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The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Lions bring Christmas Cheer to citizens of all ages
Belize Bank has been assisting with the Seniors Christmas Party since its inception and is always happy to give back to the community. "It is our pleasure to be a part of this event and share some cheer with those who have served the community for so long. These seniors have all contributed to the growth and development of the island so it's only right for us to give back to them. We would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Years," said Belize Bank San Pedro Branch Manager, Maria Cervantes. At the end of the night, each guest received a gift bag as a token of appreciation. The San Pedro Lions Club would like to thank everyone that made these two events possible. Big thanks also goes out to everyone that supports Lions' fundraising activities throughout the year. Look out for their big New Year's Eve party. It is certainly their biggest event of the year, and always draws a crowd!


Will NTUCB Influence BSCFA Decision?
As the BSCFA continues to iron out the terms of the agreement with BSI, at this juncture, it's all deja vu as once again as the crop will not see a start until in the New Year. This time around, however, the association and farmers have a new ally, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. Member Audrey Matura Sheppard has not been in the least bit reticent about their position in the matter and in their opinion of BSI and the government even. But how much influence can or will the NTUCB have on the BSCFA as they move forward on matter? We asked Cansino and this is what he responded. Ezekiel Cansino- Chairman, BSCFA, COM"Sinceramente, no podr�a yo decir exactamente cuanta influencia podr�an tener pero hemos tenido contacto de varios caneros y es variable el sentimiento que ellos est�n teniendo en estos momentos unos dicen pues es bueno tener el apoyo de estas organizaciones y otros est�n diciendo que en realidad es un movimiento pol�tico y hay diferentes sentimiento del canero ahorita y no podr�a yo decir c�mo estamos en realidad con todo esto."

How To Keep Your Home Safe From Burglars For The Holidays
The Christmas holiday is the most anticipated holiday of the year. It's the time of the year to share and care for others, but it's also a time known for resilient criminals and opportunistic thieves. But the police in Corozal, like most of the formations across Belize, have increased their presence on the streets in order to keep unwanted visitors away from homes, businesses and the town and villages. Andrew Ramirez - OC Corozal "I just want to emphasize that the police has stepped up all his operations capabilities, we have expanded our motorcycle patrols, a number of foot patrols out, we have our mobiles patrols out as a matter of fact we have a team now that will be going out in the villages to ensure citizens security, however, we implore in the community to do their part, if they see any persons suspicious, any vehicles please call the police."

SFXCU Spreads The Joy Of Christmas
The month of December brings along the joy of Christmas, that time of the year when the entire world celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.It is all about giving, expecting nothing in return, or at least that's the way it should be. And for Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union in Corozal, giving back to their membership at this time of the year is at the top of their to do list.Today the financial institution paid tribute to their membership by hosting their second annual membership Christmas program with over a thousand children in attendance. Rafael Dominguez, General Manager of the credit union, shared with us the joy of today's event.

Merry Christmas From Our Family To Yours
And before we end off our Christmas Eve edition of the News, here is a Christmas greeting to the people of Orange Walk Town from Mayor Kevin Bernard who expressed yesterday his sincere well wishes to all families and hope that the community will celebrate Christmas with cheer, and welcome the New Year with courage and hope for prosperity. "To all my Orange Walkenos and all Belizeans on a whole lets enjoy peacefully, lets enjoy like brothers and sisters, if you are going to drink, drink responsively remember if you are driving don't drink, and if you want to drink make sure you have a responsible driver, somebody that will take care of the family we must remember this is a time that everybody strive to overdo things sometimes and we want to ask that we take all the precautions necessary, if you are leaving your home make sure you have somebody taking care of your home, these are thing that we must always remember Christmas comes and go but we have a home that we must protect and our children that we must protect, and our lives that we must secure and those are the things that I ask let us make sure that next year bring us greater things, better things, a better community one that will work together, one that will see development, one that will continue to see progress in our town."

BSCFA Board Of Directors Divided When It Comes To Sighing Agreement With BSI
As we have been reporting, the negotiations between the BSCFA and BSI/ASR are stalled - again. It has become clear that within the association there is a division. Past members of the negotiating team that had headed the discussions with BSI/ASR were put in the back seat as Ezekiel Cansino and the branch directors took over the negotiations. These members however have not only been observing the progress of the negotiations but a few have been very vocal about their disapproval of the terms the directors have agreed to. Today, it's another waiting period for BSI's response after the association has made amendments to the latest draft. The company's position according to the past members of the negotiating team is one that is all too familiar. Ex member and Chairman of the Finance Committee Lucario Javier Queme voiced his opinion on the matter.

P.M Signs Agreement With Japan
Yesterday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Japanese Ambassador Yasuo Takase signed Exchange of Notes to provide 1 million dollars in grant funds for the Government. The money will be used to buy a range of products that are manufactured in areas of Japan that suffered from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami on the island nation's pacific coast. Prime Minister Dean Barrow says it's a way for the Japanese Government to help to stimulate the economy in those areas to help them to get back on the right foot while at the same time allowing developing countries like Belize to benefit from the Japanese Grant.

CEO Lovell Weighs In On 2014 Crime Figures
The Belize Police Department released the latest Comparative Crime Statistics yesterday and figures show that 2014 (up to today) saw 121 murders with 34 arrests made. Last year's murder rate was at a low 99 but this year that figure surge quite a bit, making it one of the most murderous years in history. CEO in the Ministry of National Security, George Lovell shared with the media what the figures are revealing. "The figures that we currently see, while it's at one hundred and twenty-one or one hundred and twenty-two, is one of the lower figures in the last five years - the second lowest to last year's figure. And when we do our analysis - my analyst shows me that when you do projections - because we were looking at how things would be going all the way to 2020 and how we can bring - because our plans at the Ministry of National Security is to bring our homicides rate per capita to about eight per hundred thousand. And we believe we can do so, and we have a plan to do so. But what that graph shows us is that in doing so we would have seen a rise in 2014, and then there would be a gradual dip going down to 2020. There has been quite a great deal of investment that we have put into our law enforcement entities which sincerely I believe that the investment that we put in has planted the seeds that will be sown later on. These aren't things that we will see happening immediately."

Elderly man murdered in Dangriga
Dangriga police are investigating the murder on Saturday of 72-year-old Felix Castillo Carranza, a Honduran food vender of Lakeland area, Dangriga Town. The elderly man was discovered at about 4:53 p.m. lying face down in a pool of blood. He had a large cut wound to the throat. Police say there was no sign of forced entry to his house and that Carranza was last seen alive at around 8 p.m. on Friday.

Search resumes for missing AirAsia airbus
The search has resumed for AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501, a day after it went missing with 162 people on board. A commander at Surabaya air force base in Indonesia said that visibility in the search area was good. The Airbus A320-200 disappeared over the Java Sea early on Sunday en route to Singapore from Surabaya. The pilots had requested a course change due to bad weather but did not send any distress call before the plane disappeared from radar screens. "God willing, we can find it soon," said First Admiral Sigit Setiayana at the Surabaya air force base. Sunday's search was largely suspended as night fell.

Man stabbed on Christmas day
A man lies critically wounded as a result of a stabbing on Christmas day in Belize City. Police say that sometime around 11 a.m. on Christmas day, Fernando Madrill, 28, a fisherman, suffered a stab wound to the right side of the back while involved in a fight with a man in front of a residence on Tibruce Street. Police are now seeking Randy O'Niel pending investigations.

Kidnapped Mexican priest found dead
A priest who was kidnapped in Mexico's south-western state of Guerrero on Monday has been found shot dead. The body of Father Gregorio Lopez was discovered near the city of Ciudad Altamirano. A group of priests later rallied in the city to condemn the murder. Father Lopez was seized by gunmen from Ciudad Altamirano's seminary, where he taught. The motive for the killing remains unclear. A friend of the priest told local media that Father Lopez was kidnapped after he accused drug gang Guerreros Unidos of the abduction and alleged murder of 43 students in September. He is the third priest to be killed this year in Guerrero state, which has been at the centre of drug-related violence in Mexico.

Patrick JonesPJ

Burglary reported in Orange Walk town
Not even burglar bars could keep thieves out of a business establishment in Orange Walk over the Christmas holidays. The proprietor of Le Chen restaurant reported to police that sometime between 11:30 pm on Christmas Day and 8:30 am on Boxing Day, someone broke into the building by prying open the burglar bar on the back door. The thief or thieves helped themselves to two television sets with a combined value of $2.599 and $4,000 from a safe in the kitchen.

Murder in Dangriga
Police in Dangriga town are investigating the weekend murder of a 72 year old man. The murder victim has been identified as Felix Castillo Carranza. The official police report says that Carranza, a Honduran national, was found dead inside of a house in the Lakeland area of Dangriga town. His body had a large cut wound to the throat.

Vehicle suffers structural failure on the George Price Highway
No one was hurt early this morning when a vehicle had a structural failure on the George Price Highway. An alert motorist capture these pictures of the vehicle parked at the side of the road in Central Farm around 6:30 am today. The van, according to reports received, was heading towards Belmopan when the incident happened.


Belize Background: Environment
Sustainability Now for a country like Belize most importantly means an end to the socio-economic activities that threaten environments and species of plants and animals in this topical paradise. Situated within the Mesoamerican hotspot, Belize has a very high level of terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity. Belize hosts more than 150 spp. of mammals, 540 spp. of birds, 151 spp. of amphibians and reptiles, nearly 600 spp. of freshwater and marine fishes and 3,408 spp. of vascular plants. The country is unique, not only in the total number of species present, but also in the many different ecotypes and their species richness. The country contains a vast array of ecosystems, many of which are critical habitats for threatened and endangered species. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS), stretching the full length of Belize's coastline, is the second largest unbroken coral reef complex in the world. The diversity of corals and related reef dwellers as well as its sheer size, has qualified this reef to be declared a World Heritage Site, in recognition of its rich biodiversity and consequent global importance.

Belize Background: Economy
Belize has a small, essentially private enterprise economy that is based primarily on agriculture, tourism, and services. A number of Government and international development agencies are involved in assisting the Government of Belize in its development through economic cooperation programs. The economy of Belize was traditionally based on forestry, mainly the export of logwood, mahogany and chicle. The country's economy is now based on agricultural development. But in recent years there has been resurgence in forestry. The cultivation of newly discovered crude oil in the town of Spanish Lookout has presented new prospects and problems for this developing nation. Besides petroleum, Belize's other primary exports are citrus, sugar, bananas, fish products (mainly lobster), timber and garments. Dairy farming is growing in importance and the livestock industry continues to grow.

Belize Background: Country Overview
Belize is a small country with a population of fewer than 350,000 people, most all of whom speak English. Belize, only 8,867 square miles in size, is situated on the northeast coast of Central America. The country's greatest length from north to south is 173 miles and its greatest width is 67 miles. The Caribbean Sea lies to the east and from the air its turquoise waters are clear, allowing the multicolored coral formation of the Great Barrier Reef to be easily observed. Coral islands called cayes, covered with stands of mangrove trees, dot the coast. Lying in aquamarine and jade-colored bays, these cayes protect the jungled coastline from the ravages of the sea. Part Caribbean, part Central American, the country is mostly wide-open spaces fringed by white sand and swaying palms. Inshore from the beaches are lush jungles and small mountains all of which seemed to be populated by beautiful waterfalls.

Belize Socio-Cultural Aspects
The original inhabitants of Belize were Preceramic hunters and gatherers. The Maya Indians populated the area from 2000 B.C. until the Spanish Conquest in the 1500s. However, many Maya groups had left the once heavily populated area in the 10th century A.D., and immigrated to the Yucatan. It was not until after the British occupied Belize that they returned. Today, there are three distinct Mayan groups, each speaking their own dialect of the Mayan language. As a British colony, Belize was made up of pirates, lumbermen and their slaves. There was assimilation with the neighboring Spanish, Mexican and Indian populations. Today's population balance is approximately:

The December 21, 2014 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Nomination Day for Cayo North:
    Today was nomination day for the upcoming by-election in Cayo North that is to be held on Monday, 5 January, 2015. This morning a crowd of about 200 PUP supporters gathered in the Columbus Park in downtown San Ignacio. We saw many PUP representatives, elected officials and political candidates from all over the country, each of them brought their own supporters. And while the national figures were out in force, we didn't see a great deal of Cayo North voters. PUP candidate, Richard Harrison, who was nominated in the San Ignacio courtroom by 6 constituents, says his supporters and voters had to work. The turnout left much to be desired. While it was a weekday, political credibility has a threshold and it certainly wasn't met on this occasion.
  • Police Jailed for Indecent Assault:
    Police Constable Randolph Scott began his 60 days in jail after he was convicted on Monday, 15 December, 2014 by Chief Magistrate, Ann-Marie Smith, of aggravated assault of an indecent nature on a fellow female police officer. The incident happen on October 26, 2013, at the Belama Precinct 4 police station, according to the female officer, Scott touched her legs, pulled up and pushed his hand inside her skirt. He also squeezed her breast, pulled her hand to touch his private area and then exposed his genitals to her. The key eyewitness was on-duty officer Manuel Mai, who claimed that Scott offered him to do the same as he did when he was finished.
  • Black Fruit Cake:
    The fruits will need to be soaked in rum and sugar at least 7 days before making cake. Put aside a little flour to flour the fruits before adding to batter. This keeps fruits from settling at the bottom of the cake. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating constantly. Add flour, baking powder and spices into the butter, sugar and eggs mix with a spoon. Then add stout and colouring to the mixture. Beat for about 4 minutes at high speed. In a separate dish pour the rum off the fruits. (The rum should be kept to add to the finished cake after cooling) Flour fruits and add to the batter.
  • Belizean Rum Popo Recipe:
    Belizean Liquor that's similar to Egg Nog but can be potent. Soak cinnamon stick and raisins in rum for 2 days. Beat eggs well (15-20 minutes Removing beater and rinsing in clean water several times to remove strings (eye of egg) Add Evaporated milk & beat again. Add condensed milk and check for desired sweetness. Add grated nutmeg & rum (that was used for soakingstrain before using) Mix again and store in clean dry bottles.
  • Belize Forges New Environment Gains for Central American Countries:
    Belize has forged major gains on climate change, the environment and sustainable development for the Central American region, it was revealed, on Tuesday, December 16, 2014. Belize's six months presidency of the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD) which ends this month, has been marked by new levels of co-operation and integration between countries. Belize's Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, and Protemp President of CCAD for the last six months, the Hon. Lisel Alamilla highlighted her main achievements at a CCAD Ministerial at the meeting in Placencia.
  • Communion And Transformation:
    Moses, as he returned from the mountain of vision, where he had beheld as much of God's glory as seems possible to man, caught some gleam of the Light which he beheld. There was a strange radiance on his face, unknown to himself, but visible to all. He remained long enough in the presence of God to become saturated with the light and glory of the Lord. What wonder that he sparkled with it and was compelled to cover his face with a veil!
  • A Merry Heart for a Merry Christmas:
    During this Christmas season, I'm talking about how to have a merry heart for a truly merry Christmas. We noted that putting a smile on our faces is one simple way to help others be merry. A second way to have a merry heart is to choose words that are cheerful. Proverbs 16:24 says "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Did you ever realize that pleasant words from you can really bring healing to other people-even physical healing to their bones? It's so easy for us to get caught up in the negative, complaining atmosphere that is usually prevalent in our working worlds. If you want to have a merry heart, start concentrating on having pleasant words.
  • Yellow Fever:
    Yellow fever, known historically as yellow jack or yellow plague, is an acute viral disease. In most cases, symptoms include fever, chills, loss of appetite, nausea, muscle pains particularly in the back, and headaches. Symptoms typically improve within five days. In some people within a day of improving, the fever comes back, abdominal pain occurs, and liver damage begins causing yellow skin. If this occurs, the risk of bleeding and kidney problems will also increased. The disease is caused by the yellow fever virus and is spread by the bite of the female mosquito. It only infects humans, other primates, and several species of mosquitoes. In cities, it is primarily spread by mosquitoes of the Aedes aegypti species. The virus is an RNA virus of the genus Flavivirus. The disease may be difficult to tell apart from other illnesses, especially in the early stages. To confirm a suspected case, blood sample testing with polymerase chain reaction is required.
  • Cuba's Raul Castro Urges US To Lift Trade Embargo:
    Cuban President Raul Castro has urged the US to end its trade embargo after the two countries opened formal talks on restoring diplomatic relations. He said the five-decade embargo "caused enormous human and economic damage". But only the US Congress has the power to lift the embargo, and correspondents say many Republicans are still deeply opposed to this. On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama and Mr Castro agreed a number of measures to improve ties. They included the release by Cuba of US contractor Alan Gross and three Cubans held in the US.
  • Fishers and Vessels Licensing:
    The Belize Fisheries Department hereby advices fishers and the general public that due to unforeseen technical issues, the licensing of fishers and vessels that was to be carried out in various coastal communities starting Monday December 15, 2014 has been postponed until early January 2015. The new dates for licensing being conducted in these communities will be circulated on a later date, via press release and radio announcements. However, the renewal of fisher and vessel licenses in Belize City will be done as per normal at the Licensing Office of the Belize Fisheries Department starting Monday December 15, 2014.
  • STAR Humor
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

International Sourcesizz

Belize: "Blue Hole" offenbart weiteres Puzzle-Teil zum Untergang der Maya
Wissenschaftler rund um Andr� Droxlervon der Rice University haben ein weiteres Puzzle-Teil zum Untergang der klassischen Maya-Kultur gefunden. Schon seit Jahren gilt eine extreme D�rre als Grund f�r den Kollaps der Hochkultur, doch eindeutige Beweise fehlten bislang. Doch nun haben die Wissenschaftler bei Analysen von Sedimenten des ber�hmten "Blue Hole" in Belize festgestellt, dass wohl eine Jahrhundertelange D�rre eine der Gr�nde des Untergangs war. Zwischen 700 und 900 nach Christus begann der Untergang der Hochkultur.

Lifestyle Travel Club Recommends Belize
Lifestyle Travel Club is recommending Belize as a good place to vacation and retire. Belize is a democratic, English and Spanish speaking nation, once known as British Honduras. The weather is mild, the beaches are spectacular, the history is rich, and yes, it is a land of swaying palm trees and colorful sunsets. The country has been selected by international publications such as U.S. News and World Report, AARP and the Boston Herald as a top retirement location. This is an absolutely fascinating country located in Central America, the only English and Spanish speaking nation immediately south of Mexico with which it shares a land border. While some of the articles on Belize appearing in foreign publications can be looked at as advertorials, with careful planning and foresight, this little country can be a good place to vacation and retire to.


Belize 2014, 3.5min. Great week of diving in Belize, here is everything we managed to catch on camera.
CookieCatsProposal!, 1.5min. Marriage Proposal in Belize!
Ambergris Caye, Belize 2014, 5min.
BELIZE 2014, 9min. The Green Parrot and Monkey River.
Belize - Snorkeling "Mexico Rocks", 9min. Snorkeling "Mexico Rocks" off the coast of Ambergris Caye, Belize with Searious Adventures. One of the best snorkeling adventures we have experienced. So much life in a free swim environment. Sea life seen: stingrays, nurse sharks, moray eel, caribbean lobster, lots and lots of fish/coral and one big puffer fish.
Scuba Diving wiht Blacktip Reef Shark - Belize - Blue hole trip, 1min. what an amazing dive last week. We love sharks and love when we can dive with them ... I'm absolutely not afraid, just so happy to share the water with this gorgeous Blacktip Reef Sharks, and to had the time to turn on my gopro
Diving in Belize 2014, 20min. Some highlights from a few of our dives captured by one of the crew members. Blue Hole and one of the night dives as well as snippets from a few others. Personal favorites are the fighting eels, octopus, and sharks.
Belize 2014, 2min. Unbelizeable memories from CSU Belize study abroad 2014
Getting ready for cave canoeing, Belize, 1min.
Spanish Lookout (Belize) History Part1, 35min. A video documentary of life in Spanish Lookout, Belize, from 1958 to 2008. NOTE: I did nothing to make this video; Spanish Lookout is my home country and I grew up there, and so that's why I thought I'd post this.
Spanish Lookout (Belize) History Part2, 35min.
The Rum Factory in Belize with Ron Robey, .5min. Take a tour with the best tour guide in Belize, Justin Snap.