degree but no temperature" giving expression to that contempt. Just about every morning the talk shows are swamped by Belizeans making the case about common sense and deploring "deh one with degree." Common sense has its place, but surely it cannot take the place of a formal education. Common sense tells us that a plane weighing 100,000 pounds cannot fly, but science makes it fly. Common sense also tells us that a ship weighing 50,000 tons cannot float, but science makes it float.

Attempted robbery at the Bowen and Bowen depot in San Pedro
Vigilant security guards averted an armed robbery at the Bowen and Bowen depot on Blake Street in San Pedro at about 1:30 this afternoon. The security guards stepped forward when a thief entered the office and demanded money, but when he saw the guards, the thief fired about nine shots and ran out of the building empty-handed. All who were nearby scrambled for cover, and no one was hit. The glass door of the office was, however, damaged by the bullets. Police have detained a man in connection with the incident. Assistant Superintendent Luis Castellanos, the Commander of San Pedro Police, said that when the suspect was taken into custody, he was found with cannabis, and he was charged with drug trafficking. He will be taken to the San Pedro Magistrate's Court on Monday on the drug charges, and should be remanded, while they conclude their investigation into the attempted robbery of the depot.

Health Minister: "I have full confidence in CEO Dr. Peter Allen."
Ministry of Health officials, particularly Chief Executive Officer Dr. Peter Allen, have been under fire for the past few weeks from entities such as the Pharmacists Association of Belize (PAB), and although the Ministry called a press conference last Friday, May 9, to address serious allegations being made against him (Allen), not much progress was made and today, at another event being hosted by the Ministry, the media cornered Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin, who responded to some of the accusations and maintained that, despite the unpleasant scrutiny, he still has the utmost confidence in CEO Allen. The Minister first replied to e-mails provided to the media which indicated that sometime last June, whilst in a board meeting with the Ministry's top brass, he (Marin) reportedly informed the board members that he would no longer continue to hold the requisite exams which pharmacists would regularly sit in order to get licensed and registered.

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The Reporter

Penner's file disappears! COLA writes PM requesting evidence against Penner
The Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), using the Freedom of Information Act, has written to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, requesting whatever evidence, reports and or material that his office has received regarding the investigation into the passport scandal involving former Minister of State Elvin Penner. The letter, dated May 14, 2014, also reminds Barrow that the laws of Belize provide for "the summoning of witnesses to provide materials relevant to a trial at the summary level", and COLA expressed the hope it will not have to take that approach at the next court hearing on May 29. The letter signed by Geovanni Brackett, president of COLA, requests in particular a preliminary report that the Auditor General delivered on March, 21, 2014.

GOB wins back BTL! Next move : CCJ!
The Government of Belize was right to acquire Belize Telemedia Limited and Belize Electricity Limited, the Court of Appeal affirmed Thursday afternoon. A majority of the appellate court's members, with the exception of Justice Douglas Mendes, held that the government's acquisitions of the utility companies in July 2011, buttressed by various Acts of Parliament and statutory instruments, was valid and constitutional. Therefore, as it relates to compensation to the former owners of the utility companies - the BTL Employees' Trust, British Caribbean Bank and Fortis Energy International (Belize) - it would appear that the value of the properties should only be calculated up to July of 2011.

Budna gets 30 years more
Joseph Budna, 33, the Belizean who last year received a 25-year jail sentence for kidnapping an American boy for ransom, has received an additional 30 years for a similar offense. Prensa Libre reported this week that on Tuesday, a criminal court in Zacapa, a city in eastern Guatemala, sentenced Budna to 30 years in prison for kidnapping a man and placed a ransom of Q1 million. After negotiations, the family paid Q40 thousand, and Budna released the victim in Chiquimula. Budna, who escaped two police guards on April 21 while pretending to need medical attention, was recaptured three days later in Chiquimula as he tried to leave Guatemala. The two guards are now under investigation.

Felix Brothers get Out -of -Jail card
Brothers, Maurice, 30, and Emory Felix, 27, are expected to soon be released from prison, as Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal has indicated that she will not pursue another prosecution against the men. A jury of eight men and four women were unable to reach a verdict in the Corozal Town Supreme Court, where they began deliberations at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday after Justice Troadio Gonzalez summed up the case on Tuesday afternoon. They emerged with the news six hours later. The brothers were accused of killing mechanic Mitchum Heredia, 29, at his T-Street residence on April 10, 2006. But two previous trials - one in October 2007 and another four years later - produced differing verdicts. A 12-member jury sitting before Justice Adolph Lucas found them guilty, but the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial after finding that Justice Lucas misdirected the jury on dock identification.

Guat couple pleads guilty to using false immigration documents
A Guatemalan couple who was living and working in Belize legally was remanded to prison until tomorrow, Friday, when Magistrate Dale Cayetano will determine what sentence to impose after the couple pleaded guilty to using various Belizean identification documents which they were not legally entitled to use. The couple used the identities of deceased Belizeans to obtain citizenship to live and work in Belize. This afternoon, immigration officers who had conducted a sweep on Caye Caulker turned up at court with eight more persons they are accusing of being in Belize with fraudulent documents. But the accused persons could not be arraigned, because there was no magistrate available to read the charges to them.

Budna gets 30 more years
The Guatemalan press is reporting that Joseph Budna, 33, the Belizean recently recaptured by Guatemalan authorities after he escaped the custody of two guards at a hospital in Zacapa, Guatemala, in April, has been handed an additional sentence of 30 years on another allegation of kidnapping and extortion. Prensa Libre reports that Budna was sentenced today, Tuesday, by El Tribunal de Sentencia Penal de Zacapa, to 30 years for the kidnapping of a victim for which a demand of a million quetzals (equivalent to BZ$258,784.67) was made, but the report said that after negotiations, the family paid 40,000 quetzales (equivalent to BZ$10,351.39).

Convict Denfield Lemoth adds 2 more years to his prison time
A Belize City man who is serving a 12-year sentence in prison, received two more years of jail time when he pleaded guilty to one count of theft which he reportedly committed a year ago. Denfield Lemoth, who had initially pleaded not guilty to the charge, changed his plea to guilty, when he appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano today, after waiting for more than a year for his day in court. Lemoth has been accused of stealing a wallet from Errol Belisle. The incident occurred on April 13, 2013, while Belisle was making a purchase at a Chinese shop on Racoon Street.

Retired US judge, Carlos Moreno, to head US mission in Belize
Retired US judge, Carlos Moreno, who is seen in some circles as an LGBT rights proponent, received the unanimous support of the US Senate yesterday, Wednesday, May 14, for his nomination by US President Barack Obama as the next US Ambassador to Belize. Moreno would replace former US Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally, who demitted office in late 2013. Since Thummalapally's departure, the US Mission in Belize has been headed by Charg� d'Affaires, Margaret Hawthorne. Emilia Adams, Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassy in Belize, told Amandala today that they do not yet know when Moreno will arrive in Belize. She said that he should be here soon after he is through with his appointments and briefings in Washington, DC, so he should be here by the summer.

Major passport audit being finalized
Amandala has received information that a major audit exercise, probing into the issuance of Belizean passports by the Immigration Department, is nearing conclusion, and the full report should be concluded within a few weeks. There is no disclosure as yet on the findings of the comprehensive audit, which we understand came after irregularities were uncovered in the issuance of Belizean visas-for which a separate audit is being prepared. What sparked the audit was a report that an officer from the Immigration Department was being reprimanded after allegations that some visas had gone missing as far back as 2012, although the matter came up for investigation in 2013.

Big fight at Libertad leaves one chopped in the head
Giovanni Henry Borland, 23, of Western Pines, Mile 8, George Price Highway, Belize District, is clinging to life in the intensive care unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after suffering a chop wound to the head with a machete. The man who allegedly chopped him, Joseph West, was taken to the Corozal Magistrate's Court, where he appeared in front of Magistrate Hurl Hamilton, yesterday, Tuesday, and was charged with attempted murder, grievous harm, dangerous harm, and aggravated assault. He has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until July 21.

COLA writes PM Barrow
Dear Sir, As you may be aware, on the 28th of February, 2014, COLA instituted a private prosecution against former Minister of State responsible for Immigration and Nationality, Elvin Penner, for two offences under the Passports Act and the Belizean Nationality Act respectively. We proceeded with this action as recommended by you on the 17th of February, 2014, after action was taken out against the Commissioner of Police for a writ of mandamus to execute his functions as the Senior Officer in charge of our Police Department to investigate the actions of Elvin Penner. Since then, the Supreme Court has issued the writ of mandamus against the Commissioner of Police, and despite repeated requests utilizing the Freedom of Information Act (as suggested by you) to obtain the investigative file, the Commissioner and the Auditor General have utterly refused to comply with our requests. Meanwhile, the DPP has been unable to provide the information requested due to certain circumstances.

Hundreds of education stakeholders look at "raising the bar"
Hundreds of education stakeholders are gathering at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City on Tuesday and Wednesday this week for the Second Biennial Teacher Education Conference, as a part of Education Showcase 2014. Professor Emeritus of the University of the West Indies, Errol Miller, a highly respected academic of Jamaica, was the keynote speaker at the opening of the event on Tuesday morning. Miller pointed to statistics which indicate that the level of professional training in Belize has only increased modestly at the primary level over the last ten years-from 52.1 to 56.4%. Speaking with Amandala after the opening, Education Minister Patrick Faber said the conference is being held "merely to encourage the stakeholders, to give them that boost in the arm, to encourage them to press forward."

Teachers' Day goes local; national plans aborted
The Belize National Teachers' Union (BNTU) has issued a statement rebutting suggestions that the National Teachers Day rally which was to have been held in Benque this Friday fell through because of spite on the part of the BNTU, which wrote the Ministry saying that it was unable to come up with the 30% contribution requested towards the expenses. Minister of Education Patrick Faber told the media on Tuesday that the BNTU had given a contribution of $24,000 in 2009, and the Ministry thought it reasonable to expect a similar contribution towards the $116,000 budget - most of which is for transportation to move teachers to the far west location, he said. Faber told us that the BNTU had informed the ministry that it could only afford $10,000, which, he said, is not the kind of contribution, they believe, is necessary in order to pull off the national day.

FFB President's Cup
Four games, 1 on Saturday and 3 on Sunday, were played over the weekend in Week 2 of the inaugural FFB President's Cup tournament. In the only game on Saturday, May 10, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium, Sagitun bombed Pomona United, 5-0, with goals from Ashley Torres (7' & 25'), Dillon Torres (29'), Ernie Whyte (43') and Myron Cadle (90+'). On Sunday, at the Louisiana Field in Orange Walk, it was Progresso FC, 5-3, over Belize District Stars. Progresso was credited with goals from Hugo Castillo (46'), Gabriel Perez (59' & 70') and Alexander Diaz (85'), along with an own goal by Belize District's Jaron Myvette; while the 3 goals for Belize District Stars came from Brian Martinez (33'), David McCaulay, Jr. (73') and Dalton Cayetano (72'). Meanwhile, at the Toledo Union Field in Punta Gorda, Roaring Creek United dropped Estrellas FC, 5-1, with goals from Michael Lewis (34' PK), Ricky Tamai (59', 83' & 85') and Alden Coleman (80'); while Evan Mariano (37' PK) got the only goal for Estrellas. And at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio, it was San Antonio FC, 1-nil, over Benque D.C. United, courtesy of a goal by Darnell Mossiah (19' PK).

Cricket corner
My deepest sympathy to the Hyde Family on the tragic loss of their loved one, Evan Garnett, Jr. May you find comfort in God's grace. These are the results of the games played over the weekend: On Saturday, May 10, at Isabella Bank, Isabella Uprising was all out for 126 runs; but that score was not enough, as Sunrise racked up 127 runs with 3 wickets to spare for the victory. For Uprising, John Madrid scored 28 runs, and Norman Pook and Dwayne Hendy took 2 wickets each; while for Sunrise, Percival Joseph scored 27, and Edison Parks took 4 wickets. Meanwhile, at Lords Bank, Brilliant's score of 137 runs was enough to defeat Medicos, who were 39 all out. For Brilliant, Calbert Reynolds scored 46 runs, and Andrew Banner took 6 wickets; while Barath scored 7 for Medicos and Ashwin took 6 wickets. At St. Paul's Bank, it was Bright Star, 75-69, over Excelsior; and at Rancho Dolores, Western Eagles defeated Police. No other results were sent it.

2014 lunchtime dangers for Belize's children
Dear Editor, The time has come to rethink our education practices and take Belize's children off these killing streets at lunchtime. The Ministry of Education, teachers, community activists and unions should join hands in leading the way forward on this initiative. It is traumatizing to see seven and eight-year-old children dodging between speeding cars, weaving themselves through busy streets, riding on handlebars or motorcycles, and running in front of large buses or huge trucks to make their way home for a midday meal. Added to this danger are uncaring drivers who see Belize's streets only as a roadway to get their passengers or goods from Point A to Point B, no matter who or what is in their path.

P. M.: Study the example of Uruguay's Mujica
First of all I would like to thank you for publishing my previous article in the Amandala issue #2791 dated Sunday April 6th, 2014. I was motivated to write again by all the corruption news I watch on headlines every single day. It is absolutely disappointing that as a nation which upholds democracy, we are faced with the acts of corruption on a daily basis. Via this newspaper I would like to challenge the Prime Minister and his Ministers to follow the governance of the President of Uruguay. President Jose Mujica, whose yearly salary is around $162,000 USD, donates 90% towards charity. The challenge is for the Prime Minister and his Ministers to do the same. Most of the Ministers are wealthy lawyers, wealthy businessmen, and economically well positioned individuals. They don't need the salaries they are allocated from the public purse. After all they vowed to provide the best service for the people of this country.

2 KHMH board members resign weeks apart
Amandala has received confirmation of the resignation of two members of the Board of Directors of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) - albeit weeks apart. In March of this year, Mrs. Milagro Garel reportedly tendered her resignation, while Mrs. Maude Sylvester reportedly departed last Thursday, May 8. Yesterday, the chairperson of the KHMH Board of Directors, Chandra Nisbet-Cansino, told us that administering a board is sometimes challenging and oftentimes, there are disagreements between members; she cited, however, that those were not the reasons for the abrupt resignations.

No Limit Soldiers
The Belize City Smart No Limit Soldiers went into the game against the Belmopan Point Bandits last Thursday, May 8, feeling a bit down on themselves, after having lost to the Cayo Western Ballaz in Belize City the week prior. The loss to the Western Ballaz ultimately ended their hopes of getting the number 2 seed in the playoffs and home court advantage. But, while the Soldiers were bummed out about losing home court in the playoffs, the Point Bandits were fighting to get to the postseason. The Soldiers went into the game last Thursday with a record of 7-4, while the Point Bandits had a record of 6-6, which left them just out of the 4th seed behind the Dangriga Culture Warriors, who had a 7-6 record on the season. This game against the Point Bandits in Belmopan was a far cry from what we are accustomed to seeing from the Belize City Smart No Limit Soldiers. The City boys shot 1 for 10 from behind the 3-point line, a decent 14 for 25 from the charity stripe, but only made good on 21 of their 61 two-point shot attempts. When it was all said and done, the home team, Belmopan Point Bandits, got the 71-59 victory over Belize City Smart No Limit.

3 people still missing
Three persons, reported missing, have not yet been found. They are Hilmar Cal, 15, of Libertad, who went missing on Thursday, January 31; Mamerto Castillo, 87, missing since February 13; and Conrad Jones, 64, a retired inspector of police, missing since September 13, 2012. Hilmar Ical left home in Libertad to sell homemade bread in Corozal Town, and has failed to return home since, and no one seems to know where he is. Ical is described as being of Mestizo descent, with brown complexion; he is about 5 feet tall, of medium built and weighs about 85 pounds. Ical is now missing for 27 days. Marmerto Castillo, also known as "Don Mito," of Yo Creek Village, Orange Walk, was last seen 14 days ago by his family, at about 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 13, when he left home to go for firewood in San Lazaro Village.

The Police Department has a youth program where it looks for youths in the community doing good and making a difference as role models and publicly recognizes them for it. So from time to time we hear the names of these young men and women in the media and we feel good to know that it is not for bad news, but rather good news. However the irony of the situation is that the very department that honors them does not follow their own example, because they do not choose to do the right thing. So it's one thing for them to call out on youths to do the right thing and another for them by example to actually do the right thing. My recent encounters with several situations involving police have been very worrisome and point to a culture of them believing because they have the power over your freedom, they hold a big stick over you. This behavior is also seen in the conduct of the Commissioner of Police, whom I had always thought was a reasonable, above-board man, but whose public responses on several issues have left me re-assessing my position.

Ideas and Opinions - A NEW JURISPRUDENCE
How would you like to live in a country where there was peace and order, very little crime, especially murder, and citizens could leave their houses open at night and no one would invade it? There was such a country in Central America. It was Guatemala under President Jacobo Arbenz. They said he was a communist. He may have subscribed to communist principles, but what he was, was a nationalist. The people who live in a democracy, where decisions reflect the will of the people, can have the kind of country that they want, but first they have to reconstruct their criminal justice system to conform to a new jurisprudence. Now let us take a cursory look at our criminal justice system with regard to only one crime: murder. We are averaging over one hundred murders per annum during the past three years. Around fifty are tried for this crime. Five were convicted; the rest walked free.

Patrick Jones

Top Five Things to Do In Merida
Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Merida, the capital of the Mexican State of Yucatan for a week vacation. It was my first time in Merida and I was looking forward to it since one of the things I promised myself to do more often this year is to disconnect from my workplace every 90 days as it not only boosts productivity but it also improves job performance and health according to Tony Swartz, in his book "The Power of Full Engagement". I took a direct flight from Belize City with Tropic Air (Yes Tropic Air is now flying to Merida) and 2 hours later I arrived in the colonial city of Merida which is the largest metropolis in the Yucatan State and is considered the cultural and financial capital of the region. For those who do not know, Merida was founded in 1542 by Francisco de Montejo, a Spanish Conquistador and got its name after the town of Merida in Extremadura, Spain. Merida is also known as the White City; however the origin of this moniker is not clear. Some of the explanations include the common color of the old buildings which are painted and decorated with "cal" or the fact that the residents keep the city particularly clean.

Toledo village leaders to meet to discuss drilling for oil in the south
The Toledo District Association of Village Councils will hold a consultation meeting tomorrow, Saturday, May 17. The meeting, scheduled to start at 9 o'clock in the morning, will be held at the Community Center in Elridgeville village. According to the president of Toledo DAVCO, the purpose of the meeting is to canvass the views of village leaders of Toledo on the issue of drilling for oil in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. In a ruling handed down last month by Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana, the Government of Belize was asked to consult with the Maya people of the buffer communities on the issue of oil exploration so far as the granting of permits to conduct such exercises is concerned.

Orange Walk businessman chopped and robbed
An Orange Walk businessman was chopped in the face - between the eyes and the nose - this morning during an attack at his workplace. The victim has been identified as Dennis Eiley who owns the Prestige Block Factory in Carmelita Village. The attack reportedly happened around 8:30 am. According to reports, three men arrived at the Prestige Block Factory asking to speak with the owner. Reports are that when Eiley went outside, the three men attacked him, chopping him multiple times.

Junior College students complete advertising campaign about cancer
Students of the Business program at the Sacred Heart College Junior College have successfully completed a marketing campaign focusing on Cancer. The students, working in groups did extensive research on five different types of cancers in order to formulate and carry out a successful media campaign. On Thursday afternoon, each of the groups presented their completed campaign, including banners and posters to the San Ignacio Cancer Society. The handing over was done at the Sacred Heard College Junior College conference room.

Local celebrations held for Teachers Day
After several years of a national celebration of teachers to close out Education Week, a financial dispute between the Ministry of Education and Belize National Teachers' Union (BNTU) returned Teachers' Day to a mostly local celebration. The Union could not come up with its expected share of expenses because of excessive spending over the course of this year. But they insist that they were not trying to spite the Ministry, as alleged earlier this week by Minister Patrick Faber. Today in Belize City, the Belize District Branch of the Union and the Belize District Education Centre hosted activities at the BTL Park.

Bowen and Bowen says product shortage due to plant upgrade
Coke is it!" goes the old slogan, and some will settle for nothing less. For those looking for a harder edge, you can't go wrong with "The Beer of Belize," Belikin. But neither is available, at least not in the usual quantities, in the classic glass bottle and its many variations. Bowen and Bowen Limited, which acquired the franchise decades ago and is now Belize's largest employer, says that recent upgrades to their plant in Ladyville have led to a "slowdown in production." But Christelle Wilson, the legal counsel and public relations officer for Bowen and Bowen, says there's really no shortage as such: only glass versions of Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite, Belikin, Guinness and Lighthouse are affected as well as Crystal Water.

Union supports terminated gas turbine workers
Belize Electricity Limited, still owned by the Government, has been grappling with the issue of four employees which work at the Mile 8 George Price Highway gas turbine facility. It is a key operation needed to power Belize City up after blackouts but the company says it does not need manual assistance to run. The Union disagrees, but the four workers are expected to be sent home as of tomorrow, Saturday, May 17. Today the Belize Energy Workers Union (BEWU) led employees in a show of solidarity outside the company's Philip Goldson Highway offices. Union President Henry Balan says the workers were not treated fairly, as the Union was slated to meet with the Board of Directors ten days from now.

Hit and run accident leaves two children injured
Police seek the driver and a female companion of a white Jeep vehicle that hit two children riding home from school on bicycle on Thursday evening. According to police 12 year old Francine Francis and 7 year old Herman Williams, Jr., students of St. Luke Methodist School, were riding home on Mahogany Street when near the junction with Western Avenue the vehicle hit them and then flew by without rendering aid. Their grandmother, Wilma Thompson-Whylie, said she received the news shortly after the incident, while in the area of the hospital. She says she has yet to hear from the driver of the vehicle and is disappointed that they did not at least render aid.

Immigration ring widens as ringleaders plead innocent
42 year old Alfredo Orlando Gonzalez Marcos and his common-law wife, 46 year old Marleni Elizabeth Castellanos, reversed their pleas to not guilty on appearing in court today, Friday, for what was to have been their sentencing. However, their troubles are only just beginning, as Immigration authorities have identified them as the center of a ring of Immigration document fraud - charging up to $2,000 to obtain Belizean passports, nationality certificates, birth certificates and other attendant documents using the identities of dead or incapacitated Belizeans. Marleni Castellanos has been additionally charged with sixteen counts of aiding a person to use a document to which they were not entitled. She pleaded not guilty to these additional charges.

Film screened for Europe Day
Earlier this year the film "Songs of Redemption," a documentary showcasing the day to day experiences and challenges of the inmates in a Jamaican prison, the circumstances that brought them in conflict with the law and the hope that the rehabilitation programme funded by the EU through its European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) nurtures among these inmates, was screened at Belize's Central Prison. As part of Europe Day celebrations, this weekend at the Ramada Princess Cinema there will be wide screenings for the general public. Her Excellency Ambassador Paola Amadei says the movie was well received at the Prison and hopes that perhaps a local television company may make contact with the producers and directors of the film to buy it for distribution locally. The film was shown this afternoon and will be shown again tomorrow both at the Cinema and at the YWCA on St. Thomas Street.

Europe implements visa information scheme
The European Union's members enjoy free travel between their states in accordance with the Schengen Convention and Agreement, but there are issues with border security. So the EU has decided to implement the Visa Information Scheme (VIS), which features protocols designed to maintain security against undesirable elements. It has now been implemented in this region and Belize is one of the countries who, for now, still require visas for travel to any EU state with exceptions. Ambassador Paola Amadei says that may soon change, however. Belize is expected to work out an agreement that will allow our citizens to travel to the EU and between EU states visa-free.

Truck overturns in Louisville village, Corozal
A truck laden with bags of cement overturned tonight on the Phillip Goldson Highway in in Louisville village, Corozal. According to reports from the scene, the driver of the truck may have been injured in the incident. The highway was blocked for a short time due to the accident. More information will be posted as they become available.

The Belize Times

Where is the Penner file? - DPP & ComPol playing "pass the hot potato" with criminal evidence
With only 13 days to go before corrupt UDP area representative Elvin Penner returns to the Belmopan Magistrates Court to answer to serious criminal charges involving the illegal giveaway of Belizean passport and nationality to a South Korean national Kim Won Hong, key state functionaries seem to be engaged in a game of "pass the hot potato" with the evidence file, in a clear attempt to hinder the prosecution. Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, who refused to investigate Penner's crime until a Supreme Court order requested by the Leader of the Opposition Hon. Francis Fonseca forced him to, seems to be doing his best to obstruct any form of action against the corrupt UDP politician. He had told the Court back in March that he had used his discretion NOT to investigate Penner. The Court ruled that the ComPol's decision was irrational, unreasonable and unlawful.

Editorial: A Sinking Ship
For the period 1998-2008 there was a massive influx of foreign dollars that entered the Belizean economy via Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). Investor confidence in Belize was high. Countries were booming and Belize prospered for those ten years. A website report by the Caribbean Media Corporation news agency of March 18 2006 stated, "The Belize government Friday March 17 presented a 1.2bn-BZE (Belizean dollar) tax-free budget to parliament on the basis that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would grow in real terms by 3 percent in 2006". The state of Belize's economy in those times, marked in history, is important and noteworthy for comparison and analysis by fledgling economists and researching students today. This was under a People's United Party (PUP) administration and also before any oil profits entered the government's coffers. While oil in commercial quantities was discovered under the PUP Government in 2005, it was until about 2007/2008 that it began impacting Government's revenues. This is because the infrastructure for extraction took some time to put in place. Despite all the Prime Minister's recent chest beating about his "billion dollar" budget, the PUP's 2006/2007 budget was far more prosperous and equitable. Barrow's budget for 2014/2015 gives the perception that the UDP Government has the country booming, but Belizeans know the real picture. In fact, the statistics on poverty and unemployment tell a different story. The UDP's budget is actually stuffed with millions of dollars in projected revenue from the oil sector. Without those oil revenues, the 2014/2015 budget would shrink down drastically, with figures that pale to compare to the period when the PUP had the economy working.

Moen Stars & Jaguars 5-Barrel Veteran's table tennis championships
The Moen Stars won their 17th Belize City volleyball championship while the Jaguars men repeat as Belize City champs in the Belize District Volleyball Association's championship finals at the Belize Elementary Auditorium last Saturday night. The Lady Jaguars took the finals series to a Game 3 by winning Game 2 in 3 sets: 25-23, 25-19 and 25-15 against the Moen Stars who had won Game 1. They also looked to take Game 3, winning the first 2 sets: 25-18 and 25-20. Then the Stars got going, and Shelmadine Cacho, Nelissa Ramirez, Leandra Betson, Sherika Burton and Analisa Habet hammered home kills on balls set by Krystal Bevans to win the next 3 sets: 25-21, 25-16 and 15-10.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow giving his 'various topic' interviews to the media. The interview I focus on here is the one in which Channel 7 quizzed him about the money spent on the now infamous spread in Harper's Bazaar Interiors. When the reporter asked him whether the Government of Belize (taxpayers' money) had footed the bill, the Prime Minister replied "I think the Belize Tourism Board found the money which was not exactly a princely sum." He went on to say "It was entirely worked out by the Belize Tourism Board." The question was then asked "And the princely sum is?" (Notice that Channel 7 flipped the script on the Prime Minister and jumped to their own conclusion that it was indeed a princely sum!) Here is the Prime Minister's reply: "I am not sure. I think I may have heard fifty thousand or thirty thousand. I am not sure."

REFLECTIONS ON THE PUBLIC SQUARE: Belize: Getting Poorer under the UDP
The strong, dynamic, caring and brilliant women of the PUP held a Press Brief at Independence Hall on Tuesday of this week to highlight the many acts of corruption, abuse, nepotism, and waste taking place in Belize under this UDP Government. In examining these acts, we must appreciate the economic context in which they are taking place. With 0.7% growth recorded in 2013, the Belizean economy is effectively stagnant. While the world economy is bouncing back, Belize is still in an economic malaise and falling further and further behind the rest of the world. Since 2009, the world economy has grown 5.2%, 3.9%, 3.2% and 3.0% respectively. The emerging and developing economies have grown 7.5%, 6.3%, 5.0% and 4.7% respectively. Notably, advanced economies have grown 3.0%, 1.7%, 1.4%, and 1.3% in each of the respective years since 2009.

Degree but no temperature!
Dear Editor, "Education empowers a nation" boasts the University of Belize. However, it appears that this truism has been rejected by an increasing number of Belizeans. Incredibly, people with degrees are now being looked upon with scorn. The phrase "degree but no temperature" giving expression to that contempt. Just about every morning the talk shows are swamped by Belizeans making the case about common sense and deploring "deh one with degree". Common sense has its place but surely it cannot take the place of a formal education. Common sense tells us that a plane weighing 100,000 pounds cannot fly but science makes it does. Common sense also tells us that a ship weighting 50,000 tons cannot float but science makes it does.

COLA to PM: Don't force us to subpoena you!
Dear Sir, As you may be aware, on the 28th of February, 2014, COLA instituted a private prosecution against former Minister of State responsible for Immigration and Nationality, Elvin Penner, for two offences under the Passports Act and the Belizean Nationality Act respectively. We proceeded with this action as recommended by you on the 17th of February, 2014, after action was taken out against the Commissioner of Police for a writ of mandamus to execute his functions as the Senior Officer in charge of our Police Department to investigate the actions of Elvin Penner. Since then, the Supreme Court has issued the writ of mandamus against the Commissioner of Police, and despite repeated requests utilizing the Freedom of Information Act (as suggested by you) to obtain the investigative file, the Commissioner and the Auditor General have utterly refused to comply with our requests. Meanwhile, the DPP has been unable to provide the information requested due to certain circumstances.

Citizen Kim passport to be returned to Belize
The infamous "Citizen Kim passport" which is key evidence to the criminal case against disgraced UDP area representative Elvin Penner will reportedly be returned to Belize sometime this month. This is eight months after the scandal broke that Penner had personally assisted with the facilitation of the passport to South Korean national Kim Won Hong, who was in a Taiwan prison, awaiting extradition in relation to a major embezzlement scheme. The passport was discovered when Kim, in an attempt to escape extradition, claimed he had Belizean citizenship. Taiwan officials launched an immediate investigation which eventually led to the Belize Immigration Department, Elvin Penner and other actors.

We the women of the People's United Party continue to voice our concern about the lack of accounting on spending of taxpayers' money on the Women's Rally held in March and also on the spending of Belize Tourism Board, which is taxpayers' money, on Ms. Kim Simplis Barrow's spread in Harper's Bazaar Interiors Magazine. We believe that these activities coming under her office as Special Envoy of Women and Children do nothing about the serious situation of women and children of Belize and in fact demonstrate only that the Special Envoy is greatly detached from the harsh reality that most women in Belize are suffering.

$366,468 Stolen from Southern Regional Hospital - Auditor General Blames CEO!!
A leaked 23-page report by the Auditor General Dorothy Bradley has concluded that poor financial control and a total lack of oversight by the embattled Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, Peter Allen, allowed the misappropriation of almost $400,000 at the Southern Regional Hospital. The Auditor General, who was called to investigate reports of missing funds at the hospital seven months ago when the Ministry seemed to have suddenly remembered its obligations and then "found" something fishy going on, has exposed a major embezzlement scheme involving the stealing of taxpayers' money.


Not freezing yet and our all you can eat gluttony
So far so good we are not freezing yet which is surprising after being spoiled by tropical weather the last 8 years. Yesterday morning we took the dogs for a nice nature walk at the conservation park across from our friends house. It was nice to see that a good chunk of land was untouched by the concrete jungle. We ended up going on a short shopping trip before dinner, Monique wanted to bring me to the mall where my mom used to have a cosmetics shop and to new Asian grocery store called Oceans so I could restock on more iced coffee. We got mall head fast and were overwhelmed by choices so other than a sim chip for Paul's phone and a phone case for mine we did not bother with anything else. At Oceans I was in heaven and told everyone they could lock me up there for 24h and I would eat my way around the store.

Moonlight, Fine Wines and Champagne Draw A Crowd to the Grand Re-Opening of Aji Tapas Restaurant
About a week ago, I received an invitation to a party from the Karl H. Menzie's company - a large distributor in Belize of everything from Heinekin to�expensive champagne. They were presenting a line of American wines and another line of uber-high end bubbly at the always lovely Aji Restaurant. Located about 2 miles north bridge, Aji has always been known for it's delicious tapas (especially the bacon wrapped dates) and beautiful BEAUTIFUL beach dining. This year, the property and the restaurant were purchased by new owners, Linda and Tony. Tony is a partner in a high end catering firm in Washington DC but his love of food and Belize and the search for a better lifestyle led him to Ambergris Caye and Aji Tapa Restaurant. Linda just recently has joined him.

New US Ambassador to Belize: Carlos Moreno
Prior to serving on California's highest court, Mr Moreno had been appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California by then President Bill Clinton. He has also served in California on the Los Angeles Superior Court, and the Compton Municipal Court. As for his personal history, Mr Moreno is the son of a Mexican immigrant mother who arrived in the US "with few skills and no resources after the death of his father". Spanish was the first language at home, and he was the first member of his family to continue his education past high school. After high school Mr Moreno went on to graduate from Yale University in 1970, and then from the prestigious Stanford law school in 1975. From there he became the Deputy City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles. From there his impressive career progressed to California Supreme Court Judge.

International Sources

Cruise ship conventions will take Tolkien fans to Belize, Bruges
Trilo3y Voyages says it is planning new conventions for avid J.R.R Tolkien fans aboard cruise ships bound for Belize, Bermuda, Bruges, Cozumel, Paris and Sydney. The events are expected to offer aficionados of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion novels and movies exclusive access to cast members, directors, producers, cosplayers, movie marathons and workshops. A Caribbean cruise is planned for Dec. 6-11, while the Sydney voyage is set for Jan. 21-25.

Belizean book gets international recognition
Written by Belizean authors Kim Simplis Barrow and Starla Bradley, "My Body is Precious" has received an Honorable Mention in the category "Best Publication" of the ALAS-IDB Early Childhood Awards. These Awards are presented by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the ALAS Foundation to recognize the commitment of individuals and organizations working in early childhood development in Latin America and the Caribbean. "My Body is Precious" provides a basis for talking to children about sexual abuse. Former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Kinnevik executive chairman Cristina Stenbeck, ALAS Foundation president Alejandro Santo Domingo, and IDB president Luis Alberto Moreno presented the distinction as part of the ALAS-IDB Awards Ceremony.


Video: Into Che Chem Hah Caves, 19min.

Video: Trip to Ambergris Caye, Belize, 6min.
This is the travel video from me and my girlfriend's trip to Belize! It was shot entirely with my GoPro Hero 3+ Black. If you have any questions on locations that were filmed please feel free to ask! We had a great trip, and would recommend all of these places to anyone!

Video: San Pedro Belize, 3.5min.
This video is about San Pedro Belize

Video: EASTER SAN PEDRO, BELIZE 2014, 9min.

Video: Loggerhead Turtles Released at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, 4min.
Ellen and Lucky the Loggerhead Turtles are rehabilitated at San Pedro, Ambergris Caye's, Hol Chan Marine Reserve Facility and then released into the Marine Park. Watch as the rangers and work crew release the happy turtles back home.

Video: Amigos del Mar, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, 10min.

Video: Magnetic Hill in Belize, 1/2min.
Can you believe a vehicle can go up hill in neutral? Watch this!!!

Video: Indian Church Village, Orange Walk, Belize, 6min.

Video: , 5min.
This is a video of our 2012 family vacation to Belize. Entire video was shot with GoPro Hero 2 cameras

Video: Belize Vacation 2012, 6min.

Video: Snorkeling with Sharks in Shark Ray Alley in Belize, 3min.

Video: Villa Boscardi, 3min.
This is a wonderful and peaceful place to stay in Belize City, Belize!

Video: Tapir Encounter, 1/2min.
Driving along a back road in Belize we came across a set of tapirs.

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