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The San Pedro Sun

Caramba Restaurant waiter recognized by TripAdvisor
A waiter at Caramba Restaurant has received a pin of recognition from a TripAvdisor representative for his outstanding service. 23-year-old Oscar Campos has been working at Caramba for the past six months and a couple weeks ago had the honor of serving a TripAdvisor representative who was visiting the island. Impressed with the level of service Campos offered, and claiming he served the best Piña Colada on the island, the representative bestowed Campos with a TripAdvisor pin of recognition. “I’m happy and much honored to have received this recognition,” said Campos. TripAdvisor pins of recognition are given to members of the TripAdvisor network and are meant to be handed out to persons within the hospitality industry that give exceptional service. According to the TripAdvisor website, these pins are not widely distributed and it is considered an honor to receive one.

Letter to the Editor: Pamela Zetina’s Volunteer Servicies Dismissed due to Politics
Letters-to-the-EditorI am truly saddened that it has come to this and now I realize that politics plays a very dirty role on how things are ran (manipulated) in this island. I respond to a letter from the management of the San Pedro House of Culture, under the authority of Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation. The letter states that I have been relieved of my volunteer services as member of the committee of the San Pedro House of Culture in which I was just recently appointed. Clearly, the Minister’s decision is strictly political as he has made that clear to me in person. This saddens me because I only want to volunteer my services to better my community and make the islanders proud of having such a great facility that promotes our rich culture. At first I cried because of my rejection of these two politicians (Mito Paz and Manuel Heredia), but then I realized I was not serving them but my people of San Pedro. Today I smile with pride and joy because there are so many others who have invited me to share my passion of serving with them and for San Pedro.

Easter Bunny makes a vacation stop at SPRCS
Walking barefoot on the island used to be the norm, but with progress comes cobblestone streets, and when you combine hot sun and tough roads, going barefoot isn’t so fun anymore. With that in mind, three couples from Alberta, Canada brought down many pairs of shoes to gift to some children at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS). Bruce and Brian Griffith, Sheila and Dave Belkey, Shirley and David Hickle and Marilyn Hogan stopped by SPRCS on Thursday, April 17th to distribute shoes and little souvenirs to one of the Standard I (Grade III) classrooms. “Having heard that some children have no shoes to walk in, and knowing that going barefoot can cause all manner of infections or increases the chances of getting cut on glass or shell, we thought we would bring down some shoes to distribute on our return trip,” said David Hickle. Children’s faces lit up as the Easter Bunny (Bruce Griffith) walked in. Excited, each child was beaming and grateful for their presents.

WPC Sherifa Young convicted for 2012 police brutality incident
Woman Police Constable (WPC) #1342 Sherifa Young has been found guilty for the crime of “Harm” in regard to an incident that occurred in December of 2012. Young, who has been in interdiction from December 19, 2012, was sentenced on Tuesday, April 14th at the San Pedro Magistrate Court for one count of “Harm”. Her sentence was in reference to news article, “Victims of alleged police brutality in San Pedro call for justice”, which was published in The San Pedro Sun in Issue 49 Volume 22 dated December 13, 2012. WPC Young was charged after three island residents claimed police brutality and use of unnecessary force. The incident occurred on December 17, 2012 after Ricky Jurado was arrested by a WPC Young and Corporal Mark Young. Two of Jurado’s friends intervened during the arrest, because the police were using excessive force. As a result Elder Mauricio and Vianie Perez were approached by WPC Young. She proceeded to hit Mauricio and Perez several times with a baton. When Perez tried to defend herself, it only resulted in WPC Young injuring her further.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Prime Minister Barrow Departs for Miami, Florida
The Office of the Prime Minister informs the general public that the Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow departed the country for Miami, Florida today, April 25, 2015. During his visit, the Prime Minister will meet with cruise lines to discuss a way forward regarding the Stake Bank Port; and he will also meet with officials concerning relations with corresponding banks and financial institutions in Belize. The Prime Minister is expected to return to the country on Tuesday, April 28th, 2015. In his absence, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister.

Western Ballaz Play Dangriga Warriors
The Western Ballaz hosted the Dangriga Warriors last night. The Warriors won this time around. Kenny Lamb, once again, got some great shots of the game. Go Ballaz! "Game was fast, fun and entertaining! The Warriors had their way taking home the win, but The Ballaz gave them a run for the money. Nuff Respect to both teams! Troyer was not able to play as he is injured. (Tag players & ppl, share, like, comment) Thanks."

Walk For A Green Cayo
The Rotaractors from Cayo participated in this year's Walk for a Green Belize this morning. It was a country-wide effort, and the statistics on how much trash was cleaned up should be out soon. Thanks, Rotaractors! "Rotaractors participated this morning Saturday, April 25th, 2015 in a clean-up campaign In commemoration of Earth Day 2015 together with Oceana Members and The Department of Environment. The clean-up campaign consisted of the entire George Price Highway and Macal River in San Ignacio. Thanks to all the amazing people who came out to inspire others and make a difference."

BBIA Book Week Kickoff
The Belize Book Industry Association kicked off Book Week yesterday at the Cayo Welcome Center. They had fun and games, and there were a lot of books to peruse. In the evening, they had a Literary Evening at the Soul Project. It continues today.

The Reporter

UN agencies look at ways to improve services in Belize
A group of representatives from various United Nations (UN) agencies have started sharing and reviewing data in an attempt to improve their impact throughout Belize. The group, including representatives from the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFP). Roberto Valent, UN resident coordinator said the idea is to pool resources together to work along with the government to ensure that Belizeans are getting the best services possible. Valent said issues including poverty, gender equality and development goals are at the top of the list. UNICEF representative Ivan Yerovi said violence against women and children are the main cause of concern for his agency. He added that Belize needs to ensure, through the judiciary, that offenders who perpetrate violence against children, especially sexual violence, are punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Volunteers line highway for Green Belize
Volunteers from various organizations joined the Department of the Environment (DOE) on Saturday morning for the second annual Green Belize clean-up activity. Seli Cho, environmental officer at the DOE and organizer of the clean-up said the DOE was pleased with the turnout of volunteers that participated. According to Cho, volunteers included participants from the not only the DOE and the Belize Audubon Society but also the police department, the Belize Coast Guard, Belize Scouts, police cadets, the Belize Bank, First Caribbean, the Inter American Development Bank and a host of schools just to name a few. Chief Environmental Officer of the DOE Martin Alegria said the significance of the event is to sensitize the public about the harms of littering and giving them an opportunity to participate in the cleaning of their surroundings.

The Belize Times

Cordel Shuts Down Mark King – UDP land fraud continues
The UDP losing candidate in Lake Independence Mark King should be investigated by the Police Department for being in possession of possible fraudulent land documents. King has a land title for block 45 of parcel 61 situated just behind the Charles Bartlett Hyde “Complex” building in the Lake Independence area. But like many, many instances of land fraud and hustling that have occurred under the UDP Government where land papers are issued for properties that already have owners, this land in question was already privately owned by a community group in Lake Independence. It was purchased by the Lake Independence Action Committee as far back as 2007 at a value of $20,000. The land even has a building erected on it, which was financed by fundraising efforts but was destroyed by fire months before the 2008 election. On Tuesday morning, in one of his mad tirades, King lost his few senses and sent a demolition crew to the area in an attempt to bulldoze the building and claim the land. He told the media that he was “in possession” of a title for the same land which was given by the UDP Government to the “UDP Lake Independence Committee” in October 2014.

2015 SMART Mundialito kicks off!!
The 2015 SMART Mundialito annual football competition kicked off with 12 teams playing 6 games at the Yabra field last Saturday, April 18. In Game 1, the defending champs City Boys Juniors and sub-champs, Ladyville Rising Stars, drew nil-zip. In Game 2, the 2x Mundialito champs Brown Bombers drew nil-zip with the Collet Strikers. In Game 3, the Face of Belize FC bombed Mahogany Heights FC 3-1, with Jose Zetina scoring first for Face of Belize and Heights’ Curtis August Jr equalizing 1-1 before the half. After the break tiny Sanja Pitts Jr. scored Face of Belize 2nd goal, and Ajani Vaughn scored Face of Belize 3rd goal.

Hurricanes, Dangriga Warriors & No Limit vie for NEBL basketball playoffs spot
The Yellow Pages Hurricanes, Dangriga Warriors and NO Limit are all in the hunt for the 4th spot in the National Elite Basketball League playoffs. The Hurricanes posted their 3rd win with an 83-81 upset of the defending champs, the San Pedro Tigersharks, before a packed house at the Belize Elementary auditorium on Friday night. Winston “Air Jun” Pratt led the Hurricanes with 24 points and 4 rebounds, while Brian “Brybo” White scored 19 points and 7 rebounds. Darwin “Puppy” Leslie led the Tigersharks’ scoring with 24 points and 5 rebounds. The game was down to 9 seconds when Leslie was fouled and stepped to the charity stripe to score 2 free throws and tie the ball game 81-81, possibly sending the game into overtime. The Hurricanes had possession and inbounded to Leon “Biggs” Williams, whose shot beat the buzzer for the 83-81 win!

Corozal Methodist wins softball nationals
The Corozal Methodist School boys defeated the Independence Primary School team 6-2 to win the national primary school softball championships at “Hostel” football field on Racoon Street on Friday, April 17. The Corozal boys won collecting 2 hits off Vince Garbutt’s pitching. He also walked 9 batters, allowing 6 runs. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners were presented team trophies and individual medals, and Corozal’s pitcher Dale Centeno won the Most Valuable Player award, with 4 wins, 11 strikeouts and scoring 3 runs.

Erwin Contreras gives high school a bounced cheque
UDP representative for Cayo West may be one of the UDP’s most wealthy do-nothing politicians, but he was caught up in a suspicious case of possible fraud when a cheque with his name was used to pay a high school in Benque Viejo del Carmen, but it bounced. Last year, Contreras had attended the Mopan Technical High School graduation ceremony and promised that he would purchase and donate a Risograph printer for the school. Well, one year has passed and not even an ink came through as donation. But with early elections coming, and since another graduation is coming up and expecting an invitation, Contreras’ office submitted a post-dated Belize Bank cheque to the school for $8000. But the cheque has been as good as nothing. When the school tried to use the cheque, it was rejected by the bank because the account did not have the adequate funds. The staff and students of the high school are all aware of the stunt being pulled by the UDP politician who has been representative for so long that he acts as if he owns the area.

Fired for major embezzlement – Nasley Sommerville yet to face criminal charges
Nasley Sommerville, who has been at the center of an investigation into the fleecing of hundreds thousands of dollars from the Southern Regional Hospital’s Maternal and Child health program, was terminated by the Public Services Commission on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015. Sommerville, who was the Administrator of the hospital, had been on suspension with half pay since October of 2013 when evidence of the missing monies was detected by the Auditor General. The Auditor General had conducted a surgical review of the Hospital and found that 189 cheques were disbursed improperly, leading to the embezzlement of over $366,000. The Auditor General also found that during the timespan in which the monies went missing, from January 2010 to September 2013, there was ZERO check and balance by anyone at the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health’s Chief Executive Officer, Peter Allen, was asleep at the wheels and failed to carry out his duties of properly monitoring the accounts at the hospital.

Cop charged for rape of 14 yr. old – PC Cyril Casimiro was also accused of attempted rape in 2008
Police Officer #1093 Cyril Casimiro has been remanded to prison for the alleged rape of a 14 year old in Corozal Town. The 14 year old, accompanied by her mother, reported to the Police that while walking on Antonio Sosa Drive in the Altamira area of Corozal Town around 1:00pm, she met Casimiro dressed in Police clothing and driving a red motorcycle marked “Police”. The minor said that the officer offered her a ride home and she got on the motorcycle, but instead of taking her home Casimiro allegedly took her by the sea behind the Finca Solana housing area where he had sexual intercourse with her against her will. The minor was taken to the hospital where she was examined and found to have been carnally known. She has identified PC Casimiro as the perpetrator and he was charged with rape.

People Power!!
In the movie “Juice”, Tupac’s character “Bishop” was complaining to his boyz in the hood about the lack of respect shown to them and his feeling of powerlessness in gaining the “Juice” (i.e. money, power, respect) that other people in the neighbourhood had. He told his boyz “you gotta get the ground beneath your feet pardna, the wind behind your back!!!” Essentially Tupac was telling the boyz to rise up to become awakened as they had the power within them to make the change and get the “Juice” money, power and respect. Today in the “Jewel” especially the old capital, a similar sentiment is mushrooming – the feeling of powerlessness – at the rise of inequality, joblessness, and increased poverty. However, the United Democratic Party Government and all its political cohorts continue to foster these social ills through the political economy and the various anomalies of “clientilism” (the buying and selling of votes) and the Prime Minister declaring that millions upon millions would have been spent to hold on to the Cayo Northeast constituency and Petrocaribe rolling to win the bye-election in Cayo North...

3 killed, 9 shot over the weekend
Gun violence continued to take siege of the country over the past few days and in particular last weekend which saw three persons fatally shot and nine others injured in separate shootings in Belize City alone. The most tragic of these incidents was Sunday night’s double shooting of couple 54 year old Mike Estell and his common-law wife 29 year old Coleen Sharp, which occurred in their home in Ladyville. Answers to this tragedy appear to have vanished with the life of the two deceased because Police still do not have a clear understanding as to what led Estell to shoot his partner twice in the head and then turn his .380 pistol on himself. Sharp was shot on the nose and forehead. Estell had a gunshot injury to his right temple. It is believed that they had a fight after arriving home separately on Sunday night. In the house, the Police found Sharp’s IPhone6, broken up, and Estell’s chain thrown on the bathroom floor. They were clothed only in underwear and found in the bathroom.

Barrow, Where Have the Millions Gone?
There is a story which goes something like this. A proud mother went to see her son’s marching-out parade. As the parade passed on the street, all the soldiers were marching ‘left right’, ‘left right’. Her son was marching ‘right left’, ‘right left’. She said proudly, look! Only my son is marching correctly, all the others are marching wrong. This sums up the position Prime Minister Dean Barrow is adopting with his wrong-headed and unconstitutional Petrocaribe law The figures, revealed so far, show that the Prime Minister had been illegally hoarding and spending from a fund of almost five hundred million dollars. There was a balance of one hundred and sixty-odd million in February this year. At that time he had already taken out two hundred and eighty six million without adhering to the Constitution and the Finance and Audit Reform law. He gave no detailed reports to the nation. He tabled no accounts of receipts and expenditures to show how the monies were used. There is something rotten going on Each month some eight to twelve million dollars goes into the Petrocaribe funds.

Think About It
Since September 2012 the Prime Minister has been secretly using millions upon millions of dollars from monies out of a Petro Caribe fund. The total up to February 2015 has been a whopping $286 million. All of this is unconstitutional (Section 114 of the Constitution) and a criminal offence (Section 24, Finance and Audit Reform Act of 2010). Caught with his pants down, the Prime Minister hastily passed a law one night on Friday 27 March 2015 to do two major things. The law is trying to legalize the Prime Minister’s illegal actions in secretly taking out millions of dollars over two years without following ANY of the procedures required by law. The second thing the new law does is to allow the Prime Minister to continue to take out millions without getting prior approval of the National Assembly. Under his new law, the Prime Minister can take out any amount any time for any purpose and there can be no limitations on what he does. Weird but true. The Prime Minister MAY use some of the millions for capital projects, community projects and to help the poor. He MAY, the law does not say he SHALL. Yes, it is weird but it is true. It is unlawful but he has now tried to make it lawful. It is a criminal offence but he is hoping he has decriminalized his behavior with his new law. Since 2012, each time he took out money he committed a criminal offence.

Hotbed getting hotter
In a meeting held in Los Angeles in October of 2013 with Belizeans in the Diaspora, Prime Minister Dean Barrow referred to the Ministry of Natural Resources as “another hotbed of corruption.” Interesting that he should have used the word “another” since just about every department in every ministry of this government is riddled by this “wrong and distasteful” way of conducting business. Just last week news broke of improprieties at the Treasury Department where certain employees had pilfered monies adding up to well over a half of million dollars. When confronted with the revelation, Mr. Barrow flippantly dismissed it as “just a few people doing this and that”. The Prime Minister is very good at what he does, but what he does is not a good thing. The man is well trained in the art of sophistry and can make serious transgressions seem trivial. Look how easily he was able to downplay the egregious actions of Elvin Penner, predicting from the very start that nothing would come of it. “Factual guilt and not criminal guilt” was how he explained it and true to word, Penner walked free and is still laughing all the way to the bank.

Facey Barrow wants Audrey Matura-Shepherd excluded from Union meeting
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is a facey man. Thinking he has Union leaders on “strings” the way he had the former NTUCB President, he has asked for a meeting with the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, but has reportedly demanded that Audrey Matura-Shepherd not be allowed to attend. Barrow wants to meet with Union leaders to scold them about their position on the Petrocaribe Loan Act, known as the Barrow Law. The NTUCB has condemned the law passed and approved in a rush on March 27th. It has agreed with the People’s United Party, the Chamber of Commerce and other activists that the law is retrograde and attempts to arbitrarily validate the Government’s wrongdoing – borrowing and spending millions of dollars without getting approval from the National Assembly.

PUP Congratulates the Maya Leaders’ Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes’ Association
The People’s United Party congratulates the Maya Leaders’ Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes’ Association on their historic achievement in finally winning from the Government of Belize recognition of their indigenous right to occupy land in Southern Belize. In the year 2000, the Government of the People’s United Party had signed with the Maya Peoples of Southern Belize a “Ten Points of Agreement” in which stated that: “The government recognizes that the Maya People have rights to lands and resources in southern Belize based on their long-standing use and occupancy.” This was followed in 2001 by an amendment to the Belize Constitution to specifically include “Belize’s indigenous people” among those whose identity, dignity and social and cultural values needed to be recognized and protected.

PUP donates 14 tablets to Hattieville Government School teachers
In a short ceremony this afternoon, PUP Deputy Leader and Belize Rural Central Area Representative Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia handed over 14 Tablets and a Flash Drive containing 500 e-books including encyclopaedias to the Principal of Hattieville Government School Mrs. Batun. The tablets will be distributed to the teachers from Standard 1 to Standard 6 in an effort. The e-books which include material that is useful to their teaching curriculum will be shared among the teachers and can be accessed through the tablet. Attending the ceremony were Secretary General Myrtle Palacio, PUP Collet Standard Bearer Yasmin Shoman and Major (Retired) Lloyd Jones. The donation of these education tools marks the PUP’s commitment to revolutionising education through technology.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Hot and dry weather will prevail for the next couple of days
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny and hot weather today and partly cloudy tonight. Winds will blow East- South East 10 – 20 knots with occasional higher gust. High temperatures are expected to be around 90 degrees Fahrenheit along the coast; 98 degrees Fahrenheit inland and a comfortable 83 degrees Fahrenheit up on the exposed areas of the Mountain Pine Ridge and along the Maya Mountains in the south. A high tide is expected at 2:38 pm and a low tide at 10:28pm tonight. The sun will set at 6:11 pm.

Ministry of Education Personnel Meet to Discuss School Improvement Support
District Center Managers and Education Officers met in Belize City on Friday-April 24th to discuss planned measures of improving data collection and storage for schools across this country. Additionally, support mechanisms are being put in place to assist the Administrators, Managers, and teachers to improve school performance and add more excitement to the learning process. Mount Saint Vincent University will work with the school leaders, teachers, and Administrators to provide additional support in implementing their school improvement plan over a 4-year period. The Research Arm of the Ministry, under the direction of Dr. Neulin Villanueva and Mr. Bernardino Pech, is providing the planning and training needed for the Ministry’s Open EMIS System that has been put in place to facilitate the data collection and storage initiative.

Police need help identifying decomposed body
On April 23rd 2015, we reported that Ladyville police found a decomposing body floating in the vicinity of the Haulover Bridge. Police say that so far they have ascertained that the body is of a Caucasian male dressed in khaki shorts and a black t-shirt and has a tattoo marked “Ninfar” on his right arm. According to police, they also found him with a black and red wrist band on his left arm marked “Anibal”. Because of the advanced state of decomposition, police are unable to determine the cause of his death. There is also no sign of injury to the body and police are not suspecting foul play. The decomposed body was found by a caretaker of a property just past the Haulover Bridge who noticed vultures circling the dead carcass.

International Sourcesizz

Belizean journalists end stay at MSU
Murray State University played host to a pair of Belizean journalists this week as part of a television co-op program through the U.S. Department of State. Hipolito Novelo, a reporter for LOVE-FM in Belize and his photojournalist Brian Castillo spent three days on campus this week interviewing Belizean students at MSU and filming campus life. Julie Umstead, a contractor with the State Department, also joined the two journalists at MSU and with them at seven different colleges and universities in the U.S. The trip was part of the “100,000 Strong in the Americas” initiatives, a private sector partnership to increase the number of U.S. students studying in Latin America by 100,000 and the number of Latin American students studying in the U.S. by 100,000. Reporting trips like that for the Belizean journalists in Murray are all part of spreading the word, Umstead said. Of course, when she began her research on prime institutions to take the radio/TV reporters from the Central American English-speaking country, she said she repeatedly noticed MSU topping Google searches and State Department reports.

“Liquid mercury found under Mexican pyramid”
That’s the beginning of the headline on an article in Britain’s The Guardian published on April 24. Alan Yuhas, the reporter from the Guardian, has done a super job in this report of balancing comments from specialists with an attempt to convey what is exciting here. Since I ended up quoted rather a lot (considering that I was talking on a cell phone while at a cafe for breakfast, without notes, and mainly trying to think who I could suggest to provide expert information) I was motivated to follow up on my off-the-cuff summary of previous finds of liquid mercury in prehispanic sites in Central America with something a little more precise. I should begin with one correction: liquid mercury hasn’t been reported from any Olmec sites, so far as I know. In research published in Science in 1975, archaeoastronomer John Carlson demonstrated that a hematite object excavated at the Olmec site of San Lorenzo, in the Gulf Coast of Mexico, could act as a compass oriented to magnetic north if it was floated on liquid mercury. Carlson specifically suggested that the Olmec might have used liquid mercury in this way. That report was picked up by others and recently, even scholarly works have stated as a fact that liquid mercury was used starting around 1000 BC. A major point of disagreement among archaeologists writing about finds of liquid mercury has been whether it was collected from naturally occurring deposits, or produced by processing cinnabar, as Ashmore argued for Quirigua. David Pendergast, excavator of the ballcourt cache at Lamanai, described the large quantity of liquid mercury there as likely collected in the highland area of Honduras or Guatemala, where naturally occurring deposits of native (liquid) mercury could potentially be found accompanying cinnabar.


  • LA VOZ KARAOKE 2015 WEEK 5 - DISC1, 95min.

  • LA VOZ KARAOKE 2015 WEEK 5 - DISC2, 33min.

  • Diabetes in Belize- Mr. Cornelio Marfield and Plus TV, 33min. Plus TV in partnership with director of the Diabetes Association, Mr. Cornelio Marfield, discusses the problem of diabetes in Belize.

  • Zip Line Belize, 5min. Some video of us doing the a zip line course in Belize. We did the zip line course after cave tubing.

  • SubWing Belize, 5min.

  • Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow - VII Summit of the Americas, 13min.

  • Belize Reef, 6min.

  • Belize Reef 3, 7min.

  • Scuba Diving Belize, 5min. Scuba Diving in Belize. Dive Site: Turneffe Atoll; Crick Ozeen and Pine Ridge. Big thanks to Divemaster Abelito

  • Sound Effect - Forest, Birds, Belize Birds, Howler, Flies, Howls, Air, Insects, 2min.

  • Sound Effect - Village, Birds, Belize Rooster, Bird Flock, Bg Birds & Insects, 3min.

  • Howler Monkey at Lamanai in Belize, 1min. Group of howler monkeys in the trees near out camp at Lamanai in Belize.

  • Belize Trip 2015, 9min. Our family adventure to Belize.