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3/21/2012 to 3/31/2012
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March 31, 2012

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The San Pedro Sun

Cultural Day celebrated at various Pre-schools on the Island
hild stimulation month ran throughout the month of March countrywide under the theme “Early Childhood Education: Start Early – Aim High!” As part of the month-long activities, this week the pre-schools on Ambergris Caye took time out to highlight the various cultural groups in Belize. While ABC Pre School and Little Angels celebrated Culture Day on Tuesday, March 27th, San Pedro Pre-school held their the following day. Students dressed in their best cultural costumes depicting the various ethnic groups that make up our country, Belize. Showcasing the typical outfit, traditional food items, important musical instruments, and handmade arts and crafts of the Maya, Mestizo, Creole, Garifuna, Chinese and even North Americans, the children enjoyed various interactive activities. As part of the cultural activity, the students along with teachers prepared posters and colorful displays on the history of the various ethnic groups and their cultural aspects that make them unique. In a similar fashion, the San Pedro Pre- School held their cultural day activities on Wednesday, March 28th. The teachers took time out to speak to the children about the contributions made and the importance of ethnic groups in Belize. Children also had an opportunity to ask questions as they learned small but important facts on each group. The children shared cultural food that they took to the school as part of their activities. Parents also took the opportunity to visit the display put together by the young children with the assistance of the teachers.

Medical Students Intern at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez PolyClinic
Six medical students are at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez PolyClinic II for a two week elective program. The students came to the clinic through the Medics Away program. Medics Away Ltd. is an international organization that offers highly rewarding overseas experiences for medical students and professionals through electives and activity breaks in a wide range of destinations. Medics Away Ltd was founded in 2003 with the aim to help qualified 3rd, 4th and 5th-year student doctors with the fulfillment of their medical electives. The six students at the PolyClinic are from two universities in the United Kingdom. Four of students are from the University of Warwick Medical School in Warwick, England, while two students are from the University of Nottingham Medical School in Nottingham, England. According to Dr. Zuniga of the PolyClinic, “These students basically go to other countries, primarily third world countries to have a different feel for the medical system in each of the countries they travel to. Every year we have a couple students that come in. The students that we have now come from a program called Medics Away, but we usually get contacts from the students themselves. Normally we are contacted by the students and we require them to send us letters that state that they are studying medicine in a particular university, a letter from the university and a CV. We send it to our managers who then approve that they can come to the clinic to do their electives.”

Belize Premiere League comes to San Pedro
After almost an entire season of playing home games away from home, the Seadogs are now able to play their remaining three home games here on the island. According to SP Seadogs secretary, Phillip “Billy” Leslie, “Our request for home games has been granted. From the inception of the San Pedro Seadogs, we have been denied the chance to hold home games because of inadequate representation. The person we sent to represent us did not fight San Pedro’s case, because he wasn’t from San Pedro. We have made the required adjustments to the stadium and we are confident that we will win our remaining three games which will place us in contention for the other round.” Football fans across Ambergris Caye are invited to come out this Sunday, April 1st to cheer on the SP Seadogs as they go up against FC Belize at the Ambergris Stadium. The game starts at 2:30PM with a $10 cover charge at the gate.

Caye Caulker Water Quality
Belize Water Services Limited (BWS) has become aware of some esthetic problems with the water on Caye Caulker, with customers reporting a salty taste. In order to rectify the situation as quickly as possible, BWS has dispatched a team to the reverse osmosis plant to perform remedial works including installation of new filter membranes. BWS expects the water quality to be restored by March 30, 2012. At BWS, quality service and customer satisfaction are two key objectives. We apologize for any inconvenience caused to the residents and consumers in Caye Caulker.

Caye Notes: What’s happening in San Pedro this weekend
NACNW Holds BBQ Fund Raiser The North Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch (NACNW) will be holding a BBQ fund raiser on Saturday, March 31st, across from the old Beach-N-Kitchen just before the Palapa Bar. SACNW Hosts Beach BBQ and Family Fun Day On Sunday, April 1st the South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch (SACNW) will be hosting a beach BBQ and Family Fun Day. The event will be held on the beach just south of Athens Gate. San Pedro Library Offers Children’s Easter Programs Thanks to the great response, the San Pedro Town Library is able to provide a Children’s Easter Program. The dates are April second, third and fourth for children ages 7 – 10. The time will be from 10am until noon and 2PM to 4PM. Miss Isla Bonita Elementary School 2012 Pageant Saturday March 31st, 6:30pm until 11:00pm at the Angel Nunez High School Auditorium. Cancer Society Hair Aware Fundraiser Saturday, March 31st at Central Park from 9AM.

Ambergris Today

Liquor Licensing Board Takes Strong Stance
The complaints in San Pedro have mostly been about terrible conditions of streets, and dust and poor beaches and dirty areas, but lately they have been about bars. The complaints are about noise pollution in some bars that are not sound proof, late opening hours and lately also the fact that prostitution is rampant and blatant in many bars on the island. One caller to the radio morning show lamented: “I am disgusted that I am taking my children to school in the morning and we bump into these three prostitutes, half naked and drunk making a dirty scene right in front of their bar. My children have to put up with this and I must give explanations to them.” “But this and many other irregularities are going to stop,” said Jennie Staines, Chairperson of the San Pedro Liquor Licensing Board. She explained that the committee, which includes the Mayor, is going to make some dramatic changes to solve these problems that have been plaguing San Pedro for ages.

Child Stimulation Month Comes to an End!
Child Stimulation Month was celebrated under the theme "Early Childhood Education - Start Early - Aim High!" All five pre-schools on the island carried out fun and educative activities through out the month of March. Students enjoyed activities such as story telling, granparents day arts and crafts, cultural day, hug day, sports day and much more. Child Stimulation Month came to an end on Friday, March 30, 2012, as all five pre-schools gathered to part-take in a grand closing parade through the downtown San Pedro. Participating schools were ABC Pre-School, San Pedro Pre-School, Little Angels Pre-School, Brighter Tomorrow Pre-School and Holy Cross Pre-School.

TEEN TALK: The Price of Popularity
What is popularity? Popularity is dated back in the early 1490’s derived from the Latin word ‘popularis’ meaning well liked or common. It is a quality in which a large number of people are fond of you, giving you a high social status. Popularity can be attained by the influence of your actions or simply the style you portray physically. Someone who is constantly admired for performing a good deed may become popular among a certain group of people. Just as easily, someone who is a bully at school or “the class clown” becomes popular among peers who indulge in these actions for their satisfaction. A kind of stereo type is created with popularity. You can be popular among the athletes, the “nerds”, or the party goers. Being popular is a responsibility. It may bring positive and negative advantages. You are respected, appreciated more than others and not to mention easy passes to parties or other fun events. But it also brings hatred from others for no particular reason and even verbal or physical bullying for too much high social status. When one is popular they must understand that they are being watched all the times and they should be careful to be good role models. Being popular, for all the wrong reasons, is dangerous as it moves others to follow in your footsteps.

Isla Bonita Elementary Pageant Contestants Pampered
Miss Isla Bonita Elementary Pageant 2012 Takes Place this Saturday - This year Isla Bonita Elementary School will have four lovely candidates vying for the title of Miss Isla Bonita Elementary. Each has been working hard, together with their classes, to raise money for improvements to the Isla Bonita playground and lunch area. On Friday, March 30, 2012, the four contestants Caroline Sersland, Joyce Martinez, Martha Alica Vasquez, Alejandra Hackson and outgoing Queen Grace Brown were given much pampering courtesy of Escape Spa (Kristi Gonzalez) just before the big event on Saturday, March 31, 2012. They were given manicures, pedicures and facials so that they glow on stage and look their prettiest. Come out and show your support as the candidates and students of Isla Bonita perform. The evening will be filled with dances, modeling, talent presentations, Evening Gown presentation as well as numbers by Barbara’s Dance Company!

Misc Belizean Sources

Easter information for Businesses
Under the laws of Belize as exercised by the Stann Creek Liquor Licensing Board please note that from Midnight on Holy Thursday until Midnight on Good Friday no establishment on the Peninsula may sell any alcoholic beverage. This does not mean that restaurants or grocery stores must close; only that they refrain from serving or selling alcohol. In fact, due to the large number of expected visitors we encourage restaurants to open Good Friday and serve our hungry guests. All employers should also note that the following days require payment of overtime as follows: Good Friday: Double Time Saturday: Time-and-a-half Sunday: Regular work day if part of normally scheduled hours, Time-and-a-half if not part of regular hours Monday: Double Time

CBVA now recruiting volleyball players
The CBVA is looking for volleyball players. They practice on Mondays and Fridays at 5:30pm at Independence Park. Email [email protected] for more information.

Channel 7

Yolanda Schakron's election petition was denied in the Supreme Court today. On Monday, preliminary arguments were delivered before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Schakron's attorneys argued that the Returning Officer for Lake Independence, Noreen Fairweather, had overstepped her legal bounds when she she disqualified Schakron based on her dual citizenship. The attorneys for the Mark King and the Attorney General's Ministry contended that this matter had already been decided upon by Justice Legall in the injunction case which was heard on nomination day, February 17. In court today, Chief Justice Benjamin pointed out that Justice Legall's ruling still stands and it has the backing of the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Benjamin said quote, "The decision from Justice Legall is a final one on the matter, and stands in full force." And with that said, the Chief Justice ruled that the application was refused and ordered that the appellants pay $5,000 to the respondents in court costs. Lisa Shoman, attorney for the appellants, spoke to the media outside of court, and, out of defeat, she conjured victory: she said that this decision affirms their position that the Returning Officer was wrong when she disqualified Schakron on nomination day.

And While Mark King dodged that election petition; he still has another one pending in the Supreme Court. It has been filed on behalf of Martin Galvez, Schakron's brother. According to the PUP, they have filed the application for this new petition because at the time of the election, King was under a government contract, which effectively disqualifies him as a candidate. It was to be heard in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin this afternoon, but neither King nor Noreen Fairweather, who are named as respondents once again, would allow legal officers to serve them with the legal documents. Both sides were not adequately prepared to go to court and as a result, as a result, the hearing was postponed until Tuesday.

Tonight, 19 year-old Akeem Thurton, the man convicted of the attempted murder of attorney Rodwell Williams in the first trial without jury, is serving the first night of a 15 year sentence handed down by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. In court today, Thurton was given a last chance to speak. He said quote, "My Lord, I don't agree with this. You chanced me." End quote. He finished his address and Chief Justice Benjamin then outlined the method he used to decide on the appropriate sentence. According to Chief Justice Benjamin a social worker did an in-depth assessment of Thurton's background, and there were several mitigating factors pointing to a lighter sentence. Firstly, Thurton had no previous convictions for any kind of offenses before the court.

He was a highly regarded, senior police officer commanding a sensitive post as the head of Eastern Division's Special Branch, but in May of last year, Sargeant Sherwood Wade had a mighty fall from grace when he was criminally charged for possession of counterfeit currency. But, it was all for nothing, because today, Sergeant Wade, got off on the charge of possession of counterfeit currency. The charge was simply withdrawn in the courtroom of the Chief Magistrate. The exact reason for the withdrawal is not known, but highly placed sources told 7News that the prosecutor did not have any evidence at his disposal to successfully prosecute this case. A key point that must be proven in the charge of possession of counterfeit currency that the accused person knew that the money was counterfeit and that he or she then still tried to use that money. The prosecutor did not have evidence to prove that Sergeant Wade had this knowledge when he tried to deposit this money in the Belize Bank.

Tonight, a family of 7 from Hattieville is homeless and after their two storey wooden home burnt down this afternoon. They lost everything - and they told Robin Schaffer that it all started when they were cooking beans on fire hearth - and a piece of firewood fell:.. Robert Usher, fire victim "Piece of the firewood dropped on the floor and no one noticed it and that's how it started. I didn't even know because I was resting. It was when she came then she alerted me and told me that the house was under fire." "When I got up I got a hammer and start to whap the wall where the fire was. The wall came down on me; I didn't know that it was already spreading. I thought that if I whap out the wall then the fire would not spread to other parts of the house." "But I had to run out the way because when that heat jump in my face, it nearly killed me. I had to run out the way. I start to get the children out and some of the things that I could have save."

Tonight 11 year old Katarina Ishim is on her way to a hospital in Tennessee - where she will receive lifesaving surgery. Arrangements were worked out through the Gift of Life programme and a Christian missionary group. She left Belize this morning on a United Airlines flight. As we've reported, the 11 year old from San Pablo in the Stann Creek district has a massive tumor growing on her face. The tumor started growing in 2010 and then it was surgically removed in August of 2011. It started growing back aggressively this year - and has to remove immediately.

Two unlicensed guns along with ammunition were found in a Corozal hotel room leading to the arrest of three men. Just after midnight on TUESDAY, Police stopped three men who were walking down 6th Avenue in Corozal Town. One of the men was Emmanuel WILLOUGHBY, who is wanted in connection with an Aggravated Burglary in Crooked Tree Village. All three men were searched and nothing was found except a hotel room key. So, the 22 year old unemployed Belize City resident was taken with his friends to the hotel room at City Light Guest House. The police conducted a thorough search, even looking in the ceiling, and their labor was rewarded when they uncovered a seriously dangerous prohibited firearm: a .357 magnum revolver loaded with (6) live rounds, and (1) Glock 19 9mm Pistol, with (1) magazine containing (14) live rounds.

Lisel Alamilla is Belize's first Minister of Sustainable Development. The career conservationist was recruited into the second Barrow Administration to try and smooth out sometimes turbulent relations with the conservation community. And the effort to normalize those relations began in earnest today with the first meeting between the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations, APAMO and Minister Alamilla. It's a follow up to a meeting APAMO held with all political parties before the general election, and for this one, APAMO asked its members to submit a laundry list of issues. Today - after seeing that list - Alamilla said her ministry will take as much as it can on board - but there are limits to what she can do:..

The Forestry Department also participated in today's meeting. Before the election, that department had become the scourge of conservation groups because of its lax position on a largely unregulated rosewood trade. But one of Minister Alamilla's first actions when she got into office was to effect a moratorium. The pleased the conservationists but angered rosewood cutters and traders. Today Chief Forestry Officer Sabido told us that an inventory of all rosewood is underway, including those trees that are still standing in the forest and those that have already been felled. He outlined the plan going forward:.. Wilbur Sabido, Chief Forestry Officer "There will be several teams out in the field in the Toledo District and parts of Stann Creek because it is occurring in the Stann Creek District as well to go in and start doing assessments of the material that is already cut."

The Central American Integration System, SICA will be making its presence more pronounced in Belize. That is after SICA Secretary General visited with Belize's foreign minister, Wilfred Elrington. Elrington explained that he would wish to see SCIA become as well known as CARICOM in Belize:.. Hon. Sedi Elrington "We think it is exceedingly important that the Belizean public know much more about what is going on between Belize and SICA. It's an integration movement similar to what is happening in Caricom." "We are very convinced that we can't have a real integration movement unless the people, the ordinary people in the society are fully aware of what is being done at every step of the way."

A police report has been made against Minister of National Security John Saldivar. According to a caller to a morning show this morning, she made the complaint after she and Saldivar's party got into a testy verbal exchange last night in Cayo. 7news has confirmed that there was a very heated exchange between Saldivar's group and the woman - and, if you can believe it, it all started over an order of garnaches - you heard it right, garnaches! Apparently Saldivar and his group of about 8 were getting some late night garnaches after an evening out. They were waiting for their order to finish - and Saldivar reportedly took one of the garnaches that the vendor was preparing - before she had finished the order. The woman - who had also ordered garnaches - protested loudly that Saldivar had taken one of her garnaches. They got into a back and forth - and Saldivar's crew jumped in verbally attacking the woman.

Tomorrow night, the Bliss Institute for Performing Arts will feature an internationally renowned Israeli piano duo. The Silver-Garburg piano duo have performed all over the world and Belize is the 65th country that they will be playing in. Their concert is free, but our intern Robin Schaffer discovered that isn't what makes this show a must-see. She caught up with them shortly after they landed and found out what will make tomorrow's performance expressive, elegant and romantic. Gil Garburg, Silver - Garburg Piano Duo "We just landed about 2 hours ago. It's beautiful and very relaxing here. The way from the airport we saw the Belize River. We will see how it goes, we are still only a few hours here." Sivan Silver, Silver - Garburg Piano Duo "Music is music, it's not really important for how many people it is played and it is an important venue - for us every concert is important. In every concert we experience the music and also the listeners are part of this experience."

Channel 5

Schakron election petition request denied
The March seventh election may be behind us, but the battle is not over in a number of constituencies. The People’s United Party is filing applications for election petitions in at least four areas. This morning a decision was handed down in the case of Yolanda Schakron, the first petition that was filed. The drama ...

But Brother Galvez serves Mark King for Lake I
It wasn’t to be the last appearance of Shoman in court today. On behalf of the Martin Galvez, Shoman filed for leave to apply for an election petition regarding Mark King whom they allege did not disclose a contract for security services with the government of Belize as the law mandates. Shoman contends that the ...

Felled rosewood prior to moratorium will be sold
In Thursday’s newscast we reported that Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla met with dealers and loggers in Boom Creek and Santa Teresa to discuss a way forward in the wake of a recent moratorium on rosewood extraction. Since the suspension on March sixteenth stakeholders have been up in arms over losses they have had to ...

Minister says loggers were informed about the moratorium
In response to the argument that loggers were taken by surprise, Alamilla said that had they been informed of a moratorium prior to its implementation, there would have been unchecked extraction of the precious wood across Toledo.   Isani Cayetano “Looking at the moratorium, it doesn’t have a deadline per se. Can you tell us ...

Girl with tumor flown out of country for lifesaving surgery
Catarina Ishim, the young girl from San Pablo, Toledo is on her way to Tennessee tonight. She arrives there shortly after ten o’clock on a journey that will hopefully change her life. Catarina is diagnosed with Leimyosarcoma, which is a rare and malignant type of tumor that develops from smooth muscle tissue. She has been ...

15 years for man who shot Rodwell Williams
He was convicted on March fifteenth of the attempted murder of Attorney Rodwell Williams and today Akeem Thurton was back in the Supreme Court to learn his fate. Thurton was facing as many as twenty-five years to life in prison, but after reviewing a social report on his character, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin handed down ...

Case of cop with counterfeit notes folds in court
The case against Sergeant Sherwin Wade fell apart in court today. Back in May, 2011 Wade was busted at the Belize Bank where he was found with sixteen hundred dollar bills in US currency. He was charged with the Possession of Counterfeit Notes, pleaded not guilty, was granted bail and then placed on interdiction. Today, ...

Fire in Hattieville; Family loses everything
Tonight a Hattieville family of seven is left homeless after fire gutted their home this afternoon. Head of the household, Robert Usher lost his home and business, neither of which was insured. While the family lost everything, they were able to get the children out, including a seven year old and a twenty-four year old ...

Man shot by cop gives his version of shooting incident
The Caye Caulker man, who was shot by police following a raid early Thursday morning, is speaking out. Three small parcels of marijuana were found inside the house, occupied at the time by three persons including, twenty-five year old Tyson Williams; whose name was reported by police as Tyson Rodriguez. The police also reported that ...

Soldiers accused of cheating on assignment
A Belize Defence Force Lieutenant who was discharged from his duties last month is fighting his termination. Leslie Roberts says his troubles date back to January 2010 when he and another Lieutenant took a Junior Command and Staff course in Jamaica. Both soldiers were accused of cheating on an assignment and while the allegations were ...

Soldier wants justice
Passing the exams should have meant an automatic promotion for Roberts from as far back as December 2009. But after inquiring about why his documents were not submitted, he still wasn’t promoted; instead he was discharged from his duties a second time. Roberts says he still hasn’t received his official walking papers but he has ...

Secretary General of SICA in Belize on working visit
Secretary General Juan Daniel Aleman Gurdian of the Central American Integration System (SICA) ended a brief working visit to Belize this afternoon during which he met with Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington. Their discussion included a range of issues and regional initiatives such as the establishment of a SICA office here in Belize. Following the ...

Establishing a SICA Office in Belize
According to Aleman and Elrington, establishing a regional SICA office in Belize will make certain that the political and security issues facing the nation will be addressed in a timely manner.   Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs “It’s an initiative to set up two sub regional offices here in Belize to strengthen the ...

Music of Christopher Martin and Black Chiney
It’s the pre-Easter weekend and to get you in the mood for dancehall and reggae, two renowned artists will be rocking the north. Devon Lambey of Red carpet Entertainment says that you definitely have to head up North where Christopher Martin and Black Chiney will be making appearances in Orange-Walk and a concert in Corozal. ...

Mista Cleave new Music Video
Last year the tornado craze swept the country, but will it be an earthquake next? Well, Belizean-American Artist, Mista Cleave, says he is dropping his brand new video, earthquake. Mista Cleave, who arrived in Belize from L.A. on Thursday evening, says he will be all over the country promoting his music.   Mista Cleave, Artist ...

Chief Villanueva takes Band Fest to Corozal
The biggest national showdown of marching bands takes place this weekend in Corozal. It’s the annual Band Fest that is organized by RSV Limited. According to Band Fest Committee Member, Julia Carillo, the event was a dream of Governor General Sir Colville Young and the station C.E.O., Rene Villanueva Senior took up the task after ...


Pope Benedict criticises US trade embargo on Cuba
Pope Benedict XVI has criticised the 50-year-old US trade embargo imposed on Cuba, as he ends a visit to the island. The Pope called for greater rights in Cuba, saying he wanted a society in which no-one was denied basic freedoms. This aim was not helped by economic measures wh...

27-year-old Keron Rosa has been detained pending a charge of drug trafficking. Police reports are that a police officer attached to the Intermediate Southern Formation was travelling on a James Bus from Dangriga to Belmopan when a man with a cooler entered the bus and took a seat. ...

Three men have been hit with firearm charges. Police in Corozal say they were on mobile patrol on Wednesday morning when they saw three men walking on Sixth Avenue. One of the men, 22-year-old Emmanuel Willoughby of a Belize City address is wanted in connection with an aggr...

There was cause for celebration this morning at the Holy Angels Roman Catholic School in Pomona Village. The opening and dedication of the new classroom building is a shining example of what community cooperation can accomplish. Through the efforts of benefactor William Bow...

The Rotary Club of Punta Gorda yesterday recognized winners of Rotary’s Poetry contest in Punta Gorda. Presentations of award prizes to recognize top students of the Poetry contest highlighting Social Issues were made to winners by Punta Gorda Rotary President Olive Woodye. The t...

Yolanda Schakron, the woman who replaced Cordel Hyde for the PUP in the Lake Independence area, has lost her chance to present a Petition before the Supreme Court. In his ruling before midday today, Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin, denied Schakron permission to bring forth her Pe...


Yolanda Shakron’s election petition denied
This morning Yolanda Schakron and her supporters gathered at the Supreme Court to hear whether Chief Justice Kennet...

Court summons served to Lake I's representative Mark King
Late last night court bailiffs visited the homes of Mark King in Belize City and Noreen Fairweather in Belmopan. Th...

Katarina Ishim receives funding to remove malignant facial tumour
Viewers will recall the sad ordeal of 11 year old Katarina Ishim who has a rapidly growing tumor on her face. Today...

International artists gear up for grand concert tomorrow
YC Belize is here! The high energy, interdenominational annual youth conference is scheduled for tomorrow March 30t...

Efforts to serve Returning Officer Noreen Fairweather unsuccessful
Noreen Fairweather, who was the Elections Returning Officer, should have been served a summons to appear in Court r...

New interactive learning program launched
Tiffany Simpson launches her new interactive learning program. Learning has become even more interactive and fun – ...

Man caught trafficking drugs on James bus
A police officer attached to the Intermediate Southern Formation makes an in transit arrest. The officer reported t...

Cyclist knocked on the Western Highway
A road traffic accident took place last night between miles 43 and 44 on the western highway. Driver of a black car...

Three slapped with multiple charges after bust
An unlicensed firearms and ammunitions arrest was made in Corozal. On March 28 at 12:30am, Police on mobile patrol ...

Korean tour guide robbed
Ms. Kim Mi Young is a Korean Tour Guide who resides at Sea Side Guest House in Belize City. She reported to police ...

The Guardian

Hurricanes Junior girls win game in junior competition
The Belize City Junior Girls’ competition continued on Saturday March 24, 2012, with two more games on the schedule. In game one, Blazers Juniors handed the defending champions Avengers its first defeat of the 2012 competition by the score of 10-8. The winning pitcher was Ashley Lucas and the losing pitcher was Kayle McFadzean. In game two, it was the Junior Hurricanes turn to drop their distress on the Avengers when it handed them its second defeat of the competition by the score of 23-16. The winning pitcher was Rebecca Nicholson and the losing pitcher was Kayle McFadzean. The competition will continue on Saturday March 31, 2012, with two more games. At 2:00 pm, in game one, Blazers Junior Girls will go up against Hurricanes Juniors and in game two, Blazers Junior Girls will see action against Avengers in this now weekly double header.

University of Belize hosts 6th Natural Resources Management Symposium
Scientists from the University of Belize (UB) and Belize as well as natural resources managers and students of the university along with regional and international counterparts converged on March 22 and 23, at the University of Belize Central Campus, Belmopan to chart the way for the sustainable management of natural resources in Belize. The two-day symposium was held under the theme: “Conservation through Cooperation: Practical Approaches for the Management of Natural Resources in Belize.” It was designed to bring together researchers, managers, students, government agencies, and NGOs engaged in natural resource management in Belize, to share their findings and evaluate the status of resource management in the country. Keynote speaker, UB’s scientist, Dr. Elma Kay of the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) led off with a presentation on ‘Partnerships for Conservation and Sound Natural Resources Management in Belize: The ERI Experience.’ ERI, the premier environmental research institute in Belize, provides sound science and creates a culture of evidence-based decision-making in areas relevant to Belize’s sustainable development.

Mirage Lady Rebels capture Belize City Senior Female Softball Marathon
The 78th Belize City senior female softball campaign opened on Sunday March 25, 2012, at Rogers Stadium, the home of softball, with the traditional one-day showcase marathon competition. The competition was officially declared opened by Mrs. Gretel Lashley, Honorary Life Member of the Belize Softball Federation, former second baseman for the National Women’s Team in the mid 60’s and early 70’, former batting champion and stolen bases champion. Lashley, in her remarks, challenged the players and coaches to develop their skill levels and to excel at the game of softball. The Marathon Competition featured all four teams that will participate in this year’s competition. In the final game, it was the Mirage Lady Rebels team that defeated Telemedia by the score of 10-6 to capture this year’s marathon competition. Mirage Lady Rebels pounded the pitching of Telemedia’s starter and loser Mary Flowers for 10 runs on 7 hits including a run producing doubles by pitcher, Lanisha Jones and centre fielder, Marsha Cassasola. Meanwhile, Telemeida scored 4 runs on 5 hits. The winning pitcher was Lanisha Jones and the losing pitcher was Mary Flowers, who had relief help from Elaine Humes.

Police United and FC Belize maintain Leads in Premier League
The Premier League of Belize Football Competition continued over the last weekend with six games across the country. On Saturday, March 24, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the visiting San Pedro Seadogs defeated World FC by the score of 3-2. The goal scorers for the San Pedro Seadogs were Kent Gabourel in the 39th minutes of play and Francisco Mejia in the 45th and 70th minute of play. Meanwhile, the goal scorers for World FC were Carlos Vasquez in the 35th minute of play and Richard Carrillo in the 68th minute of play. At the Isidorio Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the Belmopan Bandits and San Ignacio United FC played to a 1-1 draw. The goal for the Belmopan Bandits was scored by Jacinto Bermudez in the 40th minute of play, while the goal for San Ignacio United FC was scored by Amin August in the 41st minute of play. Meanwhile, at the MCC Grounds here in Belize City, Police United continued on its winning streak when it edged the visiting Paradise/Freedom Fighters by the score of 2-1.


Brazen thieves stole boat and sleeping watchman!
The watchman was sleeping on board a 32-foot Twin Vee Weekender fiberglass boat with two attached black Suzuki 250 HP outboard engines when thieves stole it and towed it out into the open seas. When the boat was being taken away through the canal waterway behind the property of the owner, the watchman was awakened by the movement and he jumped off the boat; the thieves continued towing away the boat and escaped with the prize

Stepfather’s beating broke 2-year-old’s leg
He was found guilty of grievous harm... “…the child is at a high risk of present death if returned to the same environment”... Carldeen Lawrence, 20, was today found guilty of grievous harm against one of his two stepdaughters. The incident, which occurred in June of last year, was addressed by the courts when the verdict was read and a fine was imposed.

Guat prez, Perez Molina, raises eyebrows with daring drug decriminalization proposal
Belize says discussion cannot advance without the US, the major consumer.... “Let it pass through.... We are getting fed up with what is happening, of the way the consuming nations are not helping us properly,” Belize ambassador to Guatemala recounts from statement by Guat president... Guatemala’s recently installed president, Otto Perez Molina, who was elected on a platform to tackle the issue of the nation’s security, made a radical proposal this past weekend at a Central American Drug Summit, to decriminalize the consumption of drugs now deemed illicit, and also to decriminalize and regulate the transshipment of such drugs.

Tyson ran; the cop shot!
Caye Caulker resident shot by police during drug search... Tyson Rodriguez, 25, a resident of Dangriga, is presently recovering from gunshot wounds to his abdomen at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was shot by police in Caye Caulker.

CitCo pay-mistress terminated
Swindled $69,000 from City Hall coffers in two years... CitCo and Central Government audits failed to discover the scam... Effective tomorrow, Friday, March 30, the end of the financial year, pay-mistress for the Belize City Council, Shirlene Sabal, accused of fleecing her employers of $69,586 in 2010 and 2011, will be terminated.

Gunmen invade UB ITVET compound posing as students
3 students robbed at gunpoint of laptop computers, cell phones and jewelry... One day after the finance officer of the YWCA on St. Thomas Street in Belize City was robbed at gunpoint by a lone gunman who got away with around $3,000 in cash and checks, three students of the University of Belize engineering department were also robbed at gunpoint around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27, while they were in class in the UB building on the ITVET compound on Freetown Road.

Petitions, petitions, petitions …
UDP strikes at Francis Fonseca – PUP goes after Mark King and Herman Longsworth... UDP’s Chang alleges Fonseca won Freetown by bribery – seeks court’s permission to file election petition; PUP says Longsworth and King have undisclosed contracts with GOB. “By virtue of Section 46(c) of the Representation of the People Act, the election of a person as member of the House of Representatives shall be declared void where bribery was committed...” 58(1)(h) says”...a person who is a manager of a company which is a party to any contract with the government for or on account of the public service and has not within one month before the day of election, declared publicly and in a newspaper circulating in the electoral division for which he is a candidate, a notice setting out the nature of the contract and his interest or the interest of the company therein” is disqualified.

FFB “bruk,” but not broken
FFB Executive promises “new day” for Belizean football... On March 15, 2012, the 14-year reign of President of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB), Dr. Bertie Chimilio, was democratically ended by free and fair elections carried out at the Federation’s headquarters in Belmopan.

2012 Cross Country dreams
The countdown is on to the 84th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic but, like when we would say, “di Crismos money no come yet, but i wahn come,” there is a doubtful feeling of hope mixed with creeping despair gnawing at the insides of Belizeans, especially cycling fans, as we look toward the approaching day and ponder the possibilities. It is natural; the last time a Belizean won the Cross Country was in 2006 when Shane Vasquez proudly wore the precious garland.

Big Wire’s farewell ride in Cross Country
It symbolizes the end of an era, and certainly conjures up nostalgic memories of past glory days, as today the most legendary name among active cyclists, Michael “Big Wire” Lewis announced that this will be his last Cross Country ride in 2012. Apologies, corrections to “Oscar’s Year,” our Wednesday issue story on Junior Cross Country 2012 In our lead cycling story in our last issue – “Oscar’s year, Oscar Qurious, Jr. completes sweep with 2012 Junior Cross Country garland” – there were some unfortunate errors in the names we gave for a few of the other top finishing positions.

EU signs 3 agreements with Caribbean for US$110 million
Special assistance earmarked for Belize – details to be discussed during April mission... Chief Executive Officer in the Belize Ministry of Economic Development, Yvonne Hyde, the focal point for European Union matters inside the Government of Belize, informed our newspaper today that a mission of the Caribbean Forum of African Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) is due to come to Belize in April, at which time the specifics of the assistance for Belize, under an EU-financed agreement, should be discussed.

EDITORIAL: Belize City and the PUP
In a couple post-general election editorials, we have commented analytically on the fact that the People’s United Party (PUP) defeated the United Democratic Party (UDP) by some 3,000 votes in the so-called Out-Districts of Belize. We have not examined the reasons why the UDP smashed the PUP by more than 5,000 votes in Belize City. This is what we propose to do now

From The Publisher
“In 1789 the French West Indian colony of San Domingo supplied two-thirds of the overseas trade of France and was the greatest individual market for the European slave trade. It was an integral part of the economic life of the age, the greatest colony in the world, the pride of France, and the envy of every other imperialist nation. The whole structure rested on the labor of half-a-million slaves.

Thomas Charlesworth rails about city traffic
Dear Editor, Kindly allow me a space to vent my frustration about some of the things that a driver must endure here in Belize. First, let me start with all these “dollar taxis” and taxis in general. There are too many dollar vans on Mahogany Street, and let’s not forget the buses. The Licensing And Transport Board’s guide to public service tests states at number 23: “The driver of a public service vehicle may pick up passengers at any place.” Now understanding that, all taxi drivers take that literally to mean that they can block traffic, stop at the corner or any place that they are hailed, and the same goes for the buses. Then there are the pedestrians who for some reason or the other think that they have the right of way at all times. Imagine this, there is a sign clearly marked on the Northern Highway and by Atlantic Bank. It says, “Prohibited Crossing 7 to 9,” but each and every day there are people who ignore that sign.


March Winds
We have definitely been experiencing strong March Winds this year, as a result divers were grounded a few times from going out. Thankfully wind has settled down a bit. The picture below was taken to show you just how windy it was at our house. We woke up one morning to discover that one of our pool loungers had been blown around big time. The one on it’s side was that way to dry out it is the one that was upside down that and a few feet away from where it originally was that surprised us. I also had a report from Eileen at DandE’s that pollen was very high for mid March in North Ambergris Caye.

Belizean Gacho
Gacho is a very simple meal to make that truly satisfies. Beans and cheese are very nutritious and flour tortilla is very filling.This is one of the meals I make often when the cupboard is bare.

International Sources

VIDEO: Quest for the Lost Maya Promo
The PBS documentary "Quest for the Lost Maya," featuring Dr. George Bey and Millsaps students, will air nationally on March 28 at 9 p.m. Central/10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (check your local listings). Produced by National Geographic, the documentary was filmed in the summer of 2011 at Millsaps' Kaxil Kiuic Biocultural Reserve in Yucatán, Mexico. National Geographic became interested in work at the reserve after an article in USA Today in August 2010 reported on Bey's research about why the ancient Maya suddenly left their homes in Kiuic.

Very Early Thoughts On The 2012 Hurricane Season
I wanted to post some very early preliminary thoughts I have regarding the 2012 Hurricane Season, which starts, unbelievably, in a little more than two months. First off, as far as I can determine, we are out of the La Nina phase of the ENSO and are in neutral conditions. I think for the upcoming 2012 Hurricane Season, we will be on the warm side of neutral and transitioning into a weak El Nino as we get into September, October and November. Additionally, the eastern Atlantic is colder in terms of ocean water temperatures as compared to recent years. This, I think, means that long tracked storms will be very far and few between and our development will be in-close, mainly west of 55 and 60 West Longitude. Looking at the weather pattern from this winter and into the spring, there are quite a few years that pop out at me for analog years. They are:

5 appealing trends in retirement lifestyles
Belize: Cheap — and they speak English Despite its Central American setting, Belize uses English as its national language, so visitors and retirees don't have to worry about understanding the lingo. The country is also popular with Americans because it’s possible to live here comfortably for less than $25,000 a year. A complete meal in a mid-price restaurant, for instance, will cost under $40 for two — and if you like fresh seafood, this is your culinary paradise. Belize also has big appeal as a retirement destination for active couples who love snorkeling, scuba diving and jungle trekking.

March 30, 2012

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

Ramon’s Village adopts the Boca del Rio Park
World renowned Ramon’s Village has embarked on a very positive community project that sees the adoption of the Boca del Rio Park. The park, which has been gradually deteriorating, will see a significant facelift which will be conducted in different phases. The estimated cost of the investment by the time the Boca del Rio Park is fully renovated will be in the vicinity of $50,000. The project will see the renovation of the basketball court, the installation of bleachers, construction of picnic tables, improvements to the playground and beautification. Einer Gomez, General Manager of Ramon’s Village explained, “We noticed the deterioration of the park and decided to adopt the park.” Shortly after approaching the former San Pedro Town Council, plans were made to first address the issue of the basketball court. New backboards where ordered and made in Belize City by a local artist. The backboards were installed and the court has a fresh coat of paint. Gomez explained that currently they are looking at installing bleachers and are considering whether to construct them from aluminum or wood.

Be Kind Belize Graduates 2012
Be Kind Belize was established in 2007 to promote humane education in Belize. Humane education is based on the concept that all life is precious and is practiced by teaching young people the value and importance of treating all living creatures with kindness. As part of the programme children learn about self respect, caring for others, how to behave responsibly and understanding the consequences of their actions. Through classroom activities and research projects they learn why it is important to be kind to their family, friends, classmates, community, animals and the planet and how kindness makes Belize a better place. On the 20th and 21st of March students from Holy Cross Anglican School Standard 2 and Island Academy Standards 1, 2 and 3 graduated from the Be Kind Belize programme.

Tyson Rodriguez shot by Police in Caye Caulker
Details forthcoming from Caye Caulker are that PC Chuc, a police officer attached to the Tourism Unit shot Tyson Rodriguez sometime around 7AM Thursday, March 29, 2012. Rodriguez, who is believed to be mentally challenged, is originally from the Stann Creek district. He had been living in the back neighborhood of Caye Caulker, where his neighbors took care of him. Police are not releasing any information at this time. However, neighbors are speaking to The San Pedro Sun, telling how Police initiated an impromptu search in Rodriguez’ apartment (for reasons unknown). Rodriguez, unaware of what was happening, decided to flee and officers set pursuit. He ran through various streets in Caye Caulker until he reached the beach side around Tom’s Hotel. Witness accounts state that Rodriguez was critically injured when he was shot in the abdomen. Rodriguez was rushed to the Caye Caulker clinic, then transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he is listed in critical condition.

San Pedro Chapter of the Belize Red Cross holds fundraiser
The San Pedro Chapter of the Belize Red Cross (BRC) held its first major fundraiser on Sunday, March 25th at the Legend’s Burger House. Commencing at noon and going through 7PM, the fundraiser was a huge success and raised $4,310. According to organizer and Red Cross representative for San Pedro, Laurie Norton, over 150 people came out throughout the day to support the cause. Activities included; raffles, 50-50 draws, Legend’s “King Kong” burger eating challenge, Chinese auction and the hoola-hoop contest among others. There were also lots to eat and drink.

Primary school students sit first part of PSE 2012
7176 Standard Six students from across the country sat the first part of the Primary School Examination (PSE) on Monday, March 26th. The main purpose of the PSE is to measure the achievement levels of students who have completed their primary education in Belize. At the San Pedro High School, which is one of the examination centers in the Belize District, 197 students sat the PSE. The students are from Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. According to the Ministry of Education, out of the 7176 students that registered for the 2012 PSE, 3562 are females and 3614 are males. This represents a 3.9% increase over the 2011 students registered. 17 of the examinees were registered as private candidates and 140 as special needs candidates.

Caye Caulker Police Shoot Tyson Rodriguez
The Caye Caulker police are under heavy criticism from some of the community members after a police officer shot a man on Thursday, March 29th. While police have not released the name of the officer The San Pedro Sun understands that an officer attached to the Tourism Unite, identified as PC Juan Chuc, shot 25 year old Tyson Rodriguez shortly after 7AM. Rodriguez, who neighbors claims is mentally challenged, is originally from the Stann Creek district. He had been living in the back neighborhood of Caye Caulker, where his neighbors took care of him. Anita Garcia, who takes care of Rodriguez, explained to The Sun how the police descended in to the neighborhood shortly after 7AM this morning. “It was about ten past seven this morning when police came through the whole (neighborhood) then I ran downstairs to see if my son was okay. I saw the police ran upstairs and moments later the man (Rodriguez) jumped down from the veranda and ran. After that I heard like two gun shots moments after. When I went down the street I saw the police going to the clinic. They took the injured man upstairs to the clinic.”

Ambergris Today

Easter Fundraising Events in San Pedro
Radios For Nacnw Police Patrol - To show appreciation for the fine job they have been doing the members of the North Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch (NACNW) voted to find a way to purchase at least two radios for the police who patrol the area. Lions Pancake Brunch with Easter Bunny On Saturday, April 7th the San Pedro Lion’s Club will be hosting a pancake brunch with the Easter Bunny. From 10am until 1pm guests will enjoy a delicious pancake meal with sausage, fruit, fun pancake toppings, juice and coffee. Children’s activities will include a coloring table, Bobbing for Easter Eggs, face painting, balloon dart game, jumping tent for small children and more. Parents are invited to bring their camera and snap a photo of their child with the Easter Bunny. The event will be held at the San Pedro Lion’s Den. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available from Lion’s Members or at The San Pedro Sun office located on Barrier Reef Drive.

Easter Lenten Schedule RC Church 2012
Below is the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church's Easter Lenten Schedule - "I will prove my holiness through you. I will gather you from the ends of the earth: I will pour water on you and wash away all your sins. I will give you a new spirit within you, says the Lord." - Ez 36:23-26 *Via Cruses (Stations of the Cross) March 30, 2012 *Palm Sunday, April 1, 2012 7:00a.m. Mass Blessing of Palm – R.C. School 8:00a.m. Mass *Holy Wednesday, April 4, 2012 Chrism Mass (Holy Redeemer Cathedral, Belize City) *Holy Thursday, April 4, 2012 7:00p.m. Washing of the Feet (Lord’s Last Supper) 8:00p.m. - 12:00 midnight Adoration *Good Friday, April 6, 2012 4:00a.m. Way of the Cross (around Town) 12:00p.m. – 3:00p.m. 7 Last Words 3:00p.m. Verenation of the Cross 5:00p.m. Procession (around Town) *Easter Vigil Mass, April 7, 2012 9:00p.m *Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012 7:30a.m. Encuentro 8:00a.m. Mass 10:00a.m. Mass 7:00p.m Mass (Spanish)

Be Kind Belize Graduates 2012
Be Kind Belize was established in 2007 to promote humane education in Belize. Humane education is based on the concept that all life is precious and is practiced by teaching young people the value and importance of treating all living creatures with kindness. As part of the program children learn about self respect, caring for others, how to behave responsibly and understanding the consequences of their actions. Through classroom activities and research projects they learn why it is important to be kind to their family, friends, classmates, community, animals and the planet and how kindness makes Belize a better place. On the 20th and 21st of March students from Holy Cross Anglican School Standard 2 and Island Academy Standards 1, 2 and 3 graduated from the Be Kind Belize programme.

Belize Dance Company to Travel to Europe
The Belize National Dance Company (BNDC) will participate in an international folkloric dance festival in Europe in July and August 2012. The “Festival Du Sud” brings together about 1,200 dancers and musicians from 45 companies worldwide. This year, twelve (12) folk ensembles were chosen to share and showcase their traditional dances with audiences in France and Spain during these summer months. BNDC plans to present an even blend of music and dances from four Belizean ethnic groups – The Maya, the Creole, the Garifuna and the Mestizo – which will be performed by our well trained dance troupe and a live musical band. Performances will include stage shows, street parades and folk animations at public parks, local businesses and schools. Belize is expected to prepare and perform 90-minute presentations, which can vary depending on the size and number of folk contingents performing in each location at any given time.

Misc Belizean Sources

Be Kind Belize Launches ‘Kindest Kid in San Pedro’ Award
Be Kind Belize was established in 2007 to provide humane education, promoting the belief that through respect, reverence and responsibility (the humane education three r’s) our community can become kinder and more caring towards each other, other living creatures and our planet. It is with this in mind that Be Kind Belize is delighted to announce the Kindest Kid in San Pedro Award 2012. All primary schools in San Pedro have been invited to nominate two Kindness Ambassadors to represent their school. San Pedro High School students have formed teams that will be working with primary schools to encourage, support and assist them with these nominations, which must be in by the 12th of April 2012. Schools are being asked to identify children who have been incredibly kind as nominees. Perhaps they have cared for an elderly relative, raised money for a good cause, helped a struggling classmate, spent time cleaning the beach or doing other volunteer work for the community, helped to save an animal’s life or performed other good deeds which would qualify them as Kindness Ambassadors.

Buy and Sell Weekly Classifieds - 30th of March
This week's issue of Cayo Classifieds is out. Great deals. Great publication. They have a great restaurant and nightlife guide.

PHOTOS: Burns Avenue Upgrade and Welcome Center
Burns Avenue is getting a drain, and a curb. It'll have walkways on both sides, and have just one lane for traffic. The Welcome Center is coming along nicely.

PHOTOS: Holy Friday - Viernes Santo
The Benque House of Culture has posted some Good Friday pictures. Easter is almost here! "Good Friday in Benque Viejo Del Carmen, heralds much hustle and bustle, unusual for such a holiday with much reverence the community imparts all energies for this glowing yet culturally and traditionally a momentum to be in our Del Carmen."

Rumors Resort Announces Happy Hour
Rumor's Resort Hotel has a happy hour from 4pm until 7pm. Drink specials include $25 beer buckets, and $2.50 local rum drinks, and $3.50 local beers. From 5pm up, they'll have 50% off wings, popcorn chicken, and onion rings. On Thursdays, they'll be doing some karaoke.

The Belize Zoo visited Sacred Heart College
The Belize Zoo talks about their event at Sacred Heart College, and World Tapir Day. "Recent days have seen important messages shared with many, coming straight from the heart of The Belize Zoo. Education Officer, Jamal Andrewin, spent a day at the grand science fair event at Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio. Besides showing an attractive display of his work involving the extremely rare harpy eagle, Jamal also had a colorful large poster showing the Central Biological Corridor, and some of the animals who call this important area their home. Developed by the Forest Department, this same poster, featuring our gorgeous puma, 'Carlos', is always on display by our puma exhibit. Jamal also gave a presentation to high school students, detailing some of the zoo’s important conservation work, which is soon to be 'out and about.' His continued excitement about an idea he developed and is now taking to our top leaders in government was also brought to all’s attention. The idea? Every 27th of April is World Tapir Day. Brought forward by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and the Tapir Specialist Group, the objective of World Tapir Day is to see that this bit of recognition assists in heightening awareness about all four extant species of tapirs."

Hearts of palm for my sister
I could take down a whole can. Crack one open that is has been chilled, and I will wolf it down. Am I talking about beer? No….its hearts-of-palm. Sweet, briny stalks in perfect, crunchy cylinders have been a treat that I have enjoyed with my sister, Elisabeth. She and I love hearts of palm and each time I open a can, I think of her. She introduced me to them over 20 years ago. I remember all she did was open them up and put them on a plate. “Here. Try these.” was all she said. We both devoured them – eating bite by bite through the layers, savoring each taste. “It kills the whole palm you know.” she went on. We both felt sadly decadent when we ended up eating a whole can to ourselves, imagining 12 palms laid to waste for our appetite. I have never wanted her with me more than when I discovered them fresh from the field, and learned how quickly they regenerate themselves. “Thank god!” I whispered to myself, feeling vindicated over years of vegetable guilt. “I wish Elisabeth could be here with me to see this.”

Heart of Toledo:Tiger Cave
We walked over a river in knee-deep blue waters, our shoes slung over our shoulders to keep them dry for the rest of the hike. Over a wooded hill and down along a path that is bordered by a fence, we walked along the same river we had just crossed, to the opening of the cave. The dense vegetation, limestone and warm temperature, equated for a heavy organic smell, layered by the rays of sun that lit the morning walk. This was Tiger Cave. Tiger Cave is located on the Rio Grande close to the village of San Miguel and Big Falls in Belize’s Toledo District. It is located on private land that abuts the contentious Hydro Maya Dam. It was discovered in the late 1970's by Peace Corps volunteers: its name from the local legend that roars from a jaguar , locally called “tigers”, wear heard in the cave. Manuel Bolon, our guide, carried our helmets, water and head lamps. As we arrived, I admired the entrance. “Technically, there are two ways in: one to the right that is up-and-over and very steep, or we can go to the left down and under that rock.” he said. I thought about crawling under the rock, and a wave of panic came over me. I fear tight spaces. I need air, free breathing and light. When it comes to caves with their dark, dank smells and moist environments, accompanied by the sound of slow drips echoing in the long dark halls, I felt distrustful.

Channel 7

Tonight a 25 year old Dangriga resident who resides in Caye Caulker is in stable condtion at the KHMH after being shot by police. Residents say Tyson Rodriguez was shot while fleeing from police who had found him with some weed. Police say he pulled a knife on them - which - we must say - is an all-too familiar story. Here's what we found out when we went to the Island this afternoon:.. Jules Vasquez reporting 25 year old Tyson Rodriguez was in this house. In this very poor area on the western side of Caye Caulker. Residents call it "Black Neighborhood."

The deadline to file election petitions in connection with the March 7th. election is tomorrow, March 30th. Today we have confirmed that the PUP has filed another petition, this one against UDP Albert Area Representative, Herman Longsworth. The grounds are similar to the one filed against Mark King; they are alleging that Longsworth had an undeclared contract with Government at the time of his election. The petition alleges that Longsworth's company - L&V construction got the contract to construct the fence at the Marion Jones Sports Complex. Indications are that the PUP will also file another similar petition tomorrow against Santino Castillo in Caribbean Shores - whose family owned business rents out an office to the DPP. And on the other side of the political color bar, the UDP has filed a petition against PUP Freetown Area Rep, Francis Fonseca, alleging that two of his agents bribed voters.

The US Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, concluded a two-day visit to Belize today. Maria Otero is the most senior US official to visit Belize in recent memory and, significantly, Belize is one of only two stops she made on this trip - the other being in El Savador. In a thirty minute press conference at the House Of Culture this morning, she explained why Belize and the United States are natural allies:.. Maria Otero, US Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights "My visit represents the priority that President Obama and Secretary Clinton have for our bi-lateral relationship in partnership with Belize." "Our belief is in the United States and this why we have sent myself as a high level official is that our partnership with Belize is a very important one and is one that we value a great deal. My presence here serves to re-enforce that and to be able to also address future ways in which we will continue working together."

A man could spend eight months in jail for injuring his step-daughter. 20 year-old Carldeen Lawrence, a resident of Elston Kerr Street was convicted of grievious harm in the Magistrate's Court today. It was alleged that he fractured a 3 year-old female child's right leg when he was disciplining her. The prosecution called 5 witnesses in his case, excluding the child, who was 2 years-old at the time of the incident. It was presented to the court by these witnesses that on June 8 of last year, he was left to babysit the child. The mother came home and found the child's right leg swollen, and when she confronted Lawrence, he told her that lashed her with a belt because she was misbehaving.

Today in the Court of Appeal, the hearing for Rhett Fuller's case was postponed until the June sitting. He is currently appealing the Supreme Court's decision to allow his extradition to the United States to stand trial for the 1990 murder of Larry Miller. This adjournment was granted because his attorney, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, recently lost of his mother, which caused him not to be fully prepared to present his case on Fuller's behalf today. He made an application for the matter to be traversed to the June session of the Appeal's Court, which was granted. Courtenay made an additional request to the court to facilitate Fuller's appeal process in June.

Just before the election, Government announced that it would be absorbing a sharp increase in the acquisition price of fuel - which meant giving up 1.5 million dollars in revenue. It's not the kind of thing that can be maintained, and so on Wednesday morning, the full weight of increased world prices fell like a load of bricks on the Belizean consumer. Premium fuel jumped by 49 to a crushing $12.12 per gallon, Regular jumped by 50 cents to a prohibitive $11.81 per gallon, and diesel went up by twenty cents to 10.90 per gallon.

Beltraide held a National Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprise, or MSME symposium today at the Biltmore hotel. NOW, just like us, you're probably asking, "What is an MSME anyway?" Well, that's just what symposium participants were asking today. That's because one of the main objectives was to come up with a definition of MSMEs. Michael Seepersaud, the Beltraide Consultant said why the symposium was really a validation activity. Michael Seepersaud, Beltraide Consultant "In November of last year, we have interviewed a number of business support organizations. We have had several consultations with MSMEs. We have collected all sorts of material and we've used that to form our policy strategy recommendations."

Belize Telemedia's 2012 telephone directory will be available to the public on Wednesday April fourth. But it was officially launched today with a grand unveiling of this year's cover. This year's edition highlights the Maya Deer dance -as the company joins in with the rest of Belize in celebrating the 2012 Mayan Calendar. Here's more on the new directory. Brieanne Reyes, Directory Services Manager "This morning we are unveiling the 2012 Belize Telemedia Telephone Directory. We are very excited, we have invited guests, it's kind of a preview because the books will be available to the public next week. So we have a special treat for invited guest this morning."

Karl H. Menzies is a brand name you may associate with Heineken Beer or Leyland Paints. But the real story is the man behind the name. Karl H. Menzies is a self-made success, who earned his fortune and fame the old fashioned way: he worked for it, from the age of 8! But you might not know, he never went higher than primary school, and had a hardscrabble upbringing in the Mesopotamia Area of Belize City as one of his father's 18 children. In tonight's profile, he talks about this and some of the struggles he had to overcome to get this point.

March is soon over, and with it, Women's Month comes to a close. But before it ends, the Institute of Creative Arts is having one last celebration. This send-off is "WIA- A Night of Cabaret", a show which will feature talented singers, dancers and actors. We spoke with the programme officer, Kim Vasquez, and she told us who and what to expect. Kim Vasquez, Programme officer "We have a show entitled WIA - a Night of Cabaret. This is the culmination for us of the program women in art. We do this every year during women's month here at ICA and what we are doing is sort of a performance art showcase. We are doing it cabaret style." "This is the third year we are doing a performance art showcase under women in art. Since we were going with a cabaret theme that we wanted to give it the true cabaret experience and come out from the Bliss and go somewhere else where you can sit down around tables, you can eat food and you can drink and you can enjoy a relaxing evening."

YC Belize is one of the Nation's largest youth events - reaching thousands of young people. The one-day annual Christian conference will be held on Saturday at the UB's Gymnasium in Belmopan. It's their 5th year and Christian-inclined young people are invited to be a part of a day filled with positive activities culminating in a concert featuring Belizean and International Christian musical artists. 7news spoke with one of the Organizers today. Michael Evans, Artist Coordinator - YC Belize "The conference is geared to positively impacting the young people both on a natural and spiritual basis. Often times we separate the two. We think we are spiritual over here and we are human over there, but the two are actually intertwined."

Channel 5

Man from dark side of Caye Caulker shot
A man was shot this morning in the island of Caye Caulker, and a police is under investigation for pulling the trigger. Tyson Rodriguez was rushed to the K.H.M.H. and is in critical condition after undergoing emergency surgery. It is not the first time that the cops have shot at residents and the incident has ...

Can the Rosewood Moratorium hold steadfast?
There is word from the south that a decision has been reached on the issue of the rosewood trade. It comes on the heels of a moratorium placed on March sixteenth by the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development. While conservation groups were applauding the decision, dealers and loggers claimed that government failed to ...

Price of fuel at the pump way up
Remember the days when five or ten dollars gas in your car would take you a long way? Well, those days are a distant memory because now ten dollars doesn’t even get you a gallon of fuel. Tonight the news is that fuel prices continue to surge. There was another major hike on Wednesday. Premium ...

3rd retrial for Jamie Dawson
In the courts, Belize City resident, Jamie Dawson, is being tried for a third time for the December 2002 murder of Maurice Neal. The retrial was to start two weeks ago before Justice Herbert Lord, but the indictment could be read because his Attorney Anthony Sylvester filed an application, citing abuse of process in Dawson’s ...

U.S. Under Secretary responds to Guatemala Drug Proposal
The Under Secretary of State Maria Otero is the highest ranking U.S. diplomat to visit Belize in recent times. Otero is responsible for foreign relations on civilian security issues; including democracy, human rights, trafficking in persons and counter-narcotics. Since Otero arrived on Wednesday, she has been meeting with Non-governmental organizations and government officials to discuss ...

US Human Rights equal gay rights?
Under Secretary Otero’s portfolio also includes human rights. Otero also met with human’s rights groups in Belize one of which is UNIBAM, the gay rights group fronted by Caleb Orozco. Otero, while seated next to U.S. Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally, explained to a media gathering at the House of Culture, that the U.S. isn’t trying to ...

CARSI; millions spent on Central America Security
The Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) has made contributions to the Belize Defense Force as well as the Belize National Coastguard. During her press conference this morning, Maria Otero spoke of the accomplishments by law enforcement in Belize resulting from the relationship with the United States.   Maria Otero, Under Secretary of State “The ...

Rhett Fuller’s extradition battle continues
For over ten years Rhett Fuller has been fighting his extradition to the U.S. The case, which has been in and out of court, is in connection with the murder of Larry Miller, a U.S National. In September of last year, the Minister of Foreign Affairs decided to surrender Fuller to the U.S. Following that ...

Belize City man convicted of seriously beating a child
A Belize City man has been convicted of seriously beating a child in his care. According to reports on June eighth, 2011, twenty year old Carldeen Lawrence, was caring for his two step children ages one and two years old, but when the mother came home, she observed that the two year old’s foot was swollen. ...

P.U.P. files another Election Petition
Since the elections on March seventh that ended seventeen to fourteen in favor of the U.D.P., the People’s United Party announced that it would be filing several election petitions. On Wednesday, the P.U.P.’s Martin Galvez filed a petition against Mark King in Lake Independence at the Supreme Court. A petition is also being filed against ...

City Hall unravels overtime mystery
Among his first duties as mayor, upon taking office three weeks ago Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley has been carrying out an official inquiry into the embezzlement of almost seventy thousand dollars from City Hall. It was an elaborate scheme orchestrated by former pay mistress Shirlene Sabal, one in which payments for bogus overtime hours ...

SICA meeting with Latin American Leaders
Mayors and village council leaders from across the country gathered in Belize City today where they discussed practical ways in which autonomy within local government can be bolstered. The workshop, organized by the Central American Integration System (SICA), comes just three weeks after Municipal Elections were held. Among the many issues discussed was crime and ...

Lotto’s Big Winner
A Belize City housewife is the latest Lotto jackpot winner. On Wednesday night, the numbers 05-13-19-27-29 were selected as the winning ticket for the fifty-five thousand dollar jackpot. Cecilia Thurton, the mother of one, told us that she’ll be investing her winnings in her son’s education.   Andrea Polanco “You’re the lucky winner of the ...

A Cabaret with talented showgirls
Throughout this month, numerous activities were held to highlight the work, struggles and accomplishments of Belizean women. Naturally, the Institute of Creative Arts put its focus on talent with the annual Women in Arts program. It started with a visual arts display, which brought together the work of thirty women from across the country into ...

Healthy Living goes through Puberty
The month of March has been dedicated to women. A number of activities have been held around the country under the banner of Connecting Girls; Inspiring Futures. Tonight Healthy Living takes a look at the issue of puberty, which is an important transition for girls. As early as the age of eight, girls begin to ...


OWTC Fires Off Press Release On Alleged Victimization
There has been much allegations made against the Orange Walk Town Council in regards to victimization. In response to those allegations today the Orange Walk Town Council fired off a press release nullifying those reports. The press release states and we quote, “A very preliminary investigation has revealed that among existing staff, there have been instances of (1) double payment, where individuals are paid for performing two roles at the Council when in reality they serve only very limited function in one role; (2) instances where staff members have collected monies and those monies have not been accounted for; (3) instances in which staff members abused/neglected their duties but no action was taken by the Mayor or Administrator and (4) indications of misappropriation of public funds which will merit further investigation and which could likely result in legal action being taken.” End quote

More Financial Irregularities At Orange Walk Town Hall
Since they took over Town Hall on March 8th the Orange Walk Town Council has been conducting a special audit of the town’s finances. What we can tell you tonight is that the findings are proving to be explosive. During the special investigation at least one former employee of the council is signaled for wrongdoing or engaging in irregular practices. Here is part two of our exclusive interview with the Mayor of Orange Walk Town Kevin Bernard. Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Walk Town “There has been a lot of irregularities and before the administrator left that morning I receive this very lengthy one page report from Mr. Moguel which speaks about embezzlement of funds from one of the former revenue collector by the name of Carl Westby and is I am go into some of the details the administrator stated here that the council opened a file which we are also reviewing for a list of bogus receipts given by Mr. Carl Westby and to date the date which he had submitted that file this sums a total of $16,802.76 now this is a very, very, very huge figure for one individual collector to owe this council, I want to make mention to another issue here that where Mr. Moguel and I quote on this letter and it says “I Mr. Andre Moguel, town administrator for period May 3rd 2009 to March 6th 2012 hereby demand to the relief of any responsibility in relation to the reporting of this matter to the relevant authorities ...

Government Employee Charged For Driving Without Due Care And Attention
It went under the radar but CTV3 News understands that a government employee has been charged for driving without due care and attention after he reportedly rammed a vehicle belonging to the Ministry of Health into a house located in the Village of Chunox in the Corozal District. The incident occurred on Tuesday March 27th at around one the morning and the driver of the vehicle has been identified as 48 year old Eduardo Cus, a Belizean Rural Community Development Officer. Cus appeared before Magistrate Clive Lino yesterday morning where he was charged for driving without due care and attention and offered bail which he met.

Corozal Police Confiscates Two Firearm, Three Men Detained
During an early morning patrol, Corozal Police observed three male individuals identified as 22 year old unemployed of Antelope Street Belize City, Emmanuel Willoughby, 25 year old Orange Walk laborer, Ernest Tillett and 22 year old bartender of Trail Farm Village Jake Cadle, walking out of a hotel in Corozal acting suspiciously. Following their instincts police stopped the three men and searched the room they were occupying. And this time police instincts proved to be right because a search of the room led cops to one 9mm pistol with 14 rounds and one .357 revolver with 6 rounds. We note that the revolver is a prohibited firearm.

New Hope High School Holds Fashion Show To Raise Funds
Fashion shows have become the most significant fundraisers for high schools here in the Orange Walk District. While some fashion shows may come across as the same ordinary game of dress up New Hope High School is putting a modern twist to the idea. This Saturday the high school will be hosting their annual fashion show in order to raise funds for a number of projects they have in the pipeline. Libny Novelo, Teacher “Our main purpose first of all is to help our school, fund raiser for many of the projects that we have so far and in order for us to do that we need to come up with ideas to get the students involved and this is the way to help the students express themselves and be able to be part along with us with the fundraising for our school. Some of the projects are to get some more computers in the computer lad and also we have a science lab which we would like to get more instruments into that lab for our students to be able to have access to those.”

Another Hike In Fuel Prices
Have you visited the gas pumps lately? If you haven’t then hold on to your pockets because the next time you visit a gas station to fuel up you will be paying more for a gallon of fuel. Without warning fuel prices increased for the fourth time in three months. At midnight last night the price for a gallon of premium gasoline went from $11.71 to $12.20, reflecting a 50 cents increase. Regular now sells for $11.89, marking a 49 cents increase. A gallon of diesel which was previously sold for $10.78 now sells at $10.98 as it saw a 20 cents increase. And kerosene better known as the poor man’s fuel went up by 10 cents putting the cost at $8.79.

Water Rates Go Down
On December 23rd 2011 the Belize Water Services Limited, government owned utility company submitted its application to the PUC requesting that water rates and tariffs remain the same. After reviewing the initial application the PUC announced its decision to reduce water rates yesterday. According to Rudolph Williams, the Director of Water & Waste Water Sector of the P.U.C. during the review proceedings for the annual period of 2011-2012, the commission analyzed the operations and the finances of the Belize Water Services Limited and derived at the decision to reduce water rates.

PUP Files Two More Election Petitions
The deadline to contest the results of the general elections 2012 is tomorrow. Last week Thursday Yolanda Schakron filed an application for the leave to present an election Petition. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin will rule on that case on Friday as well. In addition to that petition, yesterday the People’s United Party filed 2 more election petitions- the first being against UDP's Lake Independence Area Representative, Mark King. The petition was brought forward by Schakron’s last minute replacement, Martin Galvez, on the grounds that King has a contract with government which he did not disclose at the time of elections and due to that King’s candidacy is nullified. The second election petition was brought against UDP’s Albert Division Representative, Herman Longsworth, who according to the P.U.P had a contract with the government for the construction of the Marion Jones Stadium.

Minister Of Foreign Affairs Represents Belize During SICA Meeting
On January 28th 2012 it was reported that the former Minister of Police and Public Safety, Dough Singh, had the idea of decriminalizing marijuana in Belize. That issue took a huge jump in the international stage when President of Guatemala Otto Perez Molina, proposed to legalize drugs and shipment route of drugs during the Central American Integration System (SICA) meeting in Antigua Guatemala. President Molina is proposing that the trans-shipment of drugs heading to the US be regulated and in addition legalize drug consumption. And while the proposal will definitely receive serious opposition, supporters argue that it is the only lucid action in order to control illicit drug related activities. During the summit Belize was represented by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington and Minister of National Security John Saldivar. Elrington outlined the four components of President Molina’s proposal.


Belize Band Fest ready for the big time in Corozal
Just over thirty six hours from now, the Ricalde Stadium in Corozal town will be the venue for one of the fiercest battles as five marching bands and seven Drum Corps take to the field in open competition. It’s the 2012 Belize Band Fest and tonight the organizing committee is putting the finishing touches to the logistics; the bands have wrapped up their routines and all that’s left is for you to get in the car and head north. On Saturday the Band Fest kicks off from Seventh Avenue across from the Corozal Bus Terminal and continues down Seventh Avenue to the roundabout at the entrance to Corozal Town. It turns left into First Avenue, passing Miami Beach and continues into Fourth Avenue, passing in front of the Central Park and Saint Francis Xavier Church. It continues down Fourth Avenue and towards the Corozal Civic Centre and turns left into Sixth Street, left into Fifth Avenue and into the Santiago Ricalde Stadium. There are two categories this year: Marching Band with Wind Instruments and Drum Corps. Prizes range from a thousand dollars for Best Drum Line, Best Dressed Uniform Winner and Most Popular Marching Band to six thousand dollars for first place in the Marching Band with Wind Instruments segment. Meanwhile, first place in the Drum Corps category will receive four thousand dollars. The main sponsors for this year’s Belize Band Fest include Oceana Belize; Belize Telemedia Limited; Belize Natural Energy; the National Institute for Culture and History; The Embassy of Taiwan; Belize Electricity Limited; Scotia Bank and Bowen and Bowen Limited.

Belize City man wins big SMART raffle
SMART is celebrating its seventh anniversary of service to the Belizean people. And as part of the milestone the telephone company today held their big HOME IMPROVEMENT raffle. The venue for the big draw was SMART’s headquarters on the Northern Highway. The winner of the raffle will get a living room and kitchen makeover, which [...]

BGYEA looks to develop Harmonyville
BGYEA, the grassroots group which was formed about three years ago and has progressively engaged the government in negotiations over abandoned private lands for new ownership by Belizeans, is on a new mission to advance its members. President of BGYEA, Nigel Petillo, told Love News today that now that some of its members have successfully [...]

US Undersecratary of State wraps up working visit to Belize
United States Under Secretary of State Maria Otero is today wrapping up a working visit to Belize. She is the highest ranking staff of the US State Department to visit Belize and has held meetings with government officials and civil society groups to discuss Belize-US bilateral relations. Among the government official to meet with the visiting diplomat is acting Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. During a mid-morning press conference, Otero updated reporters on her brief visit. Otero says the United States remains committed to assisting Central American nations, including Belize to fight the war on drugs and other trans-national crimes.

Belize City man wins big SMART raffle
SMART is celebrating its seventh anniversary of service to the Belizean people. And as part of the milestone the telephone company today held their big HOME IMPROVEMENT raffle. The venue for the big draw was SMART’s headquarters on the Northern Highway. The winner of the raffle will get a living room and kitchen makeover, which is possible through SMART’s collaboration with COURTS. Public Relations manager for SMART is Ian Courtenay. The raffle was broadcast live to the nation via our sister station Love FM. Marketing Analyst for SMART, Linda Carballo alongside announcer Karen Coote called the luck winner Jason Spain. According to Courtenay the handing over of the grand prize will be arranged for some time next week. He reminds customers that the anniversary celebration continues nationwide with double and triple up On Friday. And starting today, there is what is called a blow out sale on selected phone models and internet devices. The extravaganza ends on Saturday.

Belize City woman wins Lotto Jackpot
Tropical Gaming Company today paid out big bucks to the latest Lotto Jackpot winner. Belize City housewife Cecilia Turton was prompt at the Lotto office this afternoon to claim her prize after she matched all five balls drawn in last night’s jackpot. After Government Income Tax deduction, Turton walked away with forty six thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars. The next jackpot will be drawn on Saturday when the prize money reverts to fifty thousand dollars to any single winner.

Police shoots Caye Caulker man who allegedly resisted arrest
A man was shot in the abdomen early this morning in Caye Caulker village. The victim has been identified as twenty five year old Tyson Rodriguez. The police’s version of the story is that officers in the village conducted a search of a house in the Black neighbourhood area of the island. Police say Rodriguez was present at the time of the search and that authorities found two small parcels of suspected marijuana. Police say that as he was being informed of the find, Rodriguez bolted for freedom with the police in hot pursuit. Rodriguez was eventually caught by the officers but according to the official account of the incident, Rodriquez pulled out a knife from his pants waist, which resulted in the officer pulling out his 9 mm service revolver and firing a single shot. The policeman’s bullet found its mark in Rodriguez’s abdomen. Police say Rodriquez was taken first to the clinic in Caye Caulker village, then later transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City where he underwent surgery. Rodriguez, according to the police is listed in a critical but stable condition. Love News spoke with Rodriguez’ sister, Shanda this morning and she admits that her brother ran from police however she says that is why cops should not have shot him. Shanda Rodriguez says that following surgery this morning, doctors at the KHMH told her that prognosis is that her brother will be okay. The two parcels of suspected marijuana have been confiscated and is being held as evidence. Today’s police report on the incident ends by saying that authorities have since retrieved Rodriquez’s knife and the 9 millimeter service revolver and are holding them as exhibit. Police investigation continues to determine the circumstances surrounding this latest shooting incident in Caye Caulker village.

BTL previews new telephone directory cover
Next to the Bible, the telephone directory is perhaps the most used book in many homes and offices around the country. And it’s that time of the year again, when the focus shifts to the BTL Directory. The book’s front page has always been a topic of some discussion and marvel and this year, considered the year of the Mayas, Belize Telemedia decided to look in that direction. Telemedia’s Senior Public Relations Officer, Gayle Ozaeta, told our colleagues at 7 News that right in tandem with the Maya’s spiritual prophecy, the cover of the 2012-2013 Directory depicts a new beginning. BTL customers can visit their nearest BTL customer service offices and collect their Directory free of cost, but the books will not be available until Wednesday of next week.


US under Secretary of State conducts visit to Belize
This morning at the house of culture, Maria Otero, Under Secretary for the United States Government and coordinator...

YC Belize gets underway this Saturday
YC Belize is almost here! The annual event that started five years ago continues to grow. The event kicks off on Sa...

Caye Caulker police shoots man in early morning drug search
This morning around 7am, police conducted a search at a resident on the island of Caye Caulker. They found two smal...

Police dog squad gets new recruits
The Canine Unit of the Police Dept. is looking to embark on an in-depth training exercise to better prepare their f...

Guatemalan President proposes legalizing drug trade, Belize responds
As we said, a radical proposition has been put forward by Guatemala's President Otto Perez Molina proposing the leg...

Appeals court overturns BDF's murder conviction
24 year-old BDF Private Paulino Assi, successfully appealed his manslaughter conviction yesterday. Assi was previou...

Post-mortem results return in fatal shootings of man and toddler
On Monday we told you about the accidental shooting of 44yr old Antonio Jimenez which occurred on a hunting trip be...

Autopsy certifies man's death as drowning
Earlier this week we told you about the retrieval of Jamie Lizama, body from the Macal River near the Iguana Creek ...

15 year detained for attempted murder
Belize City Police have detained a 15 yr old minor for questionig into a recent report of attempted murder. On Marc...

Belize City Police investigate separate burglary reports
Belize City Police are investigating two reports of Burglary. In the first instance, 46 yr old Morlyn Diaz reported...

Two arrested for drug trafficking offences
Yesterday morning, Police conducted a house search at the premises of Ronald Moreira in Punta Gorda Town. During a ...

The Guardian

Donation to expand Samuel Haynes Institute
The Government of Japan made a generous donation to the Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence on Monday, March 26, under its Grassroots and Human Security Grant Projects (GHGP).The Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence was opened on February 28, 2009 and is perhaps the best community resource center in the entire country. It is located at the corner of Mahogany and Oleander Streets and serves the people of Pickstock and Lake Independence.

Darien Banks convicted of drug trafficking
Darien Banks was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment after being found guilty of drug trafficking in Magistrate’s Court on Monday March 26th. Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer sentenced Banks to 3 years imprisonment and fined $10,000 with an additional $5.00 cost of court which he has until June 30th to pay. If he defaults an additional three years imprisonment will be levied. Banks, 33, along with his wife, Desiree Banks, 35, had been jointly charged with keeping prohibited firearm and ammunitions and drug trafficking. In court however, only Darien Banks was found guilty of drug trafficking while his wife, who was not present in court due to illness was acquitted of the charge of drug trafficking.

Guatemalan charged for Attempted Trafficking
On Tuesday March 27th, 53-year-old Jose Alfaro appeared in Magistrate’s Court in Belize City where he was charged with two counts of attempting to traffic in persons. Alfaro appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was read the charges. A 16-year-old girl reported to police that on two occasions, Alfaro solicited her to work at a bar and have sex with clients. Between February 22, 2012 and March 16, 2012, in Ladyville Village, Alfaro attempted to recruit the 16 -year-old girl for the purpose of exploitation, to use her as a prostitute. He is also accused of attempting to do the same thing to the same girl on March 17.

Retrial ordered for BDF Soldier Paulino
On Wednesday March 28th BDF Soldier, 24-year-old Paulino Assi appeared in the Court of Appeal where a retrial was ordered for him. He had been in jail for a year after being found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in prison. On February 17 of last year, Assi was found guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of Douglas resident, George Cortez, a civilian who was allegedly being disciplined by Assi after misbehaving behave whilst at a shelter during a flood. Cortez allegedly assumed a very threatening and violent posture against Assi’s Senior Officer and Assi fired a few warning shots and Cortez persisted in advancing with Assi firing at the advancing man killing him. In his defense, Assi testified that he fired because he genuinely believed that Cortez was armed and was launching a violent attack upon his Senior Officer. Assi was convicted of manslaughter and sentence to 10 years. Assi

Two charged in separate burglaries
On Monday March 26th, two men were arraigned for separate burglary offences. One of the burglaries occurred in the Lake Garden area of Ladyville where a teenager was charged while another teenager was charged for a Taylor’s Alley burglary in Belize City. On February 28th, the home of 66-year-old Shelia Gentle was invaded by men, who tied her up and stole her $46,000, vehicle which was then used to help her attacker(s) to make off with over $56,000 in items from her home. Items stolen include jewelry, a laptop computer, other appliances, cell phones and spirits. After investigations, police laid charges of burglary against 18-year-old Casey Lozano. He appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where he was charged with a single count of burglary. No plea was taken from Lozano due to the quantity of the items stolen.

Fake Cop to stand trial in Supreme Court
On Wednesday March 28th, Aaron Wilson appeared in Magistrate’s Court where he was indicted to stand trial in the Supreme Court. Wilson appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith where his case was committed after being found in possession of Police Department equipment including uniforms, a cap, a belt, shirts, pants and other equipment. Wilson will stand trial on the charges of forgery of an official document; unlawful possession of Police Department accoutrements; possession of imitation official documents and possession of official false documents. The committal was made after the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith read out the testimonies of three people. Wilson is to stand trial at the April session of the Supreme Court scheduled to commence on April 19.

Man caught with cocaine in hotel room in Benque
Jes Forbes, a 48-year-old mechanic of Belize City, was remanded to prison on Monday, March 26, after he was busted with 2,021 kilos of cocaine in a hotel room in Benque Viejo Del Carmen. The incident occurred at around 3:00 a.m., on George Street at the Maya Hotel, where Forbes was occupying a room on the second floor of the building. Police on mobile patrol saw Fobres out on the verandah of the hotel, and stopped and this was when Forbes made a run back into the hotel room. Police then entered the building and headed to the second floor, where they heard several movements coming out from room #10. Forbes was ordered to open the door, where a search for drugs and illegal weapons took place.

Murder suspect gets off in Supreme Court
On Monday March 26th, 2012, 21-year-old Frank Edwards, who was accused of executing a bank robbery along with three others, was set free in the Supreme Court in Belmopan. Edwards walked after being charged with the murder of 32-year-old Steven Rudolph Lopez, a Security Guard, who was killed on March 30, 2010 during a bank robbery of the Scotiabank branch in Spanish Lookout, Cayo. Edwards’ acquittal came at 10:35 a.m. on Monday in the Belmopan Supreme Court before Justice Troadio Gonzalez. He ruled that the only evidence the police had against the accused was not admissible into trial. He concluded that at the end of a voir dire, which took place on March 21. Judge Gonzalez ruled that Edwards’ caution statement that he gave to police was not obtained voluntarily and in accordance to the laws of the country. He noted that, based on evidence, it was determined that Edwards was beaten horrendously as he claimed, that he was tortured by police after being shocked and left with many visible injuries to the body.

30 Million for Municipalities
Back in November 2009, Belize was visited by Samy Watson, Executive director for the Caribbean region of the World Bank. At the time, government was looking at the possibility of accessing 15 million U.S. dollars for funding the Municipal Development Project. It was quite the endeavor since the World Bank had just about broken off its relationship with Belize as a result of the PUP administration’s unwillingness to adhere to the bank’s guidelines. That changed with the UDP administration and as soon as was possible, the government began to look at ways on accessing financing from the bank. The Municipal Development Project was one such way and now, after almost 2 years and 4 months since the initial visit, the program, is rolling out in full gear. The most recent municipality to benefit was Punta Gorda where the town board’s administration building will be rehabilitated; streets will also be paved. In the first phase of the program a total of $425,000 will be invested in Punta Gorda alone. Other municipalities that will benefit under the project will be Belmopan, Benque Viejo del Carmen, San Ignacio and Santa Elena, Dangriga, Corozal and Orange Walk.

Bribery in Freetown Elections?
The United Democratic Party will be filing an election petition against Francis Fonseca in the Supreme Court. We have seen how the PUP have been skirmishing around the Supreme Court with one frivolous petition in the case of Yolanda Shackron and reportedly they will be filing against two other constituencies in the Cayo district. Well, what we can say is that the PUP will definitely fail; the UDP on the other hand stands a good chance of success against Francis Fonseca. On Thursday, March 29th the UDP will be filing an election petition after it received proof that two agents working in the Freetown division for the PUP were caught bribing voters. There is concrete proof of this and the UDP will be taking Francis Fonseca to court since he was the person running for office in that constituency.

Donation to expand Samuel Haynes Institute
The Government of Japan made a generous donation to the Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence on Monday, March 26, under its Grassroots and Human Security Grant Projects (GHGP).The Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence was opened on February 28, 2009 and is perhaps the best community resource center in the entire country. It is located at the corner of Mahogany and Oleander Streets and serves the people of Pickstock and Lake Independence. The center is both an educational and recreational child-friendly space. It is managed by the Pickstock Development Association, which is made up of a group of celebrated volunteer teachers. Barbara Elrington, President of the Association, is described as the glue that keeps the program together.

Abrupt Pause to Attempted Murder and Child Destruction Case
On Tuesday March 27th, 22-year-old Henry Patnett asked that his case be stopped so he could retain proper representation. Patnett is accused of the attempted murder of his 28-year-old ex-girlfriend who was stabbed to the abdomen while she was pregnant in August 2010. In the process he allegedly killed her unborn child. In court, Patnett asked the court to stop his case after the prosecutor, Meagan Francis, had already called three witnesses to testify against him. Justice Adolph Lucas granted him the request. Patnett was on trial for three counts: child destruction for the death of his own child which his ex-girlfriend, Valarie Sheran, 28, was carrying at the time of the attack; attempted murder of Sheran, who almost lost her life, and wounding of her new lover then, 70-year-old Ernesto Ireland, who was also attacked on that day. Judge Lucas discharged the 9 member jury, who had been selected on Monday, March 26 to hear the case. The case was then set for June 4.

Orange Walk Mayor’s sideman arrested
Ever since they took up office at the Orange Walk Town Council, those in charge in that municipality have been acting without regard for the employees, who were working there, firing them at will and replacing them with cronies. The heavy-handed manner in which the council is being run spilled over into the life of an everyday citizen of Orange Walk Town on Friday night when the multi-tasked Efrain Paul Alpuche Jr., 45, who is the Sanitation Supervisor at the Orange Walk Town Council /driver and body guard of the Mayor, was arrested and charged for allegedly threatening radio personality, Dillon Jones on Friday, March 23rd. Noteworthy is the fact that Alpuche took the position which the new Mayor Kevin Bernard had deemed redundant when he fired Roberto Pate. Pate was the first to be victimized by Bernard.

Acquitted of Murder
On Tuesday March 27th Michael Foreman, 24, was acquitted of the October 12, 2009 murder of Eddie Neal, who was gunned down on North Creek in Belize City. 27-year-old Eddie Neal, known as “Eddie Mac”, was gunned down at the corner of Central American Boulevard and North Creek on Monday October 12, 2009. He had allegedly been beaten robbed and then shot once in the head. Police later charged Foreman, for this murder but due to the lack of an identification of the shooter, linking Foreman to the crime. A directive was given to a 12-member jury, who was selected Thursday, March 22, to hear the murder trial of Foreman. At 2:20 p.m., on Tuesday, a no case submission made by Foreman’s attorney, Nigel Ebanks. After the prosecution had called five witnesses, Foreman could not be identified as the killer. Justice Herbert Lord upheld the no case submission and directed the jury to find Foreman not guilty of murder and manslaughter.

Man shot and killed while hunting
On Sunday, March 25, 2012, Antonio Jimenez, 44, a Guatemalan national and resident of Belmopan City, was shot and killed while out hunting with friends. Police will not be pressing charges against the shooter, who is also a friend of Jimenez. Jimenez’s death has been classified as an accidental shooting. According to police, a group of four men, Jimenez, Jose Antonio Ramos, 40; Victor Flores, 64; and Raul Gomez, 53, set out at 5:00 a.m., on a hunting expedition 6 miles behind the Maya Mopan Area of Belmopan. The men had initially separated, spreading out in four different directions. Police say that Ramos spotted a deer around 9:00 a.m., he fired a single shot at the deer but instead caught Jimenez, who was not visible at first but had surfaced after being shot.

Armed robber stabbed to death by his victim
Approximately one year ago, Solomon Earl Gabourel, 34, once a squatter of Chetumal Street, rallied alongside hundreds of his community residents, all squatters too, staking claim to private land that he and others had constructed houses on and had been living on. Gabourel is now dead after police say he tried to rob a hotdog vendor on Albert Street and was stabbed in the process. Police say that on Saturday, March 24th, 2012, at around 4:30 a.m., Gabourel approached a 19-year-old vendor while she was selling hotdogs at the Battlefield Park. He held her by the neck and pressed a knife on her abdomen.

Yolanda Shackron never satisfied
The People’s United Party and Yolanda Shackron continue their futile effort at somehow trying to win the General Elections after the people of Belize have decided that they don’t want that lot to be running our country. Despite the country’s rejection of the PUP at the polls, Shackron and the PUP are going about this in a round-and-about way;they filed an application to the Supreme Court for leave to grant them an election petition. According to the PUP, Shackron who was disqualified from running in the Lake Independence constituency because she held dual nationality, should have been allowed to run.

Oscar Quiros is Junior Cross Country Champion
The Belize Cycling Association sponsored its 13th Annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic on Sunday March 25, 2012. The race started from the ferry in Succotz Village to Mile 2 (Leslie’s Imports) on the Western Highway. The 13th Edition of the Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic saw the participation of twenty riders with eighteen of them completing the 74-mile event. With a time of 3:50:11, Oscar Quiros, who was unattached, was the first rider to cross the finish line to capture this year’s junior title. Quiros was followed by Phillip Mencias of the Telemedia Cycling Team who took second place; Deezan Spence of D & D Cycling Team finished third; Riis Spence of C-Ray Junior Cycling Club finished fourth and Zahir Figueroa of Cayo Up-rising Cycling Club rounded off the top five finishers.

Andrews University donates Fire Boots to Belize City Council
On Monday, March 26th, the Belize City Council held a brief ceremony at City Hall during which Vern Byrd handed over 20 fire fighter boots to the Mayor of Belize City, His Worship Darrell Bradley. The generous donation was made possible through the efforts of Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, US.

More Allegations against Johnny Briceno
The Guardian has received land documents showing that Johnny Briceno was involved in shady land distribution practices. Several allegations have been presented to us and so far at least one source has provided proof. In 1998, the Government of Belize gave the Belize Port Authority over 10 acres of land situated at Sandbore Caye. It was the Minister’s Fiat Grant No. 829 of 1998. The Belize Port Authority established a base on the island. It is also home to a lighthouse reef. A lighthouse is extremely important since it protects the coral reef by steering vessels away from the area. The Belize Port Authority had a plan for the island but recently learnt that the plan was a no go when the island was advertised for sale on page 40 of the Sunday, February 12 edition of the Amandala.

UNDP donates Pickup Truck to Ministry of Human Development
On Friday, March 23, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) handed over an Isuzu pickup truck to the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation, and Poverty Alleviation (MHDSTPA). It was the second motor vehicle provided to the Ministry under the Global Fund (GF) Round 9 Grant, being implemented by UNDP. The donations are in an effort to enhance the Ministry’s outreach capacity.

Government Provides Second Chance Opportunities for More Youths
On Monday, March 26, the Social Investment Fund signed agreements with eight local educational institutions as part of the Academic and Social Skills Training Program and the Vocational Training Program Phase I. Thirty-eight youths will be identified and assisted financially to further their education in academic, social and vocational skills training. As part of the program, Daniel Cano, Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund, signed agreements with the Youth Enhancement Services, Young Women’s Christian Association, Living Hope Preparatory School, Belize Friends School, 4H Youth Development Centre, the Orange Walk and Stann Creek ITVETS and the Cayo Centre for Employment Training (CET).

Under Secretary of U.S. Department of State Maria Otero visits Belize
The Embassy of the United States of America has announced the visit of Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, Maria Otero. She oversees and coordinates U.S. foreign relations on the spectrum of civilian security issues across the globe, including democracy, human rights, population, refugees, trafficking-in-persons, the rule of law, counter-narcotics, crisis prevention and response, global criminal justice, and countering violent extremism. Under Secretary Otero is visiting Belize on March 28 and 29, 2012. She will be meeting with Government of Belize officials and local NGO’s to discuss the bilateral relationship between the United States of America and Belize in her areas of expertise.

Government Speech - Delivered By His Excellency The Governor General, Sir Colville N. Young
Part II of the Government Speach delivered by Sir Colville Young, Gov. General of Belize The Government will implement the RESTORE Belize Strategic Plan, which recognizes three major pillars for restoring Belize namely: human development, citizen prosperity and citizen security. (G) Education and Youth My Government is firmly committed to the creation of a national education program to meet the demands of this emerging nation in the 21st century. Over the next five years, along with its partners in education, the Government intends to raise the bar even further through focus on four main areas. These will be to: (1) improve the quality and relevance of education at all levels; (2) improve the educational environment and attendance; (3) strengthen administration throughout the education sector; and (4) increase student participation and achievement countrywide.

Fuel prices at record high; Government has Solutions
The price of Premium Gasoline reached a record of $12.12 at the pump in Belize City on Wednesday March 28th. Diesel stood at $10.10 and regular gasoline was at $11.81. The prices at the pump are indicative of an ever-escalating price on the international market and Belize, like most countries, is at the mercy of the oil-producing economies that dictate when the price of fuel goes up or comes down.

Framework for Transition to Chlorofluorocarbons Strenghtens
The National Ozone Unit within the Department of the Environment has been executing the Ozone Layer Protection Programme in Belize since the year 2000. Based on the formulation of the Country Programme in 1998-1999, the National Ozone Unit has successfully executed various National Projects between the periods 2000 to 2010, in the effort to phase-out importation of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as Ozone Depleting Substances. While Belize has successfully phased-out the importation of CFCs, the country must maintain zero importation as per the mandates of the Montreal Protocol. One of the many activities under this programme is the upgrading of the Governmentof Belize laboratory’s gas chromatograph. This critical piece of equipment will alsobe able to serve for an in-depth analysis of refrigerants prior to allowing importation into Belize.


Legends King Kong challenge fundraiser
We are all very pleased with the first San Pedro Branch Red Cross Belize Fundraiser at Legends Burger House on Sunday March 25th. We had a great turn out, the King Kong challenge was a big hit and Legends was so packed that people were standing on chairs to watch. We ended up with 5 competitors, Michael, Nabhor, Claudia, Hayden and previous challenge winner and burger man Wade the Gringo. Hayden and Wade took the lead fast and it was looking like a very close draw. Dov called it and a few others agreed that while Hayden’s plate was empty first his mouth was still full and Wade was the clear winner because he swallowed. The Chinese Auction also a big hit, our auctioneer Bob Utsman had the room laughing and the girls out bidding each other and any boys who were trying for a lovely gold and gemstone ring. Helda was the lucky winner in the end. In total we raised a grand total of $4310 – job well done.

Mahajual/Mahahual: Almost Two Different Towns
About half an hour north and then half an hour east of Chetumal is the small beach town of Mahahual, Mexico. The town was almost totally levelled in August of 2007 when Hurricane Dean (my first real hurricane experience on San Pedro) made a direct hit as a Category 5. Situated at the northern end of the world's second longest barrier reef that spans the southern Yucatan, Belize to Honduras, the town has two totally distinct halves. On one side of town, there is a massive cruise ship dock and cruise ship village. It is like a giant mall in the middle of a deserted beach with none of the places you'd want to visit. They have a Hard Rock Cafe, Diamonds International and about 1000 junky trinket stores. Since the cruise ships come in on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays and we arrived on a Saturday, the place was closed and in fact, the whole town was pretty empty. In the other direction, there is the town proper. There is quite a bit of building going on (and some super touristy stuff like Senor Frogs)...but the beach is very pretty with a nice wide pedestrian promenade along the sea and the water perfect for wading right up to the reef.

The Stemadenia Donnel Smithi – A Magnetic Force Deep Within the Jungles of Belize
The Stemadenia donnel smithi, has a magnetic draw. Not only does the sweet nectar of its large yellow flowers attract butterflies, moths, hummingbirds and bees but its fruits also draw over 22 species of birds (including toucans and woodpeckers) and small mammals such as kinkajous, squirrels, and even monkeys. Probably the most interesting species to note is the homo sapiens sapiens which congregate around this tree to nourish their spirit with laughter and a shared joy as it inspires a plethora of quips, double-entendres in reference to the large, paired hanging fruits. Under the tree’s shade clever advances (mostly in good taste) are made on the opposite sex (usually) in an attempt to propagate the species or to satisfy nature’s appetite. One of many things all Central American countries share is the abundance of Stemadenia donnel smithi, more commonly referred to as “Horse balls”. This plant can grow to be 10 to 15 meters in height and the girth of its trunk to about 25centimeters. These trees bear fruit throughout the year and are in abundance particularly in pastures but also in the rainforest. The sap from this plant’s fruit is used as a natural remedy as it relieves insect bites. In the wild, lush jungles of Belize, where nature spontaneously generates life, one particularity that hold true is the magnetic properties of the Stemadenia donnel smithi as it nourishes the ecosystem.

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Belize
Belize is a small country with a big adventure quotient. Tucked away between Guatemala and Honduras, there is a lot you probably don’t know about this tropical Eden. For instance: 1) The only Jaguar preserve in the world is found in Belize. 2) The water surrounding Belize averages 79 to 83 °F (26 to 28 °C). 3) Most of Belize’s territories were recently owned by neighbouring Guatemala. 4) With under 350,000 people, Belize is one of the least populated countries in the world. 5) The largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere is found in Belize. 6) Belize’s barrier reef is home to over 400 species of fish. 7) It is considered rude to greet people in Belize by their first names. 8) Belize is the only Central American country that doesn’t recognize Spanish as an official language. 9) Black Howler Monkeys indigenous to Belize are among the loudest animals in the world.

Maya Ruins in Belize: Visiting Lamanai
Nearly every travel magazine and media outlet has included Belize in their round up of “must visit” destinations for 2012, mainly because the end of the Maya calendar takes place on December 21. And the recent visit by Prince Harry certainly did wonders for putting Belize on even more travelers’ radars. I guess for once I was ahead of the curve on something as I’ve been traveling to Belize regularly since 2005. I already know how cool the country is. But thanks for the backup National Geographic and TIME Magazine. Belize is a really a country that has it all for me – rich history, vibrant culture, and certainly no shortage of amazing cuisine. Those elements, along with the very special friendships I’ve made during all my trips, are the main things that bring me back at least once a year. I’m often asked by many first-time Belize travelers which is the best Maya ruin site to visit if you only have time for one. While I certainly have not explored every Maya temple in Belize, my recommendation is visit Lamanai.

International Sources

Mexican Astronomer Dismisses Mayan Apocalypse Prophecies
Neither the Mayans’ texts nor their calendar contain predictions of an apocalypse later this year, but regrettably “pseudoscientific media outlets are talking about the end of the world, based on supposed prophecies and the Mayan calendar,” Mexican astronomer Marte Trejo Sandoval said. The Mayans, who lived in what are now Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador between 800 B.C. and A.D. 900, did not leave behind any texts that contain prophecies about the end of the world on Dec. 21, the astronomer and historian said during a workshop Wednesday in the southeastern Mexican state of Yucatan. “Astronomy played a fundamental role in knowing when it was time to plant and in following the cycles of the planets, but there are no records that the Mayans saw the end of the world coming. An apocalyptic concept did not exist in that civilization,” Trejo told the Mexico City daily El Universal.

New seismic hazard assessment for Central America
A new study evaluates the seismic hazards for the entire Central America, including specific assessments for six capital cities, with the greatest hazard expected for Guatemala City and San Salvador, followed by Managua and San Jose, and notably lower in Tegucigalpa and Panama City. The study, published in the April issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA), included input from seismic hazard experts from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, Norway and Spain. All seismic experts from Central American countries, except Belize, agree with the study's assessments.

CARIFORUM and EU Sign $110M in Agreements; Allocations for Belize, Haiti
The Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) and the European Union signed three financial agreements aimed at boosting the region’s integration efforts. The three agreements have a total value of $110 million, which will support integration and trade in the OECS, the further development of the CARICOM single market, with special allocations for Belize and Haiti, and CARIFORUM’s commitments under its joint EU partnership agreement. The OECS portion will strengthen the organization’s capacity to integrate into wider CARICOM arrangments.

Appeal court declares Telemedia nationalisation unconstitutional
On August 25 2009 the Belize government nationalised Belize Telemedia Limited. By way of an order issued by the telecommunications minister, the government ...

March 29, 2012

The San Pedro Sun

SP Cancer Society members gear up for Cancer Awareness Month
“You know, I have been thinking, while [Carlos] cuts my hair…we have a choice – we’re choosing to do this…but others suffering from cancer…they don’t have a choice…now I know how my mother must be feeling…” Those words were said with a catch in the throat as Dina Graniel sat in the chair getting her hair trimmed off. Everyone watching and listening felt the importance of the moment, and more than a few tears slipped as Dina bravely held up her head with pride, as the last few strands fell off, and her new short ‘do revealed her tears mixed with smiles. Dina was one of the three women who faced the electric razor under the hands of Carlos Barrientos, on Friday, March 23, 2012. Penny Bonilla and Monica Prevett also received radical new cuts in preparation for the bigger, more public activity scheduled for March 31, 2012. Three men also went under the shears: Enrique de Leon, Gonzalo Muñoz and Miguel Perez. Young Nathaniel joined his mother Penny with a new haircut, while Dina’s nephew Brandon sat on the chair asking to match his aunt’s look.

Wine de Vine becomes Official Countrywide Distributor of Moët Hennessy Liquors
Wine lovers will be happy to learn that Wine de Vine has become the new Official Partner and Distributor of Moët Hennessy Wines and Spirits in Belize. The partnership comes after Wine de Vine took the initiative to pursue the distributorship when they learned that their previous supplier would no longer be carrying the products. Wine de Vine says that because there was no official distributor for the country before, wholesalers had to buy through unofficial channels, which ended up pushing up the cost of the products and made availability unpredictable. What this new partnership means for the country is that Wine de Vine will now be able to offer direct access to the wide range of Moët Hennessy products and will allow for much more reliable availability, as well as cheaper costs at both the wholesale and retail level. Mrs. Flor Bradley, manager of Wine de Vine, says that this is an exciting time for the company as it opens the doors to a large selection of popular and coveted products that are instantly recognized as top liquors worldwide. The Moët Hennessy portfolio includes renowned brands such as Moët et Chandon, Krug, Ruinart, Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot, Ardberg, Mercier, Château d’Yquem, Hennessy, Glenmorangie, Belvedere, Domaine Chandon California, Domaine Chandon Australia, 10 Cane, Bodegas Chandon, Cloudy Bay, Cape Mentelle Vineyard, Newton Vineyard, Lapostolle Terrazas de los Andes, Cheval des Andes, Château de Sancerre, Château Cheval Blanc, Grand Marnier,Wenjun and Numanthia.

Missing girl Stephanie Mejia calls home
A family from the Boca del Rio area in San Pedro Town somewhat relieved after their run-away child contacted them shortly after being reported missing. The teenager is 15-year-old Stephanie Mejia who was last seen on Saturday night, March 24th in the vicinity of Central Park. Brother, Giovanni Mejia, 21, visited the San Pedro Police Station on Tuesday, March 27th around 1PM to place the official missing person’s report. According to Mejia, his sister Stephanie went swimming with her aunt and other family members on Saturday afternoon. After spending the day at the beach, she returned home and informed her mother that she would need to meet with her classmates later that night to work on a school project. She was last seen by her family around 8PM, when she left en route to the town core area, where she was to meet with her classmates. Giovanni states that he discovered from asking Stephanie’s friends that she left them around 8:30PM that night, en route to meet with some other friends to do her homework after which she was to head home. That was the last she was seen by anyone.

El Pescador donates to Green Reef
On Tuesday, March 27th El Pescador Resort presented a donation to the Green Reef Environmental Institute. The contribution is part of resorts annual commitment to Green Reef’s work. The donation of $7,500 is expected to be used by Green Reef in its effort to foster the preservation of important marine habitats around Ambergris Caye. Handing over the donation on behalf of El Pescador Resort was Chief Executive Officer Alyssa Flota. In speaking exclusively to The San Pedro Sun, Flota said that “We believe strongly in Green Reef’s ethic to protect mangrove and marine habitat used in sports fishing. We have been making a donation based on the number of guests that visit El Pescador each year.” Flota went on to explain that the donation is important to El Pescador because their focus is sports fishing. “It is also very important to the island. It is very easy for all of us to understand the importance of protecting the reef, but frequently the mangrove and sea grass habitats get left to the wayside. People believe that it is just swamp and don’t realize the importance of protecting it so we have joined the bandwagon in ensuring that it is protected.”

Ambergris Today

Belize Among Top Ten Snorkeling Spots In The World
Belize was once again chosen as an international first pick, this time topping the list of perfect destinations for diving and snorkeling. On March 24th, 2012 ‘The National’, one of the few English newspapers based in the United Arab Emirates, with a circulation of over 40,000 and supporting 200 staff writers posted across the globe, nominated Belize as the second best snorkeling location in the world. According to the newspaper, “The Hol Chan Marine Reserve is perfect for a day trip for snorkeling at the reef while observing a wide variety of fish including jacks, snappers and barracudas. You can spot turtles gliding, dolphins playing nearby and manatees swimming and congregating in the grassy sea beds.” This rating is now being added to a list of accolades Belize has received for snorkeling and diving. “This has been a really great year for us, because this top 10 nomination for snorkeling comes on the heels of our beaches being ranked 7th, 8th, and 9th in Central America by Trip Advisor, the world's largest internet travel website,” said Yanick Dalhouse, Director of Marketing and Industry Relations for the Belize Tourism Board. “These awards are absolutely fantastic and only validate what Belizeans have been raving about for years.”

El Pescador Continues Supporting Green Reef Conservation Efforts
Since 2006 El Pescador has partnered with Green Reef Environmental Institute, a marine conservation NGO, to support Green Reef’s environmental efforts in the reefs and waters surrounding Ambergris Caye. El Pescador will enable its guests to enjoy themselves and the beauty of Belize with the knowledge that they have contributed to the preservation of the natural environment they came to experienced. As an environmentally friendly fishing and eco-adventure resort, El Pescador is committed to the protection of the environment through responsible travel. Therefore, El Pescador continues its support of Green Reef with this year’s 2012 donation on behalf of their guests during 2011. This year’s donation is $7500. "Both Green Reef and El Pescador want to preserve the habitats that bring tourists to Ambergris Caye," said Mito Paz, Executive Director of Green Reef. "We at Green Reef are grateful to El Pescador for its innovative program, its leadership in protecting our resources and its practice of progressive eco-tourism."

Culture Day - Child Stimulation Month
This is the last week of Child Stimulation Month and children are enjoying the last fun activities prepared for them. Students of ABC Pre-School participated in Culture Day as they came dressed up in the different ethnic groups that make up our beautiful Belize. Students and Teachers dressed up the part and students were lectured about the ethnic groups' traditions, religion, traditional clothing and food. Below are some pictures of the different ethnic groups as portrayed by the students of ABC Pre-school.The Mennonites of Belize The Mestizo of Belize The Chinese of Belize The Ketchi Maya of Belize The Garifuna of Belize The Creoles of Belize

San Pedro Celebrity Vacation Hot Spot!
Our latest celebrity vacationers are cute couple actor and actress Jensen Ackles & Danneel Harris. This happily married couple came down to La Isla Bonita and stayed at the luxurious Portofino Beach Resort for a great getaway to soak up the sun and enjoy many day trips exploring the second largest Barrier Reef in the world. The Ackles also got to experience the amazing nightlife from restaurants to bar hopping and clubbing. Also word was out on the island that popular movie actor Bruce Willis was also vacationing and enjoying life in paradise. Ambergris Today’s Gerry Badillo got the opportunity to take a picture with the Ackles and Sandra and Jan van Noord owner’s of the Portofino Beach Resort at Jaguar’s Temple Night Club.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: The Nuri Akbar interviews
This guy did a literal treasure trove of interviews on social and political challenges facing Belize. He was based in California. The below clip is a one-hour interview he did with then PM Esquivel and then Foreign Minister (and current PM) Dean Barrow. Nuri Akbar was a HARD HITTING interviewer. He didn't ask any powder puff questions. The Bredaa organization sponsored what can be called the first Belize Prime Ministers forum held at Los Angeles in 1992. The forum was hosted by Nuri Akbar and held at the Marcus Garvey school in front of a live audience. This interview was later broadcast via Pacifica radio network (KPFK 90.7 FM) in Los Angeles on the BREDAA produce "Belize Caribbean Pusle" show. The guest included former and current PM Manuel Esquivel and Dean Barrow. Topic covered the economy, social/political challenges, foreign policy and the impact of race on the local body politics of Belize. Many of the issues discussed almost two decades ago remain elusive to the Belizean experiment. This historical interview was release on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Belize independence on Sept 21st 2011. PT 2

PHOTOS: Spring Equinox at Caracol Maya
Ambergris Today has posted some upbeat pictures from the Caracol camping trip in celebration of the Vernal Equinox. Take a look at them.

PHOTOS: Cayo Christian Academy's Science Fair
The Cayo Christian Academy had their Science Fair. Here are their pictures. They also have an update: "Cayo Christian Academy is accepting applications for the upcoming school year! All documents needed can be downloaded from our website! Scholarships coming up next week so apply to CCA now!"

Sleeping Policemen: Speed Bumps of Belize
The first trip to Belize was filled with days of silence. “Why,” you may ask, “would an otherwise talkative, gregarious woman, be left speechless?” All the energy I would have expended making conversation, was used in absorbing the landscape. I spent a lot of time on Belizean roads, winding my way in the valleys of the Maya mountains and across the marshes and lowlands. Deep green hills filled with palms and hardwoods were dappled in light. The environment was vastly different from my home and what I had imagined in my mind’s eye; this was the tropics, and it was lush, verdant and full of life. There was something however that woke me from the dream that was cruising across the landscape: Speed bumps. Belizean speedbumps, or “Sleeping Policemen” take the cake for world’s best traffic control. The are famous around the world, and it is rumored that during the last visit from Queen Elizabeth II, she made a special request that the “bumps” be removed from the route she would travel, to avoid any royal roadside unpleasantness. The rest of us aren’t so lucky. The bumps and the subsequent, “Argghhh! OUCH! Yahhhh!” from the passengers in the cars provides a jolt and even potential damage to the car. I have watched cars bottom out, pop tires and scrape bumpers by taking on the bumps too fast. They are extremely effective speed tools – you need to know how to navigate them and take your time getting over them to keep yourself, and your cargo intact. Here’s a quick guide to the bumps of Belize:

Channel 7

A 49 year old Belize City man survived seven shots to his upper body this morning. Miraculously, Emmanuel Robinson is in a stable condition at the KHMH after he was shot at the corner of Kraal Road this morning. Monica Bodden spoke to an area resident about what happened and she has this report: Monica Bodden Reporting The shooting happened here at the corner of Haynes Street and Kraal Road - in front of this residence - at around 5 this morning. The bloodstains on the side of the street form a track that leads you almost to Kraal Road. That's because 49 year old Emmanuel Robinson tried walking in search of help with his injuries after he was shot 7 times.

We've all heard about home invasions, but our next story is about a terrifying classroom invasion! It happened yesterday on the ITVET compound. Three University of Belize students were held up at gunpoint and robbed in their classroom - at around 2 in the afternoon. The students who are all attending the faculty of engineering were inside their classroom when the 3 men - one armed with a handgun and 2 armed with sharp objects entered and demanded that they handed over their cellphones and a laptop computer. It's a very disturbing report and the first time that we've ever reported on students being robbed inside a classroom. Today 7news spoke with the Lecturer of Engineering - who told us that the 3 men posed as students and they all carried knapsacks. They walked on the compound as normal and headed straight to the classroom which is located at the back of the compound.

The PUP has filed another election petition - this one against the UDP's Lake Independence Area Representative, Mark King. The petition is filed by King's PUP Opponent Martin Galvez. He alleges that Mark King has a contract with the government of Belize - and that King did not make a declaration of it - and because of that, he is not a qualified candidate. As we understand it, the claim is that King's security firm has a contract with the Government. We reached King this evening and he told us he has no comment at this time -but added that he has no concern about what Galvez and his sister do. The PUP will also file petitions in the Cayo Central and Cayo Northeast divisions. They have until Friday to do so.

A BDF soldier who has been in jail for a year staring down the barrel of a 10 year sentence, is a free man tonight - after a ruling by the Court Of Appeals. 24 year-old BDF Private Paulino Assi, who killed a man in a hurricane shelter, was able to successfully appeal his manslaughter conviction today. His 10 year sentence was set aside and a retrial was ordered by the Court of Appeal. Assi's attorney, Simeon Sampson, successfully argued that he was not given a fair trial in February 2011. First, It was determined that the trial judge did not adequately direct the jury to consider his good character. Also, the court found that the trial judge improperly directed the jury on the BDF's rules of engagement with civilians.

Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington has returned from Central American Drug Summit which was held in Antigua, Guatemala. The meeting is making world news tonight because Guatemala's President Otto Perez Molina proposed legalizing and regulating drug and the drug trade. His proposal would see the regulation of the trans-shipment of drugs - creating a regional corridor for the transport of drugs and establishing border controls for the proper registry of the movement of drugs. He also proposes the legalization of the consumption of drugs with all necessary. And while it may seem radical, proponents argue that it is the only rational response to curtail illicit trafficking activity which has taken over a portion of Guatemala's north-eastern Peten and has taken thousands of lives throughout Mexico.

We called him the pretend-police, 23 year-old Aaron Wilson who was allegedly impersonating a cop in mid 2010. After several months in the Magistrate's Court, the preliminary inquiry finished today, and it was determined that he will stand trial in the Supreme Court. Wilson has to answer to the charges of forgery of an official document, possession of a false official document, unlawful possession of Police Department accoutrements, and possession of imitation official documents. After several of the police statements were read out in court today, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith ruled that there is enough evidence for the Supreme Court to hear the case properly. Wilson's attorney, Arthur Saldivar, attempted to fight the case by pointing out that the original case file has been missing since September of last year, and that the prosecution is depending on copies.

The election may be over, but political tensions are still running high in Orange Walk. Orange Walk Town Council's new PUP Sanitation Supervisor Efrain Alpuche and UDP supporter Dillon Jones have counter-charged each other for threatening words. IT all started with a heated argument on Friday at a paint store in the Town. Jones reported to police that Alpuche - who doubles as the Mayor's driver - had threatened him. And so, on Friday evening, Police arrested and charged him for the use of threatening words against Jones. After some political drama, Alpuche got bail on Friday night and then filed a counter-complaint against Dillon Jones.

Almost three weeks ago an attempt was made on a young man's life - and he identified the culprit as a 15 year old minor. Jose Saravia is a 17 year old Salvadoran Naturalized Belizean of Belize City. At around 4:30 on the afternoon of March 15th, Saravia was at a shop on M&M Street when he was approached by a male who he had known for 10 years. According to Saravia, the male chased him with a knife and stabbed him behind his left shoulder, the left side of his back, and his abdomen. Police have since detained a 15 year old Belize City student and continue their investigation.

23 year-old Emil Audinett, a vendor of Fern Lane, was charged with being caught in a house without adequate explanation. It is alleged that he broke into his sister's home. 25 year-old Devaney Wallace reported to police that at around 7 yesterday morning, he and his common-law wife left for work, and they locked up their house on Rose Lane in the Lake Independence area. Wallace said that he forgot something and returned home 5 minutes later. He tried to open the door, but found that it was locked from inside, which only happens when someone is inside. Eventually he got the door open and that's when he found his common-law wife's brother, Audinett, inside the house. Audinett allegedly told him that he was there to look for detergent, and that he found the door open.

At the top of the newscast, we told you about the classroom invasion at ITVET. The robbers went in posing as students. And that led us back to the YWCA - which is just down the street from ITVET. As we reported last night, that school was robbed on Monday morning. The interesting part is that the assailant posed as a parent going to pay his child's school fee. But he was in fact, an armed robber and got away with over 2 thousand dollars in cash and cheques. Today we stopped in at the Y - where we were told that they are working on stepping up security measures. Sonia Linarez - General Secretary, YMCA "On Monday morning, someone came into our office and held up our finance officer. He demanded money using a gun, and she hand over the amount that we had that she was about to prepare for a deposit at the bank."

In posh, high end stores like Barney's in New York, a product called Maya Bags fetches premium prices, comparable to upscale designer products. Those bags are made entirely in Belize by Mayan women from villages such as Columbia, Dolores, Otoxha (Oto-sha), Indian Creek and other communities. Well, work from native women is also being celebrated in Belize by the Women's Department, as part of women's month activities. They are having a two day Expo featuring locally grown spices along with a variety of baskets, carvings, clothing and accessories. Cynthia Williams from the Women's department who told us what is being sold and why Belizeans buy it. Cyntha Williams - Coordinator, Women's Department "Today, we are having a Maya's Women Expo as part of Women's Month activities. We wanted to really contribute also to a year of the Mayans, which is being observed by the Ministry of Tourism. So we invited several women's group with whom we work with throughout the year, to bring their products that they produce to sell it within Belize City. We have groups from Toledo and Stann Creek district, and we have a variety of products that they produce including Maya pepper, yellow ginger, anato, kasham and also products that do for example Maya blouses, jewelry that they make, slave cravings, and also baskets make out to the jippy jappa material."

Channel 5

Guatemala President proposes to legalize drugs and shipment route
With escalating violence in the region, decriminalizing the transportation of drugs heading to the US has become a hot topic. The idea was first broached by the Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina. He has been lobbying for support because he believes that in the war on drugs, US assistance has not reduced the drug trade ...

Foreign Minister says U.S. must have a say in drug situation
Elrington says that the discussion caught most country representatives off-guard and that the situation was somewhat confusing as some representatives thought it might have been a Central American Integration System (SICA) meeting. But how does Belize fit in? Elrington’s response was that the meeting should not be held without the United States which considers drug ...

Classroom invasion; university students at gunpoint
A robbery was executed at the ITVET on Freetown Road which shows that robberies are becoming even more daring and dangerous. The robbery did not just take place in the compound; in fact it was inside a classroom of the UB Faculty of Engineering. Early afternoon, at about one-thirty on Tuesday, three students; Nirmal Babani ...

Man shot multiple times; no motive established
Less than twenty-four hours after the robbery, gunshots rang out on Kraal Road at dawn today and when the echoes faded forty-nine year old Emmanuel Robinson had been hit multiple times. The shooting occurred just a few feet away from the now infamous location where a grenade was thrown in December 2009. Robinson, a resident ...

Budget presentation delayed
There are only few examples when budgets have been delayed. The last time it happened was in 2008 when the U.D.P. assumed office after ten years of P.U.P. rule. After the recent March seventh elections, the PM announced that the 2012 budget would be late even though budget preparations normally begin in October to be ...

But what will be in the budget?
So what is in store in the budget? There is some new and some rehashing of projects. Osorio also told News Five that the construction of a new bridge at the Macal River adjoining the twin towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio, is contemplated as is the completion of the Kendal Bridge. Equally impactful ...

Sedi speaks on accused GSU excessive force
Earlier in the newscast, the Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington spoke on the security meeting in Antigua, Guatemala. Elrington is also the Attorney General so we asked him about a legal battle brewing with Belize City gangs. Recently the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) of the Police Department was accused of using excessive force on gang members ...

Commercial Center bomb threat
Business was halted at the Commercial Center and traffic was rerouted in downtown Belize City after a hoax bomb threat was called in around nine o’clock this morning. The building was evacuated and businesses closed their doors for about forty-five minutes while police and traffic officers manned the cordoned off area. The B.D.F. bomb expert ...

B.D.F. Soldier gets retrial in Manslaughter Case
Just over a year ago, Belize Defence Force Sergeant Paulino Assi was convicted of Manslaughter and sentenced to ten years in prison. But Assi appealed and today a retrial was ordered in the case. The appeal started last Friday and Assi’s Attorney, Simeon Sampson argued four grounds on his behalf. Simpson’s submissions included that the ...

Fake Cop faces real court
The infamous fake cop, twenty-three year old Aaron Wilson, is going to trial on four charges. During the preliminary inquiry today, his attorney Arthur Saldivar made several attempts to challenge the evidence before the court and revealed that Wilson’s case file has been missing since September, 2011. But Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith committed Wilson ...

Water rates to go down
It’s official; water rates are going down. That’s the final decision that was announced today by the Public Utilities Commission, which recently concluded the annual review proceedings for the Belize Water Services Limited. BWS submitted its application on December twenty-third, 2011 and wanted its rates and tariffs to remain the same. The P.U.C., however, believes ...

Water Services wants P.U.C. to review rate decision
While it did not submit an objection, the BWS has now made a formal request for the P.U.C. to review its final decision. But Almendarez says the commission’s final decision is just that… final.   Leroy Almendarez “You don’t review the final decision. There was a period for objection; they either objected or they did ...

2 other petitions filed by the P.U.P. in Court
This Friday, the Supreme Court will deliver a decision on whether or not, Yolanda Schakron and the People’s United Party will get leave to proceed to hearing on the disqualification of the nomination of Schakron that barred her from running in the Lake Independence. This afternoon the opposition filed two other petitions. Martin Galvez, who ...

Southern women display Mayan Art
The Women’s Department, as a part of the calendar of activities for Women’s Month, is hosting a two-day Maya Women’s Expo to increase exposure and generate income for the indigenous women of southern Belize. The initiative was made possible through an ongoing relationship between the department and the women’s groups and it also coincides with ...

Read a Passage at the Leo Bradley Library Book Fair
A book fair took place today at the Leo Bradley Library and its aim was to encourage reading. The National Library Service has the fair annually with the hopes that by motivating youths to read, the practice will be passed on through generations. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports on the event that saw an impressive ...

KTV Latino; Music sung from the Heart
Local talent at its best; that’s what the KTV Latino contestants showcase every Tuesday night in the Bliss auditorium. And this week was no different as the five singers in Group A took the stage. The variety and quality of the performances impressed both the judges and the audience. But now it’s time to get ...


A fifteen year old boy has been detained on suspicion of attempted murder. Because he is a minor, his name cannot be released; but police say they have detained him pending the outcome of their investigations. Seventeen year old Jose Saravia was stabbed multiple times on March fifteent...

On Tuesday afternoon a trio or armed men interrupted classes at the University of Belize’s Freetown Road campus and robbed three students of their belongings while inside the classroom. The terrifying incident happened around one thirty yesterday afternoon at the Faculty of...

A man was shot early this morning as he rode to his worksite in Belize City. The victim, 49 year old Emmanuel Robinson was shot six times in his chest, stomach and arm. The incident happened on Haynes Street, near its junction with Kraal Road. One resident told Love N...

The Public Utilities Commission has issued a statement confirming that the initial decision on the Annual Review Proceeding for Belize Water Services Limited has been confirmed as its final decision. According to the brief statement announcing the final decision, the Commission o...


Efrain Alpuche and Dilon Jones Go To Court
This morning 45 year old Efrain Alpuche, an employee of the Orange Walk Town Council accused of threatening words, and U.D.P loud mouth piece dubbed serial caller Dilon Jones accused of using insulting words appeared before the Orange Walk Magistrates Court. On Friday March 23rd Jones visited the Orange Walk Police Station and filed a complaint against Alpuche who was then arrested by police and charged for threatening words. Alpuche was released from police custody only after Attorney Marcel Cardona intervened and number of PUP supporters including Mayor Kevin Bernard and councilors gathered in front of the Orange Walk Police Station on Friday night. As mentioned last night reports are that on the night of Alpuche’s arrest orders from the higher hierarchy of the UDP were that he be offered bail until Saturday evening despite the fact that threatening words is a minor offence.

Orange Walk Resident Victim of Freak Accident
A 20 year-old man from the Village of San Jose/San Pablo was severely injured in a freak accident this morning. Omar Calles reported to work at around 7 o’clock this morning. At that time little did he know that he would be the victim of a dreadful accident that could leave him without one leg. Hipolito Novelo-Reporting A pool of fresh blood, pieces of flesh and a portion of broken bone are all indications that 20 year old Omar Calles was severely injured this morning at around 8:45 when his left foot was severed by the shaft of a bush hog. Reports to CTV3 News are that 37 year old Elmer Novelo and Calles, both from the Village of San Pablo, were hired by contractor Luis Rodriguez to clear the high shrubs along the Northern Highway for the Belize Electricity Limited. This morning both men were clearing the shrubs with a bush hog being pulled by a tractor when all indications are that somewhere near Belize Western Energy Limited an old tire got caught in between the bush hog and the tractor.

Free Internet Available In Public Areas
In February the Orange Walk Town Council officially launched their manifesto entitled “Change is Here” which covers a multitude of plans and ideas. The manifesto serves as contract to the people and is fixated on solutions and not promises. In the area of Youth and Sports the council committed to provide free internet access to all students, youths and citizens in public areas. In seeing the importance of embracing and making technology available for students and youths on a whole, the council immediately embarked in its plan to provide free internet access which is now available. Ian Cal, councilor “Well basically what we did that in our manifesto we had included that we are going to provide free wireless internet for the people of Orange Walk and I am happy to announce that we have completed that project, we as the town council when we came in we immediately battle this project and we can say that now today is a reality but we didn’t only stopped with providing free wireless internet but we are also are providing a feed to the Barracks and as well to the market area so people can start enjoying that wireless internet that was much needed by many students around town, I mean internet is something that is needed, the school actually demands internet to do your research, your homework and things like that and it is kind of hard in this hard times students find it a little bit hard to take out that little extra four dollars to go to an internet café and pay that for an hour now they can come out here if they have a laptop, their phones and do their research on it free of cost courtesy of the Orange Walk Town Council but of course it is the taxpayers money and we are just giving back to the community as well.”

Another Burglary Reported In Corozal
Recently Corozal has been plagued by a series of burglaries which seem to have no end. And tonight there is yet another report of burglary coming out of the Corozal District. Sixty six year old Belizean Taxi Driver and Caretaker of Hall’s Layout, Servalerio Garcia, reported to Corozal police that between the hours of 3:30pm on March 20th and 3:00pm on March 26th, the house which he is in charge of, located on the Santa Elena Road was burglarized. According to reports the thief or thieves made off with one Mahogany door valued at $1,500, one Mahogany bed with mattress valued at $4,000, one refrigerator valued at $700 and one bathroom wooden door valued at $400. All items amounted to a total of $6,600. Police observed that the burglar or burglars gained entry to the building by prying open an aluminum louver of the bathroom window located on the southern side of the building. So far no one has been arrested and police continue their investigations.

BTIA And O.W.T.C Join Hands To Develop Orange Walk Into A Tourist Destination
Tourism is one of the leading incomes for Belize: creating employment and the inflow of foreign currency. For the most part Orange Walk is not considered as a tourism destination but that’s about to change. Yesterday the Town Council met with the Belize Tourism Industry Association to form a partnership aimed at developing tourism in Orange Walk. Mayor Kevin Bernard told us what their main purpose is. Kevin Bernard, Mayor “Our meeting that we had today with BTIA Orange Walk, basically is to reaffirm our commitment to work in partnership with the BTIA Orange Walk Chapter, as you know the tourism center was constructed in late December now they are seeking in getting someone to work with them to carry out and promote tourism in Orange Walk, so what we did was basically sit down and discuss and we have agreed that the council will be meeting on Wednesday and BTIA will also be sending us a proposal as to how we go about partner shipping with them in order for us to promote tourism in Orange Walk because as you know tourism is something that we also campaigned on and this council is very committed and will fulfill its commitment and as Ian Cal mentioned in his interview earlier that we have already launched part of our planning because the entire plan is for us to rebuild the entire Central Park and its surroundings and part of that had involve us working together with BTIA in order for us to attract more tourist and as well as for our meeting to solidify the support we have to would offer to the BTIA Chapter and likewise the support they would offer us as a council in order for us to move Orange Walk forward in one direction.” With Orange Walk embraced as a tourist destination, new employment opportunities will be created thus benefitting the entire community.

Preschoolers Take Part In Festival Of Arts
The month of March is being celebrated as Child Stimulation Month with preschooler’s country wide participating in a number of activities. The key purpose of the activities is to promote the importance of Early Childhood Education. One such activity is the Festival of Arts celebrated this year under the theme “Art is Expression; Art is Education, Let’s Keep It Alive”. Today as the 12 rural pre-schools and 12 pre-schools located within town took part in the annual Festival of Arts our camera captured all the talent that was exposed at the Multi Purpose Complex Building. Janine Ayuso-Reporting On well decorated and colourful stage 24 pre-schools took their turn at the spotlight and showed the audience what their performance was all about at the Festival of Arts. The event saw pre-school talent at it best as preschoolers dressed in their different yet very distinguishing outfits expressed art in the form of dance, music and drama. But according to Early Childhood Coordinator, Eleanor Carillo, the Festival of Arts was not only about showcasing creative ideas and talent in dance and drama; the main objective goes way beyond that.

Yolando Schakron's Court Case Commences
On February 17th, Yolanda Schakron’s Candidacy to run for the 2012 General Elections for the Lake I Division was rejected by registering Officer Noreen Fairweather on the grounds that Schakron held dual nationality. On March 22nd Schakron filed an application for the leave to present an election Petition to the Supreme Court. The preliminary hearing for that case was heard in the Supreme Court by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin yesterday. Lisa Shoman and Godfrey Smith represented Yolando Schakron and on the other side of the court room, Attorneys Senior Counsel Denys Barrow and Crown Counsel Magali Perdomo, represented Mark King and the Attorney General. Lisa Shoman, Attorney “Under the Constitution we have to ask for leave to present an election petition and so that is what the hearing was about today and the test that you have to pass in order to satisfy the court that you are permitted to bring an election petition is there is an adequate case and we try to demonstrated to the court that not only do we believe that there is an adequate case, there is an adequate case with a realistic prospect of success based on our cases which is that Section 8 (1) of the third schedule of the representation of the peoples act only give the nominating officer, the returning officer, the power to inquire into the nomination paper and nothing more.”

Primary and Secondary School Teachers Take Part In Special Education Workshop
Special Education is a form of teaching that specializes in meeting the needs of physically or mentally handicapped children. Such education requires an effective pedagogical strategy to teach and stimulate learning in children with special needs. To ensure that teachers are prepared in dealing with special cases the Ministry of Education invited two professors from the New Mexico State University to educate teachers on the different methods and strategies used when lecturing students with disabilities. The training program was designed with the key objective of creating an awareness of the various forms of disabilities and how to effectively teach special needs children to become both academically and socially successful. Dr. Monica Brown, Associate professor “What we are doing is really trying to bring some awareness to the teachers here for the primary and secondary around educating kids with disabilities specifically learning disabilities in attention to disorder because there is serving new way within the country to try to be inclusive as far to all the kids and educating them all because they deserve to be in those classrooms. I think it is something that they want to have, I think they want to knowledge, I think they want the skills and I think that is why the teachers are here, they care about moving into inclusivity they make sure that all of those kids that are not left behind, that they are getting what they need in the classroom and I feel all of their passion from them that they really want to help the kids and right now as they are instructing in their college courses or in their training they are just not getting those tools to work with the kids so that’s why we are here to help them and give them some more tools so they can be prepared.”


Public officers get disaster preparedness training in San Pedro
Public Officers and Town Councilors today received some much needed training from the National Emergency Management Organization. Love TV’s Maria Novelo has the story.

House collapses in Belize City
A family of five is displaced after the place they called home collapsed on Sunday evening. It happened at number 24 Neal Pen Road when the two storey wooden structure caved in. Glenbert Reneau, who lives in a house behind the wreckage, was inside the structure at around six o’clock on Sunday evening and narrowly [...]

It is official: PUC says lower water rates start on Sunday
The Public Utilities Commission has issued a statement confirming that the initial decision on the Annual Review Proceeding for Belize Water Services Limited has been confirmed as its final decision. According to the brief statement announcing the final decision, the Commission on January twenty third, approved an average seven point two percent reduction in water [...]

Can and truck collide on Central American Boulevard
About an hour and a half before news time tonight, traffic flow was slowed down by an accident on Central American Boulevard, across from the Belize City Center. The accident involved a Benny’s Truck and a Geo Prizm car which slammed head on into the side of the truck. The car was making its way [...]

Traffic accident reported in Orange Walk
An Orange Walk man was seriously injured in a traffic accident this afternoon in that northern municipality. Arturo Cantun from our sister station Estereo Amor has the details.

New PG town council announced portfolio assignments
Members of the newly elected Punta Gorda Town Council have been assigned specific areas of responsibilities. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Missing San Pedro girl located in Punta Gorda
A fifteen year old San Pedro girl who was reported missing on Tuesday has been located; but the teen apparently does not want to go back home. As we reported previously, Stephanie Meijia was reported missing after she did not show up at home on Saturday night. The family informed the authorities in San Pedro that Mejia had gone to do some homework with friends that night. After that story was broadcast, Mejia reportedly contacted her mother and confirmed her whereabouts. Love News spoke with the mother Reimi Chimilio this morning.

Maya Women expo held in Belize City
The Maya Women’s Expo was held today at the corner of Queen and North Front Streets. On display were food items as well as arts and crafts. Cynthia Williams is the Human Development Coordinator at the Women’s Department. The expo continues on Thursday at the NICH parking lot on Regent Street.

Pre-School children have fun in San Pedro
Activities in celebration of Child Stimulation Month continues in San Pedro town. Correspondent Maria Novelo reports.

Can and truck collide on Central American Boulevard
About an hour and a half before news time tonight, traffic flow was slowed down by an accident on Central American Boulevard, across from the Belize City Center. The accident involved a Benny’s Truck and a Geo Prizm car which slammed head on into the side of the truck. The car was making its way across the Belcan Bridge heading toward the direction of the Mahogany Street intersection and the truck coming on the opposite direction was making a left turn on to Peter Seko Street when the collision occurred. According to the driver of the Prizm, Alvaro Avilez, the truck driver was in the wrong. The truck driver declined an interview. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the mishap.

Bees swarm interrupts classes in Orange Walk
Classes at August Pine Ridge Roman Catholic School in the Orange Walk district were suspended this morning due to a swarm of bees on the compound. Love News spoke with Principal Blanca Torres via phone who told us that during the morning break students alerted teachers that a swarm of bees was flying over the school. Torres says the bees were on a fence adjacent to the school compound. Five of the panicked students were reportedly stung by the bees; but none of the injuries were considered life threatening and the children were sent home to their parents. The rest of the student body was also sent home for the rest of the day. With the help of some parents, the teachers chased the bees away by spraying them. Principal Torres says the matter has been reported to the Agriculture Department in Orange Walk, which is looking into the incident. August Pine Ridge RC School has a population of 424.

Teenager detained on suspicion of attempted murder
A fifteen year old boy has been detained on suspicion of attempted murder. Because he is a minor, his name cannot be released; but police say they have detained him pending the outcome of their investigations. Seventeen year old Jose Saravia was stabbed multiple times on March fifteenth and based on his description of his attacker, police picked up the fifteen year old. Saravia says that around four thirty on the afternoon of March fifteenth he was at a shop when he was approached by a man he had known for the past ten years. Saravia says the minor chased him with a knife and stabbed him behind his left shoulder, left side of his back and abdomen. Police have detained the teenage boy pending the outcome of their investigations.

Man shot multiple times on the way to work
A Belize City man is lucky to be alive tonight after he was shot multiple times today. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Myles Gillett have that story from the crime beat.

Robbers target University students in class
Armed robberies have become almost a daily staple of the newscast; but today there is a disturbing incident to report. On Tuesday afternoon a trio or armed men interrupted classes at the University of Belize’s Freetown Road campus and robbed three students of their belongings while inside the classroom. The terrifying incident happened around one thirty yesterday afternoon at the Faculty of Science and Engineering located at the ITVET compound. Twenty year old Nirmal Madhu Babani told police that he and two other students were in their classroom when the robbers arrived. One of them who carried with appeared to be a silver-coloured firearm, ordered that “nobody move”. After they froze the students, the robbers proceeded to rob them of electronic items, including cell phones and laptop computers all to a total value of six thousand, seven hundred and twenty three dollars before making good their escape. Jeffrey Jones, who is a lecturer at UB’s Faculty of Engineering at the old Belize Technical College, told Love News that the students are so traumatized that they are receiving counseling. Jones told us how the robbery happened. Jones says that the school will see how it can institute better security to protect its students.

Band Fest Parade route announced
The 7th annual Belize Band Fest will be staged in Corozal town on Saturday, March 31, beginning at 9 o’clock in the morning. The parade is set to start at the beginning of Seventh Avenue (across from the bus terminal), and continue down Seventh Avenue to the roundabout at the entrance to Corozal Town. At the roundabout, the parade will turn LEFT into First Avenue (passing Miami Beach), into Fourth Avenue, passing in front of the Central Park and St Francis Xavier Church; continuing towards the Corozal Civic Center; LEFT into Sixth Street North, LEFT into Fifth Avenue, and into the Santiago Ricalde Stadium.

Maya Day celebrated in Toledo
The indigenous Mayas of the Toledo district hosted a cultural extravaganza over the weekend in Blue Creek village. Love TV’s Patrick Jones and video journalist Harlan Wagner were there and bring you the following report.

Youth Ambassadors recruiting in Belize
The Youth Ambassador Program 2012, which is an initiative sponsored by the U.S Department of State, Partners of Americas and implemented in Belize by Belize-Michigan Partners was launched during a brief ceremony at the Edward P. Yorke High School in Belize City. Co- Coordinator for the Youth Ambassador Program, Belize Michigan Partners, Joseph Card explained what the program is all about. Another requirement to become a youth ambassador is that the person must be of limited economic means. At the Ceremony Representative for the United States Department of State Eric Hayden says he believes that the U.S Ambassador program is a chance to connect with other people. Minister of Sports Herman Longsworth was the guest speaker. In his speech he expressed that the initiative is both timely and valuable. The United States Youth Ambassadors will be visiting Belize from July fifteenth to August 2012 of this year to engage in similar educational, social cultural and networking opportunities in the country.

Maya women’s expo coming next week
The work of Maya women will be featured later this week at a Maya Women’s Expo. This is an event put together by the Women’s Department. Cynthia Williams is the Human Development Coordinator at the Women’s Department. Williams says that all the proceeds of the sales will go directly to the women whose arts and crafts are sold.


UB students robbed at gunpoint in classroom
Three University of Belize students were robbed inside their classroom. Nirmal Madhu Babani, Wen Cheng and Hilmer A...

11 year old needs assistance to undergo MRI for tumour
Last week we told you about 11 year old Katarina Ishim of San Pablo Village who needs your help because of a tumor ...

Belize City man shot on his way to work
An early morning shooting has left a man hospitalized. Shortly after 5am this morning, Police transported 49 yr old...

Don Hector Silva honoured for his contribution to the nation
The National Library Service and Information System hosted a Meet the Author session yesterday. The man of the hour...

St. Mary's Primary hosts intramural Math Olympiad
The SSB’s Secondary School Math Olympiad may be on pause but that hasn’t stopped one school from preparing for comp...

Man posing as parent robs the YMCA office
A employee was robbed at gunpoint at her work place. Elvira Chacon, a 29 year old accountant of the Young Women’s C...

National karate team selected for Central American tournament
The Belize Karate Federation held a successful National Team Training and Try-out, over the weekend in San Ignacio ...


Literacy Projects in San Ignacio: Voluntourism is huge in Cayo
Voluntourism is a huge moneymaker in Cayo, and Belize in general. If someone had a good channel of communication, they could really make a fortune. $800usd for 2 weeks, which covers a dormatory stay(not a hotel), and a few meals a week. You'd think that would cover the bus. Paying to volunteer 6 hours a day... "Belize reports a high enrollment rate at primary school level (Girls 95.9, Boys 94.6) suggesting a significant level of achievement. However, there are a number of challenges related to quality and disparity that must be addressed." From the perspective of formal education, the adult literacy rate is often quoted as high as 76%. However, the last comprehensive survey to be completed in Belize found the functional literacy rate was an astoundingly low 40%. With an adult literacy rate at such a low level, many children struggle for various reasons. A literacy rate this low is of epidemic proportions. Through various project initiatives, we hope to reach children and steadily improve the literacy within Belize. Youth Literacy Projects Include: Youth Mentoring - Administrators and teachers of local schools often identify children who seemed to have lost interest in school or who are in need of special attention. These children are matched with community members and/or volunteers in order to provide them with personal mentors that promote and inspire healthy lifestyles and attitudes. High school youth who are temporarily out of school can be matched with work or volunteer placements as part of the mentoring process.

International Sources

Commentary: Belize: A Nation at Risk
For years now I have been hearing that some Belizeans would not vote unless they are being paid by the political parties in Belize. This is a fact that is now known by most Belizeans and some of them continue to boast publicly about the amount of money they have been receiving over the years to go and vote. The right to vote is priceless and many people have given up their lives to exercise this right. I am opposed to paying people to vote because it is fundamentally and morally wrong for a government to condone such activity in a democratic country. Plus, once people are being paid to vote our political representatives will be obligated to serve in their best interest as opposed to that of our beloved country Belize and people. Also, the poor people who took their monies out of desperation will be giving up the only power they have and when they go to the politicians for help he or she can tell them that they do not owe them anything because they already paid them for their vote. In Belize today, politics is being influenced by money.

The Greatest Diving Sites in the World
Great Blue Hole, Belize. Jacques Cousteau visited this site in 1971 and declared the Great Blue Hole of Ambergris Caye to be among the best diving locations in the world. The Great Blue Hole is a wonder of geology, a 410-foot deep sinkhole located within the Belize Barrier Reef system and was created through forces similar to those responsible for the underwater caves of the nearby Yucatan Peninsula. The Hole is more than twice as wide as it is deep, making it less like a bottomless pit than a huge pothole, yet the vertiginous void may offer divers something of the feeling of facing off with the edge of the world. Descending into the hole, one will encounter local residents like groupers, various sharks, great barracuda and a diversity of other species. Bottom topography consists of sand, reef, many varieties or coral and ancient limestone stalactites, as well as caves and dramatic outcroppings that look like cathedrals. Visibility may exceed 150 feet and surface water temperatures rarely dip below 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

10,000 Indigenous Protestors March on Guatemala Capital
An estimated 10,000 indigenous people marched on Monday in the Guatemalan capital after they walked more than 200 kilometers (120 miles) to demand a government settlement of a conflict over land. Tired and sweating, with bags slung over their shoulders and waving red pennants, the thousands of Indians and peasants, who were joined by social organizations, students and labor unions, marched through the historic downtown area before meeting with President Otto Perez Molina. The director of the Committee for Peasant Unity who called the march that set out March 19 from the northern city of Coban, Daniel Pascual, told Efe that the Indians "are pretty tired now, but in hopes" of finding an satisfactory answer to their demands. A number of women carrying toddlers on their backs and with their feet cracked from walking so far, Efe observed, were visibly exhausted. "It's not easy to walk more than 200 kilometers (120 miles), but we have hopes that the march will end with some concrete proposals by the government," Pascual said. The leader said their principal demands include an end to the evictions and criminal prosecution of Indians, a pardon for farm debts of more than 300 million quetzales ($38.96 million) affecting more than 10,000 families, access to land and the end of mining in the region.

Belle River diver found dead in Belize
The family of a Belle River man is searching for answers after he was found dead in his hotel room in Belize Monday morning. “I don’t really know much, other than what we’re reading in the paper from over there,” said his sister, Kim Straw. “It’s unbelievable. You don’t know what to think until you see him and he’s not here.” Jan Peter Sol, 51, was on scuba diving vacation in San Pedro Town, Belize, visiting a friend named Mandy Lee. Another guest at the hotel entered his room after he didn’t answer the door and found him slumped on the floor. Laurenzco Nicholson, the coroner who attended the scene, said there was no evidence of foul play when he examined his remains. “It looks like something happened before that, some kind of medical problem that made him unconscious and hit the floor,” he said.

NAVOCEANO Using Airborne Laser to Survey in Belize
For almost two months, since early February 2012, the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) has been using airborne laser and imagery systems to conduct cooperative hydrographic surveys in the coastal waters of Belize. The survey work is part of an ongoing, long-term project to survey the western Caribbean Sea off the coasts of Belize, Honduras and Nicaragua, based on U.S. 4th Fleet oceanography, hydrography and bathymetry (OHB) survey requirements. "This is just a piece of a much bigger program," said Bill Elenbaas, head of NAVOCEANO's Airborne Coastal Surveys branch. "There are a lot of miles to cover." The surveys are designed to improve safety of navigation by mapping the seafloor and locating shallow reefs and other obstructions in the approaches to Belize's major ports, Belize City and Big Creek, and are being conducted in cooperation with the government of Belize. The airborne laser system, called Compact Hydrographic Airborne Rapid Total Survey (CHARTS) system, is particularly effective in the Caribbean Sea because of the water clarity. Laser systems are useful OHB survey tools in clear and/or shallow water because the system uses light to map the bottom. U.S. and Belize governments will use the data to make new charts.

Students change world 1 Spring Break at time
Spring Break is a time that most students use to relax and celebrate in the sun, but Iowa State gives students opportunities to spend their week off changing the world. This year, Iowa State's study abroad shorts took a group of students to Belize for a service-learning trip. Laurie Fiegel, administrative director of the Honors Program, took about 18 students on this trip. Fiegel said the purpose of this trip was to encourage students to use language skills and to understand and learn in a more experiential environment. Fiegel said she wanted students to see how different cultures perceive life differently than we do in America. "Each person gets something different out of this trip," she said. Ciara McCarty, freshman in kinesiology, attended the trip to Belize. "It was very eye-opening; they tried preparing us about the difference in culture, but you had to experience it to really learn," McCarty said. McCarty said she learned that Belize is not the starving, poor country that many may believe it is. She says it is very fun-loving and the people there don't feel deprived, but are grateful for the help they are receiving.

Rapper Shyne is Turning Music Into Humanitarian Aid
The Belizean rap artist Shyne, who became an orthodox Jew and moved to Israel, has teamed up with Israeli music exporter Oleh! Records to help at-risk youth in Belize, Central America, through music. The pilot project, titled Let’s Fill This Town With Musicians, is a first-of-its-kind music residency program, where Israeli musicians will guide and teach under-privileged youth communities worldwide, starting with Belize. The project says its philosophy lies in the power of music as a positive vehicle for change. Shyne, along with Israeli musicians and educators, will teach music and record production skills. Shyne, who was once sentenced to ten years in jail for his involvement in a New York nightclub shooting, which also included Sean Combs (Diddy), says he has embarked on a new path in life with his conversion to Judaism.

U.S. Diplomat Travels to El Salvador & Belize on Citizen Security Issues
Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights María Otero is traveling to El Salvador March 26-28 and to Belize March 28-29. During her trip, Under Secretary Otero will engage on a variety of themes, including citizen security, community policing, youth, social inclusion, trafficking in persons, and financial inclusion. Under Secretary Otero’s visit will highlight U.S. partnership with El Salvador and Belize to improve citizen security in Central America. In El Salvador, she will meet with senior government officials, business leaders, civil society representatives, and youth to address a number of issues under the Partnership for Growth, including citizen security, social inclusion, and community policing. She will also visit a school, tour a police precinct, and participate in a ceremony in honor of the donation of computer equipment and vehicles to the National Civilian Police.

Going Overboard
Cruise tourism in Belize is skyrocketing, with hundreds of thousands of passengers now disembarking on the country’s shores each year. While Belize has typically been touted as an ecotourism spot, cruise passengers may be less environmentally-minded than other types of visitors, according to a study accepted for publication in Ocean and Coastal Management. The number of cruise tourists arriving in Belize reached 597,370 per year in 2008 – a “staggering” increase of 1,140 percent since 2001, the study says. Cruises have a reputation for being unsustainable because of the large number of tourists they bring, potential impacts on the ocean, and weaker links to the local economy. Overnight and cruise tourists in Belize were surveyed to find out their opinions on conservation issues, such as whether they considered marine protected areas important. While both groups generally agreed with these types of statements, overnight tourists expressed more concern for the environment than cruise tourists on all five questions. Cruise tourists also ranked their cruise company’s environmental ethics as one of the least important factors in their vacation choice, behind safety, price, and cultural experiences.

March 28, 2012

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The San Pedro Sun

Missing Person: Stephanie Mejia
A family from the Boca del Rio area in San Pedro Town is seeking the assistance of the general public in locating their missing child. The missing teenager is 15 year old Stephanie Mejia who was last seen on Saturday night, March 24th in the vicinity of the Central Park. Stephanie Mejia, 15, has been missing since Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 8PM. Brother, Giovanni Mejia, 21, visited the San Pedro Police Station on Tuesday March 27th around 1PM to place the official missing person’s report. According to Mejia, his sister Stephanie went swimming with her aunt and other family members on Saturday afternoon. After spending the day at the beach, she returned home and informed her mother that she would need to meet with her classmates later that night to work on a school project. She was last seen by her family around 8PM, when she left en route to the town core area, where she was to meet with her classmates. Giovanni states that he discovered from asking Stephanie’s friends that she left them around 8:30PM that night, en route to meet with some other friends to do her homework after which she was to head home. That was the last she was seen by anyone.

Belize named second best snorkeling spot in the world!
Belize was once again chosen as an international first pick, this time topping the list of perfect destinations for diving and snorkeling. On March 24th, 2012 ‘The National’, one of the few English newspapers based in the United Arab Emirates, with a circulation of over 40,000 and supporting 200 staff writers posted across the globe, nominated Belize as the second best snorkeling location in the world. According to the newspaper, “The Hol Chan Marine Reserve is perfect for a day trip for snorkeling at the reef while observing a wide variety of fish including jacks, snappers and barracudas. You can spot turtles gliding, dolphins playing nearby and manatees swimming and congregating in the grassy sea beds.” This rating is now being added to a list of accolades Belize has received for snorkeling and diving. “This has been a really great year for us, because this top 10 nomination for snorkeling comes on the heels of our beaches being ranked 7th, 8th, and 9th in Central America by Trip Advisor, the world’s largest internet travel website,” said Yanick Dalhouse, Director of Marketing and Industry Relations for the Belize Tourism Board. “These awards are absolutely fantastic and only validate what Belizeans have been raving about for years.”

Ambergris Today

Lime Juice
One of the most famous drinks in San Pedro is lime juice. Everyone enjoys this refreshing drink made from tangy limes grown in Belize. Belize grows plenty of limes of all sizes. Sometimes the bigger ones don’t have as much juice as the smaller ones, but you can’t tell by looking at or smelling the limes. I’ve come across some dry limes, even though they appear juicy from the outside. Once limes are squeezed, you just have to sweeten to your taste. For me, lime juice is like living every day. There are some sour things to deal with now and then. You have a choice how you receive bitter events. We can’t control what happens daily, but we can make choices that bring us closer to joy. Despite what is going on in your life, choose to turn your sour events into sweet lime juice. In doing this, you can also teach your children to make lime juice. Showing them the sweeter side of life, gives them a chance to turn the sour days around finding and spreading joy as they grow in life.

Video Pick: Bikini Model Kate Upton is Sizzling in Belize
Hot Beach Bunny Swimwear Shoot - She's known for her stunning physique, she’s an American model and actress known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She is Kate Upton and she has been featured in a batch of just-released, sizzling hot Beach Bunny Swimwear shot, where else, but in BELIZE! Check out sexy Sports Illustrated beauty Kate as she flaunts her perfect figure in a variety of bikinis while frolicking in the tropical waters of Belize, Sanctuary Island, Turneffe Atolls to be exact. She even tweeted about her experience; Kate wrote on her wall: “I made it back to the states Home sweet home :) but Belize was amazing!! @BeachBunnySwim.” Inspired by the golden sandy beaches and crystal clear water of the Mediterranean, Beach Bunny Swimwear & Kate Upton heat up for summer with our oh-so chic Beach Bunny Bronze Collection.

It’s time again - Earth Hour 2012
Earth Hour is a global initiative in partnership with WWF. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday March 31st, 2012 at 8:30 PM to 9:30PM to show their support for environmentally sustainable action. The event began in Sydney in 2007, when 2 million people switched off their lights. By 2011, Earth Hour had created history as the largest voluntary action ever witnessed with participation across 135 countries and every continent, including the world’s most recognized man-made marvels and natural wonders in a landmark environmental action. It also marked the start of something new – going Beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action on climate change. And with the power of social network behind the Earth Hour message, we hope to attract even more participation so we can build a truly community committed to creating a more sustainable planet. In 2011, WWF felt proud of Central America’s participation in Earth Hour. Six of the seven countries in the isthmus participated officially with the capital cities and government authorities and a total of 17 Central American cities/towns had Earth Hour events. Of these, Earth Hour events were hosted is nine municipalities in Belize. Together, all of us made it possible for the world to listen and know that Belize and the wider Central American region was committed to real and serious actions for reducing our carbon footprint. We were part of the largest world-wide campaign to date for climate action.

Belizean Fashion Designer in Caribbean Design Show
Rebecca Strim, 18, was born in Belize and has only four years of fashion designing under her belt. She is a self-taught designer who attempted to study fashion at The Art Institute of Vancouver, but now has the amazing opportunity to partake in Mission Catwalk, a Jamaican reality series that airs on TVJ. This is a great opportunity for Rebecca to promote both Belize’s fashion and tourism industries. She and fifteen designers from around the Caribbean are competing for enviable prizes on the second season of the fashion design reality series. The lucky winner will receive: • An opportunity to show a collection at the London Fashion Week 2012. • $500K Cash prize. • Industrial sewing equipment • A contract to sell their designs at SOHO Boutique. • A six-page fashion editorial in Ocean Style Magazine. • A scholarship to pursue fashion program at London College of Fashion • A scholarship to study tailoring at Savile Row Academy in London. The show’s purpose is to find and develop talent and when it first aired it focused solely on Jamaican talent, but for season two the show sought a more regional audience.

Misc Belizean Sources

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! Quintessentially Belizean - Part I - Politics
Nothing good was going to happen today. Somebody would get in a fight, somebody would get hurt – something, something bad was going to happen today. Miss Lacey knew that as she slipped her stockinged feet into her sensible black shoes. She had on her nice flowered dress, which would look good with one of her favorite hats, but today was not the day to be prettied up. No sir; she had to go vote. Her mama and papa always voted Blue (PUP). Then she got married. Her husband Arthur, may God rest his soul (because if it was up to her prayers, he would never rest in peace), he was a Red (UDP) man all the way through. When Mama found out they were courting, she asked Lacey if she couldn’t find someone else, somebody better (by which she meant PUP). When you married, you voted family colors. To Mama, Lacey was going from Blue to Red. In their small community, that was the best gossip, more than the wedding.

San Pedro Library needs sponsors for programs
The program that need funding at the moment is the Children Easter Program which will be offered to children between the ages 7 - 10. This program includes many activities. Some would be Story Reading , Arts and craft, games and Easter Hunt. After this we will also need funding for Summer program which runs for 2 weeks. This is a program offer to children of all ages. This program also includes some of the activities I have mention, and at the end we take the children for a day trip. Another annual program that follows would be Christmas Program. This program is 3 days as the Easter one. It all depends on the amount of kids that participate in the programs. At the moment I don't have an exact amount, but from my previous years, I would assume for Easter and Christmas which runs for 3 days, we spent at least $1,500.00 BZ and Summer which runs for 2 weeks I would assume triple the amount.

HON. GASPAR VEGA on debt-for-nature swaps Dec 2011
Remarks by HON. GASPAR VEGA DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT (BELIZE) Oceans Acidification Side Event United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC-COP 17) 8th December, 2011 Distinguish Delegates, Invited Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, On behalf of the Government and people of Belize, I wish to extend a warm greeting to all those who worked diligently to make this Oceans event possible and for giving me the opportunity to share with you an exciting, innovative financial mechanism that, we hope, will provide long term, timely and predictable financing for Marine climate change adaptation initiatives in Belize. As is the case for so many of you here this evening, our oceans continue to be the lifeblood our people and our economy; it is therefore necessary for us to do all we can to curb the adverse effects of climate change. I also want to use also this occasion to highlight the impacts that ocean acidification is having and will continue to have on our marine environment, our economy and our people.

Marine Conservation and Climate Adaptation Program
PROJECT: BELIZE MARINE CONSERVATION AND CLIMATE ADAPTATION PROJECT TYPE OF IMPLEMENTING ENTITY: MULTILATERAL IMPLEMENTING ENTITY IMPLEMENTING ENTITY: WORLD BANK EXECUTING ENTITY/IES: PROTECTED AREAS CONSERVATION TRUST AMOUNT OF FINANCING REQUESTED: $6 MILLION (In U.S Dollars Equivalent) Global and regional climate change impacts 1. Belize is a small, upper-middle income country with a population of 310,000 and a percapita GDP of US$4,115 (2009). It is situated on the Caribbean coast of Central America with Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south. It lies between 15º45´ and 18º30´ north latitude and 87º30´ and 89º15´west longitude. Total national territory covers 46,620 km2, which includes 22,960 km2 (8,867 miles2) of land and 1,060 cays. Belize has a typically moist tropical climate. In accordance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Belize chose the year 1994 for its first National Inventory of Sources and Sinks of Greenhouse Gases. The results of the Inventory reveal that Belize is a net sink for greenhouse gases, i.e., it absorbs more than it emits. Yet, Belize is extremely vulnerable to adverse impacts of climate change. Therefore, the national objective is focused on identifying feasible adaptation options to address climate change. Through its membership in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Belize is a partner in the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). Its UNFCCC negotiating position is therefore coordinated within this body. Belize is also a member of the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD). It attempts to reconcile the negotiating positions of these two groups into a larger unified voice to achieve the objectives of the Convention.

PHOTOS: Beltraide's Current and Effective Marketing Strategies Workshop
Looks like a lot was learned at the last Beltraide workshop in Cayo. "To strenghten the competitiveness of Bed and Breakfasts, Inns, Guest houses, within the Tourism Industry, BELTRAIDE hosted a workshop entitled 'Current and Effective Marketing Strategies' at the Lodge at Chaa Creek, Cayo District on March 21st, 2012."

Sacred Heart Junior College Open Day Friday
SHJC is going to give away two One-semester tuition scholarships! On Friday March 30th, 2012 from 10am - 12pm & 1pm - 6pm, Sacred Heart Junior College will be having its first ever Open Day. It will be a day in which prospective high school graduates and the general public can come and find out about the different Associate Degrees, Adult Continuing Education, and Certificate programs that they offer. Highlights of the day will include information on: - Academic life at SHJC - Scholarship Opportunities at SHJC - Admission Requirements - Campus Life at SHJC - Sports at SHJC If you are about to graduate, if you're currently working but have not yet obtained your AA degree, if you didn't complete High school and want to do so, or if you are interested in doing Certificates in the areas of Pre-Med and Tourism, stop by SHJC on this day. Email [email protected]

Cayo Outdoor Theatre This Week
The Cayo Outdoor Theatre has selected their 2 movies of the week. Tonight, in downtown Cayo, they'll be showing Crips and Bloods: Made in America. Tomorrow night, Wednesday, they'll be showing Sin Nombre in Benque. Thursday, they'll be back in downtown Cayo with Sin Nombre.

Hokmah's Daughter showing in downtown Cayo tomorrow night
The Full Trailer to Hokmah's Daughter, the Beverly Small Story

Rebecca Stirm competing in Mission Catwalk
Here's a long teaser trailer for Mission Catwalk. At around 2:10, Belmopan's Rebecca Stirm can be seen interacting with the judges, and explaining her styles. Good luck, Rebecca!

Channel 7

Ruperto Vicente took over the FFB 10 days ago after Bertie Chimilio ran it for 14 years. As you might be able to imagine, it was a major transition - but nothing could have prepared Vicente to meet only a thousand dollars in the bank account of the richest sports federation in the country. Today, at his first press conference, he told the media that the Federation is broke and cannot meet its payroll commitments:.. Ruperto Vicente, President FFB "I want to say to us today that the dark days are over for football. So today I am happy to say to you that this is a new day in football." And with that dramatic pronouncement FFB President Ruperto Vicente told an audience of football lifers about the FFB's grim current state of affairs and his optimism for the future. Ruperto Vicente, President FFB "For the first time in 14 years we are changing the face of football. It will no longer be controlled and managed by 2 persons."

For the past few nights - we've been telling you about the misappropriation of monies at city hall - allegedly under the hand of pay mistress Shirlene Sabal. As we reported last night - the total is seventy thousand dollars - and today the mayor explained just how it was done - and showed us the eleven page audit detailing 258 fraudulent payroll entries: Here's how he explained it:.. Mayor Darrell Bradley "The extent to which there was a lost to the city council at this present moment it comes to $69,586.00 to be exact." This audit report - complete don Friday - shows irregular overtime payment -made out by pay mistress Shirlene Sabal. Mayor Darrell Bradley "The pay mistress could have perpetrated this fraud on the public revenue because too many functions were concentrated in herself and what she would do is that she would simply in some cases forge some of the documentation for approvals for overtime and what she did is she targeted certain areas where we would routinely have overtime; works, sanitation - people would routinely be out on the weekends - out in the evenings and when you look at the report there would be very small amounts, $200 here, $150 there and so it was something which over a period a time could have come under the radar because of who she was in the city council; the function she was responsible for and then also the amounts that were involve and the areas that she targeted."

Last night we told you about a hunting trip that resulted in the death of a Salvapan resident. That man was Antonio Jimenez, a 44 year old Guatemalan Farmer and father of 6. He went to hunt with his friends to get a meal for his family - but things got confused on the hunt, and he ended up getting shot by his best friend with a 16 gauge rifle. Today we spoke to his family after the post-mortem was conducted and his sister-in-law told us how they are dealing with his death. Evelyn Abrego - sister-in-law of deceased "I was at home when I heard the phone ringing, it was my sister, she told me to calm down and take it easy because we have some bad news. I was shock, but I tried to be calm. My sister told me that Antonio Jimenez has been killed."

Late yesterday morning, 23 year-old Frank Edwards was acquitted of murder in the Western Session of the Supreme Court. Edwards was one of 4 men accused of committing the deadly robbery of the Scotia Bank branch in Spanish Lookout on March 30, 2010. The robbers were able to escape with approximately $300,000 in cash, while killing the 32 year-old KBH Security Guard, Steven Rudolph Lopez. Edwards was the man charged for that murder, but he was not caught in Belize; Guatemalan authorities picked him up in the Santa Elena area of Guatemala. His caution statement to police was the only piece of evidence Crown Counsel Cecil Ramirez had to link him to the murder of Lopez, but it was ruled inadmissible by trial judge Troadio Gonzalez.

53 year-old Jose Alfaro, a Guatemalan businessman of Ladyville, was arraigned for attempting to commit human trafficking when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. It is alleged that sometime between February 22 and March 16 of this year, and on March 17, he tried to recruit a 16 year-old female minor to become a prostitute in his bar in Ladyville. Alfaro pleaded not guilty to two counts of the same charge, but he couldn't be granted bail because the prosecutor objected on several grounds. The prosecutor told the court that Alfaro is a flight-risk because he is a Guatemalan national. Secondly, the prosecutor asked the court to consider the serious nature of the crime, its penalties, and the age of the victim. He also objected to bail on the grounds that he may be able to interfere with the victim and the witnesses.

24 year-old Michael Forman, who was charged with the October 2009 murder of 27 year-old Eddie "Mac" Neal, was acquitted in the courtroom of Justice Herbert Lord today. Foreman's trial, which started last week Thursday, was prosecuted by Crown Counsel Kaysha Grant, who called 5 witnesses in the case. However, none of the witnesses gave Grant any identification evidence that she could use against Foreman, and as when she closed her case, Foreman's attorney, Nigel Ebanks, made a no-case submission on his behalf. Justice Lord then upheld that submission and directed the jury to find Foreman not guilty of murder and the alternative charge of manslaughter. He went right back into police custody because he is currently on remand for a firearms-related offense.

The high school Math Olympiad may have fallen by the wayside this year, but one city primary school decided to do its own thing. St Mary's Hall in Belize City was abuzz with excitement today as the students of the primary school took part in their first ever Math Olympiad. 5 groups of students ranging from Standard 2 to 6 competed against each other in the tournament. And while it was all fun for the students, the activity aimed at helping to improve their mathematical skills in a fun and unique way. 7news stopped in. Michele Lopez, teacher "Today we are having an annual math Olympiad. This is the first year we are doing it. The school had realized that we had a few academic problems and so we develop short and long term goals and we had a 5 year goal to try to improve the academics in the school."

A YWCA employee was robbed at gunpoint in her workplace. Elvira Chacon, a 29 year old accountant went to work as usual at 8:30 yesterday morning. As she was getting settled in at her desk which is located on the second floor of the building, a man of dark complexion came in and aimed a firearm at her. He took a cash pan which contained $170 dollars and a wallet belonging to Sonia Linares which contained personal documents along with $150 dollars. The man then took another cash pan which held an undisclosed sum before fleeing.

Belize is once again at the top of another international tourist list, this time topping the list of perfect destinations for diving and snorkeling. 'The National,' an English newspaper based in the United Arab Emirates, nominated Belize as the second best snorkeling location in the world. This top 10 nomination for snorkeling comes on the heels of Belize's beaches being ranked 7th, 8th, and 9th in Central America by Trip Advisor.

And a pair of tourists we saw got that tourist bulletin - but maybe misunderstood where Hol Chan is. This morning, our new team's attention was caught by a pair of bikini-clad tourists parading down Albert Street. Now, it's a cruise ship day, so there are plenty of tourists around, but these ones weren't modest about their attire - they wore nothing but a bikini top and bottom. And their scant attire attracted not the attention of residents of the city who definitely gave them a double-take. Which made us wonder, what are visitors told on the ship that would prompt them to wear a bikini in downtown Belize city? Here's what they told us: "I'm Jenny, I'm Jasmine."

Channel 5

Football Federation of Belize is broke. Weh di money deh?
There’s no money in the bank account of the Football Federation of Belize. Its new president, Ruperto Vicente made that statement at the first press conference since Dr. Bertie Chimilio was ousted after fourteen years as president. Vicente has not met with Chimilio since the election but he says that his executive is waiting for ...

No witch hunt for former F.F.B. President, Dr. Bertie Chimilio
Vicente also says that the F.F.B. wants to work with Chimilio since he still represents football with several organizations. But regarding the empty bank account, and a lack of financial statements for the past decade, Vicente says that a commission of inquiry will review last year’s financial statements, whenever they become available.   Ruperto Vicente, ...

Drowning near Iguana Creek
On Sunday at around two-thirty, twenty-eight year old Jamie Lizama of Lower Barton Creek went swimming in Unitedville along with six others, mostly minors, but Lizama never returned from that outing. According to his sister-in-law, Ingrid Leslie, the current in the river was strong but after struggling, Leslie said she was able to make it ...

Is GSU force on gangs justified?
Tonight’s question is: Do you think the use of force on the gangs by the GSU is justified? 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]

Tracy Taegar Panton, new C.E.O., Ministry of Tourism
There’s word tonight that Tracy Taegar Panton has taken up the job as C.E.O. in the Ministry of Tourism. Panton, who was with the Belize Natural Energy Trust Fund, has reportedly resigned and will return later this month to tourism. After many years in the industry, in 2009, Panton’s contract as Director of Tourism was ...

Over $60,000 siphoned from City Hall
An employee of the Belize City Council has allegedly misappropriated and siphoned funds in a scheme that involved employee overtime. The pay mistress, Shirlene Sabal, has been suspended from work and it is expected that criminal charges will be brought against her. According to Mayor Darrell Bradley, the report from the auditors has been complete ...

Robbery at YWCA
The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) is celebrating fifty-six years of service to the country. But tonight there is not good news coming out of the Y. On Monday, a twenty-nine year old accountant, employed by the organization, reported to police that upon arriving at work around eight-thirty in the morning, she was robbed at ...

Michael Foreman Not Guilty of Murder
Twenty-four year old Michael Foreman was this afternoon acquitted of the October 2009 murder of Eddie Neal. Neal, popularly known as Eddie Mac, was gunned down near the corner of Central American Boulevard and North Creek. It is alleged that Foreman shot the twenty-seven year old once in the head after beating and robbing him. ...

Accused of stabbing pregnant ex; unborn child dies
There was public outrage following the vicious stabbing of a pregnant woman and an elderly man on August second, 2010. Twenty-eight year old Valerie Sheran and seventy year old Ernesto Ireland survived the attack, but her unborn child was killed. The stabbing was believed to be triggered by jealousy; days later, Sheran’s ex-boyfriend, Henry Patnett, ...

Ladyville resident charged with Human Trafficking
A Guatemalan national is tonight behind bars after a sixteen year old minor accused him of attempted human trafficking. The teenager alleges that between February twenty-second and March sixteenth, fifty-three year old Ladyville businessman, Jose Alfaro attempted to recruit her to work as a prostitute. She claims that he made another attempt on March seventeenth. ...

Maya Women’s Expo in Belize City
There are only a few days left in March, which is being celebrated as Women’s Month. But there are still several activities coming up, including a Maya Women’s Expo in Belize City. Since 2012 is the year of the Mayas, the Women’s Department is putting the culture in the spotlight with the two day event, ...

Youth Ambassador Program will send youths to U.S.A.
High school students from across Belize City gathered at EP Yorke High School this afternoon for the launch of the Youth Ambassador Program 2012. In the weeks ahead, thirteen adolescent males and females will be selected to represent Belize in the United States through an exchange initiative organized by Partners of the Americas. The program ...

15 year old San Pedrana is missing
A family on Ambergris Caye is asking for public assistance to locate a missing teenager. Fifteen year old Stephanie Mejia of the Boca del Rio area in San Pedro Town was last seen last on Saturday night in the vicinity of the Central Park. Stephanie’s brother, Giovanni Mejia, told San Pedro Police that on Saturday, ...

Legalize it! Regional Security Meeting discusses Drugs
A regional security meeting was held over the weekend in Guatemala. It was billed as a summit but only two heads of government attended. Panama’s president Ricardo Martinelli and Costa Rica’s President Laura Chinchilla were in Antigua for the meeting. Belize was represented by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington and Minister of National Security ...

Pope in Cuba with President Raul Castro
Pope Benedict is on a historic two day visit to Cuba; it is first to the island of some twelve million people, of which only about ten percent is estimated to practice the faith. Benedict landed in Santiago where he prayed at the chapel of La Virgin de Cobre, the site of the statue of ...

House Hunters International Cayo Adventure
Belize is not just a travel destination for overnight tourists or cruise ship tourists. It is becoming a home for some of those individuals who are adventurous to leave the concrete jungle for the humid tropical forests of the region. Recently the Cayo District was featured on HGTV’s House Hunters International. Two biologists were seeking ...

Hottest Show in the Land; KTV is Live on Five
Do you have tickets for tonight’s KTV Latino? Well there’s still time to be a part of the live audience at the Bliss and enjoy a night of caliente performances. Group A is running the show tonight and they’re bringing something for everyone to the stage; from old school rancheros to the new generation Reggaeton. ...


Police News
Police in Corozal Town are investigating a report of a burglary. 66-year-old Servalerio Garcia reported to Police that sometime between last Tuesday afternoon and Monday someone burglarized a house located on Duck Lane Farm, four miles Lagoon in Corozal District. Thieves made off...

Freak accident leaves man hospitalised
A freak accident this morning on the northern highway in Orange Walk has left a man hospitalized at the Northern Regional Hospital. Love News understands that around 8:30 this morning 37 year old Elmer Novelo from the village of San Jose San Pablo along with 20 year old Omar Call...

Darren Banks sentenced and fined
33-year-old Darren banks, charged with drug trafficking for 26 point five pounds of cannabis, was sentenced to three years and fined ten thousand dollars by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he was found guilty of the charge. Senior Magistrate Fraser explained to Banks that s...

YWCA celebrates 57th Anniversary
On Saturday the YWCA held its open day in celebration of its 57th anniversary in Belize and on Monday the institution was hit by an armed gunman. Love News understands that at around eight forty-five yesterday morning a gunman entered through the main door and said that he was th...

Teenager charged with aggravated burglary
18-year-old Casey Lozano one of several persons who allegedly burglarized the home of 66-year-old Sheila Gentle was charged with aggravated burglary when he appeared in court in Monday. No plea was taken from Lozano because the Director of public Prosecutions Cheryl Lyn Vidal wil...


Traffic Light Allegedly Sabotaged By Former UDP Town Council Employee
There is no doubt that the people of Orange Walk voted for Mayor Kevin Bernard and his team because they wanted change and progress for Orange Walk Town, something which the former U.D.P Town Council failed to do. But since Bernard took office several irregularities committed by the UDP have come to light including nonpayment of employee contributions to Social Security in the tune of almost $31,099. And on Saturday the town council also found out that they have to deal with the problem of sabotage. On Thursday March 8th the traffic light situated at the cross section of New Cheetos mysteriously stopped functioning. Immediate plans to repair the light were set into action and this past Saturday when engineers from Chetumal Quintana Roo repaired the light, they came to the conclusion that the traffic light was tampered with.

Hon. Liselle Alamilla's Portfolio Amended
A press release sent out by the Maya Leaders Alliance on March 16th announced that they were dissatisfied with the Barrow Administration for giving Honorable Liselle Alamilla the post of Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Indigenous Peoples without consulting the leaders of the indigenous people. That press release triggered a chain reaction that tossed Alamilla into the spot light. Apparently the release had some effect, whether it is positive of negative that’s another question. This afternoon the Governments press office announced and we quote “There has been an amendment to the portfolio responsibilities for Hon. Liselle Alamilla. Her portfolio now consists of: Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development” end quote. We note however, that the release did not state whether the portfolio of Indigenous Peoples will still exist or has been completely wiped off. When we contacted the Chairman of the Maya Leaders Alliance, Ligorio Coy today, he told us the organization will comment on the issue until after the executive meets sometime this week.

LICU Says Customer Satisfaction Is Priority
Have you ever walked into a business and left completely satisfied? Much of the weight of satisfaction is placed upon customer care service and companies take great interest in training their staff in order to obtain the knowledge and skills needed to increase customer satisfaction. One such company is the La Inmaculada Credit Union which opened its door back in 1949 amidst an atmosphere of colonial rule. Despite the fact that LICU has blossomed into a credible institution over the years, the company is constantly looking at means and ways to improve customer service. This past Saturday the credit union’s staff took part in a follow up training program under the direction of President and CEO of Aikman and Aikman, Derek Aikman.

Good Deals Found At Business Expo
Today the La Inmaculada Roman Catholic School held their first business expo as part of their Child Stimulation Month activities. The expo served as an opportunity for students to interact with the business community and experience their products and services first hand. Reporter Janine Ayuso has the story. Janine Ayuso-Reporting Today the La Inmaculada Roman Catholic School was packed with energized students and parents who went from booth to booth in order to observe and enjoy what each business had to offer. A total of 12 businesses took part in the event. And if you were looking for good deals in ice cream, chicken and many other items then the expo was the place to be. Wilfred Wicab, Caribbean chicken “Today we were invited from La Immaculada, and then we have our promotions too like for example the rice, we are giving the rice, like the 50lbs. rice we are giving for $43 and the 20lbs. we are giving it for $17.50, the chickens too have different prices, we have it less than in the retail shop.”

Women Display Their Talent
We are on the brink of culminating this year’s women’s month. In keeping up with the celebrations, this past Saturday the Banquitas House of Culture here in Orange Walk held its annual Exposicion de la Mujers Talentosas in reorganization of Women’s Month under the theme, “Connecting Girls Inspiring Future”. The event gave women the opportunity to showcase their skills and art works from crocheting, beading, care decorating and even poetry. Hipolito Novelo-Reporting From poetry to handmade jewelries, face painting to hand made stuff toys; the Banquitas House of Culture was overrun by talented women and their works of art.

NDACC Holds Poetry Competition
The National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) seeks to pull youths away from inclinations to use drugs by introducing them to positive alternatives. One of those alternatives was a poem competition which saw students expressing their thoughts through poetry. Hipolito Novelo-Reporting National statistics show that since 2006 a high percentage of Belizean youth have been experimenting with drugs at a young age. To make matters worse that percent increases every year. Many children do drugs just to fit in and as they say be cool. But truth of the matter is that illegal and prescribed drugs can damage ones health especially if used on a daily basis. The National Drug Abuse Control Council has for many years been generating awareness about the dangers of drugs. This past Friday NDACC, in conjunction with Youth For the Future and the Sandy Hunter Library, awarded the top three winners of a Poem Competition which saw the participation of a number of high schools.

Students Sit First Part Of PSE
Today was one of the most nerves wrecking days for 7176 standard six students who registered to sit the Primary School Examination. The first half of the exam consisted of English and Science papers. The examinations are one of the key aspects of transitioning from primary level to secondary level education in the country. Today as students sat the first half of the PSE, we found out how well prepared they were. Maria Nemhard, Student “Well to me it was easy, everything that was there my teacher had already thought us and I think she did a really good job on teaching us everything.” Janine Ayuso-Reporter “When did you start preparing for PSE?” Maria Nemhard, Student “A long time ago I think since I was in standard four, I didn’t believe in taking all these extra classes but I did study on my own and I tried my best and I put in all my effort.”


Sodomy case adjourned in Corozal Magistrate’s Court
The case of thirty five year old American missionary Bryan Sears, accused of molesting a trio of brothers in the Corozal district continues to languish in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court. Sears appeared in court on Monday as the preliminary hearing resumed; but the matter was again adjourned. Sears, who remains on bail, is now scheduled ...

Gunman targets the YWCA for robbery
On Saturday the YWCA held its open day in celebration of its 57th anniversary in Belize and today the institution is reeling from a morning armed robbery at its Saint Thomas Street/Freetown Road offices. Love News understands that at around eight forty-five this morning a gunman entered through the main door and said that he ...

No one hurt as sea plan crash lands
There was a small plane crash in southern Belize over the weekend. Our Toledo Bureau Chief Paul Mahung filed this report on Sunday. Police have released more details on the crash of a small plane in southern Belize as investigators from the Civil Aviation Authority have been dispatched to investigate. According to the new information ...

Vista del Mar resident wins new car
Belize Estate Company Limited this morning handed over a check to the Belize Red Cross and in doing so also presented the winner of their fifty five thousand dollar, 2011 Ford Fiesta car raffle, which helped them get the funds together for their Red Cross donation. Sales and Marketing Manager Diedra Haylock explained what the ...

Social Investment Fund facilitates educational opportunities
The Government of Belize is providing an opportunity for thirty eight Belizean Youths in need to further their education. As a result the Social Investment fund and various educational institutions signed important agreements yesterday at the SIF headquarters in Belmopan. Director of Public Relations at the Social Investment Fund is Mike Hernandez. The total estimated ...

St. Mary’s primary holds math olympiad
The Math Olympiad for secondary school students may have been shelved but it does not mean that the competition has gone away. One Belize City primary school is keeping the critical thinking event alive. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo reports.

Primary School students sit PSE part 1
The nation’s Standard Six students today stepped up to the plate to sit the first half of the PSE. Love TV’s Maria Novelo spoke with some of the students as they exited the exam room in San Pedro town.

Cancer awareness in San Pedro town
The cancer awareness drive continues around the country. For a report from San Pedro town, here is Love TV’s Maria Novelo.

Health fair to be held in Punta Gorda
An event to promote healthy food and body will be held in Punta Gorda this week. Our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

CJ hears application for leave to lodge election petition
On February seventeenth Yolanda Schakron’s bid to seek electoral office in the big leagues was quashed when the Returning Officer, Noreen Fairweather, rejected Schakron’s nomination. Fairweather’s rejection was based on grounds that Schakron, who said she had already begun the process to renounce her US citizenship, was still deemed a US citizen until the process ...

Social Investment Fund facilitates educational opportunities
The Government of Belize is providing an opportunity for thirty eight Belizean Youths in need to further their education. As a result the Social Investment fund and various educational institutions signed important agreements yesterday at the SIF headquarters in Belmopan. Director of Public Relations at the Social Investment Fund is Mike Hernandez. The total estimated ...

Two accidental killings in Cayo
There are two tragic fatal shooting incidents coming out of the Cayo district tonight; but neither of them would fit under the banner of crime news. In the first incident, a Belmopan man was fatally wounded while on a hunting trip. Our Cayo correspondent Fem Cruz has the details. In the second incident, a seven ...

FFB coffers empty; office bare
For over a decade Dr. Bertie Chimilio ruled the Football Federation of Belize with an iron fist. That firm grip on the body governing football in Belize was relinquished a couple of weeks ago in free and fair elections. But the new leaders of the FFB are finding out that winning the election might have ...

Man injured in tractor accident
A man was seriously injured this morning when he became tangled up in a piece of machine that was being used to cut bushes along the Northern Highway in the Orange Walk district. The incident happened around eight o’clock this morning and the victim has been identified as twenty year old Omar Calles. Information to ...


FFB hosts meeting to discuss football and finance
FFB‘s new president says that it’s a new day for football in Belize. Ruperto Vicente, the newly elected president, ...

Body of a drowned man surfaces near Iguana Creek Bridge
The warmer temperatures are here and with hotter days, Belizeans find their way to the rivers, creeks and different...

Paymistress to repay funds embezzled from the Belize City Council
News out of the Belize City Hall is not good for Shirl Sabal. Mayor Darell Bradley has informed the media that the ...

Local designer gets international runway exposure
Fancy Purple Paint is the brand of Rebecca Stirm. Plus TV has featured her local fashion shows held at the George P...

Preliminary hearing takes place for Yolanda Schakron's election petition
Since February 17 Yolanda Schakron has been battling to get a court ruling against the denial of her run as a polit...

Parents detained after 11 year old accidentally kills sister
We reported last night on the death of a 6 year old girl who was accidentally shot by her 11 year old brother. Well...

Overpacked van crashes into ditch, passengers hospitalized
Yesterday we told you about the unfortunate shooting of a seven year old and 44yr old Antonio Jimenez. After follow...

Woman reports early morning armed robbery
A Radio Announcer residing in Belize City was held up at gunpoint. GLORIA LIMA, reported that on March 25 at 7:00am...

Thief runs off with money from the YMCA
ELVIRA CHACON, 29yrs, Belizean Accountant of the Young Women’s Christian Association and a resident of 4564 Vernon ...


Did Solomon Gabourel get what he deserved?
His common-law wife said he was a “kind and hard-working man”... Police report that in the wee hours of Saturday morning, Solomon Gabourel, 34, was stabbed to death, apparently while attempting to rob a hot dog vendor who operated from the Battlefield Park on Albert Street. He was fatally stabbed in the abdomen.

Funeral services for the late Audrey Courtenay
Today, The Red Cross, The Nurses Association and other distinguished organizations, businesses and persons, said goodbye to an outstanding woman, Mrs. Audrey Courtenay, wife of Vernon Harrison Courtenay.

Barrow’s fragile gang truce in jeopardy?
GSU and Police units accused of another brutal raid, but no retaliation, say victims; authorities to investigate... On Wednesday night, March 21, several residents of Taylor’s Alley, off Orange Street and close to the downtown area of Belize City, were allegedly viciously assaulted by armed members of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU).

Memorial Park being turned into pedestrian walk
What had been one of Belize City’s longstanding recreational and historical landmarks, the Memorial Park, is undergoing complete demolition, as the Belize Tourism Board is undertaking a project for the construction of the Fort Point Pedestrian Walk Project—a BZ$5.5 million project.

Cayo girl, 7, shot and killed by elder brother
A father has been detained by police for questioning in relation to an incident which occurred in a remote area of the Cayo District between the villages of Valley of Peace and La Gracia, in which Lucy Mateo, 7, was shot and killed in an apparent accident by her 10-year-old brother.

Judgment for Yolanda Schakron Friday 2:00 p.m.
“They [the applicants] submitted that she [the Returning Officer] ought NOT to have decided - not that she made a wrong decision.” - Denys Barrow... “The returning officer can only look at the nomination paper—not at the qualification in question, such as the issue of nationality.” – Lisa Shoman

Oscar’s year, Oscar Qurious, Jr. completes sweep with 2012 Junior Cross Country garland
After a 9th place finish in 2010, and then a 6th place finish in the 2011 Junior Cross Country Classic, young Oscar Qurious, Jr. finally made it to the top of the hill in junior cycling for 2012 when he completed a sweep of the three big races of the year with no less than the 2012 Junior Cross Country championship yesterday. Krem radio announcer Ejay Hill reminded us that Oscar had also won this year’s Krem New Year’s Day Classic in the 55-mile Junior category; just last Sunday, March 18, he took 1st place in the Ariel Rosado Memorial Belmopan Junior Classic; and yesterday, Oscar made it three big victories in a row, winning the final sprint to the finish line to claim the garland for the 13th Annual Junior Cross Country Classic 2012.

Playoff race hot at Week 7 of Premier League
Only 2 teams each from the North and South zones will qualify for the playoffs, and at the completion of 4 Saturday night and 2 Sunday afternoon games in Week 7 of the Premier League of Belize 2012 opening season, the situation is getting more desperate for some teams, as already a few are mathematically out of contention for a playoff spot. In last Saturday night games: At the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio, visiting San Pedro Seadogs clipped home-standing World FC, 3-2, with goals from Kent Gabourel (39 min) and Francisco Mejia (45+ and 70 min). Scoring for World FC were Carlos Vasquez (35 min) and Richard Carrillo (68 min). Meanwhile, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, Jacinto Bermudez put the Belmopan Bandits ahead 1-nil at the 40th minute, but Amin August replied quickly at the 41st minute for visiting San Ignacio United FC, to secure a 1-1 draw. At the MCC Grounds in Belize City, high flying Police United got a scare when visiting Paradise/Freedom Fighters took a 1-nil lead on a strike by Delroy Flores at the 30th minute. Evan Mariano leveled things for Police just before intermission at the 45th minute, and Mariano came back to clinch the 2-1 victory for Police with a wicked right foot rocket from outside the 18 at the 62nd minute. The last Saturday night match was at the Marshalleck Stadium where Placencia Assassins dropped home-standing Hankook Verdes, 2-nil, with goals from Gary Young (50 min) and Rollin Burgess (57 min).

EDITORIAL: Wisdom and propaganda
“Nobody does something for nothing. No such thing as a free lunch. People come together in a coalition because they think it is to their personal advantage, and to the degree that their personal direction and aspiration merge with that of the others in the coalition, they will move forward.”


Laguna Bacalar: A Lake Bluer than the Sea
Lake Bacalar, just 25 miles north of Chetumal, is incredibly close to San Pedro and is incredibly beautiful. Looking out over the lake, it is hard to believe that it is fresh water and not the Carribbean. Bacalar is the second largest fresh water lake in Mexico (the largest is Lake Chalapa southeast of Guadalajara), the bottom is limestone and the lake sparkles. There is definitely a good reason that they call this laguna the Lakes of Seven Colors. It could not be more blue. But, as usual, let´s back up a bit. Early in the morning, I took the San Pedro Belize Express from Ambergris Caye to Chetumal, Mexico. (Did you know that they are running a special for Belizeans and Belize residents? Only $85bzd round trip. The regular cost is $135bzd.) We were all ready to leave right on time at 7:30am when a boatload of 46 European tourists, a few different tour groups, arrived from Caye Caulker to go through immigration. Oh my...we ended up leaving over an hour late.

Belizean Cuisine: Breakfast Style Johnny Cakes from Belize (Recipe)
The more I travel within Belize, the more I fall in love with the cuisine, and I have barely scratched the surface of what really makes up the country’s best dishes. Breakfast in Belize is one of my favorite meals and this is easily attributed to an overindulgence of fry jacks and Johnny Cakes over the years. Johnny Cakes are really just like hard sandwich rolls, but there is something so homey and addicting about them. You might be familiar with them from other cultures around the Caribbean and Native American Indians. Some people refer to them as Journey Cakes as they would stay fresh for weeks, making them the perfect travel food.

International Sources

Enforcement of award. D.C. Circuit invokes extraordinary mandamus power to overturn District Court's stay order in arbitration enforcement action between a company and the Government of Belize
On the Belize Government's motion, the district court issued an indefinite stay order pending final action in the Belize Supreme Court. BSDL, which did not oppose the Belize Government's motion, appealed the stay order to the D.C. Circuit court. The circuit court noted that a stay was not ordinarily a final decision subject to immediate appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291. Nor did the stay put Plaintiff "effectively out of court" such that the stay could be considered a de facto final decision. The court therefore treated BSDL's appeal as a request for a writ of mandamus, given the "emphatic federal policy" in support of arbitration orders in the context of international commerce.

Cyprus replaces Belize as training area
Cyprus has stepped in to fill the gap following the mothballing of Belize, which was used to train young officers as platoon commanders. Seventy Sandhurst graduates are on exercise Grim Warrior for the battle camp phase of their training. Although the Mediterranean is very different to the Caribbean jungle, the training has been adapted to replicate battle conditions.

USA Under Secretary Maria Otero Travels to El Salvador and Belize
Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Maria Otero is traveling to El Salvador March 26-28 and to Belize March 28-29. During her trip, Under Secretary Otero will engage on a variety of themes, including citizen security, community policing, youth, social inclusion, trafficking in persons, and financial inclusion. Under Secretary Otero’s visit will highlight U.S. partnership with El Salvador and Belize to improve citizen security in Central America. While in Belize, Under Secretary Otero will engage in bilateral discussions with senior government officials on citizen security, trafficking in persons, and financial inclusion, and, in addition, will meet with civil society leaders.

Flags, convenience and bending the rules to steal Africa's fish
Take this stern trawler. It flies a Belize flag. That's Belize in the Caribbean, famed as a haven for wealthy UK tax-dodgers, so you might well think that the ship was owned and operated by a company in Belize, right? Wrong. From what we can fathom it is actually owned and operated by a company in Latvia. That's Latvia, in the EU, on the balmy shores of the Baltic. A far cry from the Caribbean. We've seen other similarly confusingly flagged ships out here hoovering up fish from West African waters. Despite the flag that says 'St. Kitts & Nevis' or 'St. Vincent & the Grenadines', the money, management and power lead back to places like Lithuania, Iceland, Spain, Russia, and even Belgium. So what exactly is going on? Why on earth would all these European countries be linked to Caribbean flags? What next, Belize and St. Kitts to enter the Eurovision Song Contest?!

Belize Facebook Infographic
According to current statistics, Belize has approximately 66,260 Facebook users, making us 157 on the list of countries where Facebook users are based-- 49% of those users are males and 51% are females. The number 66,260 means that 21.07% of the people living in Belize have at least one Facebook account. That number may appear to be low but compared to how much people accessed the internet in Belize in 2010, it is extremely high. According to the 2010 Population & Housing Census of Belize, 73, 575 people used the internet in that respective year. Now if we compare that amount to the number of Facebook users that exist in Belize it is impressive. More than 90% of those internet users have a Facebook account. If you ask me that is a really high number and it is not a surprise because I notice that every person I know have a Facebook account, even a few gardeners and taxi drivers. The research shows that 33% of those Facebook users are between the ages of 18 and 24. The statistics also show that there is more demand by the females than of the males-- 33,793 of the 66,260 users are females and 32,467 are males. The lowest numbers of users are those of ages 65 and up which constitutes a 1% of the total Facebook population in Belize.

March 27, 2012

Valid: Friday - Monday, March 26 - April 2, 2012

The feature of interest this week will continue to be a relatively stable and fresh Easterly to South-easterly airflow over the NW Caribbean, generated by a weakening Atlantic High and a broad low pressure system over Texas and Mexico. An active cold front system will move off the Texas Gulf coast at the end of the period on Monday, and will move vigorously south eastwards across the Gulf, reaching Yucatan and Belize by late Tuesday of next week.

We can therefore expect seasonally fair and sunny weather to continue through this week, with a few brief, daytime showers, especially in the central coastal areas during the morning hours, and over inland regions during the afternoon. Prefrontal thunderstorms are likely on Sunday, with increasing showers on Monday and Tuesday of next week.

Daily rainfall accumulations during this week will be minimal, ranging from 0.01-0.10 of-an-inch, especially over central regions and the hills. The 2012 Dry Season will continue across the nation over the next seven days. The best chance for thunderstorms and showers will be over the weekend on Sunday and Monday. The unsettled weather will continue on Tuesday of next week. Beware of Bush Fires! Avoid setting fires…

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

Fantiki Four Win the Water Olympics Challenge!
The Snack Shack located at the San Pedro Fitness Club held their second “Adult Water Olympics” competition on Saturday, March 24th. Three brave teams of four individuals each stepped up to the challenge; Daddy’s Little Swimmers, Fantiki Four and the Mighty Jaguars, who showed up sporting a jaguar canopy tent complete with whiskers, nose and pointed ears. The super fun and very entertaining competition began with the teams thawing out a block of frozen T-shits. The teams were not allowed to use water during the challenge and it proved to be a tough one. In the end Daddy’s Little Swimmers were the first to complete the chilly task, putting them in the lead. The second challenge was a water relay with the teams having to swim an inflated beach ball the length of the pool to each other. Some were quite clever in pushing the ball under their T- shirts or even bikini bottoms to transport the ball while swimming. It was a very competitive relay with the Mighty Jaguars Some clever relay racers carried the beach ball inside their shirts. winning the challenge. The third challenge was the Sponge relay where the team members had to pass a water saturated sponge over and under their line-up squeezing the water into a bucket at the end of the line. The first team to fill their bucket won and Fantiki Four took the game, placing all teams at an even status.

No foul play suspected in death of Canadia
A Canadian national was found dead inside his room at a hotel in southern San Pedro Town. The person is 51 year old Jan Peter Sol and was in the country on vacation. While a full post mortem examination is expected to be performed on the body, San Pedro Police does not suspect foul play. The body was discovered shortly before 10AM today Monday March 26th by one of Sol’s friends. According to SP Police, vacationer Mandy Lee sent her children to check on Sol sometime on Sunday. According to Police, the children reported to Lee that when they knocked on the door, Sol did not respond. Lee told police that she sent her children again on Monday morning but again there was no response. That’s when Lee became concerned and asked another friend living at the same resort, Howard Grosch, to check on Sol. Police said that when Grosch went to check on Sol, he discovered that door was not locked. Grosch then entered the hotel room and discovered the motionless body of Sol, slumped under the table. Sol’s body was observed as semi-clothed, with a gash to the head and a small pool of blood next to him. Police believe that he obtained the gash after Sol either hit the edge of the table or the concrete wall before sliding under the table in a seated position. Update In speaking to Doctor Laurenzco Nicholson from the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly-Clinic, he explained that Sol appeared to have died sometime between 9PM and midnight on Sunday. Dr Nicholson further explained that Sol may have died from some unknown previous medical condition which will only be determine following a post mortem examination.

Ambergris Today

SPHS Students Display Projects at Open Day
Every year the students of San Pedro High School get to showcase to the public what they have learnt throughout the scholastic year. On Friday, March 23, 2012, San Pedro High School hosted its annual open day and students showcased different projects for all to enjoy. Students had been preparing for several weeks and their hard work finally paid off as many who attended the open day enjoyed all the presentations. Students were divided into groups to work together on several projects and they displayed their strong knowledge on the subject assigned to them. During open day, visitors enjoyed various presentations such as, cultural presentations as part of a Spanish class; having live puppies, dogs, insects and even a chicken for a biology presentation. Third Form physics students demonstrated how to make a rocket with a recycled plastic bottle, water and pressurized air.

The Very First Ones (Pt. 2)
First Power Plant, First Corn Tortilla Factory, Our First Priest

Misc Belizean Sources

PHOTOS: Maya Day 2012
Hundreds of people from all over the Toledo district and even from beyond came out to witness and take part in Maya Day 2012. It was a day where the spotlight was placed squarely on the Maya culture and all that these indigenous people had to offer to the development of Belize. Congratulations to the organizers of the event.

VIDEO: Belize in the mid 80's
Check out this short documentary on Belize that was produced back in the mid 80's.

VIDEO: A Great Sunday Morning Dive
PADI 5 Star Team, Ecologic Divers, Ambergris Caye, Belize

PHOTOS: Destiny Preschool at the San Ignacio Public Library
Destiny Preschool paid a visit to the San Ignacio Public Library. Children's Month has seen hundreds of kids getting to visit the library.

PHOTOS: Women in Art Fair
The Benque House of Culture has posted pictures from their Women in Art Fair.

PHOTOS: National Barrel Horse Association Belize Highlights
Pictures from the Barrel Race at the Belize Equestrian Academy.

Channel 7

Since 7News showed you the photograph of Yolanda Schakron's American passport which our newsroom received anonymously, we've been keenly following the story of the outcomes, particularly, the February 17 rejection of her Lake Independence Candidacy. Well, the elections have been held and Mark King has been sworn in as the duly elected area representative for Lake I, but that is far from the end of the story. Last week, Schakron's attorney filed for leave to apply for an election petition, and today the preliminary hearing took place in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. If the leave is granted, the appellants will seek to have the election results in Lake I voided.

Tonight the parents of a 6 year old child are detained pending investigation by police -after the little girl was accidentally shot and killed by her 11 year old brother. The shooting which is described as an extremely tragic accident -happened this morning around 8 in the small western community of Valley of Peace - inside the family home. 6 year old Lucy Cano and her 11 year old brother Jorge Cano were playing inside a room in the house. Reports are that it was a pump-12 shotgun concealed under a mattress that the little boy pulled out and was playing with when he accidentally shot his little sister in the chest area. The little girl was rushed to the hospital but died minutes later. Today 7news travelled west to Belmopan where we spoke with the aunt of both children.

Belize City resident Solomon Gabourel was killed early on Saturday morning. Gabourel was stabbed to death by the aunt of a female hot dog vendor - whom he had just robbed. It happened at around 4:30 am. It is alleged that Gabourel held up a 19 year old female hot dog vendor by holding her the neck and placing a sharp object against her abdomen. He then took her entire apron with eight-hundred dollars in cash and her cell phone. He was going back into the car he had arrived in when the 19 year old's aunt intervened. He allegedly punched her, and she threw a bottle at him - when he tried to run off, she picked up a machete with a 13 inch blade and stabbed him in the left side of his abdomen. Gabourel managed to make it into the car he had arrived in - and his associates rushed him to the hospital. Gabourel succumbed to his injuries while undergoing surgery and was pronounced dead at 5:55 a.m.

Today, The Notorious Darren Banks, said to the leader of the PIV gang, was sentenced to a fine of $10,000 and 3 years imprisonment for 26 ½ pounds of marijuana which was found on top of the roof of his Oleander Street home on November 16, 2010. According to police, when they conducted a search on the house, they found an AR-15 rifle, twenty nine 5.56 live rounds of ammunition, and thirteen .223 live rounds of ammunition. As a result, they ended up charging Banks and his wife, Desiree for kept prohibited firearm, kept prohibited ammunition and drug trafficking The case came to a close today, in the courtroom of Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer who informed him that she has reviewed the evidence of the prosecution and she is satisfied that he was guilty of drug trafficking.

A Sunday hunting trip proved deadly for one man who was shot and killed. Salvapan resident, Antonio Jimenez, a 44 year old Guatemalan Farmer, went with 4 friends on a hunting trip about 6 miles behind the Maya Mopan Area at about 5 yesterday morning. When they arrived, the men cordoned off an area and sent their dogs in to chase out the wild animals. At about 9:00 am, the dogs came running in behind a deer. 40 year old Jose Antonio Ramos fired one shot at the deer. Shortly after, Antonio Jimenez emerged from the bushes, with a gunshot wound under his right armpit and below the right arm. He survived briefly, but it was a long haul to get him back to the Western Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The shooter, Jose Antonio Ramos has been detained.

The partial audit investigation into irregularities at the City Council has been completed and it shows that tens of thousands of dollars were unaccounted for under paymistress Shirlene Sabal. The audit only covers the years 2010 and 2011 and it shows that approximately seventy thousand dollars is unaccounted for. It is believed that these monies went missing through Sabal's department in bogus overtime payments and payments for bogus loans. The auditors believe that if they dig further into the records more irregularities can be found but this initial report is just a one year snapshot. We do know that the mayor Darrell Bradley met with Sabal today - but he did not answer our requests for a comment on what will happen next - whether she will pay it back, or if criminal charges will be brought. We hope to have an answer from the mayor tomorrow.

Today, just over two kilos of suspected cocaine was found in a hotel room in Benque Viejo Del Carmen - that's over four and a half pounds of suspected cocaine. At around 3:00 this morning, police spotted 48 year old Belize city resident Jes Fobres on the second floor verandah of Hotel Maya where he was staying. When the police stopped in front of the hotel, Fobres ran to his room, alerting the police. They followed him, hearing signs of hurried movement. They ordered Fobres to open the door, and conducted a thorough search of the room. Under the pillow they found three plastic bags containing suspected cocaine along with a cream colored waist band and a roll of tape. A further search revealed the Celotex from the ceiling near the wall had been stripped down, indicating that the suspected cocaine may have been hidden inside. When the substance was weighed, the three packages totaled 2021 grams, approximately 71 ounces. By 11 a.m. police had officially charged Forbes with drug trafficking and he has been remanded until April.

A private, U.S. registered Amphibious Aircraft, crashed while landing in the sea off Abalone Caye in Punta Gorda, Belize. There were no fatalities and only the pilot, James Glen Wagner, 57 years old, a US National of Lake Land, Florida, was onboard at the time. While the cause of the crash is still unknown, police say that on Saturday, March 24, 2012, shortly after 3:30 p.m., Wagner was landing the plane in the sea and it flipped over. Wagner was submerged in the water but managed to escape the aircraft unhurt. The information we gathered indicates that the eight seater, had just finished dropping off 7 tourists in the Placencia area and was landing off the Abalone Caye area to pickup other tourists, who were out fishing, when it flipped. We have also learnt, unofficially, from a source that this aircraft has been in Belize for close to two weeks. We could not reach the civil aviation department for comment.

A 15 year old girl has been reported missing by her mother. It has been three weeks since Doris Ramclam has seen her child, Catherine McKoy. The last time she saw her was around 7:30 in the morning when her daughter left for classes at Eden high school in Santa Elena. The mother says Catherine has no history of running away and is pleading with the public for information. Doris Ramclam, mother "She went to school on the 5th of March and at the time when she should come home she didn't reach home, so I went to the police to make a report. I haven't seen or heard from her since." "I am here to ask the public for help if they had seen my daughter to please contact the nearest police station or to contact me at 621-9001. And if she is watching this newscast to please contact me also." If you have information on Catherine Mckoy's whereabouts you are asked contact the nearest police station or call her mother at 621-9001.

Sharima Hoare of Vista Del Mar is the owner of a new car - and she got it free - because she bought a ticket for a raffle in support of the Red Cross. Belize Estate Company - which is the country's Ford Dealer put up a new Ford Fiesta as the raffle's grand prize. Now the raffle didn't do quite as well as they would have hoped, but Sharima still got her new ride, and Red Cross got some needed funds for its programmes. So, we spoke to both winners, with the Red Cross first:.. Lilly Bowman, Director General - Belize Red Cross "The contribution of course will help the Red Cross a great deal. Any monies that are donated to the Belize Red Cross goes straight into our core programs if they are not earmark like this donation. It will assist us to do more, reach further and do much better in our programs and reaching to the vulnerable people of Belize." Sharima Hoare, winner "I am very happy, excited, overwhelm, words cannot describe. When I was purchasing the ticket I told my co-worker that I have never won anything but I was only supporting the cause."

7176 Students across the country sat Day 1 of the PSE today in 306 classrooms at 28 centers for the 274 primary schools with students taking the exam. Day one was comprised of the English and Science sections. It started at 8:15 and finished at 1:45. We waited to speak to a few of the city students when they finished at 1:45. Carlos Mendoza, Hummingbird Elementary "It was kind of hard, but more like challenging. Some questions were hard and some questions were easy." Robin Schaffer "For you?" Joshua Pott, Hummingbird Elementary "It really depended on how much you studied. If you barely study then of course it will be hard for you. If you studied a lot then it would be easy. I found it easy." "The Science had questions that you really had to think about. The English was easy in terms of reading out the paragraphs and answering the questions." Robin Schaffer "How are you feeling?" Carlos Mendoza, Hummingbird Elementary "Relieve, I couldn't wait until I did this and then now I feel a lot better."

18 year-old Casey Lozano, an apprentice electrician of Ladyville, was arraigned for burglary when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today. It is alleged that he and another person invaded the home a senior Ladyville resident, tied her up, and robbed her of $56,000 worth of personal belongings. According to the police, on February 28 at around 11:15 a.m., Lozano and other person allegedly entered the home of a 66 year-old female and cleaned out her house, taking an assortment of electronics, jewelry, 2 suitcases, underwear, assorted liquor, and her 2005 Toyota, all to a total value of $56,039. In court today, no plea was taken from Lozano, and the issue of his bail arose. When Senior Magistrate Frazer asked him for a valid reason that he should be granted bail, he told the court that he asked police to put him in an identification parade, and when he was placed in the line-up, the victim did not pick him out. As a result, Senior Magistrate Frazer granted him bail of $20,000, and adjourned his matter until May 11. Up until this afternoon, Lozano's family was having problems making arrangements to meet bail.

He was just trying to be a good Samaritan, but that earned Kenroy Flowers a stab wound to the abdomen. Just before midnight on Saturday, 26 year old Kenroy Williams, a Belizean Labourer, came upon an argument on Kut Avenue. Jason Mckenzie was quarrelling with Darwin Howard, a 25 year old Belizean security officer, when Kenroy Flowers intervened. Mckenzie then took out a knife, attempting to stab Darwin Howard. He missed, however, and caught Flowers on the left side of his abdomen. Police responded shortly after, and saw Williams lying face up on the street side.

San Ignacio Streets Will Be Paved
Last week we told you about the launching of the Municipal Development Project in Punta Gorda where a contract for about $425,000.00 was signed. Well, this AFTERNOON a $218,000 contract was signed to enhance safety and traffic flow on the busiest roads of San Ignacio, Santa Elena and Belmopan. It was signed in Belmopan at the Social Investment Fund headquarters by the Executive Director of the SIF, Mr Daniel Cano and Mr. Hugo Lemus who signed on behalf of Modern Construk a construction company. It represents the formal launching and first civil works projects as a part of the Belize Municipal Development Project. This 5 year project is being financed by the Government of Belize through a 30 million dollar loan from the World Bank. The main objective of the BMDP is to improve access to basic municipal infrastructure and to enhance municipal management in selected Town and City Councils.

Channel 5

Yolanda Schakron in Supreme Court for bi-election battle
Last Friday, P.U.P. Attorney Lisa Shoman was in the Supreme Court to file an application for leave to present an Election Petition by Yolanda Schakron. The P.U.P. were back in court today tor day two, before Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin. The case the P.U.P. are presenting is that the Retuning Officer, Noreen Fairweather did not ...

Attorney Denys Barrow believes election petition will fail
And while Attorney Shoman maintains that this application is apart and separate from what Justice Legal had ruled in February, Attorney Denys Barrow says they may have some grounds, but he believes their opposition to the application for leave is very strong.   Denys Barrow, Attorney “I don’t think I would want to answer it ...

Brother shoots and kills sister with father’s unlicensed gun
Though anti-crime measures have targeted gang murders and shootings, there are some deaths that can be avoided. Tragedy has struck a community in the western region of the country as a child has been shot and killed. It’s a sad tale that has been told before; a father introduces a firearm to the house to ...

Stabbed to death while robbing hot dog vendor
Battlefield Park, aside from being among the oldest public spaces in the city, is a refuge for loiterers. The venue is also littered with fast food vendors around the clock and the combination makes for a volatile mix, one which has contributed significantly to a spike in crime and violence in the area over the ...

Man charged for murder at Scotia Bank acquitted
Twenty-three year old Frank Edwards, the only accused culprit detained for the March 2010 robbery of Scotia Bank in Spanish Lookout which ended in the fatal shooting of security guard Steven Lopez, walked away a free man today after being acquitted of murder. Edwards appeared before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in Belmopan this morning represented by ...

Banks convicted for almost 27lbs of weed
One man who has seen a litany of charges and always manages to walk away clean is Darien Banks. The thirty three year old is tonight behind bars where he will serve a minimum of three years after being found guilty of drug trafficking. Banks was convicted for trafficking a little under twenty-seven pounds of ...

Seaplane flips over, but pilot unharmed
An airplane flipped over when it made contact with the sea. The seaplane is designed to take off and alight on water. However, some models of these floatplanes can’t handle waves greater than twelve inches. And on March twenty-fourth, a routine exercise shook up fifty-seven year old James Glen Wagner, the pilot. Wagner, a United ...

Loggers meet in the South to discuss Rosewood
Since she took office only about two weeks ago, Lisel Alamilla had hit the ground running. Government confirmed this morning, that the portfolio responsibility of Indigenous People has been dropped from Minister Lisel Alamilla. When the responsibility was first announced on March thirteenth, the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) came out saying that there are eminently ...

Over 7,000 students sit P.S.E.
Today marks day one of the annual Primary School Examination. All across the country, thirty six high schools y are being used to host students from two hundred and seventy four primary schools. You may have noticed the smiling faces and the energy rushing out of the high schools as the primary school students ended ...

Blind and Able, Rowan Garel, takes P.S.E.
Of the seven thousand one hundred and seventy six students who sat the exam, one hundred and forty were registered as special needs candidates. One of those individuals, Rowan Garel, is blind but is clearly not disabled as he recently climbed Victoria Peak. Garel, a student of Hummingbird Elementary explained how he did on today’s ...

Cops recorded allegedly targeting George Street men
A compact disc allegedly from the George Street area was delivered to Channel Five minutes before news time. We have not been able to verify for certainty the names of the individuals that are on the recording. However, sources say that the voices belong to officers of an elite police group who have had more ...

Former U.S. Ambassador to Belize passes away
Two prominent individuals who have dedicated portions of their life to social justice have passed away. Misses Audrey Courtenay was a founding member of Belize Red Cross, a former nurse and a matron. Courtenay died on Saturday morning at her home and following a service at Saint Mary’s Church, she was laid to rest today. ...

Mom misses missing daughter. Have you seen her?
A teenage girl from the Cayo District has been missing for weeks. Her family does not know if she ran away or if she is being prevented from contacting them. It’s a situation that parents would want to avoid at all costs; that is not knowing the fate of their child and Doris Ramclam, the ...

New building for Samuel Haynes Institute
A groundbreaking ceremony was held this evening at the Samuel Haynes Institute on Mahogany Street where a new building is set to be constructed. The existing facility, which has been declared a child friendly space, will be expanded with an addition to be funded by the Japanese government. On hand for the ceremony was Pickstock ...

Belizean Fashionista in Caribbean Design Show
Mission Catwalk is a Caribbean show that airs on TVJ. Its purpose is to find and develop talent. When it first aired it focused solely on Jamaican talent, but for season two the show sought a more regional audience. Amongst the islanders is someone from the mainland, Belize. Rebecca Stirm, a resident of Belmopan joined nineteen ...

Cycling Association Rides with a Donation
The annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic is less than two weeks away and while Belizean riders train diligently to bring back the coveted garland, the Belize Cycling Association is hard at work soliciting gifts for the competition. Over the years the association has struggled with finding cash and prizes but this year it ...

Sports Monday with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The future of Belizean cycling was in full bloom yesterday with the 13th running of the Junior Cross Country Cycle Classic. 20 of the most promising young talent were suited at the Succotz Ferry for the start of this 74.6 mile journey chasing a ...


No one hurt as sea plan crash lands
There was a small plane crash in southern Belize over the weekend. Our Toledo Bureau Chief Paul Mahung filed this report on Sunday. Police have released more details on the crash of a small plane in southern Belize as investigators from the Civil Aviation Authority have been dispatched to investigate. According to the new information ...

CJ hears application for leave to lodge election petition
On February seventeenth Yolanda Schakron’s bid to seek electoral office in the big leagues was quashed when the Returning Officer, Noreen Fairweather, rejected Schakron’s nomination. Fairweather’s rejection was based on grounds that Schakron, who said she had already begun the process to renounce her US citizenship, was still deemed a US citizen until the process ...

Two accidental killings in Cayo
There are two tragic fatal shooting incidents coming out of the Cayo district tonight; but neither of them would fit under the banner of crime news. In the first incident, a Belmopan man was fatally wounded while on a hunting trip. Our Cayo correspondent Fem Cruz has the details. In the second incident, a seven ...

City Council aims to recover stolen funds
Today the Belize City Council met with one of its employees who it claims misappropriated at least sixty thousand dollars of its funds between 2009 and 2011. Mayor Darrel Bradley told Love News today that the Council will terminate the employee’s services and seek to recover the funds. Bradley said that within the next week, the Council will have implemented new systems to ensure that something like what happened with the missing monies does not recur.


Hunting trip turns deadly for father of seven
What should have been a fun hunting trip between friends turned sad yesterday morning when one of the men was accid...

Family of missing Belmopan man asks public for help
A Belmopan man is missing and his family has no idea where he is. Karen Gillet of Ontario Village reported that on ...

Nerves frazzled as students sit the PSE
It’s an annual nerve-wracking day for the young standard six primary school students who make the yearly pilgrimage...

Proceeds of car raffle goes to the Belize Red Cross
The Belize Red Cross has received a cash donation from the Belize Estate Company (BEC). The BEC had completed the r...

10 year-old boy accidentally shoots and kills younger sister
Earlier, we told you about the accidental shooting death of Antonio Jimenez. While that incident was unfortunate Pl...

Two killed in tragic road accident
A road traffic accident over the weekend has left two occupants of the vehicle dead. On Saturday a gold Toyota Hilu...

Air craft landing goes wrong
Punta Gorda Police is investigating an Air Craft crash that occurred in the sea, off Abalone Caye. At 11:00am on Su...

34 year old dies trying to stop robbery
A man lost his life whilst trying to stop a robbery. At approximately 5:00 a.m. on Saturday 24 March, 34 yr old Sol...

Cane farmer recovering from multiple stab wounds
Police visited the Corozal Community Hospital at about 7:40pm on March 24, where they saw Albino Garcia, a 31 yr ol...

No payment to farmers for orange deductions
Taste of sour orange is in many citrus farmers mouths. Citrus farmers in the Stann Creek district were informed on ......

Man stabbed while trying to break up argument
A resident of Tropical Park is stabbed after he attempts to break up an argument. On March 24 at 11:50pm, Police vi...

Wal Yi Restaurant in Santa Elena robbed
A Chinese business owner is held up and robbed in his restaurant. Police made a visit to Wal Yi Restaurant in Santa...


Belize Spice Farm
Bruno reached up with ease to grab a pepperberry – green and shiny in the afternoon light. The thick of the vines shaded us from the late day heat. “Here Miss Kristin. Try this. Let me know if you think its hot!” He then handed me a small, round kernel. I bit into it and a numbing, spicy shot filled my mouth. I turned away from my guide and host. “Oh my god. That IS pepper.” I cracked a smile as the burn headed up my nose and down my throat. I heard the snickering and felt a playful “ha-ha” slap on my back. Almost as soon as the burn surged, it dissipated. I faced the group. “Ok, What’s next?” I said with a triumphant smirk “Vanilla beans.” said Canti. “Ok. I KNOW those.” My baking and pastry prowess strengthened my tone. ” Just watch me.” I said in a snuff. The Belize Spice Farm is open for visitors. Watch the hand pollination of vanilla orchids, tour the nursery of local and exotic plants, and tastes spices from around the world that have adapted to the climate of Belize, and that grow in its rich tropical soil.

Maya Kek’chi cooking
I could say this about most Belizean women I have met: “Insert Name Here” is a hard working woman. Rita at work on her daily tortilla orders In this case, Rita Chi’Quien sets the standard. She has close to thirty acres of farmland at the back of Forest Home, just outside of Punta Gorda in Toledo, Belize. She farms, teaches sewing and makes school uniforms, runs a small store, grinds corn on her own belted grinder, fills daily orders for corn tortillas (10 for 50 cents US) and is a wife and mother to nine children. Chi’Quien (pronounced sheh-queen) has worked with Sustainable Harvest International (SHI) to help grow her farm and support her businesses. The foundation’s mission is to support families in Central America by teaching methods of organic farming and agriculture business “best practices”.

Caldo, Kek’chi style
Rita Chi’quien gave me her recipe. “Thank you!” I said profusely and she looked at me cross-eyed. “Of course. Why not give you the recipe? Why I not do that?’ I realized that my profuse gratitude was out of step with the local custom of “recipe generosity.” Getting a cook to turn over their recipes at home was like asking for their first-born child. Words like “proprietary” and “copyright” ring out loud. Here in the jungle – everyone shares because you need to know how to cook. Not knowing a recipe is akin to not being able to eat. I understood her quizzical look that said, “If you know this, then you can start feeding yourself. Of COURSE I will give it to you.”

The Caves of Belize
8 caves mentioned, and of course they are all located in Cayo! "Rio Frio Cave If you’re in the mood for something less strenuous than Actun Tunichil Muknal, this cave located in the Mountain Pine Ridge area is the ideal destination. You can park not too far from the massive 65-foot arched entrance, where the large boulders allow for climbing up along the side of the cave. The cave is only half a mile long – you can see front one end to the other. A river runs through the cave, but in the dry season it’s possible to hike through to the other side. Che Chem Ha Cave Located in the upper Macal River area of Belize, Che Chem Ha is accessible by a healthy 40-minute climb through the bush from the Morales farm. Discover the cave’s Mayan pottery-filled chambers with large, intact pots."

Toledo:Coleman’s Cafe
Coleman’s Cafe is in Big Falls, Toledo Belize. Here are some fast facts about the Cafe: Tom and Pearlene Coleman opened the restaurant 11 years ago. They have three sons and of course, one grandchild on the way. They are part of the East Indian Community in Belize whose families are descendents of the Indian’s who came to Belize to work sugar and agricultural plantations. Tom and Pearlene moved to Big Falls initially so that Tom could work in the Rice Mill. The same mill is up the hill from the cafe. They decided to follow their passion and use Pearlene’s local recipes that are peppered with Indian spice influences, to open their own restaurant. Each year, the cafe expands and now hosts a large outdoor covered seating area. The current large kitchen used to be the indoor restaurant. “It was too hot and we have such a nice outdoor spot so we moved it outside. ” said Pearlene. I can attest to this “nice spot” description: the cafe sits in a shaded area on a hillside that catches the breeze.

International Sources

IFC/WB: Ease of Doing Business in Belize 2012
This page shows summary Doing Business 2012 data for Belize. The first table lists the overall "Ease of Doing Business" rank (out of 183 economies) and the rankings by each topic. The rest of the tables summarize the key indicators for each topic and benchmark against regional and high-income economy (OECD) averages.

Tracy veterinarian helps out in Central America
“Last summer I was thinking on a global spectrum, what else can I do?” she said. “A friend said check the website for Doctors Without Borders. I picked a week, and that was the trip I picked.” World Vets is a non-government organization that provides veterinary aid, training and disaster relief around the globe. Its mission statement is to make veterinary care accessible to the 99 percent of animals in developing countries that never see a veterinarian. Operating with more than 3,500 volunteers, the group has projects across the world, including teams working in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Tanzania. Valdez, along with five veterinarians and eight ancillary people, worked on the Belizean island of Ambergris Caye. Although it’s a beautiful tropical island, Valdez said the canine population can seem overwhelming. “Dogs were everywhere. It’s crazy. You walk 100 yards and pass probably 10 dogs,” the majority being strays, she said. Working with a local humane society based on the island, the aid group set up shop inside a small three-room building. Each room served a specific purpose, including post-operative, pre-operative and one room for five simultaneous surgeries.

Report: Oil spill culprit for heavy toll on coral
After months of laboratory work, scientists say they can definitively finger oil from BP's blown-out well as the culprit for the slow death of a once brightly colored deep-sea coral community in the Gulf of Mexico that is now brown and dull. In a study published Monday, scientists say meticulous chemical analysis of samples taken in late 2010 proves that oil from BP PLC's out-of-control Macondo well devastated corals living about 7 miles southwest of the well. The coral community is located over an area roughly the size of half a football field nearly a mile below the Gulf's surface. The damaged corals were discovered in October 2010 by academic and government scientists, but it's taken until now for them to declare a definite link to the oil spill. Most of the Gulf's bottom is muddy, but coral colonies that pop up every once in a while are vital oases for marine life in the chilly ocean depths. The injured and dying coral today has bare skeleton, loose tissue and is covered in heavy mucous and brown fluffy material, the paper said. "It was like a graveyard of corals," said Erik Cordes, a biologist at Temple University who went down to the site in the Alvin research submarine.

Among conservation biologists, Rachel Graham is sometimes called the aquatic Jane Goodall: She has developed new information about the lives of her research subjects and, like the famous primatologist, she has successfully deployed science to create a constituency for their preservation. RSS Feed But Dr. Graham’s subjects lack the all-but-human charms of Dr. Goodall’s chimps. As the director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Gulf and Caribbean Sharks and Rays Program, Dr. Graham must overcome deeply held fears and prejudices in her efforts to outlaw fishing of various shark species, including the whale shark, a playful and friendly creature that migrates to the western Caribbean every spring. That species of shark is now protected off the coasts of Belize and Mexico, and last May Dr. Graham received the 2011 Gold Award and about $100,000 from the Whitley Fund for Nature in England for her work on its behalf.

Spring Break in tropical Belize
About four years ago, my wife and I decided to take a holiday during Spring Break. The destination was Belize, in Central America. It is a nation that doesn't always get lots of publicity and if people have been there it was on a one-day stop for cruise ships. But after reading about the destination, there seemed to be much more in Belize than we imagined. Susanne always says that she "should have been born under a palm tree." Well, there are certainly lots of those in Belize -- and we found out that there is a lot more. International visitors flying into the Central American nation generally land at the international airport outside of Belize City, the capital. The ride from the airport to the capital is at first a pretty one, with views of lots of greenery and water. The capital itself is nothing to scream 'hurray' for, since many of the buildings are a bit run-down and there are sometimes interesting characters wandering the streets. The real charm of Belize is outside of the capital. For that reason, Susanne and I chose to include a stay in the island of Ambergris during our last visit to Belize. Only a 20 minutes ride in a small plane from the local airport to the island, it seemed like another world. Yes, we were still in the tropics. But here was an island where people were walking up and down the main street in sandals looking in shops or stopping in any number of bars or restaurants for tasty, tropical fare. Cars are not allowed there so people get around in golf carts. Our golf cart ride to our hotel took us past plenty of hotels -- big and small, simple and luxurious. There were some signs referring to the island as 'la isla bonita' - a name given the island by Madonna in a song she wrote years ago about Ambergris and the only town there, San Pedro (anyone remember "last night I dreamt of San Pedro?") After arriving in our small hotel, we decided to take advantage of the view of the sea and sit outside for a while.

March 26, 2012

The San Pedro Sun

Aerobics at ABC Pre-School
There is nothing, and we repeat, nothing, cuter than baby aerobics. Well, perhaps a koala snuggling up to a baby panda – but we don’t have those here, so exercising pre-schoolers it is. ABC pre-school has had many activities planned and executed for Child Stimulation Month, and one of those activities included a morning of aerobics on Friday, March 23rd. It’s healthy, it’s fun, the children get out to play, and who can resist a stretch or two to take off the mind from learning those pesky ABC’s? Leading the exercise class was Teacher Susana, an internationally certified exercise maven who talked to the children about the benefits of exercise, including the need for proper stretching and breathing. She led the children into their first stretches, slowly easing them into a faster routine.

Ambergris Today

Celebrating Spring Equinox at Caracol Maya Site
Today, Caracol rivals Tikal and Chitzen Itza as a major Maya culture destination. Providing a two-hour tour of the site was Belize’s leading archaeologist, Dr. Jaime Awe, who first began working on this site during the 1970’s. His total involvement in the project made him the best guide and he delivered a most interesting tour; he is extremely knowledgeable, smart, witty and most comical. It was a privilege to be in his presence and have such a personal and intimate experience. After the tour, night fell on the site and the campers gathered under a tent to enjoy a traditional Maya buffet that included chaya soup, pork and chicken pibil, tortillas, tamales and ducunu. Before bedtime, those eager for more excitement, headed to the main Caana temple to scale it in pitch black conditions. At the top was a celestial experience where it seemed as if the Milky Way was at arm’s reach; nothing short of breathtaking and spectacular. By 2:30a.m. the campers were awakened by the call of the Howler Monkeys. Like clockwork they howl into the dead silence of the night; it’s an eerie sound while you are asleep in the middle of the jungle, but an amazing experience all at once. Shortly after Maya shamans from Guatemala, Honduras and Belize commenced a traditional Fire ceremony where campers participated in a healing ritual that included embracing the rising smoke and adding candles and incense to the fire that burnt herbs, corn, cacao beans, cinnamon sticks, each a symbol of Maya cosmology. This was the first ever held at the Caracol site. The ceremony ended as the sun gave way above the jungle canopy and rose just behind one of the temples at Caracol, bringing light to the first day of spring.

My Maya 2012 Birthday Experience During Spring Equinox
My birthdays have always been fun and I have celebrated them with the family at home, parties with close friends, social gatherings, bar hopping, a day at the beach, weekend-long events and trips to Chetumal and Cancun. But this year I did something totally out of the box (for me) and spent my birthday doing something I would have never planned for myself and had the MOST AMAZING time and one of the Best Birthdays Ever! This year I went 25 miles into the Mountain Pine Ridge/Chiquibul Forest, pitched up a tent in front of a Maya Temple, scaled the highest man-made structure in Belize during the middle of the night, gazed at a star-filled night’s sky atop the Caana Temple, met some fantastic new people and made friends with some other terrific ones, was woken up by the howling of the mystic Howler Monkeys and participated in a Maya Fire Ceremony of thanksgiving and spirituality. All of this took place during Maya Spring Equinox celebrations at Caracol, Belize’s premier Maya archaeological. It is one of Belize’s most impressive and largest archeological sites and I had the privilege of being part of such an amazing historical event that very few people were part of.

Go Bald, Go Strong for Cancer Awareness Month
Following on the footsteps of the students of the University of Belize (UB) who shaved their heads for the “Baldmiration” Cancer Awareness Campaign, members of the San Pedro Cancer Society have done the same here in San Pedro to kick off activities for upcoming Cancer Awareness Month in April. Founding members of the San Pedro Cancer Society got together at Mar De Colores beauty salon on Friday, March 23, 2012, to shave off their hair in show of support for cancer patients and create awareness for their campaign during Cancer Awareness Month. President Gonzalo Muñoz led his group in shaving off his hair while other dyed a streak of hair pink. It was an emotional filled-room, filled with happiness and tears as many of the cancer society members have been affected by the disease, either directly or indirectly. Monica Prevett boldly shaved her hair off after having it streaked pink in support of her partner’s battle with cancer, as well as Dina Graniel whose mother has been afflicted with the disease. The members of the San Pedro Cancer Society want to show how serious they are committed to their cause and want others to join them. This coming Saturday, March 31, 2012, the group is holding an awareness campaign they are calling “Hair Day” or lack there off, because they are asking resident to also shave their heads or streak a piece of their hair pink to show support for cancer patients.

Misc Belizean Sources

Learning by Serving, One Community at a Time: ISIS Belize proves its commitment to Serving Belize.
The Institute for Sustainable International Studies (ISIS) has partnered with the village of Succotz in the Cayo district of Belize. This effort provides students with an opportunity to learn while doing volunteer work that supports the needs and goals of the village. The Village Council, two primary schools and a high school, and other village organizations identify projects while ISIS finds student groups and interns to assist with those projects. In early January, 2012, a team of students from Shenandoah University in Virginia, USA, and local students, drafted a strategic plan for the development of eco-tourism in Succotz. The students did an analysis which identified opportunities and issues facing the village in establishing more tourist trade in the village. Suggestions ranged from a highway sign identifying the village to the need for a village website. One theme that emerged from the Shenandoah students’ work was that of garbage disposal in the village.

PHOTOS: West Cayo Chess Tournament pictures
Yesterday, at Hode's, the Belize National Youth Chess Foundation had the West Cayo Chess tournament. Belize's future chess champions squared off. Hode's and BTL were the sponsors. Check out the pictures here.

PHOTOS: ATLIB Football Regionals
Danny Chung has some great pictures from the ATLIB Football Regionals.

PHOTOS: Vanessa Awe doing makeup at the Women in Art Fair
Vanessa Awe Makeup Artistry has some pictures up from the Benque House of Culture's Women in Art Fair yesterday. Check out some of her bedazzling work.

PHOTOS: West Cayo Chess Tournament pictures
Saturday, at Hode's, the Belize National Youth Chess Foundation had the West Cayo Chess tournament. Belize's future chess champions squared off. Hode's and BTL were the sponsors. Check out the pictures here.


A Gorgeous Day for a Birthday Party at The Snack Shack
Thursday afternoon was a beauty. The breeze has died down a bit and the sun was The sea looked gorgeous behind this fallen coconut tree. Perhaps I found a new living arrangement... This boat? Barge? Shack on a raft has a For Sale sign on it. In the morning, I headed over to the Snack Shack to a surprise birthday party. I'll be honest...I didn't really know the birthday boy, Pineapple Willy but I had a good time. The water aerobics ladies were hard at work...I was properly chided for not participating. The Snack Shack has some cool events coming up... And people started filling in... Really really tasty food was served. A great fruit platter with a fantastic cream cheesy, sweet and limey dip. Kids would go crazy for this platter.

A hot mess of Belize photos
Last week, I visited Belize for the first time. Kim Simplis Barrow, wife of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, invited me to visit the country as part of a special project we’re working on. This trip was quite unlike any other I’ve been on as far as what I experienced. And not everything was captured on camera. The babies in critical care in the neonatal unit at the hospital. The children and their teachers in the autism classroom, working on some project that involved glue and straws and lots of laughter. The unplanned two hour drive to Cayo just for dinner – and for that matter, ANY pictures of me with Julie Schweitert Collazo and Kristin Fuhrmann Simmons. (Ladies, what were we thinking?) But some great stuff made it in as well. Hopefully I’ll have more to share about Belize soon!

International Sources

Planning a trip to Canada or the Caribbean? US Immigration may have other ideas...
New security checks are already in place – even for flights hundreds of miles from American airspace. One million British travellers planning to fly to Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico this year face the risk of being turned away at the airport – at the insistence of the US Department of Homeland Security. New rules require British Airways and other airlines flying to certain airports outside America to submit passengers' personal data to US authorities. The information is checked against a "No Fly" list containing tens of thousands of names. Even if the flight plan steers well clear of US territory, travellers whom the Americans regard as suspicious will be denied boarding. Simon Hughes, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, told The Independent: "The concern by the US for its own security is entirely understandable, but it seems to me it's a whole different issue that American wishes should determine the rights and choices of people travelling between two countries neither of which is the US."

Government of Panama Tightens Up Rules To Protect Real Estate Buyers
Bill 421, recently approved by the National Assembly, introduces new measures to limit the abusive practices of real estate developers. The companies that charge a deposit from their clients must now sign a bond (guarantee) with the Ministry of Housing and Land Management. In cases where the promoter abandons the project, this bond will be used to repay client's deposits. In contracts between developers and consumers the clauses which raise the prices due to increased costs of building materials are capped at a maximum of 2% of the total price of the house or apartment, and the developer must be able to prove or demonstrate that the costs of the building materials actually did increase. Also, developers will be required to deliver projects with adequate water and sewer connections and services. (Prensa) Editor's Comment: Good. Finally. The government of Panama can do a whole lot more to protect consumers from the abuses of real estate developers. Many members of the English speaking community of expatriates who have purchased property in Panama have fallen victim to some kind of abuse - the stories are varied and the details change with each individual case, however the overall truth remains. The developers have been taking a "screw you, sue me if you want" attitude for years and getting away with it. It's about time the government finally stepped in to put a stop to some of the abuses. And I love the idea of the developers having to obtain a bond or guarantee to protect deposits.

March 25, 2012

The San Pedro Sun

Mojitos hosts SAGA’s “Appetizer” Cook Off
Mojito’s Bar was the venue for the SAGA Humane Society’s monthly cook-off, on Wednesday, March 14th. On the menu…appetizers! Individuals and businesses joined force for yet another very successful SAGA fundraiser. Dishes included: scotch eggs by Mesa Café; vegetarian Mediterranean quinoa by Cindy Ayala; ham and cheese roll-ups by Gail Pencoff; fish pate by Joanne Frei and crab puffs by Nancy Scott. Sharon Metcalfe created her Asian Explosion – honey garlic drumettes and pork stuffed chicken wings with gyoza sauce. Pineapples Restaurant entered their stuffed wonton with sweet and sour sauce while Letti Hernandez entered chipotle chicken salad and Laura Sutton entered her cream cheese sandwich among others. Special guests for the night were a group of fourteen professionals from World Vets who were here providing the community with a three-day, free spay and neuter clinic. All present were treated to marvelous entries by some of Ambergris Caye’s best restaurants and home chefs.

Annual Open Day at San Pedro High School
The San Pedro High School hosted its annual open day; Friday, March 23rd. It started at 9AM and ran throughout the day. High school students from all classes displayed their work from various subject areas. The main purpose of the open day was to showcase to the public what the students have learned so far in the school year. Projects ranged from food preparation, to cultural performances to displays of scientific experiments. According to the various teachers, the students have been preparing for the open day for several weeks. They were divided into groups to work together on several projects. After the students were educated about the various subject areas, they were put to task to display what they have learned during the different classes. The students displayed strong knowledge in various areas such as the culture in various countries, local traditional food, science experiments, food preparation and even a banner competition.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Caribbean Villas Hotel - Lofted Suite Villa 4

PHOTOS: Early Birding at San Ignacio Resort Hotel
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel gets some nice birds. Great picture of an aracari.


$80,000 Skiff Stolen In Corozal
In Corozal foreigners continue to be the modus operandi for criminals looking for easy prey. For the past few days we have been reporting on a number of burglaries in that district where the victims have all been of foreign nationality. And today there is another burglary to report and the victim is yet another foreigner. Sixty three year old Robert Carpenter, an American retiree of #425 Bay Shore Drive Corozal Town, reported to police that on March 21st he was awaken by his employee Wayne Williams who informed him that his 32’ Twin Vee Weekender Fiberglass Boat along with (2) 250 HP Suzuki outboard engines were being stolen. According to Carpenter when he ran out to his backyard he noticed that his boat valued at $80,000 along with the two outboard engines were being towed out into open sea by another skiff. So far police have made no arrest and investigations continue.

OW Football Association Seeks New Chairman
Last week Thursday the Football Federation of Belize elected a new National Executive. Long time President of the Federation, Bertie Chimillio was ejected from his seat which is now occupied by newly elected president Ruperto Vicente. Orange Walk’s Rawell Pelayo was elected for the position of second vice president while Cruz Gamez and Marlon Kuylen ascended to committee members. Today Pelayo told us how his new position in the National Executive will impact the football scene for Orange Walk. With Pelayo now forming part of the National Executive, it leaves the Chairman position for the Orange Walk District Football Association vacant. So, who will take over the helm of the district association? Rafael Avila, Acting Chairman of O/W District Football Association “Since Mr. Pelayo had to resign to become a candidate for the elections for the FFB then the executive, the status says that the executive decides or appoints who will be the acting chairman until the next ordinary congress is called where an election will be held for that place to be filled in. If the team so desire all the clubs who form the congress for the Orange Walk football Association, it takes 25% of them to call an extra ordinary congress and then that election could be held upon their request.”

OWTHS Cleans Up Orange Walk
Drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, taking illegal drugs, and sniffing glue can all cause serious damages to the human body. Some drugs severely impair a person's ability to make healthy choices and decisions. Teens that drink, for example, are more likely to get involved in dangerous situations, such as driving under the influence or having unprotected sex. Each drug use has different physical and psychological effects. However, one harmful effect that is common in all drugs and addictive substances' is that they take full control of the brain's normal activity. Every year Orange Walk Technical High School dedicates an entire week to promote awareness on drugs and their negative effects. And today the week officially kicked off with a clean up campaign in Orange Walk Town. Janine Ayuso reports. Today hundreds of students from the Orange Walk Technical High School gathered at different locations in town to assist in cleaning up the community. As part of the schools Drug Awareness Program teachers introduced students to a completely different alternative to drug usage by providing them with a sense of civic pride and responsibility.

OWTC Upgrades the Street Of Orange Walk
On Wednesday we told you about the financial discrepancies met by the newly elected Orange Walk Town Council when they took over town hall on March 8th. As mentioned the Town Council met an Over Draft Facility that was maxed at $111,000 and was not being serviced since last year November. The council also found out that Social Security payments in the tune of almost $31,099, was not paid in for employee contributions that were deducted from their salaries for 2009, 2010 and 2011. And to make matters worse the $31,099 does not include a new assessment that was due for employee contributions which were not paid in for January and February of 2012. This included deductions for the almost 100 employees that were hired by the UDP just before the elections for the work program which ended upon the council entering office. The council is also faced with the fact that most of the Administration staff and Transport staff had signed contracts with the former Mayor which took effect on February 1st, 2012. But those problems have not impeded the municipal body from carrying out their mandate.

New Trends To Be Featured At Fashion Show
In an effort to create a greener Belize Orange Walk Technical High School has organized a fashion show to be held this Saturday as part of an awareness campaign. Putting a twist on the awareness approach, the fashion show will be highlighting reusable waste material to implement an alternative to recycle garbage. While the dress designs and unusual ensembles might be far from the common fashion shows held in Orange Walk, it serves as a fundamental part of the schools development. Silvia Aban, OWTHS Teacher “This fashion show has three purposes the main one is part of the list campaign in which Love Fm has been embarking on, it is a competition that has been open to all high schools around the country of Belize and the purpose of it is to make the public conscious about the garbage disposal and keeping liter free in the country of Belize, the third is also on the development of the high school specially in the vocational department. The proceeds will be used for the refurbishing and the infrastructural development of some of the vocational rooms, we have had these rooms since the school open its doors so we want to make it more presentable and more conducive to learning.”

Muffles High School Champion Of Math League
Mathematics is considered one of the most complicated subjects in all academic areas and in efforts of assisting students, three high schools of the Orange Walk District organized a Math League competition after the Social Security Board cancelled this year’s Math Olympiad. The competition which was aired by Fiesta F.M 106.7 and channel 53 of Centaur Cable Network took place today at the Multi Purpose Complex Building. With pens and tons of paper on hand the fast thinking minds were ready to solve math problems ranging from geometry to algebra. Pure mathematics is, in its own way, the poetry of logical ideas- Albert Einstein said that. Today Orange Walk’s young mathematical Einstein’s turned the Multi Purpose Complex into a war zone as they took part in the first ever math league. The competition consisted of a junior and senior level. The Math League was organized by Bishop Martin High School in replacement of SSB’s Math Olympiad which was cancelled for this year.

La Immaculada School To Hold Business Expo
We often hear about high schools and other organizations holding business expos but never primary schools. But that’s about to change because on Monday March 26th La Inmaculada Roman Catholic School will be hosting their first ever business expo at the school grounds. The expo forms part of the activities for Child Stimulation Month and according to organizer Oneydi Carillo it will expose students to the business world. Oneydi Carillo, Teacher “It is part of our calendar of activities for stimulation month and the purpose of it is for our pre-schools students and also for student of all the other levels in our school to get to know the businesses here in Orange Walk Town. It is part of child stimulation month because children can be aware to learn of the different businesses here in town and what all the products are that these businesses offer.” The expo will highlight 12 businesses from the Orange Walk community which will be providing their services and products at special prices for all those hunting for good deals.


Women in art fair to be held in Benque Viejo del Carmen
An art fair that will take place tomorrow in Benque Viejo del Carmen will showcase the work of women. The event is being organized by the benque Viejo del Carmen House of Culture. Nayelli Trujillo is the Coordinator. The event is a part of activities in connection with Women’s month.

Health project to benefit children
The World Pediatric Project is on another mission to help children with medical setbacks. This time, the project will host a pediatric orthopedic surgeon that will set up shop and start screening this Sunday. Project Manager, Khandice Tillett, explains the scope of the clinic and surgical procedures. Sunday’s clinic will start at eight in the morning and end at five in the evening. Anyone with a child who has orthopedic challenges can take your child to the clinic at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for screening.

Fire victims appeal for help
A fire in Dangriga this week left over a dozen people homeless. One of the victims Therese Bermudez is appealing for assistance. No one was physically harmed in the fire.

Citrus farmers face delayed payment
Citrus farmers in the Stann Creek district were today informed that they would not be receiving payment for orange deductions for the month of February. Over three million dollars in payments was to have been made today; but the Citrus Products of Belize Limited informed its parent company, the CGA late yesterday that it would not be able to meet today’s payment deadlines. Chief Executive Office for the Citrus Growers Association Henry Anderson told Love News today that the late notice of the inability to meet the payment deadline has greatly inconvenienced citrus farmers. Citrus Products of Belize Limited had offered to make full payment to the growers in two phases at the end of the month and again the middle of next month. But at an emergency meeting of the Committee of Management this morning, it was agreed that farmers will be paid all amounts, totaling one point nine million dollars plus seven percent interest on Tuesday of next week. That will represent payment for deductions made during the period of February Seventh to February fourteenth. The second payment, of one point eight million dollars, plus a thirteen percent interest, will be paid out just before the Easter break, on April third. In a release sent out today, the Citrus Growers Association informed growers that the second payment for grapefruit will not be affected and that the farmers will be paid on time. Also during this morning’s meeting, CPBL reportedly informed that growers can expect an increase in estimated final price for orange at the time of the next price submission.


PLUSNEWS EXCLUSIVE: Land controversy brewing in Xaibe
In last nights newscast we featured the land controversy in Ranchito Village Corozal District. Tonite we tell you the story of another land controversy brewing in the north; this time in the village of Xaibe, just a short distance away from Ranchito. Louis Wade filed his report. Louis Wade Jr. Plus TV Journalist I was invited to Xaibe village, a beautiful and scenic rural community in the Corozal District; specifically Corozal North Constituency, to see another Land controversy that was brewing in the North. I sat down with Mr. Daniel Tzul, Chairman of Xaibe, to find out firsthand, what was happening. According to Tzul, On the 10th December of last year residents came to the Chairman of the village stating that surveyors were cutting lines in land that the village had identified and set apart for future expansion. Daniel Tzul, Chairman, Xiabe Village Some villagers came to me about what is happening in the expansion area and they were asking me if I was aware of what was happening, because they have observed surveyors in the area doing surveying. I told them no, that I am not aware of it and no one has informed me. It doesn’t matter who it is, the Lands Department or whatever, they should have come to me so that we can deal with the problem, but I wasn’t informed. So I told the people that I would go into the area and investigate. When I went there, I didn’t see any surveyors, but I saw that survey had been done.

Little girl with facial tumor in desperate need of assistance
11 year old Katarina Ishim of San Pablo Village is in need of your help due to a tumor which continues to grow rapidly on her face. Her grandfather Juan Ishim is asking for both support and prayers tonight as his granddaughter continue to battle this tumor that has almost grown to the size of her face. Mr. Ishim says that what started to grow as pimple and was operated on quickly grew back and became even bigger. Juan Ishim, Grandfather It started just like a mosquito bite on the nose and then from there it started to get bigger, like the size of a marble, then it got like the size of an egg. I then took her to the Dangriga Hospital and Dr. Patt did the removal and it was okay. She went back to the same as how she was born, her nose was okay. It was okay in December, January and February, however, at the ending of March it started to grow back again and then it grew back the same way it started, with a small sore and then it started to get bigger and then in August of 2011, I took her to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital and it was to be removed. It was the okay again, but suddenly after the ending of September, it started to grow back again and up to today, it was big.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Beach reclamation in Caye Caulker underway
Since early this year, the announcement was made that Caye Caulker would be having yet another beach reclamation after one that was done 12 years ago. Here is a report from Maria Novelo of Love TV/News:

The Reporter

Villagers protest!
The government’s moratorium on rosewood has left those dependent on the industry jobless. Approximate 150 disgruntled protesters demonstrated outside the National Assembly building on Tuesday, March 20th. On Friday, March 23, the newly appointed Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Hon. Senator Lisell Alamilla, issued the order to ban all cutting and exporting of rosewood until a complete national assessment of rosewood stocks can be made. While the decision was aimed at ensuring the sustainable use of the hardwood, the protesters, some of whom travelled from as far south as San Benito Poite, Indian Creek and Otoxha, say they have too much to lose and are literally watching their investments deteriorate.

Legislators sworn in
The ceremonial opening of Belize’s Parliament began shortly after 9:00 Wednesday morning, March 21st, in the National Assembly chambers with the swearing of senators and the appointment of the President of the Senate, Senator Mark Pech. The government’s senators: Charles Gibson, Lisel Alamilla, Juliet Thimbriel, Marconi Sosa and Godwin Hulse, who is the Leader of Government Business, were all sworn in. Senator Joy Grant, who is currently in Brussels, will be sworn in when she returns. The Opposition People’s United Party’s senators are Lisa Shoman, who has been re-appointed, and newcomers Karen Bodden and Collet Montejo.

Chimilio out Vicente in
Former football referee and sports commentator Ruperto Vicente, elected new president of the Football Federation of Belize was shocked to find that the Football Federation is broke, despite annual contributions of US $250,000 from FIFA. The newly elected Executive committee held its first meeting on Monday, March 19, and was shocked to discover that Federation has about $1,000 in its Scotiabank account, President-elect Ruperto Vicente told The Reporter on Thursday.

Women In Politics graduate 3rd cohort
Fifteen novice women leaders who represent the third cohort of the Women in Politics Training Programme received their certificates of completion at a graduation ceremony at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Wednesday, March 21. In Mexico where women outnumber the men in total demographics, the law sets a quota requiring all political parties to have 30% women candidates, but Belize has not yet reached that point. Even though women are 50% of the electorate, there is only one woman elected to the House of Representatives. The ratio gets better in the Senate where five of the 12 Senators are women and two are Cabinet Ministers. The National Women’s Commission is working actively to address this disparity through the Women In Politics programme. The latest participants have completed 13 weeks of training, and their graduation happily coincided with Women’s Month.

Belize Citco sworn in
The newly elected Belize City Council and its new Mayor, Darrell Bradley, were sworn in at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow and Minister of Local Government, Senator Hon. Godwin Hulse, in front of City Hall last Friday afternoon, March 16. Councilor Dion Leslie welcomed all to the proceedings, and Mayor Bradley, in his keynote address, promised an inclusive policy that would incorporate any good ideas put forward by others, even if they were not from the members of the United Democratic Party. Mayor Darrell Bradley promised transparency in the management of public funds and that his administration would deliver value for money. To this end, he said they would be implementing an innovative auditing model, with three components: an independent external auditor; a strong and vibrant auditing committee that he himself would chair; and a strengthened internal audit department at City Hall, so that the staff would develop a culture of respecting the city’s funds.

YMCA launches book on 56th anniversary
The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) is celebrating its 56th anniversary of serving Belize, and launched its new Character Education Activity Book on YWCA Day on Monday, March 19. The launch coincides with Women’s Month, for which the theme this year is Connecting Girls and Inspiring Women. The book was prepared with fundinging from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). It is designed to educate young women in an interactive way, about issues such as career training, self-esteem, the perils of drug use and abuse, HIV/AIDS, and how to deal with depression and thoughts of suicide.

In solidarity with cancer victims Baldmiration seizes UB campus
Several prominent Belizean citizens joined seven students in shaving their heads to launch a public awareness campaign entitled “Baldmiration”! The students and lecturer are from the Communication Skills Class of the University of Belize at the UB Faculty of Education (Teachers’ College) in West Landivar. They were joined by Radisson’s General Manager James Scott, cancer survivor Sr. Caritas Lawrence, UB lecturer Sylvaana Udz and UB public relations director Selwyn King, another cancer survivor.

Mark Espat to head GOB's Super bond re-negotiating team
Mr. Mark Espat, former executive member and standard bearer for the People’s United Party, has been tapped by Prime Minister Dean Barrow to head the country’s Debt Review Team, a government press release announced Monday, March 19. The release also identified the team’s other five members: Minister of Local Government Hon. Godwin Hulse, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, Central Bank Governor Glenford Ysaguirre, Central Bank’s Deputy Governor Christine Vellos, and Advisor in the Ministry of Finance Alan Slusher. With focus on the Superbond re-negotiation , Espat and his new colleagues are to conduct an “urgent review” of Belize’s external public sector debt and her contingent liabilities. “A pre-eminent priority of our recently re-elected Government is to examine thoroughly our country’s debt dynamics, with a resolute view to placing the nation’s medium and long-term finances on a sustainable footing,” Prime Minister Barrow declared.

West Street murder punctuates new outbreak of gang violence
Belize City police are still investigating the bold and brutal slaying of Giovanni Saldano, 26, on Sunday afternoon, March 18. Giovanni’s older brother, Leroy “Miki Nice” Gillett, recounted how Giovani had gone to West Street to visit his mother and to eat Sunday dinner with her. Gillett told the Reporter that when his mother told Saldano that dinner was not ready yet, he decided to go to a nearby Chinese shop to buy a soft drink. Gillett related that the gunman apparently saw his brother when he was returning to the house. He chased him all the way to his mother’s yard, and fired a barrage of shots. Giovanni was hit eight times, police say. He died on the spot.

Ron Vasquez, Kira Eiley & Oscar Quiros win 31st annual Ariel Rosado Belmopan Classic
Ron Vasquez of the Western Spirits Team, Kira Eiley of the C-Ray cycling team and Oscar Quiros riding unattached won their respective divisions in the 31st annual Ariel Rosado Belmopan Cycling Classic on Sunday, March 18. Vasquez broke away from the lead group of 11 riders, after his brother Shane Vasquez, the last Belizean to win the Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic, won a station prize at Mile 25. Ron Vasquez opened up a two-mile lead on this lead group, so that even when the group made a concerted effort to catch him, they were still 51 seconds behind. Ron Vasquez crossed the finish line solo, completing the 100-mile ride from Leslie’s Imports to Belmopan, around the Ring Road and back to the city in four hours 24 minutes and 41 seconds to win the $400 first prize, four ‘Red Bull’ energy drinks and a trophy. Darnell Barrow of Santino’s team led the chase group in four hours 25 minutes and 32 seconds to win the $300 second prize, a trophy and some Red Bull. Brandon Cattouse of the C-ray team was third to win a $200 prize and a trophy. Austin Armstrong of the D&D team has moved up from the Juniors and is now riding as a senior.He finished fourth to win a $100 prize and trophy, while Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes team was fifth to claim a $50 prize and trophy. Liam Stewart of the M&M Engineering team was sixth, while Vasquez’s teammates Geovanni Choto and Shane Vasquez were seventh and eighth. Quinton Hamilton of the Santino’s team was ninth, and Edwardo Reyes of the D&D team rounded out the top 10.

Ladyville Tech girls win National Softball Championships
The girls of Ladyville Technical High School, the Central Regional Champions, blew away the Northern Regional Champions, the girls of Belize Rural High School, 19-6 by mercy rule in the championship finals of the National Softball Championships. These were hosted by Our Lady of Guadalupe High School under the auspices of the National Secondary School Sports Association (NSSSA) at the Denbigh Fuller field in Camalote on Friday and Saturday, March 16-17. The Ladyville girls led 7-2 after Kristen Fuentes, Sherrie Gillett, Rebecca Nicholson, Mardy Nicholson, Devonie Reyes, Elisha Thompson and Chelsea Young scored seven runs in the first inning, and only pitcher Sabrina Campos and K. Staine scored for Belize Rural in the bottom of the first. The Ladyville girls extended their lead to 12-2 when Fuentes, Mardy, Reyes, Francine Milligan and Chelsea Young scored five more runs in the top of the second, while the Belize Rural girls trailed 6-12 after Campos, Staine, S. Rowland and S. Sutherland scored also in the second.

San Pedro High School boys win National Softball Championship!
The boys of San Pedro High School triumphed 10-9 over the Central Regional champions, the boys of St John’s College, to win the championship finals of the National Softball Tournament hosted by Our Lady of Guadalupe High School under the auspices of the National Secondary School Sports Association (NSSSA) at the Denbigh Fuller Field in Camalote on Friday and Saturday, March 16-17. The St John’s boys hammered out a 3-0 lead when Kenton Young scored in the top of the first inning and catcher Nick Chang and pitcher Myric Marin scored in the top of the third, while Marin allowed the San Pedro boys no runs in the first two innings. The San Pedro boys took over the lead 4-3 when J. Jones, J. Gomez, Ray Cole and MVP pitcher Charles Richards scored in the bottom of the third. Richards’ pitching certainly had power – he struck out six batters, but he started to lose control and hit four batters with wild pitches, allowing the St John’s boys to regain the lead 8-4 as Taryn Thompson, Christian Najera, Javier Williams, Kenton Young and Nick Chang scored five runs in the top of the fourth.

International Sources

Hidden Valley Falls
They are not exactly the epitome of the Niagra Falls, but the Hidden Valley Falls make up in beauty. The flowing and graceful way the water just cascades down the rock face into the valley bellow, is a sight for sore eyes and soothing to the soul. They are also called the 1000 ft Falls, but do you know, they actually plunge a sheer 1500 ft drop from the ridge to the valley floor! We had a long drive from the main entrance at the forest station, San Ignacio to the falls. About 1 – 1 ½ hours. What is so amazing was that we were not supposed to be there. We didn`t know that and nobody told us. We were visiting at the end of the rainy season and by rights, nobody is allowed to drive up. The yellowish, clay roads become quite slippery and dangerous. Our faithful Suzuki got us there. It was a bumpy ride, but an exciting and peaceful drive through the pine forest. We had the place totally to ourselves. We were admiring the faun and flora along the way. A few times we stopped the drive to admire the orange groves, landscape and flowers. Orchids grow in abundance there. In some parts of the forest the trees were blackened which looked rather strange. This was due to forest fires that had happened during the summer. We were glad to here that the forest has a remarkable way of recovering from such fires.

March 24, 2012

The San Pedro Sun

Man injured after boat crashes into Pier
An islander was injured after the vessel he was captaining crashed into a pier. The incident occurred on the night of Saturday, March 17th. The injured person is 24-year-old Cesar Daniel Acosta, a resident of San Pedro Town. The accident took place in an area 1 ½ miles north of San Pedro Town sometime around 8PM on the given date. According to the Belize Port Authority Acosta was the only person on board the vessel namely MV Cristy when he crashed into a pier in the vicinity between Palapa Bar and Boca Del Rio along the eastern coast of San Pedro. According to the Authority’s preliminary report, it indicates that “Captain Acosta may have been operating the vessel under the influence and this may have been the cause for the incident.” For that reason the Belize Port Authority is reminding all mariners of the importance of “Safety of Life at Sea” and a zero tolerance for “Boating under the influence in Belize.”

Bulgarian diplomat meets with officials in Belize
With the intention to strengthen the ties between Belize and Bulgaria, a special meeting was held last week Monday, March 19th with Bulgarian diplomat Dr. Solomon Passy and Belize’s Foreign Minister and Attorney General Wilfred Elrington. Other attendees at the meeting were Maxim Minchev, Director General for the Bulgarian News Agency, Kiril Asenov, Bulgarian Businessman, Clinton “Pulu” Lightburn, Belizean public figure and Sjoerd Jan van Noord of Portofino Beach Resort. This was the first meeting at such a level between Belize and Bulgaria in the nearly 20-year history of diplomatic relations between the two countries. According to Dr. Passy, there were a number of different issues discussed, including “bilateral cooperation, with a very strong emphasis on the exchange of Tourism between both countries…[we] see a huge opportunity in increasing tourism in both directions…[we] have to stress on this most obvious avenue…” Investment in the Belize tourism industry by Bulgarian stakeholders, with the provision of their know-how was also discussed. Bulgaria is very much a tourism oriented country, with a population of around 7.5 million, and approximately 10 million tourists visiting the country annually. Other possibilities include investments in renewable energy sources. “We also discussed some multilateral formats like cooperation with the European Union and with the NATO organization for security and cooperation in Europe,” said Dr. Passy.

American students and doctors volunteering in San Pedro
A group of students and doctors were on Ambergris Caye last week conducting volunteer works and medical clinics. The group, from Dallas, Texas in the USA, was at the New Horizon 7th Day Adventist School where they conducted ear clinics and helped in the renovation of a classroom building. The volunteers visited San Pedro through the coordination of the Arlington 7th Day Adventist Church and Ear Care International. The group assessed the students and members of the public and provided them with free medical checkups. Those that required further medical attention were then referred to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly-Clinic II while others received free vitamins. Other students worked in the renovation of the classroom. The group reinforced the walls of one of the wooden structures and gave it a facelift. Students at the school were also engaged in bible classes where they sang and listened to stories and did arts and crafts. The volunteers are mostly high school students, doctors and teachers who took time out from their Spring break to conduct work in various parts of the world. It is the group’s second time to Belize, having been here previously in 2010. Back in Dallas, the students raised funds by selling food to purchase all materials that were used to renovate the classroom.

Ambergris Today

Strengthening Ties with Bulgaria to Benefit Tourism Industry
Foreign Affairs Minister and Attorney General of Belize, Mr. Wilfred Erlington met with the Bulgarian Foreign Minister, Hon. Dr. Solomon Passy where they discussed several topics of interest to benefit both countries, especially strengthening ties to benefit both tourism industries. During the meeting, the ministers discussed the bilateral cooperation with a strong emphasis on enlarging the tourism sector in both countries. Minister Passy mentioned the possibility of Bulgaria making investments in the Tourism Industry in Belize since Bulgaria is a highly tourist country. “We discussed some multilateral formats like cooperation with the European Union, with Nato organization for security and cooperation in Europe,” stated Minister Passy in a release. “I was very pleased to invite Minister Erlington to visit Bulgaria and hopefully to bring a delegation of representatives of the Tourist Board there. And to have to say to have a follow up over what we discussed.”

Swim Challenge Postponed to Reef Week Activities
The Committee of Healthy Reef, Healthy People Swim Challenge would like to inform the public that the swim challenge, scheduled to commence today, March 23, 2012, was postponed due to unfavorable weather conditions. Gerry Badillo and Eric Donis informed Ambergris Today that this decision will give many people the chance to help, assist and the opportunity to join them on the challenge on the official day. They also stated that a meeting was held with the Hol Chan Marine Reserve committee and the brilliant idea arose for the Swim Challenge to be proudly added to their calendar of events for Reef Week (Reef Week dates will be announced later in April).

Misc Belizean Sources

Fiber Optic lines in Belize
The Government of Belize is committed to improve the standard of living of the people of Belize. To this end tourism development has been earmarked as one of the most promising avenues of growth thus increasing the demand for safe, fast and reliable telecommunication services. As always the relevant issue is how to steer growth in a sustainable direction so that it will provide sustainability for all stakeholders, local, national and international stakeholders. The object of the project is to ensure social, economical and environmental sustainability and equilibrium, which are the three keys to a successful project. The Belize Telemedia Limited (btl) has embarked on a nationwide venture that will upgrade and improve a hundred fold the service of telecommunications not only to the mainland sector of Belize, but also to the island of San Pedro [See Fig 1.0]. The project entails the installation of a Submarine Fiber Optic Cable (SFOC) from mainland Belize to Ambergris Caye, where it will be incorporated into the network that presently exists on the island [See Fig. 1.0]. This upgrade, by virtue of Fiber Optic Cable (FOC), which is a state of the art tool in telecommunications, will allow for quicker service time and allow easier access and download times on the internet, which in the case of San Pedro, is essential due to its importance to the tourism industry of Belize. The FOC will run from Maskall to Bomba and from Bomba to the coastline, overhead on the existing Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) poles [See Fig 1.1]. The FOC will then proceed underground and via a SFOC to the island of San Pedro [See Fig 1.2] and [Plate 1.0]. Once the SFOC reaches the island, it will be incorporated into the grid via manholes that have already been installed throughout the town [See Fig 1.5]. It must be noted that this project will be implemented during the dry season, thus decreasing and\or minimizing the impacts onto the environment, both land and marine.

Women in Art Fair is today in Benque
The Benque House of Culture is having their Women in Art Fair tomorrow. You'll find it in Centennial Park, from 2:00pm until 9:00pm. Great art, great talent, and great food. The link goes to the Women in Art Launch Ceremony pictures that the Benque HoC just uploaded.

PHOTOS: ATLIB Football Regionals at Broaster Stadium pictures
The University of Belize uploaded some good shots of last Saturday's games here in Cayo, at Broaster Stadium. "On Saturday, March 17, UB Black Jaguars made their way to San Ignacio to play in the ATLIB Football Regionals tournament. In their first game Male Black Jaguars defeated Ecumenical Junior College 2-0. Coming to the end of the day UB Black Jaguars faced Sacred Heart Junior College and won 2-1, qualifying to the ATLIB Nationals. Female Black Jaguars were not able to qualify for the Nationals. The Nationals will be held on March 31, at Independence Junior College."

Channel 7

Tonight the fragile gang truce continues to hang in the balance and relations between the police and the Taylor's Alley Gang remain tense. That's after a joint operation between the GSU and other police units zeroed in on Taylor's Alley on Wednesday night. Six men in the alley claim they were beaten, injured and humiliated. Today, Junior Minister with responsibility for the gang truce and CYDP, Mark King, visited Taylor's Alley to speak with residents. A statement from King says that quote, "the visit was eye-opening and he was touched by the account of events." His statement quotes him as saying that, quote "human rights must be maintained and citizens…must be treated with respect." When we tried to reach King for a comment on camera, he told us he would be busy in meetings this afternoon. But his statement is important if only because it reaches out to the residents of Taylor's Alley - in the hopes of propping up the truce - which is we said is more fragile than ever.

And so, the GSU is in the crosshairs - in ten days we should know whether the actions of its officers on Taylor's Alley on Wednesday night were excessive. For the GSU - which has endured many, many complaints since its formation just over a year ago - this one is different because it is an official investigation. But, in that year, the unit has also made a record number of interdictions, and gun and drug seizures, while giving the police department a no-nonsense, rough and ready Unit. And part of the unit's policing strength comes from its tight internal discipline and forward planning - which is built up in regular briefing sessions where they discuss latest intelligence, operations and targets. 7news has obtained a clandestine audio recording of one of these briefing sessions, which happened in the latter part of August of 2011. It gives a valuable insight into the tactics and hard-charging nature of the unit. We'll share a brief portion of that recording with you tonight.

Turning now to politics, yesterday we told you about the PUP's election petition filed for Yolanda Schackron. That seeks to up-end the result of the election in Lake Independence - and force a new election with Schakron as a candidate. There's plenty of time ahead to see where that goes, but there's only a week left to file election petitions. And word to 7news today was that the UDP are looking at the possibility of filing its own election petition. 7news has confirmed that the UDP's lawyers are taking statements and examining evidence for a possible election petition against no less than the leader of the opposition, Francis Fonseca! Fonseca won by 150 votes - but it seems the UDP feels there was something amiss - other than the result. The party's legal advisor Michael Young told us he had no comment.

The May 18, 2009 grenade explosion was a terrible day for Belize; it marked the transition from gang warfare to urban terrorism. Today, the 2 brothers accused of throwing that grenade and causing the death of one, and the injury to eleven others - walked out free from the Supreme Court. They are 19 year-old Akeem "Baby" Smith and his brother Kareem, also known as "Flash". Their trial for murder started this week, where Crown Counsel Trenia Young called a total of 8 witnesses to prove her case against the men. All of the witnesses testified under oath this week and told very different stories from the ones they gave police in written statements in 2008. None of the witnesses provided the prosecutor with any identification evidence that she could use against the two accused.

45 year-old Henry Humes, a stevedore from George Street was arraigned for obtaining property by deception when he appeared in Magistrate's Court today. It is alleged that he stole Lisbet Castillo's $5,000 vehicle - but it was you standard car-theft - his was a sly and crafty maneuver. On Wednesday, Castillo, a 53 year old employee of the Income Tax Department, made arrangements via telephone with a man for her white Chevy Metro vehicle to be transported from her workplace to the mechanic shop. She said that the man told her that he would send someone to come pick it up, so when Humes showed up at work pretending to be the person sent to pick up the vehicle, she didn't question it and handed over the keys. When she checked back with the man who she made the arrangements, he told her that he never did send anyone, and that he didn't know who picked up the vehicle.

Last week we told you about Edwin "Dubsta" Moody who was shot on Racecourse Street on Wednesday, March 14. Tonight we can report that his alleged shooter, 22 year-old Rene Chavarria, was arraigned in Magistrate's Court this evening. Chavarria, a laborer of a La Milpa address, in Ladyville, and who has recently been staying at a house on West Canal, was arraigned on the charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly means of harm. Due to the nature of the offense, no plea was taken and Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer remanded Chavarria in to custody until April 23, his next court date. As we reported, Moody was riding his bicycle on Racecourse Street, and when he got near to the Sunnyside bakery in Belize City, a gunman shot him in the lower abdomen.

Eleven year old Katarina Ishim from San Pablo Village in the Stann Creek District is at the KHMH Intensive Care Unit tonight awaiting highly specialized, lifesaving surgery. The child has a massive and aggressive tumor growing on her face - and surgery needs to be performed to remove it immediately. It's an awful burden for her family - and today we spoke to her grandfather, Juan Ishim. We warn you - that if you're squeamish - the sight of the monstrous tumor is frightening! That said, her story must be told. Here's what Monica Bodden found out today:.. Juan Ishim, Grandfather "I have a grandchild at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital by the name of Katarina Ishim. She has a tumor with cancer to her face and to her nose and it started in October 2010. It started as a mosquito bite on the nose and then from there getting bigger from the size of a marble to the size of an egg. I took her in December to Dangriga Hospital where a Doctor Pott did a surgery to remove it. It was okay after that."

On Sunday, the Prime Minister will once again accompany his wife to Miami where she will be receiving medical treatment. Kim Simplis Barrow announced in November that she is battling stage 3 cancer, and since then she has continually been receiving treatment for it. On Monday she told us that she's getting ready for her surgery and after that she still has to endure radiation for 6 weeks. The Prime Minister will be with her in Miami for a week, returning Sunday April 1st, 2012. Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega will be acting as Prime Minister until the PM returns.

Yesterday in Punta Gorda Town, the municipal development project was launched. This project will target the refurbishment of the administrative offices of the Punta Gorda town council, improved traffic management, improvement of revenue as well as increased employment rates. Now, it is a government project, but a newly elected PUP council will benefit. At the launching yesterday morning, PUP Mayor Anthony Fuentes explained the goals of the project. Anthony Fuentes, PG Mayor "The Belize Municipal Development Project is both important and significant to us here in Punta Gorda Town as it will improve the administrative building, thus improving and enhancing the working conditions and services offered to the citizens of Punta Gorda Town."

Facebook - by now we've all heard of it - and whether you have a Facebook page or not - you definitely know a few people who do. Indeed, the social network is re-mapping the way we interact, communicate, connect and socialize. But more than that, it's also causing quite a few to become addicted, lost inside the portal, disappearing down the electronic rabbit hole. Our intern Robin Schaffer knows about that all too well. She freely confesses that she's a recovering Facebook addict, and to study the phenomenon, she got some of her peers from sixth Form to talk about their Facebook habit. More than that, she polled 117 students about their Facebook routine to form a rounded, slightly disturbing profile of fb and the modern teenager. It's Robin's first feature for 7news and it's a good one - here's what she found out:..

Today the National Met Service of Belize joined in with the rest of the world in celebrating World Metrological Day. World Metrological Day is celebrated annually on the 23 of March, and today students were invited to the Met Center for an open day to tour their facilities. The chief Met Officer told us more: Dennis Gonguez, Chief Met Officer "We had planned an open day fair at the National Metrological Service that schools can come in anytime during the course of today to tour our facilities." "I'd like to talk a little bit more on the theme. The weather affects everything in our daily lives as you know. We all depend on weather forecasts to plan our daily activities from the way we dress to outdoor activities to even multi-million dollar investments depend of the weather." "Through the years National Metrological Services forecast has improved to the extent that we are now putting out seasonal predictions. We can now predict what will happen in the next 3-4 months. Our local weather service has that capability at this time."

On Monday we told you about the Garifuna Collective - hitting the stage in Costa Rica - at the International Festival of Arts. It was their first time travelling as a group and performing in a Latin Country, and as always, they put on a spectacular performance in front of 20 thousand people. Today the group arrived back home and 7news was at the PGIA to greet them and to find out just how the festival went. Joshua Arana "We were in the capital of Costa Rica. We played for one of the largest festivals in our region and it was fortunate that for the first time we had the opportunity to perform in Latin America." Monica Bodden "How was the experience over that side?"

Channel 5

Investigation into police beating of Taylor’s Alley Crew
There is a foreboding sense of apprehension going into the weekend in the Taylor’s Alley neighborhood where security forces clashed with residents on Wednesday night. An investigation is being launched into the allegations that the Gang Suppression Unity and the Dragon Unit harassed and brutalized members of the Taylor Alley Gang. The incident is threatening ...

Police investigate Rape and Stabbing of Yacht Tourists
On Monday we reported on the vicious attack on a group of American tourists who were spending the night off the coast of the Pelican Cayes near southern Belize. During the incident a sixty-one year old woman was sexually assaulted by one of four men. Two of her colleagues were also stabbed and relieved of ...

Stakeholders meet in Placencia to counter crime
There has been increasing violence in the Placencia peninsula where the beaches are among the most pristine and the area has become a hot diving destination. What was once a small sleepy village has boomed into a major adventure getaway. But the crime wave is threatening the security of residents and visitors and can potentially ...

News website temporarily down
Tons of e-mails and messages are being received at this station in respect of our website. For the past two days, our online readers have been experiencing difficulty accessing Our website was hacked and has been tagged by Google and Mozilla as malicious. It was cleaned up and repaired by the technicians at Idea ...

Viewers participate in pertinent poll
The recently imposed moratorium on rosewood harvesting and exportation in the south has received mixed responses. While the NGO community supports it, many residents in Stann Creek and Toledo are protesting because they have logs that were already harvested and the moratorium means a financial loss if they are not allowed to sell it. We ...

PM joins wife for cancer treatment
Prime Minister Dean Barrow was sworn in on March ninth for his second term in office. This Wednesday, the national assembly held its first session in Belmopan. And on Sunday, the PM will be traveling to Miami, Florida with his wife, Kim Simpliss Barrow, who has been undergoing chemotherapy battling stage three breast cancer. The ...

Changes in the Ministry of Tourism
More changes are expected in the Ministry of Tourism. From what we gather, a decision is yet to be taken in respect of who is to replace outgoing C.E.O., Lindsay Garbutt. Tracy Panton, a former Director of Tourism, is a favorite of the Minister, but a possible appointment will have to be decided by the ...

Not Guilty of Murder
Sixteen year old Mayflower Street resident, Darren Trapp, was killed in a grenade attack on May eighteenth, 2008. At least eleven other persons were injured when the explosive was tossed into the crowded area. Two brothers, Akeem and Kareem Smith were charged for Trapp’s murder; their trial concluded today. Senior Crown Counsel Triennia Young, who ...

Rene Chavarria charged for Attempted Murder of construction worker
West Canal resident, twenty-three year old Rene Chavarria has been remanded to prison for the attempted murder of twenty-two year old construction worker Edwin Moody. On March fourteenth, Moody was riding a bike on Racecourse Street when he was shot near Sunnyside Bakery. Two men, who were reportedly riding behind him, fired the shots which ...

Woman disputes burglary facts in Court
We reported on Tuesday about a Mahogany Heights man who was charged for breaking into a neighbor’s house after a failed attempt at getting into another house in the area. But one of the alleged victims is disputing the facts put forward in court by police. The police version is that Paul Parham attempted to ...

City Hall says let’s go 50/50 on streets
On Thursday, we aired part one of an interview with newly installed Mayor Darrell Bradley. In part two tonight, the mayor discusses upcoming projects. Because of its limited resources, the Belize City Council is trying a new concept called the fifty-fifty. For businesses and individuals who have disposable income and the interest to see their ...

Mayor on top of garbage collection
Residents of Belize City can normally forecast when collections are low. That is because workers of Belize Maintenance Limited often protest in front of City Hall when cheques to the private company have been slow in delivery. It’s almost guaranteed that garbage collection and payment will be an inevitable issue that Bradley’s Council will face. ...

U.S. Under Secretary coming to Belize
A top US official will be visiting next week. She is the Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of State, Maria Otero. When she arrives on the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth, she will be meeting with officials and non-governmental agencies to discuss the bilateral relationship between Belize and the US. Otero is Under Secretary for Civilian ...

Chief of Staff lobs a grenade for you
Six grenades were detonated recently. Before you get alarmed, it was an operation designed by the Belize Defense Force to destroy confiscated artillery that was found on the streets. The specifics of the operation aren’t known as the media was not invited to witness or interview the participants. The footage, provided courtesy of the Government ...

Free orthopedic clinic this weekend
A pediatric clinic in rural communities concluded today in Caye Caulker, but another initiative this weekend to provide free medical attention to young persons. The World Pediatric Project is having an orthopedic clinic this Sunday at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Patients with health issues including leg length discrepancies, Blount’s disease, bilateral Vara or “bow ...

Emergency Meeting as crime wave hits Placencia
This evening in the Placencia peninsula, tourism stakeholders as well as residents are holding an emergency meeting in respect of a crime wave that is striking the village. The Village Council chairman, the acting police commissioner and representatives from the B.T.B. and B.T.I.A. are in attendance as well. Muggings, robberies and burglaries have become common ...


22-year-old Rene Chavarria, a laborer of Milpa Site in Ladyville was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in court today. Chavarria was also charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to Chavarria that sh...

Two brothers, 23-year-old Kareem Smith and 19-year-old Akeem Smith, charged with murder in connection with the grenade explosion death of 16-year-old Darren Trapp, were acquitted of the charge today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. The prosecution, represented by Crown Couns...

Prime Minister Dean Barrow is scheduled to travel to Miami, Florida on Sunday. According to a statement from his office, Mr. Barrow will accompany his wife who will receive further medical treatment for breast cancer. The Prime Minister will be out of the country for a week, and ...

Citrus farmers in the Stann Creek district were today informed that they would not be receiving payment for orange deductions for the month of February. Over three million dollars in payments was to have been made today; but the Citrus Products of Belize Limited informed its pare...


Seven Year Old Abducted In Corozal
There is another shocking incident relating to a child coming out of Corozal tonight. Seven year old Dana Hill, an infant two student of Saint Francis Xavier Primary School was abducted by one of her relatives. The incident occurred around 8:30 yesterday morning at the school grounds. But why would anyone want to kidnap 7 year old Dana hill? That’s what our news team found out today. Saint Francis Xavier Primary School has no warden, but the heavy chains and defending locks are signs that the school has the safety and security of its students in mind. But before 8:30 yesterday morning a clandestine intruder waltzed into the compound and took 7 year old Dana Hill away. According to Vice Principal of the school, Yaniri Smith, Dana Hill was taken away by a relative.

Police Officer Injured In Traffic Accident
Last night the Northern Highway played witness to what could have been a deadly traffic accident. When we arrived at the scene of the accident near the Village of Carmelita 31 year old Police Constable #184 Artemio Ical, attached to the Orange Walk Police Station, had already been transported to the Northern Regional Hospital suffering from chest pain. On the left hand side of the highway was a light green 1992 Honda car with extensive damages. CTV3 News understands that around 6:00pm yesterday Ical was driving his car from Carmelita Village towards Orange Walk Town when one of the vehicles rear tires suffered a blowout. As a result Ical lost control of the vehicle which overturned several times landing on its four wheels. According to police the vehicle was insured. We understand that a blood sample was obtained from Ical and sent to the lab for testing. Ical is presently admitted at the Northern Regional Hospital where he is receiving treatment for his injuries.

Fun Run Takes Place In Corozal
And while the Fun Run here in Orange Walk started at 9:00 in the morning, a little further up north in Corozal the Fun Run started at 6:00am. A total of 9 schools participated in the event which was geared at generating Special Education awareness. “It was successful, we had a little over a hundred kids participating, we have for the first time the Scouts participating with us and we usually invite other schools to come along on this day and socialize and have fun with our Special Aid children, we had the participation of the Seventh Day Adventist School, San Narciso R.C. School, San Pedro Government School, our school, Guadalupe School, the Scouts, Church of Christ and Cristo Rey R.C. School it was a good even we had fun.” It’s the fifth year that the Fun Run is being held in Corozal and from all indications the message is getting across because every year the number of participants increases.

BSCFA Looking At Fair Trade Funds To Pay Former CEO
On March 19th Justice Oswell Legal ruled that the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association is to pay the association’s former Chief Executive Officer David Madrid a whopping sum of $171,292.50 plus 6 percent interest per annum from January 17th until the sum is fully paid. The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed against the BSCFA by Madrid’s Attorneys Eamon Courtenay and Michael Coye for wrongful termination. Viewers might recall that on September 1st 2010 Madrid was fired by the BSCFA less than a year after he began serving as CEO of the association. This morning the BSCFA held an emergency meeting with its different committees to discuss what steps would be taken in regards to the lawsuit.

Yolanda Schakron Files Election Petition
Yolanda Schakron has filed an election petition. According to a press release issued today by the People’s United Party, the former PUP candidate for the Lake I Independence division who was disqualified as a candidate on Nomination Day by returning officer Noreen Fairweather, filed an application for the leave to present an election Petition to the Supreme Court. The election petition was itself attached to the leave as well as two affidavits. The Election Petition challenges the validity of Mark King’s election as a member of the House of Representatives for the Lake Independence Division in the general elections of March 7th 2012. The release states and we quote, “Attorneys for Mrs. Schakron maintain that the determination as to whether she was disqualified to be elected as a member of the House of Representatives could only have been made by an Election Judge of the Supreme Court to whom is expressly and exclusively entrusted the power to make such determinations.”

Recognizing the Women Of Our Community
In our series of recognizing women for this year Women’s Month, we now focus on a woman from the Corozal District. Eighty year old Daisy Olga Marin has been actively assisting the Corozal community for more than five decades. Her work ranges from being the first female Mayor of Belize in 1981 to voluntarily working with youths, women and the elderly. Marin grew up in difficult times but through hard work and dedication she managed to climb the ladder of success without leaving her community behind. Daisy Olga Marin, Volunteer “In 1981, I was the first lady mayor in the country of Belize and I feel very proud because at that time ladies didn’t had the opportunities that we have now, ladies just to stay home and the men had to go out and work but now they have an opportunity to go out and work and help I n the house too.”

Math Olympiad Out Math League In
The Math Challenge was an idea brought forward and carried out by Bishop Martin High School back in 2004. In a span of two years the Math Challenge proved to be a huge success among high schools here in the Orange Walk District. In 2006 the Social Security Board then decided to fully sponsor the mathematical competition renaming it the “Belize National Math Olympiad”. Since then the Math Olympiad blossomed but on December of last year the Social Security Board announced that this year’s Belize Math Olympiad would be suspended due to certain disagreements with the Belize Association of Secondary Schools. Keeping in mind how important it is to encourage better grades in math, Bishop Martin High School, Orange Walk Technical High School and Muffles High School will be participating in a numerical competition tomorrow. The foundation of a true math contest is embedded in the math league. But according to Orange Walk Technical High School math teacher, Clarence Sheppard tomorrow’s competition is not necessarily a replica of the Math Olympiad.

Compassion School Wins World Water Day Poster Competition
International World Water Day is celebrated annually on the 22nd of March. The day focuses its attention on the importance of fresh water and advocates for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater and this year’s theme “Water and Food Security” says it all, especially since food security is critically dependent on a sufficient supply of clean water. In celebration of World Water Day the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture organized a poster and essay competition for primary schools. This morning, at the Princess Hotel in Belize City, the names of the winning schools were revealed and tonight we are proud to mention that two students of Compassion School in Yo Creek were awarded first place. Otilio Munoz, Compassion School Teacher “We had about ten entries and it was very hard for us to diced which one to send for this competition because we had ten and the ten were very good ones at the end of the day they only, wanted one entry so we have really hard to select the best one and we had the input of the parents, we invited the parents to come into our school and observe the ten of them and help the teachers to decide which one will be the best one and they selected the one that we went and the good thing is that we won the contest, the first place.” Running For A Good Cause
This morning special education students, their parents, their teachers, and other members of the community participated in the annual fun run held in Orange Walk for children with disabilities. The run was held with the hope of eliminating the stigma against disabled children and also served in preparation for this year’s National Special Olympics. The run started off from the Barracks and the CTV-3 News team of reporter Janine Ayuso and cameraman Kenric Simpson were present for the run and filed the following report. The theme for Child Stimulation Month “Start Early Aim High” does not only apply to able children but also to those with special needs. And today it was time to take charge and run for children with disabilities as the annual Fun Run took place this morning. With the Barracks swarming with primary school students, the morning started off with an official address from the Mayor of Orange Walk Town Kevin Bernard who recognized the need to further support children with special needs.


Health fair helps citizens know the status of their kidneys
A health fair was held today in Belize City. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo and video journalist Brian Castillo attended the event and bring you the following report.

Health project to benefit children
The World Pediatric Project is on another mission to help children with medical setbacks. This time, the project will host a pediatric orthopedic surgeon that will set up shop and start screening this Sunday. Project Manager, Khandice Tillett, explains the scope of the clinic and surgical procedures. Sunday’s clinic will start at eight in the ...

Prime Minister Barrow about to leave for Miami
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is scheduled to travel to Miami, Florida on Sunday. According to a statement from his office, Mr. Barrow will accompany his wife who will receive further medical treatment for breast cancer. The Prime Minister will be out of the country for a week, and during his absence, the Deputy prime Minter Gaspar Vega will hold over the reins of government in Belmopan.

Ladyville man charged for attempted murder
22-year-old Rene Chavarria, a laborer of Milpa Site in Ladyville was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in court today. Chavarria was also charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to Chavarria that she will not take a plea because the offences are indictable. She explained to Chavarria that the court cannot offer him bail because of the nature of the offences. She remanded him into custody until April 23. The incident occurred on March 14 in Belize City. The police reported that they visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and saw Godwin Moody suffering from gunshot wounds to his body. Moody told police that it was Chavarria that shot him.

Duo of brothers freed of murder charges
Two brothers, 23-year-old Kareem Smith and 19-year-old Akeem Smith, charged with murder in connection with the grenade explosion death of 16-year-old Darren Trapp, were acquitted of the charge today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. The prosecution, represented by Crown Counsel Trienna Young closed its case after several witnesses were called and none of them gave any evidence that inked the accused persons to the crime. As a result, Ellis Arnold and Sharon Pitts Robateau the attorneys for the accused persons, submitted that their clients do not have a case to answer to. Justice Lucas upheld the submission and directed the jury of 10 women and two men to return a formal verdict of not guilty. The incident occurred aropund8:40 p.m. on May 18, 2008. Trapp and several others were standing on Mayflower Street when a grenade was thrown at them. Trapp kicked the grenade and it exploded, fatally wounding him. Several other persons were wounded by the explosion.

Garifuna Collective back from Costa Rica gig
Just back today from a four-day tour in Costa Rica are Mohobub Flores and the Garifuna Collective. The musicians were invited to take part in that country’s Festival Internacional de los Artistas. And aside from the event being a wonderful experience by their account, Joshua Arana, who headed the group, told Love News that they gained quite a lot for Belize. One of the female artists, Marcela Aranda, said that they are already working on new material for the 2013 bookings that they have secured for Canada and Europe. This was the first time that the Garifuna Collective has been invited to take part in throughout Latin America.

Moya bex and dih “lik road” pahn Love News
She has only been out of office for two weeks now; but former Belize City Mayor Zenaida Moya is not disappearing quietly into the sunset. She is not a happy camper; and today the fury of her anger is aimed squarely at our News Center. Moya has taken issue with a statement made on this newscast earlier this week. In an interview with Mayor Darrel Bradley, Love News stated that he took over from Moya who had come under heavy criticism for introducing what we called her unique system of “under-depositing.” Well, in a strongly worded email fired off to the RSV News Centre, Moya claims that the introduction to our story contained information that is erroneous and damaging to herself. Moya takes umbrage with the linking of the term “under-depositing” to her tenure as Belize City Mayor, even though no one had heard about the practice until the financial scandal that rocked her administration during the first term in office. Moya offered a clarification which states, and we quote: “I NEVER introduced the system of “under-depositing” at City Hall. It is a system that was met by our UDP City Council, and carried out as a normal process by the staff who were carried over from the previous PUP City Council,” end of quote. Moya says that pre-2006 records of the Belize City Council will vindicate her and says that linking her administration with the practice of “under-depositing” is nothing more than political propaganda. For context, Love News clarifies, that until the financial scandal at City Hall under the Moya administration, the term “under-deposit” was never widely known in the public domain and only came to prominence when she herself explained it in subsequent newscasts after the scandal broke. In trying to extricate herself from the negative image painted by the under depositing scheme, Moya described the whole thing as a distasteful and unethical media spin, which we go back to our original statement of fact that it all started with the former Mayor herself. Since we posted the story on the social media network site Facebook, the public has been weighing in heavily on the Moya’s decision to criticize Love News. Some of the comments are strong; but most, from what we observe have not been flattering of the former two-time Mayor. One writer says, and we quote: “She – meaning Moya – should probably consider herself lucky that she’s not spending some quality time behind bars right now. She will go down in history as the worst Mayor Belize City has ever had.” End of quote. Another person who joined in the discussion, assessed Moya’s tenure as Mayor of Belize City as being disappointing. He said, and we quote: “she came into Office riding on the crest of a wave against all that was wrong with the PUP government and turned out to be nothing more than an overrated activist and opportunist,” end of quote. And one other person writes, quote: “ while it may be true about the scheme coming from her predecessors, she was the one who “named” the scheme.” End of quote. If you would like to share in the online discussion of the story, you can visit our website at:

School girl lured out of classroom, taken to Mexico
The school yard should be one of the safest places for the nation’s youngest citizens. But on Wednesday it turned out to be a parent’s worst nightmare as a young child was taken without consent. With the assistance of our Orange Walk bureau, Love News was able to put the sequence of information together that saw the lower school student taken out of class and whisked across the border to Mexico. Love TV’s Julia Carrillo reports.

BDF destroy’s grenades and high-powered ammo
A cache of dangerous ammunition was destroyed this morning in Hattieville village. According to the Chief of Staff for the Belize Defence Force Lt. Col. James Requeña, the decision to dispose of the ammunition came after court processes were completed and in consultation with the police. The ammunition was destroyed under the unblinking lens of the cameras for the Government Press Office. Lt. Col. James Requeña has confirmed that all of the ammunition were destroyed.

The countdown to Belize Band Fest starts
It has its origins in the spring of 2006, and over the years, the Belize Band Fest has earned the title of Belize’s Premier Family Event of the year. The 2012 edition of the Belize Band Fest is nine days away, and tonight we begin a series of features on the participating bands. A total of six Marching band with instruments and an equal number of Drum Corps will take to the streets of Corozal Town on March thirty first. In tonight’s feature, we turn the spotlight on two drum corps and one marching. According to organizers, Belize Band Fest seeks to bring together schools, teachers, children, families, musicians, choreographers, and the private sector, to showcase our children’s success and achievements in music. The last six years, the organizers say, have demonstrated that when we work together we can succeed in helping our children to be the best that they can be. The inaugural Belize Band Fest was won by the St. Luke Marching Band in the event held at the Marion Jones Sports Complex. The defending champions are Succotz Festival Drum Corps in the Wind Instrument category and Holy Redeemer Marching Band in the Drum Corps category.

Ground broken for new P.G. Town Hall
The Social Investment Fund held a ceremony in Punta Gorda Town this morning that marked the official start of the long awaited infrastructure improvement of the PG town hall. It is a component of the Belize Municipal Development Project, a thirty million dollar facility being implemented by the Government of Belize in seven Municipalities. Director of Public Relations of the Social Investment Fund is Mike Hernandez, Other speakers in the ceremony included Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund, Daniel Cano, Mayor of Punta Gorda Town, Anthony Fuentes and Deputy Mayor Simon Paulino.

Women’s summit held in Belize City
The seventh annual Women’s Summit took place today at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. Guest speaker at the event was CEO in the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, Judith Alpuche. Human Development Coordinator in the Women’s Department Cynthia Williams says that the summit is an opportunity for dialogue and discussion. Williams says that the participants make up a very dynamic group, since there are a variety of ages and socio-economic backgrounds. Women from all over the country of Belize were present at the event which ended at 4 pm today.

Belize joins in observing World Water Day
In 1996, Belize joined the globe in celebrating “World Water Day” and since then the campaign to use our water resources wisely has been an increasing one. Today, on the occasion of World Water Day, that campaign took the front burner. Water analysts say that while Belizeans still enjoy an abundance of fresh water, the entire globe has limited fresh water sources and one day, we can find ourselves wanting. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources, Gaspar Vega, assured that the government will do its part to help manage proper use of water. The speeches were delivered at a ceremony this morning to mark the occasion of World Water Day, observed aptly with the theme, “Water and Food Security”. During the event, students who had submitted winning entries in a poster and an essay competition for the occasion were awarded for their achievements.

Election petition filed on behalf of Yolanda Schakron
The first election petition was filed today in the Supreme Court. According to a statement from the People’s United Party, the petition was filed by disqualified Lake Independence candidate Yolanda Schakron. [VO STARS HERE] A statement from the PUP Secretariat says that the Election Petition challenges the validity of Mark King’s election as a member of the House of Representatives for the Lake Independence Division in the general elections of March seventh. The official statement says that attorneys for Mrs. Schakron maintain that the determination as to whether she was disqualified to be elected as a member of the House of Representatives could only have been made by an Election Judge of the Supreme Court to whom is expressly and exclusively entrusted the power to make such determinations. The PUP statement ends by saying that the voters of the Lake Independence Division were unlawfully deprived of an opportunity to vote for and elect Mrs. Schakron as their member of House of Representatives and that the PUP is confident that, but for the abuse and interference by the government in the process, Mrs Schakron would have won the March seventh election in the Lake I Division. According to the PUP, they intend to challenge the returns in other constituencies shortly.

Home invasion targets elderly Crooked Tree resident
The phenomenon of home invasions continues to plague communities around the country. The latest incident happened forty eight hours ago in the scenic village of Crooked Tree. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Myles Gillett went up the Northern Highway today to bring you the following report.


Two houses destroyed by fire in Dangriga
Dangriga Police are investigating reports of two recent house fires. Plus TV's Dangriga correspondent James Valerio...

Dep. of Environment conducts week-long training
The Department of the Environment (DOE) conducted a weeklong Compliance Monitoring Inspection Training from March 1...

Woman with schizophrenia goes missing
26yr old Janine Simplis, reported to Police on Monday that her mother 56yr old Carmelita Simplis, who suffers from ...

Chief Forestry Officer says Alcaldes support Rosewood moratorium
On Tuesday Mayas from the Toledo district converged on the Independence Hill in protest of the moratorium on Rosewo...

Belize Municipal Development Project launched
The Government’s $30 million Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP) commenced yesterday (MARCH 22) with the of...

Belmopan residents take to the streets for Special Olympics Fun Run
This morning the "One World /Special Olympics Belize Fun Run" took place in Belmopan. One world international organ...

PM Barrow to take short trip out the country
The Office of the Prime Minister sent out a release stating that Prime Minister Barrow, will be travelling to Miami...

Con artist lies to steal car
53yr old Lizbeth Castillo, reported to Belize City Police yesterday (March 22) that after making arrangements with ...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

“Fu Goh” serving healthy food, snacks and smoothies!
Being an advocate in healthy eating which provides us with healthy living, I was invited by Proprietors, Mario and Carin Guizar to visit their newest venture in food outlet on Caye Caulker, “Fu Goh” meaning to go in Belizean creole. Fu Goh is located at the Atlantic Bank’s plaza on middle street in the heart of town. All the food being served there is pre-packaged and ready to go, visitors and locals can also dine on site on their quaint and inviting location. The newest addition to their menu is their smoothie bar where Carin whips up her refreshing smoothies using natural products and no sugar. So, for those who are advocates in healthy eating, like myself and even people who believe they need to start eating healthy, Fu Goh can definitely hook you up with their delicious pre-packaged meals and natural food and vegetable smoothies. It’s never to late to make a change in your dietary intake. Foods are cooked free of fats and oils or fatty carbs. It’s my pleasure to share the following photos:


Taxicab operator propositions female passenger
He is now in jail on remand... Lincoln Miguel, 38, a taxicab driver of Belize City, was today brought before Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stuart to answer charges of unlawful imprisonment and common assault.

Beaten to death in a cemetery
Did one of his friends kill the 35-year-old father of 4 for money? Jose Manuel Caal, 35, a construction worker of Corozal Town and father of four children, was found dead in the Mount Calvary Cemetery in Corozal Town around 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 18. He was lying face down on the ground in a drain between two tombs, with his hands behind his back, his head smashed in and bruises on his body.

Gunman shoots two on Balan Street, Lake I; one dies
Police report that late Monday night, Cheray Zetina, 31, a resident of Balan Street in the Lake-I area, was with her boyfriend in front of their house when a dark-complexioned man rode up right in front of them on a bicycle. The man then fired one shot at Zetina, then rode off in the direction of McKay Boulevard.

Whose turn to feed?
“Buying an election in small-sized Belize has become an increasingly attractive option, especially again as poverty is increasing,” said Dylan Vernon, at Belize at Thirty Conference... As a part of the Belize at Thirty Conference, spanning Tuesday, March 20 to Thursday, March 22, 2012, Belizean researcher Dylan Vernon delivered an insightful presentation on Wednesday afternoon, titled, “Our Turn to Feed: Exploring the Origins and Implications of Rampant ‘Handout Politics’ in Independent Belize.”

Cabinet endorses rosewood moratorium – Toledo villagers protest!
Some loggers not respecting moratorium, says Chief Forest Officer... Cabinet announced on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, that it has endorsed the controversial moratorium on the harvesting and exportation of rosewood extracted from the Toledo and Stann Creek Districts, a moratorium which was declared last Friday, March 16, 2012, following a ministerial decision by Lisel Alamilla, the new Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and Indigenous Peoples.

Schakron wants a crack at King!
“I have already been sworn in. That makes me a legitimate representative.” — Mark King... Political aspirant for Lake I, the People’s United Party’s Yolanda Schakron, went to the Supreme Court today, Thursday, requesting leave to file an election petition challenging the legitimacy of Mark King’s United Democratic Party victory in the Lake Independence electoral division.

Home alone, Ron Vasquez (Western Spirit) wins the Ariel Rosado Memorial Belmopan Classic
It’s all about who’s ready, and who’s not, for the big upcoming Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic. And, though last Sunday’s event was a major race in its own right, the aura of the Country pervades everything in cycling right now, including and especially the last major race before Cross Country – the Ariel Rosado Memorial 31st Annual Belmopan Classic, which hit the pavement on Sunday from Leslie’s Imports outside of Belize City to Belmopan and back. It was a 100-mile test of speed, skill, conditioning and will, and, if anything, it certainly proved that no one cyclist is head and shoulders above the rest in conditioning right now, although Ron Vasquez of Western Spirit got away from the main peloton and managed to hold his lead across the tape for the victory. Nevertheless, Ron Vasquez, at 25 years of age, has made a statement, and has to be considered one of the big Western hopefuls come Holy Saturday, along with his 32-year-old brother and last Belizean Cross Country champion in 2006, Shane Vasquez.

Chimilio says the Federation owes him money
New FFB President Ruperto Vicente said this evening that his meeting on Monday with Dr. Bertie Chimilio was far from fruitful. The situation keeps looking worse, and the Federation is putting together its legal and financial consulting team to try and deal with the situation. FIFA is abreast of the developments, and has promised to assist the new administration in extricating itself from the debacle that Dr. Chimilio has apparently left them in.

Criminal returns to the MCC on Saturday night
After bursting back on the football scene with MVP honors in the Super League’s Closed Interoffice championship at the MCC Grounds back in January, skeptics wondered if former National U-20 star Lennox “Criminal” Castillo had sufficiently recovered from a near career- ending knee injury to make an impact at the highest level of Belize football. His Premier League debut at the MCC with his Police United squad showed promise, but he was kept off the scorecard in a fiercely contested match, in which his team managed a 1-nil win over highly touted Placencia Assassins on a 2nd half penalty conversion by Police captain Orlando “Leechi” Jimenez. That was back on February 11, and the MCC has not seen Criminal since.

EDITORIAL: Decisions, decisions, decisions …
The demonstration this week in Belmopan against the rosewood extraction moratorium declared last week by the Government of Belize gives you an idea of why it is difficult to govern Belize in this modern era. Villagers involved in the rosewood extraction business travelled all the way from Toledo to Belmopan to protest the moratorium, and the television cameras carried their displeasure nationwide the same evening.

From The Publisher
“Of the five judges who were in their places, one was a mulatto. The jury was empaneled and two of the jurors were mulattoes; one of them, as the judge who sat next to me said, was a Sambo, or of the descending line, being the son of a mulatto woman and a black man. I was at a loss to determine the caste of a third juror and inquired of the judge, who answered that he was his, the judge’s brother, and that his mother was a mulatto woman. The judge was aware of the feeling which existed in the United States with regard to color, and said that in Belize there was, in political life, no distinction whatever, except on the ground of qualifications and character, and hardly any in social life, even in contracting marriages.”


Exotic Caye Resort: New Daily Yoga & Always A Great Beach Bar, Restaurant, Hotel and More
I stopped by Exotic Caye Resort yesterday to observe a yoga class at the new studio. I was actually supposed to participate but I am a long time yoga naysayer. (All stemming from a one week stint at a "Bikini Bootcamp" that I attended in Tulum, Mexico in 2006...if you need to see a picture of me hiding behind all of the yoga fanatics during that week, check out: How I Came To Belize) But let's back up a bit. Exotic Caye is a resort located just south of down town proper (1/4 mile) on a gorgeous sandy beach. It is the home to the extremely popular beach bar Crazy Canuck's (winner of SanPedroScoop's Best Bar on Ambergris Caye, 2011), a restaurant, the Blue Iguana, a hotel, dive shop, a small breakfast and lunch joint AND now a yoga studio. The yoga studio is on the main road on the second floor and has the most amazing views. I will or no yoga this view made me want to harness my chi. The class had quite a few participants, men and women of all ages and sizes. I just happened to take a picture of these three, super fit ladies since they look so colorful. The instructor is in yellow on the left. Here are some pictures of the rest of the resort. The yoga studio is upstairs and Ms. Sara's kitchen is below. Mmmmmm...I love conch soup. Crazy Canuck's Beach Bar. Home to a VERY popular Sunday beach BBQ, live band and horse shoe tournament. The hotel rooms are in a half circle of large palapa style buildings with the pool in the center.

Johnny Cakes!!
This nice and heavy bread is very common in Belize, to the point where I wouldn't be surprised if 70% or more of the country eats it every morning for breakfast. This little bread can be used to make an AMAZING breakfast sandwich (move over Egg McMuffin), to just be eated warm with butter, with ham & cheeese, with just cheese or cheese whiz (in the jar not the can), can be eaten along with soup or with breakfast on the side. You can do wonderful chicken tortas and just use it however you use bread. Now, a little bit of history on the Johnny Cake. It was made by Native American Indians with cornmeal, then it caught on and was used by the slaves but with flour, and this is the JCakes we know in Belize. They were made primarily as a staple for travel because it would stay good for weeks and was actually called "Journey Cakes". People in Belize have now been cooking these in regular ovens and they are still good but, the REAL way you should cook these is again on open flame...or if you want you can cook em in the oven and then put them on a grill with salami and cheddar cheese...HIGHLY RECOMMEND! But that's not why we're here we bake Johnny Cakes! On to the recipe...

Saturday will be a busy day in Cayo
Cayo has quite a few events Saturday. The University of Belize will have Female Self Defense Classes. The Hash House Harriers will be doing a hash at Caracol. The BNYCF will be having the West Cayo Chess finals. The Benque HoC will have their Women in Arts Fair. Check out the Cayo Event Calendar.

Channeling Our Inner Cavewoman: Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave, Belize
My spelunking career aspirations were squashed early on, after an unexpected and very harrowing moment for my 11-year-old self. I was midway through the fox hole of a cave in Rockwood Conservation Area, ignoring a rapid heartbeat and clammy hands in pursuit of raw adventure. After emerging from the fox hole we were promised the awe of a chamber that would allow us to all sit semi-upright and experience the void that is the 1000% darkness of a cave. This WikiTravel ATM cave description made me sweat and pace a little: “The cave can be exited through a tight squeeze ending in a giant sink hole collapse in the jungle.” The main cave system at ATM is three miles long. Tight squeeze. Three miles seemed like a dreadfully long time to be in the dark. Again, tight squeeze. Lonely Planet touted ATM as “undoubtedly one of the most incredible and adventurous tours you can take in Belize.” I thought our kamikaze boat ride to the Blue Hole and Lighthouse Reef to see the red-footed boobies was, but…Kim and I have a relationship that thrives on balance. She was a willing and enthusiastic participant in a back-breaking wave-smacking two hour trip to see birds with red feet. Surely I could suck up some old and dusty latent fears and poke around this cave at the edge of the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve.

Belizean Curried Chicken
Although the spice of curry is more prevalent in the West Indies, it is also eaten in Belize by the people of Indian decent. For my family, curried chicken and curried rice is a sometimes meal. The curry powder itself is very flavorful and spicy and pungent, so less spice would actually be better for milder palates.

International Sources

Cruise control: Gay pirates in the Caribbean, the economics of it all, and Tony Blair
An Atlantis Cruises ship packed with 2,000 partying gay men pulled into port in the Caribbean nation of Dominica Wednesday morning. Later it left, minus two of them. They were in the jail at Roseau, waiting to be arraigned on Thursday morning. Apparently a taxi driver glimpsed something untoward. He later said, “I did not know that it was a gay boat, but when I reach [the dock] I realized it was. We were struggling to get some business but when I gazed to the ship I saw two men engaged in sexual activities on the balcony of the ship. It raised our anger here.” Police Chief Cyril Carrette told the local press, “We got a report that there was an unlawful act going on aboard the cruise ship which was in port. Police were dispatched and the persons were taken to the police headquarters where charges have been laid against them. The act of buggery was committed and there are witnesses saw this thing happening live.”

Shane Perrin Paddles 170-mile Ancient Mayan Route
Shane Perrin, who was on dialysis just a short while ago, has undertaken one of the most remarkable stand up paddle journeys in the books to date. He paddled 170 miles along an Ancient Mayan Route, from the heart of Belize to the waters of the Caribbean Sea. Known as La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge, this annual event had a special significance this year due to the Mayan Calendar prediction about the world coming to an end in 2012. The Challenge was held from March 9th -12th, included class 2-3 rapids, and had 3 campsites for the paddlers to rest overnight. Perrin’s journey, which was made possible by the support and sponsorship of Pau Hana Surf Supply, had a crew on hand, assisting him along the way and even giving him some training. With absolutely no experience in white water on a paddleboard, the Pau Hana team had Nick Troutman on site to coach Perrin through the new terrain. Troutman, a world champion kayaker, has become an avid stand up paddler and has put in quite a bit of time honing in his white water skills on a paddle board. After a few training runs and a sour leg, Perrin was ready to embark on his journey.

Maya Demise Tied to Fear of Evil Spirits
A dread of malevolent spirits haunting forsaken areas could, along with environmental catastrophes, help to explain why some areas in the ancient Mayan world proved less resilient than others when their civilization disintegrated, researchers suggest. The ancient Maya once claimed an area about the size of Texas, with cities and fields that occupied what is now southern Mexico and northern Central America, including the countries of Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras. The height of the Mayan civilization, known as the Classic period, extended from approximately AD 250 to at least 900. For unknown reasons, the Classic Mayan civilization then collapsed. The population declined catastrophically to a fraction of its former size, and many of their great cities were left mostly abandoned for the jungle to reclaim.

Take pleasure in the shallow end with our top 10 snorkelling spots
Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Belize The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second largest reef in the world after the Great Barrier Reef, extends through Belize, Guatemala, the Honduras and Mexico. Belize is good for English speakers because its official language is a Creole dialect of English. The Hol Chan Marine Reserve, a few kilometres from the town of San Pedro and about 15 minutes by boat, is perfect for a day trip snorkelling on the reef. The reserve is divided into different zones according to its different habitats. The reef channel is home to a wide variety of fish including jacks, snappers and barracuda, as well as turtles and dolphins. Manatees - also known as sea cows - swim in the seagrass beds. Discovery Expeditions Belize has a three-hour tour from US$35 (Dh129) per person, including equipment and drinking water. There is a park fee of $10 (Dh37) per person.

Learning by Serving, One Community at a Time
Great news for Succotz, and the Institute for Sustainable International Studies. "The Institute for Sustainable International Studies (ISIS) has partnered with the village of Succotz in the Cayo district of Belize. This effort provides students with an opportunity to learn while doing volunteer work that supports the needs and goals of the village. The Village Council, two primary schools and a high school, and other village organizations identify projects while ISIS finds student groups and interns to assist with those projects... As part of their commitment to education, a group within the village has started a library in Succotz. Students with ISIS, from Shenandoah University and the University of Toronto, brought books to donate to the library, reflecting the cultures and literature from their area. In February, the University of Toronto sent 10 students and a professor who focused their time in Belize on the village of Succotz. After an introduction to Belize, Cayo and Succotz, the students explored the issue of youth and nutrition."

Mayan Equinox Celebrations Mark the Beginning of Spring
Sixty people from Belize, Canada, and the United States traveled over rutted dirt roads to a Mayan site in Belize for the opportunity to camp overnight in the shadow of the centuries-old structures that were first discovered by loggers in the 1930s. The events at Caracol were held to celebrate the beginning of spring, or the spring equinox, a time when the Earth's axis is tilted neither toward or away from the sun because the center of the sun is in the same plane as the equator. As a result, night and day are of equal length. As the Maya developed their calendar around solar cycles, the observation of the equinox, with special rites and rituals, has long been part of their cultural traditions. As the sun slipped behind the site's structures, campers gathered under a tent to enjoy traditional Belizean food, including pit-roasted pork pibil, tamales, ducunu, and tortillas. Then, it was off to bed before the sound of drums roused them at 2:30 a.m., as Mayan shamans from Guatemala, the Yucatán, and Belize gathered to begin preparing for a traditional fire ceremony, which lasted until the sun came up. Similar events are planned for the remaining equinox and solstices of 2012.

March 23, 2012

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

Canary Cove donates to SPTGA
On Tuesday March 20th the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association (SPTGA) received the donation of a brand new Dell Vostro Desktop computer. The donation came as a result of a working relationship between Canary Cove and the SPTGA. Presenting the donation on behalf of Canary Cove was Gilberto “Gil” Nuñez. Accepting on behalf of the SPTGA were President Phillip “Billy” Leslie and member, Robert Gonzalez. According to Gil, the donation came as a “Thank You” for the invaluable work that the SPTGA has been doing with Canary Cove in the placing and maintaining of the buoys along the beach in front of Ambergris Caye. n speaking of the donation, Billy stated, “The owners saw the need of assisting us with a more updated computer so we can store our information and keep our files in tact. The association is greatly appreciative for the gift of which we will use very wisely. I know the owner personally and I know the activities director personally and I know that we will do many more ventures together.” Earlier this year, the SPTGA and Canary Cove teamed up to place and maintain several mooring buoys along the reef in Northern Ambergris Caye around the Mexico Rocks area and in the outer side of the reef.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Library Needs Sponsor For Children Easter Program
The San Pedro Town Library hosts several programs throughout the year for the children of San Pedro to be involved during the holidays. This year the Library is being faced with an unfortunate dilemma, lack of funds to operate this year’s holiday programs. The Library has lost one of its greatest benefactors for these programs, the skydivers from Boogie in Belize. In the past, Mr. Rich Grimm and his crew would team up with Pedro’s Inn and host a poker tournament which generated a generous donation that allowed the library to cover expenses for its yearly programs. These programs included Easter, Christmas, Summer and other activities such as movie nights, to mention a few.

New Belize Government Officially Underway
It’s been two weeks since elections were held and after the naming of the cabinet and assigning of CEO’s the work of the new Government in officially underway and the first ceremonial sitting of the House and Senate took place on Wednesday, March 21, 2012. Among the formalities was the swearing in of a new president of the senate, Mr. Mark Pech; New government senetors, Charles Gibson, Lisel Alamilla, for the PUP, Karen Bodden and Collet Montejo, Marconi Sosa, Mark Lizarraga for business sector; for the churches Fr. Noel Leslie; for labor, Ray Davis; two re-appointed, Juliet Thimbriel and Lisa Shoman and the leader of the Government Business in the senate, Godwin Hulse.

Misc Belizean Sources

TAS Belize's Tell A Story Thursday, Episode 3
"If you owe the Bank for your BUSINESS, that means the Bank owns your business." We agree! Mrs. Shelly Usher, the owner of Builder's Hardware, has some good business information. She talks about professionalism too. 85% of New Business fails which meand only 15% succeed. Shelly Usher of Builder's Hardware shares her insite on how to succeed in your business. "If you owe the Bank for your BUSINESS, that means the Bank owns your business." Tune in every Thursday on PlusTV for a new epidode and also visit for all episodes of Tell A Story Thursday.

Doug Karl explains wireless security at SHJC
Doug Karl, the creator of the first access point stopped by SHJC to explain wireless security to students and the Belize Linux Users Group. He described the ins and outs of wireless routers, the new CDMA BTL router, and why it works like it does, and had a question and answer session afterwards.

Vernal Equinox at Caracol picture album
Pictures of the Caracol camping trip for the Vernal Equinox. Many great pictures. Caracol's Observatory lit up with tiki torches just before dawn looks really cool.

Recipes: Cole Slaw
Cole slaw is common in many countries. Most recipe uses mayonnaise and mustard as the dressing, but this recipe uses Heinz Salad Dressing only. Cabbage is the only thing that does not change in the making of cole slaw.

Channel 7

Tonight, the Gang Suppression Unit is again under extreme scrutiny - after members of a City Gang are alleging that the Unit systematically brutalized them last night. Last night at around nine, the GSU descended on Taylor's Alley - which is off Orange Street. No one knows what was their mission, but in the process - residents say - the Unit rained down on them with vicious brutality. Our Daniel Ortiz was out there after the attack last night and went back this morning. Here's what some of the victims told him:.. Taylor's Alley, seen here, was the scene of the latest reported attack by officers of the GSU. According to residents, the officers ambushed 6 men who usually hang out in the Alley and brutalized them without any cause for provocation and without declaring that this was a police-sanctioned raid in the area.

And so while their complaints are pending with police, for a political directorate already impatient with the GSU - the pattern of behavior is a headache that's turned into a migraine. You'll recall that before the election, both the Prime Minister and the Mesop Area Representative Michael Finnegan publicly criticized the GSU for their tactics. Now with this latest action - the gang truce managers are concerned that the GSU's actions threaten to undermine a truce that is more fragile than ever. That has forced some crisis meetings at the political and truce-keeping levels where the question has been: "What are we going to do about the GSU?" It's relevant now, because the unit no longer has protection from Minister Doug Singh - who was unelected. The minister is now John Saldivar, who is keenly aware and responsive to political pressures - and he has decided to investigate the incident. Saldivar granted us an interview just a few minutes ago. First thing he said is that maybe the GSU is not solely to blame, since it was a joint operation. Since we got the interview just minutes before newstime, we air it uneditted:..

With grenades, assault rifles and even rocket launchers available, Belize City's streets have become a battleground - and today some of the weapons of war were destroyed. It happened at the BDF Firing range off the Boom Road where a cache of grenades and heavy artillery were blown to bits. Inexplicably, no media house was invited, but the Government Press Office was and they provided us with this footage:.. Lt. Col. James Requena - Acting Chief of Staff, BDF "What we have here this morning is 12 - 40 mm rounds and 6 hand grenades that were recovered at different incidents in Belize City. The reason why we are destroying is because they are no longer of any interest to the court and we have gotten permission from the Belize Police Department to go ahead and destroy it rather than keep it in our arsenal."

The PUP today filed the election petition for Yolanda Schakron. As we've reported, Schakron was disqualified as a candidate on nomination day when Returning Officer, Noreen Fairweather, ruled that she was ineligible to run because she holds dual nationality. Well, the PUP's position is that only a Supreme Court Judge could have decided that so they want the result of the election overturned. The Party's Communication Director Lisa Shoman - doing double duty as its attorney - made the filing this morning and 7news was at the registry when she finished. Here's what she told us:.. Jules Vasquez "What was filed this morning?" Senator Lisa Shoman "The election petition for and on behalf of Yolanda Schakron for the Lake Independence division."

On Tuesday - 60 Mayans from the Toledo district staged a demonstration on Independence Hill in Belmopan - demanding that the moratorium on Rosewood be lifted. Their argument was that they have all their money tied up in Rosewood on the ground - and the moratorium has turned their valuable commodity into a wasting asset. They brought heat on the new Forestry Minister Lisel Alamilla - and last night on the Lik Road Talk Show - she put that heat right back on them. She said the majority of the communities and the Alcaldes support a moratorium - and that the protest was the product of a few very wealthy folks pushing buttons. Here are her remarks:.. Minister Lisel Alamilla "If you know who is leading this you would understand what the agenda is. This is being led by the agents who are the buyers. They are the ones who are paying $4 a board foot to the Mayan villagers who are doing all the hard work."

Regrettably, we've grown too accustomed to hearing about home invasions in Belize City - and other densely populated municipalities. But our next story is about an invasion that happened in the small village of Crooked Tree. The armed robbers preyed upon an old man - who had just come up - from selling a few heads of cattle. Monica Bodden went to Crooked Tree today to find out how they roughed up and robbed the senior citizen:... The home invasion happened here at the residence of 72 year old Wilbert Tillett -a retired Belizean American living in Crooked Tree. He was assaulted with a gun and a knife inside his home by 2 men who he considers to be strangers to the Village. It happened on Tuesday at around 8:30 in the evening. Tillett who was home alone at the time of the incident told us he first saw the men pass his house when he was sitting outside on his verandah. By the time he got up and went inside, in a spilt second, a gun was pointed at his head. "I was sitting right here in this chair and some of the other guys were over there, but before that I saw two guys pass by, strangers, I didn't think anything about it. So about 8:30 the guys that were standing over the street moved off and so got up out this chair and open this door and went inside to sit to watch TV. When I sat down I heard the door open. I thought it was my grandson. When I look around I saw the same two strangers; one with a red cap."

The Police Department along with the Belize Coast Guard are still investigating the pirate attack on Sunday, March 18, 2012,on the seas in Southern Belize. Eight tourists were on the vessel that was boarded by four men. Two of them were badly injured. Our investigation revealed that two of the tourists, a husband and wife were stabbed, the husband in his neck and the wife in her abdomen. A report to us is that one of the women was also raped. And while marauding gangs on the sea are a legitimate public safety concern, police have not released a single shred of information - officially or otherwise - though we have requested this over a dozen times. We first reported on Monday that pirates attacked tourists on board a boat that the tourist had been anchoring out in the Pelican Cayes area since Saturday, March 17, 2012. The tourists charted the boat from the Mooring Charter Company in Placencia for a week-long stay on the seas. In an email sent to us by someone claiming to be a family member, during the attack the other tourists managed to hide in their cabins; they were not assaulted. The email reports that a third man quickly called in "mayday". Our further investigations today revealed that the victims were rushed to the Dangriga Southern Regional Hospital. The husband was released on Tuesday, while his wife was just discharged today. All of the tourists have since checked out of their resort in Placencia.

Today the Women's Department held its 7th annual Women's Summit - just one of the many highlights of Women's month. Women from urban and rural communities from around the country gathered where they all joined in a dialog to share their experiences as women. Director of the Women's Department, Icilda Humes who told us why the summit is more than just a talk shop: Icilda Humes, Director of the Women's Department "This year we really wanted to ensure that we are being true to the theme " Connecting Girls Inspiring Futures" and for that reason we made a very special effort to ensure that we had a large population of young women participating in this event because we really do need to engage in more inter-generation dialogue; women to girl - girl to women, so that we can understand the different perspectives that we have, so that we can understanding the perspectives of young women, the perspectives of girls and so that they can understand our perspective in a mutually respectfully manner."

And while they were at the Radisson, over at the Princess - the observance was for World Water Day. We may take it for granted in water-rich Belize, but all over the world water is a scarce resource and that's why world water day focuses attention on the importance of the sustainable management of freshwater resources. To spread this idea, a Forum and a Fair were held today the Princess Hotel. The Forum included technical paper presentations by various individuals from several Government and non-Government Organizations and Agencies, while the fair had display booths by other Businesses, Organizations and Departments. Anthony Flowers, Water Analyst - MOH "Today we are celebrating "World Water Day" under the theme "Water and Food Security." We are having different events to commemorate the day. We have a forum where technical presentations will be made on different topics relating to water and then we are also having a fair, where all the different agencies; government and non-governmental organizations have their different display booths showcasing the work that they do in the field of water."

Last year, 13 women from the Q'eqchi Mayan Village of Midway, designed and made a quilt to portray wildlife that is threatened by oil companies. This year, their quilt along with 10 others are being featured in an exhibit at the UN headquarters in New York. The event entitled "Women Are the Fabric"was launched on International women's day on March 8th. The quilts give a voice to disempowered women, and the exhibit is a joint effort by the Advocacy Project which helps marginalized communities to tell their story. According to the write-up, the Mayan women's visual narrative explores the rich wildlife in their area being threatened by oil exploration.

Ephraim Hendy, the man charged with the August 2009 rape of a 28 year-old woman was acquitted today in the court room of Justice Adolph Lucas, and allowed to walk out a free man. This morning, Hendy got the good news that the charges of rape and use of deadly means of harm with intent to cause grievous harm were being withdrawn by the prosecution at the request of the victim. In the woman's initial statement, she told police that on August 30, 2009, at about 11:00 p.m., Hendy entered her house without invitation, but he was someone she knew for two years prior to the incident.

38 year-old Lincoln Miguel, a taxi driver of Mahogany Street Extension, is behind bars tonight after he was arraigned for allegedly holding a 23 year-old woman against her will. He was read the charge of unlawful imprisonment when he appeared before Magistrate Hettie May Stuart today, who could not take any plea from him because it will be tried on indictment. She did offer him bail of $6,000 with the condition he stays away from the victim. He couldn't meet bail and was escorted to prison. According to the victim, when she caught his taxi on Tuesday morning, he began questioning her about how much she makes a day.

The subject of tonight's profile is a young mechanic named Michael Young. He grew up on the streets of southside Belize city and by the age of 15 he was out of school and making a living by hustling on the streets. IT seemed like a way to survive, but he had a flash of inspiration and another chance, and he is featured on tonight's profile as he highlights life's ever present opportunities just waiting to be found.

Channel 5

Taylor’s Alley Gang Truce Supervisor attacked by who?
The Gang Suppression Unit was in open conflict on Wednesday night with residents of Taylor’s Alley. Shortly after seven, six residents of the area say that the GSU descended in the alley where the well known street figure, Arthur Young was hanging out with a group of young men from the Conscious Youth Development Programme. ...

Other Alley resident say GSU ‘bruk’ his jaw
According to the men, they all had to get medical attention for varying injuries after the GSU brutalized them. Among the group is Tulio Caseres, he suffered a broken jaw. Caseres says the actions of the GSU weren’t warranted and he is expecting continued harassment from the GSU.   Tulio Caseres, Alleges GSU Brutality “Deh ...

Witness to beating speaks on camera
Residents of the area say they witnessed the GSU overstep their bounds in an abusive manner. Many of them fear further brutality, but one woman says she is willing to speak out because in all her years in Taylor’s Alley, this is the first time she has witnessed such brutal incidents. She says they have ...

P.U.P. files Election Petition for U.S. Citizen Schakron
From the high seas to the court, an application for leave to present an Election Petition was filed with the Supreme Court by Yolanda Schakron. Schakron was rejected on nomination day to contest the general elections in Lake Independence. Schakron would have been on the P.U.P. ticket and was considered a sure winner, but it ...

City Council investigates possible misappropriation
City Hall has had its fair share of controversies over the past decade. Two previous mayors have been questioned about financial transactions that did not have wise business sense or were carried out using irregular accounting practices. To make sure that his term as Mayor is beyond reproach, Darrell Bradley says he immediately launched an ...

Mayor orders audits of CitCo Departments
Since the municipal elections, Mayor Darrell Bradley hired a team of professionals to examine and straighten out the mechanics of city hall. Everything from financial practices to the health of the working environment are under review. Bradley told News Five that audits of most of the departments of city hall are being carried out to ...

Rio Dulce Mariners concerned about attacks on foreigners
The news of attacks on visitors in tourist destinations and on the high seas has traveled down the southern coast all the way to Rio Dulce, Guatemala. The cruising community is moored by hundreds of mariners who can easily navigate to Honduras, Panama and Belize. The violence against foreign nationals is picking up waves. News ...

Victim gives up allegedly violent rape case
A Belize City woman was brutally raped and stabbed inside her home in August 2009, allegedly by Ephraim Hendy, a man she knew well. The twenty-eight year old victim barely survived the incident and had no doubts about the identity of the person who attacked her, but today she chose not to testify against him. ...

3 illegal women, different nationalities, busted
The Immigration Department has been cracking down on illegal immigrants. So far this week, two women—a Guatemalan and a Salvadoran national—have already been charged and are awaiting expulsion from Belize. They were joined today by a third woman, originally from Honduras, who is also in the country illegally. Thirty-seven year old Eli Yanira Aretha Vicente ...

Solstice at the Caracol Maya Site
“Where Will You Be When The World Begins Anew?” That’s the theme for the calendar of activities that the Belize Tourism Board have planned to celebrate the end of the Mayan calendar in December 2012. The equinoxes and solstices are central to the calendar so the BTB is holding activities at various Mayan sites. On ...

New Business Community Senator ready
The business community has elected Mark Lizarraga as its senator. Lizarraga was in Belmopan on Wednesday to be sworn in along with eleven other senators. A shrewd businessman, Lizarraga is expected to successfully maneuver the interests of the private sector on the senate floor. Some pieces of legislation he will see for the first time ...

Senator Lizarraga talks Economy
The senator of the business community also spoke of the economic situation. With a high unemployment rate, investment is critical to job creation, and Lizarraga believes that honoring the foreign debt sends a good signal internationally.   Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Private Sector “Well, first of all we start on the principle that the creators of ...

The Dawn of the Women’s Summit
The entire month of March is dedicated to the advancement of the women’s agenda. A summit this morning at the Radisson organized by the Women’s Department discussed how the information highway affects empowerment and development of women. The organizers feel that socialization begins at birth and that early exposure is the key to making informed ...

Healthy Living with Friends of Pediatrics
Friends of Pediatrics and volunteer doctors from Virginia have been working around the clock in rural communities. About half of the population is under eighteen so the lines have been steady with patients that require medical check-ups. According to the visiting physicians over a hundred children are screened a day. Healthy Living this week looks ...


BDF destroy’s grenades and high-powered ammo
A cache of dangerous ammunition was destroyed this morning in Hattieville village. According to the Chief of Staff for the Belize Defence Force Lt. Col. James Requeña, the decision to dispose of the ammunition came after court processes were completed and in consultation with the police. The ammunition was destroyed under the unblinking lens of the cameras for the Government Press Office. Lt. Col. James Requeña has confirmed that all of the ammunition were destroyed.


Yolanda Schakron’s attorney files election petition at the Supreme Court
Yolanda Schakron, the PUP candidate for the Lake Independence division was disqualified as a candidate on Nominatio...

Women in Politics 2012 graduation ceremony
Women in politics held its graduation ceremony yesterday (March 21). The National Women's Commission had sent out a...

Belmopan Senior Steppers prep for 2nd Annual Variety Show
The Senior Steppers of Belmopan are once again taking to the stage in their 2nd Annual Variety Show. This group of ...

7th annual Women’s Summit held in Belize City
As part of women’s month the Women’s department held its annual women’s summit. The event was held at the Radisson ...

World Water Day observed, the PUC celebrates Belize's water affluence
Today is being celebrated as World Water Day. There are 7 billion people to feed on the planet today and another 2 ...

Farmer of Rock Stone Pond charged with aggravated assault
A farmer of Rock Stone Pond appeared before Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez on charges of aggravated assault. 40 year...

The Guardian

PUP Fires More People
The People’s United Party continues to fire hard-working people in town councils that they control. Last week, we revealed the PUP’s plan to get rid of over 30 employees of

Super Team to Review Belize’s Foreign Debt
Belize’s foreign debt is in the neighbourhood of three billion dollars. The PUP government borrowed almost all of it. We must never forget that because those were PUP loans yesterday but Belizean debt today. The People’s United Party enjoyed spending ...

A new FFB Executive
In early December 2010 Hon. John Saldivar started off the process of ensuring free and fair elections for the football community with the basic stance being that, “My objective over the next few weeks is to determine whether or not ...

Address by Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow at the Ceremonial Opening of the National Assembly of Belize
Mr. Speaker, Two Wednesdays ago on March 7, 2012, Belizeans again discharged the most important of all our duties, and exercised the most fundamental of all our rights. In what is for this region a very high voter turnout, we freely, fairly and peacefully chose the Members of the House of Representatives and of the City and Town Councils countrywide. The tributes have been pouring in, Mr. Speaker, for what has been yet another demonstration of the abiding integrity and the inexhaustible vitality of Belizean democracy. And, indeed, congratulations are due all round: to you, Mr. Speaker, and to every Member of Parliament and the Local Government Bodies. But most of all to the Belizean people, whose devotion to freedom, whose demand for freedom, and whose defense of freedom, are what make our country great. Belize: rich, enduring land of our earliest days; Belize: rich, enduring land whose worth we rave.

Government Speech - Delivered By His Excellency The Governor
Mr. Speaker and Mr. President of the Senate, Honourable Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, My Lord, the President of the Court of Appeal and other Justices of Appeal, My Lord the Chief Justice and other Justices ...

Ladyville Technical Girls and San Pedro High Boys are National Softball Champs
The National Secondary Schools Softball Competition was played over the last weekend at the Dembigh Fuller Softball Stadium in Camalote Village. The championship was hostd by Our Lady of Guadalupe High School in Belmopan. On Saturday March 17, in the female championship game, Ladyville Technical High School defeated Belize Rural High School by the score of 19-6 to capture the national title for the very first time. The winning pitcher was Rebecca Nicholson and the losing pitcher was Sabrina Campos. In the consolation game, Independence High School won over Belmopan Comprehensive School by the score of 15-3. The winning pitcher was Shanea Garcia and the losing pitcher was Alea Gomez. On Friday March 16, in the first female game of the championship, Ladyville Technical High School, representing the Central Region, won over Independence High School representing the Southern Region by the score of 13-11. The winning pitcher was Rebecca Nicholson and the losing pitcher was Myra Torres. In the second game played, Belize Rural High School, representing the Northern Region, won over Belmopan Comprehensive School representing the Western Region by the score of 24-13. The winning pitcher was Sabrina Campos and the losing pitcher was Alea Gomez. At the end of the championship Mardy Nicholson of Ladyville Technical High School was named the Most Valuable Player. In the male championship game, San Pedro High School captured its very first high school title when it edged St. John’s College by the score of 10-9. The winning pitcher was Charles Richards and the losing pitcher was Myric Marin. In the male consolation game, Independence High School defeated Belmopan Baptist High School by the score of 11-3. The winning pitcher was Ashton Torres and the losing pitcher was J. Lamb.

Three charged for kidnapping Mexican diplomat
A Mexican Diplomat, who was in Belize, had a very frightening experience after being kidnapped on Monday March 13th. Police have since caught the alleged kidnappers and they appeared in Magistrate’s Court on Monday March 19th.

Akeem Thurton convicted of attempted murder of SC, Rodwell Williams
On Thursday March 15th, 19 year-old Akeem Thurton became the first Belizean to be convicted since the implementation of the trial by judge system in Belize came into effect. His trial was the first to be tried under such circumstances and at the conclusion of Chief Justice Kenneth A. Benjamin’s 56 minute sum up, he found him guilty of the charge of attempted murder.

Chinese businessman remanded to prison for excess bullets
On Monday March 19th, 2012 businessman, Ming Pei Chen, 28, a resident of the Lord’s Bank area, was remanded to prison after being busted with 6 rounds in excess of what his gun license allows. Ming appeared in Court #1 before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was read a single charge of keeping a greater number of ammunitions without a license. Chen, who speaks little English, was provided with a translator. When the charge was read to him in his language, Chen pleaded not guilty to the charge. Due to the nature of the offense, Chen was denied bail and remanded into custody at the Belize Central Prison until April 25.After he was told that he was remanded into custody at the Belize Central Prison, Ming Chen was informed of his right to apply for bail at the Supreme Court with the assistance of an attorney.

Charged for murder
On Friday March 16th, Lincoln Hemsley, 21, was charged for the murder of David Alberto Hernandez, who was gunned down on the night of Sunday March 11th whilst riding a bicycle on Racecourse Street in Belize City. Hemsley appeared in Magistrate’s Court before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith where he was formally charged with murder. Due to the nature of the offense, no plea was taken. He was then remanded to prison. David Alberto Hernandez was gunned down on Sunday, March 11, shortly before 9:00 p.m., on Racecourse Street not too far from where his father lives. In 2010, Hemsley and Brandon Taylor along with 29-year-old Shamir Medina got off from the 2009 murder of Glenford Williams, a Security guard, who was murdered during a robbery attempted at the Western Union.

Man killed and woman injured in Belize City
In a very senseless shooting on Monday night, March 19, 2012, a woman was shot and injured by a lone gunman; while a mechanic was killed just seconds after that first shooting, by the same gunman.

City Council Charts its course
The Belize City Council was sworn in to office on Friday March 16th; on the 19th portfolios were issued (see Insert 3). With the swearing in, the council officially took up office at City Hall and there are great expectations for the group of councilors and the new Mayor. The Guardian spoke to Mayor Darrell Bradley, who explained what the plans are for the council in the upcoming 3 years. Bradley told the Guardian that immediately upon taking office, the council has identified three priority areas. Among those is the establishment of proper controls so that there are no improprieties with public funds. He added that those funds should be used to maximize the interest of Belize City residents in particular to improve the city’s infrastructure and conditions of the streets and drains.

More Women in Politics
There was much to celebrate on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, as 16 women from the Women in Politics WIP Program (WIP) were awarded certificates during their graduation ceremony, held at the Belize Best Western Biltmore Plaza.

Rosewood Moratorium to Implement Sustainability Measures
In the last leg of Prime Minister Barrow’s first administration, the environmentalists condemned the government for not being able to adequately regulate the rosewood industry. Upon being reelected, the Prime Minister decided to put the entire forestry industry under the control of a celebrated environmentalist, Lisel Alamilla. It is now her team’s job to introduce measures to ensure the sustainability of rosewood harvesting. Her first act as Minister was to order a moratorium on rosewood harvesting and trade. That decision was praised by NGOs across the country but those benefitting from the trade believe that the decision was too extreme.

Mayor Bradley Getting Rid of a Culture of corruption
Shirlene Sabal was recently dismissed by the Belize City Council for her alleged role in the misappropriation of thousands of dollars. She was the pay clerk of the Council and is being accused of engineering a scam in which thousands of dollars was issued in bogus overtime payments. The Council will make a decision on pursuing criminal charges after an internal audit is completed. Hustling will not be tolerated under Mayor Darrell Bradley’s watch. Everyone will be held accountable for their actions, especially the councilors.

Framework for Transition to Chlorofluorocarbons Strenghtens
The National Ozone Unit within the Department of the Environment has been executing the Ozone Layer Protection Programme in Belize since the year 2000.

Government of Belize initiates external Public Sector Debt Review
Following the appointment of the new Cabinet last week, the Government of Belize announces the commencement of a comprehensive review of external public sector debt and contingent liabilities.

More Allegations against Johnny Briceno
The Guardian has received land documents showing that Johnny Briceno was involved in shady land distribution practices. Several allegations have been presented to us and so far at least one source has provided proof.

Murder, on a Sunday afternoon
Jovanni Saldano, 26, an employee of the Housing and Planning Department, was gunned down in his family yard on West Street as he returned from a nearby shop. Saldano was shot about 12 times; the shots caught him in the chest, neck, back and arm.

Tourists robbed and stabbed at sea
According to the information we gathered, eight tourists, visiting the Placencia area, were robbed and stabbed while they anchored out at sea in the Pelican Beach area on the night of Sunday, March 18, 2012. The group of tourists chartered a boat from a company in Placencia on Saturday, March 17, 2012; they are reported to have been planning a week long adventure out at sea for recreational activities such as snorkeling. The sea adventure quickly turned into a nightmare for these tourists as four armed pirates boarded their boat and robbed the crew, stabbing two of the tourists and reportedly assaulting one of the females. Police have since confirmed the robbing and stabbing but have declined answering to the assault of the female victim. Police have also refused to divulge any other information regarding the incident; they say once their investigation is complete they will release all known details. We requested interviews from the victims but they have declined also; the resort where they are staying, until the investigation is complete, told us that the tourists are only accepting calls from friends and family. Sources told us that one of the stabbing victims remains at a hospital recovering while all others remain at their resort.

Hankook Verdes win first game in football campaign
The Premier League of Belize Football Competition continued over the last week of play with six (6) games across the country. On Saturday March 17, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, FC Belize blanked World FC by the score of 2-0. The goal scorers for FC Belize were Jeromy James in the 57th minute of play, and David Ramos in the 80th minute of play. In the second game played on that day, out at the Marshalleck Stadium. In Benque Viejo Del Carmen, the host team won its first game of the 2012 campaign when it edged the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 2-1. The visiting Belmopan Bandits got on the scoreboard first when Floyd Jones scored his team’s only goal of the game in the 20th minute of play to give his team a temporary lead. The Belmopan Bandits took that lead well into the second half of the game before the offence of its opponents came alive. The home team, Hankook Verdes, finally got on the scoreboard when Julian Maldonado scored the equalizing goal in the 80th minute of play. A couple minutes later. Jaime Lozano scored his team’s 2nd goal of the game that gave the Hankook Verdes its first win of the football campaign.

3th Annual Junior Cross Country Classic this Sunday
The Belize Cycling Association is announces that the 13th Annual Junior Cross Country Classic is scheduled for Sunday March 25th, 2012. The race will start at the Ferry in Succotz Village at 9:00 am travels the entire length of the Western Highway for the conclusion at the Leslie’s Imports at Mile 2 on the Western Highway. The entire race will cover a total distance of 70 miles. The Technical Meeting for this event is scheduled for Thursday March 22, at 7:00 pm at UWI Open Campus on Princess Margaret Drive.

78th Belize City Female Softball Competition to opens on Sunday
The 78th Belize City Senior Female Competition is set to open on Sunday, March 25th, 2012 at Rogers Stadium (the home of softball) in Belize with the traditional one-day show case marathon competition. The marathon is scheduled to commence at 10:00 am and will utilize the double elimination format. This year’s competition will feature four teams in the senior division, and will consist of eight rounds of exciting competition. The teams that will participate in this year’s competition are Telemedia (defending champions), Mirage Lady Rebels, Orchid Blazers and Hurricanes. The games will be played on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with back matches scheduled to be played on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

13th Annual Junior Cross Country Classic this Sunday
The Belize Cycling Association is announces that the 13th Annual Junior Cross Country Classic is scheduled for Sunday March 25th, 2012. The race will start at the Ferry in Succotz Village at 9:00 am travels the entire length of the Western Highway for the conclusion at the Leslie’s Imports at Mile 2 on the Western Highway. The entire race will cover a total distance of 70 miles. The Technical Meeting for this event is scheduled for Thursday March 22, at 7:00 pm at UWI Open Campus on Princess Margaret Drive.

Junior Girls’ competition to continue at Rogers Stadium
The 2012 Belize City Junior Girls’ competition will continue on Saturday March 24th, at Rogers Stadium with two more games on the schedule. The first game is scheduled to commence at 2:00 pm with Avengers going up against Blazers Junior Girls, and in the night-cap it will be Avengers against Hurricanes Juniors. Avengers the defending champions, are currently leading in the competition with a perfect 2-0 record, followed by Blazers Junior Girls at 2-1, and Hurricanes Juniors at 0-3.

National Sports Council calls Boxing Enthusiasts to meeting
The National Sports Council is inviting all boxing officials and enthusiasts to a very important meeting on Tuesday April 10, 2012 at 6:30 pm at the National Sports Council Office at Rogers Stadium. The goals of the meeting is to discuss the way forward for the re-organisation of the discipline of Boxing in Belize and to set a date for new elections for the Boxing Association.

Ron Vasquez captures Ariel Rosado Memorial Cycling Classic
The Belize Cycling Association sponsored the 31st Annual Ariel Rosado Memorial Cycling Classic on Sunday March 18, 2012. In the Elite category, 58 riders started out on the 99.5-mile event with 23 riders concluding the historic event. At the end of 4:24:41, it was Ron Vasquez of Western Spirit Cycling that captured first place and a place in the history books. The second rider to cross the finish line was Darnell Barrow of Santino’s Belize Elite in a time of 4:25:32. Third place went to Brandon Cattouse of C-Ray Cycling Club; fourth place went to Austin Armstrong of D&D Cycling Team and fifth place went to Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes Elites to round out the top five. The other top riders in this category includes Robert Liam Stewart of M&M Engineering; Geovanni Choto of Western Spirit Cycling, Shane Vasquez of Western Spirit Cycling; Quinton Hamilton of Santino’s Belize Elite; and Edward Reyes of D&D Cycling Team rounded out the top 10 finishers.

Celebrating Women
It is fitting that during March, a month in which we traditionally highlight the accomplishments of women, two women have been appointed to serve as ministers in the new government. Congratulations to Hon Liselle Alamilla and Hon. Joy Grant. In an ideal world, women of their calibre would have sought and won election but this is not an ideal world and their appointment is a cause for celebration. A few organizations and individuals have already started to raise questions and in a democracy, this is their right. It is therefore important to be realistic about what can be expected from these and the other appointed senators, Hon. Godwin Hulse and Hon. Charles Gibson. Under our parliamentary system, members of Cabinet must support decisions taken by the cabinet. They can lobby and try to persuade fellow members of the cabinet before a decision is taken but should their opinion not prevail they must either support the collective decision or resign. Undoubtedly, there will be areas of disagreement along the way between all members of cabinet but a decision to resign should only be taken if the issue is of such import that a Minister cannot in conscience support the collective decision.


Questions I Get Every Day: What's the Weather Going to Be Like? Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye? Can I Eat Gluten-Free?
I get quite a few questions emailed to me each day. I get ones specific to me like "what is it like as a single woman in Belize" or "how did you find a job" to broader questions like where to stay or eat to even broader ones like "Why visit Belize?". I thought I'd go through a few of the most popular questions that I get and my answers. If anyone who lives here or visits frequently has anything to add or disagrees with me, definitely let me know. I know it's hard to believe (for you and me alike), but I am not always right. (Be forewarned: I seem to have lots to say this morning.) What is the weather going to be like when I visit? People usually ask this if they are visiting in the summer or fall (typically the rainy and hurricane seasons). Will it rain while I am there? What are the odds that there will be a hurricane?

Hudut and Cheating Evolution in Belize
If there’s one thing we can say about Belize after having spent a little more than a week there, it’s that the people are, as a whole, some of the happiest and friendliest we’ve come across in our travels thus far. When we arrived in the coastal town of Placencia on our second day, we asked a group of locals where we might find a camping spot. “Yeah mon! You could prob’y camp in ya van at my gromma’s house! Hey Priscilla, take these two ova to my gromma’s house and ask if dey can camp ova der. When ya get ya van situated, come on back an’ we can drink an’ smoke togetha!” When we were unable to navigate Nacho into the guy’s grandmother’s yard due to low tree branches we tried two other locals. One said we could camp in his front yard for free, although we kindly declined because it didn’t offer much privacy, and another engaged us in an hour long conversation about Belizean national pride, although he didn’t have a place for us to camp. In the end we opted to stay closer to the town of Seine Bight where we had seen an actual campground. All the while, everyone we passed on the roadside flashed a huge grin at us and waved.

What Makes Belize a Backpacker’s Paradise
Belize has long been a hotspot for eco-tourists, snorkelers, and young travelers, and is exceptionally well known amongst backpackers. The little country in Central America is full of life, and has numerous opportunities for site-seeing and flora and fauna spotting that are off the beaten path. A few of the best reasons to visit Belize with only a backpack in tow include: Belize has one of the best bus systems in Central America, and it is incredibly cheap. Backpackers can get to nearly every corner of the country via the Hummingbird, Coastal, or Southern Highway for around 7 USD.

International Sources

Green luxury in the rainforest: Award-winning eco-lodge evolved from farm on Belize's Macal River
Was an enormous lion howling outside my thatched cottage? It sounded more like a T-Rex. I might have been worried if I hadn't been told earlier there was a family of howler monkeys nesting in the nearby treetops. I was in a rainforest in Belize, where I would not only see black howlers in the wild, I'd also come face to face with a live tarantula, witness a Blue Morpho butterfly emerging from its chrysalis, discover secrets of Mayan shamans, stumble upon a pair of toads mating and devour the most delicious pancakes I'd ever enjoyed. The Lodge at Chaa Creek was Belize's first eco-lodge, and for more than 10 years has been earning awards such as Condé Nast Traveler Magazine's "Best Green Hotels of the Americas" and National Geographic Adventure Magazine's "Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth." It was not surprising to hear that Ted and Mrs. Danson had been recent guests. The owners, Mick and Lucy Fleming, didn't set out to build the best ecolodge in the Caribbean. In 1977, they were young, low on funds and adventurous enough to try reviving an overgrown farm on the Macal River.

Maya Spring Equinox Celebrations at Belize’s Caracol
This year’s Maya Spring Equinox celebrations at Caracol, Belize’s premier Maya archaeological site were a fitting kick-off to the 2012 equinox and solstice calendar, Chaa Creek’s Larry Waight said. Mr Waight was among 60 participants in a special tour led by Dr Jaime Awe, director of the Belize Institute of Archaeology and one of the world’s foremost authorities on Maya civilisation. “Work on the Caracol site has come a long way in recent years, and it now rivals Tikal and Chitzen Itza as a major Maya cultural destination,” Mr Waight said. One of the ancient Maya world’s largest and most important city-states, Caracol sprawled across 65 square miles (168 km²) and contained an estimated population of between 120,000 to 180,000 inhabitants at its peak around 700 AD. Over 20 miles of broad causeways radiated out of its centre like spokes of a wheel, linking a vast network of ceremonial, administrative and trade centres with farms, aquaculture ponds and habitations fed by one of the ancient world’s most impressive irrigation systems. Dr Awe referred to Caracol as the Crown Jewel of Belize’s Maya sites, and said that today it is certainly one of the most impressive Maya archaeological sites to be found anywhere. Covering 30 square miles of the 25,000 acre Caracol Archaeological Reserve established in Belize’s vast Chiquibul National Forest, the site contains five plazas, an astronomic observatory, ball courts and over 35,000 structures. The main building, Caana, Mayan for Sky Place, rises over 140 feet above the main plaza, making it the tallest manmade structure in Belize

Belize Buoys Expat Spirits
In 2007, after years working as an electrical engineer all over the U.S., my wife Jamie and I decided we’d like to move to a warmer climate and chose Florida. I was still working at the time and could continue over the Internet. Times were good until the economy began its downturn, crashing the real estate market. We were concerned that our retirement savings wouldn’t see us through, so we began looking overseas for a place where our ever-shrinking nest egg might last longer. We had always been intrigued by the idea of living somewhere “beachy” and exotic. And with the kids all grown—the youngest is 23—it seemed a good time to make the leap. So we began looking at Belize as a possibility, and took an exploratory trip in early 2010 to see Corozal, Placencia, and Ambergris Caye. Corozal is close to Chetumal, a good-sized city in Mexico, and it just seemed to feel right. We purchased a half-acre lot close to the water and built a house for about $125 per square foot.

Honduras Ratifies Cluster Bomb Ban
Honduras ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions on March 21, becoming the 70th State Party to the treaty. The ratification comes in advance of the Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings that will take place in Geneva during April 16-19. At this meeting governments will take stock of the progress made so far in implementing the Convention on Cluster Munition using the Vientiane Action Plan as a roadmap. “Honduras’ ratification brings us one step closer to full adherence to the ban treaty by Central America. Belize is the only remaining country in the sub-region yet to reject cluster bombs by acceding to the Convention on Cluster Munitions” said Amy Little, Campaign Manager for the Cluster Muniition Coalition. “We hope that Belize will follow the rest of the region and join without delay”.

March 22, 2012

Valid: Friday - Monday, March 19 - 26, 2012

The feature of interest this week will be a relatively stable and fresh Easterly to South-easterly airflow over the NW Caribbean, generated by broad West Atlantic High pressure system and a frontal low over northern Mexico and Texas. The High Pressure system will weaken as we move into the weekend, resulting in a weak pressure gradient, conducive to lighter easterly winds and warmer daytime temperatures.

We can therefore expect seasonally fair and sunny weather to continue through this week, with some brief daytime showers, especially in the central coastal areas during the morning hours, and over inland regions during the afternoon. It will become increasingly warmer and drier as we move into the weekend.

Daily rainfall accumulations during this week will be minimal, ranging from 0.01-0.10 of-an-inch, especially over central regions and the hills. In short, the 2012 Dry Season will continue across the nation over the next seven days. The best chance for showers in the interior will be on Wednesday and Sunday.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

Vehicular Accident leaves one injured
Roberto Castellanos is recovering after he received minor injuries in a midmorning vehicular accident on Wednesday March 21st. Shortly before 11AM, Castellanos, of a San Pedro Town address, was driving a white Toyota pickup truck with license plate SP A-0147 on Sea Grape Drive near the WASA Pound. According to reports, Castellanos was travelling in a southerly to northerly direction when he lost control of the vehicle, slammed into an electrical post and flipped twice to the other side of the road. When officers from the South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch responded, they found the vehicle with its tires in the air and the driver trapped inside the pickup truck. With the help of passersby, the vehicle was flipped back on its wheels and the driver taken out. Castellanos was taken to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II for treatment. According to Dr. Javier Zuniga, a bloody Castellanos was observed with bruises to the face and laceration in the nasal area, which is believed to have happened when Castellanos head slammed into the steering wheel of the vehicle he was driving.

American retiree attacked & robbed in his home
An American retiree is recuperating at his home following a home invasion which occurred on northern Ambergris Caye, some nine miles north of San Pedro Town. The injured person is 69 year old Doug Robertson of Vermont, USA, who has been living on Ambergris Caye for the past six years. The incident occurred sometime between 3:30PM and 4PM on Tuesday, March 20th in the Palmero Point Area of the island. According to Robertson’s wife Carolyn Ramp, her husband was alone at the time of the incident. Ramp said that he was sitting behind a desk when he felt someone knock him in the back of his head. Robertson fell to the floor where he was hit several times in the head with a piece of lumber (4X4) until he was knocked out. Ramp told The San Pedro Sun she was not at home at the time of the incident as she had been out taking a walk on the beach with her sister and their dogs. When Ramp returned shortly before 4:30PM, almost an hour later, she found her husband trying to re-gain consciousness following the incident. Robertson was brought to San Pedro Town where he was taken to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly-Clinic II where he received medical attention. Robertson received a large cut wound to the back of his head and abrasions to several parts of his head and face. The motives of the attack have not been established but Ramp reported to police that initial inspection reveals that two cellular phones and a watch is missing so far. Ramp explained that their house had been burglarized before. Ramp stated, “I am now concerned following this incident.”

Ambergris Today

SP Red Cross Branch Distributes Donation Boxes
The Belize Red Cross – San Pedro Branch has commenced its work in San Pedro and its first order of work was to place donation boxes around town to collect funds for the society and to help serve others. The official placing of the donation boxes took place on Monday, March 19, 2012 at the San Pedro Tropic Air Terminal. Belize Red Cross representative Laurie Norton was on hand to officially present the boxes to the President of Tropic Air, Mr. John Greif III. Tropic Air has pledged to place as many boxes needed by the Red Cross at their various terminals country wide. The Belize Red Cross has been very appreciative of the favorable response since the San Pedro Branch reopened, and would like to thank its members and the following businesses for their ongoing support. Tropic Air, Scotia Bank, Legends Burger House, Changes in Latitudes Bed & Breakfast and La Isla Store.

Canary Coves donates to the SP Tour Guide Association
Angels do exist and San Pedro has seen the goodwill of a couple of angels, the owners of Canary Cove, who have helped the community of San Pedro tremendously. Earlier this year they donated a new picnic area and restroom to the San Pedro RC School and on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, the San Pedro Tour Guide Association received a kind donation on behalf of Canary Coves. Mr. Gilberto “Gil” Nuñez, representative of Canary Coves presented to Mr. Billy Leslie, President of the San Pedro Tour Guide Association a brand new Dell Computer for the Tour Guide Association Office located on Barrier Reef Drive. According to Gil Nuñez this donation was a thank you from Canary Cove to the Tour Guide Association for having helped in placing mooring buoys on North Ambergris Caye. Canary Coves worked along with the SPTGA in placing mooring buoys inside and along the reef in the Mexico Rocks Area. Canary Cove provided all the materials and the SPTGA provided the manpower and will keep the maintenance of the buoys.

Misc Belizean Sources

The Belize Election: Why the UDP Lost the South
I knew about one year ago that there was a possibility that the United Democratic Party (UDP) was going to lose the municipal and general elections in the Stann Creek and Toledo districts in the southern part of Belize, where the majority of Garifuna people live. This is because, as a native of the south, I have many relatives in the towns of Punta Gorda and Dangriga, where I was born and raised. The people in these towns have been complaining about their candidates neglecting them, poverty, unemployment, immigrants, drugs, disrespecting, not taking care of their needs and having no access to them for assistance. In Dangriga, the representative was elected because the people did not want PUP and gave the UDP Arthur Roches a chance. After they elected him, many of his supporters were looking forward to his assistance in providing employment, lots, land and other benefits, but nothing happened. Some of them went to him to seek his assistance but he did not make himself available. In the news they kept on hearing about other Belizeans in other parts of the country receiving lots but none was given to Dangriga residents.

San Pedro Lionfish Project Achievements & Cook-Off
We would like to bring to your attention a meeting we have scheduled for Thursday March 22, 6:30 pm at the Lion’s Den where we would like to share with you project achievements including: · Review of the Belize Lionfish management Plan · Release of the mini-documentary “The Belize Lionfish Project: A Local Response to a Regional Problem” by Richard & Carol Foster · Marine Guide Overall Prize · Distribution of Lionfish Hunter cards to all marine dive guides culling lionfish. We look forward to seeing you then to talk lionfish!

Belize PM Says Will Continue Pro Poor Plan In New Term
Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow says his re-elected government will continue its pro-poor plan for the new term and consolidate state control of public utilities. The PM was speaking today at the ceremonial opening of parliament at the City of Belmopan where the Senate and House of Representatives met in joint session to be sworn in. The ceremonial opening was held under a tent in front of the National Assembly building at Independence Hill and was attended by invited guests and supporters of the ruling United Democratic Party. Speaking in 90 degree weather at the start of the Belize dry season, Mr. Barrow said he will continue with a series of projects including cash and food handouts and loan forgiveness programs to alleviate the crushing poverty suffered by a large portion of the Belize population. These projects have been criticised by the opposition Peoples United Party and non government organisations in Belize who say it amounts to the use of state resources to buy support from voters and encourages a culture of dependency and reliance on political patronage among Belizeans. The Belize Prime Minister said he will create a state-controlled bank to compete with established commercial banking and financial institutions such as credit unions, so as to make money available to the poor. And he reiterated his vow to engage Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez to obtain support for cheap fuel under the Petro Caribe project promoted by that South American country.

Channel 7

Swearing In For Senators, Speaker and Representatives
Fourteen days ago - elections were held, and now, after the naming of a Cabinet and the assigning of CEO's - the work of the new Government is officially underway. And an integral part of that government is the opposition. While they may be perpetually at odds with the Administration of the day - the opposition has a crucial role to play. And today that opposition took its rightful place - as it was sworn in at the first ceremonial sitting of the House and Senate. 7news was in Belmopan and here are the highlights of a day rich in ceremony but also heavy in substance:

Vernon Cuthklevin's Containers Still Sequestered
Remember those six suspect containers we told you about last week? Well they are still being held at the Customs Department. Importer Vernon Cuthklevin - owner of the company Belize Garden Consortium - had told us and Customs personnel that he would be doing his own tests on the three thousand sacks of what he says are fertilizer chemicals. He said he'd collect those samples on Monday, but Cuthklevin has not turned up at Customs to gather those samples and we have been unable to reach him by phone. And so, the bottom line remains that the Police Forensic Department has confirmed that the hundreds of sacks, which are declared as titanium dioxide - are not that chemical. And the hundreds of sacks that should contain ammonium sulfate - some of the samples taken of those are not ammonium sulfate.

Rockstone Pond Resident Arraigned for Stabbing
40 year-old Dennis Brown, a resident of Rock Stone Pond Village, was arraigned for aggravated assault when he appeared in Magistrate's Court today. He was charged with attempting to stab Christopher Lamb. Lamb reported to police that at around 6:45 yesterday evening, he was riding on Pitter Street when Brown stopped him and confronted him for being on that street. When he gave his answer, Brown allegedly pulled out a knife tried to stab him 3 times, but he was able to dodge the blade, jump back on his bike and scurry away. He then went to the nearest police station, reported to incident, and officers arrested Brown quickly. In addition to the aggravated assault, Brown was charged with threatening words which he uttered when he tried to stab Lamb.

Undocumented Woman Tried To Register Undocumented Child
42 year-old Maria Cruz Agueta Flores, a Salvadoran national, was arraigned today for immigration charges when she appeared in Magistrate's Court. Immigration officials believe that she not only was here illegally, but she attempted to get Belizean documents for an undocumented child. Flores was arraigned for failure to comply with a visitors permit. It was determined that she entered Belize through the Western Border on December 12, 2009, and was issued a valid visitor's permit, which gave her until January 4, 2012 to stay in the country legally. She was caught yesterday trying to get a social security card and a birth certificate for a child who immigration officials declined to confirm was hers. The officials said that the investigation into this matter is still in its initial stages, and they chose not to disclose certain information freely.

The Fairer Sex And The Dirty Game Of Politics
Graduation ceremonies were held this morning for the third group of females who took part in the Women in Politics Project. In October of last year, the project took in 20 women and today 16 of those women from all over the country became proud graduates. 7news was present at today's ceremony and Ann-Marie Williams of the National Women's Commission explained the significance of the continuing politicization of the Belizean woman: Anne - Marie Williams - Executive Director, National Women's Commission "This is the cohort that has the least amount of women in terms of - and the least amount of diversity. In other words, this project had no women from Toledo, but in our last cohort, we had 2 women from Toledo, and in the first cohort, we had 7 women from Toledo.

Family Worries Over Whereabouts Of Missing Woman
he family of 56 year-old Carmelita Simplis is worried about her whereabouts because she left home on Monday morning and still hasn't returned. The complication is that she has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and more than 10 years ago, she was found near the Belize-Mexico border. Her daughter came to speak to us today, because they are concerned that she may get further this time because she left with her travel and bank documents. Here's what she told us: Janine Simplis - Daughter of Missing Woman "On Monday, at around 6 - 7 o'clock, we came out of the room - because we were getting ready to go to work - we noticed that she changed, and she left, but she never came back.

Port Management Incurs The Wrath Of The Waterfront Workers
On June 29, 2011, the Management of the Port of Belize under the ownership of the Luke Espat Group hammered out a Memorandum of Understanding with the Christian Worker's Union, which represents the stevedores and other waterfront workers. They agreed upon the terms of negotiating a collective bargaining agreement which would materialize in the very near future. The MOU covered several key issues that waterfront workers requested to enhance their working environment. It was a major step forward for the two parties to meet each other in the middle, but now the Luke Espat Group is gone and the new receiver-appointed administration doesn't recognize that MOU. This has delayed the implementation of changes that the waterfront workers had been clamouring for, and one stevedore, Raymond Rivers, who was instrumental in that 2011 agreement, came to speak to us today.

The Corrosive Currency of Handout Politics
Last night we told you about "Belize at 30", a three day conference marking the 30th Anniversary of Belize's independence. It opened last night with a lecture about the role of women in Belize's Nationalist Movement, and today it tackled a myriad of topics ranging from Belize's Protected areas to Broadcast News Media. One which really piqued our interest, given the recent elections and the accusations made by both parties about buying votes, was Dylan Vernon's lecture on 'Handout Politics' in an Independent Belize. We caught up with him after his presentation, and discussed the corrosive currency of handout politics. Robin Schaffer "How has handout politics been consequential in forming the political culture in Belize?"

Hon. Finnegan: Paul Rodriguez Was City's Best Mayor
One man who may know a thing or two about patronage politics is Mesopotamia Representative Michael Finnegan. After a pre-Christmas clinic in December, he boasted about servicing 764 constituents in one day! And, apparently, he also knows a thing or two about municipal politics. Finnegan is an old student of the political game and today volunteered his opinion on what makes a good Mayor and why the new Belize city mayor would be wise to lose the necktie and go local: Hon. Michael Finnegan - Minister of Housing "What makes a good mayor in my view; you don't sit in the office perpetually. You move around the city, and by moving around the city, you could remedy this city on an incremental basis rather than having things get out of hand total."

Mexicans Step Up Patrols At The Border
ccording to a news report coming out of Mexico, the Mexican military has stepped up surveillance and manpower at the Belize-Mexico Border and in the "Subtiniente Lopez" area. The report states that for the past 15 days, elements of the Mexican Navy have been deployed to the border where motorists are being checked at random to prevent the entry of drugs and ammunition into Mexico from Belize. The report adds that the officers at the checkpoint are equipped with sophisticated equipment to detect stolen cars or overlapping plates. The added surveillance proved fruitful on Monday when a shipment of Taiwanese cigars was allegedly being smuggled into Mexico from the Free Zone.

The Equinox At Caracol
Today, Wednesday March 21st is the spring equinox in the final year of the current cycle of the Maya long count calendar, which ends on December 21, 2012. To commemorate the ending of the 13th Baktun, as it is called, last night, the Institute of Archaeology hosted a night of camping, cultural presentations and history at the ancient Mayan city-state of Caracol in the Cayo District. It's one of four such events planned this year and the overnight archaeological camping adventures are timed to coincide with this year's equinoxes and solstices. It's all part of Belize's 2012 Cultural Tourism package provocatively themed, "Where Will You Be When The World Begins Anew?" Dr. Jaime Awe says that observing the equinoxes and solstices are a part of the Mayan Calendar Cycle:

Running For A Good Cause
Two days ago we told you about the One World Running initiative - a 5 k run to bring awareness for Special Olympics. Well, this morning at 6:00 the runners - from all walks of life - set off from Stella Maris School, continued around the circular, and returned to Stella Maris. James Muschamp, the chairman of special Olympics Belize, told us it's all about awareness: James Muschamp - Chairman, Special Olympics, Belize "It's about bringing awareness to every single individual who has a special need. We all need to make sure that the public knows that they are alive; they are very much kicking, and they are all able-bodied individuals. We have had many schools taking part in this event. We've had this event grow from probably 100 to almost 400+ people. The awareness is there. We only had some stupid drivers that didn't want to give way to the participants, but we can't win them all. It's about getting the information out there for them."

Channel 5

Senators, minus Joy Grant, Swear Oath
The ceremonial opening of the House of Representatives took place this morning and we’ll have all the pageantry of that event coming up. But first, the new Senate was installed. The twelve-member body is comprised of mostly new faces; Marco Pech is President and there are six Senators from the government side. The opposition has ...

Ceremonial Opening of House of Representatives
Cabinet met this week in its first session since the March seventh elections and this morning in open-air, the ceremonial opening of the National Assembly took place. As is traditional, the Throne Speech was delivered by Governor General Sir Colville Young followed by a shorter statement by the Prime Minister. The elected representatives and the ...

Belize at 30 Symposium
Symposiums do not always attract large audiences, but there was a full house of students today at the Belize at Thirty event. The handout politics and the history of broadcasting were two of the more interesting topics presented in the afternoon session of the symposium organized by NICH. Isani Cayetano reports from the Fordyce Chapel ...

Poor illegal immigrant has to pay the price
A Salvadoran national who was caught in Belize after overstaying her visitor’s permit was charged today before Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez. Forty-two year old Maria Cruz Argueta Flores arrived in Belize on December twelfth, 2009 and was granted a permit to stay until January fourth, 2012. Since she never left, Argueta was charged for Failure to ...

Brown threatens Lamb with 6 inch knife
A farmer of Rock Stone Pond Village was also before the court for allegedly attacking another man with a knife on Tuesday and threatening to kill him. According to the alleged victim, Christopher Lamb, he was approached on Pitter Street by forty year old Dennis Brown who asked him why he was in the area. ...

US national attacked; this time in San Pedro
Police on Ambergris Caye are investigating a report of an attack on a retired American national living on the island. The incident occurred shortly before four o’clock on Wednesday afternoon in the Palmero Point Area of the island, some nine miles north of San Pedro Town. The victim is sixty-nine year old Doug Robertson, who ...

Women in Politics Program graduates 16
Politics was not only played out in Belmopan. In Belize City, sixteen women are ready to enter politics. In the recent general elections, only three women put their name on the ballot for office. One won and was sworn in today as a member of the National Assembly. Two other women have been named senators ...

P.U.C. celebrates Water Day
Potable water; it’s a resource many Belizeans take for granted since it is easily accessible in most parts of the country. But without sustainable usage, it may be a luxury we won’t always have. So for World Water Day on Thursday, the Public Utilities Commission is inviting the general public to a forum and fair ...

Poultry Producers talk Quality Products
In this region, Belizeans are one of the highest consumers of chicken. In fact, it is estimated that each person would consume between a hundred and five to a hundred and ten pounds of chicken meat per year. With that kind of statistics, a meeting of the Regional Technical Commission for Avian Health (CTRSA) took ...

Carmelita Simplis, 55 years old and missing
The family of a Belize City woman, who went missing on Monday morning, is asking the public for help in locating her. Fifty-five year old Carmelita Simplis, left her home in Ladyville between six and seven o’clock on Monday morning and hasn’t been seen or heard from since. Her daughter, Janine Simplis says they have ...

Awesome performances stun audiences on KTV Latino
We promised you an excited show on Tuesday night and KTV Latino’s Group B delivered. The live competition continued with six singers taking the stage at the Bliss and performing Latino songs. They did their best to impress the judges and more importantly, the voting audience with a mixture of upbeat as well as soulful ...


7.4 quake apparently spares lives in Mexico
A powerful earthquake that shook Mexico from its massive capital to its resort-studded southern coast damaged hundreds of homes and sent thousands of panicked people fleeing from swaying office buildings, yet apparently didn't cause a single death. As o...

CARICOM introduces consumer protection net
The time has now come for sellers to beware as a new reporting mechanism being implemented within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will allow consumers to warn their peers of dangerous products sold across the region. The o...

Chicken – it’s what’s on most dinner tables most days of the week. And today, those in the poultry industry sat down to discuss the successes and challenges in the industry. Poultry garnered in excess of seventy million dollars for Belize in the last year,...

In police news, burglars have been busy lately as a number of break-ins have been reported in Belize City and Corozal. Two men visited Travelers Bar at mile two on the Northern Highway in Belize City, but their intention was not to party. The duo reportedly cleaned out the ...

Sixteen women graduated from Cohort three of the Women in Politics Project this morning at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel on the Northern Highway. These women attended training for about six months to prepare to launch their political careers. Executive Director of The National W...

Today is being celebrated as World Forestry Day. The day is dedicated to increasing public awareness about activities of forest production, protection and recreation. In Belize the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), through its Forest and Forest Managem...

Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley told Love news yesterday the council is contemplating filing criminal charges against one of its employees. It is alleged payroll clerk Sherlene Sabal swindled a hefty sum of the Council’s funds. Mayor Bradley has promised to be tough...

A hour before the start of the ceremonial opening of the National Assembly, the new Senate met inside the House chambers, where Marco Pech was formally sworn in as the new president of the upper house of parliament. The members then chose Senator Juliet Thimbrel as the deputy pre...

Hattieville resident, Rita Coleman is the winner of the 2012 US Embassy’s Belize Woman of the Year Award. U.S. Ambassador to Belize, Vinai Thumallapally presented Coleman with the award during a ceremony this morning in Belmopan. Coleman is the founder of the Leading and Empowering Ot...

The Association of Protected Areas Management Organization along with 13 member organizations and other conservation partners have applauded the Government for instituting a moratorium on harvesting and exportation of rosewood. While the conservation groups view the move as a good one, vill...

The newly elected UDP Belize City Council held its first caucus meeting on Monday and portfolio were assigned. Mayor Darrell Bradley has responsibility for Finance, Revenue, and Human Resource. Councilor Alifa Elrington-Hyde is in charge of Public Relations, Court, Special Events and Cultur...

Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca was officially sworn in by Governor General Sir Colville Young. The brief ceremony took place at Belize House in Belmopan. The first session of the National Assembly will be opened tomorrow. The inaugural sitting of the Senate...

The Government of Belize has begun a comprehensive review of external public sector debt and contingent liabilities. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has appointed a debt review team led by former Government Minister and Albert area representative Mark Espat. The other members of the team i...

Three persons who allegedly kidnapped Mexican diplomat 5—year-old Domingo Rodriguez Semerena were charged with kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping when they appeared in court today. They are 18-year-old Delton Jeffords, 25-year-old Noel Alamilla and 24-year-old Roque Middle...

A gainfully employed man was shot dead in his yard in Belize City on Sunday. The incident happened at around 12:30 about 12:45 in the afternoon at his house at 61 West Street. The victim, 26 year-old Jovanni Saldano, was hit multiple times just as he arrived inside his yard from a sho...


Principal Of New Life Presbyterian School Clarifies Rumours
Today rumors spread like wild fire- police officers visited the New life Presbyterian School in Orange Walk Town and took away political wrist bands worn by students and allegedly set them on fire. But when our news team visited the school today Principal Ruth Ku told us that the rumors are just that, rumors. According to Ku police officers did visit the school today. But that is nothing out of the ordinary since they often make an appearance at the school to ensure that the school children are safe. While police were at the school a group of students had a misunderstanding over wrist bands that were not necessarily political. In order to avoid any further confrontation the officers took away the wrist bands and gave them to Ku.

Freak Accident Claims The Life Of 11 Year Old Student
A sad and tragic accident in the Corozal District has claimed the life of an 11 year old boy. Eric Quiroz was playing with a group of friends at the football field situated behind the Andres Campos Civic Center in Corozal when a metal portable goal post fell on his head killing him almost instantly. Eric’s skull was crushed and he started to bleed profusely from the ear, nose and mouth. The 11 year old was rushed to the Corozal Community Hospital where he died a few minutes after. Today when we visited Corozal Town we found a community in shock and Eric’s family and friends mourning his death. Every evening as he was dismissed from school 11 year old Eric Quiroz would head home, drop off his school bag and head out to cadet practice. But cadet practice was cancelled yesterday evening so Quiroz along with a group of friends headed out to the football field located behind the Andres Campos Civic Center which is under the management of the Corozal Sports Council. That is where the 11 year old minor enjoyed his last moments as a child. Quiroz was playing happily with his friends when a portable metal goal post, similar to this one, fell on top of him, cutting his life short almost immediately. According to witnesses who spoke to us off camera the goal post was not firmly planted in the ground.

Leader Of The Opposition Sworn Into Office
This afternoon Honorable Francis Fonseca was sworn in as Leader of the Opposition by the Governor General Sir Colville Young in a brief ceremony held at the Belize House in Belmopan. Fonseca was sworn in as the Leader of the People’s United Party on October 29th of last year after John Briceño relinquished the leadership on October 7th. On March 7th 2012, Honorable Francis Fonseca was once again elected as the Freetown Area Representative when he ran against Lee Mark Chang and defeated him by 150 votes. The Area Representative continues to lead the People’s United Party which now holds 14 of the 31 seats in the House of Representatives. The first order of business for Hon Fonseca as Leader of the Opposition was to officially appoint Lisa Shoman, Karen Bodden and Collet Montejo as Senators of the party. The newly appointed Senators will be sworn in tomorrow morning at the Chambers of the National Assembly in Belmopan.

Recognising The Women Of Our Community
While Women’s Month is focusing on young women the long time activists are not easily forgotten. CTV3 News is honoring Women’s Month by giving recognition to Orange Walk women who have been an overall inspiration and role model for Orange Walk residents. One such woman is Emiliana Osorio who is a well known community activist and health provider. “I think use to see other women in the communities working giving their service free, free time and then I was also involved with the Red Cross and the Red Cross normally serves the community and then I started to give my services to anybody who needed it was mostly older people like myself and then women who you see in the communities that have excel and there was a role model for me who was a public health nurse and she is from Corozal and she is still living, she is in Belize City now and she always use to tell me that you can go into nursing and you can be a nurse and she was the one that always use to tell me and she knew me very young and she inspired me a lot.”

Business Community Elects New Senator
The senate is one of the Chambers of the National Assembly that consists of 12 members appointed for a five year term by the Governor General. Senators appointed are composed in the following manner: Six members appointed with the advice of the Prime Minister, three appointed with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition, and one each appointed with the advice of the Belize Council of Churches/Evangelical Association of Churches, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry/Belize Business Bureau, and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and Civil Society Steering Committee. With only a few weeks after the March elections the process of appointing new members of the senate are under edifice. The Government of Belize has already appointed their six Senators and as previously mentioned the opposition People’s United Party underwent the process of returning attorney Lisa Showman as lead senator to the senate.

Belizean Talent At Its Best
Yesterday we showed the work of three women featured in the “Arte Con Voz De Mujer” exhibit held at the Corozal House of Culture. Tonight, in honor of Women’s Month, we bring you the works of art of the remaining seven women. “Arte Con Voz de Mujer” proudly displays the talent and artistic works of ten female artists from the Corozal District. Apart from crochet and beading also on exhibit are many sculpting and woodwork pieces belonging to Vilma Romero. Debra Wilks Gray Visual Arts Coordinator, ICA “Vilma Romero is one of the grandmothers I would say of arts here in Belize. She started in 1966 after she moved from Belize City at Corozal she learnt from Mr. Romero and she started exploiting her artistic talent, another multi-talented woman, what you are seeing here today are sculptures and wood carving, Vilma Romero have sculptures throughout Belize in public places like Dangriga, Orange Walk, Belize City, Corozal and a lot of people do not know that these public statues are her creations.” The exhibit also features the work of young vibrant artistic women.

Rita Coleman Is Belize's Woman Of The Year
This morning during a special ceremony at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Belmopan, Rita Coleman, a resident of Hattieville was honored as the Belizean Women of the Year 2012. Coleman is the founder of the “Leading and Empowering others in Action and Principles Women’s Group” which is an agency of the Women’s Issues Network of Belize. U.S Ambassador to Belize Vinai K. Thummalapally recognized the nominees and honored Coleman with a certificate along with two round trips to the US where she will partake in a forum free of cost. This is the third year that the award is taking place. The other nominees recognized were: Icilde Humes, Erna Jones, Earth Lopez, Audrey Matura Shepherd, Margaret Bradley, Yvette Burks, Phyllis Cayetano, Arlette Shepphard and Sharmayne Sanders.

Women Learn How To Stretch Their Dollar
With today’s economy it is difficult to save money and every day the phrase “Everything di go up except we pay” is becoming more famous. But according to the Women’s Department where there is a will there is way. In honor of Women’s Month today the Corozal Women’s Department, headed by Kathleen Pate, held a Healthy Wealthy Workshop under the theme “Connecting Girls Inspiring Futures”. The aim of the workshop was to educate working women on how to better manage their finances and practice a healthy lifestyle. This morning the Luxy Restaurant in Corozal Town was filled with working women who were seeking to improve their financial status and at the same time learn how to live a healthy lifestyle by participating in a Healthy Wealthy Workshop provided by the Women’s Department.


Women in Politics graduate
Sixteen women today graduated from Cohort three of the Women in Politics Project. Ceremonies were held at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City. The graduates attended a six-month which was designed to help them launch their political career. It is an initiative of the National Women’s Commission, and Executive Director Ann-Marie Williams says that initially there were twenty women in the program but only sixteen made it to graduation day. During this morning’s graduation ceremony one of the participants, Nyahbingi Melanie Price, gave an inspiring address during which she shared her reflection on the training. The keynote speaker at today’s graduation was Linnette Vassell who is a Community Development and Gender Specialist in Jamaica. Certificates were presented to the women by the Chairman of the National Women’s Commission Esther Ayuso Ramirez and Linnette Vassel.

Poultry producers meet in Belize City
Chicken – it’s what’s on most dinner tables most days of the week. And today, those in the poultry industry sat down to discuss the successes and challenges in the industry. Poultry garnered in excess of seventy million dollars for Belize in the last year, but to keep the vibrancy going, representatives from the poultry industries in Central America, the Dominican Republic and Cuba are gathered over the next day to outline a plan for the future. And according to the Manager of the Belize Poultry Association, Orlando Habet, there are some must-do’s and don’ts. Habet says that while the poultry industry is performing up to expectations in Belize, the cost of feed makes it difficult to institute a decrease in poultry prices. But the same cannot be said for eggs, at least not in the near future, because shortly, there will be price options for shoppers. Habet says that because packaging also plays a key role in how sales are determined, that is also up on the discussion table with a view to improving the product.

Burglars target liquor store in Crime
Burglars have been busy lately as a number of break-ins have been reported in Belize City and Corozal. Two men visited Travelers Bar at mile two on the Northern Highway in Belize City, but their intention was not to party. The duo reportedly cleaned out the business early Tuesday morning after they tied up the on-duty KBH security guard. Shareholder of the establishment, Maito Perdomo, told Love News that the police are reviewing a number of recordings taken on the compound of the incident and that the company is taking measures to discourage a repeat of the intrusion. The security guard, forty-three year old Felix Melendez, was sitting on a chair in the compound when his attackers, armed with guns, bound him with electrical wire and broke into the business. The stolen items amount to over twelve thousand dollars.

Agriculture minister says help on the way for Toledo rice farmers
Crime is not the only hot-button issue face the new government. One bedevilling issue continues to be the difficulties being faced by rice farmers in the south. The new minister of Agriculture Hugo Patt today told Love News, that help is on the way, sooner, rather than later. Just prior to the March seventh general elections, a number of rice farmers in the Toledo district had complained bitterly that their payment for grains delivered was late and that they were facing mounting bank charges for late payments on their loans.

Burglars target liquor store
Burglars have been busy lately as a number of break-ins have been reported in Belize City and Corozal. Two men visited Travelers Bar at mile two on the Northern Highway in Belize City, but their intention was not to party. The duo reportedly cleaned out the business early Tuesday morning after they tied up the ...

National Security Minister says police stepping up crime fighting measures
One week after being named the new Minister of National Security, tonight there is a sense of urgency for John Saldivar to get the ball rolling in tackling the spiralling crime situation in the country. Since general elections on March seventh, the spike in violence has seen over a half a dozen murders, a number ...

Hattieville youth seeks help so he can help himself
The practice of persons in need of assistance coming to the public for help is nothing new to this newscast. Tonight we have another call for help. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo and video journalist Brian Castillo went to Hattieville today to bring you the following story.

Parliament opens with pomp and ceremony
The nation’s capital, Belmopan, was a busy place this morning as the new session of parliament got underway. Love TV’s Patrick Jones and video journalist Myles Gillett had front row seat for the spectacle and bring you the following report.

Shyne gives new government thumbs up
Among the hundreds of Belizeans who gathered around Independence Hill to witness this morning’s ceremonial opening of the National Assembly were judges of the high courts, members of the diplomatic and consular corps as well as representatives of the clergy. One of the interested observers was Belize’s music ambassador Moses Levi, also known as Shyne. ...

Dangriga residents killed in separate traffic mishaps
Two people lost their lives in separate traffic accidents in Dangriga town over the weekend. Forty two year old Maurice Reynolds, a resident of Sarawee village, sustained serious head and body injuries after the car he was driving went out of control and crashed into a bridge on Saturday night. A passenger travelling with Reynolds, ...


Independence Plaza alive with pomp and honor at Parliament’s big opening
The ceremonial pageantry started this morning at 9.00 am with senators taking the oath of office. President Marco P...

Bobby Lopez talks recent elections and his next move
Bobby Lopez Chairman of the Belize Unity Alliance and past VIP candidate visited Rise and Shine yesterday morning t...

Mother pleas for missing daughter's return
A young lady from Santa Elena Town has been missing since early March. 15 year old Catherine McKoy, a student of Ed...

Hundreds participate in run to raise awareness to healthy living
Hundreds run to raise awareness for healthy living. This morning the annual "One World /Special Olympics Belize Fun...

Civil Societies at home and abroad declare support of the Rosewood moratorium
Civil Societies in Belize and abroad have declared their support of the moratorium on Rosewood exportation. The Ass...

Japan and IDB fund major projects in Central and the Caribbean
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide up to ...

Police looking for bandits in Traveller's Bar robbery
Traveller’s Bar on the Northern Hwy is taken for a robbery spree. Felix Melendez, a security guard for KBH Security...

Massive quake rocks Mexico’s western seaboard
A strong 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit southern Mexico yesterday, damaging about 800 homes near the epicenter and sh...

Internal audit being conducted at the Belize City Council
The new Belize City council is awaiting the results of an internal audit. But even before the results are out, the ...

Forest Dep. receives generous donation as World Forest Day celebrated
Today March 21 is being celebrated as World Forestry Day. It is dedicated to increasing public awareness about acti......

Man loses over 20 grand of items in burglary
Bruce Kosakewich, 59 yrs, Canadian Retiree of Altamira Area, Corozal Town, reported that from March 19 to 20 someti...

Belmopan home broken into
Israel Gonzalez Sr., a Belizean businessman of Belize City, reported that between the month of December 2011 and Ma...

The Guardian

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Easter weekend of festivities coming soon to Caye Caulker!

This weekend Hypnotic Disco has their Pre-Easter bash!



Celebrating with an Airplane and Ice cream
I never told you this but the new wordpress theme of my blog is called Good News, today I am blogging the best news ever. I have put the official press release for you to read below and wanted to share my personal version as well. Thanks to John Grief Red Cross Donation containers are starting take off and fly country wide with Tropic Air. We launched the first Two at the San Pedro Airport on Monday and my head is still in the clouds I keep listening to the audio clip interview with John Grief by Maria Novelo Love TV. It makes me happy to hear how in favor he is for helping the Belize Red Cross. Diane Campbell said ” Utterly fantastic! He could be on talk radio professionally” – I totally agree.

The "Easter Winds" Prevail
We have definitely entered the next season in Belize ( least in my opinion). I wrote a post last year about the different seasons in San Pedro (see: Are There Seasons?) After cooler, dryer winter (January - March), the temperature begins to rise a bit and the "Easter winds" kick in. The weather is still warm and clear but the breeze is stiff (yesterday it was about 25mph for most of the afternoon) and the sea can turn a bit milkier as it gets churned by higher waves.Kids don't seem to mind that the water is darker by the shore. Same thing this morning, 20mph winds, blue, blue skies and a nice full body sand exfoliation when you walk on the beach.

PHOTOS: CARACOL 2012 where will you be?
Caracol's Vernal Equinox Celebration pictures. The Institute of Archaeology posted some pictures of the festivities going on at Caracol. Dr. Jaime Awe was there to share some knowledge. Looks like there was a full day of fun.

Buy and Sell Weekly Classified
Cayo's most comprehensive classified ad publication with great bargains and events to choose. Deadline to place ads are every Thursday @ 5pm.

Cure for the Winter Blues: Ka'ana gets a great review...and has new pool villas
Ka'ana has 2 new villas, and they have private pools! They got an amazing write up too. As one of the world’s few remaining unspoiled areas, Belize is the hidden gem of Central America that is as easy to reach as it is far from it all. Its most luxurious, coveted resort is the boutique property, Ka’ana, owned by two charming Irish brothers who’ve created a heavenly oasis. In fact, the name means “heavenly place” in Mayan, and this 15-room, two-villa eco-resort is nothing short of extraordinary. In a lush valley between the Maya Mountains of the Cayo District, the property embodies the spirit of the Mayan natives, utilizing all locally sourced materials, serving food grown in their organic garden (all gourmet and spectacular, of course!), and embracing the aesthetics of the rich native culture. Belize’s natural wonders blend seamlessly with the Hannan brothers’ knack for luxury, as guests are equally encouraged to explore the surroundings and enjoy special touches, such as Western Belize’s largest wine cellar. What’s extra special: Only here can you experience an overnight stay in an ancient Mayan ruin, complete with the creature comforts of Ka’ana. If the Mayans were right and it’s all going to end, I’d like to experience this before it’s too late!

Pentair Foundation Announces $1 Million Grant to Water Missions International
Great news for WMI, which has multiple clean water projects going on around Belize. Last November, they finished the Living Water Project in Bullet Tree Falls. Our grant to Water Missions International will benefit countless lives by speeding access to sustainable, safe drinking water sources globally," said Randall J. Hogan, Pentair's chairman and chief executive officer. "Through our previous work with WMI on Project Safewater-Colón, we have shown that there is an affordable solution to the global water crisis. We look forward to applying what we've learned to further improve health and sanitation conditions in communities around the world.

PHOTOS: More Kid's month activities at the San Ignacio Public Library
Look at all the smiling faces! The SIPL has Rosado's preschool and Santa Elena Primary Infant children over for a visit.

International Sources

Lionel Messi's 222 Goals for Barcelona in 13 Minutes
Messi's brilliance has been rhapsodized about, analyzed, broken down into metrics and built up with poetics. At this point, you must know that this is a player dominating and defining an era of a game. He's comprable to Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan more than he is any other footballer. So why don't we just steal a little bit of time today and just watch him. Watch 222 of his Barca goals here:

Fight to Stop Offshore Drilling in Belize's Barrier Reef
In Belize, thousands of citizens are in an uproar about the government's determination to drill for offshore oil. The government, represented by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, was just narrowly re-elected -- but despite a clear message from the people, it continues to ignore the significant outcry against offshore drilling. Belize is a small and proud nation, about the size of Massachusetts, with only 350,000 citizens and an economy that depends on tourism. The World Travel & Tourism Council calculates that in 2011 tourism contributed to 40,000 jobs in Belize, which is 30 percent of the country's total employment. Current plans for drilling include sites in the middle of Belize's reef -- the Mesoamerican reef which is the world's second largest barrier reef system, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a destination point for over 60 percent of the tourists that support Belize's economy. People in the tourism industry and many other Belizeans are concerned about what an oil spill in the middle of the reef would do to one of the world's natural wonders and to the future of Belize as a tourist destination. If superimposed over the marine areas of Belize, BP's Gulf of Mexico oil spill is seven times larger. A spill of that size would have catastrophic effects for the entire country.

Did Belief in Gods Lead to Mayan Demise?
A dread of malevolent spirits haunting forsaken areas could, along with environmental catastrophes, help to explain why some areas in the ancient Mayan world proved less resilient than others when their civilization disintegrated, researchers suggest. The ancient Maya once claimed an area about the size of Texas, with cities and fields that occupied what is now southern Mexico and northern Central America, including the countries of Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras. The height of the Mayan civilization, known as the Classic period, extended from approximately A.D. 250 to at least 900. For unknown reasons, the Classic Mayan civilization then collapsed. The population declined catastrophically to a fraction of its former size, and many of their great cities were left mostly abandoned for the jungle to reclaim. Scientists have long drawn connections between the decline of the ancient Maya and environmental catastrophes, especially drought. Deforestation linked with farming could also have triggered disaster — for instance, reduced tree cover of the ground would have led to loss of fertile topsoil by erosion, as well as greater evaporation of water by sunlight, exacerbating drought.

Auction to benefit children of Belize
Justin Banister, the founder and president of Light into Darkness for Belize, is something of a Renaissance man: He's an expert in alternative agriculture and aquaculture, a photographer and a seasoned traveler who has volunteered in relief efforts in various countries from Romania to Belize. His wife, Darci, a volunteer supervisor with the Guardian ad Litem program, shares her husband's passion for art, traveling and humanitarianism. It did not take much brainstorming for the couple to realize that through their combined skills — his in sustainable agriculture and hers in social work — and their mutual passion for art and humanitarianism, that together they could make a difference in the lives of countless individuals throughout the world.

Daily Daydream: A Budget Oasis in Belize
Belize has a budget-busting reputation for travelers, but Tobacco Caye is an island oasis that can accommodate most backpackers' budgets. A small island—and we mean small: you can walk around the entire island in just 10 minutes. Or, swim a few laps around it! Tobacco Caye is perfect for relaxing—the small island just has hotels and a dive shop, so you really don't have anything else to do except lounge and explore. Be prepared to walk everywhere, as there are no roads, Grab a snorkel and head out to the nearby reef, or hire a boat to take you even further out for manatee spotting. Toward the day's end, snag a hammock and watch the sunset.

March 21, 2012

Valid: Friday - Monday, March 19 - 26, 2012

The feature of interest this week will be a relatively stable and fresh Easterly to South-easterly airflow over the NW Caribbean, generated by broad West Atlantic High pressure system and a frontal low over northern Mexico and Texas. The High Pressure system will weaken as we move into the weekend, resulting in a weak pressure gradient, conducive to lighter easterly winds and warmer daytime temperatures.

We can therefore expect seasonally fair and sunny weather to continue through this week, with some brief daytime showers, especially in the central coastal areas during the morning hours, and over inland regions during the afternoon. It will become increasingly warmer and drier as we move into the weekend.

Daily rainfall accumulations during this week will be minimal, ranging from 0.01-0.10 of-an-inch, especially over central regions and the hills. In short, the 2012 Dry Season will continue across the nation over the next seven days. The best chance for showers in the interior will be on Wednesday and Sunday.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

Red Cross donation boxes distributed across the island
he San Pedro chapter of the Belize Red Cross is in full swing, with their first on-going fundraiser commencing on Monday, March 19th. Donation boxes were dispatched to five key collection locations here on the island. Funds collected will serve to assist the local chapter of the Belize Red Cross as well as to assist in its overall goal. The presentation of the donation boxes was launched around 1PM with the first two being placed at the Tropic Air Boarding station, which is considered one of the main gateways to Ambergris Caye. The presentations were done by Belize Red Cross representative in San Pedro, Laurie Norton. John E. Grief III, President of Tropic Air, was on hand to receive the donation boxes, and spoke of Tropic’s reason for teaming with the Belize Red Cross. “There is never any controversy with the Red Cross. Every time you hear any kind of emergencies in any parts of the world, the Red Cross is always there, so we decided we would support them.”

Ambergris Today

SPTC Mayor and Councilors Sworn In
n Friday, March 16, 2012, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and his councilors were officially sworn in to office in a public ceremony which took place at Central Park. Mayor Daniel Guerrero delivered a welcome speech after which the official swearing in was carried out by Town Administrator, Mrs. Patty Tillett. Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Town Councilors The mayor was the first to be sworn in followed by the Deputy Mayor, Severito Guerrero and the other councilors. Mayor Daniel Guerrero then officially presented to his town councilors their work portfolios for the year 2012-2013 which are as follows:

UB Students Shave Their Heads for Cancer Awareness
The 2012 Communication Skills class of the University of Belize’s Faculty of Education and Arts teamed up with the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children, the Belize Cancer Society and Jonze Unisex Salon to launch a public awareness campaign entitled “Baldmiration”. The class was inspired by Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow’s decision to publicy share her fight against cancer as well as her brave, bold, beautiful and bald looks – a result of her chemo treatment. The students believe that Mrs. Barrow has emerged as a powerful message of hope for person living with cancer, battling cancer, surviving cancer or who may yet have to face cancer.

Misc Belizean Sources

Boat Stolen in Mexico possibly headed to Belize
"I live in Puerto Aventuras Mexico and just had my 32' Century center console boat stolen from my dock. The rumor around town is that it went to Belize so I'm wondering if you can help me? Could you print out a few fliers to hand out to your guys or put up on your bulletin board? One of them might see the boat around and there's a good reward for information. Also please forward this email to whoever you think might be of assistance. I know it's like a needle in a hay stack but I'm trying!

PHOTOS: "BALDMIRATION" -Women and Men Going Bald for Cancer Awareness
Belize Cancer Society event to show support for the fight against cancer.

VIDEO: Gomez, the Iguana – Belize: The Green Iguana Conservation Project gets a great mention
Here is a great video of the Green Iguana Project at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. What a cool place. You can hold a plethora of baby iguanas.. Here is a pic of me and Gomez I filmed the vid at the Green Iguana Exhibit in San Ignacio, Belize on September 15, 2010. The program aims to create awareness, educate, and to release these reptiles into the wild in an effort to repopulate the riverbanks of Belize with these colorful creatures.

Belize at Thirty Conference
The Belize at Thirty Conference kicked off today, but tomorrow and Thursday there will be 8 lecturers presenting. This would be great for students. For more information contact the ISCR office at 822-3307. "The Institute for Social and Cultural Research (ISCR) through the National Celebrations Commission will be hosting the Belize at Thirty Conference from March 20th to March 22nd, 2012. The Conference is an educational and reflective exercise in which guest lecturers from development sectors have been invited to develop and present research papers on key areas of national interest since independence. The lectures and discussions will focus on historical analysis, statistics, trends and patterns on Belize’s state of development and generate informative projections for a way forward."

VIDEO: "29 Unbeliezable Days with I.S.I.S."
Watch Caitlin's picture video of her time in Belize Studying Animal Scienc

PHOTOS: SHJC Nviro Club Mopan River Excursion
SHJC's Nviro club did a test run from Succotz to Bullet Tree. They are planning a river clean up along that route, and needed to find the best way to approach the clean up.

Channel 7

The Moratorium on the harvesting and exportation of Rosewood was announced on Friday and since then, no less than ten letters of praise and commendation have been sent to the government for adopting the conservation - friendly position. But, on the ground in the Toledo district, where Rosewood extraction is a major means of income generation, to say the moratorium is unpopular would be an understatement. It is being condemned by those who have profited from the thriving Rosewood trade, and who currently have hundreds and thousands of board feet of the hardwood, duly stamped by Forestry, and waiting to be sold to middlemen or exporters. But now, with the moratorium on exports - they are stuck with it. And so, early this morning, a busload of those Toledo residents got unto a Bus and headed for Belmopan to send a message to the new Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla.

We don't know if it's the demise of the gang truce or just the rise of a new configuration of craziness but violent gun crimes are becoming all too common in the city again. There have been two murders in the last 9 days - and tonight there is one more to report. And again, the word senseless doesn't begin to describe this killing. 47 year old Mechanic Mark Lozano was deliberately shot - apparently - for just being in the area of another shooting - which injured 31 year old Cheray Zetina. Tonight, she is critical and he is dead.

They may not have formally conceded defeat - but the PUP has accepted that it is the Opposition. We know this because this afternoon at Belize House in Belmopan, Francis Fonseca was sworn in as Leader of the Opposition by Governor General Sir Colville Young. At 46, Fonseca becomes the youngest Parliamentary Leader of the Opposition on record - and also does so after just five months as the Leader of the PUP. He has won his seat in the Freetown division three times in succession. A release from the PUP says that Fonseca has appointed three Senators, namely Lisa Shoman, Karen Bodden and Collet Montejo.

And joining in the ceremony for Senators will be Mark Lizarraga. He replaces Godwin Hulse as the Senator representing the business Community. Lizarraga was the Chamber's Candidate and at an election last night, his 128 votes easily defeated the Candidates put up by the Belize Business Bureau, Audrey Matura-Shepherd and Fred Hunter who received 40 votes and 8 votes respectively. In a statement from the Chamber, Lizarraga said he expects to take full advantage of the previous working relationship enjoyed with former three term business Senator, now UDP Senator and Minister of Government, Godwin Hulse.

An 11 year old boy was killed in a terrible accident yesterday. It happened in Corozal yesterday evening when an iron goal post fell on top of him. Eric Quiroz, a Std 4 student of St. Paul's School was playing football with his friends at the Andres Campos Civic Center Football Field. According to reports, he was the goalkeeper, and at around 5:00 p.m. the metal goal post which has been described as "not firmly attached to the ground" fell on top of him. Quiroz's skull was fractured, and he died instantly, bleeding from the nose, mouth and ears.

Last night, 7News told you about Ming Pei Chen, the Chinese businessman who was charged for having unlicensed ammunition. Well, it turns out that in that search of his establishments, police discovered that he was employing an illegal immigrant, 22 year-old Guatemalan Iris Marcella Contreras Munoz. She was arraigned in the courtroom of Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart today. She was charged with being a prohibited immigrant. It was discovered that she entered Belize via the Mopan River on February 25, and yesterday, she was busted by police at the at a Bar in Ladyville.

34 year-old Michael Stevens, a resident of Ladyville, narrowly escaped a stiff sentence today for allegedly escaping from lawful custody at the Ladyville Police Station. According to the police officer on diary duties, on January 7, Stevens was detained, as a result of an ongoing investigation for a robbery. The officer said that he saw Stevens exiting the station unlawfully, because they had not released him. As a result, he was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith for the charge of escaping lawful custody. He initially pleaded not guilty to the charge, but he changed his plea to guilty with an explanation. He said that he never broke any laws because according to him, a police officer opened the door to the cell block and told him that he could leave, which he did.

Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley today confirmed that former council pay mistress Shirlene Sabal has been dismissed - as the council awaits the outcome of an internal audit - which should be completed by the end of the week. She was suspended the day after the new council went into office - but he today told us that they have taken the decision to dismiss her because the sum of money, which was misappropriated under her watch, appears to be "substantial." As we've reported, she is accused of engineering a daring scheme that cost the council tens of thousands of dollars in bogus overtime payments.

And in other news which may concern the council - we couldn't help but notice that the controversial Bhojwani roundabout is on its way from looking like some sort of Mayan temple to a veritable Mayan ruin! That's because since it was opened on December 20th., it seems no one has cut the grass and today when we taped it - the roundabout was very overgrown and shabby looking. Before it got Bhojwani-ed, Courts and area residents looked after the roundabout, but looking now like a creature only its own creator could love - the roundabout appears to have been abandoned. We note also that the dubious responsibility for roundabouts has been taken out of the City Council assignment of portfolios.

Yesterday morning, a messenger was robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight. James McKoy, a carrier for DHL Limited, reported that at about 10:45 a.m. yesterday he was on his motorcycle heading toward Western Roundabout, when he stopped at the traffic light at the corner of Vernon Street and Central American Boulevard. He was waiting for the light to turn green when two men on bicycles approached him. One of the men pulled out a 9mm pistol and robbed him at gunpoint of a bag containing $295 in cash, an RF&G Insurance package, and a package belonging to DHL. The assailants then rode off with the bag.

For the third year in a row, the US Embassy today named its Woman of the Year. 7news was at the ceremony which was held at the US ambassador's residence in Belmopan. The ward is reserved for a woman who has inspired and made positive contributions within her community. Many big names were nominated this year - all of them worthy - but the most worthy was one woman - whose name you might not know unless you live in Hattieville where - through grit, hard work and personal involvement, she has touched hundreds of lives: And this year's most selfless is Rita Coleman who founded the LEAP women's group - she was selected from among ten nominees including Audrey Matura Shepherd and Yvette Burks.

When we think of the nationalist movement, our minds jump to figures like George Price, Philip Goldson, Leigh Richardson and many of the men who helped pushed Belize to nationhood. Well tonight, NICH is hosting an opening lecture on the role of women in Belize's Nationalist Movement. Dr. Anne Macpherson has done her research for her PHD dissertation on Belizean women's political history, and will be giving the lecture tonight. This will kick off a three day discussion called "Belize at Thirty", Nigel Encalada, the director of NICH told us more about the discussion. Nigel Encalada, the Director of NICH "Tonight is the opening of what is called Belize at 30 Conference. It is the last event on the calendar to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of Belize's Independence; It is the education academic side so to speak of commemorating and looking at Belize's experience with independence."

Channel 5

Villagers Protest for Continued Rosewood pillaging
A freeze was put in place on the harvesting and exportation of rosewood last Friday within days of the resumption of office by the Dean Barrow administration It was a first major policy statement coming from the new Minister of Forestry and Sustainable Development, Lisel Alamilla that immediately won praise from conservationists. But there are ...

Gang Suppression Unit suppresses Mayans en route to protest
And while some protestors made it Belmopan to picket outside the National Assembly Building this morning, a second busload was turned back upon reaching Armenia. Both buses were met by a contingent of armed officers, believed to be members of the Gang Suppression Unit, who formed an ad hoc checkpoint near the outskirts of the ...

Cabinet endorses Rosewood Moratorium
APAMO which comprises numerous conservation NGOs, on Monday applauded the suspension of harvesting and exportation of rosewood. Letters of support were sent to the Prime Minister and to Minister of Forestry, Lisel Alamilla describing the moratorium as “the first positive and assertive step in mitigating the environmental crisis caused by the unregulated harvesting of rosewood ...

Leader of Opposition takes Oath
In anticipation of Wednesday’s opening of the House of Representatives, we note that, Francis Fonseca, took the oath this afternoon as leader the Opposition in the House of Representatives. It is his second term as leader in the House, the first was on November third. Other members of the House will be sworn in on ...

Mark Lizarraga, Senator for Business Community
The private sector will also have a new face in the Senate to succeed Godwin Hulse who has been named as Minister of Labour. On Monday evening, businessman Mark Lizarraga of Southside Meats handsomely won elections to represent the Chamber of Commerce and the Belize Business Bureau Lizarraga is also the Chamber’s representative on the ...

Do you support rosewood moratorium?
Tonight’s question is: Do you support the moratorium on rosewood? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at channel5belizecom You can also send an email with your comments to [email protected]

Lone gunman shoots woman then kills mechanic
On Sunday afternoon, Jovanni Saldano was killed on West Street His murder was followed by another on Monday night News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports Jose Sanchez, Reporting Ladyville resident Mark Lozano was the second person shot by a lone gunman on Monday night The mechanic was working late in Belize City on McKay Boulevard when ...

Freak accident kills student during soccer game
Up north, a young boy had an untimely death Police are investigating the circumstances that led to the death of a St Paul’s Primary School Student, in Corozal The boy was playing football when he was crushed by a metal goal post on the field He was immediately transported to the Corozal Community Hospital but ...

Hit & Run Driver gives victim $20
Joseph Emmanuel Usher, a fifty-eight year old resident of Antelope Street was knocked down early Saturday morning He has been in the hospital for several days following the incident The family says the blow to his head is causing serious pain and he needs help Jacqueline Usher told News Five that even though the person ...

Accused Burglar says he’s the victim
A Mahogany Heights man is being accused of burglarizing his neighbor’s house and today he was brought before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith to be charged Thirty-one year old Paul Parham allegedly attempted to break into Maria Neal’s house on Sunday, but was caught in the act and ran off He didn’t give up; instead ...

Busted for bullets and immigrant worker
A Chinese businessman was charged on Monday after being caught with six more rounds of ammunition than his gun license permits Twenty-eight year old Ming Pei Chen was remanded to prison and today one of his employees was before the court That’s because the Immigration Department conducted a sting operation that led them to detain ...

Rita Coleman, US Embassy’s Woman of the Year
She is unassuming but a dedicated educator and community worker from Hattieville who has been cited for the woman of the year award Despite her selfless dedication in assisting single mothers, Rita Coleman also spends time on promoting programs for young persons and the elderly According to the US Ambassador, Vinai Thummalapally, there is so ...

2 karate Competitions; 1 Weekend
Kumite is a form of karate that is growing in popularity Over the past weekend, primary school students from more than twenty schools converged in Belize City to participate in the first national karate championship There was also a mixed martial arts tournament organized by the House of Shotokan Academy News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports ...

Hottest Family Entertainment Show in the Land; KTV Latino
KTV Latino is back! After a two week hiatus, your favorite Tuesday night show is coming back to the Bliss Center tonight The Group B singers will take the stage with their renditions of the Latino hits you love And since the contestants have had some extra time to fine-tune their performances, you can expect ...


Hattieville resident, Rita Coleman is the winner of the 2012 US Embassy’s Belize Woman of the Year Award. U.S. Ambassador to Belize, Vinai Thumallapally presented Coleman with the award duri...

The Association of Protected Areas Management Organization along with 13 member organizations and other conservation partners have applauded the Government for institutin...

The newly elected UDP Belize City Council held its first caucus meeting on Monday and portfolio were assigned. Mayor Darrell Bradley has responsibility for Finance, Revenue, and Human Resource. Councilor Alifa Elring...

Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca was officially sworn in by Governor General Sir Colville Young. The brief ceremony took place at Belize House in Belmo...

The Government of Belize has begun a comprehensive review of external public sector debt and contingent liabilities. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has appointed a debt review team led by former Government Minister and Albert area representative Mark Espat...

Three persons who allegedly kidnapped Mexican diplomat 5—year-old Domingo Rodriguez Semerena were charged with kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping when they appeared in court today. They are...

A gainfully employed man was shot dead in his yard in Belize City on Sunday. The incident happened at around 12:30 about 12:45 in the afternoon at his house at 61 West Street. The victim, 26 year-old Jovanni ...

Cancer has affected hundreds of Belizeans and next week a group of courageous women and their supporters will make a bold statement to draw more attention to the deadly disease. A group of students and a lecturer from the University of Belize will shave off their hair in what they call “Bal...

The Football Federation of Belize has a new president. In an election on Thursday night, Ruperto Vicente unseated long-standing president, Dr. Bertie Chimilio. Vicente said that officials from FIFA and UNCAF, who supervised the elections, met with him after the elections and extended ...

The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has declared a moratorium on the harvesting and exportation of rosewood with immediate effect. A release from the Ministry states that Rosewood harvesting in southern Belize has increased exponentially over the past two years i...

21-year-old Lincoln Hemsley, a resident of Kut Avenue, who allegedly shot and killed 21-year-old David Hernandez, was charged with murder when he appeared in court today. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith did not take a plea because the offence is indictable, neither could she offer him bail becau...


Schoolboy dies after goal post falls on him
A young boy was accidentally killed while playing with some friends in Corozal Town earlier today. Our northern reporter Manuela Ayuso Cantun reports.

Mayor Bradley has employee problems
The newly-sworn in Belize City Mayor, Darrel Bradley, has been in office for about two weeks and already he has had to dismiss an employee and is contemplating filing criminal charges against her. The Council’s payroll clerk, Sherlene Sabal, is on half-pay on allegations that she swindled a hefty sum of the Council’s funds. At ...

Ladyville mechanic gunned down in Belize City
Another murder has been reported in Belize City. A shooting incident has left one man dead and a woman hospitalized. Reporter Marion Ali has the story.

Leader of the Opposition takes oath of office
Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca was officially sworn in by Governor General Sir Colville Young. The brief ceremony took place at Belize House in Belmopan. The first session of the National Assembly will be opened tomorrow. The inaugural sitting of the Senate will be held in the national assembly chamber beginning at nine in ...

Belize at 30 Lecture Series opens tonight
The Belize at thirty opening night lecture takes place tonight at the Fordyce Chapel at St. John’s College. The event is sponsored by the National Celebrations Commission and organized by the National Institute for Culture and History. But what exactly is the Belize at thirty conference? Director of the Institute for Social and Cultural Research, ...


Mayas protest in Belmopan over Rosewood moratorium
The Rosewood Saga Continues. Mayans from the villages of San Pedro Colombia, Dolores, Otoxcha, Indian Creek, Crique...

Belmopan City Council outlines its manifesto pledges
The Belmopan City Council Manifesto represents its pledge to the people of its municipality. Mayor Simeon Lopez and...

Rotary Club donates playground to OLOG Primary School
Our Lady of Guadalupe Primary School this afternoon inaugurated its new playground in style. Work on the playgroud ...

Rita Coleman named Woman of the Year by the US Embassy
The U.S. Embassy has announced the Belize Woman of the Year 2012.This year marks the third year since the U.S. emba...

Two persons shot in Belize City, one dies
On March 19, about 11:00pm, Police visited KHMH, Belize City where they saw Cheray Zetina, suffering from a single ...

One teen's mission to swim from San Pedro to Belize City
“Swimming for Healthy Reef and Healthy People,” that's the campaign of 17yr old Eric Donis of San Pedro Ambergris C...

11 year old dies from head injuries sustained during football game
An eleven year old boy from Corozal is dead tonight due to an accident which occurred while he was playing football...

Chinese businessman charged after gun found in home
Saturday about 11:30am Ladyville Police conducted a search at the residence of Chinese Businessman Ming Pei Chen, w...

Leader of the Opposition sworn in, PUP announces its slate of senators
In parliamentary news - the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Francis Fonseca, was officially sworn in by the Governor...

Chamber elects Mark Lizarraga as Private Sector Senator
The Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) and the Belize Business Bureau (BBB) held a joint election to sele...

Two couriers for DHL Limited robbed in separate incidents
James McKoy, a Courier for DHL Limited, reported that on March 19 he was on a Honda motorcycle, license plate #MC-1...

Woman assaulted by gunman
Belize City Police are also investigating a case of aggravated assault. 28year old Natalie Adolphus reported that o... The Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) and the Belize Business Bureau (BBB) held a joint election to sele...


Murder and arson in Roaring Creek
Village handyman’s house’s only door had been chained shut, and house set on fire! The badly burned body of a well-known resident of Roaring Creek, Dean Bennett, 32, was found in his small home after rescuers broke down the chained and padlocked door to try to rescue him from a blazing fire in the shack.

New FFB President says FFB account almost empty!
Newly elected Football Federation of Belize (FFB) President Ruperto Vicente said tonight that the picture doesn’t look good from what he has seen so far of the FFB account.

Giovanni Saldano, 23, murdered on West Street
A gunman began firing at Saldano while he was walking on West Street around 12:45 p.m. on Sunday, March 18, and chased him into his own yard, on West Street, where he was then shot to death.

6 chosen to review Belize’s US$1 billion foreign debt
The Prime Minister will chair the Debt Review Team, led by Mark Espat... Financial Secretary Joe Waight told Amandala today, Monday, that the task of a newly appointed Debt Review Team is not just to look at restructuring the US$500 million super bond, but to review Belize’s entire external debt, which currently stands at about US$1 billion or 80% of Belize’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Herman Garbutt shot to death in Mahogany Heights – why?
Herman Garbutt, 23, formerly of Belize City but who lived in Mahogany Heights, was found dead in the Mahogany Heights area. He was seen lying face down on the ground with gunshot wounds to his head, back and shoulders.

CitCo employee suspended over alleged financial fiddling
The Belize City Council has confirmed the suspension of payroll clerk, Shirlene Sabal, as it commences its investigation into allegations of “bogus” overtime payments made to junior-level employees at some point during the previous administration.

4 more weeks to painful cut for Premier League playoffs
On Saturday night, F.C. Belize remained undefeated in the North, as they visited winless World F.C. at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio and promptly shut out the home squad with second half goals from Jeromy “Jarro” James (57 min) and rookie David Ramos (80 min). Meanwhile, further west at the Marshalleck Stadium, the home squad Hankook Verdes registered their first victory of the tournament, a come from behind win against visiting Belmopan Bandits. Floyd Jones put the Bandits up 1-nil at the 20th minute, but Verdes came back with 2nd half goals from Julian Maldonado (80 min) and Jaime Lozano (82 min), to grab the 2-1 win.

A chat with veteran footballer Gerald “Speedy” Henry – Part 8
(FFB Executive elections were held last Thursday night, March 15. Speedy lost his bid for the presidency to another accomplished veteran of the sport, Ruperto Vicente, the new FFB President, who is joined by new Senior Vice-President Sergio Chuc, a member of his slate. A member of Speedy’s slate, Rawell Pelayo, is the new 2nd Vice President; and the two other new Executive Members, Cruz Gamez and Marlon Kuylen, were also members of Speedy’s slate of candidates. Hopefully, Speedy and the other members who offered themselves as candidates, but were unsuccessful, will be called upon to fill posts on the many dormant FFB committees.)

Police charge 5 for kidnapping of Mexican diplomat
Five men were arraigned today in the #1 Magistrate’s Court in connection with the kidnapping of a Mexican diplomat, Domingo Rodriguez Semerena, 50, which occurred around 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13.

New Forestry Minister invokes immediate rosewood moratorium
The recently installed Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Lisel Alamilla, formerly the executive director of Ya’axché Conservation Trust (YCT), has invoked a moratorium on the harvesting and exportation of Belizean rosewood, Dalbergia stevensonii, with immediate effect.

“Bald is beautiful” – UB students and supporters cut hair for cancer awareness
Whether because of necessity or simply for a fashion statement, baldness and the shaving of hair have become almost universally accepted.

NASA-funded study shines light into deforested Belizean forests at Caracol
NASA-sponsored study finds: “extensive modern deforestation and looting along the Guatemala-Belize border that is encroaching several kilometers into the archaeological reserve and threatening the preservation of Belize’s cultural and natural heritage.”... “while LiDAR [laser] enables a synoptic, never-seen-before, below-canopy view of the Maya city of Caracol, it also reveals the degree of canopy disturbance and potential looting of areas yet to be documented by archaeologists on the ground...”

Editorial: Spin, propaganda, and arithmetic
In the March 7 general elections, the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) polled roughly 5,200 more votes in Belize City than the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) did. In the three Belize District Rural constituencies, the UDP polled more than 750 more votes than the PUP did. Overall, however, the UDP only defeated the PUP by some 3,000 plus votes nationwide, so that means the PUP defeated the UDP by roughly 3,000 votes in the so-called Out-Districts – Toledo, Stann Creek, Cayo, Orange Walk and Corozal. (The UDP did narrowly defeat the PUP in the Cayo District’s six constituencies, by a total of 14,521 votes to 14,247.)


In 1996, Belize joined the globe in celebrating “World Water Day” and since then the campaign to use our water resources wisely has been an increasing one. Today, on the occasion of World Water Day, that campaign took the front burner. Water analysts say that wh...

The seventh annual Women’s Summit was held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. Guest speaker at the event was CEO in the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, Judith Alpuche. Judith Alpuche – CEO, Ministry of Human...

Former Belize City Mayor Zenaida Moya has taken issue with a statement made on this newscast earlier this week. In an interview with Mayor Darrel Bradley, Love News stated that he took over from Moya who had come under heavy criticism for introducing what we called her unique system of...

We have received no official information from the Police Department but reports to Love News Center are that a traffic accident has left a Police Officer injured. We understand sometime around 6:30 last night Police Constable Artemio Ical who is attached to the Orange Walk Police...

Harry Arzu reporting… “A two bedroom wooden house was completely destroyed by fire in the Wagierele area of Dangriga. The incident occurred about 2:45 p.m. Mindy Reid is one of the occupants of the house and she told Love News that she and her family lost e...

Manuela Ayuso Cantun reporting… “An infant two student of St. Francis Xavier School in Corozal was abducted yesterday. Six-year-old Dana Hill was taken to school by her cousins shortly after 8 o’clock Wednesday morning. She went into her class room set down...


Our first brush with medical care in Belize
Since moving to Ambergris Caye in late August, we've been quite healthy overall. This isn't unusual for us as we tend to avoid most of the viruses that go around, at least in part because we're around young children only infrequently. In recent years I actually went four years without a single cold, while my co-workers seemed to catch every bug going around. Barry and I both caught a cold with a cough around the Christmas/New Year's holidays, but we weren't sick enough to require doctor's visits. That changed this week. Barry had been tending to a fingertip that was a bit red, swollen, and infected. He thought it probably started when he poked his fingertip with the sharp blade while cleaning our blender a month ago, but it could have stemmed from a small cuticle tear around his nail that became infected. Whatever the cause, it wasn't getting any better; in fact, it was getting worse. He'd been soaking it and squeezing it, applying antibiotic ointment and Band-Aids, but none of this self-care was helping. The area around his nail was red, swollen, and there were a few pustules visible.

International Sources

Belize: Like Florida in the 1940's
In 2007, after years working as an electrical engineer all over the U.S., my wife Jamie and I decided we’d like to move to a warmer climate and chose Florida. I was still working at the time and could continue over the Internet. Times were good until the economy began its downturn, crashing the real estate market. We were concerned that our retirement savings wouldn’t see us through, so we began looking overseas for a place where our ever-shrinking nest egg might last longer. We had always been intrigued by the idea of living somewhere “beachy” and exotic. And with the kids all grown—the youngest is 23—it seemed a good time to make the leap. So we began looking at Belize as a possibility, and took an exploratory trip in early 2010 to see Corozal, Placencia, and Ambergris Caye. Corozal is close to Chetumal, a good-sized city in Mexico, and it just seemed to feel right. We purchased a half-acre lot close to the water and built a house for about $125 per square foot.

Belize enacts moratorium on rosewood
The Belizean Government has banned the harvesting and export of rosewood with immediate effect, in response to the widespread clearing of the hardwood species for the Asian market. A government statement released on Friday, March 16th claimed the moratorium was necessary "to carry out an orderly assessment of the situation on the ground and as a first response to regulate the timber trade occurring in southern Belize." The government would subsequently institute "a rigorous regulatory framework throughout the country." Southern Belize had been the remaining stronghold of Honduran Rosewood (Dalbergia stevensonii) until it became subject to widespread felling for the Chinese market. The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) had been criticized for overseeing a situation in which no effective control system was put in place.

Guatemala/Belize: helping resolve the territorial dispute
One of the priorities of the British Embassy in Guatemala City is to work with the government of Guatemala to resolve its territorial dispute with Belize. We also work closely with the British High Commission in Belmopan. Read on the find out more about: the current status, the UK’s interest and role, and some of the history to the dispute. Current status In March 2000 the governments of Guatemala and Belize re-started talks to end their long-standing territorial differendum through the Organisation of American States (OAS). And in December 2008 they signed a Special Agreement setting out their agreement to allow their territorial dispute to be submitted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for independent arbitration. On 9 September 2010, Guatemala’s Congress approved the holding of a referendum on the referral of the dispute to the ICJ, and now Guatemala and Belize have to agree a date for this to happen simultaneously in both countries. Meanwhile both have put into force positive measures to strengthen bilateral relations. For example, in 2009 a Partial Scope Agreement was agreed that liberalises trade for more than 70 Guatemalan products and removes other physical barriers to trade, as well as allowing Belize to export duty free to Guatemala fish, tropical fruits and some industrial equipment.

Should You Consider Offshore Banking?
For much of its history, offshore banking has been seen first and foremost as an avoidance maneuver. Countless action and mystery movies depict Swiss bank accounts as places for villains to hide ill-gotten fortunes. Indeed, one need not rely on movies for evidence of offshore banks housing shady activities. Offshore bank accounts have been used to hide the profits for everything from drug sales to arms dealing to bribes – not to mention tax evasion schemes. But today, offshore banking is much more than a haven for underhanded financial shell games. Increasingly, legitimate businesses and individuals are finding it more advantageous than ever to utilize offshore banks for the privacy, flexibility and accessibility that they offer. With identity theft and bogus lawsuits as prevalent as ever, it’s plain to see why people take comfort in storing assets overseas – especially in countries where banks pride themselves on being loyal to customers first, and governments second. Swiss banks, for instance, are famous for refusing to cooperate with all but the most serious and unavoidable of government snooping.

Belize named as a top retirement spot by US News Money
Belize has been in the travel headlines countless times recently for everything from the upcoming end of the Maya Calendar on December 21, 2012 to the high-profile royal visit from Prince Harry earlier this month. Now, US News: Money has included Belize in on a round-up list of the top places to retire in the world. The article published on March 19th includes 18 retirement havens where "an interesting, adventure-filled lifestyle is available for a better-than-reasonable cost." Author Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas Publishing Group. She puts Belize as the number two place to retire in the Americas and notes it is a great place for 'reiventing your life in retirement' in your advancing years.

The 18 Best Places to Retire Overseas
Belize is a great place for reinventing your life in retirement. This tiny, under-developed, sparsely populated country offers two distinct lifestyle options: Ambergris Caye is the best of the Caribbean at a discount, while the Cayo is a frontier where independent-minded pioneers can make their own way and do their own thing, peacefully and privately. The climate is tropical, warmer on the coast, and cooler in the mountainous interior. The official language is English, so there’s no foreign language barrier for Americans. You’ll find a well-established and welcoming community of expats in San Pedro and on Ambergris Caye, and an emerging community of expats in the Cayo around San Ignacio.

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