Today's Belize News: April 21, 2012

Posted By: Marty

Today's Belize News: April 21, 2012 - 04/21/12 01:39 PM


Valid: Friday-Tuesday, April 20 - 23, 2012

A vigorous cold front will move rapidly south-eastward across the Gulf of Mexico reaching SE Yucatan and Belize by late Saturday evening and into the NW Caribbean by early Sunday. A broad High Pressure system will build southward into the Gulf of Mexico behind the cold front. This high will keep a brisk northerly to north-westerly airflow prevailing through Monday and Tuesday of next week.

The weather will remain fair and seasonally dry during the rest of Friday, Friday night and early Saturday. It will then become increasingly cloudy on Saturday afternoon and evening with out- breaks of showers and thunderstorms, beginning over NW Orange Walk and Western Corozal Districts at first, then spreading over the rest of the country on Saturday night and Sunday morning. Conditions will remain cloudy and cool during the rest of Sunday through Monday and Tuesday, with most of the showers confined to southern coastal waters.

Daily rainfall totals for Saturday and Sunday will be in the range 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch over most districts. Showers will be diminishing later on Sunday and Monday, with rainfall rates ranging from 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch for this period. No threat of flash flood expected this weekend!

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report

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

Belize Weekly Fishing Report
The seas stayed calm for a couple of days, just enough to go chase some tuna. The tuna start migrating down here from May through September; but it seems that they are starting to come a little early this year!!! But u have to get up real early if u want to catch them. And I mean at least 5 o'clock in the morning, because by 7 they stop biting. I was able to catch about 50 little (torpedo) tuna, that is black fins, ranging from 5 to 10 lbs and with light tackle, they are a lot of fun to catch and make great sushi and tuna salad or casserole!!!! ...

The San Pedro Sun

Diabetes fundraiser a success
The San Pedro branch of the Belize Diabetes Association (BDA) held a successful fundraiser on Sunday, April 15th at the San Pedro Lion Den. The event started at 10AM and was aimed at raising funds for the association as well as conducting free rapid glucose tests to members of the public. Community members were generous enough to donate food, which allowed the association to offer chicken barbeque, ceviche, dip, pastries and refreshments. According to the San Pedro BDA members, approximately $1,000 was raised.

SP Culture Committee sponsors traditional Mestizo dance workshop
The San Pedro Culture Committee (SPCC), through the San Pedro House of Culture and the San Pedro Town Council is sponsoring a traditional cultural dance workshop to establish dance groups on the island. The first of a series of planned workshop features traditional Mestizo dances and is being held for two straight weekends at the San Pedro Dance Company studio upstairs of the San Pedro Lions’ Den. One of the main purposes of sponsoring the cultural dance workshops is to preserve the traditional dances from the various ethnic groups in the country. Chairperson of the SPCC, Guillermo “Mito” Paz explained that the dance workshop is just one of many activities planned for the island with the hope of reviving the different Belizean cultures that once existed. Paz said that the training offered to the establish dance groups will give them the knowledge to incorporate traditional cultural dances into their different performances once on stage.

Miss Chiquitita Pageant this Saturday, April 21!
The Miss Chiquitita Pageant was revived in 2010, much to the delight of pageant lovers on the island. The pageant is primarily geared towards raising funds to help ease the burden of operational costs of San Pedro Pre-School. Organizer Ilna Nuñez has worked hard alongside volunteers in preparing the six little beauties for their big night. As before, the pageant will be organized into an opening dance number, swimwear section, a talent segment and the always breathtaking evening gown modeling. Judges will be tasked with choosing the young lady who has presentation, poise and confidence. At the end of the evening, the newest Miss Chiquitita will be crowned by 2011-2012 Queen Gabriella Knox-Alexander.

Engineers recommend urgent repairs on Sir Barry Bowen Bridge
On Saturday, February 25th, 2006, San Pedro witnessed the inauguration of the long awaited Sir Barry Bowen Bridge. Now, six years after, work is in progress for a complete facelift, which will see the complete replacement of the present metal platform of the bridge. Engineers were on the Island on Saturday, April 14th assessing the present situation of the bridge. The present triple span bridge measures120 feet long and 23 feet wide was exclusively for the use of golf carts, bicycles and pedestrians. It was constructed at a reported cost of BZ$750,000 and built in a mere four months by a crew of around 30. Doug Walker, Civil Engineer based in Belize City and the engineer that was tasked with the design of the renamed Sir Barry Bowen Bridge was contacted to advise on the renovation options of the bridge. “This is an informal meeting with the mayor and the contractor who built the bridge. We are at very early stages but the focus of discussion is how to reinstate the Barry Bowen Bridge back to its original condition.”

Caribbean Depot Collections Officer robbed on the way to the Bank
Mr. Felix Ayuso Sr., Collections Officer for Caribbean Depot reported to police that he was robbed on Friday April 20th around 7:55am while en route to make his daily deposit. Reports are that the incident happened in the vicinity of Caribbean Depot on Hurricane Street. Ayuso reported that a man of Spanish descent approached him on bicycle and assaulted him while on his way to make his deposit. It is believed that the assailant knew that Mr. Ayuso had a deposit in his possession. The male individual reportedly approached him, pushed him, and helped himself with the deposit and made off on his bicycle, heading in a northerly direction.

Ambergris Today

Maria Jeffery Registered Nurse In San Pedro
Beauty Ambassador Maria Jeffery was Miss Belize 2006 and represented Belize in the Miss Universe Pageant in 2007 and that same year she wowed the judges at the Costa Maya International Pageant and won the title for Belize. Maria is now back on the island, not to capture any judges hearts, but to work with community as she is a registered nurse.

Visually Impaired Rowan Garel Announces His Next Big Adventure
Thirteen-year-old Rowan Garel and his father Joe, announced their “Walk Across Belize” which will take place in July with the goal of doubling the amount raised last year to help support children who are blind. Rowan, who has been blind since birth, will walk 90 miles in five days starting July 12 and ending on July 16 for the start of BCVI Summer Camp 2012. The duo will start in Benque, Cayo and stop in a few places along the way, putting them in Belize City on Monday evening.

Senior Citizen Robbed of $40K Bank Deposit
According to reports, at about 8:00a.m. this morning Mr. Felix Ayuso left the Caribbean Depot Office with a bag of money set for deposit to the bank. Mr. Ayuso was about to exit the compound when he noticed that a male person in a bicycle was following him. The man then proceeded to jump into the passenger’s seat of the golf cart and pushed Mr. Ayuso off the golf cart. The assailant took with him the deposit bag which was wrapped in a towel and managed to escape.

Belmopan Comprehensive wins SP Softball Cup
Congratulations to BCS! "The Second Annual San Pedro Softball Tournament took place on Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14, 2012 at the Old Football Field. The three teams who part took in the event were St. John’s College, Belmopan Comprehensive and San Pedro High School."

Misc Belizean Sources

Press Release concering Three Murders on 20th April, 2012
In recent light of the two shooting incidents that took place on Friday 20th April, 2012 in Belize City that claimed the lives of three persons, ORLANDO REYES, 19yrs; SHELTON AUGUST aka SHELTON “PINKY” TILLETT, 31yrs and KAMILLE ANDREWS, 23yrs the Security Forces are on full alert and have immediately increased the presence of Police and Belize Defence Force Personnel on the Streets. The Ministry of National Security will do all in its powers to ensure the safety of the citizens and visitors in the city of Belize. This operation will remain in place until the situation in Belize City is brought back to normal. The Police Department is hereby appealing to the General Public that if they have any information that can assist in the solving of these recent incidents to please contact the nearest Police Station or call the hotline at 0800922TIPS.

Community Meeting in San Pedro: Disaster Preparedness, Red Cross
As a follow up to the "Saving Lives in the Caribbean through Preparedness"project presently being implemented by the Belize Red Cross, we have planned a community awareness meeting to be held in San Pedro Town on the 24th April 6:30 PM at the Lion's Den. Community Meeting: BELIZE RED CROSS “Saving lives in the Caribbean through Preparedness” invites YOU to JOIN US: Where? Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 When? Lions Den Time: 6:30 pm Learn about the latest program for your community in Disaster Preparedness! Check out what YOU can do for YOURSELF, YOUR FAMILY and YOUR community! BE PREPARED! BE ACTIVE! BE READY!

University of Belize's 6th annual Earth Day Fair
UB really went above and beyond with their Earth Day Fair yesterday! They had 3 competitions, all with great prizes. The food was great, especially the sausages and the ceviche. They had over 20 booths set up to teach about everything green. The Belize Zoo had a booth too. Most booths had games and prizes too. The highlight was the trash fashion show. Joris Hendrik started it all off with a quick show of some of his Eco Love recycled designs. Amazing yet again! The National Geographic dress was superb. After that, they had the Trashion Fashion competition, where over 20 students made clothes from recycled materials. There is some serious creativity out there.

Top 10 Favorite Can Products of Belizeans [PHOTOS/LIST]
1. Corned Beef : Oh how I love my corned beef! My wife cooks it with smashed potato and sweet pepper. 2. Potted Meat: A picnic sandwich isn't a sandwich without potted meat in it. 3.Chicken Sausage: Whenever we are out of meat we turn to chicken sausage. Yum!Yum! 4. DAK (Luncheon Meat): Fried luncheon meat is a favorite amongst Belizeans. 5. Baked Beans: The brother to a finger licking BBQ is none other than baked beans. Have you tried baked beans with fried jack in the mornings? 6. Canned Sardine: If you are tired of eating chicken meat then you can turn to canned sardine for a change. They don't have the best of taste but they are quiet affordable and reliable during hard times. 7. Salsa Casera: One of my favorite snack is Salsa Casera with fried chips. 8. Powdered Milk: Let us not forget the powdered milk that we use to mix our coffees in the morning. If it wasn't for powdered milk I wouldn't be writing this post. 9. Evaporated Milk: We mainly use this product for cakes and other pastries. 10. Cranberry Sauce: To be honest cranberry sauce is not my favorite but a plate of Belizean rice and beans is not complete without this.

UB's Earth Day Fair pictures
You've heard how much fun UB's Earth Day was. They also took some pictures of the event. Kudos go to Joaquin Magana, Loretta Logan, and the entire crew that did such a wonderful job from idea to inception. "Congrats to the students of the Project Management class of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Belize on their displays promoting alternative green energy sources and sharing knowledge about a greener livelihood for a cleaner environment at the University’s sixth Earth Day Celebration themed: 'A New Wave of Green Energy' on April 19, at Central Campus, Belmopan."

Belize Telemedia Limited 2012 E-Directory
Belize Telemedia Limited, Belize's top tele-communications company, has now launched their new 2012 online telephone directory. On the front page they feature the Maya Deer Dance as a tribute to the Mayan culture of Belize. For centuries, the Mayas have looked forward to 2012 as an important time for rebirth, reflections and renewal as one cosmic cycle ends and another begins. 2012 is a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in acknowledging the beauty of one of the greatest civilizations of the ancient world, while celebrating the future with a culture that has been successfully predicting it for centuries. This year’s cover gives a rare look into the vibrant and mysterious Maya Deer Dance. This spiritual dance, although ancient, tells a tale that is important to societies, even today, as it focuses a great deal on the significant relationship between humanity and nature. This dance is sacred and is performed only on special occasions mostly by the Q’eqchi Maya.

Channel 7

A 19 year old male was murdered in Belize City this afternoon. It is another one of those broad daylight shootings - but this one is even more brazen because the victim was shot on one of the busiest, most trafficked streets in the city - and because he appeared to have simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time. It happened on Orange Street and the victim managed to run two blocks across to Regent Street West - which is where he died. That is where our team picks up the story:.. Jules Vasquez reporting There was no consoling this mother as she cried bitterly, grieving for her young son, Orlando Reyes, known as BAM. He lay dead at the entrance to Mike's Club near the Regent Street West Bridge. But he was shot over a block away, here on Orange Street at 3:00 pm. Reyes was riding along with a friend Angel Dorado - who says they were just caught in the crossfire of someone else's war:

Last night we told you about the body of a man that was found on the Boom-Hattieville Road. He had two large cut wounds to the back of his head. Tonight, his identity is known. It turns out that before his death the man had recently come into some good fortune by winning the Mega Bingo jackpot - and, some feel that may have factored into his death. Monica Bodden went to Hattieville today looking for answers:.. Monica Bodden reporting The body of Glenford Jemmott was found about 1mile from the Hattieville prison - in these bushes just off the road. It was discovered around 11 yesterday morning by a passerby who noticed vultures circling the area. Jemmott's body was decomposed - and may have been lying there for at least 3 days. He was lying face up and had 2 large chop wounds to the back of his head. Also found in the area were two red pillows, two blankets and a purple shirt. Jemmott was the manager of Bombay's Cool Spot in Hattieville and also resides in the village. The news of his murder sent shockwaves throughout the small community as everyone is still left to wonder what happened to their friend.

Yesterday afternoon, the residents of San Victor Village in the Corozal District heard the droning sound of a low flying airplane - not an altogether unusual occurrence in that area - which borders Mexico. But this drone was followed by a crash - because this illicit landing was botched by a bad cane road. Still, the illicit cargo and the occupant were nowhere to be found by the time police got there. We went to the area today to find out what happened, and here's what we found:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Police kept a strong presence on the cane roads adjoining San Victor Village in the Corozal District. But it was nothing more than a good show, because the Cessna 210n had long been emptied of whatever illicit cargo it carried.

It may have been scolded and slightly shamed for the recent Taylor's Alley incident, but the GSU remains in effect - and today the Unit showed its worth with a significant weapons seizure. Between the hours of 7 this morning and 1:30 this afternoon, the GSU conducted an operation in the Mayflower street area at the base of the Ghost Town Crips gang. During the operation a search was conducted in an overgrown property behind the Steadfast Masonic Lodge situated at the corner of Lakeview and Vernon Streets - where police found an AK 47 automatic rifle bearing serial number 4-3-4-7-6 wrapped in a cloth inside a black garbage bag. A few feet away, a black knapsack was found near a tree in the same area. It contained fifty five -5.56 rounds of ammunition - which is used in M16 rifles - and nine - 12 gauge cartridges. Additional weapons and ammunition found behind the Masonic Lodge in the Mayflower are as follows: a Sub Machine Gun, fully automatic rifle, one - 12 gauge Mossberg riot pump action shotgun , nineteen - 12 gauge cartridges, fourteen - .32 rounds of ammunition, three - 9 mm rounds of ammunition, and ten -.380 and four - 16 gauge cartridges. These were all found wrapped up in cloth and garbage bags in varying areas stowed away inside the same overgrown bush. All the weapons are capable of firing.

Tonight, a 38 year-old man is spending the 1st night of a 7 month sentence in jail after his 2nd deportation from the US. Gregory Holis Bennett, a laborer of Price Street, was charged with failing to report to police, and he was arraigned before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart today. According to police, Bennett was arrested by American authorities, and he was charged with possession of a controlled substance. On May 5, 2010, he was deported to Belize, and he was served with a letter of compliance, which stated that he needed to report to the Queen Street Police Station every Friday. He did so from May 2010 until January 7, 2011, but police say that he stopped showing up after that. Well, they found out why: he had gone back to the states and Bennett was again deported to Belize from the US yesterday. And so when they picked him up, they charged him with failing to report to police for 67 consecutive weeks.

A couple is at the Belize Central Prison tonight after they were arraigned for drug trafficking and drug possession at the Magistrate's Court. Police say that they busted them with 2.4 pounds of marijuana. According to police, at 8:58 a.m. today, they conducted a search at number 11 Bocotora Street. 35 year-old Shinnette Staine; her boyfriend, 27 year-old Melvin Flowers; and her 14 year-old daughter were all present at the time. Police say that when they arrived at the house, they saw Staine trying to dispose of a package through the window. They retrieved it and found 1.08 Kilos - or 2.4 pounds - of weed inside; they also found another gram of weed in an ashtray in the house. As a result, the police charged them with drug trafficking and drug possession.

19 year-old Dean Vaccario, a resident of Sand Hill Village, will serve 2 years in prison after he was tried and convicted of harm on Wednesday evening in the Magistrate's Court. His victim, 26 year-old Lionel Williams, also a resident of Sand Hill, testified in the court that on January 21, 2012, he was socializing with friends when Vaccario approached him, pulled out a knife and sliced him from the chin to the middle of his neck. Williams had to receive 15 stitches to treat the wound at the hospital. In his defense, Vaccario told the court that he and Williams got into a fight, and it was Williams who pulled out the knife. Vaccario said that he had to wrestle the knife out of Williams' possession, and in that process, that's when he accidentally cut Williams. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith did not believe him, and after hearing the entire case, she found him guilty.

Today the Pan American Health Organization closed a regional workshop on strengthening drug management for what are known as second line Anti-TB drugs. Not exactly exciting stuff, but it is important: 15 countries participated, 12 of which were the countries with the highest level of tuberculosis. You might be surprised to know that Belize is one of those, but Anna Fonz, who was representing Peru, talked more about the goals of the workshop and some of the conclusions that were reached. Geraldo De Cosio, PWR PAHO "We got involve because tuberculosis is a priority worldwide and also in Belize. Not because we have cases in Belize but we are trying to prevent new cases to develop in the country." "Let's assume there is a need to have what we called second line tuberculosis drugs to treat multi-drug resistance, it will benefit because other countries have joint program and joint efforts and so it will be cheaper to buy medications that way." "It is Belize can also establish contacts with other countries that have a lot more experience in treating and dealing with various complicated cases, so they can support Belize also to treat cases and to get the best care."

Punta Rock and Reggae artist Positive Vibz, is one of the most entertaining and hype performers currently on the scene. Now, he has launched his third album, "2 Sides of Positive Vibz". For this one, the 25 year old has collaborated with major players in the Belizean music industry for this album, and today he told us what to expect and where he got his inspiration. Positive Vibz, Punta Rock and Reggae artist "I have out my 3rd album and this album is entitled "The Two Side of Me - Positive Vibz" Punta Rock and Reggae culture and teachings. That is my roots as a Garifuna person. I ended up doing my roots music which is Punta Rock and of course I have a passion and love for reggae as well. I believe through reggae I can teach; slow down the pace and teach the people what they need to know." "I believe that I am incorporating as much Belizean artist as possible on this album because at the end of the day it's not about me but every single musician in Belize."

And if reggae or Punta are not quite your thing, this weekend, then maybe classical is….renowned Mexican pianist, Alejandrina Villamil, will be performing in Belize as part of the cultural exchange program with Mexico. For the recital, Villamil has selected pieces from composers such as Mozart, Bach and Chopin. Press officer for the Mexican Embassy, Marcelino Miranda, told us more about this young musician and the music that she will be performing. Marcelino Miranda, Press officer for the Mexican Embassy "Alejandrina Villamil is a young Mexican pianist. She has performed in Mexico and she has had an education and she has been taking courses with great pianists, not only from Mexico but from North America and Europe." "She is going to present a very interesting program among other pieces of piano that she is going to present from musicians like Mozart, Chopin, Rachmaninov. This is going to be a good concert because that would give the opportunity especially for young people and children to come and enjoy a piano concert. This is part of the cultural exchange program between Mexico and Belize and one of the purposes is to promote music in Belize. That's the reason the embassy decided to invite Alejandrina Villamil to perform here in Belize."

Channel 5

3 shot, innocent murdered in Belize City
Hell broke loose late this afternoon in gang infested area of the old capital. When the shooting subsided, one man was dead and two were injured. So going into the weekend, there is unease in the city. A News Five team is just back from the scene where it appears the murder victim was not [...]

Bombay’s Cool Spot Owner murdered
The body of a man that was found in some bushes on the Hattieville-Boom Road at around eleven-thirty on Thursday morning. The murder victim, who had two chop wounds to the back of the head, has since been identified as a well-known owner of bar in Hattieville. Just last year, the man took home close [...]

Bar Association disagrees with Justice Appointment
As we reported on Thursday night, the Bar Association, held a special meeting to take a vote on the proposed elevation of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Awich to the Court of Appeal. The justice retires on May fifteenth and the government proposes his appointment forthwith for a period of two years. After lengthy discussion between [...]

Unidentified plane crashes in Corozal; no one found
Up north, a single engine plane believed to be used to transport drugs crash landed early on Thursday afternoon, not far from the Mexican border. The plane is retrofitted to carry cargo and while its origin is from Ecuador, it has Mexican registration. There was no cargo on the Cessna but the stretch of road [...]

GSU uncovers AK-47, machine gun and ammo
The Gang Suppression Unit came under fire recently for the use of excessive force on Taylor’s Alley residents. The Unit went quiet and there was a resurgence of violence. This morning, the GSU was back on the streets. In an operation in the Mayflower Street area, known to be the base of the Ghost Town [...]

Greg Bennett regularly deported from U.S.A.
A Belizean was deported from the US for the third time on Thursday. Thirty-eight year old Gregory Hollis Bennett was first deported in 2009, but found his way back to the States. He was again expelled from the US in May, 2010 and was signing in with the Police Station every week for eight months [...]

If Conch Quota is exceeded, Belize can be banned from exporting the fishery
The decision to close the conch season two months early is being opposed by fishermen. The closure was imposed because the seasonal quota had been harvested and conch is considered an endangered species. But not everybody disagrees. According to Melanie McField, the Director of Healthy Reefs Initiative, the Fisheries Department does an assessment each year [...]

Maria Balan is the Female Farmer of the Year!
A mother of five has been named as this year’s Female farmer of the Year. The impressive woman hails from Bullet Tree, Cayo and keeps an extremely busy schedule. When she isn’t growing vegetables at her farm, she is selling her produce at the market. This impressive farmer also finds time in her packed day [...]

Senior Citizen robbed in San Pedro
A senior citizen was the victim of an early morning robbery in San Pedro today. Felix Ayuso was targeted at around eight o’clock this morning when he left the Caribbean Depot Office to make a deposit at the bank. But he barely made it out of the yard when he noticed someone following him on [...]

The Spirit of the 2012 Olympic Games in the Capital
It’s the countdown to the 2012 Olympics to be held in London. The event takes place from July twenty-seventh to August tenth. If you do the math, it’s a hundred days away. Earlier today, diplomats from the host country teamed up with Olympic Committees in numerous countries to build up fervor to the games. In [...]

15 youths head to King James Classic
A Belizean contingent of junior basketball players is heading to Ohio on Saturday for the King James Classic AAU Tournament. Fifteen students from across the country are one step closer to making their dream of playing at the NBA level. On this trip they have the opportunity to secure a college scholarship to study and [...]

Embassy of Mexico’s Pianist Concert for All
If culture and music are two items that are on your weekend list, then there is a concert that will fulfill all your needs. The Embassy of Mexico is hosting two concerts that will provide culture, entertainment and the subtle but angelic fingers of pianist, Alejandrina Villamil. News Five spoke to the Press Officer of [...]


A single engine plane crash landed yesterday evening on a feeder road just out of San Victor Village in the Corozal District. It appears the planes landing gear was damaged when it hit large pot holes on the road landing the plane into a cane field. From all accounts the incident took ...

Natalie Novelo reporting… “This afternoon’s murder brings the running total close to the three dozen mark. Orlando “bam” Reyes Jr. a resident of St. Martin De Porres area was gunned down as he went about his own business. The teenager was ...

Thursday, April 19 - POLICE NEWS
Belize’s latest murder was discovered this morning on the Boom/Hattieville Road about a mile away from the Hattieville Prison. The discovery was made shortly after eleven this morning and preliminary observations reveal that the victim was hacked twice to the back of the he...

A traffic accident on the Hummingbird Highway has left a man hospitalized in the Western Regional hospital as a result of the collision. Fem Cruz reporting… “Love News understand that on Wednesday sometime around 6:40 p.m, 52 year old Manuel ...

The government of Canada has offered to assist Belize with the latest forensic ballistics identification equipment. According to press release posted online, Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Sunday announced the launch of an initiative to support and enhance Central America&rsquo...

Belmopan Mayor Simeon Lopez is the President of the Belize Mayors Association. The other members of the executive are Vice President Belize City Mayor Darell Bradley, Secretary is San Pedro Town Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Treasurer Orange Walk Mayor K...

The Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association has expressed concern with the closure of the Conch Season 2011-2012. A release from the Association says the fishing industry presently faces a challenge that could negatively impact all fishing cooperatives and thousands of families. It go...

2012 is four months old and while the murder rate has been on an upward spiral over the past weeks, crime overall is lower than the same period in 2011. That’s according to Minister of Police, John Saldivar, who spoke with reporters this morning. John S...


Canada helps Belize with ballistics identification equipment
The government of Canada has offered to assist Belize with the latest forensic ballistics identification equipment. According to press release posted online, Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Sunday announced the launch of an initiative to support and enhance Central America’s security infrastructure by providing IBIS ballistics identification equipment to both Belize and Costa Rica. Canada, according to the release, aims to help countries fighting on the front lines against drugs, transnational organized crime and terrorism through equipment purchases, training, and technical assistance. Law enforcement agencies in both Belize and Costa Rica are to receive the latest in IBIS forensic ballistics identification equipment known as the IBIS TRAX-3D. Developed by Forensic Technology WAI Incorporated of Montreal, Canada, IBIS is used by police and forensic investigators to link firearm-related crimes, suspects and firearms. Spearheaded by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, the Canadian Initiative for Security in Central America will focus on many areas, including border security and strengthening justice and security institutions. The IBIS ballistics forensic identification systems are due to be installed in the spring of 2012. Canada’s announcement builds on nearly 2 billion dollars in investments to improve security, promote sustainable economic growth and strengthen institutions related to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in the Americas.

Fishing Cooperative concerned about early closure of conch season
he Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association has expressed concern with the closure of the Conch Season 2011-2012. A release from the Association says the fishing industry presently faces a challenge that could negatively impact all fishing cooperatives and thousands of families. It goes on to say the closure of the conch fishing season will put the last nail in the coffin and seal the fate of the striving industry as thousands of fishers will be out of a job and the fishing cooperatives will be unable to service its debt. BFCA says it believes that the proposition posed by Minister Lisel Alamilla is a valiant one, but realistically it is not feasible with respect to the Government’s financial status. The release ends by saying it is the position of BFCA that reconsideration should be done to seek amicable solutions and exhaust arbitration to secure the livelihoods of thousands of Belizeans.


Sustainable Agriculture Development takes root in Toledo
We often hear on the news and in conversations that Toledo (and to some extent Stann Creek) is the forgotten Distri...

Traffic Enhancement Safety Project underway in Belmopan
As residents may have noticed, currently under way in the City of Belmopan is a Traffic Enhancement Safety Project ...

Broad daylight shooting leaves man dead
Another day and another report of death. Today at around 2:45 pm two friends were walking were at the corner of Ora...

Body of unidentified man found on Hattieville road
Sometime around 11:30am yesterday morning a truck driver discovered a body on the side of the road in an advance st...

Airplane makes crash landing in Corozal cane field
Reports from the north say that a small plane landed today near San Victor Village in the Corozal district. Un-conf...

Amandala editor issues apology to family of suicide victim
In last night’s news we had shared that Amandala’s editor, Russell Vellos, had not released any comments on the pub...

Teen shot at basketball court dies
Earlier this week we reported on the shooting of 18yr old Christopher Jorgenson. On Sunday April, 15th police visit...

Cruz Allen gets 10 year sentence for burglary
25yr old Cruz Allen was sentenced to 10 years in prison after he was convicted of burglary. Allen was convicted in ...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Socials: Scotty celebrates his 60th birthday in style!
Saturday, April 14, 2012, Scotty, well known icon on Caye Caulker celebrated his 60th birthday at Barrier Reef Sports Bar in style. He was kept well entertained by the Shimmy Twins, Mar the Fire Dancer and some other dancers from that group. Happy Birthday Scotty and may you see many more!


Housing the homeless at Kolbe: can it work?
Last week Belize City mayor Darrell Bradley, during the announcement of the Belize City Council’s “100-day plan”, discussed point 82 of the plan under “quality of life crimes”, which aims to “work with the Kolbe Foundation, [Department of] Human Services and the police to deal with vagrants.”

Gunmen “riddle” family house
A two-flat concrete house on Albert Hoy Street in the Belama 3 Area has been damaged by gunshots. At least 12 shots were fired; 11 of the shots went through the walls and windows of the house, but no one who was inside, miraculously, was hit or injured.

CCJ judges probe Belize attorneys in Maya King appeal
On union busting claim, Supreme Court had awarded 6 dismissed banana workers $420,000; Court of Appeal reduced it to $218,856. What will the CCJ do? A 5-judge panel of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), sitting for the first time in the Caribbean jurisdiction of Barbados, heard the civil appeal of Maya King, a Belizean banana farm owned by John Zabaneh of Stann Creek, challenging decisions in the lower courts of Belize in which hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages were awarded to six former banana workers, who had allegedly been dismissed way back in 2001 in what the Supreme Court had declared was “undoubtedly union busting.”

Unknown, decaying corpse laid to rest where it was found
The decomposed corpse of a male person was buried in the Hattieville-Boom Road area, after an autopsy was carried out to determine the cause of death. He was found around three yards from the Belize Central Prison towards Burrell Boom Village, around 11:00 a.m. today, Thursday.

Crazy gun possession law!
7 charged with firearm offenses; 19-year-old pleads guilty to all charges and sentenced to 13 ½ years in jail, but 6 others, including a 52-year-old female schoolteacher, still in uniform, remanded to prison! At about 3:30 p.m. on Monday, April 16, Armead Logan Thurton, a resident of Baker’s Ranch, discovered that his trailer, which is used as a warehouse, was burglarized.

Less active hurricane season expected this year
The April 2012 hurricane forecast released by Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray of the Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project said that the probability of at least one major hurricane (categories 3 to 5) tracking through the Caribbean is 34%, lower than the 42% average probability for the last century.

Man pleads guilty to weed for “weed fudge”
“Just wet weed, lone dust fi mek fudge wit”... Robert Pietio, a resident of #90 Jane Usher Boulevard, pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled drug before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart.

Cricket article by Sir Hilary Beckles
At the request of the author, I forward the below article by cricket writer Sir Hilary Beckles who would be most grateful if you would share the article with your readers.

National Junior Basketball Head Coach and President of the BBF meet Minister of Education, Sports & Youth
In 2011, National Junior Basketball Team Head Coach Matthew Smiling received a coaching scholarship to attend the International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Program (ICECP) conducted by the US Olympic Committee in the United States. A major component of this program is for Coach Smiling to develop a project that will benefit basketball in Belize. Coach Smiling’s project is the development of a Coaching Education Program for Elementary, High School and Grassroots Basketball in Belize.

Premier League semifinals Game 1 Sunday
Top seeds, Police and BDF choose to play game 1 on the road... We were informed by officials earlier this week that game 1 of the Premier League of Belize semifinal home-and-away series will be at the MCC Grounds and Placencia Football Field.

Ideas and Opinions - Crime and Punishment
If every one who commits a crime were found out and charged and convicted, would we have a relatively crime free society? If that were so, wouldn’t our jails be filled to overflowing, since this is the preferred form of punishment for crime?

Editorial: Therein lies the tragedy…
A few years ago, when a directive from the courts mandated that the pictures and names of minors were not to be used by the media in order to protect the identities of these persons, Amandala complied.

From The Publisher
SHELL BELIZE RELEASE, BELIZE CITY, Thurs., April 17, 1975: We have received confirmation from our Shell Office in Guatemala that the Motor Vessels Partridge and Nigger Gal, together with Shell Barge Number One have all been embargoed by the Guatemalan authorities.


Belize Airports – International versus Municipal and flight fees
One of my longtime readers Jenny and her family always fly Municipal to save a few dollars.This time she and her husband Brad were coming down for a solo trip and out of habit she got me to book them through Belize Municipal Airport then she wrote me back and said she realized that since there were only two of them she wanted to make it easy fly to San Pedro from Belize International Airport instead. Since this is a topic that often comes up on trip advisor in the Belize Forums I asked Jenny to do a comparison between the two airports. This will help you decide which option is best for you. Personally after a long day of travel I like to hop on a Tropic flight and get home to Ambergris Caye as soon as I can. Flying to San Pedro: Airport – Municipal or BZE When flying to San Pedro, two options exist:

SAGA Cook-Off and Trivia at Pedro's Inn Draw Big Crowds
Who says that the "busy season" on Ambergris Caye is drawing to an end? Not me. The SAGA Humane Society held its monthly fundraising cook-off at Wet Willy's Bar (and soon to be restaurant) last night. We arrived right on time...6pm...and there was already a good crowd. After reading yesterday's article in the local paper about an abused Loggerhead Turtle SAGA is helping to rehabilitate, who wouldn't want to help them raise money? Wet Willy's has new owners, a new logo and a fresh paint job.

Single Women Moving To Foreign Countries
I am certainly not brave...but moving to Belize just seemed like the right thing to do. And actually the easy thing to do after visiting a few times. Try it out...while I'm relatively young...why not? Try it for one year. Take a break from NYC. And now it's 6 years. With that is very cool that I have been put on a list of "Adventurous Expat Women". Women who have really great blogs. And really interesting lives.

International Sources

VIDEO: Highlights of Simon on 'Wildlife SOS' over the past two years.
This was made by the film crew that was here, Wildlife Productions Limited, for Simon's Birthday. They always save the best for last...:).... so be patient, let it load, then come back and watch it!

DHS Holding Secures Financing From Clipper Explorations
DHS Holding Co. (DHSM.PK: News ) announced that, as of April 18, 2012, it. has secured financing from Clipper Explorations, Ltd. In the first round of financing, Clipper Explorations has agreed to lend to DHS Holding $250,000.00 for the purpose of securing the 40-acre parcel of land now known as Cenote Falls. The company said Emil Arguellas, attorney for DHS Holding, Co. in Belize, has been instructed by Charlie Barrett, President of DHS Holding, Co., to make the first payment in the amount of $150,000.00 in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in the purchase agreement.

Cayo's Saturday Market is on the Huffington Post
While this article starts as a scuba story, once they get to Cayo, they realize that next time, it's just Cayo. All the highest voted pictures are at the market. They've already booked at Macal River Camp. Smart move! "Although I had been waiting all week to get to the Lodge at Chaa Creek, a luxury eco-ranch in the middle of the Belize jungle, I thought I had to stop at the Saturday morning market in San Ignacio, the biggest town in Cayo. I'd heard that I'd find native Belizeans and Mennonites (both of whom have settled in Cayo in large numbers) selling folk art, produce and street food. As a toy lover, I was excited to pick up some tiny embroidered animals made of colorful cloth; as a food lover, the custard apples (a kind of soupy fruit eaten with a spoon) and the hot grilled pupusas (dough with beans and cheese folded in) put me in gastronomic heaven. Even better, the market made for some of the best photo ops in Belize. The peppers were bright, the children were adorable and the spices! I've never seen spices like that."

Belizean Flour Tortilla Version Two
This is the second of two versions of hand made flour tortilla. With this style, you'll be able to create a very thin, soft, flexible tortilla that can be used for burritos or Belizean Gacho.

US: 56 coral species face extinction danger from warming, acidic seas
More than half of 82 species of coral being evaluated for inclusion under the Endangered Species Act "more likely than not" would go extinct by 2100 if climate policies and technologies remain the same, federal scientists concluded. The experts cited "anthropogenic," or manmade, releases of carbon dioxide as a key driver of warming seas and oceans absorbing more CO2, in turn making waters more acidic. "The combined direct and indirect effects of rising temperature, including increased incidence of disease and ocean acidification, both resulting primarily from anthropogenic increases in atmospheric CO2, are likely to represent the greatest risks of extinction to all or most of the candidate coral species over the next century," the experts concluded in a report released Friday by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Six months pregnant in paradise
In the midst of all the doctor appointments, purchases and planning involved with welcoming our first child into the world, my husband and I set aside some time for our last pre-parenthood holiday. Given that I was six months pregnant, travel time, comfort, safety and access to modern medicine were as important to us as sunshine, pampering and relaxation. Belize, the Central-American country famous for its phenomenal diving, Mayan ruins and incredible selection of eco-activities, might have seemed an unlikely choice for a Babymoon, but its great beauty, diverse landscape, warm people and five-star amenities won us over in an instant. Wanting variety, we spent our time exploring four unique areas, but for a more lei-surely trip limit yourself to one or two regions. Wanting variety, we spent our time exploring four unique areas, but for a more leisurely trip limit yourself to one or two regions. PLACENCIA Barefoot perfect describes the brown sugar-sand beaches that fringe the colourful village of Placencia, on the Southern peninsula of Belize's Staan Creek district. This once quiet fishing community has transformed itself into a burgeoning destination that thank-fully retains its traditional charm. To immerse ourselves in the vibrant local culture, we bypassed the large-scale luxury resorts flanking Placencia to stay at the Nirvana Beach Suites in the heart of the village. Owners Evan and Barbara Hall, Belizean-Americans who vacationed in Placencia as children, were lured back by the friendly village lifestyle and opened this beach-front property in 2011.

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