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2/1/2012 to 2/15/2012
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February 14, 2012

The San Pedro Diabetes Association holds Fundraiser
The San Pedro Chapter of the Belize Diabetes Association, formed on November 15th, 2011 held their first fundraiser on Sunday February 12th at the Lion’s Den. The fashion show fundraiser marks the first in its kind, going towards a Dialysis Center for the Island. The San Pedro Sun spoke with Pablo Sosa, Chairperson for the SPDA; “We have many things in plan right now. Our priority is to get this dialysis center opened here on the island. As you are aware right now only Belize City and Cayo have dialysis machines, so it’s very costly and hard for us people here in San Pedro to get the service. There are many people here in San Pedro that are diabetic and they need to get treatment. It’s very expensive to travel and some people have to do it twice a week.”

Valid Time: Monday, Feb. 13, 2012 until Monday, Feb. 20, 2012
A ridge of High Pressure moving slowly ENE over the western Atlantic off the US Central coast, will keep a steady and drier easterly to north-easterly airflow over Belize. This pattern will prevail during most of this working week.
A cold front will make its way SE across the Gulf of Mexico later this week, reaching the NW Caribbean and Belize by early Monday of next week, as a major continental High Pressure system tracks ESE across the eastern USA.
We can therefore expect generally mild and sunny weather across Belize during most of this working week. Showers will be isolated over most places from Monday through Saturday of this week. An increase in showers and some thunderstorms is expected on Sunday as a pre-frontal trough moves over Yucatan and Belize ahead of the approaching cold front.
Daily rainfall totals will be minimal, ranging from 0.01-0.10 of-an-inch on Monday through Saturday. Rainfall totals will increase later on Saturday through Monday, with daily totals in the range of 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch over most districts and coastal waters.
CLICK HERE for the full Weekly Weather Outlook

On Not Understanding in Belize-English vs Kriol
Yu no taim hyaa weh Ai di chrai tel yu: On Not Understanding in Belize. English vs. Kriol in Belize. "...I’ve been working in Belize (on and off) since 2007, when I came here for the first time to conduct research for my MA and MPH degrees. There was then (and continues to be) a small part of me that wished I was working elsewhere in the region, mostly so that I could continue to learn Spanish. I guess I would say it was sort of an intellectual disappointment to be conducting my research in English. Over time, I have come to discover that that disappointment is somewhat misplaced..."

Brighter Smiles for SP Children
One thing is for sure San Pedro has beautiful and friendly children, and they always greet you with a smile. The children have beautiful and bright smiles thanks to all the dental volunteers who come to the island and work on brightening the smiles of these children. The Standard IV students of San Pedro R.C. School were in for a treat this week as two volunteers were at the Smile Center at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic rendering dental services. Dr. Laurie Houston and Cassandra PeaceHall (Dental Hygienist) of Ontario, Canada are volunteering their time to assist these children for the next two days. This is their first visit to Belize and they are extremely happy to be helping out the children of San Pedro.

History of Immigration to Ambergris Caye (Part Five)
A review of the history of immigration to San Pedro shows the Mayas setting foot here around 1000 to 1200 followed by the small immigration of the Mestizos in 1848 when the village was first founded. San Pedro remained predominantly a Mestizo community for just over 100 years until late 1970 when Benqueñas (girls from Benque) were encouraged to come in San Pedro to be a part of the workforce at the fishing cooperative where they processed conch, fish and lobster for export to the United States of America. This was the apex of our fishing industry when our fishing cooperative was exporting about 180,000 pounds of fresh rock frozen lobster tails abroad. After this first immigration of Belizeans from other districts, the word quickly went around that there were job opportunities in San Pedro. I will categorically say, however, that very few if any came to San Pedro to engage in the fishing industry. That job remained solely for Sanpedranos all the way into the 1980’s when the marine produce went into a gradual but fairly rapid decline. However by this time tourism was also showing a rapid growth, so the Sanpedrano fishermen turned into tourist guiding. This tourism industry also opened job opportunities for carpenters, masons, and other tradesmen, hotel and restaurant jobs, craftsmen, among others. By the same token there were new and numerous white collar jobs openings in gift shops, stores, business offices, government departments, airlines, insurance, and banking among many others specialized services.

Carnaval Back In The 1970's
There is so much history and colorful memories in this flashback pic. The carnival dance is one organized by Jose Pacifico better known today as Spanish, and is wife Maggie behind the guitar. They were mostly gringo dancers who enjoyed Carnival. Why not? But look at San Pedro High School right in the center of town, I mean the village. There is no Spindrift building, no Pier Lounge, no Atlantic Bank, so you can see right through to the police station. Just ahead is something like a Town clock at Central Park, but it is the bell tower for the Catholic Church and the village itself. The R.C. Church is incomplete so you can see a piece of Sea Breeze owned by Seferino Paz and a piece Ambergris Lodge owned by George Stefanco in the background. But to the very end you see a big coconut plantation surrounding the recently built Paradise Hotel belonging to Jerry McDermott. San Pedro High School stood strong from this building from 1971 to 1987 when it moved to its own building. And then the face of San Pedro started its transformation with the expansion of tourism.

Mystery disease kills thousands in Central America
A mysterious epidemic is devastating the Pacific coast of Central America, killing more than 24,000 people in El Salvador and Nicaragua since 2000 and striking thousands of others with chronic kidney disease at rates unseen virtually anywhere else. Scientists say they have received reports of the phenomenon as far north as southern Mexico and as far south as Panama. Last year it reached the point where El Salvador's health minister, Dr. Maria Isabel Rodriguez, appealed for international help, saying the epidemic was undermining health systems.

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! "Quince, Part 1" ... CLICK HERE

Many of the poems seem to take place when seafaring men jump out of their boats with sword in hand, ready to conquer the enemy with the clash of weapons and political demise. Someone has to lose but it is not the verse. These poems are similar to a Keith Jarret Concert. They can rip your heart out and leave the reader defenseless. So we have the ancients and the jazz musician combo:

A police constable who allegedly crashed a police pickup truck whilst under the influence of alcohol was charged with two traffic offences when he appeared in court today. He is Luis Quixah, a resident of Chan Chen, Corozal District. Quixah was charged with drove motor vehicle without due care and attention and drove motor vehicle with alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit. Quixah pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was offered a bail of $1,000.00 and his case was adjourned until April 24. The incident occurred on Sunday, February 12 at Lucky Strike Village. It is alleged that Quixah was driving a police pickup truck when he ran off the road and crashed. Quixah was unhurt. Another police officer who was beside him sustained minor injuries.

He is an independent candidate for the general election in the Cayo North Constituency. And today, Marcel Bedran is on the defensive following a query of his citizenship status. During the Love FM Morning Show today a listener in a question posed to the Prime Minister suggested that Mr. Bedran holds dual citizenship which would bar him from holding elected office in Belize. This afternoon, Bedran spoke with Love News and explained that he is a Belizean and a Belizean only. Marcel Bedran – Independent candidate “In 1976 I got a green card and I served the United States military for 8 years. In 1993 when President Clinton became president, he took all green cards away from people that weren’t living in the United States. I had already come home and got married and just went back and forth so I lost my green card in 1993. From then until now I have what you call a mulitple visa.”

A Belize City school has been burglarized and thousands of dollars worth of property stolen. Francisco Lacayo, Principal of the Hope Preparatory School on Maskall Street in Belize City, reported to police that sometime between six o’clock on Friday evening midday on Saturday, the school was broken into. The thief or thieves made off with two Computers valued at five thousand dollars. Police investigations continue.

A common law couple 26-year-old special constable Jose Haylock and 27-year-old waitress Coreen Martinez, were charged with one count of kept firearm without a gun licence and two count s of kept ammunition without a gun licence when they appeared in court today. They pleaded not guilty to the charges. Magistrate Roberto Ordonez explained to them that the court cannot offer them bail because of the nature of the offences. He remanded them into custody until March 15. The incident occurred on Saturday, February 11. The police reported that when they searched a house on Louise Bevans Street they found one point 22 revolver, 10 rounds of point 22 caliber ammunition and 11 rounds of nine millimetre calibre ammunition. Haylock was present at the house when the firearm and ammunition were found.

A shooting incident on Friday night has left a Belize City teenager hospitalized. Eighteen year old Deron Sanchez was wounded in the chest and back, reportedly in a ride-by attack. Reports are that Sanchez was at a neighbor’s house on Iguana Street around seven thirty on Friday night when a man of dark complexion rode up on a bicycle and fired several shots hitting Sanchez. Police say the gunman then made good his escape by riding off.

Corozal Police are yet to make an arrest for the murder of 61 year old Fernando Antonio Cowo. Cowo, an Orange Walk Taxi Driver was found lying in a pool of blood in the back seat of a green ford escort car parked in the bushes some 200 yards off the San Andres Road in Corozal. Cowo was found with a stab wound to the chest and a cut wound to the throat. Police have detained two Hispanic men for questioning and yet to establish the motive of the murder.

The Election and Boundaries Department today released the list of places where candidates vying for the general elections will be going to get nominated. Nomination day for the March seventh general election is Friday of this week between the hours of ten o’clock in the morning and four o’clock in the afternoon. In Belize City, the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building in Mahogany Street is the nomination centre for Fort George, Pickstock, Caribbean Shores, Freetown, Albert, Port Loyola, Mesopotamia, Collet, Lake Independence and Queen Square constituencies. In Belize Rural North, the nomination centre is at the Methodist Protestant School in Sand Hill Village. In Belize Rural South, nomination will take place at the Town Hall in San Pedro Town. For Belize Rural Centre, candidates will go to the Ladyville Roman Catholic School to get nominated.

The Governments of Belize and Taiwan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a project on inland Aquaculture Production. The MOU was signed by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Rene Montero and Taiwan’s Ambassador to Belize, David Wu during a ceremony this morning at the Taiwanese embassy in Belize City. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ambassador Wu said that in 2009 the Republic of China agreed to assist Belize in promoting the Tilapia Aquaculture. After appraisals by two delegations on the development of freshwater aquaculture they concluded that Belize has great potential for the aquaculture project. The terms of the project were explained by Ambassador Wu. David Wu – Taiwan’s Ambassador to Belize “This project will be divided into three phases within five years. The first phase will be the construction of a hatchery center in Central Farm which can be completed in 2012. The second phase the project will focus on the raising production of tilapia in the country, it is countrywide and the third phase will be concentrating to facilitate the marketing mechanism. By the end of this five year project we expect that we will have the production of one million fingerlings of tilapia. This will not only help provide protein to the people of Belize but will also increase the market mechanism for domestic consumption or exportation.” Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Rene Montero said that the demand for Tilapia is increasing and he expressed gratitude for the assistance from the Republic of China.

PUP Lake Independence Standard Bearer, Yolanda Schakron has responded to reports of her holding dual citizenship. Barrow said that while Schakron has some questions to answer, no one in his party holds dual citizenship. For her part Schakron responded this afternoon. Yolanda Schakron – PUP candidate, Lake I “That I have absolutely no problem in giving up my citizenship. I, Yolanda Schakron tell you the media and the Belizean people that I am a Belizean as rice and beans. I want the people out there, the people of Lake I to know that Yolanda will not be moved, she will stand strong. At the age of 15 I got my papers through my parents who were residents of the United States at that time, I am a Belizean and I will continue to fight for the people of Belize." The dual citizenship is one that the PUP Leader, Francis Fonseca, affirmed that the party knew about.

With respect to the recent downgrade by Standard and Poors’ of Belize, Barrow says that because Belize does not borrow on the commercial market so the Standard and Poors’ downgrade is “of no practical consequence to us”. Prime Minister Dean Barrow “Remember that the downgrade does not in any wise affect us domestically, I have made the point already that these rating agencies and the rankings they assign are important for those who are operating on the capital markets, who are borrowing commercially, depending on your ranking your borrowing costs either increase or decrease. We don’t borrow on the commercial market so the ratings are of no practical consequence to us.” Barrow did admit, however, that there will have to be a restructuring of the super bond payments.

Maya village leaders met at the weekend to discuss the current rosewood harvesting situation in the Toledo district. Paul Mahung reporting... “The Saturday morning meeting in Punta Gorda was coordinated by the Toledo Alcaldes Association under the leadership of Chairman Alfonso Cal. Alfonso Cal – Chairman “The objective of this meeting with alcaldes and village chairpersons, they are raising their concern that what is happening in the Toledo District. In the Toledo District with the rosewood you know that as a Maya people we always think of our future generation to come and now it is the awareness that we are trying to come together what can we do as a leader to try and correct the wrongdoing, how they were harvesting our rosewood because the rosewood is very important to us, it is indigenous because the Maya people use it and so we are collecting some ideas with our leaders, what can we do next." The attendance sheet indicated that those at the meeting were from 23 Mayan communities in Toledo and the 55 participants included Village Alcaldes, Mayan Village Council leaders as well as representatives of the Maya Leaders Alliance, Toledo District Association of Village Councils, TIDE, Satim and Xa'che.

A road traffic accident on Saturday morning on the Boom-Hattieville claimed the life of disc jockey, and cycling official Stephen Hall, also known as DJ Scorpio. According to reports, Hall was driving a motorcycle towards the end of a cycle race on a curve near the road leading to the Bacab Eco Park facility, around eight o’clock on Saturday morning, when he lost control of the bike and crashed. Love News understands that Hall was not wearing a safety helmet at the time of the crash, and he reportedly died from the impact when he was flung from the motorcycle. Today the National Institute of Culture and History sent out a press release in which they express their deepest condolences to the family of Steven Hall. Love News spoke with Theater Director at the Bliss Institute of performing arts, Karen Vernon, who told us more about who Steven was for the Bliss family and what the institute is doing in his honor.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that the process of preparing the budget for the next fiscal year is well underway. The Prime Minister was a guest today on the Love FM Morning Show. He explained to the nation that contrary to what is being said in certain section of the media, government finances are in order so that there will be no tax increases in the next budget. Prime Minister Dean Barrow “We are recording a recurrent surplus of almost 100 million dollars, we are 20 odd million dollars over budget, our primary balance is almost 3% of GDP and the overall deficit is under 1% of GDP, fantastic numbers; caused primarily by the significant, huge increase in oil revenues that we got from the export of petroleum because of course of the high international prices. I am saying that you use that sort of a windfall which we expect to see continue into the upcoming fiscal year because of the uncertain situation with Iran, threats of closing the Strait, of what is happening with Syria also an oil producer, it is a double edged sword because we in turn import the refined petroleum products and then the prices at the pump pressure our people but in terms of the exports of our crude, we expect to do well again in the upcoming budget year and you make sure that you take the extra revenue that you had not budgeted for in the case of the current fiscal year and you pour it into the pro poor programs. Going forward we are going to budget a little more optimistically than we did last year because it seems more likely than not that like I said there is going to be this phenomenon of continuing high oil prices for our exports so there will not be a difficulty at all.”

The Bachelor Recap: Kill Shot!!!
Courtney, after her temple-climbing one-on-one date with Ben in Belize. Minus 29. "I don't want to get cocky though," she added. No, of course not.

'The Bachelor' recap: Gossipy Girls
We open on the beautiful coastline of Belize, where Ben -- who has managed to find the ugliest of all Ugly American tank tops ever manufactured -- is reflecting on the remaining six women. "My heart is captivated and captured, the feelings of love are there -- I'm not ready to tell anybody that, but when the time is right," he muses. With one week left until hometown dates, he adds, "There's a lot on the line this week."

Importance of corals to fish studied
The locations large fish choose for shelter in coral reefs could significantly influence their ability to cope with climate change, Australian researchers say. Scientists at James Cook University said they're attempting to understand the process of fish population decline when coral reefs sustain major damage. Their research found that large reef fish like coral trout, snapper and sweetlips show a marked preference for sheltering under large, flat table corals, as opposed to branching corals or massive corals known as bommies. "Like human beings, fish have strong preferences on where they like to hang out -- and it appears that they much prefer to shelter under overhanging table corals," researcher James Kerry said. This is significant in terms of climate change impacts of different type of reef corals, the researchers said.

PUP Lake I Candidate, Yolanda Schakron, Is A Dual Citizen
On Friday night we told you about the credible report that Yolanda Schakron is a dual national; specifically, a Belizean with a US passport. Well, tonight we can confirm that she is ...

UDP Comment on Schakron's Dual Citizenship
Schakron's opponent Mark King is one man who seems hardly excited about the disclosure of the fact that his opponent is a Guatemalan-born Belizean-American. We spoke to him on the campaig...

Schakron's Brother, Mario Galvez, Campaigns For Her Opponent
And if King seems hardly perturbed it may be because he's got Yolanda Schakron's brother campaigning with him. That's right, Mario Galvez has suddenly switched camps. Last week, we saw him...

PUP Leader: There are Dual Citizenship Holders In UDP Also
And now that the matter of dual citizenship is a live one - PUP Leader Francis Fonseca says he's glad because he feels there are dual citizens in the mix of UDP candidates as well. He sai...

Teenager Shot In The City
And taking a break now from politics, we turn to crime. On Friday night in Belize City, an 18 year old was shot. At around 7:30, Deron Sanchez a student of #3 Iguana Street was at a frie...

Taxi Driver Murdered in Orange Walk
And to follow up on a story we first reported on Friday night, the family of 60 year old taxi man Fernando Antonio Cowo says they do not know why he was killed. As we reported, he was fou...

Well Known DJ Killed In Motorcycle Accident
Everyone who's ever been in a bicycle race will know that there's also a motorcycle race involved in the background. That happened when the motorcycle riders race to the finish line -...

Police Officer Charged for Allegedly Driving Drunk And Crashing Mobile
Tonight the Ladyville police station is seriously incapacitated - as the regular police have no mobile - after a drunken spree by cops turned into a traffic disaster. It happened ye...

PM Barrow Says He Suspects that GSU Was Involved in GSG Beatdown
Last week we told you about a bizarre home invasion when a group of men - allegedly the GSU stormed into a home on Dean Street and brutalized the residents beating them with bats and clubs. ...

Attorney Phillip Palacio: George Street Wants to Sue
And while incumbent area representative Michael Finnegan is particularly outspoken - his PUP opponent Phillip Palacio - who is an attorney - has gone one step further: he's taken on the case...

Another Police Officer Busted With Unlicensed Firearm
Exactly 4 weeks ago, 7News reported on the story of Corporal Gino Peck and his wife, Loretta, who were busted by the Gang Suppression Unit with an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. ...

Steve Williams, Busted With Cocaine, Allegedly Assaults Police Officer
51 year-old Steve Williams, a construction worker of a Pelican Street address, was arraigned before Magistrate Robert Ordonez today. He is charged with drug trafficking, assaulting a polic...

Another Well-Known City Resident Killed in Motorcycle Accident
In our last segment we told you about the motorcycle death of Steven Hall on Saturday morning - well, by Saturday evening, there would be another fatal motorcycle accident. It happened...

New PUP Women's Party Agenda
The PUP held a press conference today - and as you saw, the Yolanda Schakron issue consumed the spotlight. But really, it was about launching the party's women's Agenda. Themed "Forging Partnerships, Impacting Lives" - the policy document shows up the party's four female candidates in the upcoming general elections and as one of those veteran candidates said, it's not the first time her party is doing this:

PM Barrow Responds To S&P Downgrade
Last week we reported that Standard and Poors has downgraded Belize's rating which sent the price of the superbond tumbling down to between forty and forty three dollars. You might think that's bad news but two international analysts have come forward to say it might be a good thing, after all. One of them form the Nomura group even outlines a scenario where a bondholders should prepare for a superbond 2.0 - which would fetch a decent yield.

VOIP Plans In The Making
But the way ahead for VOIP - voice over internet - is not as clear as the superbond. Barrow explained that they are looking to start opening up bandwidth to voip users.. Prime Minister Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "The chairman of Telemedia has convened a working group, comprised of members of the board and members of staff, and they are very busy forming up the proposal which - as I understand - will see a limited implementation of VOIP in two phases, intiallly with respect to fixed lines and thereafter, of course, with respect to cell phones."

PM responds to Standard & Poors’ downgrade
We start the news tonight with news on the financial front following a downgrade of Belize’s credit rating by Standard and Poor’s. The downgrade came after Prime Minister Dean Barrow said in his election date announcement that he was going back to the electorate to “ask for your clear instructions to drive the naysayers back; ...

Police wrong to beat Dean Street residents
The Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) has made its mark on the western and central sections of the country with drug, ammunition and gun busts. But its presence is hardly welcome in certain neighborhoods and occasionally the GSU sparks controversy over alleged physical abuse of the persons it arrests. Last week Thursday, the GSU allegedly went ...

Victims will sue police and B.Q. Pitts
Prime Minister Barrow is not the only person who found it unacceptable. The alleged victims believed they had a strong case and sought legal advice. Philip Palacio, attorney and P.U.P. politician for Mesopotamia took the case. Palacio and some of the victims went to the police station today to make a report. But instead of ...

Cycle accidents claim 2 lives
The well-known DJ, Scorpio, was killed on Saturday in a deadly traffic accident involving four motorbikes near the Burrell Boom cut-off. Scorpio died before he could reach the hospital but three other cycling officials who were following a race in preparation for the upcoming Holy Saturday Cross Country, were more fortunate. The race, according to ...

PM muses at P.U.P. Dual Citizen Quagmire
Yolanda Schakron, the founder of Belizeans for Justice, has left the tear-stained back rooms of the social justice movement to enter the political arena. As a replacement for Cordel Hyde, Schakron appeared to have made a seamless transition into what was considered a P.U.P. safe seat in Lake Independence. It seems, however, that the originally ...

Schakron: Belizean, Guatemalan or American?
But the P.U.P. Lake I candidate, Yolanda Schakron, gave a fiery statement on her citizenship status. Schakron, holds a US passport, but was born in Guatemala. At a press conference at Independence Hall this afternoon where the party’s United Women’s Group launched its Women’s Agenda 2012, Schakron told the media that she is as Belizean ...

VoIP in limited format someday
Internet based phone services such as Net2phone, Viber, Skype, and Vonage have driven phone costs down internationally since they provide a certain quality without using regular providers. In Belize these services would only be a fraction of what is charged by SMART and Telemedia, and businesses will tell you that VOIP programs are the future ...

Taxi man brutally murdered on Corozal road
The latest murder victim is a taxi driver from Orange Walk Town. On Friday after-noon sometime after one-thirty, Fernando Antonio Cowo was chartered by two passengers for a trip to Corozal but he never made it back home. His body was found in his car on the outskirts of Corozal Town. News Five’s Andrea Polanco ...

Friday night shooting hits 18 year old
Meanwhile in the city, an eighteen year old barely survived a shooting on Iguana Street. According to police, at around a quarter to eight on Friday night, Deron Sanchez was on the verandah of a neighbor’s house with friends. A lone gunman dressed in dark clothing approached on bicycle and fired several shots at the ...

Special Constable busted with unlicensed gun
A special constable is behind bars tonight for the possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammo. Jose Adolph Haylock, and his common-law-wife, Corrine Diana Martinez, were arraigned this morning in the court of Magistrate Roberto Ordonez for keeping a point twenty-two firearm and twenty-one live rounds of ammunition without a license. They were both remanded ...

Slippery fisherman crashes into boat
A fisherman was also before the courts on charges relating to an accident on the river in the Conch Shell Bay area. Fifty-six year old Glenford Young reportedly crashed his twenty-five foot vessel into another boat parked in the area on January fourteenth. No one was injured, but Young was today charged for Proceeding on ...

Belize City woman and brother getting evicted from Belama
A Belize City woman and her brother are being evicted from the Belama Phase Four area. Maria Valle says she and her brother were given adjacent lots on which to build their houses, but now that her house is fully constructed, she’s been told by Minister of Works, Anthony “Boots” Martinez, that they both have ...

Massive P.U.P. Rally
The March seventh municipal and general elections are drawing closer. Up north in Orange Walk, the P.U.P. staged its biggest rally. The numbers were impressive as a sea of blue washed through the streets of the town ending up at Banquitas Park. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports. Delahnie Bain, Reporting Thousands of supporters turned out ...

James Adderley’s Mind-blowing Sports Update
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. The premier football league of Belize kicked off its inaugural season with matches spread out across the nation over the weekend. At the MCC Grounds yesterday, FC Belize opened against World FC of Cayo and in the opening minutes Jaime Brooks of World FC ...

One Person Detained For Thursday Night's Deadly Traffic Accident
On Thursday February 9th a traffic accident in the Village of San Andres in the Corozal District claimed the life of 25 year old Aurelia Blanco. Blanco and her four year old daughter were heading to a party when they were knocked down by a gold Ford Explorer with Corozal license plate traveling from the direction of San Andres Village to Xaibe. While Blanco died on the spot, four year old Luzelly Tun who sustained injuries to her head and a broken arm, is presently at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital under coma.

PUP Supporters From The North Come Out In Masses
Five thousand plus, that’s the amount of people from across the north that came out yesterday in support of the Peoples United Party during there pre-election rally held here in Orange Walk. With elections only 25 days away yesterday’s rally was very important for the P.U.P. It was an opportunity to show how united and strong the party was here in the north especially in the Orange Walk

PUP Corozal North Standard Bearer Meets With Residents Of The Area
On Friday February 10th the People’s United Party held a rally in the Village of Cristo Rey in the Corozal District where the four standard bearers for Corozal along side former Party Leader Honorable John Briceno addressed the crowd and informed residents about the party’s plans to move the country forward. Here are some highlights of the event.

Well Known Orange Walk Taxi Driver Found Dead In Corozal
It was breaking news on Friday night; the dead body of a male taxi driver from the Orange Walk District was found inside a green Ford Escort with Orange Walk license plate D-00206 parked inside some bushes approximately 200 yards off the San Andres Road in the Corozal District. At around 4:30pm the dead body of 60 year old Fernando Antonio Cowo of a Tangerine Street address in

Prime Minister Says Standards And Poor Down-Grade Will Not Affect The Country
Last week Tuesday Standards and Poor, an international Rating Agency in the U.S., downgraded Belize’s financial Status from a B- to a CCC+ meaning that there are signs that the Belizean government is becoming less willing to service its external commercial debt. The present rating places Belize on the non-investment grade also known as junk bonds. The announcement came amidst low economic growth, a weak investment outlook, increased levels of crime, and limited ability to raise government revenue. But according to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, contrary to what economist have been saying, the downgrade in no way will affect the country.

Nomination Centers announced
The Election and Boundaries Department has issued a list of nomination centres in advance of Nomination Day on Friday. Love TV’s Patrick Jones has a run down of the list.

Motorcycle accident claims the life of DJ Scorpio
A road traffic accident on Saturday morning on the Boom-Hattieville road has claimed the life of a cycling official and left another hospitalized. The victim of the fatal incident has been identified at disc jockey, and cycling official Stephen Hall, also known as DJ Scorpio. According to reports, Hall was driving a motorcycle towards the end of a cycle race around eight o’clock on Saturday morning, when he lost control of the bike and crashed. Three other motorcycles were involved in the fatal crash, which happened on a curve near the road leading to the Bacab Eco Park facility. Another cycling official identified as Andrew Ordonez sustained multiple broken bones and is receiving treatment at a hospital in Belize City. Only minor injuries were sustained by other motorcyclists involved in the Saturday morning crash. Love News understands that Hall was not wearing a safety helmet at the time of the crash, and he reportedly died from the impact when he was flung from the motorcycle. According to information to the RSV News Centre, the C-Ray’s Cycling club was the sponsor of the Saturday morning road race as part of the team’s preparation for the upcoming Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic. The race did not finish as the riders all stopped at the scene when they came upon the accident scene. Tributes for the fallen Disc Jockey and cycling official have been pouring in. Today, the National Institute of Culture and History expressed their deepest condolences to Hall’s family. Karen Vernon is the Theater Director at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts where Hall worked for a number of years.

Two new independent candidates declare their candidacy for general elections
There are two more independent candidates who are adding their names on the ballot come March seventh. Alburn Rivero told Love News today that he is vying for political office in the Belize Rural Central division. Rivero now goes up against the UDP’s incumbent, Michael Hutchinson and the PUP’s Dolores Balderamos Garcia. He says the time has come for a change and he is that person. With less than a month left before Decision 2012, Rivero, who manages his own business, says that he is funding his own campaign. The other new Independent Candidate is Mateo Thomas Polanco. He was endorsed on Sunday as the candidate for the Toledo-based People’s National Party. Polanco is a candidate for the Dangriga constituency. And with the record number of independent and third party candidates entering the electoral race this year, Love News asked Prime Minister Barrow for his take on this phenomenon.

George Street residents suing the police and Attorney General
There was reportedly another incident involving the Gang Suppression Unit and residents of the George Street area late last week. Reports are that elements of the GSU used excessive force during the incident. Prime Minister Barrow said that there will be no tolerance for abuse of power as he goes into discussion with the Minister of Police and Acting Commissioner of Police, David Henderson on this issue. Prime Minister Barrow did not say exactly what course of action the Police Department or Ministry will take on the alleged police brutality on the George Street residents, but four of the men are not wasting time in taking their course of action. This afternoon, through their attorney, Phillip Palacio, the men indicated that they are suing the Police Department and the Attorney General. The men, who show obvious signs of abuse, did not want to appear on camera for fear of further alleged attacks, but they were intent on making the law work for them. These were videos taken shortly after their attorney spoke with us.

Shackron says she is giving up her US citizenship
Since emerging as the PUP's replacement candidate for Lake Independence, Yolanda Shackron has come under pressure b...

Family seeks help after child is knocked down
Five year old Damion Flowers was knocked down on January 26th while crossing a pedestrian crossing in Santa Elena. ...

Hon. Hulse discusses achievements of his terms in office
Hon. Melvin Hulse is the United Democratic Party’s representative for Stann Creek West. Hulse appeared on Rise and ...

Belize endorses new sport
As far as the Belizean Sport world goes, fencing can be arguably considered the least known in Belize. Fencing is a...

PUP Women's Group launches Women's Agenda 2012
The People’s United Party, United Women’s Group launched the Women’s Agenda 2012. The Press Conference was to prese...

Attempted burglary at St. Edmund Campion RC School
An attempted burglary took place over the weekend at St. Edmund Campion Roman Catholic School in Teakettle. Plus ne...

San Ignacio celebrates ground breaking ceremony for new Welcome Center
Ground breaking ceremonies were held for a Welcome Center in San Ignacio back in August of last year. At that cerem...

Separate motorcycle accidents claim two lives
A fatal road traffic accident has claimed the life of a cycling official. On Saturday morning, a cycle race was pas...

Police constable arrested for unlicensed firearm
Another police officer has been arrested for possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition. Police say they were ...

Teen injured in Belize City shooting
A teenager was shot in Belize City on Friday. 18 year old Deron Sanchez, was shot to his chest and back. According ...

Rose’s Grill and Bar received International Catering Award from Trade Leader’s Club in Spain
Eduardo Arceo, Owner of Rose’s Grill and Bar in Caye Caulker traveled to Madrid, Spain to receive his award/trophy at the 37th International Award for Tourist, Hotel and Catering Industry on January 18th, 2012. Rose’s Grill and Bar from Caye Caulker was awarded along with more than twenty-five companies worldwide. This prize was created by the Editorial Office through the Trade Leaders’ Club and is granted to all those enterprises and organizations outstanding due to their excellent work in the tourism and catering field.

What You NEED To See Tonight
The Bachelor on ABC at 8pm EST. NOW WAIT! Before you click off this post, give me one moment to explain why you should watch it. I know all the reasons why you don't want's mindless drivel, it's totally phony, it's the worst way in the world to find romance, Ben the current bachelor is not only ugly but drippy and annoying. And you are right about all of that.

Participate In Shark Research Along The Belize Barrier Reef. Join the research team in Belize and you’ll join a decade-long research project comparing shark and grouper populations at Southwater Caye, a new marine reserve, Glover’s Reef Atoll, a well established reserve, and at Turneffe Atoll, a heavily-fished, unprotected site. The data you help collect will demonstrate whether and how reserves actually help protect various shark and other marine species.

Mayan hojas from Cahal Pech discovered in Downtown San Ignacio
A collection of mayan vessals and human remains have been discovered during the development of a 2.7 million dollar building project in San Ignacio. The discovery was made whilst a contractor, who was doing some excavation work to lay underground pipes, stumbled across a huge hand-made vase. Discoveries of this nature are relatively common in the region and work continued until more vases were unearthed, some of which are pre-classic and dating from before the birth of Christ. The vases are called hojas (spanish) and the form is representative of the late pre-classic period 300 BC to as far back as 2000 years old. The Belize Institute of Archaeology explained that the artefacts indicate households, not elite, not of nobility, but of the indeginious population that would have lived in the suburbs of the ancient site of Cahal Pech. In addition, archaeologists unearthed several human bones believed to be that of ancient Mayans.

How a £1.50 chocolate bar saved a Mayan community from destruction
It is, quite literally, the poor man's Green & Black's - organic cacao from the forests of Belize, fermented, dried, roasted on a comal (a circular iron hot plate over a wood fire), shelled, then ground by hand in a machine similar to a household mincer. 'It's half a day's work,' says Cyrila Cho, the stout, broad-faced woman who has welcomed me into her home in San Felipe to see how brigadeiros are made. She warms the cacao with condensed milk, adding allspice, black pepper and tzibik (wild vanilla) plucked from a vine at the top of a tree by her 21-year-old daughter Anna-Marie.

It is the season for Breadfruit in Belize
Yes, it sure is the season for Breadfruit in Belize. What is a Breadfruit, you may ask? Well, simply put, the Breadfruit is a remarkable food source. The Breadfruit has long been a staple in the diets of the Pacific Islanders, but was introduced into the Caribbean in the late 18th-century when the Bristish slave masters were looking for a very cheap food source alternative that was very high in nutrients to introduce into the diets of their slaves. This is the period the Breadfruit was introduced to the Caribbean.

Stewed Chicken with Rice and Beans in Belize
One of my missions for this trip to Belize was to enjoy more traditional food. I started with the most logical option…finding the best Belizean Stewed Chicken with Rice and Beans. In the first week of my stay in Belize I probably ate WAY MORE Stewed Chicken with Rice and Beans than any human should, but it was for a good reason…right? Special note: Rice and Beans are mixed together…Beans and Rice are separate. It’s important to know this…they serve both and when you are asked ‘Do you want Rice and Beans or Beans and Rice?” they’ll definitely know you are a tourist if you hesitate…but it doesn’t matter anyway since Belizeans seem to love tourists.

February 13, 2012

The February 12th, 2012 issue of The Independent is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Cardona slams Barrow
  • Placencia Sidewalk Art Festival 2012
  • Belize featured in ABC’s Hit Romance Reality Series “The Bachelor”
  • Another Brannon shot dead!
  • City residents fear resurgent gun violence
  • Robbers hit RC Imports on Cemetery Road
  • Police and detainee rumble
  • Editorial: The Choice – Elections 2012
  • Entire Conejo Workforce Sacked by US Capital Energy
  • Sinking ship or finally a chance to heal
  • Impartial View: Why the UDP have always been a one-term government
  • BLUE NOTES: An economy in crisis
  • College Bound? Then Money Matters
  • Marcel Cardona lashes out at the UDP
  • San Pedro Politics
  • San Pedro Beat
  • 30-year battle pays dividends for Grace Kennedy
  • Barbados police fight crime with technology
  • Don’t cry for Argentina: “Caribbean countries should not be used to advance Argentina’s ambitions.”
  • They call him Marvelous: Marvin Ottley
  • Revisiting the Ninth Amendment: The economics of nationalization

The Elections are Just Around the Corner
The elections are right around the proverbial corner and right outside everyone's door it seems. Signs, banners, flyers, campaigning groups, t-shirts, golf carts flying flags and blasting party jingles are hard to miss. Red, blue, purple...the colors are all over town. Even where I live one+ mile south. So...Wednesday, March 7th is a double election for both the mayor of San Pedro and the Representative for Belize Rural South (like a Senator in the US). There are three candidates for each. This should be pretty exciting.

Dr. Otto Rodriguez PolyClinic II receives Mobile Cot Stretcher
The Dr. Otto Rodriguez PolyClinic II is in possession of a brand new Dynamed Hare Any-Level Cot Stretcher Gurney. The donation took place on Tuesday February 7th at 2PM. The donation to the value of $700.00 was made possible through the efforts of Island Pool Supply – who facilitated purchasing and shipping and Cayo Espanto Island Resort, which provided the funds. According to Owen Vellos, Administrator at the PolyClinic II, the donation is very much needed. Prior to this donation, spine boards, which are very heavy, have been used to transport patients and had to be physically carried. With this new Mobile Cot Stretcher, the job of transporting patients to and from the clinic, within the clinic or even to and from emergency vehicles, will become much easier and will contribute to the efficiency of the PolyClinic staff.

Eco-Audit finds management efforts “insufficient” to protect Mesoamerican Reef
On Tuesday February 7th, the first ever Eco-Audit of the Mesoamerican Reef was released and it shows that management efforts by stakeholders of this precious natural resources are “insufficient.” The eco-audit is a follow up to the Reef Report Card which was published in 2010 and evaluates the efforts taken to protect and sustainably manage the region’s coral reefs. It also celebrates management success stories and documents the extent to which recommended management actions have been implemented in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico since the publication of the report card. The eco-audit was launched simultaneously in all four countries and shows an overall score of the reef management as fair, 2.7 out of 5, across the region and for all thematic areas.

The law is running out of gas in Belize
Two nights ago five men searched in the darkness for Enrique Makin, the chairman of a Maya village. Four of them were from the Belizean government’s department of geology and petroleum; the other was the Mayan permitting officer of a US oil company struggling to conduct seismic testing on the village’s land. This was the day after Standard and Poor downgraded Belize’s credit ratings, citing the structural decline of the country’s oil industry. In the darkness the men couldn’t find Makin, so for now the standoff continues. The government wants his signature for a letter the oil company composed, granting the right to operate seismic lines (corridors cleared through the rainforest along which explosives will be detonated to find oil) across the territory of the Q’eqchi’ Maya village of Conejo.

Tory peer Lord Ashcroft under scrutiny again
Lord Michael Ashcroft, Conservative Peer and former deputy chairman of the Tory party, is again coming under scrutiny over his dealings with the collapsed Belize building company, Johnson International. The company won building contracts throughout the Caribbean worth tens of millions of pounds and had interests that stretched across Belize, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago before collapsing with debts of £30 million, leaving many workers without wages. Although Ashcroft sold the company in 1999, a BBC Panorama programme suggested he’d misled the stock market about his links to the firm. The broadcaster had obtained internal company documents showing Johnson’s chief executive, Allan Forest, regularly reported to Ashcroft. Most damning is a note from Forest referring to Johnson’s parent company, Oxford Ventures, based in the British Virgin Islands, a tax haven. Forrest wrote, “The perception in Belize is that you are still in full control of Oxford’s assets (which you are of course).”

GSU: Ambush in the night!
The Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) is accused of yet another case of police brutality, after it raided a rooming house at the corner of George Street and Plues Streets early Thursday morning, February 9. The rooms are occupied by several young men who are considered to be affiliates of the George Street Gang. But this was no ordinary police raid. When the terrifying raid was finally over, the GSU officers sprayed the building with tear gas, before leaving the area.

Standard & Poors predicts another 'super bond'
The Government of Belize may end up in default on its foreign debt payments and, according to Standard and Poor’s default scenario, they expect “the government of Belize to pursue a best-efforts approach to restructure its debt, as it did in late 2006 (which gave rise to the super bond).” The S&P prediction came on Monday, February 6. S&P analysts see an increased likelihood of default because they have estimated that Belize will need 14% more foreign exchange than its current account receipts and useable reserves to service its foreign debt in 2012. This is because the coupon on the “super bond” is scheduled to increase from 6% in August, to 8.5% annually.

UNIBAM leader Caleb Orozco attacked
Caleb Orozco, 38, the leader of the UNIBAM, the movement which has brought a constitutional challenge in the Supreme Court to decriminalize unnatural sex acts under Belizean law, was attacked on Wednesday evening, February 8. Orozco said an unidentified assailant threw a brown beer bottle at his face, while he was on Prince Street between George and West Streets between 4:30-5:50 p.m.

Bar madame gets 18 months for trying to seduce employee
A naturalized Belizean woman from San Ignacio, Narciza Orellana, was found guilty of trying to pressure her 17-year-old employee to sleep with a paying customer. Police accused her of human trafficking in persons, and Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith sentenced her to 18 months in jail. Orellana became the first person in Belize to be convicted under the human trafficking law. Orellana employed the girl, whom she met at a supermarket, to work at her bar called Sierra’s Friends in Santa Elena.

U.B and Taiwan Academy in culture and academice link-up
The University of Belize has signed a letter of intent for bilateral cooperation with the Taiwan Academy and the Embassy of the Republic of China. UB President Cary Fraser signed the agreement with Taiwan’s Ambassador David Wu at the embassy in Belize City on Thursday February 9. Minister of Education Hon. Patrick Faber witnessed the signing. Taiwan already offers about 25 scholarships each year for Belizeans who wish to study at universities in Taiwan. But through this agreement both parties will seek to strengthen bilateral exchanges in the areas of culture, education and academia. Belize and Taiwan will particularly target those topics related to Taiwan, mainland China and Chinese culture, by using resources offered by institutions and authorities in Taiwan to promote Chinese culture with Taiwan characteristics.

Marcel Cardona vows to support PUP
Marcel Cardona, the former United Democratic Party, Orange Walk East area representative, has broken his silence to verbally chastise his party at a press conference at the Belize Institute of Management on Wednesday, February 8. Cardona berated the government of Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow for its failures to address the issues in his constituency. Besides raining fire and brimstone on the Barrow government’s shortcomings in his constituency, Cardona made two dramatic announcements

Belize stamps commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee
Queen Elizabeth II has reigned over the British Empire and served the British Commonwealth of nations for just over 60 years, and the Belize Postal Service honored her lifetime of service with a commemorative issue of stamps. The Queen’s representative in Belize, the Governor General Sir Colville Young Sr., unveiled the stamps, which recognizes her 60th anniversary as Sovereign, to the public at the House of Culture in Belize City on Monday morning, February 6. The stamps show portraits of the Queen at different chapters of her reign. The 25 cent stamp shows a young Elizabeth as she appeared when at the tender age of 25, when she was crowned at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953. The $2.00 stamp shows her 10 years later, and the 75 cent stamp show her as she looked in 1972, and pretty much the way she is portrayed on Belize’s currency currently.

Belize Workers Union negotiates pay increase for BSI workers
The Belize Sugar Industries Ltd. and the Belize Workers Union have signed a new Collective Agreement for B.S.I.’s hourly-paid workers at the company’s Staff Club in Orange Walk Town. The agreement, which was signed last Monday, covers all workers employed at the Tower Hill Factory, Slip dock, Research and Transport Departments for a three-year period from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2014. Mrs. Aida Reyes, Labour Officer witnessed the new agreement, which provides for increases in wage rates for permanent hourly-paid employees of 4% and 5% for the periods July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 and July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 respectively.

Friends announces scholarship break for students in need
The organization known as International Friends of Belize has announced this week that it is ready to process applications for its high school partial scholarships, each worth $1,000. These partial scholarships are going to needy children already in school in Belize who demonstrate a desire and willingness to continue their studies. The first step in this process is for interested Belizean secondary schools to apply to be come “participating schools.” This involves a school representative completing a short online Participating Schools Form found at and agreeing to abide by the conditions required by International Friends of Belize in processing its scholarships.

PUP will proceed without Espat & Hyde, David Craig and Yolanda Shackron now in!
The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), only weeks away from the March 7th general election, has lost two of its more distinguished area representatives and possibly its grip on what had, until recently, been regarded as PUP safe seats. Mr. Mark Espat, three times area representative for the Albert constituency; and Mr. Cordell Hyde, the Lake Independence area rep for the last 14 years, have opted out of the race, the PUP’s top executive confirmed at a press conference at Independence Hall on Monday, February 6.

Pickwick Club falls into receivership!
The Pickwick Club, Belize’s oldest private membership club located on Newtown Barracks, has gone into receivership at the behest of Atlantic Bank Limited on Monday, February 6. The Bank’s appointed receiver, Robert Garcia, has since taken over the club’s operations. Billy Musa Sr. confirmed to The Reporter that Pickwick Club Limited, which has 118 local investors, had borrowed $8.5 million from Atlantic Bank.

Belize Film Industry steps up its game
Belize needs to offer financial incentives to film production companies seeking sand and sea or a jungle location to produce a film, the Coordinator of the Institute of Creative Arts’ Film and Media Arts Unit Suzette Zayden said at a film industry symposium at the House of Culture in Belize City on Thursday, February 9. Zayden, who doubles as a facilitator for the Belize Film Commission, says the game has changed as film companies can shoot anywhere in the Caribbean and a number of locations are now offering very attractive financial incentives.

Gwen Liz boys win city football championship
The boys of Gwendolyn Lizarraga High School won theBelize City High Schools Football Championship, triumphing 2-1 over the boys of Anglican Cathedral College in both championship finals at the MCC grounds on Saturday, February 4 and Monday, February 7. Richard “R-J” Waight and Sergio Luna led the A.C.C. boys’ offensive supported by Geon Makin and Roy Bonnel on the wings and Devaughn Zuniga and Jamal Matute at midfield, but the Gwen Liz defense of Shaheed Marsden, Ralph Martinez, Francis Andrews and Alroy Marin held them off.

Gwen Liz girls win city football championship
The girls of Gwendolyn Lizarraga High School won their second consecutive Belize City High schools Football Championship, triumphing 4-3 over the girls of Wesley College in a penalty shootout in the second game of the finals at the MCC grounds on Monday, February 7. In the first finals last Saturday, Kishay Bevans and Deandra Coote led the Gwen Liz offensive supported by Jersha Estrada, and Roslyn Smith at midfield, but the staunch defense of Wesley’s Ruby Jimenez, Brenda Brown, Elisha Bernardez and Chineyre Wade held them in check. Dayrin Aguilar and Shanice Neal led the Wesley girls’ offensive supported by Erica Milligan and Imane Mckenzie on the wings and Cassandra Mortis and Kirklyn Hall at midfield, but the Gwen Liz defenders Kenya Brown Shannon Neal, Shemara Nunez and Kenisha Hyde held them to a scoreless draw up to intermission.

Ziprider wins 2nd Haulover-to-Boom canoe race
Defending Ruta Maya champions, the Ziprider team of Jerry Rhaburn, Efrain and Felix Cruz, paddled their canoe across the finish line by Black Orchid Jungle Lodge resort in two hours 16 minutes and 57 seconds to win the second Haulover to Burrell Boom race organized by the Belize Canoe Association on Saturday, February 4. The Ziprider team took home a $140 first prize and a trophy. Their perennial rivals, the Belize Bank team of Daniel, Erwin and Amado Cruz were three seconds behind to win the $40 second prize and a trophy in the male category.

Satellite Image of the Great Blue Hole in Belize
“The World’s Deepest Sea Hole”. The Great Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Belize is a circular 305 m across and 123 m deep hole in the carbonate reef. It is a Belize National Monument and became a World Heritage Site in 1997. Jacques Cousteau took the Calypso and his submarine into the hole in 1972 to examine the stalactites suspended from overhanging walls. The Blue Hole formed during past ice ages, when sea level was 100-200 meters lower than at present. Dissolution of the carbonate rock created a subsurface void that subsequently collapsed. On land, these features are called cenotes. The image was acquired March 14, 2006, covers an area of 18.3 x 42.3 km, and is located at 17.5 degrees north latitude, 88.2 degrees west longitude.

Beasts of Belize
There are WAY more animals than people in nature-rich Belize. Get a grip on the Beasts of Belize and where to see them in the newspaper story we published on the subject.

Bionic butterfly wings are ultimate heat sensors
Move over spider silk. Butterfly wings are the new "it" material of the animal kingdom, doubling up as ultra-sensitive heat sensors. Morpho butterfly wings are iridescent thanks to rows of tiny tree-like structures on their surfaces. Light reflecting off each micrometre-long branch and trunk interferes, producing shimmering colours. Now Andrew Pris at General Electric's Global Research Center in Niskayuna, New York, and colleagues say those same "Christmas trees" make excellent heat sensors. When heat, or infrared radiation, hits the trees, the chitin they are made from expands. This increases the distance between the branches and trunks, shifting the wavelength of light they reflect perceptibly.

February 12, 2012

Belize Telemedia Inks 4G Deal With Ericsson
“On January 20th 2012, Executive Chairman of Belize Telemedia Limited, Mr. Nestor Vasquez and Chief Operations Officer, Mrs. Karen Bevans took evolutionary steps towards bringing the fastest mobile network to Belize, when they signed a contract with world renowned telecommunications giant Ericsson, for the provision of an advanced mobile cellular network that will offer 4G services to DigiCell customers across the Country.

With roots in Carib the Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble moves into new musical range
James Lovell and Lucy Blanco Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble are going back to their Caribbean roots while venturing forward into new territories through their band the Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble. Later this month, the group will be holding a fund-raiser to help finance the recording of its first album. “Our goal is to introduce jazz music to the Garifuna community and introduce Garifuna to the jazz community and share our story through music,” said singer Lucy Blanco of the band's unique blending of the two music forms. “James and I are the only Garifuna musicians. He is Garifuna from Belize and I was born here, but my parents were Garifuna from Honduras,” said Blanco, who met Lovell, a percussionist/vocalist, a few years ago.

The Bachelor week 7 preview - Ben confronts Courtney
Monday on The Bachelor, Ben takes the final 6 girls to beautiful Belize. Time is running out and the hometown dates are next and Ben needs to figure out whose family he wants to meet. On this episode there will be three one on one dates and one group date, so every girl gets some time with Ben. Lindzi gets one of the one on one dates and her and Ben take a romantic helicopter ride before they get to the famous Great Blue Hole of Belize. What Lindzi does not realize is that they will be jumping into that hole.

Update on Nomination and Election Day
The Elections and Boundaries Department has announced the date for nomination for all those people wishing to contest the March 7th municipal election. Nomination Day has been set for Wednesday February 15th, two days prior to nomination for general elections which has been set for Friday February 17th. So far there are three known mayoral candidates and fourteen councilor candidates that have indicated their desire to contest the municipal elections. Contesting the general elections are at least four candidates who seek to represent the Belize Rural South Constituency.

New species of grasshopper-like insect discovered in Belize
Scientists at the University of Illinois, USA have discovered a new species of tiny, grasshopper-like insect in the tropical rainforests of the Toledo District in southern Belize. Dr. Sam Heads and Dr. Steve Taylor co-authored a paper published today in the journal ZooKeys documenting the discovery and naming the new species Ripipteryx mopana, a name devised by Heads and Taylor to honour the Mopan people.

Robert “Bobby” Lopez to contest elections in Belize Rural South
Party Leader of the Belize Unity Alliance (BUA), Robert “Bobby” Lopez, will contest the upcoming March 7th general election in the Belize Rural South (BRS) Constituency. The official announcement was made on Monday night, February 6th, while he was on the local Reef TV show in San Pedro Town. Lopez, who is a member of the Vision Inspired by the People party, is contesting the general election under BUA which is the umbrella alliance for the VIP, the People’s National Party and most independent candidates for municipal and general elections 2012. Lopez is the 10th person that will contest the general election under the BUA for 2012.

187 immigrants become Belizeans
There was much scrutiny and public discussion over the multiple naturalization ceremonies held at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development by the Immigration Department in January of this year. Swearing in ceremonies are customarily conducted once a month and today at the George Price Centre 187 immigrants took their pledge of allegiance to Belize this afternoon in the city of Belmopan.

So This Is What I'm Missing...
So...I'm supposed to be staying in to rest all weekend. Ugh. I went outside for a few minutes this morning and this is what I am missing. Perfect weather, a nice breeze and not one cloud. My pool at Royal Palms... my shadow in the picture proves that I am alive! I miss you pool.

Vacations for Women: 13 Ways To Go Slow on Caye Caulker in Belize
Go Slow on Caye Caulker: Caye Caulker is one mile by five miles of white sand atop a limestone shelf, offering Caribbean color, barefoot living and below the radar vacationing. Here’s our expert guide on how to go slow and go troppo in this tropical destination.

What a Difference a Water Taxi Ride to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye Can Make
Let me start by saying I’m very, very far from an expert on San Pedro Town, but my Mom and I took a break from the quiet, friendly Caye Caulker to spend a few hours in San Pedro. There are some very distinct differences between Caye Caulker and San Pedro Town and I’m not just talking about the physical size of them.

Belize 2012 - A Student Trip to Belize
On February 8th, the eighth grade class of Naples Christian Academy along with several parents and faculty will travel to Belize City, Belize to partner with CALMS and Mirirh's Ministry. Please pray for us as we share Jesus through our songs, skits, service, and our attitudes. "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10

Corozal Police Investigate Apparent Murder Of Orange Walk Taxi Driver
Details are still sketchy but CTV3 News understands that late this evening the dead body of a male taxi driver from the Orange Walk District was found inside a green Ford Escort bearing Orange Walk license plate D-00206 parked inside some bushes approximately 200 yards off the San Andres Road.

Traffic Accident Leaves One Women Dead And Her Four Year Old Daughter In Coma
Tonight a woman from the Village of San Andres in the Corozal District is dead and her four year old daughter is in a coma at the KHMH as a result of traffic accident. The incident happened around 8:30 last night while 25 year old Aurelia Blanco and her four year old daughter Luzelly Tun were heading to a party. When we visited the scene of the accident this morning we found out that both mother and daughter were knocked down a few feet away from home.

People From Orange Walk Central Welcomes John Briceno
John Briceno, he is the current Area Representative for Orange Walk Central and is once again seeking re-election under the party that saw him grow as a politician, the Peoples United Party. Briceño has won four straight terms as Orange Walk Central Area Representative. In 1993 he ended the political career of the then Orange Walk Central Area Rep. Lelise Carballo. In 1998 Briceno decisively defeated U.D.P Candidate Ruben Campos and in 2003 victory was once again obtained for the P.U.P in Orange Walk Central when Briceno won his U.D.P opponent Miguel Urbina. In 2008, realizing that Orange Walk Central was one of the strongholds of the P.U.P, the U.D.P came up with the idea that the only way to win Briceno was by finding a candidate with major finances. And that is when Rosendo Chendo Urbina came into the picture. But despite all his millions, on Thursday February 7th 2008, the people of Orange Walk Central rejected Urbina and once again elected Briceno as their Area Representative. Apart from being the former Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno has served the people of Belize and Orange Walk Central as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Commerce and Industry.

Doc. Mendez Hits The Campaign Trail And Meets With Residents Of Orange Walk East
And while John Briceño is being well received by residents of his area, so is PUP Orange Walk East Standard Bearer Marco Tulio Mendez. “It has been very, very good and I could see that there is lots of support for the People’s United Party, they want a change, we know that times have been difficult in our entire area in Orange Walk East Constituency and it has been very good, it has been very receptive. The people of Orange Walk East constituency is a big constituency and the people already need the Poly-clinic, a well organized Poly-clinic and that will provide the basic medical health services for them, I mean taking care of pregnant women, taking care of hypertension, asthma, taking care of infection and common infection in children, those are the things that really are very, very basic to provide for the Orange Walk East Constituency.”

Free Medical Services Offered At The NRH
It’s not the first time that we run a story about US missionary groups that arrive in Belize, set up their medical equipment and offer free dental and cosmetology services to resident’s of the Orange Walk District. We find it most informative to air these stories so that the community can take advantage of the free services. The Horizon Community Church Missionary Group from Cincinnati arrived in Orange Walk earlier this week and since then has been offering free medical services at the Northern Regional Hospital. Davinder Manget is a U.S National Facial Plastic Surgeon, who says that the community should take advantage of the services they offer.

BMHS Business Fair Huge Success
Today Bishop Martin High School held their annual Business Fair which served as an opportunity for students to interact with the community while displaying their products and business services. While students of the third and forth form level focused mainly on the aspects of business, students of the first and second form division focused on Belizean culture.

Rotaract Orange Walk Receives Club Of The Year Award
From February 3rd to the 5th Rotaractors from across the country converged in Belmopan to celebrate the Rotract Intercitidina for 2012. This year the reunion was held under the theme “Reach Within To Embrace Humanity”. In addition to accomplishing certain business goals, Intercitidina fosters the sense of fellowship, which is a fundamental principle of Rotaract.

February 11, 2012

Valid: Friday-Monday, Feb. 10 - 13, 2012 Issued: 3:00 pm, Friday, February 10, 2012

A high pressure system strengthening across the North-central USA today, will build strongly towards the SE portion of the US, pushing an active cold front through the central and SE Gulf of Mexico during the next 24 hours. This cold front will move into the NW Caribbean and Belize by Saturday evening, producing some outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms over most places.

The cold front will continue into the western Caribbean by late Sunday, then into the SW Caribbean by early Monday. The broad High pressure system will keep a moist and cool North to North-easterly airflow prevailing across Belize this weekend through Monday.

We can expect the weather to become generally cloudy, cool and showery over the weekend, especially over central and northern Belize on Saturday. The showers and rain will then shift to the South and the hills on Sunday and Monday.

Daily rainfall totals will range from 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch on Friday, increasing on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, with daily accumulations ranging from 0.50-1.25 inches, especially over central and northern districts at first, and then shifting over the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts, and offshore waters later on Sunday and on Monday.

CLICK HERE for the Full Report

Wildlife SOS films ACES for Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet
Wild Productions Limited arrived in San Pedro Town on Tuesday morning ready to film Vince Rose and Cherie Chenot-Rose of American Crocodile Education Sanctuary’s (ACES) work on the island and countrywide in regards to their conservation efforts of the American Crocodile. According to Simon Cowell, for the last 30 years, he has been filming with an emphasis on education, getting people to care about animals. “When they grow to care about the animal, they then have a reason to conserve.”

BRS Standard Bearers’ Debate set for February 15th
Anticipation is high for the first ever Belize Rural South Standard Bearer Debate which has been scheduled for February 15th at 7:00PM. The debate is being organized by The San Pedro Sun, in partnership with Reef Radio/TV. The venue is yet to be announced but all four candidates that are running for the General Election in BRS have agreed to participate.

Trying another new tropical fruit: Rose Apple
I happened to notice a pile of new mystery fruits today at Maria's fruit & vegetable stand, so I asked her about them. "Apple", she said. "Belizean apple." She said they were sweet with just a little sour taste, and that the skin was edible. What did I have to lose? She picked out a nice one for us, and we added it to our pile of baby bananas and limes. When I got home, I started my usual googling to determine exactly what this lovely burgundy pear-shaped fruit actually was. Turns out, it is a Rose Apple, named because it tastes like rosewater. Cool! Rose Apples are very low in calories but high in Vitamins A and C, calcium, and niacin. What's not to love? At this point, I gave it a sniff, and it does have the aroma of old-fashioned roses -- you know, roses that actually have a fragrance. My mother loves all things rose and frequently sprinkles rose water over fruit for a simple Greek dessert, so I wish she could try this interesting new fruit along with us.

10 Reasons Why Belizean Women Cheat by Babi
Another thing we wa cheat on top of his head if that was something we can do ..instead of him playing games he need to pay us more attention and stop complaing he got no money to buy us a and their broke ass who just want to screw and push us aside come on ladies why u making him dis us like this for and Mr.babi check this out...we cheat to take care you our black kids cause our men not doing his job as a man...leaving the other race of men to do it for them now talk about no good men

An Unexpected Belizean Pastime
Belize, Central America, is an amazing place for many reasons — a diverse culture, a variety of environmental wonders, and an array of beautiful birds to name a few. But one of the things that totally surprised me was the discovery that drum line/marching band play a major part in the lives of many local youths. I was a marching band guy in high school (a trumpeter), so this was particularly intriguing to me. As “American ignorant” as this might make me sound, I had just never considered that it would transcend U.S. culture. Even cooler, though, is why the marching band program was so meaningful in the community. I spoke with some of the leaders about it, and it turns out that it is a very effective way to give the youth something to do other than get into trouble on the street. And it gave them something to take pride in.

Journey to Dangriga and South Water Caye: Bliss in Southern Belize
One of the few Belizean towns I have yet to explore is Dangriga. It’s ironic because it’s known as the “culture capital” of Belize. But it’s also the forgotten town of Belize when it comes to tourism. Few people stay here more than a day or two – most are either here for business or on their way to the islands that are close to the southern coast. It’s a real shame, because there’s a lot to Dangriga – especially for learning about the Garifuna culture. As an African it bothers me that I haven’t yet spent even a full day here seeing the town, talking to people or even taking part in some of the cultural activities. It’s just been one of those circumstances where I never get there on time or I head there at the last minute. The last week of January, I had every intention of spending a full day there but I left Belize City pretty late. I had to renew my immigration entry stamp (here in Belize, you only get one month>> upon entry; after that you have to get an extension from the immigration office at the cost of US$25 for an additional month).

Funky Junk!
While the boys were tinkering about with Peggy, Alex had the idea of taking a few pictures amongst the rotting cars with weeds growing out of their engines. You know, wreck the dress…among the wrecks! As we knew she would, Maya loved the idea and after we had asked the bewildered garage owner I got dressed and paddled into the boggy, saturated field full of rusting old cars. The sun shone properly for the first time in days but the clouds still loomed with a threat of rain. The forgotten, neglected vehicles with their inards strewn all around made a fantastic contrast to the soft, flowing Tabitha gown and the whole idea was perfect…until Alex asked me to get into the boot of a rotting car…but…why not I guess!

Ideas and Opinions - Nation Building
If our political leaders had a strong sense of nationalism and, if we had a Prime Minister who was a statesman, the first thing he would do on assuming office would be to declare National Goals and, set high standards of conduct and performance for all his associates and, for those who work in the Public Service.

Woman convicted of human trafficking gets 18 months in prison
Narcisa “Nancy” Orellana, 54, of Santa Elena Town, Cayo District, began an eighteen-month sentence in prison after being convicted of attempted trafficking in persons last Tuesday in San Ignacio.

Belize’s first trial without jury
Akeem Thurton and Ricky Valencia to face trial for attempted murder under new law... Case postponed to February 27... Legislated last June after public pronouncements by Prime Minister Dean Barrow in the wake of multiple shootings of Chinese businesswomen in Belize City in April, the concept of “trial without jury” for murder and murder-related offenses has yet to be tested in open court, but the end of this month should see that changed.

$10,000 for Orvin Ferguson, 25, for 171 grams of weed
Today, Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stuart handed down a stiff fine to Orvin Ferguson. Ferguson, 25, along with Sherman Rodney, 21; Eric Gilharry, 25; Tracey Ford, 20, Ferguson’s common-law wife, were all charged with drug trafficking.

Rosewood assessment too little, too late?
Nothing being done to address unsustainable, unmonitored rosewood logging activity: YCT... Forest Department memo cites obscene discrepancy in rosewood reporting data... The recorded total of timber exported within an eighteen-month period, June 2010 to November 2011, was 2,200,348 board feet of timber. The total recorded volume for mahogany was 639,851 board feet and for rosewood was 836,736 board feet: Forest Department

4 injured in downtown shooting
According to the information from witnesses, three men - Gilbert Wade, 20, a resident of Ross Pen Road; Kendell Flowers, 18, a resident of Belize City; and Dion Lord, 30, a resident of Gill Street - were repairing the tire of a vehicle, a Chevrolet Astro van, in front of Battlefield Park on Albert Street when they were ambushed by a gunman.

Strange flying object hovers over Griga!
4 residents admitted sighting unknown object on “clear night.” One resident told Amandala that object “moved at the speed of lightning,” and had “bright light radiating underneath; another resident “wondered if he was seeing a comet;” yet another said the object “made no sound.”

Fink: Tsunami Jack plays his trump card
Warner had come up short with his allegation that he’d been given World Cup TV rights for the princely sum of $1 in return for being a staunch Blatter ally.

Deon McCaulay to be special guest at high school football Nationals
A spokesman for the National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) called in to the Press Cadogan Show last night on Krem Radio, where National Team star Deon McCaulay was a guest panelist, to invite Deon to be a special guest at the opening ceremonies on Friday afternoon at the MCC, where 8 high school teams, 4 male and 4 female, from across the country will participate in the two-day NSSSA Football Tournament.

Belmopan City Council Kids Cup 2012
The Belmopan City Council Kids Cup 2012, organized by BNFA, commenced its tournament on Saturday, January 28, with 12 teams from the surrounding areas. The BNFA would like to take this opportunity to thank the Mayor, Mr. Simeon Lopez, his Deputy, Mr. Amilcar Umania, the Belmopan City Council and the City of Belmopan for the sponsorship of this year’s Belmopan City Council Kids Cup 2012.

February 9 – UBAD’s 43rd
Today marks the 43rd anniversary of the founding of the United Black Association for Development (UBAD). The meeting which established UBAD took place at a farm owned by the late Wilhelm Arnold at Mile 26 on the Old Northern Highway.

Objections filed to questionable new voters: who will decide constitutionality?
Last Thursday, February 2, a series of cases were scheduled to be heard in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court concerning objections filed by Menzies, resident in St. Matthew’s, Cayo District, and another objector from Belmopan. The cases were filed against registered voters from Belmopan and villages within the Cayo South constituency, on three grounds: that the person being objected to was not a citizen of Belize, and that their Nationality Certificate was unconstitutional under Sections 26, 29(3) and 92 of the Constitution; that the persons objected to do not live at the addresses given, and that they have not lived at their prescribed addresses for two months as required under the Representation of the People Act.

Inside Her Majesty’s Prison with Bernard Adolphus
Ex-prison Superintendent tells tales from behind museum’s walls... The Museum of Belize was inaugurated in 2002 and turned 10 this past Sunday, February 5. There is a full schedule of activities planned, and Belizeans can take advantage of the opportunity to tour the building, once the site of Her Majesty’s Prison from 1857 to 1993, when the current structure at Hattieville (now privatized) was established.

F. Fonseca’s very big gamble
Opposition PUP Leader Francis Fonseca has taken a very big gamble in driving Albert’s Mark Espat and Lake Independence’s Cordel Hyde out of their constituencies. The very big gamble is that David Craig and Yolanda Schakron will win Albert and Lake I, respectively, areas which were considered sure seats for the PUP with Espat and Hyde.

Amandala: From The Publisher
I think the evidence which shows that the “big boys” in the then Opposition knew what they were doing when they moved out the Hon. Philip Goldson from leadership between 1972 and 1974 lies in Mr. Philip’s defying of UDP leadership in the Maritime Areas Act matter and his formation of the National Alliance for Belizean Rights (NABR) in 1991, when, incidentally, Mr. Philip was completely blind. The “big boys” and all those who were backing them could never be sure of Goldson, that he would toe the party line instead of following his nationalistic ...

The February 9th, 2012 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Anger or Fear? Why PUP Candidates are Jumping Ship
  • IDB President in Town
  • From the Desk of the Chairman: The Invisible Hand of the ‘lord’
  • Kudos to Plus TV: Congrats to Mayor Lopez, Belmopan Mayoral Debate
  • Noise in the Market Don’t Worry About it - Check Your Change!
  • Faith Lift: Godliness: The Appearance vs the Real Thing
  • “Albert Will Be UDP Again!” Herman Longsworth’s Brilliant Interview
  • Referendum is What You Want? Why Not Have One on UNIBAM?
  • The Prime Minister’s Tour Continued in Orange Walk Central Last Sunday February 5
  • Saldivar to Fonseca: How Can the People Judge You? By Your Past - Not Your Promises!
  • Health Clinic for Senior Citizens Inaugurated in the Capital City
  • Passport System Down
  • The Republic of China (Taiwan) Partners with University of Belize
  • Update on the Belize Municipal Development Project for the City of Belmopan
  • Superbond Strikes Again! Another 33 Million Gone!
  • Lisa Shoman Again: On The Wrong Side of Political Pornography
  • Continuity of Government
  • Ruperto for President: New FFB Elections Coming in March

Twenty-seven year old Roberto Montejo, a laborer of Sandhill was charged with the theft of a male Pitbull when he appeared in Court today. Montejo pleaded guilty to the charge. Magistrate Dorothy Flowers offered him a bail of one thousand dollars and adjourned his case until March 21. The incident occurred on Wednesday, February 8, at Sandhill. The complainant, Marlilian Tun, reported to the police that while she was not at home, her Pit bull valued at four hundred dollars was stolen. Based on information they received, the police recovered the Pit bull from Montejo later the same day.

The Mexican Institute on Newton Barracks will be the venue for an exhibit entitled “The African Presence in Mexico which is sponsored by the Mexican Embassy in conjunction with “Teachers learning together”, a business cooperative for educators in Belize. The photo exhibition which will be launched on Monday February 13th is the work of Professor Ron Wilkins, who is a retired African Studies Professor at the California State University. The exhibit will feature over twenty five photos and will run until March second 2012.

"A training session for Justices of the Peace and Commissioners of the Supreme Court in Toledo will be held tomorrow in Punta Gorda. President of The Toledo Chapter Justices of the Peace and Commissioners of the Supreme Court Dr. Elizabeth Cardinez confirmed that the morning training session will start 8:30 at the Punta Gorda Methodist School this Saturday February 11. The aim of the training session is to provide especially newly appointed Toledo JP’s with basic and needed knowledge of court procedures and witnessing statements. Part of the session will also focus on a general membership meeting to update Toledo JP’s and Commissioners of the Supreme Court about the recent Annual General Meeting held in Belize City, this year’s activities planned for the Toledo Chapter and discuss the need for a high level of commitment and active service from all appointed persons as well as the need for contributions to part or full payment.

Police in the south are reporting the discovery of a marijuana plantation. Authorities say that last week they discovered a marijuana plantation with five thousand, two hundred and ninety four plants ranging from five to six feet in height. The plantation was discovered about five miles west of San Pedro Columbia village and no one was found in the area at the time of the police operation. All of the marijuana trees were uprooted and destroyed by fire.

A man from Teakettle village in the Cayo district is in police detention pending firearm charges. Darius Cruz, who lives on Young Gial Road in Teakettle village was detained after a search of his house on Thursday afternoon led to the discovery of a twelve gauge single action shotgun and a matching cartridge.

A Belize City woman has reported that her home was burglarized. Sandra Toledo reported to police that her home on Lovely Lane in Belize City was burglarized sometime between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. Stolen in the burglary was an assortment of jewelry with an estimated value of nine thousand, three hundred dollars. Police investigations continue.

The Housing and Planning Department continues to experience glitches in its implementation of a mortgage write off scheme. The write off was approved in October of last year and the Department has been sending out letters informing persons that their debt had been forgiven. But several people who have received notices have expressed concerns because they claim that either they have not had loan with the Housing and Planning Department or their loan had been fully paid off. Sebastian Hamilton, a resident of Ladyville village is one of the recipients of a debt write off letter and he says that he does not owe any money to the government of Belize. Hamilton’s wife Barbara visited the RSV News Centre this morning to express her concern about the letter and says she just wants her husband’s name cleared.

Forty-one year old Yolanda Garcia, a naturalized Belizean originally from Honduras, who is the owner of La Sirenita Bar located on Regent Street West, was sentenced to twelve months today by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith after she was found guilty of trafficking in persons. The incident occurred between June 29 and July 6, 2010. The complainant, who was seventeen at the time, testified that she had just graduated from high school and when she went to work at La Sirenita Bar, she was told by Garcia that part of her job was to have sex with the customers. Garcia testified and denied that the girl was even working for her. Garcia was represented by Attorney Simeon Sampson. The director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Vidal, represented the prosecution.

A Corozal woman was knocked down and killed last night. Sometime around 8 o’clock Aurelia Blanco was taking her 4 year old daughter Luceli Tun on bicycle travelling on the San Andres Road in the direction of Xaibe Village when she was struck from behind by a moving vehicle. When police arrived they saw the motionless body of Blanco lying face up in a pool of blood on the right side of the road. Parked beside the body, police saw a gold ford explorer bearing a Corozal license plate. Blanco died on the spot while the child was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where we understand she remains in a stable condition. The occupants of the vehicle were detained but police have yet to establish which of the two men was driving the vehicle when the incident occurred. Both men were believed to have been under the influence of alcohol.

2011 Eco-Audit of the Mesoamerican Reef Countries
The Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) provides a diverse array of goods and services to the people of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. It is our shared heritage. Unfortunately, the health of the reef is declining, as documented by the 2008 and 2010 Report Cards published by the Healthy Reefs Initiative. The decline stems, at least in part, from inadequate management of threats to coral reefs. This Eco-Audit evaluates our efforts to protect and sustainably manage the region’s coral reefs; celebrates management success stories; and documents the extent to which recommended management actions have been implemented in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. It seeks to catalyze faster, more effective management responses and to increase accountability within the public and private sectors and among nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

WRI Helps Launch First Eco-Audit Of Mesoamerican Reef
This week, two of my colleagues, Ben Kushner and Lauretta Burke, travelled to Mexico and Belize, respectively, for the launch of a new multinational evaluation of reef management by governments, NGOs, and the private sector. The launch events took place in Belize City, Belize; Cancun, Mexico; Guatemala City, Guatemala; and Tegucigalpa, Honduras; and were the result of nine months of collaboration to develop indicators and gather data for this first-ever eco-audit of the Mesoamerican Reef.

Belize Joins Regional Health Initiative
Belize has joined the Salud Mesoamerica 2015 Initiative, a project that aims to reduce maternal and infant mortality among the poor. The programme could help more than 30,000 young women and children. Acting Belizean Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno signed the agreement in San Pedro, Belize. Belize’s government has pledged $500,000 for the programme, a number matched by the SM2015 Initiative, for the first 18 months of the project. “Belize has made important progress in providing health services to its people, and indicators such as life expectancy and infant mortality have improved dramatically in recent years,” Moreno said. “But these gains have yet to reach the most marginalized populations, with parts of Belize lagging behind others.” Vega said Belize was “very thankful” for the project.

The Bachelor: Courtney Gets Confronted!
This is the episode that the other Bachelorettes finally convince Ben he has something to worry about when it comes to Courtney. Ben takes the information seriously and takes Courtney aside for a serious confrontation that could lead to the end of Courtney and No hometown date with Ben Flajnik on the Bachelor.

Meditate? Only when I’m diving
My underwater journey started 20 years earlier in the turquoise waters of Belize, where I unwittingly stumbled upon the principle of negative buoyancy while snorkelling. Everyone floats in the ocean; although rarely face up, as they teach in swimming lessons. But begin descending, and there comes a moment about five metres below the surface (different for every body) when the lungs compress to a point that gravity outweighs buoyancy and a swimmer starts to sink. Beyond this invisible threshold, I could spread my arms and soar downward like a giant bird, past coral heads and curious fish that surrounded the reef. That is, until a thumping in my chest and head insisted I turn back, clawing upward, bursting to the surface with a gigantic gasp.

Taxi-man Killed In Corozal
Late reports from Corozal this evening is that police have found the body of a taxi-man who was apparently stabbed to death. Late this evening, Corozal town police responded to a report from residents that they saw a vehicle parked in the bushes about 200 yards off the San Andres Road. Police responded and found a 61 year old male taxi driver from Orange Walk dead. He had multiple stab wounds on his body. Police have not released the name because they have to inform his family first.

Is Schackron a US Citizen; Can She Run For Elected Office In Belize?
Yolanda Schackron - she's been a public figure for some two years now - championing the cause of Belizeans for Justice. But since Monday, she's taken it to another level, emerging as the PUP's replacement candidate for Lake Independence after Cordel Hyde suddenly stepped down. Because of her high public profile and no-nonsense reputation, she's still considered by some to be the favorite to win that PUP-inclined division - even with her late entrance.

Rhett fuller Goes To Court For Bail
Rhett Fuller turned himself into police in August after his Privy Council appeal was dismissed. As is well known, he is fighting deportation - and has almost run out of legal options. But still his attorney Eamon Courtenay is seeking judicial review of the most recent decision form the Minister of Foreign Affairs. But while he does that Fuller has been languishing in the Kolbe Central Prison since August. Today he tried to get bail for him - before the same judge who had granted him bail in 2009. Here's how that went in court today:.

Loan Forgiveness Frightens Some Folks
In October, Government wrote of 62 million dollars in loans held by the Housing Department. Some of the loans date back to the late 80's, many are from the 90's and the rest from the "aughts." Indeed there are thousands of them. Matter of fact, the Department of Housing sent out 12 thousand letters informing those who owe that their loans are being forgiven, written off, expunged form the record. Those letters have been going out for the past few weeks - and we'd expect most folks would be relieved. But - in an outcome that you can file under the law of unintended consequences - many are reacting in anger, even outrage. And that's because of two things: first, some folks just don't understand the letters - they think they are being charged for the loan amount - instead of being forgiven the debt.

Another Human Trafficking Conviction
Last week, we told you about 54 year-old Narciza Orellana, a naturalized Belizean, who became the first person in Belize to be convicted of human trafficking. She was sentenced by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith to 18 months imprisonment. Today, another naturalized Belizean was convicted and given a custodial sentence for the very same offense, also in front of Chief Magistrate Smith. She is 41 year-old Yolanda Garcia, a hair dresser and manager of the La Serenita Bar, located on Regent Street West. She is also a mother of 3. According to the police, from June 29 to July 6 of 2010, she engaged in the trafficking of persons when she hired a 17 year-old female minor to work in her bar. The minor told police that she had just graduated from high school. This minor also said that Garcia allegedly told her that part of her job description is that she is required to have sex with customers for money.

Security Guard Alleges Assault With Machete
18 year-old Casey Lozano, an apprentice electrician of Mirage Road Extension, was today arraigned in the courtroom of Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart of aggravated assault. According to the police, 53 year-old Harrison Brackett, a security guard posted at Ladyville Technical High School, reported that on Wednesday January 18 at around 5:30 p.m., 3 young men entered the high school's compound. The young men then attempted to steal a bicycle wheel.

Conejo Village Leaders Tell US Capital To Clear Out
The Village Leaders from Conejo say they don't want US Capital Energy shooting seismic trails through their village lands. They have written to the chief forest officer and the director of petroleum making it clear that the villagers do not want US Capital's seismic trails on their village lands.

Rice Seeds In the South
We've heard a lot about rice travails in the last few months. Mennonite farmers in the north can't sell their rice because the market is saturated and farmers in the south - weren't getting paid their subsidized price for rice. Somewhere in the middle of all this is the Taiwanese technical mission working in southern Belize to modernize and mechanize farming operations. Their latest project is about seed security - developing seeds for rice crops. The Agricultural Officer told us all about the value of commercial rice-seed production.

Another Set of Call-Ready Call-Center Workers
And while those farmers are learning about seed production, BELTRAIDE has been teaching business process outsourcing to young people from the Belize and Cayo Districts. By Business process outsourcing, they mean, working at call centers. The third group of graduates finished their training in Belmopan today - and Shahera McKoy, the Director of business unit at Beltraide told the press office more:..

Woman With child Knocked Down And Killed In Corozal
Around 8 o'clock last night, a Corozal woman was knocked down and killed. Orelia Blanco was riding her 4 year old daughter- Liseli Tun on a bycicle ON THE SAN ANDRES ROAD heading towards Xaibe village - when she was knocked down from behind by a gold ford explorer. When police arrived on the scene Blanco was already dead, lying face-up in a pool of blood. Her 4 year old daughter was taken to the Karl Huesner Memorial hospital and is listed tonight in a stable condition. Police have detained the two occupants of the vehicle and are still trying to determine which of the two was driving at the time of the incident. Police also believe that both men were under the influence of alcohol.

SCOTIABANK Analyst Urges Market To Be Calm On Bze Bonds
The international rating agency Standard and Poors audibly gulped when Prime Minister Dean Barrow said in his election announcement that he would seek "clear instructions" from the electorate "to do something about the superbond." S and P automatically downgraded Belize saying that it appeared Government would not honour its superbond commitments. That sent bondholders scrambling trying to sell off the bond, but an analyst for SCOTIABANK international is advising a wait and see approach.

US Professor Traces Mexico's African Roots
Belize has close ties with Mexico - but what you might not know is that Belizeans of African descent may have ties with Afro-Mexicans. But, if your only exposure to Mexico is the Quintana Roo District you might not even know that there are Mexicans of African descent - plenty of them in Pacific coastal areas such as Costa Chica. Now, as a part of black history month, a US professor who lives in Belize is trying to school Belizeans to the commonality of our ancestry. He's holding a show at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City and told us about the show and its lessons:..

Free Ticket To Anywhere in The USA, Where Would You Fly?
The lucky winner of a Courts promotional raffle stepped into Courts Belize office this morning to pick up her winnings. Claudia Escobar won herself 2 round trip tickets to anywhere in the US. For the young woman, it came as a big surprise. Today she told 7news, how exited she is and where she is going with those tickets.

BUA Leader Lopez Claims Funny Phone Business
Last night he told us about his campaign financing and tonight Belize Unity Alliance candidate for Belize Rural South Bobby Lopez is telling us that his phone is being tapped. A release says that as leader of the BUA, he is quote, "gravely concerned that the ruling party or its appointees appear to be intercepting his telephone service."

188 naturalizations on the Capital
There is breaking news in Corozal and that is that the lifeless body of a man was found in a vehicle. We’ll have more of that story later in this newscast. But first, in January, over a thousand immigrants mostly from Central American countries became new citizens of Belize. Most of them could not recite ...

Breaking News: Murder victim discovered in Corozal
Going back to the murder in the north, the body of a man was discovered in a green taxi car off a picado path on the San Andres Road in Corozal. Corozal Police say they were notified of the body between four and four-thirty this afternoon by persons in the area who suspected something was ...

On the campaign trail in Orange Walk East
With just twenty-six days until General Elections, the political thermometer is heating up. In Orange Walk East, the temperature is almost at boiling point and this week an incumbent U.D.P. area representative went full blast against his party and in favor of the P.U.P. But which side will benefit on March seventh? Today, News Five’s ...

Viewers; 67% say signatures deliberately rejected
A referendum on oil exploration organized by the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage has been rejected. That’s because out of twenty thousand signatures collected to propel a referendum, eight thousand were disqualified by the Elections and Boundaries Department. It’s a suspiciously high figure and the reason given for the mass rejection was over poor ...

Anonymous threat
Just before eight o’clock on Thursday night, a threatening call was received at this station. The anonymous caller threatened to blow up the station. The matter is being reported to the police as a precautionary measure and there are measures in place to protect staff and property at our workplace. Whether it is the current ...

S.S.B. board receives findings of audit on insider trading
The board of directors of the Social Security Board, led by chairperson Lois Young, met this afternoon in Belize City. The board received a report from the auditors from accounting firm Pannell Kerr Forster on their findings in respect of an insider trading scandal involving C.E.O. Merlene Bailey-Martinez. Martinez, who has been suspended from her ...

Rhett Fuller applies for bail
Rhett Fuller for the umpteenth time appeared in the courtroom of Justice Adolph Lucas this afternoon. He went to apply for bail. Fuller is wanted in the United States in connection with a robbery and shooting death of an American citizen Larry Miller. During the three-hour court appearance, the government’s attorney Magali Perdomo argued that ...

Charged for female lured to prostitution
A second conviction for human trafficking was secured today on the heels of the conviction of fifty-four year old Santa Elena resident, Narcisa Orellana, who was the first to be found guilty and sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment. Today, Honduran national, Yolanda Garcia, who is a naturalized Belizean, was found guilty of the offence of ...

Molestation case ends on technical argument
In October 2010, an eight year old girl claimed she was molested by a man who allegedly befriended her while she was doing homework at her house. According to the minor, fifty-three year old Filodelfio Reneau, a Belize City resident, followed her into a room and fondled and caressed her. Reneau was charged with a ...

Are Independents and 3rd Party being tapped?
The Belize Unity Alliance says it is concerned over the alleged interception of telephone services. BUA says that over the past week, Bobby Lopez, the president of the alliance, has been experiencing sudden and dramatic altercations in cell phone service and that it may deliberately be a tactic to obscure, interrupt and divert communications leading ...

The smooth flow of the election explained
With the upcoming dual elections less than twenty-five days away the logistical machinery, responsible for the smooth flow of the countrywide voting process come March seventh, is in motion. Preparations by the Elections and Boundaries Department are currently underway to ensure that the transition between ballots for the General and Municipal Elections is effortless. According ...

New species of grasshopper-like insect discovered in Toledo
There is a positive story to report tonight. Scientists at the University of Illinois, USA have discovered a new species of tiny, grasshopper-like insect in the Toledo district. The find was made public today by Doctor Sam Heads and Doctor Steve Taylor who co-authored a paper published today in the journal ZooKeys. The new species, ...

Eating food for a healthy diet
Whether we are eating bigger portions or are not following a balanced diet, the fact is that the population of the jewel is overweight. This morning, a dietary guideline was launched as a preventative approach for good nutrition practices. The booklet was put together by the Ministry of Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization. ...

African influence in Mexico on Exhibit
The Mexican Embassy is launching an exhibition to celebrate Black History Month. Photographs by Professor Ron Wilkins will go on display at the Mexican Institute; they capture African influence in Mexico. Wilkins is a retired professor on Africana Studies at the California State University. His works have been exhibited at universities, schools and community centers ...

Woman jailed for trafficking in persons
Forty-one year old Yolanda Garcia, a naturalized Belizean originally from Honduras, who is the owner of La Sirenita Bar located on Regent Street West, was sentenced to twelve months today by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith after she was found guilty of trafficking in persons. The incident occurred between June 29 and July 6, 2010.

VIP candidate says his phone is being tapped illegally
The leader of the Belize Unity Alliance and Vision Inspired by the People candidate in Belize Rural South Bobby Lopez is tonight crying foul. And the ire of his frustration is aimed squarely at the ruling United Democratic Party. Lopez is claiming that his cell phone is being tapped. In a statement issued this afternoon, Lopez blames the ruling party or its appointees for interception his telephone service.

Hamilton family questions loan write off letter
The Housing and Planning Department continues to experience glitches in its implementation of a mortgage write off scheme. The write off was approved in October of last year and the Department has been sending out letters informing persons that their debt had been forgiven. But several people who have received notices have expressed concerns because they claim that either they have not had loan with the Housing and Planning Department or their loan had been fully paid off.

Ministry of Health released dietary guidelines for Belize
The Food-Based Dietary Guidelines for Belize was launched today during a ceremony which was held at the Belize City House of Culture. Food and Agriculture Organization regional representative is Dr. Jerome Thomas. Coordinator of Belize’s Food and Nutrition Security commission Dr. Fernando Tzib told Love News how the new local guidelines will impact the lives of Belizeans. n the keynote address, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen said that more than sixty percent of Belize’s adult population is overweight or clinically obese. The Dietary Guidelines for Belize are: Choose different types of food from all the food groups; Eat more of different types of local fruits daily; Eat more vegetables daily. Choose different types; Choose to eat whole grain and ground foods more frequently; Limit your intake of fats, sugar and salt. Use natural seasonings in food preparation and cooking Practice good hygiene when buying, storing, preparing and cooking foods. And Keep active. In short … make physical activity a part of your daily routine.

Unread text messages for Rise and Shine. 10 February 2012. Guest: Hon. Melvin Hulse
This minister has just been giving excuses for four years. Whenever he cancells routes from existing owners he did not care. Now its all excuses. We want to hear what unu di seh inna secret inna di panel why when a person disagree with your government/ party you label them as PUP. Dont we have a right to disagree if we see a better way!? Minister Monter has not worked for Cayo Central and likes to lie to the people even me a UDP. We will send messages on March 7th If a bill is not in favor of the people will you be willing to vote against your government no matter what the cost and lobby for a better way?? Tell him to put more bus runs because a lot of people want to run their bus and he does not want to give permits. Hulse Talk, Rodwell listens... How come 4 dollars to ride 50 miles from Belmopan to Belize City buit i pay 9 from independence to dangriga

Ailing 11 year old in need of financial assistance
Thirty Nine year old Ignacia Reyes of Cristo Rey Village is seeking the help of the General Public. Reyes is a sing...

Campaign signs of independent candidate vandalized
Independent candidate running for mayoral office in the City of Belmopan Roody Wade stopped by Plus TV's office ear...

Eco-audit of Mesoamerican reef
Healthy Reef Initiative, under the leadership of Dr. Melanie McField, has completed what the group calls an unprece...

Mother dies after being knocked down, daughter in hospital An Orange Walk woman was killed when she and her four year old daughter were knocked down last night. Orelliani Bla...

West Star attendant robbed at gunpoint
An attendant working at West Star Truck Stop in Roaring Creek was robbed at gunpoint. Ariel Vanzie told police that...

Woman sentenced to prison for trafficking 17 year old
Just last week, 54-year-old Santa Elena Town resident, Narcisa Orellana was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for...

VIP candidate cries elections sabotage
VIP Candidate and leader of the Belize Unity Alliance (BUA) says his communications are being intercepted. Bobby Lo...

Loan write-off for woman without loan?
A Ladyville woman is concerned about a letter she received from the Housing department. Barbara Hamilton says her h...

UFO sighting in Dangriga
A UFO sighting was reported in Dangriga. According to the Amandala newspaper, on Wednesday of this week, four Dangriga residents reported that they had seen a strange flying object over the town on Tuesday night, around 8:00. Officials of Belize’s Department of Civil Aviation say they had no knowledge of any such thing. The witnesses say that the object was like a circle in the sky with a bright yellow light radiating from underneath. Witnesses also said that the object moved from side to side for about a half an hour, and hovered for 20 minutes at a time. One witness even said that it looked like a space ship to him.

February 10, 2012

San Pedro Asked to Conserve Water - Alerted on Possible Shortage!
In his letters to the SPBA, Mr. Clifford Dillon, GM of CWBL, stated the community of San Pedro needs to be aware of that there is a serious issue with the water supply on the island. He continued by saying that since 2008, the Reverse Osmosis plant has run full time during high season and has just barely met demands. He warned that if we get a high season with as little as 5%-10% increase in demand over any of the last four years, CWBL will in all likely not be able to meet that demand.

LightHawk takes ACES over Northern Ambergris Caye
On Wednesday January 25th, the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary/ACES partnered once again with LightHawk for another excursion over northern Ambergris Caye. Taking off from the John Grief Airstrip, around 2PM, the team comprised of volunteer LightHawk pilot Chuck Haywood; Anthony Pine, Marine Biology and Zoology student from California, USA who is volunteering with ACES; Research Biologist Cherie Rose, ACES Crocodile Behaviorist Vince Rose and The San Pedro Sun reporter Dennis Craft.

26th Meeting of Bank Governors hosted on Ambergris Caye
Bank Governors from Central America and the Dominican Republic are on Ambergirs Caye for the 26th meeting of Governors ahead of the annual Bank Governors meeting scheduled to take place in Montevideo, Uruguay. The meeting was declared open by acting Prime Minister of Belize Gaspar Vega following an official statement by the President of Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Luis Alberto Moreno. The two-day meeting started today, Thursday February 9th at the Coco Beach Resort, located north of San Pedro Town.

Simms Fishing Products Represented in Belize
Simms Fishing Products is proud to announce that Wil Flack of San Pedro, Belize will have sales representation for the iconic brand in Belize and Mexico – including the Yucatan Peninsula. Born and raised in British Columbia, Flack worked as a steelhead guide before moving to Belize where he owns and operates the Tres Pescados Fly Shop ( in downtown San Pedro.

Caribbean Cave Tubing in Belize: A Serious Family Adventure
What does the family that wants a little history and archeology mixed in with their adventure, relaxation, and water, do when they’re on holiday in the Caribbean? They go Caribbean cave tubing through the underground Sibun Reserve in Belize!

Maya Research Program Wins Excavation Outreach Contest
The Maya Research Program, which has sponsored fieldwork in northwestern Belize for the past two decades, garnered nearly one third of the votes—a testament to the devotion of past participants. The Maya Research Program encourages public participation on their excavation projects and each year 120 students and volunteers work with them in Belize. Just this past year, the Maya Research Program’s participants raised money to purchase the site of Grey Fox and prevent its destruction.

Work on weather radar station has begun
With a coverage radius of 250 miles, Grand Cayman’s radar is the final link in the early warning system covering the Caribbean. It will overlap with radar stations in Jamaica and Belize. Currently, imagery of weather disturbances, such as thunderstorms and hurricanes, is produced by satellite, which is not as timely or detailed as digital radar.

The Road to Caracol
In more than 25 years of research, the Chases, husband-and-wife anthropologists at the University of Central Florida, have pieced together what Diane describes as “a much more complete story about Caracol,” one of the largest Maya cities. Through stable isotope analysis they can tell you what Caracol’s residents ate -- which residents had a high-maize, high-protein diet, and which didn’t -- and they can also tell you how the relatively uniform distribution of pottery suggests a strong sense of shared identity across social classes. Read more: Inside Higher Ed

Mayan people battle oil giants as Belize's rainforests threatened
Forest communities are fighting increasing incursions onto their land by US oil companies. Now the Belizean government is seeking to reverse a court ruling preventing them allowing oil exploration, logging or mining. The visiting Maya describe current threats to their communities as including nickel mines, African Palm plantations, and oil companies, in addition to the cattle ranchers who deprived them of most of their land...

Wildwood Native Produces Documentary After Traveling to Belize
Frank Weiss, a native of Wildwood Crest and a junior Visual Communications major at Stockton College, traveled to Belize, a small country bordered by Mexico and Honduras, in July of 2011. He arrived with his camera and a diverse assortment of wide angle and telephoto lenses, tripods, and additional video equipment. After five days, he returned with over 1,000 gigabytes of video footage. Over the past few months Weiss has been editing the footage he captured in Belize, and Scott Stagliano, a Wildwood native and a 2009 Stockton graduate, has been writing the text for the narration of a film. "The Road is Coming” is a documentary that captures the culture, environment, and political state of Belize and touches upon its history.

Telemedia and Belize Electricity Limited: the economics of nationalisation
The proposed Ninth Constitutional Amendment, whether it is legally or constitutionally valid or not, must be looked at in the context of Belize's socio-economic realities. The Ninth Amendment seeks to accomplish one primary objective: to entrench nationalisation of certain utilities – in particular, Telemedia and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL). Concerned that such entrenchment may be the subject of a successful legal challenge under the basic structure doctrine applied by the Supreme Court in Barry Bowen v Attorney General,(1) the legislature has sought to place the entrenchment beyond all legal challenge in the courts. By doing so in such a broad and expansive manner, the amendment subverts constitutional supremacy and the separation of powers doctrine, and purports to assert parliamentary supremacy at the risk of undermining the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms.

The February 9th, 2012 issue of The Northern Star is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Editorial: A Huge Vulture Waits!
  • MESSAGE FROM THE CLERGY: Rev. Dr. Rudolph Anthony Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Belize - 3rd Sunday after Epiphany
  • FOOD AND NUTRITION: Becoming a Stepparent
  • Chicken Quesadillas Recipe
  • EMBRACING History: Philip S. W. Goldson, Dr. Manuel Esquivel
  • Your Weekly Horoscope
  • Jokes of the Week
  • INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Is The Multimillionaire A Belizean?
  • INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Months after his death, Libyan leader's weapons arm a rebel movement in Africa

Retirement In Belize Advice From Emory King
Every once in a while people ask about retiring in Belize. Following is the answer I send them. So you want to retire in Belize? If you have the money and the right attitude come on down and plan to stay two weeks to a month at least. Visit the whole country and talk to people everywhere. That may tend to confuse you, but in the end you will know where you want to live in our Paradise.

The dates for the National Agriculture and Trade Show have been announced. According to a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture, this year, the committee overseeing the show has decided that NATS 2012 will be held on the 27th, 28th and 29th of April. The three-day event, staged at the Agriculture Show grounds in Belmopan is the premiere showcase and promotion of agriculture and its contribution to the development of the country.

The Stakeholders consultation on Belize’s Film Industry began this morning in Belize City. The consultation is aimed at putting together policy papers to regulate the film industry in Belize. The consultation included an introduction of legal counsel and an overview of the Belize Film Industry by the Facilitator of the Belize Film Commission Suzette Zaiden. Zaiden also outlined many pros and cons of the industry and outlined how much Belize has been gaining from the production of registered films. Where in 2009 the commission made ninety seven thousand one hundred and fifty eight dollars and forty-three cents in half the year, there was a whopping one million sixty six thousand seventy three dollars and seventy three cents for three quarters of 2011. For this month of February, there are already four projects in development.

Elaine Berry reporting… “Today the Food and Agriculture Organization held its annual review meeting at the San Ignacio Hotel. The presentation was given by Dr. Jerome Thomas, FAO representative for Jamaica and Ricardo Thompson, FAO representative for Belize. Dr. Jerome Thomas told us more about the meeting. The closing remarks were delivered by Gabino Canto, CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Traffic was held back for approximately 30 minutes last night at the northern border as a result of a fire. While according to Corozal police no formal report has been made, Love News understands that a little before eight last night a black KIA sportage with Orange Walk license plates was crossing the international bridge that connects Belize and Mexico when it caught fire.

An armed robbery has been reported in the Orange Walk District. Reports are that it happened on Tuesday night. According to Juan Carlos Perdomo, he was the on duty watchman at Fido’s Scrap yard on Belize Corozal Road in Orange Walk when he was accosted by three men of Creole descent. Perdomo says one of the men was armed with what appeared to be a handgun and they demanded his .

A teenage boy was wounded in a shooting incident last night in Santa Elena town. Sixteen year old Jamin Sharshante was shot in the back around seven thirty last night on Carmen Street in Santa Elena town. Police say that when they went to the scene, they found Sharshante on the basketball court with a single gunshot to the lower part of his back. Police say that as they were transporting the wounded teenager to the hospital, the observed a man riding on a bicycle in front of the Norman Broaster Stadium with what appeared to be a sawed off shot gun in his possession.

Students of the University of Belize will have an increased range of studies to choose from in a very short time. Today, President of UB, Dr Cary Fraser, signed a Letter of Intent” with Taiwan’s Ambassador to Belize, David Wu in the presence of the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber. The signing aims to strengthen bilateral ties in areas of culture, academia and education. UB will disseminate information to its students, faculty and staff on the scholarship opportunities under the Taiwan Scholarship Fellowships programme and facilitate in exchanging relevant information and publications. The Taiwan Scholarships and Fellowships comprise nine awards in three categories: fellowships, Mandarin Enrichment Scholarships and Scholarships for Degrees. Love News was present for the signing at the Taiwanese Embassy and noted key excerpts from the parties involved.

Governors of Central America and executives of the Inter American Development Bank are in San Pedro Town for the inauguration of the 26th meeting of governors in the region. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is holding its 26th annual meeting of the Central American Governors in San Pedro Town to discuss the developmental challenges faced by Central American countries and the Dominican Republic. President of the IDB Luis Alberto Moreno announced today that IDB will play a role in confronting those issues including citizen security and combating crime.

GSU VS GSG Part 2?
In August - the conflict between the George Street Gang, GSG and the Gang Suppression Unit flared out into naked hostility after the GSU rained down on the GSG's base. Well tonight, tensi...

Police Shoot Suspected Santa Elena Shooter In San Ignacio
A shooting in Santa Elena Town has resulted in two people being admitted to the hospital - both the victim and the suspected criminal. At 7:40 last night, responding to reports of a shooting...

IDB Governors Meet In Belize
Thirty thousand young Belizean women and children are expected to benefit from the Salud Mesoamerica 2015 initiative, a project that aims to reduce maternal and infant mortality among the po...

Arthur, Again?
Here at 7news, we have reported very frequently on Arthur Young's trips to the courthouse. He is a man very well known to police and to the media, and he once claimed that the police had m...

Telemedia Signs agreement For 4G
In January at the last House Meeting of this Administration, the government passed a BTL Loan Guarantee Motion. It provides a government guarantee for an eight million US dollar loan from...

Independent Candidate Says He'll spend 40K On Campaign
And while BTL got those funds with a government guarantee that went to the house, try asking any politician where he or she gets their campaign financing - and the subject melts into myste...

Justin Goff for Robbery
Justin Goff, a 23 year-old resident of Marigold Lane was arraigned for theft today. According to court details, on Tuesday, he grabbed Julio Lopez's beach cruiser bicycle. When Lopez wou...

UB and Taiwan Team Up
A letter of intent was signed today between the University of Belize and Taiwan, that will establish a contact of point between UB and the Taiwan Academy. The signing seeks to strengthen ...

OCEANA Says Failed Referendum Was Not A Waste
It was the big news last week that the OCEANA Referendum was rejected by the Elections and Boundaries Office after eight thousand of their twenty thousand signatures were rejected. So, wh...

Citco's Break On Property Tax
Two-thirds of the city council's revenue derives from property taxes - but very many of the city's property owners do not pay their property tax - and the council has 7.6 million dollars in ...

Man Busted By GSU Goes To Court
Yesterday, we told you about 22 year-old Jason Reynolds who was arrested and charged for drug trafficking and keeping unlicensed ammunition, after GSU conducted a search on the home of Mar...

Lessons In The Craft OF Kite-Making
The art and craft of kite making may be fading into memory, one of those cultural pastimes lost to modernity and plasticity, but the Taiwanese Embassy is helping NICH and Restore Belize to...

Placencia's Sidewalk Festival
On Saturday and Sunday the 9th annual Placencia Sidewalk Arts Festival will be held in the peninsula village. Dozens of artists and performers will be showcasing all kinds of creative wo...

BDF Celebrates
The Belize Defense Force celebrated its 34th anniversary this year with last Friday's passing out parade of new recruits. And as tradition would have it, the following day ought to have been celebrated with the popular open day fair. But heavy rains made for wet field conditions, and the fair had to be postponed for this coming Saturday, February 11th. But as the saying goes, 'every dark cloud has its silver lining'. As a result of the postponement, the BDF has increased its gate prize winnings from 2 Thousand dollars to 3 Thousand Four hundred dollars, giving the public even more reasons to attend this Saturday. Two soldiers of merit told us more:.

Chinese nationals heading where?
A group of twelve Chinese nationals arrived in the country on Wednesday. They made their way across the world to get to Havana, Cuba where they boarded a charter flight to Belize. Their arrival is raising red flags because less than two years ago, a huge scandal broke when private charter flights brought Chinese nationals [...]

Social Security Board to meet on Insider Trading
The Social Security Board will meet this Friday. It will receive the report of an audit done by Pannell Kerr Forster on the allegations of the insider trading at the S.S.B. The future of Merlene Bailey, the C.E.O., is at stake. She remains on suspension since January eleventh when the board found that she had [...]

Regional Governors and IDB meet at Coco Beach
Governors from this region of the Inter-American Development Bank are meeting under tight security at the exclusive Coco Beach Resort in northern San Pedro. According to a report on Belize, crime and violence are getting in the way of progress, negatively impacting the country’s gross domestic product. And while there has been progress, the IDB [...]

Shooting victim and suspect both in hospital
A shooting victim and the suspected gunman are both hospitalized tonight after an incident in Santa Elena on Wednesday. A sixteen year old minor was shot on a basketball court and while police were taking the youth the hospital, eighteen year old Blake Bradley was spotted riding away, with what looked like a gun sticking [...]

5 year old accident victim needs help
At the start of this month, we brought you the unfortunate story of a five year old boy who was knocked down on a pedestrian crossing by an inattentive driver in Santa Elena. Damion Flowers was on his way to school with other relatives on January twenty-sixth when a Toyota Tacoma ran him over. His [...]

5 years behind bars; Not Guilty of Murder
Back in January 2007, the then sixteen year old Kevin Santos was arrested and charged for Murder. Santos was with a group of friends who got into trouble with another group of young men on Christmas Eve of 2006. Chris Rosales was walking with friends on Burns Avenue in San Ignacio when they were assaulted [...]

Arthur Young accused of assaulting cop
Arthur Young is a well known street figure with a checkered past. But these days he is a supervisor with the CYDP. Young has kept a low profile in more recent times, but this morning he was slapped with two criminal charges in court. The Cairo Street resident is accused of assaulting police officer, Sheddon [...]

Fergy accused of pulling gun on Fergie
Thirty-seven year old Belize City resident, Anthony Ferguson, appeared in court to answer to two counts of threatening words and one count of aggravated assault with a firearm. It is alleged that on Tuesday of this week, Ferguson pulled a gun on Pamela Ferguson and threatened her life twice. Anthony, who appeared unrepresented, pleaded not [...]

Clarifying housing write-off discrepancies
Since Monday, several persons have come forward to say that they have received letters from the Housing and Planning Department stating that loans they never made or have already paid were written off. Today News Five spoke with Lawrence Sylvester, C.E.O. in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, and he categorically stated that these [...]

B.D.F. Open Day this Saturday
The Belize Defence Force is having its annual family open day on Saturday. It’s an annual event for family of the force and the public to see some of the work that takes place inside Price Barracks. According to Warrant Officer Class Two Ciego Cayetano, it’s an event that no one should miss. Ciego Cayetano, [...]

Opposition meets with Rice Farmers in the South
Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca met with rice farmers in the south on Wednesday to discuss a way forward for the struggling industry in the Toledo District. The sit-down, according to Dennis Usher, Chairman of the Toledo Rice, Beans, Corn Producers Association, came after months of failed attempts to engage the Barrow Administration in [...]

Toledo Alcalde Association and NGO discuss Rosewood
On Wednesday night, we told you that Ya’axche Conservation Trust is sitting out a Rosewood inventory exercise that will be carried out in Toledo by the Ministry of Natural Resources. The illegal extraction and exportation of rosewood has become a hot button issue in the south because while the exporters are making millions, the villagers [...]

State of Belize Reef Skyped to MSNBC
Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico are responsible for maintaining the health of the Mesoamerican Reef. The reef is deteriorating and the countries have recently participated in ecological audit of the mechanisms in place to protect it. The results of that audit were released on February seventh. And earlier today the results were featured on MSNBC. [...]

Taiwan and UB sign bilateral agreement
The Republic of China and Taiwan and the University of Belize signed a “Letter of Intent on the Designation of Taiwan Academy Contact Points and Bilateral Cooperation”. Simply put, it means that Taiwan will provide more higher-education opportunities for students and promote the exchange of culture with Belize. U.B. will be disseminating the information on [...]

Healthy Living explores memory loss
Not all Memory loss is normal! In fact, it can be a sign of Alzheimer’s, a disease that is typically tied to genetics and aging. But diabetes, hypertension and high blood pressure can be added risks to dementia. Healthy Living also found out that Alzheimer’s can worsen over time. Marleni Cuellar, Reporting Having difficulty with [...]

P.U.P Orange Walk Town Council Candidates Holds 4th Neighborhood Meeting
With just about four weeks before the Municipal and General Elections the P.U.P Town Council Candidates in the Orange Walk division are wasting no time in ensuring Orange Walkenos that their team comprised of 6 vibrant males and one female will bring change to the community. Yesterday Mayoral candidate Kevin Bernard and his team of councilor candidates met with residents of San Victor Street and surrounding areas as they held their fourth neighborhood meeting. The meeting gave way for residents to voice out their concerns as well as for the candidates to speak on why they should be elected this coming election.

Orange Walk Resident Robbed At Gun Point
Around 11:00 on Tuesday night Juan Carlos Perdomo, a watchman of Sparrow Street in the Village of Trail Farm in the Orange Walk District was robbed at gun point. Perdomo told police that while he was on duty at Fido’s Scrap Yard, located on Belize Corozal Road, he was approached by three male persons of dark complexion one of whom was armed with a firearm.

No One Detained For Hit And Run Accident
So far Corozal Police has been unable to detain anyone for the hit and run accident that claimed the life of 30 year old Isaias Castillo, a resident of Concepcion Village in the Corozal district. Isaias was standing on the left hand side of the highway when he was knocked down by a Tilletts Bus which is leased to another company. Reports are that the driver of the bus who has yet to been identified by police was traveling under high speed when he lost control of the vehicle, swerved into Castillo’s direction and knocked him down. When Castillo’s family arrived at the scene of the incident he was still alive but died a short while after. CTV3 News understands that while several individuals have been questioned there are still no leads as to who the driver of the bus is.

UDP Canibalizes Soy Plant Instead Of Making It Work
n 2008 when the Peoples United Party was in Government options were being looked into, to get the Soy Bean Plant located in the Village of Yo Creek working. One prospect was to sell the plant to the Mennonite Community among other groups who had expressed interest in the Soy Bean Plant to produce animal feed, extract soy bean oil and generate other by-products.

Passport Services Will Be Temporarily Interrupted
A passport is one of the most important documents a person can own. But tonight there is some bad news for Belizeans who do not have a passport and want to apply for one or have applied for one. According to the Ministry of Defense due to the fact that the Passport System is down, passport services will be temporarily interrupted until further notice. With the service unavailable at the moment Belizeans are informed that all passports due with effect from 7th February, 2012 will not be ready for pick up. Persons whose passport was to be issued on the 7th of February are asked to check with the Department during the week of 13th to 17th February, 2012. The good news is that the department has made provisions in case of emergencies.

Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez Welcomes Cardona's Endorsement
During his press conference yesterday Marcel Cardona lashed out at the Dean Barrow Administration like never before. Apart from saying that the U.D.P is corrupt and backing up his statement by listing out a number of cases where corruption and nepotism was involved, Cardona also publicly announced his distaste for UDP Orange Walk East Standard Bearer Orlando Burns and his full support for PUP Orange Walk East Standard Bearer Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez.

Carmelita Government School PTA Receives Donation For Feeding Program
On Friday February 3rd we featured the nine hard working women that make up the Carmelita Government School’s PTA. While they were engaged in a cleanup campaign at the school, the women spoke to CTV3 News about their plans to start up a feeding program for students of the school. They asked for assistance from

BHOC Promotes Juan Carnaval
Apart from language and religion, culture is one of the pre-dominant aspects which determines ones identity. With modernization at its peak it is not uncommon that traditional and cultural beliefs are not past down from generation to generation. On Sunday February 12th however, a festive and enlightening display of culture will be presented to the public by way of a Mestizo festival known as Juan Carnival. The Carnival will take place at the Queen Elizabeth Park at 4:00 in the afternoon. Coordinator Yvette Torres told us what this festival entails and why it is important that you attend.

Melanie Cawich Kidnapped Still No Arrest Made
And another case that has gone cold is that of Melanie Cawich, a resident of Concepcion Village who was kidnapped by five armed masked men on January 29th. When we spoke to police today we were informed that while several persons have been detained for questioning no charges have been levied against anyone. After leaving a ransom note behind demanding $1,000, the men took Cawich to a nearby cane field where they tied her up. Luckily, a few hours after, Cawich was found by her common-law-husband and a search party. The men who were hiding in some nearby bushes made good their escape after the victim’s father-in-law fired a number of shots in their direction.

No One Detained For Hit And Run Accident
So far Corozal Police has been unable to detain anyone for the hit and run accident that claimed the life of 30 year old Isaias Castillo, a resident of Concepcion Village in the Corozal district. Isaias was standing on the left hand side of the highway when he was knocked down by a Tilletts Bus which is leased to another company. Reports are that the driver of the bus who has yet to been identified by police was traveling under high speed when he lost control of the vehicle, swerved into Castillo’s direction and knocked him down. When Castillo’s family arrived at the scene of the incident he was still alive but died a short while after. CTV3 News understands that while several individuals have been questioned there are still no leads as to who the driver of the bus is.

BMHS To Hold Business Fair
Tomorrow Bishop Martin High School will be hosting their annual Business Fair at the school grounds starting at 12:00pm. Today, as preparations got underway, we visited the school in order to find out more about the Business Fair. From what we were able to gather the main purpose of the fair is for students to put in place business aspects that will enhance their ability to become entrepreneurs.

PUP object to Guardian front page article
There is another development on the political scene as the People’s United Party is taking strong umbrage at a front page article in today’s edition of the Guardian Newspaper. Chairman of the PUP is Henry Charles Usher. Late this evening, communications director Lisa Shoman confirmed to Love News that the matter is in the hands of her attorneys.

PUP leaders meet in Toledo
A meeting finalizing plans for a united Toledo PUP was held on Wednesday afternoon in Punta Gorda town.

IDB governors meet in San Pedro
Governors of Central America and executives of the Inter American Development Bank are in San Pedro Town for the inauguration of the 26th meeting of governors in the region.

Incentives for Belize City property tax payers
It has been accused of neglecting Belize City streets and falling short on sanitation contracts over its term in office but now the Belize City Council is offering city residents an incentive if they pay up on their property taxes and make them current. City Councilor, Roger Espejo, says that while the incentive is offered every year around this time, this year the discount is even greater, through the passage of a statutory instrument about a month ago. Espejo says that the offer is for property owners to visit the Council’s North Front Street office or use their Scotiabank online account.

Appraisal of the National Forest Policy of Belize conducted in workshop
The Forest Department through its national forest programme facility partnered up with the United Nations Food and ...

UB forms alliance with universities in Taiwan
The Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) H.E. David Wu and President of the University of Belize, Dr. Cary ...

Young Belizean ballers granted opportunity to participate in Lebron James camp
Second, third and fourth form high school students who have dreams of playing basketball professionally as a future...

Shooting in Cayo leaves two teenagers injured
Two teenagers were shot in the cayo district, one of those persons was shot by police. Police were called to the sc...

S&P lowers Belize's ratings
Standards and Poor’s Ratings Services has lowered its long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings...

First human trafficking conviction in Belize's courts
Human Trafficking is a global problem that rarely ends in convictions because victims are reluctant to go before th...

Elderly woman held up at gunpoint
A 74 year old woman was robbed at gunpoint. Neri Acevedo was walking on New Road in Belize City on Tuesday when she...

Persons charged for attempted robbery of tacos vendor
Three persons were arraigned in court yesterday for allegedly trying to rob a tacos vendor. Those persons are 18 ye...

Man faces attempted murder charge in non-jury trial
Belize’s first attempted murder trial to be done without a jury present got on the way this week. Ricky Valencia an...

GSU makes ammunition and drug bust
The Gang Suppression Unit continues to conduct searches to rid the streets of ammunition and drugs which are integr...

The PUP’s State
ohnny neva wah di bucket.Mark sit down pah di bucket and when he done he skin-up eh face afta di bucket.Mahler, he jump out ah di bucket.Then Cordel he kick ...

PUP Peddling Pornography
The People’s United Party finds itself in such a state of disunity that it made an egregious error of judgment on Monday night when it aired a tasteless and downright repulsive advertisement during Channel 7 and 5’s newscasts. We won’t ...

Orange Walk Central is Red
The United Democratic Party’s Orange Walk Central committee proved without a shadow of a doubt that the constituency is ready and geared up for the General Elections. Prime Minister Dean Barrow concluded his fourth visit of his national tour on ..

“Belize Weathered the Financial Crisis Relatively Well”... K
In late 2011, the IMF issued a statement categorically saying “Belize weathered the financial crisis relatively well, when compared to other countries in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).” It attributes expanding output in 2010 to activity in electricity and wholesale retail ...

Marcel Jumps Head First Into the Bucket
The political dunce has officially returned to his party. On Wednesday, February 8, Marcel Cardona, former Area Representative, for Orange Walk East announced that he and his committee is supporting the People’s United Party for the March 7 elections. His ...

First Trial without Jury
The first trial without a jury has been set to commence in the Supreme Court before newly appointed Chief Justice, Kenneth A. Benjamin. That first trial will be that of Ricky Valencia and Akeem Thurton, who stand accused of attempted ...

High schools softball competition opens
The Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Competition opened on Monday February 6, 2012, at Rogers Stadium.The schools that are competing in this year’s girls’ competition are: Anglican Cathedral College, Gwen Lizarraga High School, Ladyville Technical High School, Nazarene High School, ...

Belize to host regional anti-doping meeting and training
The National Sports Council, Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, Central America and Colombia Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO) in collaboration with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will be holding the Annual Board of Directors Meeting and the Doping Control Officers Training in Belize City from February 13-17, 2012.

Gwen Lizarraga High School boys and girls Central Region Football Champions
The 2011-2012 Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition came to an end at the MCC Grounds on Monday February 4, 2012, where Gwen Lizarraga High School boys and girls captured the region’s football title. In the female championship game two, Wesley College defeated Gwen Lizarraga High School by the score of 2-1 to force the pivotal game into a penalty shootout.

Denny Grijalva – Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers!
In an unprecedented occurrence UDP Standard Bearer for the Orange Walk Central, Denny Grijalva gathered the entire Indian and Chinese Communities at a social gathering with the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow at Grijalva’s residence immediately following the Prime Minister’s tour on Sunday February 5th.

Punta Gorda Next Stop on PM’s Tour
The Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Oliver Barrow, will continue his national tour on Sunday, February 12. The tour now takes him south of the country as he will be visiting Punta Gorda Town in the Toledo District. Residents are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Prime Minister and plan to welcome him in grand fashion.

New PUP, Old PUP, Same PUP
As a result of the irresponsible spending, in 2007 the PUP Government defaulted on its foreign debt services to all loan note holders. This sovereign default led to the MONSTER known as the SUPER BOND. This monstrosity gave the PUP a perfect way to cover up all those unserviceable loans to Novelo’s, Glen Godfrey and the likes. One has to remember all the sovereign guaranteed loans afforded to PUP cronies became the responsibility of government after these businesses failed. There are no tangible benefits to the people of Belize from these failed adventures. However, these were packaged as part of the SUPER BOND and now being repaid by the Belizean Public who did not benefit. Also forming a part of the SUPER BOND is over US $120 Million dollars that one AGENCY claimed the PUP Government could not account for. By not being able to account for it, government at that time could not show the public any tangible results from those disappearing funds. THE SUPER BOND HAS US PAYING BACK LOANS FOR PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS THAT IN NO WAY BENEFITED THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

Commemorative Stamps for Elizabeth’s 60th Year as Queen
On Monday, February 6, 2012 Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 60th year of reign. According to British High Commissioner, Pat Ashworth, celebratory events were being held across the Commonwealth in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. She made an official visit to Norfolk, England, which was one of the first places she visited upon being crowned Queen 60 years ago. There, she visited infant and nursery students at Dersingham School. A 62-gun salute was held in her honour at the Tower of London. 41 and 21-gun salutes were held in other parts of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth as well.

Raggamuffin’s Team are basketball champs!
This weekend on Caye Caulker basketball was in the air. Islander Terry Ganza had long dreamed to sponsor/ organize a basketball tournament for neighboring San Pedro, Belize City and of course Caye Caulker and this weekend was the date and he did an excellent job!! Two teams came from San Pedro, two teams from Belize City and two representing Caye Caulker. Raggamuffin, not well known for our basketball prowess, did not enter a team but sponsored one of the Belize City teams – who turned out to be the eventual winners!!!

King of the Beach Volleyball competition in Caye Caulker
We, the Caye Caulker Volleyball Association) have decided to begin with a head start on the 2012 Beach Volleyball Calendar by having our first Local League. The Caye Caulker “King of the Beach Tournament” MVP’s league. The Tournament is intended to boost the level of playing for all players competing and to get them prepared for the upcomming National and International Events. The Tournament started on Wed., Feb 1st, 2012 and is scheduled to be played for 10 weeks. Games are scheduled to be played on Wednesday and Friday evening starting at 6:30 pm. Every night there will 9 to 12 matches going up to 9:30 pm.

A Mopan wedding in beautiful Belize!
So after our crazy drive across Belize we arrived back in San Antonio at 3.30pm and still had a good list of jobs to do. We hadn’t managed to get in touch with the cacao plantation until the morning of the wedding and so hadn’t been able to confirm the location of the wedding to anyone…including the pastor, the marimba players or even Reyes! Everybody THOUGHT the wedding would be at the plantation…BUT…sadly we just couldn’t afford it! Our budget is so small and although the cost was nominal things very easily add up.

The AD that is Causing Epic Wedgies and Getting Panties in a Bunch
OK, so I finally got to see the Dean Barrow AD that everyone is getting their panties all bunched up and giving themselves Super Wedgies over. People are getting tired of Political Bullshit. People are starting to practice their Constitutional rights of freedom of speech. People are starting to act out in the way that Dean Barrow himself edged people to do before they won the last elections. Civil Unrest he called for. Anybody memba dat?

Meeting My Mayan Match In Barton Creek Cave
Barton Creek Cave is one of thousands of limestone caves formed by the rivers running underground in the Cayo District of western Belize. Inside the cave’s gloom, Mayan ritual artifacts remained preserved and hidden for hundreds of years from archeologists, known only to local looters.

February 9, 2012

Satellite Internet in Belize
Some quick responses to using a Satellite connection in Belize for accessing the Internet. "...Is anyone on the forums using satellite internet and how is it working? It looks like Hughesnet is about the only choice. Is there any other option? Thanks for any feedback..."

Ancient Maya Center Saved from Destruction
If you want to save an ancient archaeological site from impending destruction, here is one way to do it: Buy it. That is exactly what happened in 2011 as the monumental remains of a Classic period Maya kingdom located in northwestern Belize faced destruction from bulldozing....

Jaguars, Jaguar Pictures, Jaguar Facts - National Geographic
Belize is a strong hold for these magnificent creatures. "...Learn all you wanted to know about jaguars with pictures, videos, photos, facts, and news from National Geographic..."

Mexico – Belize Border Crossing
What to know what the border crossing is like between Mexico and Belize? Here is one take on it.

Mama Vilma’s Family Home – Thank You Letter and Financial Report
Mama Vilma’s Family Home thanks the San Pedro Community for the outpouring of support for our 2nd Annual Fashion Show! Close to 200 supporters came to the San Pedro Fitness/Tennis Club for a night of food, fun and fashion. The venue was beautiful, the lighting spectacular and the 22 models were gorgeous in their swimwear, casual wear and evening wear. Eight local boutiques provided the models with fashions that were enjoyed by all. Thank you to Top Notch, Love Belize, Sarai, Mambo Chill, Island Gear, Marlin’s, Caribe Creations and 4:20 Men’s Wear.

Teenagers and Politics – Emilie Interviews San Pedro Mayoral Candidates
We are constantly being told that the Children of today are the Future of tomorrow, then how is it that the politicians keep us in mind when election time comes around as well as after they are elected? These are the questions we ask, what are they doing for us? They are still responsible for all under age children’s welfare. Teens are interested to know what is being done or planned to do for our better future. So who better to answer our questions than the candidates themselves?

Taxi Man Succumbs To Head Injury in San Pedro
San Pedro Police is investigating the death of a taxi driver which occurred this past Sunday, February 5, 2012. According to police investigations, 46-year-old Manuel Marroquin, Belizean taxi driver of Escalante Subdivision was socializing with friends at a mechanic shop in the Escalante Subdivision on Friday, February 3, 2012, when he fell and hit his head.

Hot Mama's Sweet Pepper Sauce Wins Prestigious Gourmet Product Awards
Hot Mama's Belize recently won an award for being a top of the line product that earns its way to international recognition at the 1st Annual Gourmet Product Awards, which was held in Los Angeles, California. Hot Mama's Sweet Pepper Sauce was awarded the 2011 Gourmet Award Winner of the 'Condiment' category for its unique and inspirational taste.

Telemedia and Belize Electricity Limited: the economics of ...
The proposed Ninth Constitutional Amendment, whether it is legally or constitutionally valid or not, must be looked at in the context of Belize's ...

Party like there’s no tomorrow: Celebrate the end of the world with the Mayans
The end is near, allegedly. And if it is, why not have a front-row seat at the impending global detonation — doom with a view, if you will. According to certain interpretations of the Maya Long Count calendar, Dec. 21, 2012, will mark the end of the world. Experts point out that not a single archaeologist or Mayan studies scholar has put any stock in the doomsday prediction, but it’s as good an excuse as any to visit the countries that make up the Mundo Maya region in southern Mexico and northern Central America. Apocalypse or no, the area offers wide-ranging experiences from the flatlands of the Yucatan Peninsula and the lush coastal jungles of Belize to the highland regions of Guatemala.

A Belize Valentine - Chaa Creek, Chocolates and Cupid
Chocolate, long referred to in Belize as “the food of the gods”, is also known as the food of love, and features prominently during Chaa Creek’s Valentine’s Month of Love celebrations, according to the eco resort’s food and beverage manager Bryony Fleming. “Chocolate is an iconic Belizean staple, having been grown, processed and consumed in Belize for thousands of years and known as ‘the food of the gods’, and people won’t be surprised to hear that chocolate’s reputation as the food of love also stretches back through history,” Ms Fleming said.

No time for wedding jitters!
I explained to her that I would like to try to make some earrings for our wedding ceremony and she offered to help me. Traditionally the groom gifts his bride gold earrings rather than a wedding ring and as I looked around after learning this fact I saw that most women wore the same gold earrings. Similar to a claddagh with a heart held by two birds forming the loop. The lady showed me how to weave and sew a dried leaf into an earring and attached the clasps for me. 4 other ladies gathered around and watched as I struggled with the needle.

VIDEO: My Back Yaad -Caye Caulker
Belize Travel Show. Showing you the Best in Belize for local Travelers.

Belize, the New Capital of Reggaeton
Just when the world of Reggaeton had been losing ground on the charts Franxel y Chami-Ka sparked it big last summer with their hot hit "Feel Your Love (San Pedro)". The genre had begun struggling as industry leaders like Ivy Queen have turned their focus towards acting and other ventures. The Belize natives refused to let the genre take a beating and fired it back up by charting with "Yo Te Quiero Ver".

For the June, 2012 edition of Roots and Reef, Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development’s environmental newspaper,

Here are the articles in this issue:

  • Sitting On The Beach - Watching The Waves
  • Big Creek Dredging Threatens Placencia Lagoon
  • We Won! PCSD won top prize in the marine environment category at the 2011 Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards
  • Antillean Cage Fishing Banned by Fisheries
  • Elizabeth Simpson PCSD Volunteer
  • Alexandra Cousteau and the Blue Legacy
  • A Day In The Life: David Torres
  • Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan
  • Update on our Water and Oil Exploration in Independence
  • Festival del Mar: Forum on Environmental Law and Water
  • Ministry of Natural Resources re-futes claim of Oil Discovery in Southern Belize
  • Manatees Return!
  • Here’s What We Know About Treaty Energy
  • New Fishing Regulations
  • Off-Shore Oil Disasters in Belize
  • New Species of Hamlet Fish Discovered in Belize
  • Coral Reef Early Warning System Installed in Belize
  • Belize Protected Areas Boosting Predatory Fish Populations
  • They Don’t Care
  • 66 Foot Reserve
  • What’s New at PCSD?
  • Peninsula 2020: What You Think Is Best for Our Home
  • Martin Moreira: “I am blind, but I’ve got thinking brains. I can’t see, but in my mind, I see ”

Twenty five year old Orvin Ferguson, one of four persons charged with drug trafficking, was fined $10,000. today after he pleaded guilty to the charge. The others charged were 20 year old Tracy Ford, Fergusons common-law wife, 21 year old Sherman Rodney and 25 year old Eric Gilharry.

Three persons were charged with kept firearm without a gun license today when they appeared in court. They are 20 year old Stanley Moore, a fisherman of Faber’s Road; 18 year old Adam Joseph, a student of St. Jude Street; and 18 year old Clifford Lorenzo, a student of mile 2 ½ on the Western Highway.

Salvadoran national 22 year old Marcos Antonio Moriera , a member of MS13, was fined $1,000. 00 today after he pleaded guilty to failure to comply with conditions of his visitor’s permit

The Belize Film Commission and NICH, via the film and media arts unit of the Institute of Creative arts is holding a Film Industry Stakeholders’ Consultation tomorrow morning from nine thirty to eleven thirty at the House of Culture in Belize City. Today, facilitator of the Belize Film Commission Suzette Zaiden further informed Love News about the meeting.

The Protected Areas Conservation Trust has approved just under a half a million dollars worth of grant funding for community initiatives around the country. According to a statement from PACT, the organization has awarded five organizations for projects in eight protected areas. Grant recipients include the Community Baboon Sanctuary, the Adaptive Management in the Southern Belize Reef Complex, the Bladen nature Reserve and the Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

Orange Walk Police are investigating the death of Eduardo Garcia better known as Mad House of Guinea Grass village Orange Walk. Reports are that the body was seen floating in the Rio Hondo River near Blue Creek Village around 7o’clock yesterday morning.

Over seven thousand dollars of tools and electrical items were stolen from a container. Businessman Phillip Lee reported to Police that sometime between December 2011 and January 2012 a forty foot container which was inside the Crustacean Ltd. Compound on Savannah Road was burglarized.

An elderly woman was held up and robbed on Tuesday in Belize City.74 year old Neri Acevedo told Police she was walking on New Road when she was approached by a fair complexioned man in his late teens. Acevedo said the youth held her up with a silver handgun and took away her bag containing her keys, medication, Social Security Card, $90.00 cash and other personal documents. He then rode off.

OCEANA Belize has encountered yet another setback in their quest for a referendum on off shore drilling. As we reported on Tuesday, Governor General Sir Colville Young has turned down a request in which OCEANA Belize asked him to investigate the decision of the Chief Elections officer to reject over eight thousand signatures on the petition for the referendum.

A shooting incident on Tuesday night has left three men injured and one hospitalized. Police reports are they went to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw 20 year old Gilbert Wade with a gunshot wound to the right thigh

A man from the Maya Mopan area of Belmopan is in police custody after it is alleged that he sexually assaulted a thirteen year old girl. The details are sketchy at this time, but Love News understands that the teenage girl is claiming that the man, whose name has not been release by the police, had sexual intercourse with her against her will.

Orange Walk East Representative Marcel Cardona has endorsed the People’s United Party’s candidate for the division for the upcoming elections. Cardona who was elected in 2008 under a UDP banner has had his fair share of run-ins with members of the UDP and today at a press conference Cardona rehashed some of the indignities he said he was forced to endure over the past four years. Cardona described the Barrow led Government as a reign of terror and used his prepared speech to lash out at the Prime Minister. Cardona said based on what he has gone through he and his committee has decided on a way forward.

Homeless Man Shot As Bullets Fly In Heart OF City
There was a shooting last night on Albert Street. It happened in the very heart of the downtown area in front of the Battlefield Park. According to police, around 10:55 last night...

Once Elected, Twice Shy: Marcel Cardona Won't Run
Whatever happens in the next election, there's no arguing that former UDP Orange Walk East Representative Marcel Cardona made history during his term. The firebrand backbencher la...

Herman Longsworth Ready To Re-take Albert
And while Cardona says he needs a break from politics, UDP hopeful in the Albert Herman Longsworth is hoping he gets a break! With incumbent Mark Espat announcing on Monday that he w...

Gay Rights Activist Caleb Stoned With Beer Pint
President of UNIBAM and gay rights activist Caleb Orozco was physically assaulted this evening. The incident happened around 4:30 in the George Street area. After shouting gay slurs at...

Slow Going In First Trial Without Jury
On Monday, we told you about the attempted murder trial which was supposed to start in the court room of the Chief Justice. The accused, Ricky Valencia and Akeem Thurton, are being ...

Conservation Group Questions Rosewood Survey
For much of the latter part of last year, the issues surrounding Rosewood logging have featured prominently in the news. Well, it has followed us into the new year with one conservati...

One Pleads Guilty, But No Break For Others Accused OF Drug Traffic
4 people are on remand after they were arraigned in the court room of Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart for drug trafficking. They are 21 year-old Sherman Rodney, 25 year-old Ervin Fergus...

GSU Again!
Around 11:40 this morning, the Gang Suppression Unit searched the apartment room of Marvin Foreman - at 4314 Louise Bevans street. Foreman was not present at the time, but the se...

Alleged Tacos Vendor Robbers to Court, But No Robbery Charge
Last night, 7news reported on the three armed young men caught by GSU in the progress of robbing a tacos vendor. Today, they were arraigned in the court room of Magistrate Robert Ord...

Independent Candidate Rejects BUA, Forms UBP
Last week, we showed you the launch of the Belize Unity Alliance, an umbrella group for independent candidates who are form the VIP, the PNP or who are non-aligned. They only had nine ca...

Who Would Rob a 74 Year Old Lady?
A 74 year old woman was robbed at gunpoint yesterday in Belize City. Ms Neri Acevedo, a domestic of West Landivar in Belize city, was walking on New Road when a young man confronted her. ...

Belizean dies In Rio Hondo, Found On Mexican Side
The body of a Belizean national was found floating in the Rio Hondo River yesterday, near the Mexican border village of La Union. The Mexican newspaper, Diario de Quintana Roo, in its Wed...

Rebels For Real: A Look Back At Mark And Cordel
In Belize's modern political history - where most politicians confine themselves to staid, worshipful remarks about their party and its leaders, Mark Espat and Cordel Hyde were a radical ...

Marcel and Marcotulio; former U.D.P. endorses P.U.P.
On the heels of recent resignations, today the opposition got a boost when former U.D.P. area representative, Marcel Cardona threw his weight behind the P.U.P. candidate in Orange Walk East. Things between the U.D.P. and Cardona went downhill early in the administration of Dean Barrow over a NICH contract. Cardona was sent to the back ...

Marcel freed of section fifty-nine to oppose government
Cardona explained that the dissolution of the National Assembly last Friday has freed him from the restrictions of Section Fifty-Nine of the Belize Constitution which effectively prevented him from voting against government in the House of Representatives. Marcel Cardona “Since the Prime Minister announced the holding of early General Elections simultaneously with the holding of ...

Cardona lashes out on U.D.P. nepotism and cronyism
Cardona, in quoting PM Dean Barrow prior to taking office in 2008, recalled that the U.D.P.’s position on nepotism and corruption was one of zero tolerance; however, he said, Barrow has since reneged on that commitment to the people of Belize. Cardona then went on to cite numerous instances of purported nepotism and cronyism within ...

Lead UNIBAM male attacked
There’s a developing story tonight, concerning Caleb Orosco, the president of UNIBAM, who is seeking to have section fifty-three of the criminal code declared unconstitutional. Orosco was assaulted this afternoon at the corner of Dean and West Streets in Belize City. Someone hurled a bottle at Orosco, breaking two of his teeth. Orosco has made ...

4 men shot on Albert Street
Five expended shells were found at the scene of a shooting on Tuesday night. Four men were injured, one remains hospitalized. Police don’t have much to go by and those at the Battlefield Park are too scared to speak. From what we gather, two assailants opened fire at the men as they changed a tire ...

On the Campaign Trail with P.U.P.’s Lake I
Long before this week, Yolanda Schakron had become a household name. She is a founding member of Belizeans for Justice, an NGO that was birthed by grieving mothers and families affected by the crime wave. Schakron gained name recognition as a fearless advocate. She briefly put her name up as a mayoral candidate and on ...

Carlos Perdomo reflects on accomplishments
And one Minister who we won’t be following on the campaign trail for this election is Carlos Perdomo, Minister of Defence & Immigration. Perdomo, last year, stepped down from Caribbean Shores and was replaced by Santino Castillo. On Friday News Five spoke with Perdomo where he shared some of his achievements and told us that ...

P.G. Child botched health care and needs help
The family of an eight year old boy from Laguna Village claims that medication he was prescribed sent in a coma. Frumencio Chub pulled out of the coma but his life has changed dramatically. The humble family is need of help. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports. Jose Sanchez, Reporting A couple from Punta Gorda came ...

Attempted Murder of Rodwell Williams case adjourned again
Another adjournment was today granted by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in the high profile case of attorney Rodwell Williams, who was shot near the parking lot of his law firm, Barrow & Williams, in June 2010. This morning the two accused men, Akeem Thurton and Ricky Valencia, appeared in the Supreme Court where Thurton’s mother ...

Honduran national gets fined for overtime
A twenty-two year old Honduran national, Marcos Antonio Moreno, came to Belize on November ninth, 2011 with a visitor’s permit that expired on January sixth. Moreno never left and was living illegally in the country until he was caught on February sixth. This morning, Moreno, who spoke fluent English, represented himself in court as he ...

Belizean man’s body floats in Mexico
The body of a Belizean man was found floating on the Mexican side of the Rio Hondo on Tuesday morning. According to the Quintana Roo Journal, forty-five year old Victor Moses Diaz of La Union Village spotted something floating in the water at around six a.m. Diaz alerted the police and the body was recovered. ...

Conservation Trust talks about Rosewood
The illegal extraction of rosewood remains on the front burner. On the heels of reports that a highly connected company from the north was exporting the rosewood, on January twenty-fourth Cabinet decided that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will be conducting a stock survey and evaluation to verify the numbers of the remaining ...

Alleged questionable housing write-offs
On Tuesday night we reported that Corozal resident, Jorge Escalante, had received a letter from the Housing & Planning Department stating that a loan he had paid off years ago was written off in the recent house mortgage write-offs. Since that news, a number of other reports and letters have surfaced from persons who never ...

Highlights from KTV Latino, the Hottest Show
KTV Latino Season Three kicked off on Tuesday with the first round of live performances at the Bliss. It was a packed show with twenty-two singers taking the stage and giving the judges a tough job of choosing fourteen to move on. But that’s just the start of their journey and their fates will now ...

One Man Detained for Monday Nights Robbery And Arson
Corozal police say one of the men they believe participated in Monday night’s heartrending home invasion and arson that took place in the Village of Libertad is now in custody of the Belize Police Department. The male individual who is said to be from Belize City will be handed over to Corozal Police for questioning tomorrow.

Fifteen Year Old Gone Missing
Tonight a mother from the Village of Trail Farm here in the Orange Walk District is pleading to the community for assistance in locating her 15 year old daughter. Yesterday Maria Melina Sanchez reported to police that on the 6th of February her daughter Diana Samira Burke left home around 4:00pm and has not returned since. The 15 year old is said to be of clear complexion, five feet in height, has long black straight hair, brown eyes and weighs about one hundred and fifteen pounds. Anyone who has information on Burke’s whereabouts is asked to call the nearest Police Station.

Marcel Cardona Lashes Against His Own U.D.P Government
He was ousted from Cabinet as the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture; he was banished to a seat on the opposition side and during the sitting of the House on July fourth, a member of the gallery, an avid supporter of the ruling United Democratic Party, hurled an object at him as he left his unaffiliated opposition seat. Know who we are talking about? It’s no other than Orange Walk East Area Representative Marcel Cardona who was also stripped of his ministerial vehicle and even asked to resign from the United Democratic Party after he did not support Governments last budget.

Potato Producers Unable to Sell Product On The Local Market
Last year there was an onion crisis here in the north which saw onion producers losing millions of dollars. It soon became a blame game between the Chairman of the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation, Roque Mai and the producers but at the end of the day no assistance was given to those most affected. Today, those same onion producers are facing yet another problem. Early this morning we visited potato producers in the Village of San Carlos, who told us that if they don’t speak out, hundreds of pounds of harvested potatoes will rot in the fields.

Road From Indian Church To San Carlos Upgraded By P.U.P O/W South Standard Bearer Jose Mai
Since last year, PUP Orange Walk South Standard Bearer Jose Abelardo Mai has been gaining political ground by listening to the residents of Orange Walk South and assisting in all ways possible. From education to agriculture Mai has been there for the people and this morning he proved once more that he is willing to work for the benefit of the Orange Walk South constituency by assisting in the upgrading of the road from Indian Church to San Carlos.

Objection Case Adjourned For 28th February
On Thursday February 2nd, P.U.P Orange Walk Central Standard Bearer John Briceno accompanied by his attorneys Dickie Bradley and Anthony Sylvester appeared before the Orange Walk Magistrates Court to object to 109 names that are on the provisional voters list. According to Attorney Dickie Bradley there is enough evidence to prove that if not all, majority of the people were registered under a fraudulent address. For context here is clip of what Bradley told us on the day the case went before the courts.

P.U.P Orange Walk Town Council Candidates Holds 4th Neighborhood Meeting
With just about four weeks before the Municipal and General Elections the P.U.P Town Council Candidates in the Orange Walk division are wasting no time in ensuring Orange Walkenos that their team comprised of 6 vibrant males and one female will bring change to the community.

Don. Hector Silva talks politics
Almost a year ago Don Hector Silva who served under the Peoples United Party in various capacities announced that h...

Independent Marcel Bedran enters electorial race in Cayo North
As the March 7th General Elections draw nearer, the major political parties; the Peoples United Party and the Unite...

Host of political aspirants visit Rise and Shine
Lamp-post and yards are decked with flags and signs from all political parties and independent candidates country c...

Yolanda Schkron kicks off campaign in Lake I
Earlier this week we reported to you that Yolanda Schkron was sworn in by the PUP National executive to be the new ...

Multiple shooting in Belize City leaves four injured
Last night at around 10:45 a group of three men were in downtown Belize City – at the battlefield park – when a veh...

Hit and run accident claims man's life
A hit and run accident has claimed the life of 30 year old Isaias Castillo, a resident of Concepcion Village in the...

Body found in Rio Hondo River
Also in News from Orange Walk, Yesterday at 9:30am, acting upon information received, Police visited Rio Hondo Rive...

Police investigating house fire in the south
In news from the South, Yesterday, February 7 at about 4:10am, acting upon information received Punta Gorda Town Po...

February 8, 2012

Birds of Stann Creek District
Here are some of the birds we had the pleasure of seeing on our trip to Placencia and side excursion to Red Bank. We saw others, of course, but these were the ones we could identify from our photos. Most of these were new on our life lists!

The Bachelor Spoiler: Ben Cancels The Party, Confronts Courtney And Sends Two Home
The pressure mounts on The Bachelor as the crucial hometown dates loom, but first Ben and the remaining six bachelorettes continue their exciting trip around the world to the beautiful country of Belize. Emily is treated to an outing to the majestic limestone coral island of Caye Caulker, where, after a few rocky weeks, she hopes to get her relationship with Ben back on track. Lindzi and Ben attempt to take their relationship to new heights with a spectacular helicopter ride over deep ocean waters before arriving at Belize’s famous Great Blue Hole.

Irene Lopez of Dangriga travelled to Belize City today to collect her prize of a hundred and seventy thousand dollars after thirty thousand was deducted for ...

The People’s United Party has strongly condemned the airing of a paid political advertisement on Television last night. The caricature purports to depict the Prime Minister engaged in a scene that is distasteful. Attorney at law Lisa Shoman who is the communications director for the People’s United Party this afternoon told Love News that even though public perception is that the advertisement originated in the PUP campaign arsenal, the party is in no way connected to the distasteful program.

The OCEANA-Belize referendum bid today took another hit when the Governor General turned down a request from the group. In a letter to the OCEANA-Belize ...

“I m glad that for Belize we could celebrate five out of seven, Belize is ... Looking at marine protected areas, this is one of the areas that Belize has ...







Lake I Division In Play - Will It Be King Or Schackron?
The Lake Independence constituency - most observers agree that it's a wide open race to see who will claim it in the March 7th election after the incumbent Cordel Hyde stepped down last we...

Former PUP Candidate Goes Independent
One PUP who does not have quite that level of team spirit is Alburn Rivero. The former, defeated candidate for PUP standard bearer in Belize Rural Central has announced that he is running as...

Crass Anti-Barrow Ad Pulled; PUP Says:
And moving from candidates to commercials... last night on this newscast, you probably saw a very tasteless one featuring the Prime Minister disrobing in burlesque style. We suspect it wa...

Belize Shows Well In Regional Reef Survey Survey Says Belizeans Believe In Bribes
And from that shot of good, encouraging news to two shots of bad, discouraging news about Belize's international profile. A group called the Latin American Public Opinion Project conducts p...

Survey Says Belizeans Believe In Bribes
And from that shot of good, encouraging news to two shots of bad, discouraging news about Belize's international profile. A group called the Latin American Public Opinion Project conducts public opinion surveys in Latin America and the Caribbean. It has done a survey measuring public opinion about bribes, whether people think they are justifiable.

Belize Downgraded Again On PM's Prompting
And to that other shot of bad news - although this one is seen as good news in some quarters - International rating agency Standard and Poors has downgraded Belize, again. The rating on l...

GG Tells OCEANA No-Go On Referendum Enquiry
After OCEANA and The Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage had their referendum application rejected last week, OCEANA wrote to the Governor General asking him for an explanation of how eig...

GSU Nabs Robbers In Progress
THE GSU nabbed a robbery in progress this afternoon. At about 1:45, the Unit responded to a robbery in progress of a tacos vendor on Partridge Street. When they got to the area, th...

Man Sentenced For Manslaughter In West
Yesterday, we told you about the conviction of 22 year-old Estevan Williams, a resident of San Jose Succotz Village. He was tried and convicted of manslaughter in the courtroom of Justice Tr...

Mark And Cordel, The Heady Days
Cordel Hyde and Mark Espat have withdrawn from electoral politics - for the time being at least. Will they re-surface again in public or political life? Who knows? We're not sure that even...

Dream Come Through For Lady Who Wins Fantasy Five
For those with a taste for gambling - Belize offers no shortage of opportunities to part with your money for the chance (but never the likelihood) to win a small fortune. In terms ...

Gas Station Tries A thing With Cheaper Gas
Pump prices are crushing, and vehicle owners have had to curtail their movements and their weekend activities all because the price for a gallon of premium is over eleven dollars. But ...

S&P downgrades Belize over Barrow super bond statement
Agency cites “lower predictability that the government will continue to service its external commercial debt.” “...we expect government workers and teachers to demand higher wages once the next budget debate begins”... A report coming out of New York today said that Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has downgraded Belize’s credit ratings, over suggestions from Prime Minister Dean Barrow last week that the government would like to restructure the billion-dollar super bond.

Dondre Brannon, 18, dies after being shot
His murder is the 6th since the year began, and the 2nd for February... The family of Dondre Brannon, 18, a student of Gwen Lizarraga High School’s Evening Division, is once again grappling with tragedy. Dondre was shot once in the abdomen last night and later succumbed to his injury whilst undergoing treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). A post-mortem exam showed that he died from internal bleeding.

Barrow’s suggestion of super bond restructuring “credit negative”: Moody’s
A recent pronouncement by the Barrow administration, in its bid for reelection, that it will seek the electorate’s instructions on the billion-dollar super bond has caught the attention of a major international ratings agency.

US Capital plans to run seismic in Conejo
Alistair King, representative for US Capital Energy in Belize, told Amandala this evening that the company intends to pursue seismic work in the Maya village of Conejo, Toledo, because 32 of 33 men who work with the oil company have signed onto a letter giving their approval.

United Belize Party forms – 1 candidate to date
The party’s chairman and sole candidate to date, Lucilo Teck, today told Amandala that the UBP “is committed to reconstruct the social and economic development of Belize,” and would focus on improving quality of life and education, and expanding political and economic opportunities for the masses.

Cordel, Mark out; Yolanda, David in!
The PUP Lake I (Cordel Hyde) and Albert (Mark Espat) resignations follow that of Caribbean Shores (Anthony Mahler)... “The PUP has been in preparation for an early election, and a March 7 election, since December, and with the replacement of Anthony Mahler in Caribbean Shores by Dr. David Hoy now complete, no further shockwaves should hit Independence Hall.” (From headline story, “Barrow rolls the dice March 7!” in Amandala #2585, Sunday, February 5, 2012).

Dart “Super Bowl” in Caye Caulker
The Belize National Darts Association held its Super Bowl Dart Game in Caye Caulker yesterday, Sunday, February 5, at the Hypnotic Club and Disco. It was a great day for all players.

Haulover Bridge to Boom Race 2012 Results
Saturday, February 4, turned out to be a beautiful day for paddling, proving weather forecasting is very unpredictable, for the second of its kind Haulover Bridge to Burrell Boom upstream race. The first was held in 2010 where Chris Guydis and the Sanchez brothers were the first victors and set a record of 1:59:55. At just before 9:30 a.m., eighteen canoes set out to try to beat this record, but the river conditions proved somewhat challenging, with a strong current going against them.

Gwen Liz males and females are CSSSA football champions
Semifinals were played last week Wednesday and Thursday in the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) high school football tournament in both female and male categories. Game 1 of the 2-game Finals series took place on Saturday, and it ended this evening at the MCC Grounds where Gwen Liz won it all.

“One hand kyan clap,” football future in crisis
The Premier League kicks off this weekend with match commissioners apparently appointed by the FFB; and, despite the grassroots cry for change in football administration, it seems quite likely that it will be four more years of the same crowd in charge of the sport.

Amandala Editorial: Lebensraum?
“For what it considered its own national interest, Mexico was against Belize giving up any land or sovereignty to Guatemala, and provided Belize ‘with maximum diplomatic support, viewing such support as a necessary counter-balance to what it considers to be U.S. support for Guatemala.’”

Amandala: From The Publisher
I left you last weekend where I had decided, in a desperation no doubt immature, that I had to go to New York City to see the Freedom Committee after the ruling PUP smashed the NIP/UBAD coalition in the December 1971 Belize City Council elections.

Minor drowned, but did phone tell a different tale?
Was a seventeen year old in San Antonio, Cayo District, murdered or did he fall in a well and drown? The family of Dimitri Mena believes he was killed and thrown in the well. About a week ago, Dimitri’s body was recovered after he did not venture back to his family house in the village. ...

Robbers put elderly woman’s bar on fire
Up north, an elderly woman, sixty-four year old Petrona Leal, proprietor of Pasos Bar in Libertad Village, is tonight lucky to be alive following a brazen home invasion. Leal, who was at home alone, was choked unconscious by one of three men who stormed into her house. The assailants then ransacked her belongings and stole ...

Is Rural Central ready for Dolores?
It’s political season and on the campaign trail today we caught up with Dolores Balderamos Garcia as she prepares for the March seventh elections. Dolores is a former area representative and minister of government. She is among four women on the P.U.P. ballot for the upcoming general elections. In Belize Rural Central, a constituency which ...

Was signature disqualification deliberate?
Tonight’s question is: Do you believe that it was deliberate to disqualify eight thousand signatures to prevent the referendum on oil exploration? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at You can also send an email with your comments to [email protected]

Independent Candidate for Cayo North
In the 2012 elections, there is a burst of independent candidates in the political arena. While the polls have been showing that they are not a factor, their numbers have been on the increase. This morning in San Ignacio, Marcel Bedran, a businessman threw his hat in the ring. Bedran will face the incumbent, Salvador ...

Paid loan also written-off loan!
Remember the write-offs from the Ministry of Housing last year? About sixty million dollars were written off in delinquent loans, but tonight News Five has obtained copies of letters issued by Housing and Planning Department in December that are raising serious questions. Corozal resident, Jorge Escalante is the recipient of one such letter, informing him ...

10 years for Pint-Bottle Manslaughter
Estevan Williams, a teenager found guilty of the 2008 manslaughter of Jerson Paguada Hernandez, was today sentenced to ten years in prison. On Friday, a unanimous decision was handed down by a twelve member jury in which Williams was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of the lesser charge for fatally stabbing Hernandez, a ...

Stolen girlfriend translates in Aggravated Assault
A bar room brawl over a woman ended up before the courts and today forty-five year old Shawn Hyde was convicted of Aggravated Assault. The Mahogany Heights resident was charged on July tenth, 2011 after an altercation with Lyndon Murillo. Reports are that the two had an ongoing dispute because Hyde stole Murillo’s girlfriend ...

Conejo wants fair negotiation with Oil Company
Twenty-three Conejo Villagers were fired by U.S. Capital Energy, the company that his hoping to strike oil in the southern most part of the country. The mass firings came soon after village leaders became aware that the oil company was illegally conducting groundwork pertaining to seismic testing on lands protected by a court judgment. ...

G.G. tells Oceana to negotiate with Minister
Another issue that is simmering is the referendum. Over twenty-thousand signatures were collected to propel a vote on oil exploration. Eighteen thousand were required but last week, the Elections Boundaries Commission said eight thousand had been rejected since the signatures could not be verified because of poor penmanship. The signatures were presented to the Governor ...

But Government rejected Referendum
The intention of the Coalition was to have the referendum on March seventh to coincide with the elections. But at a press conference last week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow out rightly rejected the poll. Dean Barrow [File: February 1st, 2012] “I assume of course that the verification exercise that the chief elections officer is doing ...

GSU catches some robbers
A trio of stickup artists was busted in the act of robbing a fast-food vendor this afternoon on Partridge Street. Eighteen year old Adam Joseph, eighteen year old Clifford Lorenzo and twenty year old Stanley Moore were attempting to flee the scene of the crime when a team of GSU officers descended upon them. The ...

Health of the Mesoamerican Reef is failing
A recent eco-audit commissioned by Healthy Reefs Initiative shows that the health of the Mesoamerican reef is failing and that at least seventy percent was in poor condition in the 2008 and 2010 report cards. The audit found that while there is progress, the condition of the reef is declining at a faster speed. The ...

And the latest lotto winner is…
A winning lottery ticket that was purchased in Des Moines in December 2010 is now at the center of a criminal investigation in Iowa, USA and it has ties to Belize. The back story is that the winner of the sixteen point five million dollar jackpot didn’t surface until December 2011, just two hours before ...

KTV Latino; Hottest Show in the Land begins
It’s finally here; the first live show of KTV Latino Season Three. We showed you the auditions by almost fifty singers from across the country and only twenty-two of them have made it through the first cut. But they haven’t secured a spot just yet. Tonight those twenty-two hopefuls will face a live audience and ...

Dead Body Of Well Known Orange Walkeno Found Floating In The Rio Hondo River
Many of you living here in Orange Walk may have heard of a man known as “Mad house”. He was constantly seen around town selling pepitos among other things. That mans real name is Eduardo Garcia and tonight we report that his body was found floating in the waters of the Rio Hondo River near the community of Blue Creek. Up to news time police have not been able to ascertain whether Garcia drowned or was murdered.

Sister Of James Jackson Charged For Pergury
On Monday January 30th thirty nine year old James Jackson who was on trail for the murder of his common-law-wife Estela Amador was found not guilty of murder after Judge Dennis Hanomansingh instructed a jury of 12 to find Jackson not guilty due to insufficient evidence.

PUP Holds Rally In Altamira Corozal
The temperature of the election fever has reached a boiling point with rallies and conventions held by both major political parties. And while the U.D.P is trying to win voter support by offering pre-election gifts, the Peoples United Party is hitting the campaign trail meeting with the Belizean People talking about the solutions the party has to the many problems the country is facing. With elections

Home Invation And Arson Takes Place In Libertad
Tonight while one woman recuperates from a frightful ordeal, Corozal Police have their hands full as they investigate a home invasion and arson that occurred in the Village of Libertad in the Corozal District. Last night Perfecta Leal was inside her business establishment when she was attacked by five armed mask men who robbed her of an undisclosed amount of cash and jewelry.

Standards And Poor Rates Belize From A B- To A CCC+
Standards and Poor is a United States based company that rates borrowers on a scale from triple AAA to D. If a country receives an investment rate of three AAA’s it means that the Government of the day has extremely strong capacity to meet its financial commitments. So what grade did Belize receive? Well, Standards and Poor cut Belize’s long term ratings from a B- to a CCC+

Fuel Prices Increase For The Third Time In Less Than A Month
In these days when the price for a gallon of fuel is above $10.00 and the cost of living is sky high, owning a vehicle has practically become a luxury. And if previously you found the need of parking your vehicle at home and only using it when necessary, then tonight there is more bad news for consumers.

G.G. Tells Oceana To Follow Protocol
On a letter dated February 2nd, Oceana, the non-governmental organization which is against offshore drilling, sent a letter to the Governor General requesting that a full scale enquiry into the matter regarding the rejection of over 8000 signatures by the Elections and Boundaries Department be launched. Yesterday, the Governor General Sir Colville Young responded to Oceana’s letter

Agriculture Sector Number One Priority For Jose Abelardo Mai
In Orange Walk South, P.U.P Standard Bearer Jose Abelardo Mai has been working overtime ensuring that he meets with all voters of the constituency. During his house to house campaign Mai has been listening to the concerns of residents of the area who for the past three years and a half have been neglected by Mark Pech. Under Pech’s term the South saw no progress and today residents are questioning where he was when onion producers lost hundreds of thousands of dollars and one of the country’s major rice producers closed down for business

February 7, 2012

Our first trip to Placencia - travel home day and Paisley's 4th birthday (day 4)
It seems like we just got to Placencia, and it was already time to head back to Ambergris Caye. It was another early morning as the alarm rang at 5:45 am. We made coffee and ate oatmeal cookies for a quick breakfast. We had decided to go back a slightly different way, so we could experience two different ways of traveling between the same points. We would take the Hokey Pokey water taxi from the lagoon side of Placencia over to Independence and catch an express bus to Belize City there, avoiding the bus change in Dangriga and all the extra stops of the non-express bus.

Why YOU Should Visit Belize In February
CARNIVAL: You have probably heard of the big parties in Rio or New Orleans, but San Pedro also does a carnvial. It's exciting and definitely unique. VALENTINES DAY: Belize embraces classic American holidays full force. Halloween is HUGE and Valentines Day is very popular. You'll see red roses and teddy bears for sale everywhere and most restaurants do romantic dinner time events. Check for ones at Casa Picasso, Blue Water Grill, Portofino Restaurant and really any place up north. Some of the best places for low key romance. SUPERBOWL SUNDAY: Okay...I'm late on this one. But if you are the least bit worried about travelling to Belize and missing your big game, think again. This game is HUGE down here. Lots of bars are having Superbowl parties. THE COOL BIRDS: The birds are still wintering down south. From smaller song birds to huge egrets and herons. Take an early morning walk...they are hard to miss.

Puppetmaster Cashcroft aims for bigger prizes (A Pirates of the Caribbean Update):
Our Lord Cashcroft, (who has given the Tory Party coffers more than £10m and aided the rise of buddies Old Haig and PM Cameroon in particular), is spending a small fortune on lawyers and spin doctors to deal with inquiries about his relationships with companies in the Caribbean. HM Revenue and Customs would rather he paid them what is owed to them!

San Pedro’s Al Akramine Mosque
Did you know that the island has had a Mosque for over a year now? Maybe because it’s located in the San Pedrito Area, Ambergris Today (like many) was not even aware of the Al Akramine Mosque. Today, we have a strong Muslim presence on the island that is growing along with the community of San Pedro. Just a couple weeks ago, a group of Muslim men arrived on the island dressed in their traditional clothes, causing heads to turn and people to stare. The Muslims we see on a regular basis look a lot different. The group was traveling around the world and was hosted by the Muslim community on the island.

Community Shows Support at Cancer Walk
The community of San Pedro Town showed great support to the San Pedro Cancer Society as hundreds attended the island’s second annual “Light the Night” World Cancer Awareness Day Walk that took place on Saturday, February 4, 2012.

History of Immigration to Ambergris Caye (Part Four) -Benqueños
However in the middle of the 1970’s the tourism industry started growing by leaps and bounds. There was a need for girls to provide all the necessary services in hotels and restaurants. At this time the local girls working at the fishing cooperative started opting for these tourism related jobs and left for the hotels. This was a serious situation for the fishing cooperative that was at the peak of its export potentials. They needed man power which the young la dies provided and the men were not willing to do because they earned better wages fishing for lobster. Suddenly someone had the solution.

The Bachelor' 2012 Week 7 Spoilers: Off to Belize
They all head to Belize for this date. Six girls are going there with Ben Flajnik. Lindzi Cox will get a 1 on 1 date and they will jump into the Great Big ...

Belize Sugar Industries workers are getting a salary increase. ... “The Belize Workers Union has struck a deal with the management of BSI for a wage ...

The credit ratings service Standard and Poor's today downgrade Belize's credit worthiness, taking the long-term foreign- and local-currency sovereign credit ... CNN

A Belize City teenager was shot and killed last night in the old capital. The victim has been identified as nineteen year old Dundre Brannon, a resident of ...

A chopping incident last night in Belize City has left one man injured. The victim has been identified as twenty three year old Shane Jones.

Belize police have assisted in the capture of an American fugitive. Fifty seven year old George Thomas, who is wanted in the US state of Arkansas for the ... Channel 7 Daily News

The umbrella group that calls itself the Belize Unity Alliance, which comprises political candidates from the Vision Inspired by the People, the People's ...

Strange life found in underwater caves
Surrounded by darker, deeper ocean waters, Belize's Lighthouse Reef Atoll glows in vibrant hues of turquoise, teal, peacock blue, or aquamarine.

The three-time representative for the People’s United Party in the Albert Division Mark Espat will not be offering himself for reelection in next month’s general elections. Espat did not offer a reason for his decision not to contest the election. In a letter to the Albert Executive Committee, Mr. Espat thanked them for their years of support, which contributed to his election to the House of Representatives and consequently serving in cabinet at various times.

Today the People’s United Party called a news conference to introduce its thirty-one standard bearers contesting the March seventh General Elections. The occasion was also to field questions and to discuss the recent decisions of three of its high profile members as standard bearers in their respective communities.

S&P Downgrades Belize A Notch On Prime Minister's Comments
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services pushed Belize's credit status a notch deeper into junk territory after comments from its prime minister signaled less ...

Season Two of Mission Catwalk in the Caribbean
Designers will hail from Belize, Barbados, Jamaica, as well as Trinidad and Tobago so they can all compete for this year's prize. Linton-George, who is the ..

Espat Steps Down, Puts Another Sure Seat In Play, PUP Names Replacements
There are only 30 days to go before the double elections in March, but tonight The PUP is recovering from another wounding body blow. Albert Incumbent and three-time PUP representative Mark ...

Teenager Killed, Meets Same Fate As His Two Uncles
Dondre Brannon was an 18 year old going to evening school at Gwen Liz - but last night he was shot as he walked home. It happened around 8:30 while he was riding on Central American ...

23 Year Old Chopped In City
One hour after Brannon was shot, another youth was chopped up near the Matron Roberts Clinic. 23 year old Shane Jones was chopped to the head at approximately while he was walking on a ...

Killer Convicted Of Manslaughter
On Friday, Estevan Williams 22, a resident of San Jose Succotz Village in Cayo, who was initially charged with murder, was convicted of a lesser charge of manslaughter in the Courtroom of ...

Rodwell Williams Alleged Shooter Will Be First To Be Tried Without Jury
Belize's first trial without jury is set to commence in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. In his speech for this year's opening, CJ Benjamin had indicated that trial withou...

Lady Police Investigated For Extortion
Unofficial reports tonight say that a Woman police constable attached to the police traffic branch could face charges of extortion. The "W" was reportedly busted allegedly extorting a civil...

A(nother) US Fugitive Caught In Belize
Another American Fugitive has been captured in Belize, this time, attempting to enter Belize from Guatemala. 57 year old George Thomas, an American national, was attempting to enter Belize f...

Cayo Woman Threatened At Knifepoint
Three men have been detained in connection to an aggravated burglary which OCCURRED yesterday in Santa Elena. 24 year-old Norma Rodriguez was inside her business, Grace Mini Shop located in ...

US Capital Accused Of Firing Conejo Workers
In mid-December we showed you a story on Capital Energy's work in Southern Belize where villagers from the five so called buffer communities of Barranco, Midway, Sundaywood, Conejo, ...

Pickwick Suddenly Plunged Into Receivership
Tonight there is news of some major local investors going into receivership in two separate ventures. The first piece of news is about the Pickwick Club Limited. That is the company whic...

Gobie Challenge In Belize For A Good Cause
Since 2008, Challenge Gobie, an annual bike-a-thon has been raising funds for the treatment of sicknesses such as Cancer, HIV/Aids and Diabetes. This year's funds are geared toward the...

A Charming Snake Tale
In hard times resourceful people have to find a way to get by. And for city residents clearing land in the wetlands surrounding the city - this often means cashing in on Crocodiles and Snak...

Mark Espat steps down; P.U.P. reacts
There is a gigantic shift in the P.U.P. today. If it could be measured on the Richter scale, strong tremors would have been felt in both the Albert and Lake Independence Divisions. Both are considered P.U.P. strongholds and safe seats but Mark Espat has stepped down along with his brother-in-law Cordel Hyde. The latest resignation [...]

David Craig replaces Mark Espat
With just about four weeks before the General Elections there is no time to waste and the Leader of the Opposition promptly introduced his candidates to the media. David Craig, a face from the Barry Bowen empire, is known publically for being the corporate face of the Coca Cola Spelling Bee. For a few years [...]

Schakron replaces Cordel Hyde
Yolanda Schakron is inheriting, for the most part, the Lake I executive committee but she may still have to make a few changes. She has received support from most members and they will stand by her through Election Day. Party Leader Francis Fonseca said the Belizeans for Justice Founding member would make a smooth transition [...]

Albert will no longer listen to Mark’s Gospel
As the P.U.P. was meeting this morning, Mark Espat confirmed that he won’t be on the P.U.P. ticket for the March Seventh general elections. Espat’s withdrawal like Cordel Hyde’s was anticipated and the hierarchy of the P.U.P. spent the weekend recruiting replacements that were announced this morning. Espat has generally enjoyed a good track record [...]

S&P pushed Belize’s Credit Status deeper into junk territory
As you know, the date for the general elections was announced last Tuesday by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, almost a year before they are due. What was probably missed by most people in his televised and radio statement had to do with huge debt that Belize owes internationally. Prime Minister Barrow said that his administration [...]

Exclusive Pickwick Club fallen into receivership
There is another story that reflects on the investment climate and that is that the exclusive Pickwick Club has fallen into the hands of receivers. This morning former B.D.F. Colonel, Robert Garcia, was appointed to take-over management of the Club on behalf of Atlantic Bank. Pickwick had taken out a loan of eight and half [...]

Another Brannon Murder
Shots rang out early on Sunday night in Belize City. A nineteen year old whose family is familiar with gun violence, was shot at the corner of Iguana Street and Cemetery Road. The modus operandi is all too familiar; the assailant rode up on bicycle from behind and delivered the fatal shot to his abdomen. [...]

Fuel at the pump up again
The cost of living is one of the biggest factors for voters going into elections. Well, that’s gone up more because to start the work week, drivers were greeted with a hike in prices at the fuel pumps that took effect on Sunday night. Today premium gasoline is selling for eleven dollars and fifty-eight cents, [...]

Rape suspect, U.S. fugitive caught
A second US fugitive has been captured in Belize in less than two weeks. At around two o’clock on Saturday afternoon, police received a tip that fifty-seven year old George Thomas was heading into Belize from Guatemala. With the help of Melchor Police, Thomas was intercepted and detained near the border. He was travelling in [...]

1st case of Trial by Judge without a Jury
The first case to be tried by a judge, without a jury will be against the two men charged for the Attempted Murder of Attorney Rodwell Williams. The trial was set to begin today and both accused men, Akeem Thurton and Ricky Valencia, appeared before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. But it was brought to the [...]

Manslaughter conviction for beer bottle death
Also in the court, an eighteen year old, who was on trial for the murder of twenty-seven year old Honduran national, Jerson Paguada Hernandez, was convicted of the lesser charge late Friday evening. After only two hours of deliberation, the twelve member jury emerged with a unanimous verdict, finding Estevan Williams not guilty of murder, [...]

P.U.P. responds to issues including Old Guard
Earlier in the newscast, we showed you the replacements for the P.U.P. Albert and Lake I. Divisions. And though the faces are fresh, the P.U.P. still faces criticism for the past. Catch phrases like Superbond, G7, Old Guard and New Guard have stuck to the Opposition much the same way Retrenchment and nepotism have stuck [...]

U.S. Capital Energy fires employees
Down south, the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management today confirmed that twenty three employees from the village of Conejo have been fired from US Capital Energy. While the company did not have a license to explore in the Conejo area, it had began seismic testing and according to a SATIIM release, U.S Capital Energy [...]

All Hail the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Stamps
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations kicked off in London today. It was full of pageantry and color to mark the sixty year reign of Queen Elizabeth. The Queen renewed her commitment of service to the Commonwealth and along with other members of the royal family she will be undertaking numerous activities. On March second and [...]

Sports Roundup with James Adderley
Good Evening, I’m James Adderley welcoming you to this portion of Sports Monday. The Belize Canoe Association continued its preparation for the 2012 La Ruta Maya set to launch on 9th March with the presentation of another stage race on Saturday February 4th. At the 9:30 a.m. start, 18 canoes have lined up for the [...]

PlusTV's Belmopan Mayoral Debate slated for tomorrow
Earlier today all five of Belmopan’s Mayoral candidates received the list of questions which will form the heart of...

PUP selects new standard bearers for Lake Independence and the Albert Division
Three resignations in less than three weeks and General and Municipal elections is only a month away when. It is un...

Mark Espat not contesting upcoming general elections
In Friday's newscast we reported that there were wide spread rumors that PUP’s incumbent for Alberts, Mark Espat, m...

Teen gunned down in the old capital
Belize City Police is investigating a murder that took place yesterday in the old capital. Police Personnel's visit...

House of Representatives dissolved
The House of Representatives was dissolve by request of Prime Minister Dean Barrow as he called General Elections f...

BUA calls for the removal of all political appointees from government offices
The Belize Unity Alliance which is the merger between the VIP, PNP and all independent candidates sent out a releas...

Mena family denied access into The Wood Depot
Plus news began receiving information this morning from several sources that the Mena brothers, along with their fa...

Woman held up, car stolen
Last week Tuesday Plus news reported on the theft of a Toyota Hilix from the Garden City Plaza parking lot belongin...

Home reportedly set on fire during the wee hours of the night
23 year old Kayla Spencer a Belizean Sports Coordinator of Belmopan reported to Belmopan Police that last week Frid...

Richard Allen Eli in Belizean courts on third drug charge
Richard Allen Eli… He is the 52 year old American national that was arraigned in court mid January on two criminal ...

February 6, 2012

The February 5th, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Santa Elena Businesswoman, Narcisa “Nancy” Orellana, Gets 18 Months Prison Sentence
  • Guatemalan Boy Remanded To Jail
  • Guest Editorial: The Vast Majority Of Belizeans Will Vote Against Ashcroft: By Dr. Errol Elrington
  • Body Of Missing Boy Found In Well
  • Call For Referendum Falls Offshore
  • OIL, Is It The Devil’s Excretement? or God’s Gift To Mankind?
  • Alcoholism And Alcohol Abuse Signs, Symptoms & Help
  • Benque Cadets Wins In Belmopan
  • Belize Shines At L.A. and Canadian Trade Shows
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

San Pedro Airstrip Targeted by Thieves
The John Grief II Airport in San Pedro Town has been vandalized by thieves. According to the Belize Airport Authority, a little over 1,200 feet of electrical cable was unearthed from the runway lights and stolen by thieves. It is uncertain when the incident occurred but was noticed on January 16th. The BAA explained that immediately upon learning of the incident, technicians were dispatched to San Pedro Town to evaluate the incident and conducted repairs on the damaged wires.

Belize Launches Millennium Development Goals Scorecard and Outlook Report
Today at the Central Campus of the University of Belize in the nation’s capital, the "Belize Scorecard and Outlook Report 2010", in relation to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was released, revealing that Belize has made significant progress in the last years towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) particularly those related to improving maternal health, reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS and ensuring access to clean water.

Town Council Erecting Monuments in Town
According to a source at the town council, the SPTC is paying for the materials and labor (labor is at $975 so far) for the erection of 19 monuments. The approximate cost for each monument is estimated at $150 and each marble tile was bought for at a price of $60 each. If you do the math this puts the project cost at more than $5,000. Many residents are asking if the construction of the monuments is a priority for the SPTC, especially when the recent Mayor’s budget report states that the council is operating at a deficit of over $300,000.

Our first trip to Placencia - in search of the Scarlet Macaws (day 3)
Our cell phone alarm went off at the ungodly hour of 4:30 am so that we could hit the road around 5 o'clock for the drive to Red Bank to see (hopefully) the Scarlet Macaws. We normally shower at night, so all we had to do was dress, hit the "on" switch on the in-room coffeemaker, quickly drink a cuppa with an oatmeal bar, brush teeth, and gather up our gear. We made it out the door at 5:09, a little behind schedule, but it turned out to be fine as we made great time getting to Red Bank, since there was almost no traffic (and more bikes than cars and trucks) on the drive.

Saving Long Caye from Coconut Disease in the 90's
When my partner Cully Erdman and I were just getting started running Slickrock Adventures in Belize, we never dreamed the stuff we would eventually have to learn. Sure we knew how to kayak, and fix great meals, and we were learning the names of all of the fish. But the diversity of subjects required to create and operate a resort in Belize on a tiny remote island boggles the mind. And one of the strangest skills we have had to master is dealing with the coconut tree disease.

Living In Belize And How To Find Great Beer
Belize is well-known for a reasonably O.K. beer – Belikin. Only two problems. Some people do not like it. And worse, Belikin is a monopoly business – there is no other brewery in Belize. And trying to set up a micro brewery will give the entrepreneur so many government hoops and stonewalling to contend with, all efforts in this direction have failed so far. Years ago there was another brewery, Charger Beer, but locals (and the previous owners) say the existing monopoly ran them out of business. There is no Pepsi Cola in Belize but that is another story.

Paws for Peace - P.A.W. Cat Sanctuary: Traveler Reviews
A few months ago I had the best experience of my life when i came to volunteer at PAW on the island of Caye Caulker. I stayed in the garden suite which was so clean, comfortable and fully furnished. I helped with the daily feeding of the animals, cleaned, nursed sick animals, groomed the kitties, fed the feral colony, bathe the dogs, socialize the kitties, pet the animals and pet and pet some more. I sat on the dock everyday and watched the beautiful sunset with Peaches and Oso a couple of the rescued dogs.

Travel in Belize: An introduction to popular districts and cayes
While the country of Belize may not be as big as other spots around the world, this small Central American country boasts a wealth of sights and attractions, and will easily leave you longing to return again soon. If you haven’t been to Belize yet, or are just looking to learn more about the geographical make up of the country, here’s an introductory look at some of the more popular districts and cities.

Moody's: Belize PM Suggestion Of Changes To Bond Payments Is Credit Negative
Remarks last week by Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow that his administration would seek "clear instructions" from the electorate "to do something about the superbond" are credit negative and raise concerns about another debt restructuring, Moody's Investors Service said in a report Monday.

How Belize is showing up Jamaica
We are told that much of Belize's land mass enjoys protected environmental status. Crucially, the general population - recognising where and how its bread is buttered - has also bought into environmental projects as part and parcel of community tourism. This happy Belizean story contrasts with the frustrating tendency in Jamaica to take our own environment for granted. The truth is that spoilt by the natural splendour of a land described by the Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus more than 500 years ago as "...the fairest isle... my eyes have ever seen", Jamaicans have been careless and wanton with our physical ...

February 5, 2012

No guilt, no pressure, just awareness!
We started planning a wedding in Belize with the help of the Toledo Ecotourism Association (TEA), we had contacted them via email and come into contact with Reyes Chun, the TEA chairman. It wasn’t until we got to Punta Gorda (PG) and got to speaking with Reyes that we really realised the extent of the work that the TEA do in PG and the surrounding villages. It is thanks to Reyes and his enthusiasm for the project and helping the villages that this wedding was possible at all.

Travelwise: Belize’s lessons in eco-tourism
Thirty-six percent of Belize’s landmass enjoys protected status. Thirteen percent of its waters, including vast portions of the world’s second largest coral reef system, are protected as well. With tourism being one of the country’s top sources of revenue, Belize’s livelihood depends on nature. And while it is never easy to balance tourism growth with environmental preservation, the small Central American country has long recognized that ignoring the latter means betraying the former.

Our first trip to Placencia - exploring the peninsula (day 2)
We woke up to a cloudy morning and headed into Placencia village on foot. We saw lots of birds along the way, so the walk was leisurely, with many photos taken -- stay tuned for a "Birds of Placencia" post to come later. We took in more sights of the town, which was very quiet at this time of day. Wish we'd had sunshine for better photos.

Meet your Councilor Candidates – Vasquez, Sanchez & Aguilar
With the municipal elections right around the corner, The San Pedro Sun takes this opportunity to present the Councilor Candidates to the San Pedro public. We have devised five questions which were disseminated to all candidates for their response. It is our hope that their response to these questions will assist you, the voting public in your decision making process come March 7, 2012. In this issue we feature response from two UDP candidates, two PUP candidates and one Independent Councilor Candidate.

The mystery of Lord Ashcroft and the paradise island business empire
Fresh revelations have raised a series of questions about the links between the former Conservative deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft and a company responsible for luxury projects across a string of islands.

Caribbean Seminar Series: Decriminalising Homosexuality in the Caribbean (The Belize Case)
As part of the Caribbean Seminar Series of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, Godfrey P. Smith, former Attorney-General of Belize, will present the seminar “Decriminalising Homosexuality in the Caribbean: The Belize Case in Commonwealth Perspective and Beyond.” Mr. Smith is part of the legal team representing the Human Dignity Trust and the Commonwealth Lawyers Association. His presentation on the Belize case and its implications will be followed by an informal question and answer session. This event will take place on February 3, 2012, 5:00-7:00pm, at the University of London in Room 264, Senate House (second floor) in London, UK.

What It's Like at an Athleta Photo Shoot
I’ve just returned from Belize. We’d been shooting our summer catalog for Athleta – an adventurous and inspiring experience. By the time I’d arrived, our photo crew had already been shooting for eight days. They've accomplished some spectacular work.

Jungle Surprises – Northern Belize, Chan Chich
The thing at Chan Chich isn’t the luxury, though there’s plenty of that. The lodge’s 12 bungalows (plus one full house) are atmospheric and absolutely comfortably appointed with ample porches and yummy beds. The service is great. The pool is inviting. The food is superb. For more, read our full profile of Chan Chich Lodge for iTraveliShop. The real clincher at Chan Chich is the setting. Not just deep in the jungle (it is), Chan Chich was literally built amongst unexcavated Mayan ruins. Believed to have been inhabited as far back as 770 BC, the complex includes two large plazas, numerous courtyards and other structures including a ballcourt.

>A Complete Breakdown Of The 2012 Mayan Apocalypse
Did the Mayans predict the end of the world? That belief is very much in dispute. The Mayan "long count" calendar progresses using a cycle of approximately 394 years known as a baktun; the calendar ends after the 13th baktun, which closes on Dec. 21 of this year.

BDF recruits abused?
Belize Defence Force (BDF) may have yet another problem on its hands, as a report, which accuses BDF instructors of gross abuse of authority, has emerged from within its own ranks.

Referendum Petition dead on arrival!
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage (BCSNH)’s referendum petition has shown itself to be dead on arrival. Some eight thousand and forty signatures did not pass the Elections and Boundaries Department’s scrutiny, Chief Elections Officer, Josephine Tamai told the media at a press briefing in Belmopan on Thursday, February 2.

Guatemalan claims BDF soldiers shot and killed his brother
A Guatemalan man is dead after Belizean soldiers allegedly shot him in the adjacency zone, and Guatemala’s President, Otto Pérez Molina, says he wants answers and justice from the Government of Belize. The incident occurred on Saturday, January 29. According to reports, Guatemalan national, Juan Choc Chub, 29, died of the gunshot wound he received, while his brother, Daniel Choc Chub, who was also shot, is left with serious injuries.

PUC orders BWS to lower water rates
The Public Utilities Commission has ordered Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) to lower its rates. Rates will change from the approved $18.41 average tariff for 1,000 gallons last year, to $17.87 per 1,000 gallons for this year, to an average tariff of $16.03 per 1,000 gallons for 2013, and to $15.98 per 1,000 gallons for 2014. Announcing the new rates at a press conference at the Radisson Hotel on Tuesday, January 24, PUC chairman John Avery said the new rates are based on an approved rate of return to BWS on its investment of 8%, which was reduced from 10%.

OAS to beef up Belize’s security
Strengthening the education, police and justice system are but some of the ways that the Organization of American States OAS will be helping Belize create a more stable and secure environment, OAS Secretary for Multidimensional Security, Ambassador Adam Blackwell, told the media at a press conference at the OAS Belize City office on Thursday, February 2. The OAS will help Belize strengthen its courts and legal system, as dealing with crime is not simply about arresting people. It must also re-educate them to help them become productive embers of society. This is the only way to create the secure environment that will assure investors the security of their investment, and so attract investors for the development of Belize’s economy.

Two attorneys admitted to the Bar
Senior Counsel Hubert Elrington introduced a motion for the admission of two new attorneys to the Belize Bar, in the Supreme Court of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, on Friday, January 27. Peta-Gay Hewitt, a Jamaican who has taken up residence in Belize, and Brian Neal, a Belizean, are the latest additions to Belize’s ever expanding legal profession. Before the robes were placed on them, formally signalling that they are now members of the legal fraternity, Chief Justice Benjamin explained the need for them, as Ministers of Justice to approach the practice of law with integrity and good ethical practice.

Dr. David Hoy says PUP Caribbean Shores opening is “a call to duty.”
An unprecedented event in post independence Belizean politics galvanized the Caribbean Shores constituency, when the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) candidate, Anthony Mahler, decided to step down as the party’s standard bearer, citing “personal reasons.” So for a few hours, Caribbean Shores, considered one of the most “savvy” constituencies in the country, was officially without a standard bearer, when on Tuesday afternoon, January 31, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that General Elections would be held March 7, 2012.

Two questioned in Concepcion kidnapping
Corozal Police have detained two men for questioning in their investigation of last Wednesday morning’s kidnapping of Marleni Cawich, a 29-year-old mother of six, of Concepcion Village, who was rescued from her kidnappers by her neighbors. Reports are that Cawich had stepped out of her house to walk across to her kitchen to fix breakfast for her husband at 4:30 am on Wednesday, January 25, when she was ambushed by five men who came out of the darkness. Three of them grabbed her from behind, covered her mouth to muffle her cries for help and dragged her off into a nearby canefield.

Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation established
The family and friends of renowned Belizean cyclist, the late Ariel Rosado, collaborated to establish the Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation, which his father, Dr. Alvaro Rosado Sr., officially launched in a brief ceremony at the Radisson Hotel on Tuesday morning, January 31. Dr. Rosado explained that the Foundation has been established to raise and manage funds to provide high school scholarships and sporting opportunities for deserving young Belizeans. He said the Foundation, which does not have much funds, would be organizing an annual fund-raising ride from San Ignacio to Belize City some three weeks after the annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic.

Belize reports success in meeting Millennium Development Goals
Belize has made significant progress in the last few years towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the “Belize Scorecard and Outlook Report 2010” has revealed. Minister of Economic Development, Commerce and Industry, and Consumer Protection, Hon. Erwin Contreras, presented the report at the University of Belize Central Campus in Belmopan on Monday, January 30. The scorecard and outlook report, which measures the country’s levels of success as it relates to meeting the eight MDGs, showed that Belize has achieved several key milestones, including the zero maternal deaths in 2011.

Atlantic Bank Limited in Belize will have money for investors
Atlantic Bank in Belize City has announced that through financial collaboration with the IFC and the Canadian International Development Agency, the bank will have more than $15 million for onlending to small and medium development enterprises in Belize.

Medical Group From Canada Offers Free Services To Orange Walkenos
Yesterday a team of Dental and Medical experts from Canada arrived in Belize and headed straight to Orange Walk to offer a number of services to residents of the community. The team, which forms part of a Christian Ministry, is stationed at the Northern Regional Hospital and today when we paid them a visit we found them hard at work.

PUP Loses Another Standard Bearer, Cordel Hyde Steps Down
On Friday January 27th Anthony Mahler informed the P.U.P’s Secretariat of his decision to step down as the party’s Standard Bearer for the Caribbean Shores Division. In his letter Mahler explained that he was stepping down due to personal reasons. And today the P.U.P lost another of its Standard Bearers for the March 7th General Elections. In a press release issued this

Carmelita R.C. School PTA Holds Clean-up Campaign
Yesterday morning members of the Carmelita R.C School PTA conducted a cleanup campaign at the school grounds to create a healthier environment for students. The cleanup campaign began at 8:00am as the nine women chopped the over grown grass, cleanup the bathrooms and pruned the trees.

SACD Recieves Financing From PACT
The mission of the Protected Area Conservation Trust, PACT, is to contribute to the sustainable management and development of Belize’s natural and cultural heritage. One method that the NGO employs in order to carry out its goal is to provide effective funding support to environmentalist groups. This past Tuesday the Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation and Development Organization received a grant from PACT. Our News team traveled to Sarteneja and spoke to members of the organization who told us more about the project they are engaged in.

Despite The Hurdles PUP Must Move Forward Says Party Leader
But as they say the show must go on and with only 33 days away from Municipal and General Elections the race is surely to become a heated one. March 7th is a day that some people are already calling the end of the U.D.P and the beginning of the P.U.P’s reign. Again that is left up to the people. But according to Leader of the

Oceana Response To Chief Elections Officer
Yesterday via phone Oceana’s Vice President Audrey Matura-Shepherd spoke to CTV3 News about the rejection of eight thousand and forty seven signatures by the Election and Boundaries Department concerning the referendum. According to Matura no reason was given as to why the signatures were not accepted. Well, yesterday Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai, held a press conference in Belmopan and made it perfectly clear on what grounds the signatures were rejected.

February 4, 2012

Belize, Central America
Valid: Friday-Monday, Feb. 3 - 6, 2012
Issued: 3:00 pm, Friday, February 3, 2012
CLICK HERE for the Full Report

Where Should I Watch the Superbowl in San Pedro?
The game will be on EVERYWHERE. Just because this is Belize and football technically means soccer, we will all be watching. My choices for best spots: Cholo's, Pedro's Inn, Lola's Pub, AJ's, Fido's, BC's Beach Bar, Palapa Bar, BUT...if you want to watch the game on the BIGGEST SCREEN. Head over the Reef Village's Paradise Theater.

Kelly McGuire: San Pedro Music Teacher for A Morning
Despite the RELENTLESS (and very un-February like) rain yesterday morning, Kelly McGuire made his way to the Island Academy to teach the island kids one of his most famous songs "Ambergris Caye". If you don't know Kelly or if you want to see his schedule for the next week, check out my post from earlier in the week: Kelly McGuire Hits San Pedro. He is an island favorite.

Immigration Officials Raid Medical School
Investigations by The San Pedro Sun have revealed that two students and one teacher from the American Global University School of Medicine (AGUSM) were detained Thursday evening, February 2nd, at the San Pedro Police Department and later transferred to the Immigration Department Office in San Pedro.

Marco Gonzalez Maya Ruin Site Ambergris Caye
It’s not easy organizing a major volunteer effort from another country but Heather is pulling it together and in spite of the enormous challenges ahead of her. She managed to round up 8 of us to go collect and bag mangroves that were brought back to Karina’s house in San Mateo for future transplanting to help detoxify the soil and preserve the environment. The mangrove collection at Marco Gonzalez Maya ruin site was a lot of fun and it was great to spend time with everyone that is getting involved in the San Mateo Sanitation and environmental education project. While in search of black mangrove seedlings, Jan Brown gave us a tour of Marco Gonzalez Archaeological Reserve and explained about it’s rich Maya history. We could see pottery shards everywhere, mountains of conch shells and even some human remains. The ground is very high and I could just imagine how much has yet to be discovered under our feet.

Our first trip to Placencia - travel on a budget (day 1)
Our travel day: Ambergris Caye to Belize City to Belmopan to Dangriga, and finally to Placencia We woke up at 6 am in order to catch an early water taxi into San Pedro. We were leaving on our first trip to Placencia, in southern Belize, so this was going to be a long and busy day. We would be attempting to travel "on the cheap", using ferries and buses for transport rather than flying, and carrying only backpacks.

An Evening at Average Joe's, A Morning Of Fitness at The Snack Shack
Average Joe's Bar (AJ's to some) is relatively new in town...but has become a very popular favorite quickly. Tucked on a corner next to the gas station just south of town, they serve all the bar foods that you want to eat after a few beers...and some that you never thought of. Beef hot dogs are relatively rare on the island. Most need to be imported. Belize is the land of the chicken or turkey dog (blech). Average Joe's makes one tasty beef hot dog. I like mine with tons of yellow mustard and nothing else. But you can have cheese, bacon, chili, sauerkraut, onions, ketchup...the list goes on...

Primary school basketball at Belize City Center
The Belize City Primary School Basketball Tournament, which got underway on Monday, January 12, continues in full swing with female (F) and male (M) games daily at the Belize City Center. In games played on Friday, January 20, (F) Ephesus SDA (Hasly Mejia 6 pts) edged Buttonwood Bay Nazarene (Monique Mortis 8 pts), 10-8; (M) Ephesus SDA (Delbert Sabal 9 pts) won handily, 26-12, over Buttonwood Bay Nazarene (Bryan Pavon 8 pts); and (M) Wesley Upper (Shaquille Crawford 24 pts) defeated Holy Redeemer (Everall Tablada 11 pts), 37-24.

The February 5th, 2012 issue of The Independent is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Referendum Rebuffed!
  • Man murdered in Caribbean Shores
  • Photo exhibit opens at the Mexican Embassy
  • More than just a rememberance: Ariel Rosado Foundation inaugurated
  • 1st Police Youth Cadet Corps drill competition
  • Lands Department opened late past 3 weeks
  • Coye-Marin case adjourned – claimants a no-show
  • Cop dupes ex-cop and another man with bogus gun license documents
  • Man grazed by bullet: “I am not scared; I don’t have any problem with anyone”
  • Responsibility and duty
  • The Elections
  • Whither Mark Espat?
  • Just Sayin'... Little girl go home
  • Questions: Why did the Prime Minister appeal for a peaceful election?
  • BLUE NOTES: How do we vote? Party, Policy, Person or …
  • Financial Sense: It is never too early to plan for the future financially
  • State of the Arts: La Luna, Las Sandias y Ellas
  • Trinidad’s Warner launches national petition to resume hangings
  • Mexico police take refuge from Juarez drug gangs
  • Venezuela’s oil exports to US decline
  • Twocanview – a Belizean American blog debuts
  • San Pedro Beat
  • Investing in a corrupt economy
  • San Pedro Politics
  • Jawmeighan continues to dominate
  • International motorcross comes to Belize

Looking for a place to stay? Check out Rainbow Hotel
The Marin family did some renovations to Rainbow Hotel during the slow season last year and they now boast comfortable and equipped accommodations for your staying pleasure on Caye Caulker. They are definitely worth checking out and they also have their restaurant and bar over the water serving delectable seafood and local dishes.

What’s new on Caye Caulker ?? “Fu Goh” now open to serve healthy meals
Mario and Carin Guizar of Iguana Reef Inn Resort, recently opened their newest venture on Caye Caulker located at the Atlantic Bank Plaza. In considering people’s health and well-being they decided to have a place serving healthy meals, thus coming up with the idea of “Fu Goh” which means “To Go” in Belizean creole. I will be doing a full review of their newbie venture and will have up another article displaying their meals. In the meantime, I leave you to view their menu options…looks great to me.

Nicknames on Caye Caulker
Anyone can remember those nicknames that people are famously known as on Caye Caulker? I came upon an article from the Caye Caulker Conch Telegraph published in June 2000 and I had to share on. People are known more by their nicknames than their actual names and some of them are quite funny but they are trademarked in some way or another as to how they got their specific nicknames:

Ocean Academy female students receive self-defense training
Caye Caulker Ocean Academy female teachers and senior-class girls learned self-defense moves on the beach on Saturday January 28th. Class instructor Joe McAllister is a senior Canadian police officer and he is volunteering to share his expertise with Ocean Academy. Mr. McAllister will be returning to the island in the Spring to offer self-defense classes to more students and community ....

Construction of another Upscale Resort to commence soon in San Pedro
Diamante – a development belonging to locals Lisa and Miguel Guerrero, has been in the works for over ten years. The huge sign erected on the beachfront property where well known BC’s Bar is located, raised eyebrows and concerns to some residents. The San Pedro Sun did some investigating into the matter to find out exactly what is going on.

Mayor Elsa Paz reports deficit for two consecutive years
Mayor of San Pedro Town, Her Worship Elsa Paz presented her end of term report on the night of Thursday, January 26th at the Lions’ Den. The presentation took place an hour later than scheduled and lasted a total of 20 minutes. The report, which outlined the last three years of her term, has left the community with even more questions than answers regarding the finances of the San Pedro Town Council. While the report does not say how much capital is available for the future Town Council or what is owed, the report shows that there has been two consecutive years of deficit.

Miss Elvia Staines Celebrates 80 Grand Style
Elvie’s Kitchen was packed, on Sunday, January 29, 2012, with family members and friends who delighted in bringing personal well wishes to San Pedro’s tourism icon, Miss Elvia. The special invited guests enjoyed delectable appetizers, drinks and dinner by Jenny Staines and staff and then danced with the music of Will and the Caribbean Shells.

Data Mining and Your ATM Card
It's the new wave of data-mining for dollars in the 21st century, coming soon to an ATM near you, and especially if you live in Guatemala. And even more so in one of the most heavily visited tourist destinations of Central America, Antigua, where a rash of cash has been mysteriously withdrawn by person or persons unknown.

Download the 2012 Belize Hotel Association Hotel Guide!
Whether you are a travel professional looking to steer your clients to Belize or a vacationer making your own arrangements, we trust that this guide will help you to find the perfect match in distinctive hotels, professional local tour operators and allied tourism services to prepare for that extraordinary Belize vacation.

The February 2nd, 2012 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • "One Eye Water!", General and Municipal Elections Same Day, Fonseca Calls for It, Barrow Calls It!
  • From the Desk of the Chairman: The Ballots will do the Talking
  • Careful What You Ask For Is the Opposition Ready for Elections?
  • Statement by Prime Minister Dean Barrow on the Announcement of General Elections
  • Grand UB Graduation: 405 Newly Equipped Agents of Development
  • Faith Lift: Purging the Pathway to the Conscience, By Zelda Hill
  • “Success Is Not a Sometimes Thing It is an All The Time Thing”, Main Address Delivered at 14th Commencement Excercise of the University of Belize, by Mr. Nestor Vasquez Chairman of Belize Telemedia
  • The Prime Minister’s Tour Continued in Guinea Grass, Orange Walk, Last Sunday
  • Electricity Rates Down! Went in Effect February 1, 2012
  • Water Rates Going Down! PUC Orders 7.2 Percent Reduction
  • Perseverance Pays off: Harmonyville Land Papers Processed
  • Haunted by their Past! Francis Fonseca and PUP want us to Forget
  • Always on the Wrong Side: Lisa Shoman Represents UNIBAM
  • Training for a Living in St Ann’s Twenty Residents Graduate from SIF-Funded Program

Investigations into the cause of a fire in the Stann Creek district on Thursday continue. Our Stann Creek correspondent Harry Arzu reports.

He explains that he agitated mightily for the PUP at its every turn to do what he thought was right for the people and country of Belize.

“The one day event had to do with Belize micro small and medium enterprise, MSME policy and strategy consultations. Opening remarks were made by BELTRAIDE's ...

The Museum of Belize will be celebrating its tenth anniversary and along with NICH have prepared a week of activities for the Belizean public.

And I think what the Belizean people expect from us is that we respond deliberately. That we act decisively and that we try to find, difficult as it may be, ...

Lewis was shot and killed in the parking lot of the Belize Healthcare Partners limited at the corner of Blue Marlin Boulevard and Teacher's Street.


Dissecting the Mayan apocalypse
Did the ancient Mayans really predict that the world would end in 2012, as millions of people believe?

James “Dandy” Jackson, 39, acquitted of murder
James “Dandy” Jackson, 39, an electrician residing at the corner of 3rd St. North and 6th Avenue in Corozal Town, accused of the murder of his common-law wife, Elena Estella Amador, 21, in 2010, was freed of the charge when a no-case submission was upheld in the Corozal Supreme Court yesterday.

International Motocross in Cayo on Sunday
International Motocross was the main attraction on Sunday, January 29, at the Peter August Stadium in Santa Elena, Cayo District. What began in Benque Viejo with International Motocross competition at the Free Zone area has grown into the Belize Motocross Association, with the primary participants being from the Mennonite communities.

Barrow rolls the dice March 7!
235 candidates face the people - 71 general, 164 municipal... General, city and municipal elections will be held on the same day... “We have achieved much …despite the super bond!” – PM Barrow... PUP, Unity Alliance call for change

Oil drilling referendum blocked: Elections officers reject 8,000 signatures on petition
The Election and Boundaries Department has submitted a report to Governor General Sir Colville Young outlining its findings on the verification of some 20,160 signatories to a petition originated by Oceana Belize and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage (BCSNH) last year that calls for Belizeans to vote in a referendum stating their position on drilling for petroleum offshore Belize’s coast and in protected areas.

Oil, or no oil, in Stann Creek?
Cho refutes Treaty claim of 6-million-barrel oil find: “Trace tar,” not “live oil”, found at well! GOB claims announcement of oil find was false – Treaty sticks to its line... Belize’s Director of Geology and Petroleum, Andre Cho, has indicated to Amandala that the statements by Treaty Energy Corporation, joint venture partner of Princess Petroleum, which has a concession to explore for oil both onshore and offshore Belize, proclaiming an oil find associated with a 6-million-barrel reserve in Stann Creek are “misleading.”

Flashpoint at Chiquibul
New Guatemalan president presses for investigation and punishment of culprit who killed Juan Choc Chub, 29... Perez Molina cites territorial claim: “12,700 kilometers of the 22,965 kilometers” occupied by Belize—just over half of Belizean territory... “Our people here have been screaming about incursions,” said Prime Minister Dean Barrow, reiterating his government’s commitment to continue to step up security presence on the border.

7 bullets for Mark Lewis, 37
He was gunned down just feet from the hospital steps... Shortly after 3:00 p.m. today, about 50 feet from the entrance of the Belize Health Care Partners Limited Hospital, located at the corner of Blue Marlin Boulevard and Chancellor Avenue in the Caribbean Shores area, Mark Lewis, 37, was shot about seven times in the upper chest area.

Angelo Dundee dies; trained Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard
In this February 1962 photo, then-Cassius Clay (soon to be Muhammad Ali) works with longtime trainer Angelo Dundee. The two were most recently together for Ali’s 70th birthday party on Jan. 17.

Premier League of Belize kicks off this weekend
The first competition of the newly formed Premier League of Belize, the “Top League” of the Football Federation of Belize, kicks off this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, February 4-5, with all 12 clubs seeing action. The League is divided into two zones, North (N) and South (S), with 6 teams each. According to the competition format, teams in each zone will play a double round-robin, after which the top two teams from each zone will advance to the 4-team playoffs, set to commence on April 15.

2012 National Cricket Competition begins
The Belize National Cricket Association (BNCA) SMART Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition 2012 gets under way this weekend with 7 games being played at different venues on Saturday and Sunday. The usual starting time is 11:00 a.m.

Foundation formed in memory of Ariel Rosado
It was less than a year ago that Belizeans bid a premature farewell to the accomplished and well-loved Ariel Rosado, 28 years old. Ariel lost his life on May 14, 2011, in a traffic accident on the Northern Highway. The high regard which Belizeans continue to hold for this stellar individual has spilled over into the formation of a foundation to aid Belizean youth to also achieve success in their own lives through education and sports.

OAS Ambassador visits Belize to discuss security
“We’re in a new world here. This is not just Belize; this is everybody...” Ambassador Adam Blackwell, Secretary of Multidimensional Security, of the Organization of American States (OAS), based in Washington, DC, met with the press in Belize City this afternoon along with Belize’s Ambassador to the OAS, Nestor Mendez, also the current chair of committee on hemispheric security of the OAS Permanent Council, to discuss a program of collaboration for Belize.

A return to 1993 …
This week Wednesday afternoon, at a family meeting chaired by the Kremandala chairman, Evan X Hyde, at his office on Partridge Street, PUP Lake Independence area representative, Hon. Cordel Hyde, said that he was on the verge of withdrawing his candidacy in Lake Independence for the general elections to be held on March 7.

Amandala: From The Publisher
One of the reasons I write about certain episodes and certain times in my public life is to establish the history in a definitive way, “concretize” it. It is important to do this so that the enemies of our people, and their stooges, who will want to revise history, cannot confuse and/or mislead the generations who come after us.

PUP Lake-I Incumbent Cordel Hyde Steps Down, 2nd Candidate To Step Down In A Week
Three-time Lake I Area Representative Cordel Hyde has stepped down; he will not offer himself to run in the 2012 General Election. It's the kind of thing that could have been expected -

PM Barrow: No Apologies For Another Assistance Program
And while the PUP is bracing for perhaps another blow, the government is proceeding fearlessly with another constituency assistance program. You remember the first one - it was called the C

Belize’s First Human Traffic Conviction Is For Waitress Forced to Have Sex
On Tuesday of this week, Belize saw its very first conviction in the fight against Human Trafficking when 54 year old Narciza Orellana, a naturalized Belizean who is a resident of Santa Ele

Carlos Espat's Alleged Killer Will Face Supreme Court Trial
And while the leader of the PUP says he hasn't heard from Mark Espat - the three time Albert Area Representative was in court today to hear the preliminary inquiry into his brother Carlo

New PUP Cari-Shores Candidate Dr. Hoy Says He'll Do His Level Best
Earlier in the newscast you saw PUP Party Leader Francis Fonseca express his hope that the party's vacancy in the Lake Independence division will be filed as seamlessly as it was in the Cari

PM Off To Miami With Wife
And while Hoy is hitting the ground running, the Prime Minister and Queen's Square incumbent Dean Barrow is not in quite the same position. He's never lost in Queen Square and does not

Double The Jeopardy For Weed-Loving Tourist
Often in our newscast that we report on tourists being busted by police with marijuana, and then sentenced to pay a fine after they plead guilty in Magistrate's Court. It is exceedingly ra

The "Gyaliss" Phenomenon In Jamaican Dancehall Music
If you're older than 30 you probably don't know what the Jamaican word "gyaliss" means. It's a Jamaican dancehall term used to refer to men who have lots of ladies - or plainly put, a woman

Lovers Will Get Last Taste Of Lobster
The Belize Fisheries Department has put on notice all fishermen, including the public, that Valentines' day will be the last day to extract one of the World's most sought after delicacie

These Big Dogs Need Watchdogs
30 year-old Shane Vargas a mason residing on Mirage Road in Ladyville, was today arraigned in the courtroom of Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart for theft. It is alleged that on January 29,

Museum Celebrates A Decade
In 2002, Belize's first central prison - known as "back-a-baptist" to us city folk - became a showcase for some of Belize's richest historical treasures. And now, ten years later, the Museu

Dara Still Doing It
Grassroots Philanthropist - Dara Robinson is having his 9th annual Bob Marley birthday tribute concert this weekend. Like everything else Dara does, the concert is not only to celebrate th

The Lake Remembers Cordel
At the top of the newscast we told you about the stunning but not altogether surprising news that incumbent Cordel Hyde had stepped down and would not be contesting the March 7th. election

Cordel Hyde steps down from P.U.P. Lake I
Tonight the People’s United Party is suffering another shock; a second standard bearer has withdrawn in one week and its four weeks to the March seventh general elections. Last Friday, Anthony Mahler stepped down from the Caribbean Shores Division and this morning Cordel Hyde via a press release, announced that he will not seek re-election [...]

Leader of Opposition says it’s a blow to the Party
This afternoon, News Five sat down with the leader of the opposition, Francis Fonseca. Fonseca, who took over the leadership last October, has been hit with the worst blow in modern political history coming from within his own party in the run up to the general elections. Fonseca was taking the resignation in stride [...]

Will Mark Espat step down from Albert?
So tonight the People’s United Party is in search for a new standard bearer for the Lake Independence constituency, a party stronghold in the past three elections. Fonseca says it is likely that Mark Espat will also step down. Francis Fonseca, Party Leader, P.U.P. “There was some level of anticipation regarding this decision. I had [...]

Belize’s 1st conviction on a Human Trafficking case
Human trafficking is a national problem, but most cases go unreported or unsolved due to the secretive nature of the crime. Well tonight, we report on the country’s first conviction on a Human Trafficking related charge. According to release from no less than the Magistrates Court itself, fifty-four year old naturalized Belizean, Narciza Orellana of [...]

Oceana defends Offshore Referendum
The other big news this week was the rejection of signatures collected by the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage for an oil referendum. On Thursday News Five spoke to Oceana’s Vice-President for Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd about the rejection of eight thousand signatures that were needed to push the referendum on offshore drilling. Shepherd [...]

Poll asks tough question about early election
This past Tuesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, officially announced that there will be early general elections, coinciding with the municipals on March seventh. But after weeks of denying the rampant speculation about early elections, what changed his mind? We put one possible reason to our viewers in the question of the week and asked: Is [...]

Pannel Kerr Foster S.S.B. Investigation concludes
Investigations by Pannel Kerr Foster into the scandalous Social Security insider trading are ongoing. The scandal broke early last month when we exposed that select staff members, including the C.E.O. Merlene Bailey, had reduced loans held with S.S.B. in order to benefit in a write-off announced by the Prime Minister of housing mortgages of fifty [...]

On the Campaign Trail in Carolyn’s Collet
She is one of three women on the opposition slate for the March seventh general elections. Carolyn Trench-Sandiford is also a deputy leader of the People’s United Party. In the tide that swept across the opposition in the last election, she lost, but this time around she says the powerful area representative in the Collet [...]

Ashcroft and Smith on Price’s fight for Independence
The book George Price: A Life Revealed, authored by attorney Godfrey Smith was launched on Tuesday in London. In our newscast on Thursday, we aired a report on the event which was held at the Senate House at the University of London. It featured Smith as well as Lord Michael Ashcroft, who spoke fondly of [...]

Carlos Espat Murder Trial sent to Supreme Court
In news from the courts, former educator and political scientist, Carlos Espat, was brutally murdered at his apartment in September 2010. Espat, who is also the brother of Albert Area Representative, Mark Espat, was found inside his bathroom with injuries to the head and chest. Four months after the incident, Nicaraguan national, Silvio Espinosa, was [...]

Ammunition case flops; Police armorer is abroad
And while Silvio Espinosa’s trial is being elevated to the Supreme Court, a case against Leonora Stevens was struck out by Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart today. The Belize City woman was accused of having as many as forty-one rounds of ammunition inside a suitcase at her house, which led to a charge of Kept Ammunition [...]

Passing out ceremony for new B.D.F. soldiers
The B.D.F. is now thirty-four years old and today they celebrated in grand style at Price Barracks. The Governor General, Sir Colville Young, Minister of Defence & Immigration, Carlos Perdomo and Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin, were all in attendance. But the crowd was mostly made up of family and friends who were there to see [...]

OAS and Police Ministry work on Security Issues
Security is one of the biggest headaches for the government and work has been ongoing between the Organization of American States and the Ministry of Police. At the helm of the project is OAS Secretary for Multi-Dimensional Security, Adam Blackwell, who is currently in Belize. Ambassador Blackwell has been busy in meetings with the Minister [...]

Initiative addresses Root of Criminal Activity
But it’s not all about the Police Department, according to Blackwell and Belize’s Ambassador to the US, Nestor Mendez. They explained that the initiative takes a holistic approach and also addresses the social ills at the root of criminal activity. Nestor Mendez “One of the areas that we have looked at is that you cannot [...]

Belize and Mexico discuss bus border issues
Belizean and Mexican officials met on Wednesday to discuss concerns about local buses crossing the northern border at Subteniente Lopez. Quintana Roo had proposed new regulations to be implemented on February sixteenth that would require buses from Belize to obtain road service permits and insurance to enter Chetumal. After the meeting, however, the Mexican officials [...]

Motocross winners in Santa Elena
The Motocross sport is one of few in which knowledge of mud; aerodynamics and engines are combined to elicit a fantastic visual show. On Sunday in Santa Elena no less than six hundred and fifty fans watched as twenty riders, including an import from Canada, took to the air and defied gravity. Tim Banman, the [...]

Jade Head display on Museum’s 10th Anniversary
The Museum of Belize is observing its tenth anniversary. Home to historical pieces of the Belizean Culture and an attraction for tourists, the museum is celebrating with ten days of entertaining and educational activities. Shari Williams, Communications Officer for the National Institute of Culture and History, says the celebrations will kick off on Sunday and [...]

Philanthropist Ras Dara gives from the heart
Belizean philanthropist and Unsung Hero 2011, Dara Robinson, is paying tribute to musical icon Bob Marley this weekend at two venues across the Jewel. On Saturday, fans of the late musician, those residing in the Sugar City, can look forward to conscious reggae vibrations as they experience live musical performances from Marley and friends on [...]

PlusTV to host Belmopan mayoral candidates debate next week Tuesday
All five of Belmopan’s Mayoral candidates will be a part of a debate to be held next week Tuesday. The debate is be...

Man seriously injured in Rosewood accident still in need of assistance
Earlier in January we reported on a rose wood related incident that took place in Punta Gorda. Anthony Edwards and ...

Concerned group of professionals submit report on HFLE book
Concerned citizens across Belize have been in a moral battle against the LGBT agenda being promoted in Belize by va...

Independent candidiate Marlon Skeen visits Rise and Shine
As political campaigning continues, a number of candidates from all parties have made their rounds at PlusTv’s Rise...

Cordel Hyde steps down from the PUP
Belize is less than five weeks away from a double election and two weeks away from nomination day and today, Cordel...

New details released in the death of Mark Lewis
38 year old Mark Lewis was shot and killed in Belize City yesterday afternoon. It happened in front of the Belize H...

Man pleads guilty to drug trafficking
41 year-old Steven Smith pleaded guilty to drug trafficking in court yesterday. Smith was arrested earlier this wee...

Prime Minister Barrow scheduled to leave the country
Prime Minister, the Hon. Dean Barrow, will leave the country on Monday February 6th. The PM will be accompanying hi...

Female security guard robbed while on duty
40 yr old Idorene Casey a, security guard of Wesley Junior College, reported to Belize City Police yesterday that w...

Lobster season closes in mid-February
The Belize Fisheries Department is advising the general public that in accordance to the Fisheries Act, the closing...

From the Campaign trail: Cordel to step down?

New exchibition opens at the Mexican Cultural Institute

Fabers Road man gunned down on the city’s north side
Murder in front of the hospital Murder has once again cast it’s malignant hand upon the community as the peace and quiet of West Landivar were shattered around three thirty...

Rescued Hawksbill turtle undergoes rehab

Family Of Antanacio Gutierrez Celebrate His Life After Death
Three years ago on February 2nd 2009, the life of cane farmer Antanacio Gutierrez was cut short when he was shot to death by security forces as he participated in a protest at the Belize Sugar Industries Compound. It is a day that has gone down on the history book, one that will always be remembered as Black Tuesday. The father of six was shot after Prime Minister Dean Barrow instructed ...

PUP Orange Walk Central Objects To 109 Names On Provisional List
One hundred and nine, that’s the amount of names that the P.U.P in Orange Walk Central are objecting to on the voter’s provisional list. P.U.P Orange Walk Central Area Representative Honorable John Briceno is represented by attorneys Dickie Bradley and Anthony Sylvester. The objection case is being heard by ...

San Jose Nuevo Palmar R.C School Inaugurates Two New Classrooms
In December of 2009 the former principal of San Jose Nuevo Palmar R.C School Leticia Perez submitted a proposal to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO for the construction of two new class rooms for the school. In October of last year the proposal was approved and with that the construction of the two new classrooms got underway. Today the class rooms were officially inaugurated during a special ceremony held at the school.

Oceana Speaks Out On Referendum Issue
Today Oceana, the largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation, fired off a press release questioning the rejection of over eight thousand petition signatures by the Elections and Boundaries Department. The letter sent by the Election and Boundaries department to Oceana states and we quote, “The total number of signatures REJECTED amounted to Eight Thousand and Forty Seven (8,047) or 40% of the signatures reviewed” end quote.

Folklore Storytelling Takes Place At The BHOC
One of the factors that create our identity is culture. Here in the north the most predominant culture is the Maya Mestizo and during this age of modernization, elders are employing different methods to keep the Mestizo Culture alive in order for it to be passed down from generation to generation. One of those methods is the use of Orature or in other words Oral Literature. The method is used by scholars to promote culture and history by word of mouth. That’s the exact method that the Banquitas of House of Culture with the assistance of Libertad Cal used this morning as they organized a folklore story telling for students.

O/W Athletes To Represent In El Salvador Sporting Event
Here at CTV3 we always welcome stories that involve youth in a positive manner. With that said, today we shine the spotlight on two youth from the Orange Walk District who along with two other youth from Belize City will be representing the country of Belize in a three days sporting event scheduled to take place in El Salvador. The team will head out to El Salvador next week so this evening we paid them a visit while they underwent training at the Orange Walk Peoples Stadium.

February 3, 2012

Coconut Trees: Who Knew?
Did you ever wonder why some coconut palms look like this? And others like this? Well...despite the fact that the trees are a major part of the landscape on Ambergris Caye, they probably aren't native. And they are surprisingly susceptible to disease. A menacing illness called "Lethal Yellowing" has killed many of the coconut trees across the Caribbean and has been present in Belize for about 20 years. The bacteria spreads from tree to tree by tiny bugs and once your tree gets it...its life span is short. Very short.

Mayor Paz Highlights Accomplishments with Street Plaques
Have you noticed a few workers around town plastering cement blocks in the corner of streets and have asked yourself what is going on? Well don’t question yourselves anymore, the answer is this: Mayor Elsa Paz is highlighting her accomplishments with street plaques.

Jerry Jeff Walker performs in San Pedro
Annually, renowned singer and songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker has been coming to Ambergris Caye since 1997. Each year “Camp Belize” draws hundreds of fans who are treated to different musical concerts while on the island. Many of the 300-plus fans include musicians that have travelled from all over the world, mostly from the US, to see him perform in the Caribbean setting.

30 Weddings in 30 Countries
Imagine taking a two-year trip around the world – what a great opportunity! Now imagine that in the two year span, you get married 30 different times, in 30 different countries. That’s precisely what Alex Pelling and Lisa Marie Gant are doing. The nuptial junkies chose the southern district of Punta Gorda and with help from the Toledo Ecotourism Association they exchanged vows in a a traditional Maya wedding. For their photographs, they chose Conch Creative.

Valentine was remanded to Belize Central Prison while the minor was remanded to the youth hostel. The incident occurred around midday on Sunday, ...

Oceana-Belize submitted twenty thousand, one hundred and sixty signatures, ... Vice President of Oceana-Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd told Love News via ...

The mid-afternoon shooting incident that claimed the life of Faber's Road resident Mark Lewis happened just a stone's s throw away from Belize Healthcare ...

Thirty three year old tour guide Justin Lopez who allegedly bit police constable Alfonso Aban on his finger, was charged with aggravated assault when he appeared today in the number one Magistrate’s Court. Lopez pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Forty one year old Steven Smith, a mason residing at the corner of Oleander and Tulip Streets, was sentenced to three years in prison and fined ten thousand dollars today in the number four Magistrate’s Court after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking.

Immigration Builds a Nation!! - New Belizeans Thank Government for Support
They paraded with the Belizean flag and begged for the Prime Minister's autograph. ... She has been living in Belize for twenty-six years and has a ...

Prime Minister Announces Date of General Election
We have pushed infrastructure development in a way that has never been seen in Belize; and our roads and bridges network, especially in the South and North, ...

Guilty of drug trafficking
... the bus and found her in possession of 200 grams of marijuana in a kitbag she was carrying inside an Albion Bus heading from Orange Walk to Belize City.

Tyrell Hyde lands relative in court again
There is not a single legitimate investment in Belize that can yield more returns on the dollar than an investment made in Belize Telemedia Limited.

Men charged for bogus gun licenses
They are 31 year-old Alwin Gonzalez, a car dealer of Guadalupe Street, Belize City; 36 year-old Answorth Dawson, an ex-police officer who now works as a ...

Gas attendant accused of stealing from his workplace
There is not a single legitimate investment in Belize that can yield more returns on the dollar than an investment made in Belize Telemedia Limited.

Police officer charged with extortion
He says that at around 10:30 last Thursday, he was being towed in a silver Toyota Tercel from Belize to Lords Bank. Tate told police that when he arrived at ...

Who borrowed most
Then you have them going around asking the Belizean people to vote for them? ... Once bitten twice shy… they took the people of Belize for a 10-year ride ...

Where 7 News is Failing
In Belize, there are some media houses that are always pro-government. They are gentle in their reporting of government issues. There are media houses that ...

Buggers Need to Worry About Those Not Making Noise - UNIBAM Case ...
On Monday, January 30, UNIBAM's case against the Government of Belize was heard before Justice Michelle Arana in the Belize Supreme Court UNIBAM wants ...

Guinea Grass Leads Election Charge!!!
On Sunday, January 29, Prime Minister Barrow told residents of Orange Walk South, “The elections will be called soon, very soon.”...

Double Up - Two elections in one
Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow held a press conference on Tuesday January 31st in which he announced that the elections, both the Municipal and the General will be held on ...

Police officer charged with extortion
A police officer, attached to the Ladyville formation, is currently facing criminal charges after he extorted money from a man. That officer is police constable #1124, Amir ...

Education vs. Telemedia for interoffice softball championship
The 10th Annual Belize City Interoffice Softball Competition will come to an end on Friday February 3, 2012 at Rogers Stadium with the championship game between Education the number one seed and Telemedia the number four ...

The Wrong Side of History
Over the ages, we may not have progressed far towards perfection as individuals but gradually, in fits and starts, our societies have moved towards a respect for human rights that acknowledges the value of each individual. We may not have found the perfect governance model but we can all agree that imperfect democracy is superior to dictatorship, even benign dictatorship.

Guatemalan Foreign Minister Visits Belize To "Protest" Shooting Of Guat Citizen
This afternoon a man was shot six times in board daylight in front of Belize Healthcare partners in Belize City. It is a stunning crime - particularly so for the residential neighborhood ...

Coalition Referendum, Verdict: DOA
Last night we broke the news that that the referendum triggered by the coalition to save our natural heritage was DOA, dead on arrival. Dead because the elections and boundaries office fou...

Man Executed On City's Northside
Today a man was executed with ruthless and brazen efficiency on the north side of Belize City. It happened in front of Belize Healthcare Partners Limited which is at the entrance to...

Justo Lopez Charged
For the past two nights, 7News has been following the story of Justo Lopez, a 33 year-old tour guide of Peter Ashdown Street in Belama Phase 2. On Tuesday, we spoke to him from his hospita...

Charged For Jacking Chawla of 100K in Cash And Checques
Last night, we reported on the robbery of businessman Vinod Chawla which netted the assailants over $100,000. Three men ambushed Chawla at his Amara Avenue home on Sunday afternoon and robbe...

Independents Unite! The Belize Unity Alliance
Every night on this newscast you can see the mass parties jostling for political standing with their fancy, forceful sometimes funny political ads. But you won't see the independent candida...

Three Years in Jail for Drug Trafficker
Today in Magistrate's Court, a man received a stiff sentence after he pleaded guilty to the charge of drug trafficking. 41 year-old Steven Smith, a mason living in the Saint Martins area, ...

Fire at Albert Street Fast Food Joint
There was a fire last night - at a popular fast food joint on Albert Street. Firefighters were called out to the location at around 9:30 last night where they saw Andrea's Fast food stall ...

Different Abilities, A Different Kind Of Art
Today, a photo-voice exhibit was launched at the Institute of Mexico. It's different because it shares the perspectives of people with diverse abilities. "Picture This: Our Diverse R...

Justice Lord Never Meddled
Last night you heard from CELIA Munnings - the woman accused of theft from Hazel Lord - who says the position of Lord's Husband, Justice Herbert Lord influenced her being charged. Additio...

Murdered in front of Healthcare Partners
There was a fatal shooting this afternoon in the city and it’s another tragedy for the Lewis family of Fabers Road. They are still mourning the loss of eight-year-old Marquis Mahler who was gunned down in the family yard last year. This afternoon, thirty eight year old Mark ‘Power’ Lewis was murdered. Lewis was a [...]

High Level Meeting on Shooting of Guatemalan
A Guatemalan national was killed on Saturday along the western border in the Chiquibul. The foreign Minister of Guatemala, Harold Caballeros and his vice minister flew into Belize today to protest the fatality. It’s Caballeros first visit to Belize since the change of government in Guatemala last month. Caballeros met the Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington [...]

Guatemalan Minister speaks on other incidents
The Guatemalan Minister also raised a red flag that there have been other incidents in the past which were not triggered by Guatemalans. And while investigations are ongoing, early reports say that the B.D.F. fired the shots that took the life of the Guatemalan farmer. Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington “It doesn’t matter whether you are legitimate [...]

Defence Minister speaks on other incidents
There was another meeting that took place this morning involving Defence Minister Carlos Perdomo and B.D.F. Commandant Dario Tapia. Perdomo established that there were four patrols. According to Perdomo, the shooting of Chuc took place well within Belizean territory and was in self defense. Carlos Perdomo, Minister of Defence “The investigation is showing that the [...]

Both Foreign Ministers say that Belize/Guatemala issue to head to ICJ
The two Foreign Ministers also addressed the issue of the Belize/Guatemala claim. Both concurred that the matter will be heading to the International Court of Justice. Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington “Both our governments, whether it’s P.U.P. or U.D.P., both are committed to go to the ICJ and both are committed to educating and inform our people [...]

Chief Elections Officer explains why $8,000 signatures rejected
The referendum on oil exploration has been rejected. It’s a major setback for the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage that collected a total of twenty thousand, one hundred and sixteen signatures to trigger a referendum on oil exploration, both offshore and in protected areas. The Coalition received the bad news on Wednesday when [...]

Untrained public officers examined signatures
Fourteen public officers, who had not training on calligraphy, were commissioned to scrutinize the petition list of twenty thousand signatures over a period of two months. Tamai says that in some cases the election officers gave participants the benefit of the doubt based on the similarities in handwriting. At today’s press conference, Elections Officer Francisco [...]

Oceana Belize not giving up on referendum
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage intended to hold the referendum on the same day of the general and municipal elections on March seventh. And according to one coalition member, government ministers have already taken to the airwaves to shoot down the initiative. But the coalition will not give up on its movement [...]

Lavish spending to seduce the electorate
In other news, leading up to the Christmas, the government undertook what it calls the Constituency Assistance program. U.D.P. area representatives and standard bearers were able to access forty thousand dollar each for the ham and turkey bonanza. Well, with the general elections and municipal elections just five weeks away there is more lavish spending [...]

“George Price: A Life Revealed” in London
In London this past Tuesday, attorney and author Godfrey Smith launched the book George Price: A life revealed. The event was organized by the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and the Institute for the Study of the Americas. A wide cross section of personalities including Belizeans living in the United Kingdom attended the launch, which was [...]

John Briceño object to 100s of registrations
Before the announcement of the date for general elections, there was a rush to naturalize thousands of immigrants and register them to vote. One U.D.P. Minister even admitted to paying the registration fees for those in his constituency. But there have been reports of fraudulent addresses and bribery. This morning in Orange Walk, Area Representative [...]

Residents challenge their name removed from voter’s list
Meanwhile in Belize City, eleven Port Loyola residents are challenging the removal of their names from the voters list. The matter came up before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith this morning and the disgruntled residents were represented by Attorney Darrell Bradley, who filed an appeal. At least six senior officers represented the Elections and Boundaries [...]

Andrea’s Fast Food gutted in fire
A popular food vendor on Albert Street lost everything on Wednesday night when a fire swept through her business. The owner of Andrea’s Fast Food has been operating out of Albert Street for more than a decade and was a favorite lunch place for students and employees in the downtown area. Hours after Roxana Nunez [...]

Extra house Store owner robbed of $100,000
A Belize City businessman of Extra House Store was robbed on Sunday of over one hundred thousand dollars in cash and today two persons, including a minor, were arraigned before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart. Lloyd Valentine was charged along with a sixteen year old for Robbery with a Firearm. Bail was automatically denied since the [...]

On the campaign trail in Carolyn’s Collet
In Wednesday’s newscast we interviewed Collet area representative Patrick Faber as part of our campaign trail series leading up to the March seventh General Elections. In the interest of objectivity, we also interviewed his opponent, P.U.P. standard bearer Carolyn Trench-Sandiford, who responded to allegations made against her concerning the issuance of false land titles during [...]

Independents and 3rd parties go national
If you don’t want to go red or blue on Election Day, third parties and independent candidates are making their way onto the ballot slip for March Seventh. The Vision Inspired by the People, the People’s National Party and several independent candidates held a joint press conference at the Chateau Caribbean this morning to announce [...]

Exhibition by People with Diverse Abilities
Ten percent of Belize’s population are persons with diverse abilities and they want you to picture their reality. In a photo exhibition launched this morning at the Institute of Mexico, differently abled persons answered three important questions, How accessible is Belize is to me? How can I share my talents with you? And should my [...]

Ambassador comments on buses crossing border
This morning, Ambassador of Mexico to Belize, Mario Velasquez, hosted the media at a breakfast at the Institute of Mexico. After he engaged the journalists in a discussion about current events, including elections and the UNIBAM case, Velasquez fielded questions from the media. We asked him for an update on the issue of Belizean buses [...]

Healthy Living says stand up and stretch
Chances are you may be sitting and watching this newscast and if you’ve been locked in for the past hour, then here’s some very important medical advice: you need to stand up and stretch. You’ll find out more about how prolonged sitting takes its toll on your body in this week’s Healthy Living. Marleni Cuellar, [...]

Third parties and independent candidates form alliance
With double elections less than five weeks away, the political race is on at full speed. Political ads have increas...

PUP area rep hopefuls share vision for their constituencies
The campaign trail is on and Peoples United Party Representatives for Cayo South and Belmopan Constituencies; Juliu...

Reality Youth holding concert at The Bliss
Belizean dancehall gospel artist Realty Youth is getting ready for another of his blazing gospel concert as he call...

Man fatally shot in broad day light
A Belize City man was gunned down this afternoon in Belize City. 37 year old Mark Lewis was reportedly shot as many...

Allege victim of police brutality charged with attempted murder
Police say they have formally arrested and charged Justo Lopez with attempted murder of PC White. Lopez appeared on...

Mother and son arrested in connection to home burglary
Earlier this week we reported that Belmopan Police are investigating a case of burglary. 49yr old Kent Herrera, an ...

Port Loyola voters challenging ejection from voter's list
Eleven Port Loyola Voters are challenging the removal of their names from the voter’s list. Darrell Bradley, the re...

Owner of RC Imports robbed at gunpoint
A Belizean businessman and Owner of RC Imports and Xtra House located on Cemetery Road in Belize City, was robbed a...

The Mexican Embassy presents: "Picture This: Our Diverse Reality"
The Mexican Embassy hosted the opening of the exhibition “Picture This: Our Diverse Reality”, today; which shares t......

Willy Cruz's Case File Still Being Reviewed By The DPP
On December 23, a sixteen year old minor from the Corozal district accused U.D.P Town Councilor Willie Cruz of having sexual intercourse with her against her will. After the report was made the Corozal Police Department launched an investigation and later sent the case file to the Department of Public Prosecutions for advice.

O/W Central Area Rep. Speaks On Early Elections
As we mentioned last night political pundits are already saying that Barrows decision to call early elections may have been influenced by the fact that the PM could not afford an embarrassment should his party lose major ground in the March 7th Municipal Elections. While there are many speculations as to why the Prime Minister called early elections, because it’s definitely not to save tax payers

Mr. Quitar Does It Again Another Family Loses Their Land Under The Barrow Administration
Yesterday you heard about Vicente Chuc, a resident of Trail Farm who told P.U.P Orange Walk North Standard Bearer Jorge Briceno that his land is being taken away by the government. Seventy year old Vicente Chuc, who is a born Belizean, claims that he has being paying for his parcel of land located in the Area of Black Water Creek since 1977 and now it is being taken away. Here is what Chuc told us today.

Vega's Political Gimmicks Will Get Him Nowhere Says P.U.P O/W North Standard Bearer
The days leading up to both Municipal and General Elections will without a doubt be interesting ones. Both major parties have oiled their political machineries and from the looks of it the campaign towards elections is in full swing. In the Orange Walk North constituency, represented by the Honorable Gaspar Vega, last minute works are presently being done in efforts to gain political mileage. But according to Orange Walk North PUP Standard Bearer Jorge Briceño, Vega’s bag of tricks won’t work.

PUP Town Council Slate Holds Meeting At Pasadita Area
For the past weeks the Orange Walk PUP Town Council slate has been holding neighborhood meetings throughout the town. The idea is to hear the concerns of residents and at the same time the team shares the plans they have in order to bring development to the community. Last night the neighborhood meeting was held in the Pasadita Area where numerous issues where discussed and

Campaign Towards Double Elections Set For March 7th In Full Swing
n his press conference yesterday where he announced that Municipal and General Elections will be held on March 7th, the Prime Minister of Belize Dean Oliver Barrow fielded a number of questions from the media. Apart from being questioned about the reasons behind the calling of early elections, which he stated was to save tax payers money

February 1, 2012

The Full Spectrum: From Black & White Bar to Wine De Vine
A friend of mine had some work to do yesterday down south, so I tagged along. We would grab lunch and a few beers on the way back. Sounds good to me...I always like checking out new areas and new places. We ended up on a strange tour...a mix of the lesser known places, the newer places, the shadier places and some of the nicest places. Confusing I know. Let me explain. We drove down a mile or two and I stopped at a relatively new condo community/hotel that I've never visited before...Hol Chan Reef Resort.

SP AIDS Commission Expense Report
In July 26, 2011 the San Pedro Aids Commission presented to the public a financial report which was from January 1 to June 31, 2011 which stated in details their expenditures which totaled to $7,383.46. The group is once more pleased to make public their most recent details on how they are spending its funds and distributing assistance to those in need.

GOB says NOT YET to Oil Find!!
The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment informs the general public that the information being circulated to the media houses by Treaty Energy Corporation relating to oil discovery in the San Juan #2 well in southern Belize is false and misleading.

NDACC Seeks Assistance from San Pedro Community
The National Drug Abuse Control Council, NDACC, has two officers responsible for Belize Rural South; namely, Ms. Kristina Romero, Drug Educator and Ms. Joyce Eliis, Outreach Caseworker. Although, they do not have an office on the island as yet, they are very much committed to helping the residents of San Pedro. During the past year, they have both visited the schools and assisted them in Drug Prevention Education as well as counseling when it was deemed necessary. However, their work doesn’t end there; and they are now asking the San Pedro community to assist them in making this island as drug-free for our children as possible.

UK “Wild Productions Limited” Films for Animal Planet Europe in Belize
Earlier this month Cherie Chenot-Rose, Research Biologist and Owner of ACES/ American Crocodile Education Sanctuary, was contacted by Jim Incledon, Creative Director and Cameraman for “Wild Productions Limited,” about filming the ACES team in action for an international wildlife rescue, research and conservation series. Excited to share their crocodilian conservation efforts here in Belize, Cherie and Vince Rose, husband and ACES Croc Behaviour Expert, said of course! The series is titled “Wildlife SOS” and will air later this year on Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet.

Ailing Hawksbill Turtle being treated in San Pedro
A 65.2lbs Hawksbill Sea Turtle is currently is the care of Marine Biologist, Kirah Forman at the San Pedro Hol Chan Office. On Wednesday, January 25th a little boy down in Hopkins caught the trapped Hawksbill Turtle (the most endangered sea turtle in the Caribbean and on the IUCN Red List (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) that was very weak and wasn’t doing very well.

Northern Regional High School Football Competition Held
The Northern Regional Football Tournament was held on Saturday, January 28th at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town. A boat full of over sixty students, fans and teachers left the island on Friday afternoon around 4PM to brave the waters to what was certain to be a big victory for both male and female football teams. Arriving in Orange Walk a little after 8:30PM, the kids had just enough time to grab some food and head off to bed to get rest for the following day’s games.

Samuel McCuller, a sixteen year old student of Belize City, is reported to have left home on Friday and up to when she made a report to the police on Monday ...

Where we went wrong, we have said that to the Belizean people, but we did many things right when we were in Government. I have said many times I am very ...

A few years ago the Belize Municipal Project came on stream to assist several municipalities across the country. Since then a number of workshops have been ...

A shooting incident in Belize City last night has left one man injured. The victim has been identified as thirty eight year old Manuel Urbina.

The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage wrote to the PM's office requesting that the Offshore Oil Exploration and Drilling Referendum be held on ...





Is the Mayan prophecy being exploited for profit?
As the end of the Mayan long count calendar approaches, countries such as Mexico, Guatemala and Belize have launched tourism campaigns aimed at promoting ...

Referendum Application Fails: 8k Signatures Not Legit!
The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage gathered eighteen thousand signatures, that's more than the 10% of the electorate required to trigger a referendum - in their case, on...

Armed Robberies In City/Businessman Robbed of 100K!
There was an armed robbery in Belize City this morning - fortunately no one was hurt. At 8:45 two men slipped behind the steel door at Payless Store on Administration Drive in the...

Bze Security Forces Kill Guatemalan: MFA Says He Was In Belize
There's been another flare-up along the western border with Guatemala, and this time it's proved deadly! And it happened only days after that country's Foreign Minister and Defense Chief...

Man Beaten By Police Gets Out Of Hospital/Into Custody
Last night we told you about a man who ended up in the emergency room at the KHMH after he claimed that he was beaten up badly by police officers. Well, this morning he got release...

Repeat Shoplifter Asks For Jail Time
Nelson Lockwood, a 42 year-old unemployed resident of Sand Hill Village, was found guilty of his second theft in two weeks, when he appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart today. ...

Munnings Says She Didn't Steal
On Monday night, we told you of Celia Munnings who was arraigned in the Magistrate's Court for allegedly stealing from a Hazel Lord, the wife of Justice Herbert Lord. As was mentioned i...

Man Knocked Down By Rosewood Truck Calls Out For Help
On January 8th, Punta Gorda Resident Antonio Edwards and his 3-year-old son were returning home from church when a flatbed pickup truck carrying Rosewood barreled around a corner and a...

Tyrell Hyde Gets Another Relative In Trouble
In August 2011, Glenn Tillett, a journalist and talk-show host, was charged along with his 20 year-old step-daughter for handling stolen goods after police raided his home and discovered...

Man Shot In City
A man was shot in Belize City last night. 38-year old Luisito Manuel Urbina was shot in the abdomen last night on Amara Avenue. The Hispanic construction worker was walking down Amar...

Belize's First Flying Turtle!
Ever heard of a flying turtle? Well, we saw one today; it flew in from Punta Gorda on a Tropic Air flight! The mature female hawksbill was found a few days ago in distress in the ...

Cancer Lecture In Belize
It's reported that the global burden of cancer is expected to increase because of aging and lifestyle practices that expose us to cancer causing agents. It is also known that 64% of all ca...

G. Smith Launches Price Biography In UK, Ashcroft Guest Speaker
For the past two days, we've been telling you about the Panorama investigative series in the United Kingdom which exposes Lord Michael Ashcroft's connection to Johnston International, a co...

PM leaves to join wife for medical treatment
Prime Minister Dean Barrow on Tuesday announced early general elections to coincide with the March seventh municipal elections. The campaign is now in full swing and all political parties are oiling their machineries. This Friday, parliament will be dissolved and according to section eighty-four, number six of the Constitution, the ministers will continue to function until [...]

Dr. Hoy 20/20 Vision on Caribbean Shores
The campaign season is in full bloom and the extended newscasts due to political adverts are no less entertaining if not informative propaganda. The fluid situation in Caribbean Shores has been engaging. Minister Carlos Perdomo stepped down after a convention and was replaced by Santino Castillo in the U.D.P. The People’s United Party last week [...]

On the Campaign Trail in Patrick Faber’s Collet
With both municipal and general elections set to go on March seventh, aspiring candidates are hitting the campaign trail. This afternoon News Five’s Isani Cayetano caught up with Patrick Faber, the chairman of the U.D.P. and the Minister of Education and Youth. Faber hasn’t lost in the past two election and he says he is [...]

Guatemala President wants investigation into fatal shooting
There is mounting tension tonight over the shooting death of a Guatemalan farmer that took place over the weekend. The situation bears watching because there is a new government in Guatemala headed by Otto Perez Molina, a retired military general. It is the first such incident under his presidency and Perez Molina wants a full [...]

PM’s NO to ‘Humble’ Referendum Request
The Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage will not get the Referendum on Offshore Drilling on the same day of the General and Municipal Elections. The Prime Minister outlined the reasons at Tuesday’s press conference saying the coalition had it wrong. And there’s more tonight because thousands of the signatures have been rejected. It’s a [...]

Referendum rigor mortis; 8,000 signatures rejected
Moments ago, Coalition Coordinator, Tanya Williams contacted News Five to say that they have received devastating confirmation that Elections and Boundaries have rejected over eight thousand of the eighteen thousand signatures needed to trigger the referendum. The Coalition maintains that the signatures are legitimate and says it will not give up on its mission to [...]

More problems for man injured by Rosewood Truck
An accident on January eighth has left Anthony Edwards incapacitated. Edwards, his wife Justina and their children were walking home from church in Jacintoville, Toledo when a truck, carrying rosewood logs, came speeding around a curve. One of the logs hit Anthony, who had just crossed the street with their infant son. The child had [...]

…Injured child recovering
We asked Justina about the condition of her baby boy, who was also injured in the accident. And while Anthony was not in the best condition to speak, he told us how he is doing. Anthony Edwards, Accident Victim “Good up to now.” Delahnie Bain “Any pain or anything?” Anthony Edwards “Well right now, no [...]

Accident victim readmitted. Who’s to blame?
A primary school student has been re-admitted to the hospital following a traffic accident in Santa Elena, Cayo. The five year old was prematurely released from the K.H.M.H. and had to be rushed to another hospital when his condition worsened. That aside, the family of Damion Flowers says they are in need of assistance but [...]

New immigrants get new land
The recent mass naturalization of immigrants to meet the deadline for registration of new voters turned into a nationwide scandal, especially when it came to light that processing was being done in questionable locations. And while the mad rush is over, the concerns about the new Belizeans have not subsided. There are still lingering questions [...]

Shot on Amara Avenue, but still alive
A Waight Street man was injured on Tuesday night, in what appears to be a random shooting. Thirty-eight year old Luisito Urbina was walking on Amara Avenue when two men simply walked up and shot him. Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Police, Raphael Martinez gave News Five further details on the incident and [...]

Spitter jailed and mom cries down the Court
On Tuesday, police were executing a bench warrant for the arrest of Guany Zhao at his Lakeview Street home, but they also took his mother into custody after she tried to prevent police from taking her son. Zhao, who also put up resistance, kept the police out of his house for two hours with chains [...]

Chuc says his slate will become F.F.B. Executive
The Municipal and General Elections may have the attention of thirty-one constituencies, but there is another election that has the attention of the sporting community. The Football Federation of Belize, FIFA’s agent in Belize, has given notice to its Members of the date for its upcoming Congress as March fifteenth. The Electoral Committee has been [...]

Voters say what’s most important to them
About two weeks ago, Karim Berges commissioned an independent poll on the elections. An analysis of the numbers shows that there is a slight difference in support for the U.D.P. and P.U.P. this close to the elections date. While the polls registered a high percentage of undecided voters, the figures also showed that the electorate [...]

PUP Elects New Standard Bearer For Caribbean Shores Constituency
The Peoples United Party has elected Dr. David Hoy as their new Standard Bearer for the Caribbean Shores Constituency after Anthony Mahler stepped down due to personal reasons. Dr. Hoy is an outstanding member of the community and has served the Beliz...

Resident Of Trial Farm Says His Land Was Taken Away And Given To A UDP Supporter
And talking about land there is another person who is claiming that the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources Honorable Gaspar Vega took away his parcel of land and gave it to a U.D.P supporter. The victim is Vicente Chuc, a resident of ...

San Juan Residents Demand Compensation For Damaged Cane Fields
Back in November 2011, residents of San Juan were up in arms after learning that their parcels of land awarded to them by the Peoples United Party was being surveyed by a group of surveyors allegedly hired by the Minister of Natural Resources and the Envi...

Ministry Of Natural Resources Refutes Reports On Findings Of Black Gold
Yesterday media houses across the country announced the reportedly discovery of black goal in Southern Belize. The news that Treaty Energy Corporation struck oil in the San Juan #2 well located near Independence Village spread like wild fire. So did the c...

P.M. Says Yes To Elections On March 7th But No To Referendum On Offshore Drilling
Today during his press conference the Prime Minister also announced that the referendum on offshore drilling will in no way be held on March 7th. Honorable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize “My examination of the law tells me that it can’...

PUP Leader Says Time For Change Is Here
And what does PUP Leader Honorable Francis Fonseca have to say about early elections? Immediately after Dean Barrow made his announcement, Fonseca, in a televised message made it known that the time for change has come. Francis Fonseca “The UDP ca...

Municipal And General Elections To Be Held On March 7th
The suspense is over. On Friday the Governor General will dissolve the National Assembly and Belizeans will go to the polls to elect a new Government on March 7th, the same day that they will elect a new Municipal Government. The news came around ...

Accused child molester on the run
Belmopan police are looking for a man accused of sexually molesting his 10 year old step daughter. A Guatemalan dom...

MOE investigates disturbing report in Succotz school
The Ministry of Education says that it is investigating a complaint made by a parent from the Village of Succotz. T...

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