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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

Puerto Azul is 'merely a concept'
The news of the potential mega-resort on Sandbore Caye and Northern Two Caye, located within the Lighthouse Reef Atoll has received much attention across Belize and beyond. Environmentalists and the wider public were outraged after pictures showing two senior Cabinet Ministers at the unveiling of the concept at the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival in France. The Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, at his quarterly press conference, has officially stated that Puerto Azul is not a project, but merely a concept being discussed by investors. Investors have also discussed the proposed development with the media, to clarify what their investment interest is for Belize. Environmentalists claim that the proposed development could be devastating to the environment, since it would sit on an Atoll that is part of Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and is home to the Great Blue Hole, a significant site for the tourism industry. But on Wednesday June 11th, PM Barrow stated that the project is simply in discussion. "The government has engaged in discussion with the potential developers on the idea, but it has not gone further than that," said PM Barrow. He added that the initial plan was far too elaborate for the magnitude of the project, and the government had asked for the project to be downscaled. The initial proposal was for Puerto Azul to include shopping centers, restaurants and bars, a golf club house, spa, airstrip, marina, churches, business centers, botanical garden, health care center, not to mention accommodations for approximately 1,000 guests and 2,000 employees. "No kind of approval will be given, unless all the process required by law, public policy and governance has been met. In addition the proposal must be feasible before it is even sent to Cabinet for consideration," said PM Barrow.

Costa Maya Festival presents Miss Panama!
Another beauty joins the list of candidates looking to take home the title of Reina de la Costa Maya 2014-15. Karol Salinas of Panama joins Ana Graciela of El Salvador and Maria Jose of Honduras in the lineup to take the stage on August 7, 2014. Karol is 19 years old, and stands at 5'7". She's a gorgeous brunette who enjoys traveling, listening to music, reading and exercise. She is a second-year student majoring in Marketing/ Advertising and Sales Management, and is a professional model signed on to Physical Modelos since 2012. She's participated in various national and international catwalks, and has landed covers of several publications including two editorials of Revista Mia and The Magazine, Woman Magazine and Couture Magazine.

90 days later, police houses still not relocated as promised by the SPTC
One of the major challenges faced by the public officers at the San Pedro Police Department is housing. For years, they have been forced to live in sub-standard conditions inside severely dilapidated structures. In March, the San Pedro Business Association (SPBA) decided to hand over two wooden structures to the police, which the San Pedro Town Council then promised to move on the weekend of March 21st and 22nd. 90 days after promising to move the homes, the SPTC still has not done so. The houses, once utilized by the Belize National Coast Guard, have been sitting in a private yard in the San Pablo Area. SPBA founding member Elito Arceo, along with a group of community members, had planned to assist in the relocation of the homes in March. The group had committed to renovate the buildings before handing them over to the police as living quarters. However, the SPTC stepped in and promised to do so that same weekend. Since then, there have been all sorts of setbacks, and 90 days later, the two structures still remain empty and un-moved.

Puerto Cortez and San Pedro football teams to square off on Saturday
A football delegation from Puerto Cortez, Honduras is on Ambergris Caye by invitation of the San Pedro Lobster Festival Committee. The visit from the southern neighbors is part of the celebration for the Lobster Fest being planned for Saturday June 21st on the island. As part of the event, a veteran's football match will be played at the Ambergris Stadium on Saturday afternoon. President of the Honduran Veteran League Welner Maldonado said that this is the third occasion that residents of both San Pedro Town and Puerto Cortez are involved in football exchange competitions. "We are happy to be amongst our Belizean brothers and sisters. Over the past two years, we have been building ties between the two communities. We are here to play a football match, but most importantly to strengthen the bridge of friendship and collaboration between the two municipalities. We know that San Pedro Town has a big Honduran community, and over the past years, Belize has been a home to them and so we have love and respect for Belize. We consider the people of this country a part of us and so we invite the residents to come and enjoy a good football match," said Maldonado.

San Pedro's patron saint celebration has begun
Religious activities in connection with the island's Patron, Saint Peter (San Pedro), commenced on the morning of Friday June 20th with "La Bajada" followed by "El Alba." The activities are part of the annual catholic celebration that the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church, the San Pedro Town Council and the San Pedro House of Culture put together to honor the fishermen's saint. The predominantly Mestizo community adopted Saint Peter as the Patron of the island and named the municipality San Pedro since at the time, the island was a fishing community. In the Bible, Peter is known a fisherman, and as such is referred to as the Saint of Fishermen, something that residents of Ambergris Caye celebrate with a combination of religious, cultural and festive activities.

Good lunch and cool breezes at San Pedro's "Hot Spot!
Located on the grounds of Exotic Caye Resort, Hot Spot is located just south of town, on an upper deck overlooking the beach. And that is exactly where my amiga Janel and I found our selves on the fine Saturday morning. With the choice of indoor or patio seating, there's no way we would waste a beautiful day, so of course we grabbed the seats outside. The atmosphere was breezy and cool as we talked and sipped on our rum punch. From our vantage point we could see visitors relaxing on the beach or heading out on their tours for the day; a little further ahead, the cresting reef drew a white line along the horizon.

Belize Fashion Week
Belize Fashion Week Team confirms this year's BFW2014 which will be held in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize from October 9th - 12th 2014. International Designers will be announced at a later date. See below schedule of activities: October 9th 2014 - Opening/Social Event October 10th 2014 - Runway Shows (Local & International Designers) October 11th 2014 - Runway Shows (Local & International Designers) October 12th 2014 - FASHION FEST Locations and time schedules will be announced later. For more information please contact 629-3078/610-1880.

Ambergris Today

Miss Panama Contestant Announced for Costa Maya Festival
Karol Salinas has been chosen to represent her country as Miss Panama Costa Maya at the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant that will be taking place at the International Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize on Thursday, August 7, 2014. At 19 years of age and standing at 5' 7" tall, Karol Salinas is a marketing & sales management student. She is a brunette and has dark brown eyes. Her hobbies include listening to music, exercising, reading and travelling. Karol is a top model in Panama and has participated in both national and international modeling events. She represented Panama at the Miss Model of the World 2013, in Shenzhen, China in November 2013 where she placed in the top 25 in the pageant.

Bella Italia Restaurant Is Doing Something Right
In the short amount of time that we sat waiting for our food at Bella Italia Restaurant, I saw quite a few boxes of pizza come out of the kitchen ready for delivery. And still, in no time, our food was out - two pizzas, lasagna and shrimp pasta. The cook is a fast one at Bella Italia and people are loving this aspect of the restaurant; and their food is great too! Bella Italia offers great new options for pizza lovers in San Pedro, having different pizza styles that are delicious, plus they come out faster than most pizza places in town. Browsing through Bella Italia's menu you find pizza options like Salsiccia Pizza (tomato, mozzarella & Italian sausage); Carbonara Pizza (mozzarella, parmesan, bacon & eggs); Esotica Pizza (ham, mozzarella, tomato & pineapple) and Margherita Pizza (tomato, mozzarella & oregano), plus the popular favorites like Meat Lovers, Supreme, Shrimp, Veggie and Pepperoni.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Ribbon cutting ceremony today, Friday, June 20 at 9 am. just some early morning cleaning up .. and presto.. just in time for the rains to start..

Hunting for lobster
With our friend Eric Henkis from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Eat lobster until your belly hurts....Happy Lobster season to all our friends and visitors from abroad!!!

Sea cucumber season ends June 30th
The public is informed that no person shall take, buy, sell or have in possession, export or attempt to export any sea cucumber after June 30th, 2014. Any person found in possession of sea cucumbers after this date will be charged and prosecuted in a Court of Law in accordance to the Fisheries Regulations.

CNWA Safety Day
The Cayo Neigborhood Watch Association had their Cayo Safety Day last weekend, and there was a huge turnout for the fun, games, and displays. They had a karate exposition too, performed by the Kazoku Shotokan Dojyo. Thanks, CNWA!

Belmopan Clean Up Campaign
The Belmopan City Council is doing a Clean Up Campaign today. They are asking all residents to clean trash and debris from their yards, and to help load the debris into the garbage truck as it passes. They are proactively seeking to eliminate mosquito borne diseases with this campaign. Great idea!

Belmopan Primary Graduations
Congratulations to all the graduates of United Evergreen and Belize Christian Academy!  Diana Shaw, the founder of the Child Development Foundation, was the guest speaker at the BCA graduation, and her speech was impressive and inspiring to everyone in attendance.  It was superb!  On to high school, and beyond. Thanks, Belmopan City Online, for the great pictures.

Channel 7

Rape Victim Says Adil Abdullah Lied
Last night, we told you about the arraignment of 65 year-old Adil Abdullah Bishop, who has been accused by a 19 year-old woman of rape. Bishop is a well-known bail bondsman at the Magistrate's Court, and he's also a landlord who owns various apartments. In this case, the 19 year-old told police that he deceived her saying that he had apartments at Mile 8 on the Western Highway that he could rent her. She claims that when she got into his vehicle one week ago, he took her to a secluded area near the Homeland Memorial Park, and with his gun in plain sight as a threat, he raped her. Yesterday, Bishop was arraigned in Magistrate's Court for that Charge, and after he was granted bail, he selected only the freelance journalists who work the courts to grant an interview. His version of the story was that the 19 year-old had a crush on him for 6 months. He also claimed that she reported him to police only after she tried and failed at blackmailing him. Today, the 19 year-old woman granted us an interview in which she responded to his allegations, but for context, we start first by airing his comments from last night: Adil Abdullah Bishop

Laverne "Antichrist's" Lawyer Wants Her Free On Time Served
Laverne "Anti Christ" Longsworth set her common law husband David White on fire in July of 2010. He died 18 days later from those severe burns. She's since served three and a half years in jail - but now she faces a very real chance of getting a reduced sentence. That's because her attorney Godfrey Smith got a British forensic psychiatrist to assess her. The psychiatrist concluded that Longsworth was suffering from battered women's syndrome - which diminished her responsibility for her actions. That finding was the centerpiece for an argument in favor of a reduced sentence. Longsworth was expected to get that reduced sentenced today but Smith and his juniour counsel, Leslie Mendez had another plan: they believed they could establish to the court that she deserved to get off with time served. 7News was at the Court of Appeal:..

Alleged Immigration Queenpin Gets Bail
Marleny Castellanos, the alleged queen pin of an immigration fraud ring is out of bail tonight with her husband, Alfredo Marcos. Castellanos is accused of arranging documents for herself, her husband and 17 other people, and she is facing 40 different immigration charges. 2 weeks ago, their attorney, Kevin Arthurs, applied to Justice Troadio Gonzalez for Supreme Court bail on the grounds that all the charges that have been brought against them are misdemeanors with fines if they are found guilty. Additionally, Arthurs submitted that his clients are not flight risks. Crown Counsel Leroy Banner objected at that time that they could be flight risks, and that more charges against them were imminent. Today, Justice Gonzalez ruled that both of them should be granted bail because other than the charges before the court, which are only allegations at this time, there was no other evidence which suggested that they weren't Belizeans. With that, he granted Castellanos bail of $20,000, and Marcos a bail of $10,000. The conditions were that they needed to surrender all travel documents, and that they report to the Queen Street Police Station every Friday until her cases are completed.

San Pedro Land Dispute Simmers, Legal Daggers Drawn
The land dispute between Tropic Air and Brett Feinstein, which we told you about last night, is still simmering - and multiple attorneys are engaged on all sides to initiate suits and counter-suits. Last week Thursday Eamon Courtenay filed suit against Tropic Air on behalf of Brett Feinstein - and on Friday Agnes Segura filed for judicial review against the Ministry of Natural Resources on behalf of Tropic Air. Right now, Tropic has the most to lose -its multi-million dollar facility has been put on hold, and the company has been served with a cease and desist order by the Central Building Authority . More than that, Natural resources Minister Gaspar Vega says their lease has been cancelled - a lease which he himself signed off on in December of 2008. And, contrary to what Vega said, the lease also originated during the UDP's term in May of 2008. Tropic says it hasn't gotten any notice of a cancellation - and it has done nothing to have its lease cancelled since it is fully paid up and is improving the property. So that's why the company is seeking judicial review.

Government Challenges Award To George Street Figures
In November of 2011, it made major news when Shelton Pinky Tillett, Micah Thompson and Charles Woodeye successfully sued the government of Belize for wrongful imprisonment. Tillett and Thompson were considered senior George Street personalities, and Woodeye was their associate. They were charged for the San Pedro murder of John Paul Saldivar - against the advice of the DPP - and after 11 months on remand they were released with no case to answer. They sued the government for wrongful imprisonment - and won. Each was awarded $25,000 dollars, plus Woodeye was compensated for loss of wages. But, both he and Tillett were murdered, they died without ever seeing the money. That's because the Attorney General's office appealed the case. IT went before the Court of Appeal this morning where the Panel led by President Manuel Sosa didn't seem very impressed by the acting Solicitor General Nigel Hawke's arguments that no payment should be made. In fact, they ended up hearing from Agnes Segura who represented the three men on why the award should be increased.

Steadfast Tourism and Conservation Association Complains About Loggers
The Steadfast Tourism and Conservation Association - known as STACA - in Southern Belize says it has been forced to go public due to unregulated logging activity in protected area. They logging concessionaires in the upper mountain catchment areas of the Manatee Forest Reserve and the Mullins River Basin have removed critical vegetation - which now poses a major threat to the watersheds of North Stann Creek and Mullins River. The President of STACA - explained it to us over the phone today:.. Anthony Hislop, Chairman - STACA "Last week I found out through my rangers, they reported to me on Thursday night that logs have been removed directly from within the creek head which the national integrated water resource act with _____ grounds. That pit at risk the water supplied at ____ for the villages of Steadfast at Alta Vista. These people get their potable water directly from the Billy Bakadeer National Park and this is something they have been trying to prevent from before. My opinion of this is greed - is somewhere along the line."

BEL Makes Major Comeback with $18.7 M Profit
Last night, BEL held its Annual General Meeting to report to their shareholders about financial year which ended on December 31, 2013. The important news coming out of the meeting is that the company turned a net profit of 18.7 million dollars - the best performance in years and a major rebound from last year's loss of 16 million dollars. The turnaround is due mostly to lower cost of financing, and lower cost of power. The media was locked out of the AGM, so today, we sat down with one of the Senior Managers of the company to understand what this positive developments mean for you, the consumer. Here's what she told us: Daniel Ortiz "The company made a net earnings of 18.7 million dollars which is the best in 5 years. Tell us what accounted for this profit?" Betty Tam - Senior Mngr. Finance & HR, BEL "Basically, first of all we had increase in rates which we got because we had to compensate for the high cost of power in 2012. We also had a 5% increase in sales and then besides that cost of power was basically in our favor in 2013 because we had better rains and that decrease cost of power by 8%."

Belize Hotel Assoc Names New President
And while BEL's AGM was last night, the Belize Hotel Association held theirs today at the Biltmore Plaza. It was the first time that the Hoteliers got an opportunity to meet the new Director of the Belize Tourism Board, and 7News stopped by to speak with the executive. The outgoing president, and the newly elected president told us that they are pleased with Karen Bevans' message of closer collaboration with them as industry stakeholders: Douglas Thompson - Outoing President, BHA "Today at the AGM we had elections. I did not run for re-election, I've been in the position for 5 years - that more than enough time in one spot. We have very able and younger folks that can do the job and so I am moving out to make room for the new blood."

New BTB Director Speaks About Synergy
And, while we got the opportunity, we spoke with the New Director of Tourism, Karen Bevans. She's been holding the post for a little over 2 months now, after she replaced Laura Esquivel-Frampton, who made a less than orderly exit after her senior management pulled a palace coup on her and made a no-confidence vote to Tourism Minister, Manuel Heredia Jr. Since then, the transition seems to have been seamless, but there is still that issue of that deficit of several million dollars in the last fiscal year. That affects the BTB going forward and today, we asked Bevans about the financial position of the BTB, and about her impression as the new director of this major industry: Karen Bevans - Director, BTB "The industry is very nice, very exciting to work in. It is a change for me, but I do think that there is a lot to do. We have made great strides in the past. We have come a long way, but we are not where we want to be and we recognize that, so recognizing that we have a lot to do and we need to plan the way forward together I think is a good start. We discuss quite a few initiatives here this morning and the intention now is to implement our action plan. Let's do it together and we will go much farther than we are today."

Okeke's Latest Come-Up Plan for TV Ramos Bust
Last month, we told you how Stephen Okeke put his latest sculpture of Thomas Vincent Ramos up for sale after his funders backed out of the deal to pay for it. TV Ramos, of course, is a cultural icon and founder of Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize.Okeke claims that he was contracted by members of the Garifuna Community to sculpt the monument to be placed in Dangriga Town, but when he was finished with it, he suddenly had no one to sell it to. So, in protest, he put out in front of his business place on the Northern Highway with a for sale sign. He was willing to take a lesser payment just so that he could get rid of it, but he's now gotten a few allies from the Garifuna Community to try and come up with the full price. How much is that asking price? Well, he says that it's worth $40,000, and Bert Ramos, Mitias Mariano, and Walter Gillett want to buy it from him. We've featured Bert Ramos on our newscast, and as a descendant of TV Ramos he told the media today in a press conference that he will get try to get the money to buy it. He and the other men say that they will fund raise:

Greater Ladyville
For the past 2 weeks, we've featured the primary school graduates from the police department's Gang Resistance Education and Training Program. GREAT - as it is better known - is one of the department's attempts at intervention into the lives of the children before gang culture swallows them up. Today, Ladyville Police Station, which has jurisdiction over all the rural areas in the Belize River Valley, celebrated the graduation of 40 primary schoolers from the Sinai 7th Day Adventist School in Ladyville. 7News stopped by and spoke with the Rural Executive Officer about their very first batch of graduates: ASP Chris Noble - Rural Executive Officer "Our officers have been trained in GREAT. It's a program 14 years in the making, but it is the first time that it is actually happening in rural Belize. The entire rural Belize has never seen it. It is spearheaded by a constable WPC Carla Smith and she after doing training has selected this school. I hope that it is the first of many because we are encouraging everybody else to come onboard with us and we want to go into more schools, we want to look at more education. We want to look at more kids because we don't want anybody else on the streets."

Anne-Marie To DC!
Last night, we told you about Anne Marie Williams - who beat out a field of international competitors to get the prestigious Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows Program. It will see her taking part in a -year study program in the US - specifically Washington DC. She told us about it today:.. Ann-Marie Williams, Executive Director - National Women's Commission "I have registered at American University Washington of Law. I will be doing trafficking in person policy and prevention with law. This is not just an academic training per say, it's an opportunity to meet and network with some of the movers and shakers out of Washington DC because it has a lot to do with leadership and also public service and so this is a tremendous opportunity. Women and children are disproportionately affected by trafficking and smuggling and there is that gender dimension to it. One of the course I am doing is gender and international law because you have to see how these things collates around the issue of trafficking, so it's a social science and it's related." "After I come back, who knows where the path may wind. I am coming back equip and willing and able and ready to serve."

Tonight's I AM BELIZE Teacher profile is about Abigail Hoare, from Maud Williams High School. Hoare, like a number of the teachers featured in the profile, says that she stumbled into the profession, but says that she wanted to make an positive difference in people's lives. She says that she made that decision after hearing the message from a guest speaker when she was at the a crossroads in her life:

Ras Indio Turns "Plant Di Corn" Into Anthem
"Plant Di Corn" - it's become the rallying cry for the B(i)GYEA movement in its buffer battle with the Government of Belize. And, now that cry has been turned into a catchy reggae tune. The composer is BGYEA's Belmopan brethren Ras Indio and he gave us a tease of the track today:.. The full video is still in production, but the song is out now.

Channel 5

Alleged rape victim refutes claims made by Adil Abdullah
  A nineteen year old woman alleges that bail bondsman Adil Abdullah raped her on June thirteenth in an area off Mile eight on the George Price Highway. She has [...]

Lavern 'Antichrist' Longsworth's murder conviction is reduced
A murder conviction against Lavern "Anti-Christ'' Longsworth was reduced to manslaughter by the Court of Appeal today.� Longsworth was convicted of the murder of her common-law husband, David White, back [...]

Marleny Castellanos and her husband get Supreme Court bail
  The alleged master-mind in an immigration scam, Marleny Elizabeth Castellanos and her common-law-husband, Alfredo Marcos, were both granted bail around twelve o'clock despite strong objections from the office of� [...]

12 teachers are fired in the merger of high schools
The merger of three high schools has so far led to the dismissal of a dozen teachers from the Maud Williams, Excelsior and the Sadie Vernon high schools. But questions [...]

San Pedro land dispute heads to court
A major blunder by the Lands Department concerning a three hundred by sixty feet parcel near the municipal airstrip in San Pedro has resulted in a huge land dispute between [...]

G.O.B. appeals financial award granted to 3 George Street gang members
  In November 2011, then-Supreme Court Justice Minnet Hafiz Bertram awarded over ninety-three thousand dollars in general damages and a further twenty-three thousand dollars in costs to three Belize City [...]

2014 Top P.S.E. Scorer acknowledged by San Cas
A student from the Crooked Tree Government School topped this year's Primary School Exams. It is an accomplishment that was achieved despite very difficult circumstances. But Ashton Tillett persevered and [...]

Antonio Edwards dies after being injured by rosewood flitch
  On January eighth, 2012, Antonio Edwards, a resident of Jacintoville in the Toledo District, was seriously injured when a large flitch of rosewood fell off a flatbed truck and [...]

Interdicted Cop gets bail for attempted murder charge
It was a busy day in court�.Interdicted Police Constable, Jesus Marroquin, was today granted Supreme Court bail in the sum of eight thousand dollars. Around eleven this morning, Justice Troadio [...]

Couple charged for drug trafficking on San Pedro
  A police raid at the house of a San Pedro couple yielded one hundred and sixty grams of cannabis; that's five point six ounces. When police arrived at their [...]

Hotel Association holds A.G.M.
The Belize Hotels Association held its annual general meeting at the Biltmore this morning where hoteliers from across the country gathered to discuss the state of the tourism and hospitality [...]

GREAT Initiative moves to Ladyville – students complete the anti-crime program
There were smiling faces today at the Ladyville Adventist School. It was a special day for students who had successfully completed the Gang Resistance Education and Training Program of the [...]

Skills Training Center graduates 42 youths to join the employment line
There is a new set of graduates from the Skills Training Center located on Magazine Road in Belize City. There is where a ceremony was held today for more than [...]

Ras Indio new release Plant Di Corn
Belizean Reggae Artist, Ras Indio, on the heels of a recent release is at it again with a music video that captures the plight of BGYEA and Harmonyville. He debuted [...]


Anne Marie Gets Into The Humphrey Fellowship Program
Executive Director of the National Women's Commission, Anne-Marie Williams has been selected to participate in the US Embassy's 2014-2015 class of Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows Program. The program brings young and mid-career professionals from around the world to the U.S. for a year of non-degree graduate-level study, leadership development, and professional collaboration with U.S. counterparts. Williams will spend the next year at American University beginning in August 2014 to participate in the "Trafficking in Persons, Policy, and Prevention" Humphrey Fellowship.


Reserved Judgement for Tillett, Woodye and Thompson
They were awarded twenty five thousand dollars each by the court after spending eleven months in prison on remand for the 2009 murder of John Paul Saldivar on Ambergris Caye�.. but in a turn of fortunate circumstances for the three men, they were set free in January 2010 as the case against them did not even proceed to trial due to a lack of evidence. After regaining their liberties, the trio, Micah Thompson, Sheldon August 'Pinky' Tillett and Charles Woodye filed a suit against the Attorney General, Commissioner of Police and Officer Commanding San Pedro Formation, at the time, Dennis Arnold. On November 15, 2011, Justice Minnett Hafiz ruled in favor of the three men and ordered that the Government pays twenty five thousand dollars each for general damages�.but that victory was put on pause as the Government appealed the judge's decision and that is how we ended up at the Court of Appeals today to follow up on the outcome�..while there is no final decision to report tonight, what we can tell you is that the Government's appeal did give the men's attorney, Agnes Segura-Gillett the opportunity to request consideration for a bigger award.

Battered Woman Defense Syndrome Used in Belize’s Court of Appeals
Battered Woman Syndrome - it is not a term commonly heard of in Belize not because it is rare but simply because it has not been used as a defense inside the courtroom until recently when Attorney Godfrey Smith put before the Court of Appeal, evidence from psychiatrists and a psychologist to the effect that at the time when his client, Lavern 'Antichrist' Longsworth set her, now deceased spouse, David White on fire, she was suffering from Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS), adding that a British Forensic Psychiatrist, Dr. Gillian Mezey had concluded that Longsworth was not in her right state of mind when she committed the act. Smith and his client were before the three Court of Appeal judges last week and their case was adjourned for today, June 20�.but there was no definitive outcome in the appeal case today, simply because when the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Vidal proposed to lower Longsworth's sentence of life imprisonment to ten years, Longsworth's co-attorney, Leslie Mendez rejected the proposal on the grounds that she believes that the life sentence should rather be lowered to time served, which would amount to just under four years.

$20,000 Bail for 40 Immigration Offences
Forty-six year old Marleny Castellanos, a naturalized Belizean originally from Guatemala, who was charged with 40 counts of immigration offences and was remanded into custody, was released today on a bail of $20,000. The bail was offered to her by Justice John Gonzalez on the condition that she surrender all her travel documents, that she reports to Queen Street Police Station every Friday until the case is disposed of and that she does not interfere with any of the witnesses involved In the case. Forty-two year old Alfredo Gonzalez, another naturalized Belizean originally from Guatemala, who was also charged with several immigration offences and was remanded into custody, was also released on bail. Gonzalez bail was $10,000 and Justice Gonzalez offered it to him on the condition that he surrenders all of his travel documents, that he reports to Queen Street Police Station every Friday until the case is concluded and that he does not interfere with the witnesses involved in the case. Castellanos and Gonzalez were represented by attorney Kevin Arthurs while Crown Counsel Leroy Banner represented the respondent.

Rape Victim Comes Forward to Discredit Bishop’s Story
She is a 19-year-old mother who lives with her boyfriend and his family but has been going through the mill recently after she reportedly became a rape victim last Friday, June 13. The story has been in the media since she made her report to the police as there were some challenges in the case particularly when the medical authorities reported that there were no signs of vaginal trauma when they conducted their examination�..but despite those challenges the accused was picked up by the authorities and yesterday, 65-year-old, Adil Abdullah Bishop was arraigned and is now out on a seven thousand dollar bail with an adjournment date set for August 5, 2014. However, in a twist of events, Bishop reported that the young lady's report is not accurate and that he did not force himself on her. Rather, Bishop claims that he had been having an affair with the complainant for the last six months and that things got testy when he refused to give her four hundred dollars that she was asking him for. Well now it has turned into a matter placed in the court of public opinion as the alleged rape victim contacted the media today to retort Bishop's story. In her defense, this is what she told Love News this morning.

Belize Woman Chosen For Hubert H. Humphreys Fellowship Program
Her name is no stranger to the local households�as a matter of fact, she was recently highlighted in a photograph exhibition by the Special Envoy for Women and Children as the first female pioneer in the Journalism industry who had mastered her skills in print, radio and television�..and now, today she is back in the media as the proud recipient of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program. Love News met up earlier today with a very ecstatic Ann Marie Williams who told us how she was led to submitting her application for the fellowship and what her thought process was while filling out, what was a very tedious application. ANN MARIE WILLIAMS Award Recipient "The former president of the University of Belize, Dr. Carey Frazer forwarded me an email asking me to consider this opportunity to apply for the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship and I pondered a few days. When I looked at the list of courses in terms of the offerings; it was Human Rights and International Law; it was Trafficking in Persons Policy and Prevention Law, Sustainable Development, Education.


COLA responds to Immigration Minister
A pair of press releases from Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) lambasted Ministers Godwin Hulse and Wilfred Elrington for separate statements made on Wednesday. COLA, which is leading the private prosecution of ex-Minister of State Elvin Penner, believes the Minister of Immigration contradicted himself when he said...

COLA says Attorney General mocking justice system with empty words
Turning to Attorney General Elrington who is quoted as calling�COLA's efforts to privately prosecute Elvin Penner a "waste of time", a "charade" and a "delusion of the Belizean people," COLA scolds him, saying that he seems to have forgotten that it was Prime Minister Dean Barrow who recommended the...

Questions about Conditions of Service for teachers of merged schools
As the merger of three Belize City high schools gets on the way, some teachers have already lost their jobs due to redundancy. On Thursday, five teachers from Maude Williams High School, received their official letters of dismissal. Earlier this month, the Minister of Education had stated that they...

Senate Meeting; loan bills approved
The Senate met today to discuss the bills and motions read at the meeting of the House of Representatives last week Friday. Senator the Hon. Lisel Alamilla was not present however , present was Lee Mark Chang, former UDP Standard Bearer for the Freetown Constituency. The two new Senators...

Minister Hulse on further investigations in immigration scandal
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, says it has a copy of the Auditor General's� preliminary report on investigation into the Elvin Penner passport scandal.� In a previous press briefing, COLA stated that�the file in their possession reveals that the Director of Immigration, “…consistently found ways to evade...

Businessman charged for rape of teenager
Businessman 65 year old Adil Abdullah Bishop, was read a single count of rape by Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer in court on Thursday. Mr Bishop met bail of $7,000. According to police,�a 19-year-old woman of Belize City reported that Adil Bishop picked her up on June 13, 2014 around...

12 year old accuses 25 year old man of rape
A 12 year old girl is accusing a man twice her age of forcing her into sexual intercourse not once, but twice in the last six months. David Gonzalez, 25, a messenger employed by Home Protector Insurance Company, was read his charges before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer and denied...

Court dismisses appeal of Vincent Tillett
The Court of Appeal has dismissed the appeal of 49 year old Vincent Tillett and upheld his sentence of 15 years in prison for manslaughter. Mr Tillett was accused of the murder of Darwin Philips on February 13, 2011 but was convicted of the lesser charge.�Vincent Tillet's attorney, Anthony...

Income Tax Department Pursue Arrears
The income tax department is gearing up to crack down on persons who owe income tax. To that end, reports are that a company has been contracted to pursue those arrears. While that may seem like a good move, reports to Plusnews are that some of the employees at...

The war on drugs continues in San Pedro
Police on the island of San Pedro are trying to crack down on the drug trade there, which is believed to be the cause of numerous shootings over the past few months.� Earlier this week, police made a bust when they visited a home� on Laguna Drive, Boca Del...

US Visas cancelled erroneously by Immigration Department
The Department of Immigration is in quite a stir after human error accidently cancelled a valid US Visa in the recent weeks. According to reports,� a staff member at the Department of Immigration seriously messed up someone’s expiring passport. According to information, someone took in their Belizean Passport and...

Belize City man shot to the face
There was a shooting in Belize City Tuesday night at around 9:30. 34-year-old Kingsley Ferguson of Neal's Pen Road Ext. Belize City was shot to the right side of the face, the bullet exiting the left side of his jaw. According to police reports,� Mr Ferguson was sitting on...

Who has Penner-Kim file?
The preliminary report of Auditor General Dorothy Bradley continues to be a talking point for those insisting that the Ministry of Immigration is actively trying to prevent former Minister of State Elvin Penner from being criminally charged under the concurrent investigations of the Police, Financial Intelligence Unit, Auditor General...

Minister Hulse offers reassurances on Puerto Azul
The proposed Puerto Azul project in the Lighthouse Atoll Range has become a lightning rod for environmentalists who are determined not to be shut out of the consultative process leading to a possible green light for the investors. A group of environmental organizations have written to Senator Godwin Hulse,...

Felicia Chen pleads guilty but trial pushed off to October
23 year old Felicia Chen, the mother of four, accused of drowning three of her children, appeared I court on Wednesday. Ms Chen arrived at the court smiling but left crying after her case for murder was traversed to the next session of the Supreme Court which is set...

How accurate are PSE results?
PSE results are out, but according to a media report, The minister of Education is saying, “not necessarily”! The results that were released by the Ministry of Education come complete as they always do each year; with the top performers selected, �with analysis, breakdowns of subsections for each subject,...

Man caught red-handed with stolen TV
36 year old Deon Bainton is accused of stealing a television set from a residence on the Philip Goldson Highway, but he was apparently caught in the act. He pleaded not guilty to charges of burglary and handling stolen goods before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith on Wednesday, and was...

Ex-footballer discharged after misunderstanding with police officer
An off-duty police officer got into a dispute with a retired footballer aboard a village bus�on Monday, but Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith avoided a criminal record for 52 year old Robert “Crane” Major, choosing on Wednesday to discharge him from charges of wounding and damage to property. Robert Major...

Suit brought against Belize Times goes to court
On Wednesday �morning Senator Godwin Hulse and the editor of the People’s United Party organ the Belize Times were before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in chambers prior to the intended trial of a suit brought by the Minister. After the discussions, the two sides were limited in their comments...

Mexican businesses looking for Belizean counterparts
Pro Mexico, the equivalent to Beltraide in Belize, is in the country to promote eight Mexican investors looking to start alliances with Belizean entrepreneurs through the annual Mexican Trade Mission. The first session of a series of events took place on Wednesday at the Mexican Embassy in Belmopan, where...

US team offers medical expertise and the Gospel
A team of Christian doctors, nurses, dentists, and paediatricians are in Belize this week to provide free medical services, medication and spiritual guidance to the general public. The group called Shine is a team made up of a group of professionals and other volunteers from various cities in the...

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Heart disease, cancer and diabetes are top 3 killers
Official data supplied to Amandala by the Ministry of Health indicate a clear trend, demonstrating that heart disease, cancer and diabetes are the top 3 killers among Belizeans, with unintentional injuries (such as traffic accidents and manslaughter) and homicides, rounding out the top 5 causes of death in the country from 2008 to 2012. Deaths from HIV were the sixth most prevalent over the period. The data indicate that since 2008, nearly 500 Belizeans have been murdered, but twice as many lives have been claimed by the silent killer known as heart disease. Cancer was the second leading cause of death, claiming in excess of 800 lives over the 5-year period. Dr. Marvin Manzanero, head of the Epidemiology Unit in the Ministry of Health, explained that the most cancer deaths among women are due to cervical cancer, but among men, prostate cancer is most prevalent. There were also deaths from cancer of the stomach, lung, breast, liver, and colon, according to information published in the Ministry's Epidemiology Bulletin of January/February 2014.

Adil Abdullah, 65, charged with rape
The presence of businessman and bail bondsman Adil Mohammed Abdullah (formerly Errol Bishop), 65, around the court buildings on Treasury Lane is routine. But this morning, after a night in police custody, a disoriented-looking Abdullah emerged in handcuffs from the police van transporting detained persons for arraignment at the court. Police charged Abdullah with one count of rape. No plea was required from him after Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith read the single charge to him. The offense of rape is an indictable offense and will be heard in the Supreme Court, if a preliminary inquiry determines that there is a prima facie case against him. Abdullah was released on $7,000 bail plus one surety in the same amount. He is scheduled to return to court on August 5. Police laid the rape charge against Abdullah after a 19-year-old woman reported to them that he raped her. She told police that on Friday, June 13, around 3:45 p.m., Abdullah picked her up on Marine Parade Boulevard.

Did Baby Zayden die in hospital morgue?
A distressed family from Blackman Eddy Village is presently doing their best to understand the puzzling circumstances surrounding the death of their newborn, whom doctors declared stillborn, but whose grandmother does not believe this was the case. Allisha Bell, 17, and Marlon Reymundo, 24, went to the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan on Saturday, June 7, for the birth of their first child, a baby boy. In this case, however, there was no happy ending because shortly after the young mother underwent a C-section to deliver Baby Zayden, they got the grim news that the toddler had been pronounced dead at birth. Although saddened, the family acknowledged the loss, knowing the probability of such occurrences - that is, until the baby's grandmother, Yolanda Molina, who is also the chairlady of Blackman Eddy, went back to the hospital's morgue three days later and made a baffling discovery.

Felicia Chen, 23, indicted on 3 counts of murder
Felicia Chen, 22, the young mother accused of drowning three of her children on April 27, arrived on the bus from the Belize Central Prison this morning, and later took her place in the prisoner's dock in the Supreme Court of Justice John Troadio Gonzalez, who read the three murder indictments to her. Chen, who appeared unrepresented by an attorney, attempted to plead guilty to the three counts of murder, but Justice Gonzalez explained to her that the Laws of Belize do not allow for guilty pleas in murder indictments. The case has to be tried, and a person accused of murder has to be represented by a defense counsel. If an accused murderer cannot afford an attorney, the state has to provide one. When Chen was first arraigned in the Magistrate's Court on the murder charges, she was represented by Senior Counsel Antoinette Moore. But Moore was recently appointed a temporary Justice of the Supreme Court, and is presently presiding over the Southern Session of the Court; she therefore is unable to continue representing Chen at this juncture of her case.

David Gonzalez, 25, charged with two counts of rape of young girls
A Belize City messenger was remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he was arraigned on two counts of rape in the courtroom of Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer this afternoon. Frazer told David Gonzalez, 25, a resident of #5 Pickstock Street and a messenger employed at Home Protector Insurance, that he does not have to enter a plea because rape is an indictable offence and his case will be heard in the Supreme Court. Frazer added that under the section of the Crime Control Act under which Gonzalez has been charged by police, her court cannot offer him bail for another 90 days. Gonzalez was remanded to prison until his next court date on August 5.

OAS commissions study in preparation for guide for decriminalization of homosexuality
At its 44th General Assembly held in Paraguay earlier this month under the theme "Development with Social Inclusion," the Organization of American States (OAS), the hemispheric organization of which Belize is an active member, passed a resolution supported by over 20 of 35 member states on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, which calls for a move across the Americas to decriminalize homosexuality. The resolution calls on members to activate the mechanism of the Inter-American Commission on Humans Rights (IACHR), which recently heard a case lodged by UNIBAM against the Government of Belize, in order "to continue preparing a study on legislation and provisions in force in the OAS member states restricting the human rights of individuals by reason of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression�" The resolution also calls for the preparation of a guide, based on that study, "aimed at promoting the decriminalization of homosexuality and practices related to gender identity or expression."

PM in the eye of the storm over Penner scandal
Today, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, president of the Bar Association of Belize, referred to Prime Minister Dean Barrow as "a Penner-loving, Castro-hugging�" Prime Minister, as he fielded questions from the media on the ongoing schism between the Bar Association and the Barrow administration over the reappointment of Justice Samuel Awich to the Court of Appeal. Courtenay's provocative comments echo suggestions from Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca that the Barrow administration is covering up some underlying aspects of the passport scandal involving former Minister of State for Immigration, Elvin Penner, who Barrow sacked last September after receiving reports of improprieties from another Cabinet member. In the National Assembly on Friday, Fonseca and Barrow had a back-and-forth on the Penner passport scandal, and more specifically, the recently unearthed preliminary report of the Auditor General, previewed last week by Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA).

Ramon Cervantes wins OW North PUP convention
The convention to elect a standard-bearer for the People's United Party (PUP) in the Orange Walk North constituency was held this past Sunday, June 16, and out of the three candidates, it was Ramon "Monchie" Cervantes, Jr. who emerged victorious. Cervantes was able to garner 1,394 votes, almost 75% of the 1,863 votes cast, while Alfredo Ortega received 439 ballots and Jaime Castillo got 30 votes. In March of this year, the other three PUP standard-bearers for the Orange Walk District, Hon. John Briceno, Hon. Jose Abelardo Mai and Hon. Marco Tulio Mendez, were endorsed by their party to stand for re-election in the 2017 general elections in Orange Walk Central, Orange Walk South and Orange Walk East respectively.

Cricket Corner
The other day, I was talking to Mr. Norris Harris of Double Head Cabbage (inset). Mr. Harris is in his early eighties, but still going strong. He is a great and respectable cricket fan wherever he is watching a game. We were talking cricket, as usual, and it flashed in my mind how cricket has changed in the Belize District (River Valley) so much. Not much for the better, though. Players must learn and understand the true meaning of the sport and the spirit thereto. Cricket is known to be a gentleman's game from as far back as I can remember. I'm from one of the cricket playing areas, and I could remember as a little boy, when a game is to be played home, there was a lot to do Friday evening, helping my grandmother with whatever chore around the house. That is if I want to go watch the cricket game. On Saturday morning, my grandmother would wake up early and press (iron) my uncle Napolean Banner's white uniform that was previously starched. She would have mid-day lunch on the fire in the pot at the same time. For, when the game reaches halfway mark, we would come home for lunch and be finished in time for the second half.

Dangriga sports stats
The Stann Creek District Belikin 8-Ball Tournament continued on Thursday, June 12, at Santa Cruz Sports Bar, where Scorpions of Santa Cruz went up against G.T. Kids from Sarawee Village, and it was Santa Cruz over G.T. Kids, 4-1. Game winners for Scorpions were: Daniel Barrera over Victor Hernandez, 3-0; David Foreman over Wayne Pascascio, 3-0; Brayan Bautista over Lundon Parham, 3-0; and Jose Espinosa over Jerome Rivas, 3-0; while for G.T. Kids it was Richard Juarez, 3-1, over Juan Carlos Munguia of Santa Cruz. On Friday, June 13, at Fairview 2 Cool Spot in Steadfast Village, Steadfast Boys hosted Valley Shooters of Pomona and lost to the visitors by a 3-2 score. Shooters' victories were by: Ruben Ortiz over Ashley Ritchie, 3-0; Charles Rivas over Everald Choc, 3-0; and Anthony Rancharan over Cesar Leon, 3-1; while wins for Steadfast Boys were by Lawrence Choc over Carlos Burgos, 3-1; and Jose Morales over Victor Melendez, 3-1.

NEBL 2014 Performance
The 2014 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) is pleased to announce the winners of the regular season performance awards. The winners were determined by a combination of statistical impact and vote by coaches. Each coach was asked to vote for their choice of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in each category. Additionally, the players were ranked statistically, 1 through 4, in each category. Points were allotted for place votes as follows: 1st place vote = 20 pts; 2nd place vote = 10 pts; 3rd place vote = 5 pts; 4th place vote = 2 pts. The statistical votes were also allotted points as indicated above. The results were as follows: Most Valuable Player (MVP) - Farron Lauriano, Cayo (150 points); Winston Pratt, San Pedro (90 points); Kurt Burgess, Cayo (69 points); Gregory Rudon, Belize City (24 points).

World Cup 2014
The first round of Group Stage games end tomorrow with Group H encounters featuring Belgium vs Algeria at 10:00 a.m. and Russia vs Korea Republic at 4:00 p.m.; while the second round begins with the Group A clash - Brazil vs Mexico at 1:00 p.m. First round results so far, by group, include: June 12 - (A) Brazil 3-1 Croatia. June 13 - (A) Mexico 1-0 Cameroon; (B) Netherlands 5-1 Spain; (B) Chile 3-1 Australia. June 14 - (C) Colombia 3-0 Greece; (D) Costa Rica 3-1 Uruguay; (D) Italy 2-1 England; (C) Cote d'Ivoire 2-1 Japan. June 15 - (E) Switzerland 2-1 Ecuador; (E) France 3-0 Honduras; (F) Argentina 2-1 Bosnia & Herzegovina. June 16 - (G) Germany 4-0 Portugal; (F) Iran 0-0 Nigeria; (G) USA 2-1 Ghana. June 17 - (H) Belgium 2-1 Algeria; (A) Brazil 0-0 Mexico; (H) Russia 1-1 Korea Republic. June 18 - (B) Netherlands 3-2 Australia; (B) Chile 2-0 Spain; (A) Crotia 4-0 Cameroon. June 19 - (C) Colombia 2-1 Cote d'Ivoire; (D) Uruguay 2-1 England; (C) Japan 0-0 Greece.

EDITORIAL : Money is a very powerful commodity. Money can make people change their beliefs and their behavior. It had appeared to Belizean people during the administrations of the Jesuit-trained Rt. Hon. George Price and Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel that these two leaders, our first two Prime Ministers, were not in it for the money. Things began to change in Belize in 1989. Yet, the contrary results of the 1993 general election, in which the PUP's big money was defeated by an almost ramshackle UDP/NABR coalition, suggested that money, as such, still did not decide elections here on its own. We have been saying to you for some time that the two-party system in Belize suits the wealthy power structure, what we call the "oligarchy." The present system is pleasing to the rich people. With respect to philosophy and policies, there is not that much difference between the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the People's United Party (PUP) today. The PUP threw money around when they were in office from 1998 to 2008: they lived for today, and did not worry about tomorrow. The UDP was elected on a platform of fiscal frugality, which appeared necessary because Belize had entered a debt crisis. So, there are differences in style and approaches between the UDP and the PUP. But they, the political leaders of our sovereign nation, both depend on the goodwill of the rich - the local oligarchy and friendly foreign governments. Belize is a beggar nation.

From The Publisher
In my organizations, the essential quality my generals must have is the ability to think things through for themselves. This is the way I was raised. An elder or superior was not supposed to have to spell out matters for you in some rote a-b-c manner. Once your superior gave you keys to work with, then it was up to you to open up the doors with respect to decisions and actions. If you could not do that tactically on a consistent basis, then that meant you were deficient in some important way. Those with brains to think, let them think. That said, I have managed to get Kremandala this far, but, as I explained in my mid-week column, in business there are no guarantees. My older children are organized and they meet among themselves regularly. They make decisions amongst themselves. In their specific areas of management, they rely on their own generals. The UBAD Educational Foundation (UEF) is a non-business organization which meets every month at the executive level and runs various operations, the largest of which is probably the African and Indian (Indigenous) Library. The UEF was established in 1996, and most of its original board members were former United Black Association for Development (UBAD) officers. Today, the only former UBAD officers remaining on the board are myself and Rufus X. But, we two are not really active. The UEF has been run for years now by Ya Ya Marin Coleman and Virginia Echols. Ya Ya is the chairlady, but Virginia is very powerful, by virtue of her status as an original board member and because of her polished personality.

Letters: Trust no seller or agent
Seven years ago, on 24th March 2006, I, S. P. Lightburn, "purchaser," received a receipt for the balance in full, from the "vendor," Mr. Emory King, for a plot of land measuring 60 feet by 120 feet, situate at Mile 14, namely, Tropical Park, on the Western Highway. The plot of land was the freehold property of Mr. Emory King who was the person legally entitled to sell this property. At the time of the transaction, I was aware that a lawyer, a friend of mine, had also purchased two lots, from the same vendor, at around the same time that I had bought mine, and had received her land title documents from the same law firm that was processing my land title documents. Mr. Emory King assured me that I would be in possession of my land title document, after his lawyer had sorted out the legal technicalities involved in a land transfer. He assured me that there was no need to hire my own lawyer to register the land title documents at the Lands Department, because his lawyer would ensure my legal position and rights as the owner of the land I had purchased. He assured me that the legal cost of the transfer was included in the purchase cost.

Guatemalan authorities confiscate $38,000 worth of contraband cigarettes
A smuggling operation which was launched by authorities in neighboring Guatemala yesterday netted more than 50 boxes of contraband cigarettes onboard a cargo truck which is believed to have originated from Belize. According to Guatemalan police, the illicit cargo - which consisted of an estimated 247,400 cigarettes valued at 150,000 quetzals or BZ$38,220.99 - was seized early yesterday morning on a dirt road near the urban area of Santa Ana Village, located in Pet�n, Guatemala. They reported that while they were able to sequester the contraband merchandise, the driver of the vehicle was able to escape by fleeing into some bushes. Nevertheless, the shipment was transported into police custody in San Benito, Guatemala, as evidence for the investigators who are working on the case.

High schools merger casualty - 12 teachers terminated!
Twelve teachers from three Belize City high schools will not return to their jobs at the start of the new school year, after a decision issued from their school managements – in one case with an [...]

Standing up to bullies
There is this ad that runs on US television stations about stopping bullying and it features what kids should do if they witness bullying, which is basically, call an adult to intervene. However, whom does an [...]

BAA gets new Board of Directors
Some 6 months after being disbanded in the wake of a scandal involving questionable checks which were issued to a sitting Cabinet minister of state, a new board of directors has been appointed to the Belize [...]

6 to be decorated with Queen's Honours
Six Belizeans have been chosen to receive Queen's Honours, according to an announcement issued this week from the Office of the Governor-General at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. The highest-ranking honor will go [...]

Tuesday, July 13, 2004 FROM THE PUBLISHER
(Publisher's NOTE: I have been wanting to re-publish the following column for a long, long time, but I could not find the specific Amandala in our archives in which it first appeared. Finally, I realized what [...]

Green Tropics pitches $500,000 proposal to break stalemate with Valley of Peace farmers
Lawyers for Green Tropics told Amandala this evening that they have formally pitched a proposal to the group of 33 farmers living in the Valley of Peace area who they last week served with eviction notices, [...]

PM dismisses SATIIM's stance on oil drilling in the south
He says the organization has "no proper standing" in negotiations with southern communities For quite some time now, SATIIM – the Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, has been advocating for the rights of the buffer communities [...]

"There are many more important issues rather than harping on a matter like the Penner matter." - Attorney General Wilfred Elrington
COLA's private prosecution a waste of time - Attorney General There is no list of missing Penner files - Immigration Minister The Elvin Penner passport scandal that has been rocking the Dean Barrow administration since September [...]

Fire partially destroys house on Mahogany Street
The house of Bokang "Prince" Nyathi, 48, located at the corner of Mahogany and Jasmine Streets, was destroyed by fire at about 3:20 this morning. The house is a concrete bungalow and the interior of the [...]

35 more City streets to be paved: GOB
In February of this year, the Government of Belize (GOB) committed a total of 10 million dollars to infrastructure works across Belize City, and this past Wednesday at his press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow outlined [...]

Convicted killer Vincent Tillett, 49, loses appeal
Because of the "Evidence Act," hostile witnesses' statements admitted into evidence Vincent Tillett, who was charged for murder but was convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter and sentenced to serve 15 years in prison, lost [...]

Neal Pen Road man shot in Junesville
A resident of Neal Pen Road in the Lake I area has become the second person shot in the area within three days, in the seemingly never-ending gun violence being perpetrated in Belize City by feuding [...]

At 15, yes is no; it's the law
A 16-year-old youth of Corozal is in big trouble after he engaged a 15-year-old girl in sexual intercourse. Police have sent the file to the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the boy has been released into [...]

San Ignacio cop investigated for alleged domestic abuse
The officer, who was allegedly drunk, reportedly slapped his common-law wife Just last week, we reported that four officers from the San Ignacio Police Formation had been criminally charged for an altercation with a group of [...]

Caye Caulker businessman, 42, acquitted of sexually assaulting girl, 13
A Caye Caulker businessman who was accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl more than a year ago was acquitted today of one count of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. Jerod Emmanuel Dawson, 42, a [...]

Improvised silencer for .22 pistol found in Orange Walk
Three men who were busted with a .22 pistol adapted with an improvised silencer made from a vehicle oil filter, have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until July 30, on charges of "kept unlicensed [...]

Gungulung resident shot in the back
A resident of the Gungulung area of the Lake I area, Ephraim Assi, 22, of Miller Street, was shot in his back by an unknown gunman while he and other men were sitting on the basketball [...]

Two home burglaries – in Orange Walk and Belize City
Two homes – one in Belize City and the other in Orange Walk Town – were broken into by thieves. In Orange Walk Town, a thief entered the bedroom of a couple who was sleeping, and [...]

Father acquitted of sexually assaulting 15-year-old daughter
The girl told the court that she made up the story A Belize City man was today acquitted of a charge of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon his 15-year-old daughter, when the minor admitted, [...]

Stolen boat and golf cart recovered
Police report that a boat valued at $55,000 was stolen from the Conch Shell Bay area of the city, sometime between 5:30 Thursday evening and 8:00 Friday morning. In another robbery, a golf cart valued at [...]

MoneyGram thieves captured one week after heist
The men believed to be the thieves who robbed the MoneyGram Store in Orange Walk have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison, five days after they carried out the robbery. Police say that Martin Rigoberto [...]

Minor, 16, found with 18-pound sack of weed
Sometime after 10:00 yesterday morning, Santa Elena police who were conducting routine patrols near a football field on Bradley Street in Santa Elena Town spotted a young man who ran off, leaving a crocus bag which [...]

Chinese grocer accused of pointing gun at taxi driver in PG
The taxi driver reportedly owes the grocer $170 An outstanding bill which was apparently racked up by a taxi driver in Punta Gorda Town almost led to tragedy when the creditor allegedly sought the aid of [...]

The Reporter

Argentina faces default
Argentina is on the verge of another default and that country's President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has said that her government would negotiate with all the country's creditors. It comes when Argentina may start talks with investors who refused to take part in two restructurings. Argentina has been in conflict with hedge funds which are demanding full payment for bonds they bought after the country defaulted. The country has been in a 12-year fight in the US courts with hold-outs who declined to participate a 2005 and 2010 revamp of debt securities. Under the deal, 92 percent of bondholders accepted about a third of the original value of their investment. However, on Monday, a US Supreme Court ruling sided with bondholders demanding Argentina pay them the full $1.3 billion value. The bondholders also won the right to use the US courts to force Argentina to reveal where it owns assets around the world. The court's decision means that bondholders should find it easier to collect their debts.

Chikungunya spreads to Cuba
Cuba has confirmed its first six cases of the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus, making that country the latest Caribbean nation to confirm cases of the virus. According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) there had been 4,600 confirmed and 166,000 suspected cases in the Caribbean as of mid-June. According to the Cuban health ministry, people with the virus had recently travelled to Haiti or the Dominican Republic where thousands of people have reported suffering from the severe headaches, high fever and intense joint pain symptomatic for the virus. Officials said they would strengthen surveillance and control measures of travellers arriving from countries mainly in the Caribbean. The virus is also spreading quickly in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and there have been confirmed cases in most of the Caribbean island states.

Cane farmers to meet season quota despite late start
Despite the two-month delay for the start for the 2013-2014 sugar cane crops, the cane industry is preparing to either meet or exceed its 1.2 million ton quota. According to John Gillett, factory manager for Belize Sugar Industries Limited, the factory milled over 1,068,000 tons of cane this week, producing some 111,000 tons of sugar. Gillett says that the factory and farmers can realise even more than this, depending on the weather. "We know that there is still an amount of cane out there, and if the weather holds up we want to do our best to harvest most of it. If we can harvest most of that cane our production could be well in excess of 120,000 tons of sugar." Gillett told the Reporter this week.

Family convinced that newborn was placed in morgue alive, doctor says that is likely occurrence
While the Ministry of Health has concluded that the procedural information following the birth of a baby boy on Saturday, June 17th at the Western Regional Hospital suggests the child was stillborn, a medical doctor has told The Reporter that it is likely that […]

Unions want PM to resume negotiations
The unions who were recently engaged in negotiations with the government over salary adjustments say that they still have other proposals on the table that haven't been addressed. Marvin Blades, Public Service Union (PSU) president told The Reporter that the outstanding proposals include income […]

Mating season claims the life of female manatee
A female manatee is dead this week after it was drowned in the Belize River by a group of male manatees trying to mate with it. Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute concluded that the cow (female manatee) had drowned, after an autopsy revealed 45 […]

Luke Espat owes bank nearly 30 million for failed project
BELIZE CITY, Mon. June 16th, 2014 Businessman Luke Espat is now personally liable for nearly $30 million in personal guarantees made to the Belize Bank, after the Court of Appeal refused his application for leave to appeal a summary judgment handed down by the Supreme […]

Mexican businesses seeking partners in Belize
A trade mission was hosted Thursday by the Institute of Mexico to foster greater trade relations between Mexican entrepreneurs and their Belizean counterparts. Javier Aguilar, Mexican Embassy Head of Trade Investment and Tourist Affairs, explained the mission was made up of Mexican businesses looking […]

Bar President Courtenay: P.M. "lied" about Awich
BELIZE CITY, Mon. June 16, 2014 President of the Bar Association of Belize, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, has denounced as "lies" suggestions by Prime Minister Dean Barrow that he is pursuing Justice of the Court of Appeal Samuel Awich on behalf of the Ashcroft Alliance. […]

BGYEA beats GOB in court
The Supreme Court on Friday ruled in favor of the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association to remove the injunction placed on them by the Government of Belize. Justice Courtney Abel decided to discharge the injunction after the Office of the Solicitor General made several procedural […]

Immigration Minister: "I don't know" who has Kim file
BELIZE CITY, Thurs. June 19, 2014 Minister of Immigration and Nationality Senator Godwin Hulse says the "chain of custody" regarding the file of Won Hong Kim broke down after ex-Minister of State in his Ministry, Elvin Penner, took that file and others from the Department […]

Overall conviction rate at 39% in 2013
Court convictions in the Supreme Court for 2013 were at 39 percent, according to records from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. There is a striking disparity between these statistics and the lay man's perspective on the conviction rate, primarily as it […]

The decision by the Ministry of Education not to buy BRC reader books for the school year 2014/15 is a bad decision which should be reviewed. BRC reader books have been well established in the lower grades of the Belize Primary Schools System. For the better part of 30 […]

People who illegally and arbitrarily take over and occupy land which does not belong to them have become a serious problem in Belize. Last week in a full-page spread, the European company Green Tropics, which is investing heavily in Belize's new sugar factory for the Cayo District, complained that […]

'Firings Not Fair' say teachers!
Several teachers from Maud Williams and Sadie Vernon high schools who were given termination letters have said they feel the terminations to be unfair and are seeking clarification on the methodology used to make those selections. Many teachers told The Reporter that they have […]

Business senator: 'Senate failing Belizeans!'
Senator representing the private sector Mark Lizarraga called out the Senate during Thursday's sitting for "failing miserably to perform our most basic obligations," as mandated by Belize's constitution. "We are suffering from an urgent crisis of the erosion of public confidence in governance," Lizarraga […]

COLA calls out Minister Hulse on Penner files
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) have called out Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse on his statement claiming that he never received a letter with a list of the files taken by Elvin Penner. COLA refuted Hulse's claim by citing a portion of the allegedly leaked Auditor General Immigration report […]

$314,500 Fantasy Five fraud!
A woman tried to become $314,500 richer when she went to collect the Fantasy Five jackpot last Friday by fraudulent means, using the portions of two separate tickets to make them appear as one winning ticket. Fantasy Five issued a press release this week about […]

Businessman denies rape claim!
Rape charges have been brought against a 65-year-old businessman, Adil Abdullah – a well-known and established bail bondsman of a Reggae Street address in Belize City. Abdullah, also known as Abdullah Bishop, claims he is innocent and the victim of a shake down. After spending […]

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The Belize Times

"Penner Loving, Castro Hugging, Lying Prime Minister"
President of the Bar Association Eamon Courtenay blasted Prime Minister Dean Barrow in response to Barrow's vicious attacks against him at the Sitting of the House of Representing on Friday, June 13th. Courtenay said Barrow is a "Penner Loving, Castro Hugging, Lying Prime Minister", poking at Barrow's tremendous failure to adequately deal with the scandals weighing down his administration, which have been caused by disgraced UDP Ministers Elvin Penner and Edmond Castro. Prime Minister Dean Barrow cowardly attacked Eamon Courtenay within the confines of the House of Representative where he enjoys immunity. This is something he enjoys doing, singling out private citizens and calling them all sorts of demeaning names out of disrespect. Barrow is angry at the Bar Association for opposing his reinstatement of Justice Samuel Awich to the Court of Appeal. Barrow said the Association's President "found reason" to put forward the position because of his affiliation to the Ashcroft Alliance.

Think About It
The mega exclusive tourist project for the super rich which will use Northern Caye in the Lighthouse Reef vicinity is a done deal. The project first went to cabinet and got the green light months ago. The Investors proceeded and reached the stage where they unveiled the launching at the opening of the Cannes Film Festival last month where movie stars and Hollywood glitterati gather. Present at this super launch was Belize's Minister of Economic Development Erwin Contreras and Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia. It is understood the Ministers took their families. All expenses paid for by Puerto Azul, in breach of the Constitution of Belize which requires Ministers not to have their integrity called into question. But then again for the UDP Government such things don't matter.

On Barrow's Theatrics
By G. Michael Reid Prime Minister Dean Barrow hurriedly called a press conference last Wednesday after news broke about the formation of a new activist group called ROC. Rod of Correction is an amalgamation of the unions, churches and social activist organizations which include the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management

A National Disaster
On paper the concept of a National Bank in the Caribbean always resonates positively, because as patriotic citizens one believes that if the country owns assets they should benefit the majority. It is not a wrong premise, but in banking other complex factors come into play. When the concept of National

Belize Bank Bulldogs, Customs & NSC win Interoffice softball
On Saturday, June 14th Shawn Gordon led Customs/Central Bank to their 11-6 victory over KHMH. Keemar King and Kareem Michael scored 2 runs each and Sasha Brown, Luis Alpuche and Gilly Gordon scored a run apiece to seal the win. Floyd Flowers led KHMH with 2 runs while Kiri Lizama, Ricardo Hermoso and Dwayne Willacey each scored one run. The Belize Bank Bulldogs came from behind to beat Digicell 4G: 6-4. Bulldogs' Eliseo Rosado and Tyra Moriera scored 2 runs each while Agnes Lucas, Godsden Ferguson Jr scored a run apiece. Digicell's Nelson Tillett, Trenton Marin, Muschae Macdonald and relief pitcher Bernard Pitts scored a run apiece.

Rising Stars, Third World & City Boys win in SMART Mundialito
The Ladyville Rising Stars enjoyed a 2-0 win against the Hattieville United Youth Sporting Club in Week 6 of the 2014 SMART Mundialito at the Yabra green in Belize City on Saturday. The scoring for the Rising Stars was led by Farron Broaster and Kenroy Allen. Other Games: Third World vs. Heights FC - 2-0 Goals by Jonah Chebat, Ajani Vaughn City Boys Jrs. vs. Brown Bombers - 1-0 Goal by Akeem Sutherland Collet Strikers vs. Carlston FC - 0-0 London Strikers vs. Ladyville Jaguars 0-0 Week 7 on Saturday, June 21 City Boys vs. London Strikers Collet Strikers vs. Ladyville Jaguars Third World vs. Hattieville United Carlston FC vs. Heights FC

Tigersharks wins Finals Game 1: 53-52
The San Pedro Tigersharks enjoyed a 53-52 nail-biting win in Game 1 of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) championship finals against Cayo's Western Ballaz at the Angel Nunez auditorium at the San Pedro High School on Isla Bonita on Father's Day. Cayo was still up 52-51 with a minute to play when a referee called a foul in the Ballaz favor which should have sent them to the charity stripe to increase their lead. Instead the call was reversed, changing it to a jump ball and Tigersharks got possession, allowing Winston "Air Jun" Pratt to drive to the rim for the winning basket with only 30 seconds left to play, no time for the Ballaz to recover.

Fonseca to Barrow: Stop the Cover Up!!
City of Belmopan, June 13, 2014 The UDP Government continues to cover up the stink that is the Penner Immigration scandal. The odour is too strong however and each passing week Belizeans are learning how deep and murky the scandal is. Last ...

Hospital sent baby to morgue alive?
Belmopan, June 13th 2014 A 17 year old Belmopan mother is living through a nightmare, fearing ...

Violent Crime Surges – 1 daylight murder, 5 shootings in 4 days
Belize City, June 18, 2014 The cases of cold-blooded murders and senseless shootings are piling up on the Police Department. Over the last five days there have been five shootings, including a terrifying ...

BYM Corozal Bay formed
Corozal Town, June 15th, 2014 On Friday, June 13th a group of young leaders met at the People's United Party Corozal Bay office on College Road to form the Corozal Bay Belize Youth Movement. The group was sworn in by National President ...

Ministry of Education Fires Teachers!
Belize City, June 18th, 2014 Just as the quarrelsome Minister of Education Patrick Faber warned would happen, the firing of teachers has begun. The decision to dismiss the teachers forms part of the Ministry of Education's plan to amalgamate three schools: Maud ...

Doing OUR Part in Belize Rural Central
Belize District, June 13, 2014 On Saturday, June 7, 2014, which was National Environment Day, Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia and members of her committee, did their part in the clean-up of the George Price Highway, and participated by cleaning and bagging ...

BE BAFFU – Art, poetry and thinking at the edge of the Haulover Creek
by Yasser Musa, 15 June 2014 For the past few months I've been interacting with a bunch of Baffuists, young ...

There is something about being in love that tweaks one's reality until even the most depressing events become lyrics of strength and passion in the pursuit of the heart's desire.� The grass is greener. The sky is bluer. Every delicate butterfly that alights on a vibrant bloom carries messages of ...

HOME ECONOMICS – Proposals for Equitable land holding and development
By Richard Harrison Belize's total land mass is 2,275,353 hectares (5,620,121 acres)�with 1,434,119 hectares (63.36%) owned by government...and 841,234 hectares (36.64%) owned privately. - Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 (FRA 2010). Of 841,234 hectares that is privately held it is estimated that less than 1% of the population (approx. 3,500 persons) own ...

Houston Hurricanes sign Belizean Evan Mariano
Belmopan, June 13, 2014 Belizean football striker Evan Mariano flew out to Houston, Texas, USA over the weekend to take up his new career, playing professional football for the Houston Hurricanes FC, a club that plays in the National Premier Soccer ...

UB President to PM: Your Policies Suck!
City of Belmopan, 2 June 2014 By Norris Hall In the first part of this expose published in the Sunday, May 25th edition we reported on the serious state of affairs at the University of Belize and the lack of cooperation by its Board of Trustees with the most recent President (the ...

WOMAN IN THE HOUSE: An Unnecessary Statement
By Dolores Balderamos Garcia Last Friday June 13th during the sitting of the House of Representatives, the Honourable Member for Collet, who is Minister of Education, rose to make a Statement by a Minister. The Order of Business in the Standing Orders allows for Statements by Ministers before the Introduction of ...

The Reappointment of Awich and Independence of the Court of Appeal
By E. Andrew Marshalleck SC Prime Minister Barrow has both in his recent press conference and in the last meeting of the House of Representatives taken much time to address the concerns expressed in the recent Bar resolution about the negative ...

REFLECTIONS ON THE PUBLIC SQUARE: The Garifuna Collective: Making Belize Proud
By Francis W. Fonseca Last week I had the privilege of meeting with a few members of The Garifuna Collective Band who were in Belize dealing with some logistical and organizational issues while the Band continues its 2014 European Tour. The Bands representatives Joshua Arana and Ivan Duran (StoneTree Records) are professional, ...

PUP fights for Rural Electrification
Belize City, June 14th, 2014 At the last sitting of the House of Representatives held on Friday, June 13th, 2014 a Motion was passed called the CARIBBEAN ...

UDP Grabs Lands in Dangriga!
Dangriga Town, June 18, 2014 The people of Dangriga should be aware that the United Democratic Party is grabbing up land in their municipality. These lands could be distributed to needy residents or interested investors for job creation instead of going ...

No Water Board in Billy White!
Cayo District, June 18, 2014 It is now more than one year since the last village Council elections and to date the Ministry of local Government refuses to assist in forming a new Water Board for Billy White Village.�The UDP Water Board appointed for the years 2010-2013 resigned one year after ...

Green Tropics & Valley of Peace farmers in dispute over land
Belize City, June 17th, 2014 Valley of Peace farmers and Spanish/Guatemalan Company, Green Tropics Limited, are locked in yet another dispute, this time over a block of land used by the farmers to supply a significant portion of the vegetables in ...

Patrick JonesPJ

NWC president wins prestigious fellowship
President of the National Women's Commission of Belize Ann-Marie Williams joins a prestigious group of scholars from around the world as the first Belizean winner of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship, named after the former U.S. Vice President and Senator. Williams is preparing to leave for Washington, D.C., [�]

Garifuna community organizes to buy T.V. Ramos bust
The bust of Thomas Vincent Ramos, Garifuna hero and organizer of Garifuna Settlement Day, is sitting outside the home of its creator, Stephen Okeke. Okeke wants $40,000 to take it off his hands after falling out with key members of the Garifuna community who had intended to buy [�]

Ann-Marie Williams says "Occupy Belmopan" will not affect gender policy implementation
President of the National Women's Commission, Ann Marie Williams will be on leave as she pursues studies in trafficking in persons. But an issue she has been championing, the Revised National Gender Policy, remains under attack from a group of church leaders and pastors who are presently occupying [�]

Court hears appeal of false imprisonment award case
In November of 2011, then-Supreme Court Justice Minnet Hafiz Bertram awarded over $93,000 in general damages and a further $23,000 in costs to three Belize City men who sued for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution after being wrongfully accused of involvement in a murder in San Pedro, Ambergris [�]

Man accused of shooting at dogs to be released � but when?
A San Pedro man appeared in Belize City Magistrate's Court charged with discharging a firearm within 40 yards of a public road. But he claims that he was doing it to protect himself from two pitbulls who came after him. The man is 33 year old cabinetmaker Byron [�]

Couple accused of immigration offences granted bail
Guatemalans Marleny Castellanos and Alfredo Gonzalez Marcos were granted bail of $20,000 and $10,000 each today by Justice Troadio Gonzalez. They are accused of illegally using fraudulent Belizean documents to stay in Belize. Castellanos is further accused of helping as many as 18 Central American nationals from the [�]


"You're Doing What?" by Rich Henry
Like many others out there, my wife and I have decided that it's time to hit the road. Belize? Where exactly is that? Somewhere "down there", one of those countries in the middle. After some research and talking to friends that have either been there (or now live there), we've decided that San Pedro Town on the Ambergris Caye is our target for several months. "Why so long?" our friends ask. Well, why not? We're both island oriented at heart, having already visited the Hawaiian Islands, the Bahamas, the Grenadines and many others. The laid back lifestyle, the fact that it's not too far from where we live in the States, the chance to say "We lived in San Pedro, Belize for a while" all make it attractive to us. This whole thing is a "bucket list" check-off for us. I told my wife that before one of us is in a wheelchair someday that we should break the rules and live outside the box. Hence, live somewhere else for a while. Have an adventure, break away from the routine. Who knows, maybe we'll stay. By the way, there's just something that's feels naughty about buying one way tickets��.out of the country! I already feel a sense of satisfaction even if we don't go anywhere. Most of our friends are supportive and think it's a cool idea, others are skeptical and our kids are saying "you're doing what?". Somehow, it just feels right.

Snorkeling Mexico Rocks and My First Lobster of the Season At Casa Picasso
Yesterday was another gorgeous day. Breezy (quite breezy) and just all out sun. It was also day 4 of the San Pedro Lobsterfest. Things to do for sure so let's get moving. My friends from Imagine Tours had friends from the states in town and we were all headed up to North Ambergris Caye for a bit of snorkeling and perhaps some lunch. I packed my bag� and applied some serious sunblock. SPF 15 to 55, creams and sprays, all depending on the body part. After a few years down here and countless idiot burns (you know the ones where you have a strip across your back or a hand print on your leg), I think I have the formula right.

Workplace Rights For Belizeans In The US
The Honorable Roland York, The Consulate General of Belize and Ruben Rosalez, Regional Administrator from the U.S Department of Labor, Wage, and Hours division (WHD) has come together today to sign a memorandum of understanding to bring awareness of workplace laws and regulations applicable to Belizeans in the U.S. The objective of this agreement is to help Belizeans understand their workplace rights, in particularly with regard to violations of the minimum wage, working overtime and not being paid, child labor, record keeping and all laws establish under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Belizeans who have worked in the U.S and returned home and even deportees who worked and left the U.S being owed wages, can collect their back pay and benefits through this initiative.

1977 email between UK and Guatemala on the state of Belize

Belize Political Assessment
The Government of Belize (GOB) welcomes Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) although the investment climate has cooled over the past year. There is a number of disputes between U.S. and other foreign investors and various GOB agencies as well as new legislation that hampers the ability of investors to seek arbitration to resolve disputes. (DOS) The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) was established to serve as a one-stop-shop for export and investment assistance but bureaucratic red tape may still be encountered when seeking government fiscal incentives. (DOS) Government investment incentives include: Fiscal Incentives Act: Export Processing Zone Act: Commercial Free Zone Act: International Business Companies Act: Generally, Belize has no restrictions on the limits of foreign ownership and control of companies; however, there is a prerequisite that foreign investors obtain prior clearance from the Central Bank of Belize. In addition, there are a few investment incentives which show preference to Belizean-owned companies. (DOS)

Well AD is complaining about the scooters that are coming to the island to be rented out to tourist. At first thought we agreed that maybe it wasn't a good idea, however after some talking, asking around, we are retracking that position. We agree that there needs to be rules, perhaps a release signed, maybe a lesson or two on use. Governors on them so they don't go 45 miles an hour but maybe 15/20. With this and hopefully insurance for the owners insuring tourist riding. We see it as a good way to control traffic. Less golf carts blowing by each other, less congestion on the roads and maybe even less cars on the island. Could be a cute idea with people on scooters driving around the island. Not on the beaches but the roads. To us we see it as a great way to lighten the roads! It is called progress! It's called future!

International Sourcesizz

Atlantic Hurricane Outlook for the Remainder of June
There were no tropical cyclones anywhere in the world on Friday, and none of the reliable models for forecasting tropical cyclone genesis in the Atlantic (European, GFS, and UKMET) is predicting development over the coming five days. There is a tropical disturbance off the east coast of Florida that radar out of Melbourne, Florida shows some spin to. However, satellite loops show the area of heavy thunderstorms is very limited, and there is a lot of dry air interfering with thunderstorm development. Wind shear is a moderate 10 knots. In their 8 am EDT Friday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the disturbance 2-day and 5-day development odds of 10%. The disturbance will likely head northeast out to sea over the weekend. Hurricane Forecast for the Remainder of June: Vertical wind shear is predicted to be very high over most of the tropical Atlantic the remainder of June, reducing the odds of tropical storm formation. With the active thunderstorm area of the MJO predicted to remain over the Pacific Ocean the rest of June, this will favor dry, sinking air over the Atlantic, further discouraging tropical storms from forming. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs), which are close to average over the Caribbean (an anomaly of +0.1°F) and cooler than average over the Gulf of Mexico (an anomaly of -0.2°F) will do no favors for any potential June tropical storms that try to form. If development does occur in June, the most likely location would be off the east coast of Florida, between the Bahamas and Bermuda, where SSTs are slightly above average and wind shear will be lower. Storms that form in this region are typically only a threat to Bermuda.

Amazonian Bird Said to Be as Rare as a Unicorn Caught on Film
Two harpy eagles, jungle birds who are seldom seen and said to be as rare as unicorns, were recently photographed and filmed in the wild. The photographers captured very intimate moments between a mother feeding her chick in its nest; porcupine and sloth were on the menu. Plus, there's a white and fluffy baby bird calling its mom for food - it's really cute. As reported in Live Science, the harpy eagles were believed to be extinct in and around Belize. Yet, Belizean sightings in 2011 proved that the eagles still inhabited part of the Central American rain forests that they once piloted. The harpy eagle isn't the run-of-the-mill raptor. The eagles can weigh up to 20 pounds and grow close to 40 inches (or, the average height of a sitting human 5-year-old). They are very heavy; the Association of Zoos and Aquariums call them the "heaviest of all bird species." Their weight sits on their sharp 5-inch talons. Despite their impressive size and weight, the harpy eagle isn't equipped to handle everything. Man-made trials proves especially difficult. The top of the food chain predators usually are in the most serious predicaments; we've already seen this in the case of the Gobi bear.

African, Caribbean and Pacific Group Announces Next Secretary General Will be From Caribbean
The next secretary general of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of countries for the period 2015-20 will come from the Caribbean region, the Suriname ministry of foreign affairs has announced. After some debate during the recently concluded ACP Council of Ministers' meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, consensus was reached, and eventually the council decided that the next secretary general will come from the Caribbean, said Suriname's minister of foreign affairs, Winston Lackin. Meanwhile, the ACP Secretariat in Brussels confirmed that the selection of the next secretary general will be finalized by the Council of Ministers in Suriname in November, before the eighth ACP summit to be held during the same period in Paramaribo.

This Is Officially The World Cup Of CONCACAF
CONCACAF is dominating the 2014 World Cup. Or, perhaps less hyperbolically, CONCACAF - the FIFA region that encompasses North America, Central America, and the Caribbean - is outperforming its traditionally low expectations at the 2014 World Cup. The region has long been more or less of a joke, even among American soccer fans. The United States and Mexico - relative afterthoughts compared to the top teams in Europe - are the superpowers. World Cup qualifying involves trips to places like Barbados and Belize, where the field are basically weed patches and only a handful of fans show up. But in Brazil, CONCACAF has come to play, and it's not a fluke. The four teams - United States, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Honduras - are a combined 4-1-1 through Friday afternoon. Costa Rica is already qualified for the knockout stages with a 1-0 win over Italy, and they will likely finished above Italy, England, and Uruguay in their group.

Central America Infrastructure Report Q3 2014
There is a wide divergence of performance and opportunities across the various construction industry markets in Central America. With comparatively low levels of risk, we expect Panama and Costa Rica to continue to lead both in terms of industry value and real growth. With regards to the region's underperformers, Guatemala and El Salvador continue to report the lowest level of growth but we anticipate this to change over the medium term as there is significant potential in both markets for the development of transport infrastructure. We see high risks, small scale and limited growth opportunities across the region as a whole. A crucial factor underpinning our forecasts for infrastructure investments in future years is political risk. This is a particular concern in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala where high levels of crime, homicide, violence, and insecurity exacerbate operational risks for companies willing to invest in those countries. As such, we believe that local and regional companies (especially Mexican and Brazilian), as well as Chinese players which have a stronger appetite for risk, are best place to benefit from the opportunities on offer in the region. In this context, we also highlight Spanish companies which have an established presence in the region.


Video: Jaguar Encounter, Belize Zoo, 3min.
Students having a jaguar encounter at the Belize Zoo on June 15, 2014

Video: Sugar Cane Field Fire, Belize, 2min.
Sugar cane field fire before harvest near San Lazaro, Belize, on June 19, 2014.

Video: Belize Adventure HKPK Adventures, 4min.
Some highlights of when, Hunter Yang, went on his trip to Belize.

Video: Powerball "Unchanged" 1, 1/2min.
You might recognize some faces in this commercial! Australian Powerball Lotto commerical mostly filmed in Belize!

Video: Powerball "Unchanged" 2, 1/2min.
The crew at Make-Belize Films, who created Kurse a di Ixtabai, have been busy lately. Their latest creation is a series of commercials for the Australian Powerball lottery that feature Belize. In the 2nd one, Xunantunich and Monkey Falls can both be seen. The market can be seen in the 1st:

Video: Belize-Snorkelen, 5min.

Video: Diving in San Pedro, Belize, 7min.
Highlights of the dive trip we took to Belize in June of 2014

Video: Snorkeling - Caye Caulker, Belize, 1min.
Quick little video of my snorkeling adventure in Caye Caulker, Belize. We went with the Raggamuffin Tour, highly recommend them.

Video: Chinese New Year, Belize City, Jan, 2014, 11min.
heck out the guy walk thru the fire crackers @ 1:45, 5:46, 7:15 and 8:15

Video: A Day at Placencia Beach, Belize, 3min.

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