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5/1/2012 to 5/10/2012
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Today's Belize News

May 10, 2012

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Anchors Away with the Island Academy Beach BBQ FUNdraiser
On Sunday May 6th Caribbean Villas Resort was overtaken by students, parents and friends of the Island Academy for their Anchors Away Beach BBQ and Sailing Regatta. The event was a huge success as tons of kids and families spent a day on the beach, playing, eating, sailing and having a wonderful time. The BBQ was a fundraiser to help with Island Academy’s annual textbook order. The Island Academy offers many many thanks to helpers and gift prize sponsors at Sunday’s “Anchors Away with The Island Academy Beach BBQ FUNdraiser“. A great time was had by all at Caribbean Villas Resort with the excitement of the San Pedro Youth Sailing Program in the water.

Christina takes home Top Boat for sixth annual Dorado Rodeo
The sixth annual Dorado Rodeo Fishing Tournament was held on Saturday, May 5th at the Holiday Hotel. Anglers took to sea at daybreak, as early as 4:30am, to see who would reel in the catch of the day. At the end of the day, Christina, captained by Alberto Bradley was the winner of the $4,000 cash prize and named top boat. The Dorado, also called Mahi-mahi or commonly known as the Dolphinfish, are known to congregate under floating objects and follow ships. This swift, fast-moving predator feeds on other fishes and squids. Their speed and size provide almost unequaled excitement and is the perfect challenge or extreme test for any type of fisherman. Weigh-in time was at 6pm and boats began pulling into the weighing station at 5pm to see who would take home the prize. This year saw the participation of 19 boats in the tournament and after weighing was completed, the prizes and winners are as follows: Top Boat went to Christina, captained by Alberto Bradley with a combined total of 38 lbs of Dorado winning the crew $4,000. Second place went to Reel Deel, Captained by Gilberto “Hillyboo” Lara with one 19 pound Dorado, taking home $1,500. Third place went to Ricky Marin onboard the Aaliyah Marlee, while Junior Angler went to Joshua Marin, also onboard the Aaliyah Marlee, winning them a total of $1,000 cash. Top female angler went to Jennifer Jimenez who caught an 18 pounder onboard the Christina and took home $500.

More questions than answers into Boco-T’s death
He was found dead inside the San Pedro Police Station 14 days ago, on April 26th, and on Thursday May 10th, Kevin ‘Boco-T’ Kelly was finally laid to rest at the Lord Ridge Cemetery in Belize City. His family firmly believes that police are responsible for Kelly’s death, even more so after the post mortem that was just issued indicates that he bled to death. The post mortem, which was conducted on May 8th by Dr. Mario Estradabran certified that the 38 year old Belize City resident died from “Hypervolemic shock due to internal bleeding, due to multiple abdominal trauma, due to blunt instrument type.” According to Dr. Javier Zuniga, such cause of death means that Kelly “internally bled to death.” When asked what can cause someone to die in such a short time frame, Dr. Zuniga said that “it had to be a big blood vessel of a main organ that ruptured.” On the night of the incident, police claimed that Kelly fainted several times before and while in police custody. Dr Zuniga explained that such “traumatic behavior is consistent with someone’s whose blood pressure falls quickly,” explained Zuniga.

Ambergris Today

Cameras Prohibited at Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave Belize
It’s a little bit of unfortunate news, but definitely good to see that our natural resources and tourist attractions are being taken care of. According to the Cayo Tour Guide Association, cameras are being banned at the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave as of Friday, May 4, 2012. How this decision will affect the cave and tours being sold one of Belize’s most impressive cave system is yet to be seen. Picture taking and sharing of the ATM cave and other tourist attractions in Belize is such an integral part of helping marketing tourism around the world that it is our hope that this decision does not create a negative impact on tours to ATM.

Family Cries Murder to Cops in San Pedro Inmate’s Death Case
Kevin “Boco T” Myvette (aka Kevin Kelly) of Fairweather Street in Belize City was found dead in his holding cell at the San Pedro Police Station on Thursday, April 26, 2012, after 11p.m. He was the second person to die in the custody of SP Police this year. Kevin’s body was taken to Belize City for a post mortem which wasn’t conducted until 12 days later. And after having waited nearly two weeks to bury the 38-year-old father of three, the family is outraged after having received the post-mortem results from Dr. Mario Estradaban. The results identified his cause of death as internal bleeding due to abdominal, trauma due to blunt instrument type.

Misc Belizean Sources

May Festivals all around Belize
May is the month for festivals in Belize. Three of them are happening this month. The Cashew Festival is happening this weekend in Crooked Tree. Next weekend, there's the Toledo Cacao Festival. The last weekend of the month, Hopkins is having their Mango Festival.

Help Monitor Scarlet Macaws with the FCD
Friends for Conservation and Development are looking for student volunteers to help monitor Scarlet Macaws in the Chiquibul. You'd get to stay at their base for a week, monitor Scarlet Macaws, hike the Chiquibul, play in the Macal river, and have a great time doing it all. The Environmental Research Institute has posted about it on their FB page. "The Chalillo reservoir in the Chiquibul forest is a majestic area due to the occurrence of scarlet macaws that not only gives a colorful sight to the forest but also makes it a magical area to put conservation efforts in place. I take this opportunity to write you in seeking potential students that may be interested in helping us monitor the new hatchlings in the area. Our team have identified areas where scarlet macaws have hatched and the aim is now to put a presence in the area on a daily basis."

Channel 7

As we told you on Monday, last weekend was very violent in the city, with six persons shot. None of them were fatally injured, but tonight, the news is that one of them has succumbed to his injuries. 29 year old Frank Vasquez was shot in the face, left shoulder and back on Neal Pen Road as he walked his dog on Saturday night. He was listed in a stable condition at the KHMH, but his condition suddenly deteriorated and he died at approximately 9 this morning. The shooting happened on Neal Penn Road at around 10:15 on Saturday night - while Vasquez was reportedly walking his dogs. And while there were rumors circulating that the shooting was caused by a rivalry between men from two different ends of Pen Road - over some construction work- his family told us today, that is not so. They say no one was fighting over jobs - and add that he could have survived - if he had gotten better care... Chelsey McKay - Sister of Deceased "He was doing fine up until this morning. He was talking to us, and he was laughing. The only thing is that he was having pains in his chest, hands and foot. He wasn't moving because one of the bullets went close to the spine, so we weren't quite sure if he would be paralyzed. He was supposed to go into surgery from yesterday, but the machine was down at the hospital. To be honest, we really think that the hospital that killed my brother because he was complaining about the nurse - while he was complaining about the pain and the nurse was telling him to try to breathe on his own. She was on her phone. She wasn't paying him much attention. They weren't telling us anything about the surgery that he was supposed to take. He got shot in the face, in the shoulder, and in the side."

The aftershocks from the city's weekend shootings were also felt in the Family Court today when a 14 year old was charged for shooting three people and shooting at two others. The minor was read 11 separate charges in court, which included 5 counts of attempted murder, 3 counts of use of deadly means of harm, and 3 counts of dangerous harm. Because of the nature of the offenses, the 14 year old couldn't be granted bail, and he was remanded to prison until June 15, when he is expected to be brought back to court. As we reported, 25 year-old Glendford Young, 22 year-old Kyle Domingo, and 34 year-old Lloyd Bowen were all socializing near a game shop on Bocotora Street, when a gunman rode past on bicycle and fired several shots at them. Young received serious injuries as he was shot to the groin area, and to the leg. Domingo suffered an injury to the foot, while Bowen suffered an injury to the left arm. Further police investigation led them to find out that 2 other people were in the crowd and they were also shot at. Fortunately, Terrilee Middleton and Avery Rowland escaped that shooting incident unharmed. It is of note that the same 14 year old was shot in the foot on Holy Saturday.

Was Kevin Kelly, known as Boco-T, beaten to death by police? That's what his family believes after a post mortem examination confirmed that he died of, quote, "Hypovolemic shock due to internal bleeding, due to multiple abdominal trauma, due to blunt instrument type." Today, we spoke to the Police Press Office, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, who told us that he will refrain from speaking publicly about the matter because the investigation is still in its early stages. He did assure us that this matter is under acute observation because of the circumstances of Kelly's death. He said that if he were to issue a statement now, if charges are brought against any of the police officers under investigation, they could foreseeably use the comments to get acquitted. Sounds like bush lawyer medicine to us, but he said that he won't comment in the interest of the family. That family is calling it police murder - which they had to wait almost two full weeks to confirm - because the police forensic pathologist Dr. Mario Estradabran's contract expired in February. Kelly died in custody of San Pedro police on the night of Thursday April 26th. The cops said he was wanted for questioning for a robbery. According to the San Pedro Sun, police chased him behind the Four Sister Plaza on Pescador Drive, where several shots were fired at him. He was later apprehended behind a yard on Angel Coral Street. Police said that he started fainting and showed difficulty breathing, from the time they apprehended him. His family says he was systematically beaten and tortured with a taser gun. Kelly is the second person to die in custody of San Pedro police in less than two months.

A jeweler was robbed at gunpoint in the city this afternoon. At 5:00 pm, "Juniour" Medina had just closed up his jewelry store on New Road and went around the corner to his home on Pickstock Street. It's just a few feet away, but two men were waylaying him. They timed his arrival and walked up on him just as he was heading into his yard. They pointed a gun at him and his assistant - and made off with a bag full of an undisclosed amount of jewelry and cash. The robbers then ran off, both of them leaving their slippers behind. Residents hope that they were picked up on the security camera of an adjacent establishment.

Cayo Police Constable Francis Aldana, is facing criminal charges after he struck a 15 year-old minor inside the police station last week Wednesday. The Cayo Star reports that the minor was brought into the station because he was misbehaving, and as a result, the family wanted him to be detained as a deterrent. Well, they got more than they bargained for when Aldana reportedly punched the minor in his stomach, punched him the face, and stomped him on the left leg before throwing him into the holding cell. And it was all caught on surveillance cameras inside the police station. Aldana reportedly admitted to his commanding officer while under questioning that he got angry when he heard that the young man allegedly pulled a knife at his mother.

55 year Oliver Arthurs will spend 12 years in prison after he was convicted of attempt carnal knowledge in the Dangriga Supreme Court yesterday. It was alleged that he attempted to have sexual intercourse with a 10 year-old female minor in Independence Village. According the testimonies in the trial before Justice Troadio Gonzalez, the minor was playing in the yard with her female cousin on June 3, 2011. Arthurs reportedly called the child into his home which was nearby, but the child went along with her cousin. Arthurs then chased the cousin out of the house, and placed a piece of board behind the door to trap her inside. He then raped her. The child told the court that Arthurs let her go and promised her money and candy if she didn't tell her mother. She did just that and her mother then went to confront Arthurs, but she couldn't find him until 4 days later. The mother testified that when she confronted him, Arthurs admitted to it, and as a result, she made a police report, which led to his arrest. The doctor testified that the child was not carnally known, but he did find bruising consistent with sexual contact.

Over the years, a fair number of persons have come to us with bottled beverages that have some kind of dirt or impurity in them. But the stories very rarely make it to air because, invariably, the complainant reaches an agreement with the bottling company to - shall we say - compensate them for their displeasure. But not so with Isaac Sajia from Corozal. He bought a filthy looking Fanta in that northern town on Monday - and brought it to us with the stopper still on - because he wants the public to be aware that they should study their beverage closely before swallowing. Sajia told us he bought it for his son to drink - and is he happy he looked inside the bottle before he popped the cap. He brought the bottle to our studio - and spoke to us by phone: Voice Of: Isaac Sajia - Bought Filthy Fanta "I went and bought it because my son wanted to drink a Fanta. When I brought the Fanta, it was dirty, but I thought it was dirty outside. I washed it and I discovered that it was inside. I don't know what the material is inside; it could be anything. I think that they need to take extra precautions in their hygiene because this is more than this one incident." For the record Sajia flatly refused offers of compensation from Bowen and Bowen. When we spoke to the Bowen and Bowen rep, he also asked us not to run the story but assured us that a new electronic sensor to pick up dirty bottles will be installed shortly. Currently the bottles are manually inspected.

Last week, we told you about 50 year-old Jose Herman Ochaeta who was convicted of attempted murder in the Western Session of the Supreme Court. Today, he was sentenced to 8 years in prison for that conviction. Ochaeta called 6 character witnesses to provide a mitigation plea for a light sentence. All his witnesses testified that prior to this, Ochaeta had no grievances with anyone, and that he was once a teacher at ITVET. Justice Troadio Gonzalez took these statements into consideration along with the fact that he is a first-time offender, and as a result, Justice Gonzalez handed him an 8 year sentence. As we reported, May 28, 2007, he went to the Lucero family home in San Ignacio Town and he mercilessly attacked 3 members of the Lucero family - a woman included, because of a prior argument he had with one of them. He was charged with 3 counts of attempted murder, but he was convicted on only one of those counts.

Seven thousand standard six students are anxiously awaiting their PSE Scores. And while many of them have already gotten letters of acceptance from their schools of choice, thousands more are in limbo - not sure which high school they'll attend, if they attend any at all. The sad fact is that while seven thousand took the exam - there are not that many high school places countrywide. Today we asked education minister Patrick Faber about the dilemma of so many students and not enough spaces for them. Here's what he said: Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education "Indeed, there are shortages of spaces in some areas of the country, but say a district like Belize, where the bulk of those students are I am sure; there is no shortage of high school in this district. The problem arises that there are children who might not find their way to high schools because there are some parents who will not send their children to certain high schools. And that is the kind of thing that we need to curb. For instance, there are schools that are not operating at full capacity. You are right when you say that many of these students are still not getting the chance to go to high school, and we see marked improvement. I don't want people to get the wrong idea that there is not growth in this area. We've seen tremendous growth, as I've mentioned, particularly in the south, but it is a work in progress."

Of course, the Minister of Education is also the Minister of Sports - and we took the opportunity today to talk to him about the Marion Jones Stadium and the City center. Both facilities are closed - and don't look like they will be opening anytime soon. And, as bad as they were - which is pretty bad - they were the country's premier facilities for basketball, volleyball and track. And now that they are closed with no completion date in sight - athletes who aspire to any elite level - are being sent a clear message: NOT NOW. Faber conceded Marion Jones is a little behind schedule - while the City Center project is in the air: Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education "I am not sure why you are saying that it's lagging behind. Certainly, since the last pronouncement was made as to the time frame, it is not lagging behind. As I understand it, we intend to have the Marion Jones Facility completed at some point in 2013. So in that regard, we can't say that it's lagging behind. The works are - at this point - not where it should be, yes, but it's not the kind of issue that it's so far behind, that it can't be brought up to speed. I will tell you that I think though that Minister Herman Longsworth and I, since we have taken over the Ministry of Sports have been very diligent in meeting with the stakeholders - the contractor, the consultant - to make sure that the Marion Jones Complex Project does not fail to meet the people's expectations, as made by whatever the last time frame that was given." Jules Vasquez "And is there any progress on the Civic Center?" Hon. Patrick Faber "As far as I am understanding, yes, although I am not able to say definitely. I had indicated - I think a few weeks ago on one of the morning talk shows - that we were not certain. The finance was not nailed down, so to speak, as it related to the Mexican Government making that contribution.

A few hours ago, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Lisel Alamilla received a major conservation award in London, England from Princess Anne. Alamilla has been selected for the prestigious Whitley Award for inspirational conservation leadership for her work to protect the Maya Golden Landscape when she was Executive Director of the Ya'axché Conservation Trust - a post which she left after the election in February to become a Senator-Minister. The Whitley Award includes a project grant of £30,000 (pounds) donated by The William Brake Charitable Trust. It is worth noting that this is the second year in a row that Belize has produced a Whitley Award winner. Last year a similar prize went to marine conservationist Dr Rachel T. Graham. Notable because the Whitley Awards attract applications from across the globe.

Last night, we told you that Maude Williams High won first place for schools in the Coca Cola Art Competition. It's a major accomplishment for the school - not only because it won $1,500.00 dollars - but because most of the times when Maude Williams is in the news, it's some kind of bad news. It's no secret that the school has many at-risk students - but what you probably wouldn't know is that the school with the top art project doesn't even have an expressive arts programme. We asked one of the teachers who stayed after-school to help the students in this art project about arts at Maud Williams: Agnes Menzies - Teacher, Maud Williams Highschool "Right now, we don't have anything presently in place. What we did with the students - what I did - was that we met after school, and we stayed here until 9 at night to get that canvass ready for that competition. Without the arts, how can these kids show their talent? I think that our focus here should not be just academics, but we should enhance what they have artistically, and they can also lean back on something like the arts, drama, or some other form of expressive arts, so that they can. I probably think that this would enhance their self-esteem as well, and look for something constructive, rather than just being idle on the streets. We are very happy about that billboard out there. We didn't have the resources for it. The principal, along with teachers and I - we pooled together, and we made it happen. We also met after school with the students to get that done. We also took 3 days to get that done. We would definitely need to get a sponsor to sponsor us for next year. We need - of course we have space. We have an art room, and we would need paint, paint brushes and stuff like that to get the program going."

You might not know it, but the Ministry of Education is stacked with PhD's - and today thirteen of them presented their dissertation summaries at a special conference. They got the PhD's through a programme with Oklahoma State University and the body of work contained in their dissertations will now be used to inform policy making at the ministry level. Dr. Cynthia Thompson who chaired the session said that much of the research explores vital, under-examined areas of the education sector: Dr. Cynthia Thompson - Assistant Provost, Ph. D. Education Policy, Planning & Analysis, UB "Over the past 2 decades, a growing number of Belizeans have pursued doctoral studies abroad, or through special programs designed to allow more Belizeans to pursue the larger portion of their studies, such as the OSU Program. As a result, there is a growing number of dissertations on topics relevant to education in Belize. While we hear of the accomplishments of these individuals who have successfully completed, we seldom hear of the details of the research, and the findings of those dissertation studies. Today, however, we have 13 individuals presenting results from dissertations conducted on educational topics in Belize. Many of the areas that are going to be touched on today are hot-button topics, and they are topics that have been debated for several decades here in Belize, especially those relating to the disparities in student performance in school, especially the urban-rural divide. Some of the topics have been baffling educators for a long time, so it is interesting to hear of the results."

Celebrated Pianist In Belize
And while they are Doctors of Education, A master of the piano is in Belize tonight. International award winning pianist and composer - Seth Montfort- is in Belize getting ready to perform a string of concerts scheduled over this Mother's Day weekend. As the founder of the San Francisco Concerto Orchestra - Montfort has produced 470 full orchestral concerts. Today 7news caught up with the seasoned pianist who told us about his inspired work. Seth Montfort - Pianist "Well, I play the piano, and I run an orchestra in San Francisco. I live in Guatemala - sort of - and I compose. I play all the standard classical works, but I also play music written in the jungle in Caribbean and Latin dances, and jazz by English composers, who are classical but jazz. And I play complete works of Gershwin, so my repertoire is quite different from regular pianists. So, it's all sort of classical works, but those that aren't typical. I made my debut with the Denver Symphony when I was 16. I saw a piano concerto, and I wanted to do that myself. I won a contest, and I played for 1000 people, the Verve Love Concerto for Left Hand, which is inspired by jazz. After Gershwin took Verve to Harlem, and that sort of set the tone on the type of works I play, although I'm a Chopin specialist, and I made finals in the New York Chopin competitions, both of them, and I've played all across the United States, but mostly in San Francisco, because I have an orchestra. I've played lots of concertos with full orchestras, but recently, I wanted to be a naturalist in the jungle. Recently, 6 years ago, I started playing in Latin America, and I performed in Mexico, and in a tree house in Costa Rica. And I go back to all these places every year now. There's a giant tree house in Costa Rica. I play lots of concerts there with monkeys. I play my tropical music. I enjoy doing that very much."

Channel 5

Old beef and murder stats; third attempt kills Frank Vasquez
Six persons were shot over the past weekend; it turned fatal for twenty-nine year old mechanic, Frank Vasquez. Vasquez was riding home on Neal’s Pen Road when a gunman, also on bicycle, opened fired hitting him on the face, shoulder and back on Saturday night. It is the third time that Vasquez was targeted, but [...]

Police now charge 79 year old for wife’s murder
The first murder victim for May is from the south, but the circumstances of the murder keep changing. Initially, most media houses reported on Monday that seventy-nine year old Manuel Pec was detained in connection with the murder of his eighty one year old common-law-wife, Maria Chen. Well, the police department said the media had [...]

12 days until postmortem; Widow alleges foul play during incarceration
Kevin ‘Boco T’ Kelly died inside a cell at the San Pedro Police Formation on April twenty-sixth. His body was transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital morgue but he had not been laid to rest because the family was awaiting an autopsy for twelve days. On Tuesday that examination was finally carried out by [...]

Brazen vehicle thief still at large
The brazen theft of a government vehicle from the Central Health Region early on Tuesday morning was caught on surveillance camera. But up to tonight, the Ministry of Health is still asking for assistance to recover the badly needed vehicle. The surveillance video shows that a man, dressed in military fatigues, climbed over the fence [...]

Minister Lisel Alamilla wins impressive conservation award
But there is some good news to report tonight. She was named a finalist for a prestigious award from the Whitley Fund for Nature almost a month ago and tonight, we can confirm that after a tight bidding, Belize’s Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Lisel Alamilla can now add international award winning conservationist [...]

KTV Latino winners gain thousands of dollars in winnings
There’s a new KTV Latino Champ and he hails from the north. After moments of high anticipation and drama, the winner of Season Three was announced at the Bliss on Tuesday night before a live audience and thousands more watching at home or on streaming video. Of the four contestants on stage, Nasain Montalvo and [...]

P.U.P. does the executive shuffle
Major changes were approved today to the executive of the People’s United Party. Here is how the configuration went this morning’s at Independence Hall where Party Leader Francis Fonseca gathered the troops. Firstly, the new faces are mostly elected representatives. Key posts have been eliminated and Fonseca is restructuring his executive to reflect regionalism. At [...]

April was the deadliest month for murders
A month ago, we reported that in the first few months of 2012, murders were down by eight when compared to same period in 2011. But it appears that the criminals are playing catch-up. With the passing of shooting victim, Frank Vasquez today, the murder count is now at a total of forty-five. That’s only [...]

12 years for Attempted Carnal Knowledge
Fifty-five year old Oliver Arthurs, a resident of Independence, is tonight serving a twelve-year sentence at the Belize Central Prison after being convicted of the attempted rape of a minor in June of last year. The verdict was handed down by Justice Troadio Gonzalez on Tuesday evening in the Dangriga Supreme Court following deliberation by [...]

8 years for Attempted Murder
Eight years behind prison. That was the sentence for fifty year old Jose Hernan Ochaeta who was found guilty exactly one week ago, on May second, for the Attempted Murder of Evangelina Lucero Uck. The sentence, which is considered lenient for the crime, was imposed by Justice Troadio Gonzalez around ten this morning in the [...]

Tailor robbed inside his establishment
Justy Romero, proprietor of Romero Suits on Central American Boulevard, along with his wife, was robbed inside his establishment on Tuesday night at eight-thirty. According to the tailor, they were inside the shop when a tall, dark complexioned man entered the premises enquiring about the cost of a pair of pants. The man then produced [...]

Minor charged for Attempted Murder of 2 persons
A fourteen year old minor of George Street has been arrested and charged for the attempted murders of Terrilee Middleton and Avery Rowland following a shooting incident which occurred on Bocotora Street on May fourth. Today inside the Belize Family Court the teenager, reportedly the stepson of a reputed George Street figure, was read three [...]

Julian Murray, 69, crowned Miss Y
Miss Y 2012-2013 was crowned this past Saturday night at Bird’s Isle. In its eighteenth year, the night of pageantry was once again marked by elegance and poise. The six contestants, all over the age of sixty, showed that they’ve still got it as they curtsied and performed for the judges and audience. At the [...]

Developing methods for artists to earn in their profession
From musicians to dancers, painters to writers and everything in between; there is no shortage of talent in Belize. What is lacking, however, is a proper structure and measures to help the artists to make a living off their trade. But the Institute of Creative Arts is hoping to change that with its Artists in [...]


Tuesday, May 8 - POLICE NEWS
Amir Reyes, a prison officer residing in Orange Walk who allegedly tried to smuggle 324 grams of cannabis into Belize Central prison was charged with drug trafficking when he appeared in court today. Reyes pleaded not guilty to the charge. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith o...

44-year-old American national David Michael Higgins who was busted at Phillip Goldson International Airport with point six grams of crystal meth was fined one thousand dollars after he pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a controlled drug. Higgins was ordered to pay the f...

The plight of children in Belize, their education and wellbeing are among the main concerns for organizations that deal with them on a daily basis. UNICEF’s core role in Belize is to monitor the rights of children and to see the kinds of progress we’re making along wi...

It has taken the government to task on the issue of whether to drill or not to drill offshore and within national parks and now, OCEANA in Belize is taking the government to court. Last Friday, the non-government organization filed legal papers in the Supreme Court for judicial r...

A government vehicle, assigned to the Ministry of Health, was stolen early this morning in Belize City. According to the manager of the Central Health Region, Melinda Guerra, the theft will greatly affect the department’s work, especially with the upcoming rainy ...

A Toledo family is alleging that the policeman in their village has done their family wrong. Paul Mahung reporting… According to the Sho family of San Antonio Village Toledo, six family members including mother, fath...

The Mena family of Belmopan has resumed control of the Wood Depot Company. Since 2010, the Wood Depot had been under a receivership imposed by First Caribbean International Bank. The decision to return full control of the company to the Mena family was finalized on Monday i...


Accident Victim Passes Away
Thirty one year old Lincoln Wells, the Belize City resident who drove his vehicle into the San Estevan Bridge as he was driving into Orange Walk Town in the wee hours of Friday morning, is tonight dead. Wells was driving his1999 black Volkswagen Jetta when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the wall of the bridge. As a result of the impact the vehicle flipped and landed further into the bridge with its two front wheels in the air. Immediately after, the vehicle burst into flames with Wells inside. The 31 year old received 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his body including his face, chest, both arms, back, and abdomen. He also received a broken left leg. Wells was receiving treatment at the KHMH when he succumbed to his injuries around 6:00 on Saturday morning. While Wells was from Belize City, he was employed here in Orange Walk by the Belize Electricity Limited.

Residents Of Santa Cruz Say No To Pollution- Garbage Fine Will Be Implemented
No one can argue that the proper disposal of garbage is very important. For some it might seem not to but in reality it is. Whenever a huge amount of garbage is being concentrate in one location then that becomes an environmental hazard. And that’s the case we bring to you tonight. Santa Cruz, a village located near the Belize Mexico Border, is constantly polluted by visitors who cross the Rio Hondo River into Botes to purchase their groceries and a whole lot more at a cheaper price. For those who don’t know Botes, it is small Mexican Village located along the banks of the Rio Hondo River. Today members from the village of Santa Cruz along with non-governmental organizations such as Humana People To People and Youth for the Future, embarked in a cleanup campaign that pretty soon evolved into a message of civic pride for those travelling through Santa Cruz. Hipolito Novelo, Reporting Santa Cruz- it’s a small remote village in the Orange Walk District that lies about half a mile from the Belize-Mexico Border. The small community has become a gate way for many individuals looking to cross the Rio Hondo River into the ever popular Botes which has become a miniature commercial zone that Belizeans flock to, in order to purchase items at a much cheaper price.

O/W Police Destroy Marijuana Plantation
Three hundred and ninety eight plants of marijuana have been destroyed by Orange Walk Police. The destruction took place yesterday when Orange Walk Police, in conjunction with a team of police officers from the Ladyville sub-formation, visited an isolated area in the New River Lagoon in the Orange Walk District. In the area police found a marijuana plantation containing 397 marijuana plants ranging from 8 to 32 inches in height. At the time of the discovery no one was in the area and all plants were uprooted and destroyed by fire.

Dead Bodies Mounting- Doctor Mario Estradabran Reportedly On Go Slow
There is no doubt that CTV3 News is well known for reporting on local issues but there are times when we need to report on national issues, more than ever, when it affects the north. And if we talk about death, the following case affects the entire country. All indications are that the only forensics specialist in Belize, Doctor Mario Estradabran, is on a go slow. Estradabran and his employer, in this case the Ministry of National Security, have been unable to reach an agreement when it comes to the renewal of his contract which expired on February 1st 2012. According to an article posted in the Cayo’s Star Newspaper, there are a total of fifteen dead bodies across the country awaiting a post mortem examination. Reports are that the last post mortem Estradabran conducted was on the body of Taylor Street gang leader, Arthur Young. News is that when Estradabran’s two year contract expired on February 1st, the Ministry of National Security sent him a contract under the same terms and conditions and salary as the previous contract. Estradabran reportedly refused the offer and submitted a contract of his own with changes in terms and conditions and a sizable increase in salary. The ministry, according to the Star Newspaper, refused the proposal prompting the commencement of negotiation for mutually acceptable new arrangements.

Maya Mystic A Huge Success
This past Friday a new cultural show that displayed an array of artistic dances and performances, took over the Banquitas House of Culture. The event lit up the night with never before seen cultural dramatization that brought forth the revival of the Mayan Culture in Belize. The show, entitled “The Maya Mystic Past”, was choreographed and brought to life by Gabriel Garcia who is well known for bringing new ideas and Belizean talent into perspective. Gabriel Garcia, Gabriel’s Magix “It was a cultural event giving honour to our Mayan Ancestors. It came out as planned; we had a good response of the audience. We had an opportunity to do the a mini tour with this performance. Being the first time that we did this I think it went well. If in the future we plan to do something else it will not be Maya. This year we prompted the Maya since it is the year of the Mayan Calendar so if we do have some other cultural activities it will have to be promoting other cultures but still in the Gabriels Magixs creativity and style.” While the spectacle of cultural performances was an exciting venture for the audience, it also brought along several opportunities for new shows to be developed in Belize.

Hunting For That Special Mothers Day Gift
Mother’s day is a celebration that honours and celebrates motherhood, maternal bond and the influence of mothers in society. It is a special day set aside for that special mom who in different forms works to keep the family bond in place. Mother’s Day is celebrated throughout the globe and Belize is not the exception. Here in the jewel Mothers Day is celebrated on May 10th. But as every year the question is what to get mom on her special day? Well, here are some ideas. Janine Ayuso, Reporting Mom, mother, or mommy whatever you may call her you surely want to treat her in the best manner possible as mother’s day is right around the corner. But choosing from a variety of gifts might be a difficult task and knowing where to purchase them might be a wild chase on its own. So, if you’re looking for exceptional gifts like clothing and shoes that comes along with great discounted prices, then Le Mars Emporium is prepared to offer you the best in quality and price. Amy Urbina, Le Mars Emporium “We have purses, perfume sets, Victoria Secret Lotion and body sprays, blouses shoes and other items that you would love to give mom for this Mothers Day. On May 10th we will be having a mother’s day treat on which you pick a discount of a bowl from 10 to 50 percent. Only here you can get the best in quality at affordable prices and we sell unique items as well.”


Cotton Tree woman back in hospital because of stab wounds
A woman who was stabbed two Thursday’s ago, allegedly by her ex-common-law husband, has been readmitted to hospital because her injury has worsened. Twenty-one year old Lillian Lemoth of Cotton Tree Village, Cayo, told Love News in an exclusive interview last week, that she had gotten a restraining order against thirty-nine year old Marlon Hyde [...]

Post mortem examination completed on body of “Boco T”
After days of waiting, the family of Kevin Kelly is finally getting a chance to lay him to rest. But even as they do so, there are many questions still unanswered for the bereaved family. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports. When contacted this afternoon, Minister of National Security John Saldivar told Love News that since [...]

OW Town Council dismantles market extension
The Orange Walk Town Council has undertaken a project to dismantle the recently completed market extension in that municipality. Correspondent Dalila Ical has the story.

PUC explains changes in BEL’s fees structure
Your light bill rates will not go up but there are going to be some changes as a result of approvals granted to BEL. The changes come after the electricity company submitted a list of fees and charges that they requested consideration for by the Public Utilities Commission. The PUC’s Director of Administration and Rate [...]

Education symposium opens in Belize City
Educators from primary, secondary and tertiary levels are gathered at the Bliss Institute for the performing arts today, where another activity in observance of education week is taking place. That activity is a symposium that looks to expand the knowledge of not only educators but the general public who has also been invited to attend. [...]

Man succumbs to injuries received on Saturday
He was shot three times on Saturday night just a stone’s throw away from his house on Neal Pen Road and today, thirty-four year old Frank Vasquez died of his wounds. He was shot in the face, chest and ribcage and Vasquez was scheduled to undergo surgery for remove one of the bullets that ripped [...]

OCEANA-Belize taking GOB to court
It has taken the government to task on the issue of whether to drill or not to drill offshore and within national parks and now, OCEANA in Belize is taking the government to court. Last Friday, the non-government organization filed legal papers in the Supreme Court for judicial review over the rejection by the Chief Elections Officer, Josephine Tamai, of over eight thousand names on a petition provided by OCEANA on the referendum. After the rejection, OCEANA then wrote to the Governor General to request that he intervene on the matter, a request that he responded the Referendum Act does not provide him the power to exercise. Vice President of OCEANA in Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd, says their court action will be grounded on several arguments. Matura Shepherd says that when the government amended the Referendum Act, it created an expectation among the populace that they have a right to have a say. Vice President of OCEANA in Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd.

Celebrating 50 years of Coca Cola in Belize
A Belizean icon is celebrating half a century of bottling a soda drink that is a favorite for many Belizeans. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo and video journalist Brian Castillo report from the Belize City House of Culture.

NICH holds seminars for local artists
The institute of creative arts and NICH will be hosting a series of seminars that will benefit local artists. Creative industry development officer at the Institute of Creative Arts, Jacky Castillo explains what these seminars are all about. Castillo says that another objective of the tour is to create an artist registry that will go online as a database of all Belizean artists and the services they provide.

UNICEF hosts communications training
The plight of children in Belize, their education and wellbeing are among the main concerns for organizations that deal with them on a daily basis. UNICEF’s core role in Belize is to monitor the rights of children and to see the kinds of progress we’re making along with the government and civil society partners on children’s rights. Today, that organization commenced a visual thinking workshop to create a better means of communication between the people who deal with children and the children themselves. UNICEF’s Representative in Belize, Christine Norton, explained how the material being covered in the workshop translates into actually helping children who are poverty-stricken and disadvantaged. UNICEF’s commitment to Belize dates back to 1954 with assistance in environmental health, vector control, school feeding and the provision of primary school textbooks and supplies being a part of its early work in Belize. UNICEF established an office in Belize in 1981 and since then it has partnered with the government to promote legislative and policy changes.

Belize observes World Red Cross day
World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is being celebrated globally with the theme “Youth on the move” and the Belize Red Cross Society is celebrating the contributions of the young people. As a result an open day was held today at the Red Cross Headquarters on Gabourel Lane in Belize City in order to encourage the participation of youths and provide awareness about the Red Cross. Lily Bowman is the Director General of the Belize Red Cross and she detailed us on the open day. Belize Red Cross Youth Group Leader, Monica Heredia spoke about her groups input in today’s open day and her experience as a volunteer for the Belize Red Cross. Heredia says she would encourage other young people to volunteer at the Red Cross since it provides an opportunity to gain skills, to learn, to travel to do all kinds of fun things as you help others. An online photo exhibition of “Youth on the move” in the Red Cross National Societies around the world, is available for viewing at

Toledo family alleges police brutality
Allegations of police brutality are nothing new to the new these days. But what’s rare is when the accusation of the use of unwarranted force comes from a place as remote as San Antonio village in the Toledo district. That is just the case with the latest alleged incident. And the victims have been telling their story to our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung.

Wood Depot back under control of the Mena Family
The Mena family of Belmopan has resumed control of the Wood Depot Company. Since 2010, the Wood Depot had been under a receivership imposed by First Caribbean International Bank. The decision to return full control of the company to the Mena family was finalized on Monday in the Supreme Court. Love News spoke with one of the directors the company Emile Mena, who says that the family is happy to be back in control of the Wood Depot which will now operate under a new name. The Wood Stop Limited, formerly the Wood Depot operates from headquarters on Forest Drive in Belmopan, with a branch at mile one on the Northern Highway. There are various distributors around the country.

Labor Commissioner says no penalties for BEL employess who stayed away from work
When they staged a protest two Fridays ago, the members of the Belize Energy Workers Union were demonstrating against their employer, the Belize Electricity Limited on issues they felt impacted their working conditions and terms of employment. Since the protest, there have been no positive strides at meeting – that is until Monday evening when representatives of BEL and the BEWU sat with Labour Commissioner, Ivan Williams, in a pre-mediation meeting to begin a round of negotiations. The differences hover decisions that BEL has made over the past months that the BEWU says were not in alignment with their joint collective bargaining agreement. Those decisions included alleged terminations of plant operators whose posts had been made quote … “redundant” … unquote, along with bonus benefits and other salary issues that the union says date back long before the General Elections. Since the protest, some of BEL’s linesmen who were on call, opted to remain inaccessible for work. But with the Labour Commissioner now leading the negotiations, those employees have returned to their jobs, because as Chapter 298 of the Laws of Belize (Settlement of Disputes in Essential Services) stipulates, the provision of electricity services is an essential service. Labour Commissioner Williams told reporters following Monday’s pre-mediation meeting that in return, BEL would not bring about penalties to those employees who stayed away from work. Williams said that there are a series of steps that can be used in the mediation process at this stage and if those fail to yield a positive outcome, then the Minister will get involved. While BEL could not definitively say what was the cause of a brief power outage in portions of Belize City on Saturday, the company did tell Love News that it has attempted on two occasions to meet with executives of the BEWU to iron out their differences before now, but that those attempts were unsuccessful. The company’s representative at the mediation is its Corporate Communications Manager, Dawn Sampson Nunez, and the union’s representative is its President, Marvin Mora. The mediation is expected to last for two weeks.

Marijuana plantation destroyed; man busted with ganja in Toledo
The Belize police department continues to wage war on Marijuana cultivation. Their latest success came on Monday afternoon, when officers from the Ladyville Sub-Formation traveled to an isolated spot in the New River Lagoon area of the Orange Walk district. There they found and destroyed a marijuana plantation which contained 398 ganja plants measuring between eight inches and thirty two inches in height. The cultivators of the herb were not present at the time, and the police proceeded to photograph the weed plans, then uprooted them and burned the entire loot. A Special Constable made an early morning drug bust on Sunday in the Toledo District. The Special Constable who is stationed at the Nim Li Punit archaeological site says that around five forty five on Sunday morning while he was driving through Golden Stream village, he stopped and searched a man identified as Hermin Pop. The search turned up four hundred and twenty four grams of marijuana. Twenty five year old Hermin Pop who is a resident of Silver Creek village has been arrested and charged for the crime of drug trafficking.

Unemployed man holds up taxi with fake gun
48-year-old Andy Avilez, an unemployed with no fixed address who beat a charge of burglary last week, was back in court today with burglary. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and he was remanded into custody until June 8. The incident occurred around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 6. The complainant, 26-year-old Guatemalan taxi driver Walter Lopez reported to the Police that that Avilez boarded his taxi car on Cemetery Road and asked to be taken to the Municipal Airstrip. He said that on arrival at the airstrip Avilez requested that he park in a dark area and he refused. Lopez said Avilez then produced an object resembling a firearm and pointed it at him and demanded money. He said he gave Avilez $10.00. Lopez said he then drove Avilez to the Pound Yard Bridge area and he shouted for help at a Police mobile that was passing by. Avilez then got out of the taxi and ran. While he was running the firearm fell. Police apprehended him and when they retrieved the firearm they discovered that it was a plastic gun.

Tourist busted with crystal meth at the airport
44-year-old American national David Michael Higgins who was busted at Phillip Goldson International Airport with point six grams of crystal meth was fined one thousand dollars after he pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a controlled drug. Higgins was ordered to pay the fine forth with, in default two months imprisonment. He paid the fine and was released. The bust occurred around 12:10 p.m. on Saturday, May 5. Detective Constable Ervin Pech who is attached to the Anti Drug Unit, reported that he noticed that Higgins was acting suspicious when Higgins arrived at the airport on an American Airlines flight from Dallas, Texas. Pech said he introduced himself to Higgins and he informed Higgins that a search will be conducted on him. Pech said he took Higgins to the Special Branch office at the airport and the search resulted in the discovery of two transparent plastic bags containing crystal meth in the small pocket at the front of his pants. The bags were wrapped in tissue.

Government vehicle stolen in the dead of night
The Ministry of Health is tonight short of a vehicle from its fleet. And they are asking for the public’s assistance in recovering the valuable piece of asset and the apprehension of the man who casually drove off in the truck in the middle of the night. Love TV’s Patrick Jones reports.


Commotion in Harmonyville
The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) has had its fair share of challenges as it works to dev...

US President ‘comes out of the closet’ on gay marriage
“When America sneezes, Belize catches a cold.” So goes a popular local saying. We don’t normally report on happenin...

Jewelry store in Belize City robbed
There was another robbery in Belize City this evening. A jewellery store was the target this time. Geovanni Bracket...

BSCFA agree on payment plan for former CEO
On Monday March 19, Justice Oswell Legal ruled that the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association pay former CEO David ...

House of Culture displays Coco Cola inspired exhibition
It's Coca Cola's 50th year in Belize and in commemoration of its anniversary some fifty artist from across the coun...

Cancer Society Belmopan hosting forum on Colon Cancer
The Belmopan Branch of the Belize Cancer Society will be hosting a forum on Colon Cancer and colonoscopy. The aim i...

Roaring Creek man escapes gunfire
A Roaring Creek man is lucky to be alive after bullets apparently intended for him, missed their mark. 32 year old ...

14 year old boy accused of attempted murder
A 14-YEAR OLD BOY has been arrested for attempted murder. Because he is a minor, we cannot divulge the child’s age....

Police investigate death of Toledo woman
Last night we reported on a murder committed in Toledo by a senior citizen. The police dept. released preliminary i...


Belize Beef and Doing Morning Matters tv show with Rhonda and Cowboy
A while back Cowboy Doug posted a facebook giveaway – Supercalafragilisticexpiealladotious (sp) …1st person to walk up and say that at the pool bar gets a free drink! ….1st person to bring a pool floatie that can support the weight of somebody body gets 2 free meals of their choice! WE need more floaties for the folks in the pool – tell them at the bar Cowboy Doug said this… Saturday night we were out for dinner at El Divino and I asked Cowboy and Leisa if anyone had claimed the facebook prizes and no one had. So we stopped at Wings on our way to the Dorado rodeo and I got a super cool S curve pool float that holds 2 people and told them I would be coming to claim the barbecues. Supercalafragilisticexpiealladotious and a free drink is still up for grabs. When I got to Sunday pool party, I met Rhonda Crichton who was there to see grill master Sir Andrew Smiling. We all enjoyed lunch together, the bone in rib-eye was fantastic. I see a lot on message boards where people say Belize beef is not so great and not to bother with it. Depending on where you are eating, this can be due to a lack of proper marinating and tenderizing. Sir Andrew has top quality meat to begin with and the magic touch – his steak could easily pass a blindfold taste test against a USDA cut.

The Ferry to Roatan, Honduras and A Look at the West End
The boat from La Ceiba, Honduras to Roatan seems simple enough. Relatively cheap at $500 lempiras, fast at only 1 hour and 10 minutes and huge, holding about 400 people, the boat leaves twice a day. Great. We arrived at the port of La Ceiba about half an hour early for the 9:30am ferry. The place was BUSY. The boat was going to be relatively crowded. As soon as the boat pulled out of port, an employee came around and handed everyone a small striped plastic bag. A sick well as a paper towel. We all thought it was a joke...or at least we thought it was funny at the time. Silly, silly us. Here is Cesar posing with his bag. This boat is ROUGH and most of the passengers are stuck inside. Though it is air conditioned, you need to be in the fresh air for this kind of sea. If there are three stages of sea sickness, midway through, I was at level one (spittle in the mouth), Cesar (who was in the US Navy!) was at a one, Dani was at two and Emily? She got full blown sick. She wasn't the only one on the boat. For those who might get sea sick...dramamine is a must. I couldn't wait to get off the Galaxy Wave. I wasn't the only one...the trash bin was quite full. After picking up our luggage, Cesar's friend George pulled up. Isn't it great having friends...or friends of friends in foreign places? We did some food shopping and headed back to his GORGEOUS 2 bedroom condo in the West End. Lots of food shopping. The grocery stores in Roatan are well stocked. Time to unpack and have some Pain Killers...a recipe Danni and Cesar brought back from the British Virgin Islands. These drinks are seriously good.

An Islanders tips to best ‘Beat the Heat’!!
The time is fast approaching for the season where locals and tourists alike need to ‘Beat the Heat’! From mid May the wind drops and the water turns glassy. The off-shoot of this is that our tropical island looks even more beautiful than ever as the bright sunshine brings blues in the ocean to a dreamy effect and the water is warm and inviting. However, those wishing to navigate even the smallest of activities on the island will find themselves dripping in sweat and exhausted at the same time. So here is our top tips for everybody to enjoy the gorgeous weather! 1) It may seem obvious but any activity undertaken on the water has to be the No 1 choice!! Scuba diving and snorkeling activities are everybodies top choice to cool down their personal thermostat and at Raggamuffin, we agree!! 2) And this is a favorite too – sitting in the water at the Split with your choice beverage in your hand. From soda to the crazy green Lazy Lizard Juice the cooling water around the Split, along with the funky music, is definitely an excellent way to beat the heat! Please note that do no carefully monitor their intake ie too many Lizard Juices, may feel the effects of another kind the following day!! 3) For those that want to see around the island or even for those who have errands to run, the only way to get around the island would be by bike or golf cart. We do not recommend stealing anybodies vehicles but rental prices are extremely reasonable for both. With the wind blowing in your hair and the streets being as smooth as they have been recently you will most definitely forget anything about the heat!!

International Sources

Brittle Stars Move Like Humans
Symmetry influences how an animal moves about. Animals with bilateral symmetry, like humans, have bodies specialized to move in one direction — forward. Many animals with radial symmetry don't move or do so slowly. When they do travel, most of these animals do so in a direction determined by their body's central axis, defined by the location of their mouths. Think of a jellyfish moving up and down in the water column. This is why brittle stars are strange. Despite their five-way symmetry, the stars don't move according to their central axis. Instead, they move perpendicular to it using their five multijointed limbs to propel them along the seafloor. To confirm that brittle stars are indeed using a coordinated gait similar to that of four-limbed animals, Henry Astley, a graduate student in evolutionary biology at Brown University, observed 13 blunt-spined brittle stars collected from the waters of Belize. Astley filmed the brittle stars crawling in an inflatable pool and digitized their movements to better analyze them. He found that, about 75 percent of the time, brittle stars oriented their movement around a central limb, which pointed the way for the rest of the body. The left and right forelimbs made large, coordinated movements. To turn, the brittle star simply picked a new lead limb.

Jaguar Encounter at Belize Zoo
The Belize Zoo's Jaguar Encounter gets a good write up. Junior Buddy is world famous. "The next day we went to the Belize Zoo and tried out their Jaguar Encounter. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend it. It’s $50 USD per cage, and a cage can hold 1-5 people. C.L. and I were the only ones in our cage plus a jaguar handler. And the whole experience probably lasted about 10 minutes. The Belize Zoo has around 14 jaguars…most of them they’ve saved from farmers that had targeted them after losing livestock. Only three of them are “on display.” And you can only get up close and personal with one…his name is Junior Buddy. He was raised in the zoo and is somewhat tame from a wild animal perspective. But they’re still not crazy enough to let you loose in a jaguar enclosure. So they have a nice little cage inside his spacious pen that you get to sit in, and he gets to come check YOU out."

May 9, 2012

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Ministry of Health Increases its Dental Services to Children with Special Needs
The Dental Department of the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Belize Center for the Visually Impaired (BCVI), Community Agency for Rehabilitation and Education for Persons with Disability (CARE) and the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) held a two day workshop on wellness care for Special Needs children on April 26th and 27th at the Stella Maris School in Belize City. The objective of the workshop was to certify dental surgeons to care for Special Needs Children. The workshop increased access of dental care for Special Olympics Athletes as well as children and adults with intellectual disabilities. At the conclusion of the workshop, dental surgeons and other professional doctors provided their services to approximately one hundred Special Needs Children at the Belize Elementary Gymnasium. This year, a total of 13 dental staff from the Ministry of Health participated as a part of Special Smiles.

Oceana Belize Files Suit Challenging the Disqualification of Referendum Petition Signatures
Oceana in Belize seeks Judicial Review of the Government of Belize’s (GOB) decision to disqualify signatures submitted to the Elections and Boundaries Department petitioning the GOB to hold a national referendum on Offshore Oil Drilling In December of 2011, the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, spearheaded by member Oceana Belize, collected and submitted 20,160 signatures petitioning the Government of Belize to hold a referendum on the topic of allowing Offshore Oil Drilling in Belize. The petition was done in accordance with the Referendum Act and was a requirement for the Coalition to have the referendum held on request. It needed to have 10% of the registered voters of Belize signed unto the petition in order for it to be passed which would amount to 17,140 signatures of the total 171,405 registered voters. The number of signatures submitted clearly exceeded the required quantity needed as it totalled over 11% of the overall number required to have the referendum held, however, after waiting two months to get a response from the Elections and Boundaries Department they were told at a press conference on February 1, 2012, that over 8,000 signatures were rejected on the petition and therefore the required amount was not met.

Director Ben Popik talks about his film “The Exquisite Corpse Project”
Recently, director Ben Popik sat down with The San Pedro Sun to talk about his new film “The Exquisite Corpse Project“; a Comedy/Documentary that portrays a group of guys who work together to write a screenplay for a film, but with one major twist… they each person only get to read the last five pages of the previous section the other person wrote. Ben brings together five comedians, and surprises them with a challenge: to each write fifteen pages of a movie, having read only the previous five pages of the script. They agree with one stipulation: if they write the movie, he has to make it. It sounds like a really weird concept and you’d think… “no way in hell would that work”. Well you know what, it does, and it turns out to be one kick-ass feel-good fun movie about nothing and everything. It’s a comedy, a love story, a psycho-sexual thriller, and a supernatural adventure all in one! One Movie… Five Writers… a thousand different twists and turns! Ben is a New York native who’s now living and working in San Pedro where he and his wife Joanna own “Island Films” a full-service, HD video-production firm. In his own words, he is here because “it’s so beautiful…I love this country, this country’s amazing!” He’s no stranger to working both on and off the camera, having worked on tons of productions with companies such as Discovery Channel and his own production company Olde English Comedy, producing/writing/editing comedies and films for television for over eight years. This however is his first feature length film and judging by the reaction of critics who’ve seen it so far, it’s a really good one.

Ambergris Today

NEMO Poster/Quiz Competition
The National Emergency Management Organization is hereby extending an invitation to all schools in Belize Rural South to participate in our annual NEMO Week. NEMO Week is May 27 - June 1, 2012 All schools throughout the country have been invited to join and participate in a National Poster contest. All posters will be judged in Belmopan for NEMO Week. Also, the San Pedro Town Emergency Committee is cordially inviting all schools in Belize Rural South to participate in a quiz contest. This quiz contest is only for schools in the Belize Rural South. The date set for the quiz contest is May 29, 2012. The questioner and all other details for the quiz contest will be forwarded to all schools no later than Friday, April 27, 2012. Other activities for NEMO Week is: a special Church service in all denomination, Radio/TV Talk Show, National Poster contest, Quiz contest and an entertainment night on Disaster Preparedness to climax the week in the San Pedro Town Central Park.

Sanpedranos in New BTB Board of Directors
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is proud to announce the appointment of its new Board of Directors. On April 4, 2012, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture selected the ten member board, re-appointing three members from the last board and selecting six new board members. Serving the board as an ex-officio member is our newly appointed CEO of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Mrs. Tracy Panton. “The successful and sustainable development of our industry is dependent upon robust leadership and direction,” said the Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. “I strongly believe the new Board of Directors will be able to ensure positive growth in our tourism industry over the next year.” Drawn from discipline and expertise, these board members understand their key role in the continued development and achievements of the BTB, translating to an overall economic growth for the Belize Tourism Industry. The new Board Chair, Ian Lizarraga, says he is honored to be serving the industry in this new capacity.

Oceana Belize Files Suit Against Government of Belize
On Friday, May 4, 2012, Oceana in Belize filed suit against the Government of Belize challenging its disqualification of 8,042 signatures of Belizean voters who had signed a petition calling on the Government of Belize to hold a national referendum which would permit all Belizeans on voting whether to allow or disallow offshore exploration and drilling in Belize. The disqualification, representing close to 40% of all signatures, was collected by the ‘Coalition to Save or Natural Heritage’, during a national petition drive in 2011.

Town Council Starts Ambitious Clean Up Campaign in San Pedrito Area
The San Pedro Town Council is keeping its word of having a cleaner San Pedro. It first embarked on a Earth Day cleanup campaign in April where residents were asked to take out all their garbage on the street sides for the council to clear. Now, specific areas on the island are being targeted for cleanup. On Monday, May 7, 2012, an official cleanup campaign put together by the Town Council commenced with a 12-man team targeting the San Pedrito Area. Ambergris Today met with Mayor Danny Guerrero and councilors in San Pedrito where they gave us a personal tour of the area and explained in detail what their plans for the area are.

Misc Belizean Sources

ACES rescues anteater
While on a croc call Vince rescues a Collared anteater. The little girl is slightly injured, apparently from a dog attack. Additionally, she appears to have been a pet due to her behavior. Tomorrow Vince will carry her to the Belize Forest Department in Belmopan where Wildlife Officer Rasheda Garcia and the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network vet Dr. Paquet will assess her. Hopefully she will be rehabilitated and released.

Belize Embassy Open House May 5, 2012
The Belize Embassy in the USA was open on Saturday 10am-5pm as part of an annual embassy open house day. Some embassies did quite a bit more than others and I would put Belize in that category. Ambassador Mendez and his wife were greeting people as they came in. I didn't see any other ambassadors doing that all day. Of course, I'm not sure everyone quite realized who he was. When I had started posing for the shot everyone in line was like, "what's going on, who are these people?" Anyway, I met his kids, too, and invited all of them to LOC soon, which they accepted.(!) The embassy also had lots of tour information for free and Belikin on tap and food goodies for a fee.

BHSAS Subsidised Spay and Neuter Program
In an effort to limit the impact of unwanted breeding on the population of dogs and cats in the streets of the Old Capital, the Belize Humane Society and Animal Shelter (BHSAS) has introduced a subsidized spay and neuter program in Belize City. Under the program, BHSAS will pay 1/3 of the cost of spaying and neutering anyone’s dogs and cats at the Animal Medical Center (AMC) located off Victoria Street near Freetown Road. The animal’s owner would only be liable for the remainder of the normal costs of these operations at this leading veterinary practice. While the program has been initially implemented with the AMC, BHSAS intends to expand the scheme to include other vets in Belize City in the near future. The public should call AMC on 223-3781 to make the appointments, or for answers to any other questions about this program.

Just How Nutz Is This Nut???? Who is John McAfee? by Fayemarie Anderson Carter
There are people rising up to defend John McAfee by attacking the source of the works I quoted, saying it is mere speculation and there is no proof. One comment called me “judgmental” reminding me that those living in glass houses shouldn’t cast stones. WTF??? Really? LMAO! O Good Lordamerci! Why get so personal over a man neither of us knows???

Mangrove Park in Corozal continues to thrive, with growing support in the community
To finalize celebrating Earth Day 2012, everyone involved in the clean-up was invited to gather at Mangrove Park. First there was a program where the organizers of the event made short talks, encouraging everyone to stay involved in the efforts to keep Corozal clean and green. Before and after the program and installation of the sign, the people were able to enjoy the park and appreciate the beauty that can accompany preserving the environment. Earth Day 2012, in addition to a big clean-up, was celebrated by installing a new sign at Mangrove Park, Corozal's flagship environmental project. Since its initiation in 2009, this park has been worked on many hours and days by locals as well as groups from out of country. The sign was designed and painted (with some help from others) by Kumi Hoshi, a JICA volunteer who is an environmental advocate. She is always on hand for any project related to the environment. She is functioning as an environmental educator with the Ministry of Education.

Pacz Tours Offers Caracol Overnight Camping Tours
Scarlet Macaws, Mountain Pine Ridge during the day, Ca'ana at sunset, and roasting marshmallows at night. That sounds like quite a tour. Pacz Tours does just that. Check them out at

Full Moon Concert: The Remaining
Daniel Velazquez got some brilliant shots of the Full Moon Concert. Check out that picture of the full moon. Amazing picture of the drummer in action! And the violinist too. Great shots, Danny. Can't wait for the SISE HoC to put on the next one.

National Agriculture and Trade Show pictures
Beltraide posted quite a few pictures from Agric. Read about how they provided Rainforest Haven and Rumors Resort their booth space. "BELTRAIDE subsidized its booth to Rainforest Haven Inn and Rumors Resort Hotel, providing them with exposure, and allowing them to apply what they learned in the workshop. Giveaways, raffles, and games formed part of the weekend. Visitors to the booth stemmed from individuals who are planning to open a business, to businesspeople, and regular visitors who were simply interested to hear and see what the Inns had to offer."

Channel 7

Tonight the Central Region of The Department of Health is looking for a Gold 2009 Toyota Hilux. It was stolen after two this morning from their compound which is at the old Nursing School, right next to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. But while the news tonight is about their effort to get the vehicle back - to tell that story, we first have to show you how easily it was stolen - alarmingly so. Jules Vasquez reviewed the security camera footage - and saw the work of a cool handed car thief - with an apparent inside connect:.. Jules Vasquez reporting The break in started here at 2:27 am - with the robber casually striding up St. Joseph Street looks in at the gate - sees no security and then proceeds to scale the fence. Wearing what looks like military type fatigues, he gets over with ease and then calmly strolls around to the fence and quickly breaks open the lock - after all - he'll shortly be driving out with his new car. In no rush at all, he slides the gate open - with the same casual air that you would do it with your gate at home.

Well-known city resident, Kevin Kelly known as Boco-T died in police custody 12 days ago - and his post mortem was just performed today. For his family - which has been waiting nearly two weeks to bury the 38 year old father of 3, it is an outrage heaped upon a tragedy - and when they found out the cause of death today - that outrage hardened into bitter resentment. They today told us that the post mortem identified his cause of death as internal bleeding due to Abdominal, trauma due to blunt instrument type. Now, that's major news because the unofficial police story was that he may have died from a broken neck which he could have suffered when he jumped a fence running from San Pedro Police last week Thursday night. But the post mortem - as the family reads it - suggests that some blunt instrument caused the bleeding which led to his death. His common-law-wife and brother told us that they believe he was murdered by police:.. Lorna Wade - Common Law Wife of Deceased "I am not satisfied with the results. As what the police said that Kevin climbed a fence and broke his neck - he didn't break his neck, the autopsy showed that there is no broken neck and no overdose or nothing." "The autopsy showed that he died from internal bleeding."

Last night - just like all other media - we got it wrong when we reported on the murder of Maria Chen. The 81 year old resident of San Pablo Village in the Toledo District was killed - but police have not named her 79 year old common law husband Manuel Pec as a suspect. The police press office - which did not release any information yesterday despite requests - today reports that at about 7:00 on Friday night 81 year old Chen, a Guatemalan national and Pec were lying in their hammocks. Pec told police that suddenly, she cried out to him, saying, quote, "someone is killing us." Pec told police he doesn't know what happened next, because he was struck across the face and hand and the light was off. Chen's throat was slit and she was found lying face down in a pool of blood - with a stab wound to her throat. Pec's hand was broken - and police found him lying in the hammock. Police are investigating - but have made no arrests in this very mysterious killing.

44 year-old David Michael Higgins, an American tourist, was arraigned in court today for possession of a controlled drug. Higgins, who is a maintenance worker from Missouri, arrived at the PGIA from Dallas on Saturday. He then got into the line to check in at customs, but an ADU officer observed that he was behaving suspiciously. That officer searched Higgins and found 0.6 grams of an unknown substance in one of Higgins's pockets. As a result, the officer arrested and charged him with possession of a controlled drug, and he was brought to court yesterday. However, he was not arraigned until today after the results of the lab analysis came back, which positively identified the confiscated drugs as crystal meth. Higgins pleaded guilty to the charge, and as a result, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith sentenced him to pay a fine of $1,000 forthwith. He was able to pay up, and he was released from custody this afternoon.

Last night, we told you about 48 year-old Andy Aviles who was charged with attempt robbery after he was caught trying to rob a taxi driver. Well today, he was brought to court. He covered up his face all the way to and from the Court room of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, where he was arraigned. Avilez pleaded not guilty to the charge but the prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that he has been previously charged with other offenses of dishonesty. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith upheld that objection and remanded him to prison until June 8, when he will be brought back to court. As we reported, Avilez allegedly got into the Guatemalan taximan, Walter Lopez's, vehicle and robbed him of $10 using a plastic gun. Fortunately, Lopez shouted for a passing police mobile and Avilez was arrested after he was allegedly caught in the act.

Last night we told you about the mess with the payroll for the gang truce, the poverty alleviation project and other works projects. Cuts are being made across the board because government can no longer afford the wage bill for all 800 plus persons. But another project - this one very tightly managed - is providing employment to at-risk persons. It is the Southside Poverty Alleviation Project. This one is no idle past-time, and, in fact, idlers are not welcome; it's back breaking manual work that pays well for those who perform but rejects those who want easy money. We found out how the project is transforming the Collet Canal area and also changing a few lives:.. Jules Vasquez reporting The Collet Canal - from Yabra to conch Shell Bay is being transformed. 825 metres of the canal is being narrowed, capped, and the adjoining streets paved in short with about 600 piles, the canal is being civilized - it will no longer be a filth strewn backwater. It is a massive 10 million dollar project funded by the OPEC fund for International Development

27 year-old Amir Reyes, a prison officer from Orange Walk, is facing a drug trafficking charge after he allegedly tried to smuggle marijuana into the Belize Central Prison. According to police, sometime after 7 p.m. last night, Reyes tried to smuggle 11.4 ounces of marijuana which was hidden inside a container filled with food he brought from home. The prison officer on duty stirred the food around and found the marijuana in a small parcel under the food. Reyes was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith today, and he pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was granted bail of $1000, and met bail, with his case adjourned to June.

Last night we told you about the pre-mediation meeting that the Labor Commissioner Convened with the Management of BEL and the Belize Energy Workers Union. Coming out of the talks both sides agreed to revert to the status quo, to stick to the Partnership collective agreement and to start a formal mediation process by tomorrow. But, tonight we'll revisit that 6:00 pm press conference to specifically examine some of the issues that had come up in the two weeks of public agitation between union and management. First, off the Labour Commissioner confirmed that the Energy Workers di withdraw their labour this weekend - meaning that workers who were on call turned off their radios. He said that move lent the talks some urgency:.. Reporter "Was there a strike that would have made it abnormal?" Ivan Williams - Labour Commissioner "No, my understanding is that certain employees at the company were not showing up for standby on certain hours that were expected of them. Those persons will no longer be withholding their labour. They will continue to be on standby and show up when required to ensure that there is electricity to the country, particularly, where there might be situation where there is a power failure." Williams also discussed the fate of seven workers: three who were terminated and four who were declared redundant. He explained what will happen with those seven employees: Ivan Williams "We have agreed that those persons who are - I'd want to say - are engaged in certain industrial actions, that management should not move to take any sort of disciplinary action against them. That is one of the issues on the table for discussion, so it is only fair that we fully ventilate and hear those issues."

Coca Cola is one of the biggest global brands - and with no real challenger in Belize - its probably the biggest local brand as well. This year, Bowen and Bowen is celebrating 50 years of bottling Coca Cola in Belize. And to make it memorable, they invited 50 painters to conjure up quote, "moments of happiness with Coca Cola." Now, patrons are nothing new to the arts - but 50 artists? This one seemed a little over the top - and so we had a few tough questions for the patrons and the curator when it opened at the House of Culture today:... Jules Vasquez reporting The ubiquitous logo of the global corporate mothership on every piece of art - one nation under a carbonated beverage. That's the impression one gets when he or she views the show - and Coca Cola makes no apology for it: Shelley Bowen Stonesifer - Marketing Coordinator, Bowen & Bowen LTD. "The idea behind the project is that we've been bottling Coca-Cola in Belize for 50 years, and we wanted to do something celebrate 50 years of Coca Cola."

A group of optometry students are in Belize - conducting free eye examinations for children as well as adults. The free eye screenings are being done at the Lion's Clinic for the next 2 days. The group consists of 15 volunteers - who belong to the optometric service to humanity at the Southern College of Optometry. 7news stopped in today at the Clinic and found out more. Brett Miller, Student Volunteer "Basically today and also on Wednesday and Thursday we are going to be doing eye exams. We are Optometry students in Memphis Tennessee in the United States and we are going to check the health of our patient's eyes here and we are also looking to see if there is any prescription if we can help their vision with glasses today." "Today we are going to see about 350-400 patients. The people have really been coming in and we are glad to see everybody, there are lots of young students that we are screening. We are doing everything we can to help them." "Everything is going great so far. Lots of the kids are doing well, they don't need glasses. There are some kids who have been uncorrected and we've got glasses to help them out especially for them being able to see the board in school." "We have also screen a bunch of adults - some of them have conditions that we referred them to the local Ophthalmologist here to help them with as far as diabetes and different conditions like that." "We are also giving away sunglasses. Lots of individuals have had conditions that are caused by extra UV exposer - we have sunglasses that we can give out that will help."

Today Red Cross volunteers from around the world joined in with one another as they celebrated World Red Cross Crescent Day. As a part of the local observance, the Belize Red Cross held an Open Day to educate the public on the purpose they serve. Those purposes were demonstrated by youngsters themselves who played a major role in today's Open Day. According to Director General of the Belize Red Cross, Lily Bowman, young people play a critical role in helping the Red Cross. Lily Bowman, Director General of the Belize Red Cross "Today we are hosting an open day. It is being carried out by our abled youth volunteers; we have about 10 of them here from SJC and SCA. It's basically to take people through our offices and to tell them about our programs first hand." "We are taking through our 7 fundamental principles - the history of the movement, the history of Belize Red Cross. We are telling them about our disaster reduction programs and activities." "We are also telling them and showing them some skills in first aid. Those are the basic things. It's basically catering for young people since the theme this year is "Youth on the move." So we are trying to develop our young people in the Red Cross and to probably start developing a spirit of volunteers in themselves and in a way to build leadership among them." "We have several schools dropping in today and of course we have invited the general public if they so like to come."

Channel 5

Husband says unknown assailant killed his wife
The abundance and availability of guns and ammunition on the street has resulted in six persons being shot since Friday night; they all managed to survive. But it’s not a Belize City shooting incident that has gripped a southern community, but the murder of an octogenarian who was killed was in cold blood. Since Monday [...]

Guatemala police kill man who threatened Joseph Budna
While it seems that violent crime is no longer endemic only to Belize City, other communities rarely feel the constant fear that is felt by some in the old capital. However, there is one man who, no matter what community he lives in, always seems to be shadowed by unusual circumstances. Joseph Budna had experienced [...]

Tourist at Airport with his personal stash of Crystal Meth
Belize’s reputation for being a top eco-friendly tourist destination has travelled far, but for some tourists, they have also heard that Belize’s drug laws are not prison ready. The recent cases of containers busted by the Customs Department, which contain pseudo-ephedrine, a precursor for the manufacture of the highly addictive methamphetamine of crystal meth drug; [...]

Caught on Camera: Culprit stealing Health Services vehicle
The impudent behavior that Higgins used to pass his drugs through U.S. and Belize customs, is not uncommon, as a car thief in the presence of cameras also had gall to steal a vehicle. A government truck was stolen early this morning from the Central Health Region compound on Saint Thomas Street. The theft was [...]

Should taxpayers’ dollars pay gang salaries?
It was announced late last month that the referendum on taking the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice will be held on October sixth, 2013. Leading up to that date, there will be plenty discussion on the matter so we got the ball rolling with our last question to viewers. We asked: [...]

“I neva know” defense works in Cuthkelvin container case
Six containers loaded with a precursor to methamphetamine have been sitting at the Customs Department compound since March. The value of the chemical methylamine hydrochloride has been placed in the range of ten billion dollars. Tonight there is information that the department will not be pressing any charges against Vernon Cuthkelvin who was named as [...]

Labor Commissioner bridges connection with B.E.L. and B.E.W.U.
The management of the Belize Electricity Limited and the Belize Energy Workers Union, through the intervention of Labor Commissioner Ivan Williams, is set to resume deliberations on Wednesday morning in an effort to pinpoint specific issues affecting both parties. The administration of the government-owned utility company and the membership of the B.E.W.U. have been at [...]

Oceana explains why it’s taking ministry and G.G. to court
While the union has the option of seeking out the labor commissioner, nongovernmental organizations have no such recourse for redress. That is why Oceana Belize is taking its issues to court. Oceana Belize is not giving up its drive to have a referendum on the question of offshore drilling. On Friday May fourth Oceana filed [...]

OCEANA foresees a double referendum day
On October sixth, 2013, citizens of Belize and Guatemala will vote in a referendum as to whether the territorial dispute should be forwarded to the International Court of Justice. But a day in which national attention calls the citizens to the poll may also serve OCEANA’s purpose. News Five asked Audrey Matura Shepherd, if the [...]

Marijuana at Lim Ni Punit and in New River
Drug busts were made in the north and south over the past few days. On Monday afternoon at around three-thirty, a team of officers from the Ladyville Police Sub-Formation conducted a search in an isolated area in the New River Lagoon, Orange Walk District. They discovered a marijuana plantation that contained three hundred and ninety-eight [...]

Prison Officer tries to smuggle marijuana into prison
Nim Li Punit and the New River are but only a sample of locations where marijuana occasionally turns up. But there is one place that smugglers regularly get caught; believe it or not, it’s the Belize Central Prison. Prison officers are occasionally accused of trying to smuggle weed into the Prison. And on Monday night, [...]

3 persons missing; have you seen them?
Three persons, two females and one male, have gone missing since the start of this past weekend and the families have been desperately trying to locate them. The first was sixteen year old David Choc who left his home in Armenia Village, Cayo and has not been seen since. His father, Miguel Choc, notified authorities [...]

World Red Cross Day celebrated in Belize
World Red Cross Day is recognized yearly on May eighth. It is a celebration of the work of the organization that has aided the country in many disaster relief efforts. But the institution is not limited to disaster relief and over the years has been offering various services to the public through several programs. This [...]

Coca COLA’s carbonated nouveau art
Since 1962, when the first batch of cokes hit stores, the drink has been a favorite among most Belizeans. Fifty years later, coca-cola is still the beverage of choice and can be found at just about every social event. Today Bowen and Bowen inaugurated its celebration of the golden anniversary of coca-cola in Belize with [...]

$10,000 in prizes delivered at KTV Latino Final
The wait is almost over and within the next few hours you will know who the KTV Latino Season Three champion is. Four finalists have survived weeks of eliminations and intense competition that all lead up to the grand finale tonight. Nasain Montalvo, Doctor Jose Espat, Francesca Awe and Luis Ariel Romero can all be [...]


Tuesday, May 8 - POLICE NEWS
Amir Reyes, a prison officer residing in Orange Walk who allegedly tried to smuggle 324 grams of cannabis into Belize Central prison was charged with drug trafficking when he appeared in court today. Reyes pleaded not guilty to the charge. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith o...

44-year-old American national David Michael Higgins who was busted at Phillip Goldson International Airport with point six grams of crystal meth was fined one thousand dollars after he pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a controlled drug. Higgins was ordered to pay the f...

The plight of children in Belize, their education and wellbeing are among the main concerns for organizations that deal with them on a daily basis. UNICEF’s core role in Belize is to monitor the rights of children and to see the kinds of progress we’re making along wi...

It has taken the government to task on the issue of whether to drill or not to drill offshore and within national parks and now, OCEANA in Belize is taking the government to court. Last Friday, the non-government organization filed legal papers in the Supreme Court for judicial r...

A government vehicle, assigned to the Ministry of Health, was stolen early this morning in Belize City. According to the manager of the Central Health Region, Melinda Guerra, the theft will greatly affect the department’s work, especially with the upcoming rainy ...

A Toledo family is alleging that the policeman in their village has done their family wrong. Paul Mahung reporting… According to the Sho family of San Antonio Village Toledo, six family members including mother, fath...

The Mena family of Belmopan has resumed control of the Wood Depot Company. Since 2010, the Wood Depot had been under a receivership imposed by First Caribbean International Bank. The decision to return full control of the company to the Mena family was finalized on Monday i...


Ivan Tun Charged For Murder
On Wednesday May 8th 28 year old Jorge Ivan Tun accused of the April 23rd murder of 18 year old Aiden Perez, handed himself over to Corozal authorities accompanied by his lawyer. When the report was released by police on Friday we were unable to obtain Tun’s picture. But tonight we have that for you. As previously mentioned, immediately after handing himself over to police Tun was arrested and charged for murder and was remanded to the Kolbe Correctional Facility until his next court date scheduled for 19th of June. Witnesses claim that on the night of Tuesday April 23rd Tun arrived at the residence of one Raymond Jones, pulled out a firearm and fired a hail of bullets at a group of men including Perez who was hanging out at the residence. Three of those bullets found their mark on Perez’s heart, ribs and leg. He died en route to the Corozal Community Hospital. During the incident Kareem Jones was also wounded on the left leg and groin area. He is now recuperating from his injuries.

Two Men Found Guilty Of Aggravated Burglary
Not too often are police able to capture and identify thieves or assailants who have fled the scene of a crime. But following an aggravated burglary last year in September, two male individuals found in connection with the crime were deemed guilty. Around 8:30pm on September 30th of 2011, 18 year old Michel Vellos and family members were at home on Ceiba Street Corozal Town when two male individuals armed with knives and wearing rags over their faces entered the residence. Accordingly, one of the men placed a knife to Vellos’ chest while the other stole a laptop from her room. Making good their escape the men ran away into nearby bushes. Quick police response; however, resulted in the recovery of the laptop and the detention of 21 year old Marvin Peck of a Consejo Road address and 23 year old Antonio Palma of a South End Address. Both men were charged for aggravated burglary when they appeared at the Corozal Magistrates Court on October 3rd of last year. After pleading not guilty to the charge the men were granted bail to the sum of $7,000 which they met. This past Thursday the men appeared at the Corozal Magistrates Court where they were both found guilty of the offence and were fined $5,000 each of which $2,500 was to be paid immediately. While Peck was able to pay off his $2,500, the same cannot be said for Palma who informed the court that he was unable to meet payment. As a result he was remanded to the Kolbe Correctional Facility.

Cane Farmers Approve Payment Of David Madrid
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. Viewers might recall that on October 1st 2010 Madrid was summarily fired by the BSCFA less than a year into his three year contract. On 17th January 2011 Madrid’s attorneys, Eamon Courtenay and Michael Coye, filed a lawsuit against the BSCFA for wrongful termination and after listening to arguments from both sides Justice Legal ruled in favor of Madrid. That left the BSCFA with a debt of $171,292.50. Immediately after the ruling the association called an emergency meeting with its membership. The meeting was set to take place on April 15th but due to a lack of quorum it was postponed for yesterday. With five percent membership of 12 of the 18 branches, the meeting got underway at Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico with the main topic on the agenda being the payment of David Madrid. As was expected cane farmers did not swallow the pill easily after all we are talking about close to $200,000. Nevertheless, after tensions flared and calmed down, cane farmers approved that the former CEO is compensated.

Doctor Love Deciphers The Maya Calendar
This past Saturday renowned epigrapher Doctor Bruce Love hosted a one day workshop at the Yo Creek Sacred Heart Primary School. The workshop saw the participation of over 50 invited guests who gained knowledge of the basic writing and reading of hieroglyphics. And if you are among the millions who have been wondering if the 2012 end of the world Maya prediction is true, Dr. Love says there is no such prediction. Hipolito Novelo Reporting Doctor Bruce Love has over 35 years of experience in Yucatán and Central American History. The anthropologist is a renowned epigrapher who has published a number of books and articles on subjects ranging from contemporary Maya ritual practices to hieroglyphic writings of the Classic Maya Period. This Saturday Dr. Love held a one day workshop in Yo Creek Village to enlightened interested individuals on the hieroglyphic writings of the Maya. Bruce Love, PhD. Anthropologist We begin with an introduction to the whole concept of Mesoamerica, where the Maya fit in to the bigger picture in Mesoamerica. And then we begin with a little bit of the History and then we start right in the long count: the question of 2012. Now we are doing the calendar and then later this afternoon we be doing how to spell your name using the hieroglyphs. Like if your name is Cal. We can use a syllable: Ca and La. Ca is a sign like this and La is a sign like this. You put them together and you get Cal. It’s just like phonetic spelling.

Standard Six Students Take Second Part Of PSE
Nerves frazzled today as standard six student’s country wide sat the second part of the Primary School Examination (PSE). Here in the Orange Walk District a total of 911 students, including 2 private candidates, registered to sit the exams this year. Today’s examination consisted of two tests- Mathematics and Social Studies. Students wrote mathematics paper one and two and completed the social studies multiple choice paper which consisted of 50 questions. Today we visited one of the host high schools and caught up with some of the students who it seems were well prepared for the annual challenge.

BADA Works Towards Enhancing The Level Of Theater In Belize
All forms of art in Belize are progressing but at a steady and slow pace, that’s according to the Belize Association for the Development of Arts, BADA. Over the weekend the organization met with representatives from the Banquitas House of Culture and the National Institute for the Creative Arts (ICA), to discuss on how to better and more efficiently develop and showcase art in Belize. According to BADA’s National Coordinator Beverly Swayze, the organization plans to elevate the standards of theatre in Belize by organizing more activities thus improving the understanding between the artist and the audience. Beverly Swayze, BADA “The ICA groups and the houses of culture are- we are like a branch just like you have house of culture, you have ICA and BADA is like a branch of NICH. And so we work together because we are all aiming for the same thing: to get culture things going in our communities as well as engaging our communities in things at different levels from the everyday work and so on. And to have our youths more involve in culture and aesthetical things.” In order to execute their plan, BADA, in conjunction with several other organizations, have planned a number of activities. One such event is The Palindros.


BEL Management and Workers Union meet in mediated talks
Two weeks after the Belize Energy Workers Union staged a public protest in front of the Belize Electricity Limited, over employment and other issues a meeting ended a few minutes ago between the two parties. Labour Commissioner, Ivan Williams, mediated the meeting between BEL and the BEWU and Love News was present for a briefing by the two parties and Labour Commissioner Williams. Since the protest two Fridays ago, some of BEL’s employees who are BEWU members have taken industrial action. As a part of the negotiations, Labour Commissioner Williams says that none of those employees will be penalized for their action, but that they will be required to return to work to ensure that the process yields a positive solution. Both the BEL and BEWU representatives have expressed confidence that the mediation process will result in an amicable conclusion, and that process is expected to end in a matter of two weeks.

Arson suspected in San Antonio village
A twenty four year old man from San Antonio village is the Cayo district tonight stands accused of burning down his father in law’s palapa. The incident happened on Saturday night in the village. Fifty three year old Antonio Mai told police that on Saturday night his son in law Armando Pech, who was under the influence of alcohol issued insulting words to his common law wife and other family members. Mai told police that he went to bed and a few minutes later his wife informed him that Pech had set fire to the palapa measuring fourteen feet by sixteen feet. The estimated cost of the structure is three thousand dollars. Armando Peck was arrested on Sunday and charged for the crime of arson.

Pine Lumber suffers major losses due to fire
A major fire in the on Saturday afternoon in the Cayo district has left nearly a million dollars worth of damage in its wake. The incident happened at the Pine Lumber Saw Mill in Georgeville village. According to a statement issued this afternoon by the company, officials were alerted around two thirty on Saturday afternoon that a bush fire was approaching the saw mill area. The statement goes on to say that when company officials arrived, they observed that he fire had already crossed the fire break and ignited some of the logs. Pine Lumber Company estimates that ninety percent of the logs were lost to the fire and today’s police report put the estimated cost of the damage at one million dollars. No one was hurt as the company staff, with the assistance of the National Fire Service, Spanish Lookout Fire Service and neighbors were able to secure the buildings and equipment. The Pine Lumber Company statement says that their investigation shows that the fire started from a land clearing by a neighbor, which, combined with strong winds and the very dry conditions of the logs and surrounding area, quickly grew out of control. Police investigations are continuing.

Education weeks begin
The Ministry of Education has set aside two weeks to focus on a number of activities leading up to teachers’ day. It is observed under the theme “Together we achieve quality education for all”. Deputy Chief Education Officer at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Carol Babb told us more about the events. The Ministry invites the general public to partake in these educational activities. For further information you can call the office at phone number 223-2817.

PSE Part Two
As Education Week kicks off, Standard six students all around the country of Belize sat the second half of the PSE Examinations today. Lisa Clare from the Ministry of education told Love News that this year has seen an increase in students sitting the exam. Day one of the examinations which were held last month consisted of English and Science papers, while the subjects sat today were Mathematics and Social Studies. Love News caught up with some of the students as they exited the examination rooms. Results for the Primary School examinations will be available in the first week of June.


Police investigate chopping incident in Hope Creek
Police are investigating a chopping that occurred on May 4. Magarito Trejio, a 23year old Heavy Duty Operator of Ho...

New Auxiliary Bishop ordained
Bishop Christopher Glancy was ordained as an Auxiliary Bishop to the Roman Catholic Diocese on Saturday. The ceremo...

Man charged for trafficking cannabis
Special constable stationed at the Nim Li Punit Archeological site makes a drug bust. Police visited Indian Creek V...

Belize joins the world in observing Red Cross Day
Belize Red Cross today (MAY 8) celebrated world Red Cross/ Red Crescent Day. To mark the day, the Belize Red Cross ...

New teen hangout preps for opening
Youth With A Mission or YWAM as it’s most commonly known, is an international Christian Movement from many denomina...

BEL and Union in negotiation talks
At its press conference last Friday (May 4) the Union had broadened its accusations against BEL to include charges ...

Belmopan Lions Club conducting weeklong eye clinic
The Belmopan Lions Club is hosting its 6th annual eye clinic. Every year the Club brings in a group of both Profess...

BELTRAIDE participates in business development workshop
In February BELTRAIDE, in collaboration with DFC hosted the first Stakeholder’s meeting to obtain feedback on the a...

Griga-line bus plunges into ditch
Information reaching our news desk is that a Griga-line Bus left Belmopan at 4pm enroute to Dangriga. The vehicle s...

Man shot during confrontation with Police
Police visited the village of Frank’s Eddy on May 5, around 1am, regarding a report of aggravated assault at a resi...

OCEANA Belize files suit against GOB
Oceana in Belize has filed notice of application for leave to apply for judicial review of the decision of the Chie...

81 year old woman dies from cut to the throat
Another crime was also committed in the south over the weekend but sadly the perpetuator was an elderly man. Police...

Field of almost 400 marijuana plants destroyed
A Team of Police Officers from the Ladyville Sub-Formation visited an isolated area at New River Lagoon in the Oran...


Outlaw the “Walls of Death!”
Amandala’s May 6, 2012 editorial captioned “A tale of greed, stupidity and indifference,” regarding the destruction of the Fisheries as a result of gill net fishing, was a great contribution that properly exposed an evil that has been and is, destructive of both the Fishery and Tourism industries. The politics that has allowed such destruction to continue is disgraceful, and dishonorable.

Police say husband, 79, slashed throat of wife, 82
A reportedly abusive relationship ended in the death of Maria Chen, 82, around 9:00 p.m. on Friday, May 4, in Bella Vista, Stann Creek District. Police have detained her common-law husband, 79. Police say that they responded to a call to the couple’s home in Bella Vista, and on their arrival, they found the woman lying on the floor with her throat cut, and her husband was seen with minor injuries. He had a cut on his forehead, a cut on his finger and an injury to his hand. He was lying down in a hammock waiting for the police. Police say that he showed no remorse for the death of his common-law wife, and was taken into custody without any trouble. Chen’s body was taken to Dangriga, where she was declared dead on arrival at the Dangriga Hospital, after which she was then taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. She was put into the morgue, where her body is now awaiting a post-mortem. Neighbors told police that the husband was very abusive to Chen, going as far as throwing away the food she had made if he did not like what she cooked — leaving her with nothing to eat. On many occasions, the neighbours told police, they would have to give her food.

Guat police kill extortionist in Quetzaltenango City
40-min fatal shootout ends alleged extortion attempt on Belizean Joseph Budna... Police apprehend other extortionist... Joseph Budna, 31, a Belizean businessman living in Guatemala, told our newspaper today that two men on a motor scooter attempted to extort 15,000 quetzales, about BZ$3,800, from him last Thursday in Quetzaltenango City, Guatemala, claiming that someone had ordered a hit on him, and he had to pay the money to the men to stay alive.

Oceana et al sues GOB and Governor General
Oceana, Tom Greenwood and Audrey Bradley take GOB and GG to court over oil referendum... The parties seek judicial review for 8,000 plus signatures rejected... A request for leave to file a judicial review claim was submitted to the Supreme Court of Belize on Friday, May 4, 2012, by Oceana, Tom Greenwood and Audrey Bradley, who are challenging the actions of the Government in disapproving a request for a national referendum on offshore drilling on the claim that over 8,000 signatures—close to 40%—on the petition were no good. Some signatures were said to be on the petition multiple times; others were said to be mismatches.

And the bodies keep piling up in the morgue …
For almost two weeks, there have been multiple reports of an impasse between the Government of Belize and police pathologist Dr. Mario Estradabran, regarding the renewal of his contract under which he provides post-mortem services to the Police Department for deaths in cases that are under the purview of the police.

Mena family gets back Wood Depot
Fresh Catch remains under receivership... Emile Mena, a member of the Mena family which owns the Wood Depot, informed Amandala today that the Wood Depot enterprise, which was put under receivership by First Caribbean International Bank back in 2010, at the same time that the bank took control of another family business, Fresh Catch Belize Limited, has been returned to the Menas.

PUC approves changes in fees, charges and deposits for BEL
Deadline for responses is Monday, May 14, 2012... The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has announced its initial decision on the Annual Review Proceedings (ARP) for the electricity sector. According to details supplied by the PUC, most of the existing tariffs would remain the same; however, commercial customers are being reclassified. Also, there are new fees and charges approved, particularly for tampering with electricity infrastructure.

Football rules in Independence; Police no longer undefeated; Placencia wins, 2-1
Despite a busy Saturday, it was a game we couldn’t miss. And, though we wouldn’t venture through the Coastal Road again (It’s much shorter, but a much rougher ride.) the long journey to Independence Village was worth the 3-hour plus driving. You could feel the football fever in the streets as you near the Michael Ashcroft Stadium. It was only 6:30 p.m., and game 1 of the Premier League finals between visiting Police United and home-standing Placencia Assassins was not scheduled to begin until 7:30. There was another game, a female match between Gentle Touch of Esperanza and Sagitun Girls, which Gentle Touch reportedly won, 2-1; and those fans needed to exit the stadium before the growing throng outside could be accommodated at the gate to enter for the big game. It’s been quite a while since we last saw such a long line to buy tickets and/or to enter a football game. A good sign. And finely dressed females were in evidence, if not dominating the landscape. This is indeed the metropolis of football in Belize, the only stadium with a major “bleachers” sporting an overhead roof for the fans. Three other large bleachers adorn the area behind the western goal line, and by game time, they were all almost full, plus many standing against the wire barrier, boisterous and not in the least bashful about declaring their total faith in, and support of, their Placencia Assassins.

Lady Rebels’ Laneisha Jones hurls 1st “perfect game;” clash with Telemedia again on Wednesday
In the early going, the 4-team Belize City Senior Female Softball Competition was completely dominated by the two top teams – defending City champions Telemedia and Marathon champions Mirage Lady Rebels, who mostly had little difficulty with their other two opponents, as they prepared to clash with each other, something that softball fans would get the pleasure of seeing 7 times in this 7-round regular season competition. But of late, the tide has been turning a little, and it may yet become a 3-team race, as one of the “other two” teams, Orchid Blazers has made a recent “statement.”

Mediation process between BEL and BEWU begins Wednesday
Labour Commissioner Ivan Williams has declared in advance of official mediation talks to begin on Wednesday, between Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) and the Belize Energy Workers’ Union (BEWU), that the parties agree to bring the situation “back to the status quo”, to have “normalcy” after an explosive series of events in the last two weeks.

Facebook addict, 20, charged for theft
Family believes he is addicted to much more than just Facebook... Today in Court #5, a student, self-confessed Facebook addict Devon Wagner, 20, of 91 Los Lagos, was brought before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart to answer a charge of theft.

“I needed a bath and couldn’t reach home in time”
Daniel Burke, 18, a resident of #36 Police Street in Ladyville Village, was today brought before the Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer, to answer to charges of theft. Police report that Burke, on May 2, entered Save-U Supermarket located at the northern end of the Belcan Bridge by San Cas Plaza, and stole one Gillette Clear Deodorant Gel valued $9.23, and one Baker’s Chocolate valued at $7.34, a total of $16.57. Burke pleaded guilty to the charges. When Magistrate Frazer asked Burke why he stole the deodorant, he replied that it was an emergency. Frazer asked him what the emergency was and he answered, “I needed a bath and couldn’t reach home in time.” He went on to tell the magistrate that the deodorant would have cleaned him. Senior Magistrate gave him a suspended sentence of three months on the condition that he must not be convicted of any crime within the next year, effective May 3, 2012.

Editorial: The police, the public, and crime
Lost in the news last week was that a couple police officers in Santa Elena allegedly resisted a bribe of $2,000 from a Belize City woman to look the other way as she and a male companion tried to transport 33 pounds of cannabis in a car, presumably to Belize City. The police was supposed to get kudos for such stout honesty in the ranks. They never did.


World Red Cross Red Crescent Day calls upon youth to take action
To mark this year’s World Red Cross Red Crescent Day on 8 May, the Belize Red Cross Society is celebrating the contributions of young people and encouraging their continued action and leadership under the global theme, “Youth on the move”. In solidarity with the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, the Belize Red Cross will host an OPEN DAY on 8th May from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Headquarters at #1 Gabourel Lane, Belize City. The event is part of a global Movement effort to take action and make a difference in helping communities and our young people to better understand the work of the Belize Red Cross as we prepare for disasters and emergencies, address equal access to health care and promote and build a culture of non violence and peace. “Young people have a critical role in helping the Red Cross Red Crescent reach the most vulnerable. They also have an important role to play in building healthy communities,” explained Ashanta Osborne, Chair of the Youth Commission for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Belize, Where the Caves Just Got Real!
The caves are wild in Belize, wilder than anywhere else. This is the first article on the web mentioning the fact that they couldn't take a camera into Actun Tunichil Muknal. That was fast. Really well written article; as he says it's because he didn't have a lot of pictures to show. There is a good picture of the Mayan Vision Serpent mural downtown. "Apparently, a little while ago somebody had dropped a lens cap onto a skull and knocked some teeth out. Then, fairly recently, another tourist dropped an entire camera onto another skull, puncturing a camera-sized hole in said skull. Naturally, this was not well received. National archaeological treasure and all. People were scrambled, discussions were held, a hasty conclusion was reached! As of May 3rd, no more cameras in the ATM (Actun Tunichil Muknal, but ATM really is a better name for it) cave! May 3rd happened to be the day I was going to see the cave, so I wasn't really amused." Now bear with me - say, you are Belize... you are a fairly poor country, tourism is already your major source of income, and all of a sudden, archaeologists have discovered this touristic gold mine in the hills. What do you do? Naturally, you send the tourists in there! And charge them for the privilege. What happens when you let tourists into tiny, narrow, unlit caves filled with [extremely fragile] thousand year old artifacts? That's right - they break shit! Apparently, a little while ago somebody had dropped a lens cap onto a skull and knocked some teeth out... then, fairly recently, another tourist dropped an entire camera onto another skull, puncturing a camera-sized hole in said skull. Naturally, this was not well received. National archaeological treasure and all... people were scrambled, discussions were held, a hasty conclusion was reached! As of May 3rd, no more cameras in the ATM (Actun Tunichil Muknal, but ATM really is a better name for it) cave! May 3rd happened to be the day I was going to see the cave, so I wasn't really amused... but this is why you get to read so much of my prose in this post instead of looking at pretty pictures - sadly, I have no pictures from this day of adventure... As to what's going to happen to the precious artifacts when some clumsy tourist simply stumbles and steps on one (with no cameras involved)? We're just going to hope that never happens! What I actually suspect is going to happen is that tourists are going to complain about doing the tour without cameras, and will become a little more reluctant to pay for said tours. At which point, the tourist agencies will start losing money, will panic, and the cameras will be right back in the cave! But we'll see - maybe I'm just a skeptic... but I will be royally pissed about not having any pictures from that day if they do reverse themselves in a month!

International Sources

$500,000 Funding Available for Citizen Security Strengthening Program in Belize
The U.S. Embassy in Belmopan, Belize, has announced that it expects to award a maximum of 20 discretionary grants to support the Central America Regional Security Initiative goal of strengthening citizen security in Belize with the help of youth and community involvement. The estimated total program funding available was cited as $500,000 with a ceiling of $200,000 for each award under this program. This funding opportunity is open to public, private and state controlled institutions of higher education; nonprofits organizations; and individuals. A funding opportunity notice from the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan, Belize, states: "US Embassy Belmopan invites organizations to submit proposals outlining program concepts and capacity to advance the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) goal of strengthening citizen security. In addition to the US Embassy Belmopan, the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prioritizes the focus on at-risk youth.Root causes of crime and violence in Belizeinclude, but are not limited to, the lack of economic development, the lack of skills and/or tradecraft, the lack of conflict resolution skills, and/or the lack of opportunity for youth. The proposed award will cultivate positive social values such as civic pride, respect for each other, respect for law and order, integrity, importance of education and a sense of responsibility for the community. Equipping marginalized youth and/or communities with economic opportunities and/or business training can help them reach their true potential as entrepreneurs and improve citizen security." The funding opportunity number is S-BH200-12-ESF. The application closing date is June 3.

Woman Runs Into Midnight Storm and Brings Dog to Warm Bed
While on vacation in Belize, I came across a little dog who was kept behind our rental cabin. She was the owner’s dog and was not shown much love or attention. She was kept tied to a raised shed away from the family with a low sided box to lay in and dirty bowls for food and water. She was half the weight she should have been and absolutely looked depressed. When approached, she would barely wag her tail and her eyes lacked all happiness. I started saving food from my meals and brought it to her after nightfall when the family wouldn’t see me. When I approached with my flashlight, I could hear her little gums snapping at the hoard of mosquitoes she couldn’t escape from. One night we had a very strong rain and wind storm. I lay in bed wide awake thinking of her outside. I jumped out of bed, went outside, unhooked her leash and brought her in our cabin for the night. She quietly curled up on the bed and didn’t make a peep. I was smitten and it was so hard to put her back by the shed the next morning, but I didn’t want to anger the owner. Will you find the courage to stand up for a neglected animal? A couple of days later, after speaking to the head of the local animal shelter, I eventually bartered with the owner of the property to let me buy her from him. I told him she was in poor health and needed medical care. He, of course, was only interested in money. I paid $100 for her.

‘Golden Opportunity’: Ali Eberts Travels To Belize on Educational Journey
‘Even Poor Schools With Few Resources Can Foster Learning’ Tucked away in the dense, jungle hills of Belize’s Cayo District is the village of El Progresso. This sleepy little village may not look like much to an outsider, with dogs wandering the streets and chickens dotting the yards of rundown houses, but to me, this village looked like a golden opportunity to do something good, and to actually make a difference.

A Year Later, Ready to Dive Again
On Wednesday, my plane touched down near Belize City. What a difference a day makes. Before, I was leaving my university office in the midst of end-of-semester craziness in flatland Illinois. Now, I’m in a hot and humid jungle. There was little time for relaxing in my 23rd trip to Belize. I have the same amount of paperwork and prep to do for a weeklong project as I do for a six-month project. But I would not give it up for anything. I am lucky to work with a great bunch of people, who include excavation assistants from the Valley of Peace village, the Carrs at Banana Bank Lodge and the archaeologists at the National Institute of Culture and History at the Belize Institute of Archaeology. Last May, my goal was to explore the 200-foot-deep cenote at Cara Blanca in central Belize to explore for ancient Maya offerings. A cenote is a sinkhole fed by the water table. But several things prevented exploration: The post-hurricane landscape did not help matters, nor did the dry-season conflagration. Cara Blanca was ground zero for both; the jungle was first flattened and then burned to a crisp. I am anxious to see what has changed after a year.

May 8, 2012

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

BTB Announces New Board Of Directors
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is proud to announce the appointment of its new Board of Directors. On April 4, 2012, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture selected the ten member board, re-appointing three members from the last board and selecting six new board members. Serving the board as an ex-officio member is our newly appointed CEO of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Mrs. Tracy Panton. “The successful and sustainable development of our industry is dependent upon robust leadership and direction,” said the Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. “I strongly believe the new Board of Directors will be able to ensure positive growth in our tourism industry over the next year.” Drawn from discipline and expertise, these board members understand their key role in the continued development and achievements of the BTB, translating to an overall economic growth for the Belize Tourism Industry. The new Board Chair, Ian Lizarraga, says he is honored to be serving the industry in this new capacity.

Trafficking in Persons: The Scale of the Challenge
On May 3rd and May 4th, 2012 the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) facilitated a two day colloquium for the Judges of the Supreme Court of Belize on the issue of trafficking in persons. The two day colloquium had the following objectives: To broaden the knowledge of the Supreme Court Judges on the manifestations and currents trends with regards to the crime of trafficking in persons in Belize. To provide a greater appreciation of the relationship between trafficking in persons and other forms of organized crime. To introduce the Judges of the Supreme Court to the proposed revision of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Act. To strengthen the understanding of the nature, causes and consequences of trafficking in persons. To present the various approaches to the investigation of trafficking in persons to provide an appreciation of the challenges for adjudication of trafficking in persons offences To strengthen the understanding of the vulnerabilities of victims of trafficking in person crimes and the role of the judiciary in protecting vulnerable witnesses To assess the role of the judiciary in protection of vulnerable persons from trafficking in person crimes.

Ambergris Today

Painting Positive Messages With School Children
Dorian’s Angels took part in painting the 5-a-side court at the San Pedro RC School as part of the Quality Child Friendly School Initiative that the school launched earlier this year. During the Parent/Student – Teacher activities the community, especially parents of the school children, are encouraged to participate in these monthly session with their children.

Flashbacks: Sandy Beaches And Backyards In San Pedro
One of the things Sanpedranos really enjoyed was the privilege of being bare footed all the time. Ninety nine percent of Sanpedranos went about their day without shoes. But that was only possible because all our beaches and all our streets were covered with six inches of soft white sand. Here you are looking at a property right on the beach and it was covered with white sand. Behind the fence is Front Street, now Barrier Reef Drive and it was totally covered with white sand. Across the street you find properties like Coral Beach Hotel on the other side of Barrier Reef Drive and it too was covered with white sand. What a pleasure it was to have our white sandy beaches and streets and yards. It was a pleasure until we got a very windy day and a stinging sand storm.

The Very First Ones In San Pedro (Part 5)
FIRST VEHICLE: Caribena Fishing Cooperative was registered and founded in the year 1963. When it commenced the exportation of rock frozen lobster to the United States, it needed a vehicle to haul the cargo from the processing plant to the main pier and with that Caribeña brought the very first vehicle to the Island. It was a green army type land rover jeep and it was the very first vehicle to start killing the grass on the sand/grass streets of San Pedro... FIRST SPEEDBOAT: Vernon Hammon, a U.S. citizen who retired in San Pedro, was about to inaugurate a resort known as the Reef Colony Club. Well obviously he needed transportation to communicate between San Pedro and Belize City and for that he used a speed boat. It was a small boat, about 18 feet long with a 40 horse power outboard engine so it moved really fast by the standards of the 1950’s... FIRST MAYOR: This does not go too far back, only as far back as 1984 but for any recent comer to San Pedro, it is probably unknown to them. Our first mayor, Mr. Gilberto, “Chico” Gomez was automatically promoted from village council chairman to mayor when San Pedro obtained its township status in 1984.

SPHS Business Fair 2012
Saturday, May 5, 2012, San Pedro High School held its annual Business Fair at the R. Angel Auditorium. The Juniors and Seniors greeted all their customers with open arms and tried their best to impress, sell and represent their businesses. Just like in the business world today, there were many competitors and excellent marketing teams. All the students went all out this year in decorating their booths and winning the judges eye. Congratulations to the Business Committee for another successful and fun business fair.

Rumors Dismissed of Belize Prime Minister’s Ailing Health
The Belize Press Office sent out a press release on Friday, May 4, 2012, informing the general public that Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, is in very good health and is presently in Miami accompanying his wife for medical treatment. It had come to the Office’s attention that mischievous rumors had been circulating to the contrary regarding his health.

Super Perigee Moon Shines Over Belize
And so, island residents were treated with a spectacular display of Mother Nature, as the Super Moon made for a glorious evening as it rose above the coral reef horizon and shone very bright above La Isla Bonita. We are sure it gave for spectacular views elsewhere around the world but nothing beats a tropical moonrise in paradise. Here are a few great snapshots of the Super Moon in all its glory.

Possible Power Outages in Belize as Workers Plan Strike
There is a high possibility that we might be left in the dark as the grievances filed by the Belize Energy Workers Union (BEWU) against the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) are a standstill. Members of the BEWU have staged demonstrations against their employer since, according to the union, they have been unable to meet with management to discuss a number of relevant issues. On Friday, May 4, 2012, the Belize Energy Workers Union met with the media to give an update on the situations which includes the termination of three employees without due process, apprentice linesman whose status it believes is dubious, and to save the positions held by plant operators who were assigned to BELs Gast Turbine.

Misc Belizean Sources

Cayo Outdoor Theatre presents RASH
"Scratch it and it spreads" is the tagline for the movie RASH, which the Cayo Outdoor Theatre will be showing tonight on the newly painted movie wall in downtown Cayo. How perfect that it's all about art, and will be shown on the same wall as the latest mural from the Mural Project. "RASH conveys the commitment, ideals and beliefs demonstrated in a thriving alternative art practice. These artists bang away at the community conscience by sticking this artwork right in the public eye. The spirit of rebellion is being channelled into street art and these visual conversations are spreading across the walls of Melbourne. RASH offers a rare insight into graffiti artists’ world view."

Univeristy of Belize's Marketing Expo pictures
Games, pastries, smoothies, dips, drinks, arts and crafts, Divine wine, that is. Looks like they had fun at UB's Marketing Expo.

SuperMoon Concert: Mistah Geeh & The Remaining
One more round of thanks to the SISE House of Culture for the Full Moon Concert with Mistah Geeh and the Remaining. It was an amazing show at Midas, and the pool really hit the spot for some. Xunan was there to take pictures for the HoC, and she got some good ones. You can see why Midas is the perfect spot for cultural nights.

Win a Photo Shoot from Will Moreno
One of Belize's amazing photographers, Will Moreno, who's photos we run all the time, is having a competition to win a photo shoot. You'll recognize some of the pictures on the flier from a recent photo shoot with Joris Hendrik. Entry is very easy: just email him a picture at [email protected], and have your friends like the picture once it's on FB. The contest will go through June 30th.

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (May 05, 2012)
Lucky Two 5.00 Each (5 Balls) 64 ­51 ­60 ­27 ­3­ Straight Line 100.00 Each (5 Balls) 64 ­51 ­60 ­27 ­3­ Mini X 50.00 Each (9 Balls) 64 ­51 ­60 ­27 ­3 ­15 ­74 ­17 ­16­ Lucky Three 25.00 Each (10 Balls) 64 ­51 ­60 ­27 ­3 ­15 ­74 ­17 ­16 ­37­ Four Corners 50.00 Each (11 Balls) 64 ­51 ­60 ­27 ­3 ­15 ­74 ­17 ­16 ­37 ­2­

Channel 7

There were no murders recorded this weekend in Belize City - but that is more luck than anything else - because six men were shot. The gunplay started on Friday night around 9:00 pm when there were two - almost simultaneous - shootings in different parts of the city. Just before 9:00, a gunman on bicycle rode past a Game Shop on Bocotora Street and opened fire, hitting three men. 25 year old Glenford Young, was shot to the leg and groin area, 22 year old Kyle Domingo was shot to the foot, and 34 year old Lloyd Bowen was shot to the left arm. Young was the most seriously injured and is in stable condition - the others have been released. Police have a known suspect - but have not arrested that person yet. And then five minutes later, shots rang out a few blocks away on Euphrates Avenue. 27 year old Honduran labourer Edwin Mejia was walking home when a man on bike rode past and fired several shots in his direction. Mejia has been treated and released. He was hit to the left hand. The violence continued on Saturday at 11:30 in the morning. Two gunmen - coming from opposite directions - rode up to a group of men at the corner of Kut and Fairweather Streets and opened fire. 35 year old Adrian Paredes - known as Beetlejuice was shot to his right foot and inner thigh.

And while those multiple shootings are disturbing - our next story is about a bizarre homicide. An 81 year old man from the Stann Creek District, Manuel Teck Cucul is being held by police pending charges for killing his 82 year old common law wife, Maria Chen. It happened in the San Pablo Village near Mango Creek. According to reports, the couple got into a violent fight. Maria Chen reportedly punched Teck-Cucul in the face and then broke his hand. Teck-Cucul then took a knife and sliced her across the throat - severing her windpipe. The octogenarian died shortly after, Teck-Cucul was brought to the KHMH for treatment - and today police were waiting for him to be discharged so that they could take him into custody where he is expected to face a murder charge.

This afternoon at 1:30 - the Labour Commissioner called BEL Management and the Belize Energy Workers Union Executive to have what's called a pre-mediation meeting. This came about after BEL asked for his intervention - when attempts to talk with the Union were going nowhere. Things reached a flashpoint this weekend when - according to reports - BEL linesmen who were on call - turned off their radios. This did not cause any catastrophic outages - but it surely underscored the need for urgent intervention. And so today's meeting was held in that context. It started at 1:30 and went on for four and a half, almost five hours. A press briefing was held about half an hour ago - and here's what they said about the progress made:.. Dawn Sampson - Nunez - Corporate Secretary, BEL "We just a few minutes ago we concluded a meeting between representatives of the BEWU and BEL. The meeting was called by the labour commissioner. It was a very successful meeting." Marvin Mora, President BEWU "The agreement has been made between all the parties involved that the labour commissioner will be the one that will speak on the mediation for a long as the mediation process goes on. The union just like the management is committed that this process works for the benefit of all."

7News has confirmed that 47 year-old Andy Avilez is being held tonight by police after he was caught in the act of trying to rob a taximan yesterday. According to police, Walter Lopez, a 26 year-old Guatemalan taxi driver, reported that at about 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, he was driving on Cemetery Road along with a female passenger, when Avilez got in and asked to be taken to several places including the Municipal Airstrip. When they arrived in the area, he asked to Lopez to stop in a dark area, but he exercised his caution and stopped in well-lit area. That didn't stop Avilez, who produced a gun and robbed them of $10.00. He then forced them to drive to the Pound Yard area, and this is where Lopez saw a police mobile and shouted for help. Avilez tried to run, but the police officers quickly detained him, and it was discovered that he had used a plastic handgun to rob the taximan. He has since been charged, and it is expected that he will be brought to court at the earliest convenience.

On Friday night we reported on 31 year old Lincoln Wells - a Belize City man who was badly burnt in a car accident. The accident happened very early on Friday morning outside Orange Walk town where Wells - who was driving his Volkswagen Jetta- crashed into the San Estevan/Orange Walk bridge. His vehicle burst into flames and Wells was seriously burnt. He was transferred to the KHMH intensive care unit and was listed in a critical condition with 2nd and 3rd degree burns of 45% over his entire body. His chances of survival were slim and on Saturday morning around 6 o'clock Wells succumbed to those injuries at the KHMH.

There was a fire in Belize City around 6:00 this morning. It happened on East Canal where a two story wooden structure was flattened. Tonight, both the tenant downstairs and the owner upstairs are pointing fingers at each other. Monica Bodden got both sides of the story: Winston Soberanis - Home Owner "I got the news about 15 minutes to 6 this morning from a young man who was working out. He told me that my house was on fire. He lone he his bike and when I came here I saw the place on fire. The fire started at this window here." Monica Bodden "It was on the bottom part of the house?" Winston Soberanis - Home Owner "Yes, downstairs. It looks like the young lady left her kids and went over at her mother's house. It seems that the kids were playing with matches. That was how the fire started." Monica Bodden "So the fire started on the lower flat of the house?"

The last time we heard from OCEANA was a week before the election - when the Conservation watchdog announced the quite remarkable turnout of its do-it-yourself referendum. Well, since then, The Barrow Administration has agreed to hold a referendum at some unfixed date in the future. But, OCEANA is not waiting around. On Friday it filed suit against the Government of Belize challenging the disqualification of 8,042 signatures of persons who had signed a petition triggering a referendum. That is almost half the signatures collected. No date for a hearing has been set.

On May of 2011, 7News told you about the 39 year-old Elvis "Hooligan" Bevans and Jermaine "Horse" Garnett who the Gang Suppression Unit arrested. During those two busts, they confiscated a 9mm handgun with 19 live rounds, a Remington 700 rifle with scope, and 65 live rounds of .225 of ammunition. As a result, they ended up charging only Bevans with firearms offenses. Well Tonight, Bevans is spending the first night of a 5-year sentence in prison after he was convicted on those charges in the Magistrate Court this afternoon. In his trial, 2 officers from the Gang Suppression Unit testified that on May 22, 2011, at around 11:45 a.m., they were on Central American Boulevard when they spotted a Ford Van, which Bevans was driving. According to them, he was acting suspiciously. They followed Bevans until he got to an alley on the corner of Neal Pen and Kraal Roads. When Bevans got out of the vehicle they searched him and found a chrome and black 9mm handgun with an extended magazine containing 19 live rounds. The firearm was tucked in his pants waist. As a result, they charged him with keeping an unlicensed firearm, keeping unlicensed ammunition, and keeping a prohibited material. In his defense, Bevans told the court that on that day, he received a call from a friend who told him to pick up the firearm from an open lot at the corner of Caesar Ridge Road and Central American Boulevard, and he was to take it to the alley, and leave it there for the police to find. He said that when the police asked him when they searched him, he declared the firearm in his possession, and instead of waiting for him to place it at the decided spot, they arrested and charged him.

Last week, we told you about Woodrow Reyes Jr., who was stabbed in prison. Well today, he was released after the firearms charges were withdrawn against him. Reyes was brought before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith and the prosecutor informed him that the 2 counts of handling stolen goods, 2 counts of keeping an unlicensed firearm, and 1 count of keeping unlicensed ammunition have all been withdrawn. He was charged jointly with these charges with 6 other people, but we understand from a very reliable source that the charges were withdrawn against him due to directions from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. With that, after more than 2 weeks in prison - and one stab wound to the neck, Reyes was able to walk out of court free of charges. As we reported, on April 23, Reyes was stabbed by fellow inmate, Charles Mervin Leslie Jr., who was later charged for attempted murder.

21 year-old Sherman Rodney, a resident of Doris Brooks Street, who is well-known to the courts, is in jail tonight after he was arraigned for robbery this morning. According to police, Diana Bell reported that on last week Thursday, at around 8:20 a.m., she was on Dolphin Street when man rode up on bicycle and grabbed her 350-dollar gold chain from around her neck. According to Bell, the man didn't stop there; he then shoved his hand into her purse and grabbed her $500 Samsung cellular phone, after which, he rode off. Police investigation led them to Rodney and he was charged with robbery. Rodney pleaded not guilty to the charge, but he couldn't be granted bail because the prosecutor made several objections. According to the prosecutor, the police believe that Rodney knows the complainant, and as a result, they think that he can interfere with the case if he should be granted bail. The prosecutor also cited the prevalence and serious nature of the crime as additional reasons for his objection to bail. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith upheld those objections and remanded Rodney to prison. He will be brought back on his next court date, which is set for June 13.

As you saw at the top of the newscast - six people were shot in Belize city this weekend - and we didn't mention that shots were also sprayed at a home on Banak Street. But, the gang truce continues - even though they've gotten a pay cut. According to senior government sources - government pays as many as 879 persons weekly, not only in the gang truce - which employs 200 - but also in the poverty alleviation programme. That poverty alleviation started back in 2010 and was supposed to run for one year - but it's now in its third year. The gang truce programme was supposed to run for three months - and is now entering its eighth month. And it seems Government can no longer sustain the heavy wage bill - so it has ordered the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation - which is led by Boots Martinez to make some cuts. And for the gang truce that means that going forward, participants will only be paid for four days of work per week - and they will only be expected to work those four days. As we understand it, those in the poverty alleviation programme have gotten their pay cut by two days per week.

The KHMH has appointed a new Director of Medical Services. Mr. Adrian Coye is Belize's first Cardio-thoracic Surgeon specialist. He has been working in Belize since September of 2010, and has since established a sustainable Vascular Access Service, pioneered a sustainable Cardiac Pacemaker and Defibrillator service, and has worked toward the establishment of a modern Cardiothoracic Service, including Open-Heart Surgery that is slated to start at the KHMH in the second half of 2012. Coye's new post became effective on Tuesday May 1st - though he was already acting in that capacity.

Today marked the second round of this year's PSE examinations, so 7000 plus students are sighing with relief after completing what, statistically, has proven to be one of the most challenging subject areas. That subject is Mathematics, and the students expressed mixed feelings about the way the examination went. Many found the math problem solving portion to be very difficult, but others said they breezed through it. We caught up with them after the exam, and they told us where they stumbled and how they prepared for the difficulties. Robin Schaffer "What exams did you have today?" Student - St. Martin De Porres "Social Studies and Math." Robin Schaffer "Alright, and were they hard? Student - St. Martin De Porres "Not really, it was just challenging. You just needed to put the effort and believe in yourself." Robin Schaffer "Did you prepare a lot for it beforehand?" Student - Saint Martin De Porres "No." Robin Schaffer "Which one was harder for you, Social Studies or Math?" Student - Saint Martin De Porres "Math, I just need to keep on studying, and do my best." Robin Schaffer "Do you think you did well?" Student - Saint Martin De Porres "Yes. I think so." Robin Schaffer "Did you find that the math may have been harder? I know that math usually has the lowest grades overall. Did you find that math was really challenging this year?" Indira Mayorga - St. Joseph School "Not really, it was challenging, yes, but it was good."

Channel 5

Elderly Couple Fight ends in Murder
A domestic dispute between an elderly couple has ended fatally for one after the man allegedly stabbed his common-law-wife, eighty-two year old, Maria Chen to death. Reports are that the victim and her husband, eighty-one year old Manuel Teck Cucul, were at their home in San Pablo Village, Toledo when a quarrel escalated into a [...]

Wild West; 6 shootings in Belize City
If you stayed in Belize City over the weekend, you would probably wonder if you were hearing the sounds of fireworks or maybe you already knew you lived in our version of the Wild West. After countless shots were heard across town, six persons in total were injured during several shooting incidents. Two of the [...]

3 persons shot on Bocotora Street
The second shooting occurred a short while after and in this case, three persons were injured. Just before nine on Friday night, three men—twenty-five year old Glenford Young, twenty-two year old Kyle Domingo and thirty-four year old Lloyd Bowen—were socializing at a game room on Bocotora Street near the Michael Finnegan Market. A bicycle bandit, [...]

Random shootings continued through Sunday
Two days later, on Sunday, gunshots rang out once again in separate incidents in the City and two persons fell victim. The first was a broad daylight shooting at the corner of Kut Avenue and Fairweather Street where Adrian Parades was socializing with friends when he was shot. And later that same day, twenty-nine year [...]

Fire burns a million dollars in logwood business
A fire that was started to clear a plot of land on the Western Highway has resulted in major losses to a nearby company. The manager of the Pine Lumber Company got the news on Saturday afternoon that a bush fire near his log yard was out of control and spreading quickly. A combination of [...]

K.H.M.H. has enough spaces in Morgue; but Police and Pathologist at Rigamortis
There have been numerous reports that families are unable to bury their loved ones because the postmortem examinations required by the police department have been, to say the least, at a deathly pace. The only forensic specialist in the country which is hired by the Ministry of National Security is Dr. Mario Estradabran. According to [...]

Graveyard Book is gone with fired City Council Employee
After those bodies leave the morgue, then the families can finally have a funeral service followed by a burial in the cemetery. And that’s where our next story takes place—inside the Lord Ridge Cemetery—as that final resting stop also has its bout with controversy. A disgruntled man called the airwaves today about his dismissal from [...]

Primary School Students confident about P.S.E.
A record number of students, seven thousand one hundred and seventy-six, have signed up for the 2012 Primary School Examination. Thirty-six high schools are being used to host students from two hundred and seventy-four primary schools across the country. Today was the second and final day for the standard six students who sat the exam. [...]

OCEANA files lawsuit against Elections and Boundaries
While the primary school students have learned a lot from their teachers, a local environmental group is bent on teaching the Ministry of Public Service and Elections and Boundaries a lesson in court. On May second, OCEANA Belize sent a letter sent to Charles Gibson, the Minister of Public Service & Elections and Boundaries. OCEANA’s [...]

Mena Group gets back Wood Depot assets
In the Supreme Court this morning, the assets of what was formerly known as the Wood Depot Company were returned to the Mena family of Belmopan. The Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin determined that the company was not after all going to go on the auction block and ended the receivership. First Caribbean placed the company [...]

Another man convicted of firearm and ammo offences
And while the Supreme Court case is good news for the Mena group, on the ground floor which houses the Magistrate Court, the rooms continued to process a regular share of gun and ammunition charges. A Belize City barber was convicted this evening of Kept Prohibited Material, Kept Unlicensed Firearm and Kept Unlicensed Ammunition. Elvis [...]

Stabbed in jail, but freed of firearm offences
Meanwhile, another man who was remanded for a firearm offence got good news in court today. Twenty-one year old Woodrow Reyes of Partridge Street was remanded for two counts of Kept Firearm without a Gun License, one count of kept ammunition without a gun license and two counts of handling stolen Goods. While in prison, he was [...]

Labour Commissioner mediating B.E.L. and Union
The Belize Electricity Workers Union (B.E.W.U.) has been at odds with the Belize Electricity Limited (B.E.L.) and both groups have exhausted the Collective Bargaining Agreement. It appeared that rolling blackouts and strikes are on the horizon. Sensing that options have been decimated by the tension, B.E.L. had written to Labour Commissioner, Ivan Williams for intervention. [...]

K.H.M.H. gets a new Medical Services Director
One place the light won’t go out soon is the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (K.H.M.H.), which has just announced the appointment of a new Director of Medical Services. The person who intends to bring his own electrical spark to the K.H.M.H. is Dr. Adrian Coye, a Cardiothoracic Surgeon specialist. His appointment is effective as of [...]

B.T.B. organized with new board members
The K.H.M.H. may have one more experienced person on its staff but the Belize Tourism Board has several new bo ard of directors. The new B.T.B. board comprises of new and former members representing different regions of the country. As we reported previously, Tracy Panton has returned to the industry and moved up as Chief [...]

Christopher Glancy ordained as Auxiliary Bishop
The new appointments at the K.H.M.H. and the B.T.B. could only be outdone by an appointment that truly comes from the top. Bishop Christopher Glancy was ordained to the Roman Catholic Diocese on Saturday. The ceremony, which was attended by several bishops as well as a large congregation, had all the bells and whistles. For [...]

KTV Latino Finals; who will be 2012 Champ?
Every week you can hear divine notes of music on this station. KTV Latino Season Three winds down this Tuesday night live from the Bliss. Who will be the champion from the worthy four? That will be revealed at the grand finale show that will feature performances from the finalists, hosts, judges and other invited [...]

Football, softball and cycling ups on Sports Monday
Good evening, I’m James Adderley. Welcome to this issue of Sports Monday.   The championship series for the 2012 Premier League of Belize title got underway inside the Michael Ashcroft Stadium Saturday night to a full house as the Placencia Assassins hosted Police United in what turned out to be a competitive and entertaining confrontation. [...]


Monday, May 7, POLICE NEWS
A traffic mishap on Saturday night in the Cayo district has left a man hospitalized in Belize City. Reports received by our News Centre indicate that the traffic incident happened at the Macaw Bank Junction on the Cristo Rey/San Antonio Road around seven thirty of Saturday night....

A public lecture on Cancer is set to take place tonight in Belize City. The two hour long forum will be held at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts and organizers say it is open to the public but men in particular should attend. Ivorine Bulwer is the Clinical Director ...

The Ministry of Education has set aside two weeks to focus on a number of activities leading up to teachers’ day. It is observed under the theme “Together we achieve quality education for all”. Deputy Chief Education Officer at the Ministry of Education, Y...

An official ceremony for the presentation of the MAPFRE Foundation Environmental award was held recently in Madrid, Spain. Among the recipients is Belize’s Celia Mahung, the Executive Director of the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment. Mahung is the president ...

New directors have been appointed for the Belize Tourism Board. According to a statement issued today, BTB announced that the new Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Tourism and Culture is Tracy Panton. She replaces Lindsay Garbutt and in her new appointment will ser...

As Education Week kicks off, Standard six students all around the country of Belize sat the second half of the PSE Examinations today. Lisa Clare from the Ministry of education told Love News that this year has seen an increase in students sitting the exam. Lisa Clare &...

A major fire in the on Saturday afternoon in the Cayo district has left nearly a million dollars worth of damage in its wake. The incident happened at the Pine Lumber Saw Mill in Georgeville village. According to a statement issued this afternoon by the company, officials were al...

A domestic dispute between an elderly couple has ended in tragedy for one. The man is now facing a charge of murder after he allegedly stabbed his common-law wife to death. The incident happened sometime after five last Friday evening at the couple’s home in San Pablo...

Two weeks after the Belize Energy Workers Union staged a public protest in front of the Belize Electricity Limited, over employment and other issues a meeting ended a few minutes ago between the two parties. Labour Commissioner, Ivan Williams, mediated the meeting between BEL and...


Aiden Perez's Accused Murderer Hands Himself Over to Authorities
He was on the run for eight days but on Wednesday May 2nd, 28 year old Jorge Ivan Tun got tired of being a fugitive and handed himself over to Corozal authorities. Tun, who is accused of the April 23rd murder of 18 year old Aiden Perez, was accompanied to the Corozal Police Station by his lawyer. He was immediately arrested and charged for Perez’s murder and for grievous harm against Kareem Jones and remanded to the Hattiville Prison until his next court date. On the night of Tuesday April 23rd Aiden Perez, his cousin Kareem Jones and a group of friends were hanging out at the residence of one Raymond Jones located on Mahogany Street in the Halls Layout Area of Corozal Town, when an argument ensued between Kareem Jones and one Sergio Tun who was in the company of a group of young men. All indications are that after a fight broke out between the two groups, Sergio Tun went looking for backup. That’s when Ivan Tun, brother to Sergio Tun, rode up to Jones’ house, pulled out a 9mm pistol, and fired several shots at the group. As a result Kareem Jones was hit on the left leg and groin area while Perez received a gunshot wound to the heart, ribs and leg. He died on the way to the Corozal Community Hospital.

Family Of Missing Person Fears The Worst
Tonight the family of a 32 year old tour guide from the Village of Placencia in the Stann Creek District is asking for the public’s assistance in locating him. Normandi Hernandez, A.K.A Rican, was last seen on April 3rd 2012 in Placencia Village at around midday as he boarded a Tropic Air flight to Corozal Town. That’s more than a month ago and tonight his family fears the worst. Hernandez is described as being of Hispanic decent; 5FT. 8 inches in height, medium built, weighs 175lbs and has long straight hair in corn row style. Hernandez also has the faces of his three children tattooed on his chest. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Normandi Hernandez is asked to contact the nearest police station.

Vehicle Goes Up in Flames With Driver Inside
A man from Belize City is lucky to be alive tonight after his vehicle rammed into the San Estevan Bridge and caught fire with him inside as he was coming into Orange Walk Town. The incident happened around 1:00 this morning and in order to free 31 year old Lincoln Wells from the flames, the fire department had to be involved. By the time the flames were put out and Wells was freed, he had received 2nd and 3rd degree burns to 45 percent of his body and the front portion of the vehicle was completely charred. Here is how the scene of the accident looked like this morning. Thirty one year old Lincoln Wells of Belize City became the victim of a dreadful traffic accident that nearly cost him his life at around 1 o’clock this morning. Wells was travelling from Belize City into Orange Walk Town through the San Estevan by-pass when upon reaching the San Estevan Bridge near the Orange Walk Police Station; he lost control of his 1999 black four door Volks Wagon and collided into this iron portion of the bridge. As a result of the collision, the vehicle was flung into the air and landed further into the bridge- right here to be exact, with its two rear wheels on the ground and two front wheels in the air. Daniel Pott was hanging near the Banquitas Amphitheatre at the time of the accident. He told us that Well’s was trapped inside the vehicle which burst into flames, minutes after it rammed into the bridge.

P.C Roger Espejo Receives Officer Of The Month Award
Police Officer Roger Briceno was enlisted in the Belize Police Force on the 13th of October 1994. It is now 17 years that PC Briceno has been serving the country of Belize, especially the community of Orange Walk. He obtained regulation number 325 and has been posted in police stations in Orange Walk Town, August Pine Ridge Village and Corozal Town. In March of 2009, Briceno was injured while apprehending a murder suspect. Today, Briceno’s hard work was applauded as he was awarded the title of Police Officer for the Month of April. This afternoon as he received his award, the proud cop told us why he decided to become a police officer. Roger Briceno, Police Officer of the Month April “I wanted to have a- do a change in my community and that was the reason why I joined this department.” Hipolito Novelo, Reporter ” How many years do you have of being a police officer?” Roger Briceno, Police Officer of the Month April “Seventeen years.” Hipolito Novelo Reporter “I know the job is a dangerous job and I understand that you suffered from a shot. Now talk to us about that experience.”

21 Year Old Charged For Double Murder In Belmopan
An 18 year old man is tonight behind bars after he was charged for the double murder that took place on Sunday April 29th at the Agricultural showground’s in Belmopan. Yesterday when 18 year old Emmanuel Polanco of a Hummingbird Highway address appeared before the Belize City Magistrates Court, he was charged for the murder of twenty-two year old Javier Larios and twenty-three year old Moses Orellano. Nineteen year old Francisco Polanco was charged for grievous harm committed against Larios. As you may recall, around 2:00 Sunday morning Belmopan police visited the Agricultural Showground’s where they found Larios suffering from a stab wound to the center of the chest. He was taken to the Western Regional Hospital where he died while under going treatment. Not far from Larios police found Orellano’s dead body under a cargo truck with multiple stab wounds to the chest. Reports are that the cousins were involved in a fight which resulted in their deaths.

Hickatee Season Closed
For some Belizeans dinning on wild meat is a common practice and for some a cultural tradition. But with the growing awareness of wildlife conservation in Belize, the education of population decline and habitat destruction for some animals is alarming. One such animal is the Central American River Turtle commonly known to Belizeans as the Hickatee. In conservation efforts the fisheries department has marked the month of May as a closed season for Hickatee hunting. All restaurants, food vending establishments and the general public are informed that the sale and purchase of Hickatee from May 1st to May 31st is prohibited under the Fisheries Law. Fishing for Hickatee in the following areas are prohibited. The Belize River: from Beaver Dam Creek to Laboring Creek. New River: from Irish Creek to Water Bank. Rio Bravo: upstream from Dos Bocas Dam, including Booth’s River. Cox and Mucklehany Lagoons and Headwaters of Mussel Creek. Northern and Southern Lagoons and tributaries (Manatee lagoons and Manatee River) and Sibun River: between Ferguson Bank and Sibun Bar. Any persons caught in the act of committing the offence of Hickatee fishing will be liable on summary conviction to a fine of $2,000.00 or imprisonment not exceeding a year or both. If any one plays witness to the illegal fishing activity of Hickatee fishing, you are asked to contact the Fisheries Department Enforcement Section at 224-4552 or 223-2623.

U.S Anthropologist To Hold Workshop On Maya Calendar
Calendars across the world are being filled with activities portraying the Maya Culture. The fever spread out right after the Maya end of the world prediction. According to many scholars and believers, the Maya predicted that on December 21st of this year the world will come to an end. But there are those who pay no heed to the prediction. In order to shed some light to the prediction, U.S anthropologist Doctor Bruce Love is in the country this weekend and will be hosting a one day workshop in Yo Creek Village about the topic. Love has dedicated most of his life learning how to read Maya hieroglyphics and the Maya calendar. Bruce Love, PhD. Anthropologist. “Tomorrow I’m giving a workshop on the hieroglyphics and the calendar. Everyone wants to know about 2012 so I am going to a lecture about the Maya calendar and also little bit on how to read hieroglyphs.” Hipolito Novelo Reporter “And this is for invited guest only?” Bruce Love, PhD. Anthropologist. “It is for invited guest only for reasons of space.” Hipolito Novelo Reporter “And what are some of the basic things that you will be teaching them.” Bruce Love, PhD. Anthropologist. “Well a basic thing will be an introduction to the Maya Culture- the Ancient Maya Culture. The contemporary Maya today really want to learn more and more about their ancient past but it’s not taught in the school and they are not getting the information. They don’t have the books. So, I'm finding that there is a great thirst and a great hunger for this kind of knowledge among the Maya people. So that’s what I am here for.”

Creating Awareness For Cancer
The month of May is observed as Cancer Month which is celebrated by activists and survivors of the debilitating illness, through a series of activities. Spreading the awareness of the disease is the Orange Walk Cancer Group which has prepared a month long itinerary. The first activity of the month will be a church service scheduled for this Saturday at the Adventist Church starting at 10:45am. Other events scheduled for the month includes a radio talk show, training service, message training and a candle light service. These activities will all lead up to the final event which will be a symposium in Belize City on May 31st. Everyone is encouraged to take part in the month long activities to extend the awareness and appreciation for those affected by the terminal illness.


Fire destroys two storey home
Early morning fire in Belize City leave families homeless. Early this morning at around 5:45am a fire broke out at ...

Students sit second part of PSE
It was part two today of the annual Primary School Examination (PSE) examination. PlusNews was at the gate when the...

Literacy program launched in Belmopan
Belize recently celebrated Book Week which is geared toward getting Belizeans more interested in reading. One local...

Church service kicks of Lupus Awareness month
May is Lupus awareness month and activities got underway with a service held at the Belmopan Nazarene Church. Arlet...

Self defense class aims to empower women
Women are classified as the weaker sex, but there is one lady who has been working steadily on changing that paradi...

Wood Depot returned to the Mena family
Information reaching PlusNews is that the assets of The Wood Depot Company Limited have been returned to management...

Plans for new Belmopan market hits another roadblock
The Belmopan City Council finds itself at yet another crossroad. Last week Thursday (May 3) residents of Mountain V...

Gunman opens fire in game shop, 3 injured
Police are looking for answers to another shooting that took place at a game room in Belize City. On May 4 at about...

Late night shooting leaves man hospitalized On Saturday May 5 at around 10:19pm CIB visited the KHMH where they saw 29 year old Frank Vasquez a Belizean Mechan...

PM Barrow dispels rumours of ill health
In an earlier release, the Office of the Prime Minister had made a statement to the general public that PM Dean Bar...

Pine Lumber Co. suffers great loss in fire
Police are investigating a report of a fire that occurred on Saturday, May 5 just before 3pm at the eastern side of...

Man attacked with machete in Corozal
Kenny Matus, a 23year old cane cutter of San Narciso Village in the Corozal District received chop wounds to his fo...

La Popular tortilla factory robbed
La Popular tortilla factory which is located on Vernon street was robbed on Friday morning around 5:30am. But inter...


Massive – the coconut diving dog!
For anybody that has spent anytime down the famous Split, they are likely to have bumped into it’s infamous canine customer, Massive!! Massive can be found most days at the Split, many occasions he brings his friends but he will guaranteed to be there, with or without company. This special character is famous for his desire to swim in the water at the split – whether it is hot or even on the coldest day of the year, Massive still loves to jump into even the fastest moving areas of the split. His favorite game is to play ‘fetch’ with coconut husks. On many instances he will drop a coconut husk right next to you and then point himself towards the water. For those that are unfamiliar of this routine, soon they will get the message and the repetitive game of to and fro becomes a small ‘spectacle’ for any onlooker. And yes, Massive does have a very loving home and owner – Tom Brown – but from an early age, Tom realized that this extremely charismatic dog required a little more than the family home – the Split – and therefore Massive leaves the house early every day, only to return home for dinner at sunset – It only happens on Caye Caulker!!!!

Supermoon Photo Shots Over Belize
There was lots of hype about viewing the supermoon which was to appear during the nights of May 5th and 6th. What is a supermoon? A supermoon, also known as a "perigee moon" occurs when the moon's elliptical orbit is closest to the earth. During this time the moon should appear both brighter and bigger. The term "supermoon" is not an astronomical one, but one that was originated in astrology. The association of the Moon with both oceanic and crustal tides has led to claims that the supermoon phenomenon may be associated with increased risk of events such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Saturday night the moon was about 221,802 miles from the earth which makes the moon about 15,300 miles closer than average, therefore making the moon seem about 14% brighter. The last supermoon was on March 19, 2011 and was about 240 miles closer to the earth than this year's. So Saturday night I decided I would try and get some photo shots of this supermoon phenomenon. The sky was pretty clear with a few rolling clouds. The clouds actually made for some nice pictures, but still not as clear as I would have liked for them to be. The shots below I took as the clouds were rolling around.

International Sources

Aguila confirms CONCACAF Champions League berth with title win
Aguila won its 15th Salvadoran league title on Sunday, beating Apertura champion Metapan 2-1 to claim the Clausura crown and reaffirm its place in next season's CONCACAF Champions League. The club already had been assured of a place in the 24-team field along with Metapan and FAS, guaranteed a spot when El Salvador was awarded a third berth - the place normally reserved for Belize which was disqualified because of the lack of an appropriate stadium.

Belize: Happy Locals and Diverse Cultures
Walk down any street or narrow village lane in tiny Belize (only about the size of the U.S. state of Rhode Island) and you’ll hear any one of a half dozen or more languages—pretty remarkable in a country that’s less-populated than many U.S. cities (320,000 inhabitants). But this little country is far more diverse than most U.S. cities. (Happier, too, I’d say, judging from the infectious smiles.) And most of its population is not just bi-lingual, but tri-lingual. English is the official language of the country, formerly known as the colony of British Honduras. In 1980 it won its independence from Great Britain and has appeared on maps as Belize (or Belice in the Spanish language) ever since. Spanish is another language you’ll often hear, thanks to the country’s borders with Mexico and Guatemala. Most Belizeans speak both English and Spanish. Some Belizeans speak Mayan. The Maya were the original inhabitants of this part of the world, and they’re still here in large numbers. (If you think Belize is just a Caribbean diving and snorkeling destination, think again. The traditional Maya communities and ancient archaeological sites that have been uncovered in its dense, lush jungles should be on the “must-see” lists of any travelers to Belize.

Optio WG-2 Belize Adventure Video
Cayo is shown all over the new Pentax commercial for their Optio WG-2 waterproof camera. The Hawkesworth bridge is the first landmark they show, and from there they go all over Cayo and Mountain Pine Ridge. A well done commercial.

What Can YOU Do to Reduce Plastic Consumption
This is a PSA that has been broadcasted in Hawaii that educates the general public in very simple actions that they can implement in their daily lives to reduce Plastic Consumption.

May 7, 2012

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! The Wait
She walked all the way home for lunch every day, accompanied sometimes by her cousin, but most often by herself. Today, Zoila held a very important piece of paper in her hands. Every so often, she would glance down at it, smile, then put it back in her uniform breast pocket. The long strip of stiff report card cardstock held wonderful news, and every time she saw it, she would remember how hard it was to get those beautiful grades. She saw a row of nines, and even a one and two zeros (together of course) – and for the first time in her short school career, she had topped her class....

The May 6th, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • PC Francis Aldana Criminally Charged
  • A Whole Sack Of Weed
  • World Health Day 2012
  • Ministry of Health hosted Council Meeting of INCAP
  • Dead Bodies Stacking Up In The Morgues
  • Six Policemen Return From San Salvador Training
  • The Brain of 14 Year Old Brian Schweigler
  • Santa Elena Man Found Dead At Home
  • Two Journalists Killed In Mexico
  • Editorial: End The Nuisance - Not Rocket Science
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

The San Pedro Sun

Photos: Mama Vilma Family Home says thanks
The fundraiser for the Mama Vilma Family Home was a huge success. The event was held at Wayo’s Beach Bar on Sunday April 29. The Mama Vilma Family Home committee would like to thank Wayo and all of the wonderful bartenders for their help. The event and monies raised is another step closer to their goal of opening a home. Special thanks to Cheri and Ens Fletcher of Lazy Croc’s for cooking the barbeque and generous donation. Shelly Huber’s smoked chicken was also a success. Special thanks go out to Aji, Waruguma, cg Esthetics, Linen Supply Store and the Palapa Bar for the donations used in our silent auction. Wil and Dale provided fantastic music for the crowd.

Editorial: Respect the CLOSED season for lobster
Just a couple weeks ago I wrote about conserving the conch. With the Fisheries Department closing the season a full two months earlier than scheduled, stating that the annual catch quota had already been met, it is clear that managing their population for sustainable harvest is essential. As I pointed out in the previous editorial, one great danger to the conch is poaching and undersized harvesting. Unfortunately the conch is not the only managed marine species that falls under this problem. The fishing season for Spiny Lobster runs from mid-June to mid-February. Once the season is closed it is illegal to collect these tasty crustaceans. It has been confirmed to me by very reliable sources that two of the most respected tour guides on the island are disregarding this law, and are not only hunting lobster during the closed season but doing so in the presence of their tour groups AND serving it as a meal. I have also seen photos of lobster served to tour guests when the season IS open that are no larger than jumbo shrimp. Why these guides are blatantly breaking the law, not to mention IGNORING the consequences of their behaviour is beyond me. One if these guides even claims to be an advocate for marine conservation; I don’t understand how one can poach lobster and still claim to care.

Ambergris Today

Rumors Dismissed of Belize Prime Minister’s Ailing Health
The Belize Press Office sent out a press release on Friday, May 4, 2012, informing the general public that Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, is in very good health and is presently in Miami accompanying his wife for medical treatment. It had come to the Office’s attention that mischievous rumors had been circulating to the contrary regarding his health.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Episcopal Ordination of Bishop-elect Christopher Glancy

"New Bonds" Investor Pitch, 2007
DATED MARCH 5, 2007 BELIZE: $546,786,000 U.S. Dollar Bonds Due 2029 (the “New Bonds”) The New Bonds will be general, direct, unconditional, unsubordinated and unsecured obligations of Belize and will rank equally with all other existing and future unsubordinated and unsecured Public Debt of Belize. The New Bonds will be backed by the full faith and credit of Belize. The New Bonds will be issued pursuant to an indenture with The Bank of New York, as Trustee for the bondholders, and will be governed by the law of the State of New York. Eligible Claims (as defined below) are entitled to be exchanged for the New Bonds. An investment in the New Bonds involves a high degree of risk. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 10 of this listing memorandum. The New Bonds have not been, and will not be, registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) or the securities laws of any other jurisdiction. The New Bonds will be offered only to qualified institutional buyers in the United States under Rule 144A of the Securities Act and to persons outside the United States under Regulation S of the Securities Act. The New Bonds will be subject to restrictions on resale under applicable law. See “Notice to Investors”. Delivery of the New Bonds will be made on or about February 20, 2007. The New Bonds will be delivered in book-entry form through the facilities of The Depository Trust Company, Euroclear Bank S.A./N.V. and Clearstream Banking, société anonyme. Belize intends to apply to admit the New Bonds to listing on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and to trading on the Euro MTF market.

VIDEO: Three Little Birds
The wonderful teachers and students of Standard VI and guests at Holy Cross School in San Pedro, Belize produced this.

The Brain of 14 Year Old Brian Schweigler
In late 2011,, the video game news Blog and Forum was founded by Brian Schweigler, a 14 year old student of San Pedro High School. The goal of this site is to become a successful and well known video gaming community on the internet. N00bPwners strives to have a wide array of articles covering video game news and everything having to do with them. To achieve this goal, he created a site with a unique design and recruited 10 international volunteers and writers to help with the website. N00bPwners was created for programers from around the world to have a place to call their own. The site covers the following video game platforms: Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 and Vita, Apple iPad, PC, Android tablets, the Nintendo 3DS, Wii and Wii U.

Hidden Valley Inn Noted for Sustainability
This month's Making a Difference award winner is Hidden Valley Inn, a luxury eco-resort set high in the Mountain Pine Ridge in the Cayo District of Belize. This secluded forest escape has miles of well-groomed trails as well as its own restaurant, massage rooms, and yoga studio. We spoke with Raul Rodriguez to find out more about this beautiful eco-chic hotel. Yes! Hidden Valley Inn is dedicated to nature conservation. We are located on a 7,200 acre private reserve comprised of two ecosystems: Caribbean pine forest and tropical broadleaf jungle. In our forests, you can find numerous cascades, pools, and waterfalls networked by over 90 miles of trails and roads. Hidden Valley Inn is involved with multiple wildlife projects in the region. The first orange-breasted falcons born in captivity, five females and one male, were released by the Peregrine Fund on Hidden Valley Inn's private reserve in 2007. Other animals that live in the forest include jaguars, ocelots, and peccaries--and look out for otters swimming in the quiet streams on the property.

Cameras Banned from Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave
In an effort to help preserve the Mayan artifacts in the ATM cave, and stop accidental destruction from camera droppings, cameras have now been banned from the ATM cave, unless approved by NICH. After another unfortunate event, the Cayo Tour Guide Association made a great call. "The best-known of all the remains are those of the 'The Crystal Maiden', the skeleton of a teenage girl, whose bones have been calcified to a sparkling, crystallized form. She has been photographed by many, but now all that comes to an end and the tour groups come to a screeching halt. Tours were stopped a few weeks back because someone had knocked out a tooth from the skull; believed to have been a direct cause of tour guides hurrying and flooding the cave with tourists. The ATM cave was closed for one day, and after a briefing with tour guides, tours resumed. Now, recently, a tourist dropped his camera on to the skull itself and shattered the back of it. After an unofficial meeting, tour guides of the C.T.G.A. suggested that cameras should not be allowed in to the cave."

More Pictures from The Remaining Full Moon Concert
These are some happy pictures from the Full Moon Concert at Midas last night. Those girls sure had a great time.

Panerrifix Full Moon Concert in Benque
The Benque House of Culture put on another free Full Moon Concert last night in Centennial Park with Panerrifix. You can see the steel drums in these pictures.

The Remaining and Mistah Geeh at Midas pictures
The Remaining really rocked the large crowd that was at Midas Resort last night. They have a violinist in the group, and she can play! They did a wide range of artists, and they even had a mosh pit by the end of the night. And that ended in the pool. Mistah Geeh mixed between the sets, and did a great job. Thanks go out to Xunan and NICH's SISE House of Culture for making it all happen.

May 6, 2012

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Fisheries Department reminds the public that Hicatee Season is closed
The Belize Fisheries Department is hereby reminding the general public that the closed season for Hicatee is from May 1st to May 31st, 2012. The Department is also informing all restaurants, food vending establishments and the general public that the purchase or sale of the Hicatee (including its products such as cooked meat) is prohibited under the Fisheries Laws.

San Pedro Town Councilors undergo Strategic Planning Workshop
Last week, councilors of the San Pedro Town Council along with advisors to the Mayor completed a three day workshop in Strategic Planning. Following the Municipal elections, the new council tasked itself with formulating a strategic plan which would set the direction and focus for the next three years and beyond. This three day workshop is the first step towards that goal. The workshop was facilitated by Mr. Santos Mahung, member of the board of directors and a founding member of the Belize Institute of Management (BIM). According to Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the workshop was needed and will increase the council’s ability to function professionally. “When we came into office after the elections, I had mentioned to the councilors that we need some kind of training to be able to run the affairs of the people in a professional manner.” The training ran from Monday, April 23rd through Wednesday, April 25th. According to Mahung, the training focused on four areas of Strategic Planning; “BIM was hired with the objective of engaging the mayor, town councilors and other agents of the council in four levels of planning. One was to illuminate the business culture of the new council. We’re talking about its philosophy, we’re talking about its vision, we’re talking about its core values, and we’re talking about the mission. In addition to that we identify stakeholders and mandates. It’s very important for the council, any council for that matter, to know who the stakeholders are, what the formal and informal mandates are, including election promises. The third thing was to establish and identify strategic priorities and objectives. The issue is that any council will get busy quite quickly. What you want to do is focus on the priorities, follow your plan and stay focused in relation to those strategic priorities and objectives. The fourth thing was to formulate an action plan, an agenda of action initiatives for the council over the next three years. So in essence what I have been doing is facilitating this process.”

San Pedro Traffic Wardens and Police officers undergo Traffic Training
The San Pedro Traffic Department took part in a two-day training program on Traffic Safety that was held on Wednesday May 2nd and Thursday May 3, 2012 from 8am through 3pm. This training was held in keeping with the Department of Transport’s Mission, which is a commitment in developing, promoting and regulating a viable and modern transportation sector through efficient traffic management, human resource development and community participation in order to achieve the highest attainable level of public safety. The training was spearheaded by councilor responsible for Traffic, Mr. Kenrick Brackett and facilitated by Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Department, ASP Vienie Robinson. It focused on the main responsibilities of the Traffic Wardens as well as the law as it pertains to driving in Belize. Brackett commented, “I don’t believe these traffic wardens have had much training, and then we have two new ones and one volunteer. We believe this training will bear a lot of fruits. No more excuses. People will be ticketed. I believe that we have given a lot of warnings already.”

Kindest Kid in San Pedro Award 2012 Nominations
These are the wonderful final nominations for the Kindest Kid in San Pedro Award 2012. Every primary school in San Pedro was invited to nominate students that they felt could represent them as Kindness Ambassadors. With the fantastic support and assistance of Mr. Gustavo Ramirez, the Guidance Counsellor at San Pedro High School, along with students, the heart warming nominations made by primary schools, were narrowed down to the final four. This was done anonymously and on a scoring basis

Misc Belizean Sources

Gabriela Barrera's Addiction Line
The Addiction line can be seen in these photos taken at the Cornerstone Foundation's Feed the Children Fashion Show. Ms. Barrera's designs were fresh and light, while being spunky and unique. Keep up the great work.

Tag The Town: A Community Art Project
You've seen the new Myan mural downtown, the Vision Serpent. Mr. Awe has taken his idea, and made something much bigger out of it. They have plans for doing many more murals around Cayo. Here are a ton of great pictures from some painting being done around San Ignacio and Benque. Keep getting those young artists involved in this great cause.

Medical Mission Takes Trip to Belize
Ketterling College has 23 doctors and intern currently in Cayo, providing free consultations and treatment. Plus TV interviewed Dr. Paula Reams from the group. "Many years ago, we started it because the school that we are from is an Adventist College and we started a liaison with the Adventist hospital down here and it just kind of grew and we started to work more and more with other people in Belize and now we have gone all over the country, doing these health fairs, from Orange Walk to Punta Gorda. We have a licensed eye doctor with us on this visit; we have students who are learning to be doctors, we have people who are nurses as well as nursing students and we have nurse practitioners with us on this trip. We have such a good relationship with the Belizean people and we want to keep coming back. Everyone helps us out and is so nice that we want to keep coming back."


Fishermen unhappy about pace of payments
Members of the Northern Fishermen Cooperatives today complained about delays in receiving payments. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo reports.

Rural Development under the microscope
In modern-day lingua we refer to the expanses away from city life as the “suburbs”. But many times the development in those communities progresses at a far slower rate than that of towns and cities. So it is with this in mind that the Ministry of Rural Development and other relevant agencies today rounded up representatives from throughout the rural communities countrywide to begin the process of planning their respective areas in a strategic and systemic fashion. Orlando Jimenez, whose expertise was used at the consultative stage, told Love News that while each individual community has specific needs, all seem to have one common concern. It sounds almost too good to be true, when politics at the national level will not play a major role in the development of rural communities, but this is just what fast-growing areas Placencia strives for, according to that community’s Chairman, Charles Leslie, Junior. A feasibility study, outlining the preliminary needs of each community involved should be released next Friday. In this first consultative session, the Belize District was used as a case study.

Rumors debunked … Prime Minister is in good health
Rumors were fast and furious today that Prime Minister Dean Barrow was in poor health. Those rumors were quickly debunked this afternoon when a short statement from Barrow’s office was issued via the Government Press Office. It reads as follows: The office of the Prime Minister is pleased to inform the general public that the Honorable Dean Barrow is in very good health and is presently in Miami, accompanying his wife for medical treatment. It has come to this office’s attention that mischievous rumors have been circulation to the contrary regarding his health. On occasions Prime Minister Dean Barrow has experienced a very common medical condition known as vertigo which causes dizziness. Three weeks ago, the start of Cabinet was delayed by half hour because the Prime Minister experienced one such episode. As a precaution, the staff called for a doctor to meet with the Prime Minister. He has since had a full check-up and received a clean bill of health. Honorable Dean Barrow continues his healthy exercise routine and does regular check-ups with his doctor, end of quote.

John McAfee fears GSU detention again
American businessman John McAfee could be headed for more problems with Belizean law enforcement authorities. The Gang Suppression Unit of the police department raided McAfee’s compound near the Toll Bridge in Orange walk on Monday morning and is reported to have detained the sixty six year old businessman for multiple hours in handcuffs. McAfee was eventually released; but police say that he did not have a license for one of the nine millimeter pistols. McAfee has produced a copy of the license in question, duly issued on December twenty eight of last year. But even as his attorneys are now working to try and untangle the legal conundrum in which the retirned businessman finds himself, Love News understands that he was today anticipating fresh charges, related to his ownership of the company to which the license was issued for the cache of firearms found at his compound in orange Walk during the early morning raid on Monday. The name of the company is Belize Ecological Foundation Limited. McAfee says he is the owner and a director of the company that was first registered in 2008. Yearly filings have been done since, as is legally required at the Office of Corporate Affairs at the Belize Company’s Register. Now a peculiar situation has apparently arisen where for some unexplained reasons, McAfee says his name does not appear on any of the hard copies of the records at the Company Registry. But when a search was done in the electronic database, McAfee says that his name turned up as the owner and a director of Belize Ecological Foundation Limited. So the question McAfee is now left asking is whether or not the hard copies were altered to reflect the name of a close friend of his as the owner and director of the company and not himself in an effort to frame him. It is a serious allegation and as we have reported, McAfee is fearful that faulty or tampered documents will be used to throw in jail again. The businessman’s lawyer is now working on the issue and with the hope of figuring out a solution to the impasse so that McAfee can resume his normal routines again. A request for information from the Police Press Officer regarding the McAfee case had so far gone unanswered.

BEL workers union holds press conference
After a protest last week Thursday to show their displeasure with the Belize Electricity Limited for ignoring them, the Belize Energy workers Union today held a Press Conference shortly after twelve midday, at the NTUCB office on Kut Avenue to update the public about the matter. The panel consisted of BEWU general Secretary, Dorla Staine, Vice President, Sean Nicholas, Dale Trujeque and President, Marvin Mora said they invited the media because they want the public to be involved and support them. The panel commented about the termination of the four workers without consultations with the union. Dale Trujeque who during the conference identified himself as a “warlord for workers” stressed on another of the issues they are concerned about, this time one involving the promotion of worker without communicating it to the Union until a couple of months after. Mora spoke of the next action BEWU might take should their not be an agreement with BEL soon This afternoon BEL issued a press release stating that they have submitted a request for intervention by the Labour Commissioner in order to bring BEWU to the discussion table. This comes after a public communication of BEWU’s six points of action demanded from BEL. The release says BEWU has not directly presented their concerns to the company and an invitation has been extended to them by BEL to meet and discuss concerns which BEWU agreed to do at a neutral location, however BEL is still awaiting a confirmation on the Location. BEL points out in the release that they are seriously concerned about the power outage statements BEWU have publicly released and that the company wishes to resolve the matter in the best interest of customers, employees and all other stakeholders. Coincidentally during today’s meeting Trujeque spoke on the subject since BEWU received a letter from BEL stating their intentions. Mora said that the fourth person terminated by BEL was done on the grounds of sexual harassment which according to him has not been proved and once again, the union was left out of the matter.

British Minister welcomes Belize-Guatemala agreement on joint referendum
The positive step of Belize and Guatemala agreeing to hold simultaneous referenda towards settling our territorial dispute has been warmly received by the Foreign Office Minister for Latin America, Jeremy Browne. In a release issued by the Belize Press Office, it cites Mr. Browne saying and we quote … “The UK supports the ICJ route as a means to finding a long-term and sustainable resolution which is acceptable to both states. The resolution of the territorial dispute continues to be long-term priority for the UK” … unquote. The date set for the referenda is October 6th, 2013.

Belmopan looking for a new market location
Residents of Belmopan attended a consultation on the building of a market in that municipality. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports.

New movie being shot on location in rural Belize
On location in Gracie Rock Since the movie Dog’s of War was shot in Belize back in the early eighties; there have been a number of other motion pictures shot on location in the jewel. Tonight, there is another to tell you about. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports.


Happy Birthday Edith!
There is one member of our huge Raggamuffin family that we all rely on, we all look up to and although she is just turning 26 years old today, she is a mother like figure to many – even Jimmy and Charlie!!! This has been Edith’s year as she has managed to put in place the foundation for her future. Back at the end of 2011 we all made our way to Orange Walk to witness her wedding with Ali Cansino and earlier in that same year and up to this day she has been building her and her families house (very much with the assistance of both Ali and her parents help) – not to forget she is now the proud owner of a fantastic new golf cart!!!

I Think We Have Been Adopted and My Mother's Day Card
We think we have been officially adopted by some cute little Belizean kids in town. I wrote about Michelle and her sister Arelle that we met back in February when we made a boat trip to Caye Caulker. We had taken the three dogs with us that day and Michelle and Arelle came and sat in the back of the boat with us so they could pet the dogs. I ran into Michelle with her friends Ethan and Dulce this week down near the beach and they immediately wanted to know where the huskies were. I called Bill and had him meet us at the beach with the dogs so the kids could see them. After walking the dogs on the beach, the kids wanted to follow us home. Once we got home they decided they were hungry, so I made them all sandwiches. I let them try dill pickles, and Hershey chocolate kisses, none of which they had ever tasted before. They loved the kisses but didn't much care for dill pickles. Ethan made the comment that he felt like he was dreaming. After stuffing their faces and filling their tummies full, I walked each one of the kids to their house and dropped them off.

The Fort at Omoa, Tela, La Ceiba, Honduras and Barf Bags...
After two nights in Omoa, Honduras, another friend, Emily, was flying into San Pedro Sula from California...we headed there to pick her up. I didn't have time to type my post in Omoa, the internet cafe was small...and here is a picture of my keyboard. The connection was fast but it gets tricky when the letters are crumbling off as you use the keyboard. I am now in Roatan, but let's start in Omoa (there is a map below if you are following us with your playbook). Omoa has an incredibly old but well preserved fort and museum on the way into town. Apparently, this northern Carribean coast was first explored by the Spanish in the early 1500s but it wasn't a viable town until the 1750s when the fort was built. This whole coast was a hotbed for pirate activity. Particularly the Brits. There is a really nice museum right next door to the fort. The museum is free. $80 lempira (about $4 USD) will get you into the fort. Interesting fact: the fort was used as a serious (and dreaded) maximum security prison for the first half of the 20th century.

International Sources

Book drive could give children in Belize the reading bug
Imagine a school filled with children going to class every day excited to learn, but possessing no ability to read anything unless it is found in their textbooks. Doesn't that sound awful? Well, it is a reality for the Garden City Primary School in Belmopan, Belize. This school does not have a library and the classrooms do not have any books besides textbooks. Mickie Post intends to bring this to an end. Post (formally worked at Owasco Elementary School) is in Belize, volunteering with the Peace Corps. It is her goal for teachers and children to have access to reading materials besides their textbooks/workbooks. She will be encouraging teachers to borrow books from the library to use in their classrooms, exchanging the collection a couple times a month. Her goal in literacy is to have the children do independent reading, and for the teachers to use the leveled readers to differentiate instruction. Unfortunately, this is impossible to do without reading resources. Upon hearing this information from Mickie Post, we were eager to help in any way possible.

Months into training and members of the women’s national softball workout squad are still hard at it, wanting to be in tip-top shape for the qualifiers. Although they still have six months to prepare for the Softball World Games qualifiers, for English-speaking Caribbean countries, president of the Bahamas Softball Federation (BSF) Burkette Dorsette is not leaving anything to chance. Dorsette, along with the national managers for the program are hoping to get at least one tournament in before the hosting, set for November 27-December 3. The games will be held in Belize, and will play at the Rogers Stadium. Other participating countries include Aruba, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, The Bahamas and host country Belize.

Fortis pursuing compensation from Belize
At its annual general meeting in St. John's Friday, Fortis cited record profits, a deal on the horizon to break new ground in the United States and a developing $900-million hydro project in British Columbia. Despite all this, when the meeting was turned over to questions from shareholders, the first question was on an entirely different subject - Fortis interests in Belize. In June 2011, Belize Electricity Ltd. - the primary distributor of electricity in Belize, with a customer base of about 77,000 - was expropriated by the Government of Belize. Fortis held a 70 per cent ownership stake in the company at the time and is still seeking compensation. Asked one shareholder, "Are we going to get our money back?" "Good question," said Stan Marshall, Fortis president and CEO. "Your guess is as good as mine." Belize Electricity is a power distributor, but does not produce the power, instead purchasing it from several sources. One of those sources is Belize Electric Co. Ltd. - a hydro power company in which Fortis continues to hold stake.

May 5, 2012

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Costa Maya Festival 2012 date set for August 2nd – 5th
2012 is the year of the Maya, and one celebration set to celebrate it in grand fashion is the annual Costa Maya Festival. Organizers and committee members have already begun their preparations for what is sure to be an exciting festival indeed. Following the format from the 2011 Festival, this year will see Thursday as comedy/family night, followed by the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant on Friday. Saturday will remain as International Night, while Sunday is being planned as a beach party to cap off the weekend’s festivities with friends, family, sun, sand and FUN! While Saturday’s International star has not been revealed, there is a lot of excitement over potential musicians and acts that will be bringing people to the grounds at the Old Football Field. Stay tuned for details as they emerge, and remember to start planning ahead for your tickets. Adults’ Season Passes are $120 and Kids’ Season Passes are $50. Single night passes are as follows: Thursday – $40/$15, Friday – $40/$15, Saturday – $100/$50 and Sunday is FREE.

San Pedro Cultural Committee to host massive fundraiser and Full Moon Concert
The San Pedro Cultural Committee (SPCC) is hosting a massive fundraiser on Saturday May 5th that will end with the first ever Full Moon Concert. The all-day event has a dual purpose to raise much needed money for three dance groups on Ambergris Caye and to showcase local talents from the island. It is scheduled to start at 10AM and will run up to midnight at the Central Park in San Pedro. According to the SPCC, Little Dynamic Stars, San Pedro Dance Academy (Company) and Barbara’s Dance Group are facing financial problems in meeting their bills in order to continue as dance groups. After sitting down with the groups, the SPCC explored the possibilities of engaging the community in assisting the three groups to raise monies that will offset their mounting expenses. As a result, a full day event has been planned that will include performances by live local bands, dance presentations by all of the dance groups at different intervals during the course of the day and a massive food sale. The event will be televised live on local television and will be transmitted via Reef Radio. During the event, which will cater to the entire family, business establishments and the general public will be able to make pledges on air via phone lines that will be available on the day of the event.

Blanca Velasquez wins sailing regatta in Orange Walk
Nineteen young sailors formed the latest Team San Pedro and trekked to Honey Camp Lagoon in the Orange Walk District for a weekend of camping, sailing instruction and racing on Saturday April 28th to Sunday April 29th. Team San Pedro faced and overcame new challenges netting 12 of the 15 invitations to race in the regatta final. On Saturday, all the young sailors were instructed on shore about the frequent and sudden shifts in wind strength and direction that often typify inland lake sailing conditions. Then they took to their boats to try what they had learned while exploring the beautiful lagoon. On Sunday, Team San Pedro’s ability to handle the unfamiliar conditions was put to the test in the regatta, racing against 26 others from Belize City, Liberty Children’s Home, and a scrappy new team, The Consejo Yacht Club from the Corozal District. In the first heat, Team San Pedro took the top five out of 15 finishes. In first place was Louis Blanco, who had only been in three races before this. Mitchel Sersland placed 2nd while Blanca Velasquez, Christian Tejo, and Zulema Ayala, took 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively. Current National Champion Alexander Rhaburn finished in 7th, still in the top half. San Pedro’s Jerdon Anderson sailed to victory in the second heat, followed closely by Lily Hayden in 2nd place while Faith Noel finished 4th in this 15 boat heat.

“More Boots on the Ground” with SP Special Constable program
The San Pedro Police Department is in the process of reintroducing the Special Constable Program to the island. The program will see “more boots on the ground“, having more law enforcement representatives on the streets in an effort to reduce crime on the island. The program held its first meeting on Sunday, April 29th when members of the SP Police Formation met with interested members of the public to outline the details of the Special Constable Program. The program falls within the community policing initiative of the Belize Police Department. Representing the police was Officer in Charge of the SP Police Department Assistant Superintendent of Police Vienie Robinson. According to ASP Robinson, about 24 people attended the meeting which took place upstairs of the San Pedro Police Station. “We want to revive the whole program of the Special Constable where they assist the police in basic patrols around the island,” said ASP Robinson. During the meeting, each attendee filled out a registration form, specific information was requested, after which the information was compiled and submitted for vetting against bad character and criminal records at the Belize Police Department.

John McAfee arrested by GSU Police for illegal firearms; claims political vendetta
John McAfee, the inventor of the McAfee Virus Scan is claiming that members of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) stormed into his estate located on the outskirts of Orange Walk Town and was a victim of an aggressive search. The wealthy US investor, who moved to Belize in 2008 and spends his time between homes in San Pedro and Orange Walk, claimed that not only was he a victim of an aggressive search but his doors were bust open despite being unlocked and one of his pet dogs was shot and killed. Sometime around 6AM on Monday, April 30th, GSU personnel descended on the mainland property belonging to the 66 year old McAfee, namely the Belize Ecological Foundation Limited, located next to the Tower Hill Bridge in Carmelita Village, Orange Walk District. After the GSU officers entered his estate, McAfee said that his dog, Caramelo, was shot and killed after which the men broke down doors and ransacked the nine houses on the compound. According to Police, present at the time of the search were John McAfee, his 17-year-old Belizean girlfriend who is a minor, four security guards, 33 year old Emerson Michael who claimed to be the Chief of Security, 23 year old Emerson Dominguez, 46 year old Austin Allen and 23 year old Tyron Morales who are all Belizean nationals. Also present was Michael’s common-law wife Princesa Ericson.

‘Man at Work’ (Terryl Godoy) to hold Reggae Bus Concert and CD Launch
San Pedro resident, Artist and Musician, Terryl Godoy aka Man at Work will hold his first Reggae Bus Concert and CD Launch, at the House of Culture in Belize City on Friday, May 4th from 7PM to 10PM. Belizean born, Terryl started painting at the young age of six and has travelled the world creating art from the landscapes he stood on. Speaking of his artwork, Terryl stated, “I focus on realistic landscapes. I go out and capture my scenes live on the spot. I’ve painted in several parts of the world. I have painted in Trinidad, Grenada, St. Lucia, Guatemala, Honduras, London, Germany, Netherlands, New York and so many other places.” Terryl is recognized in San Pedro as a local artist as well as a musician. His paintings are available at Rene’s Art Gallery and Belizean Arts at Fido’s Courtyard. Terryl plays various instruments and sings as well. In San Pedro he performs as a one man band at venues such as Hidden Treasure, Belizean Shores and Ramon’s.

GOB dispels rumors about the health of PM Barrow
There has been news circulating that the Prime Minister of Belize, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow had fallen ill during a Cabinet meeting a few weeks ago. According to Audrey Wallace from the Office of the Prime Minister, three weeks ago, Prime Minister Barrow had an episode of vertigo. He felt so “extremely ill” that he had to leave the Cabinet meeting. A doctor from the Ministry of Health was called in to evaluate the PM Barrow’s health. After receiving medical attention, he returned to Cabinet and carried on with the meeting. A release from the office of the Prime Minister states that, “On occasions, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has experienced a very common medical condition known as vertigo, which causes dizziness. Three weeks ago, the start of Cabinet was delayed by half hour because the Prime Minister experienced one such episode. As a precaution, the staff called for a doctor to meet with the Prime Minister. He has since had a full check-up and received a clean bill of health.”

Enjoy the pride of Belize at the National Agriculture & Trade Show!
Less than one hundred miles from San Pedro, Belize’s largest yearly Agriculture Show is held in the capital city of Belmopan. While many island residents choose not to attend; complaining of extreme heat and crowded, dusty fair grounds, The San Pedro Sun decided that we’d make a go at it and see for ourselves whether this highly anticipated three day event is worth the journey and the seasonal temperatures. While the event started on Friday, our best bet was Saturday and Sunday to get a really good feel for the show. Being that the last time I went to an Agriculture show was over fifteen years ago, I must admit I was quite excited. So much so, that I took the first flight at 7AM on Saturday from San Pedro en route to what could quite possibly be one of the best weekends in a long time. After a short fifteen minute flight on board Tropic Air, I arrived at the municipal airport in Belize City. A cab ride took me to the City’s bus terminal where I boarded a packed bus to Belmopan. Two hours later and after various stops along the way, we arrived in Belmopan. At 10AM, the sun was not at its highest point and there was a nice, constant breeze. With heightened security at the gates, each individual was checked for weapons as a metal detector was moved along the body. Once cleared at security and the $5 entrance fee has been paid, the entire grounds are yours. This year the show was held on the 27th, 28th and 29th of April under the theme ”Agriculture creating greater business opportunities, a healthier population and a more robust economy.”

Ambergris Today

Condolences on the Passing of Mr. Severo Castillo
Ambergris Today and the community of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, mourns the passing of Mr. Severo Castillo who left us on Thursday, May 3, 2012. He is survived by his wife Valeria Castillo, children Addy, Milly, Ermita, Ciela, Lupita, Rosie and Mundo and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We extend our sincere condolences to the Castillo family. May he Rest in Peace.

Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings
Currently there are three AA groups in San Pedro. * The Bilingual group meets every night at #5 Boca del Rio Drive at 7:30 PM. * A Spanish speaking group (Ultramar) meets Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 7:30 PM at the San Pablo Catholic Church and also practices the Narcotics Anonymous program. * The English speaking group meets in the Rectory of the Catholic Church across from Central Park on Tuesday and Friday at noon. Anyone seeking help for alcohol or drug addiction may call 627-1585 or come to any of the above listed meetings.

More Speed Bumps, More Wardens, Traffic Safety Continues
The San Pedro Town Council embarked on a Road Traffic Safety Campaign in early April with intentions to promote safe driving on the island. During the campaign banners were placed all over town while speed bumps and street corners (no parking areas) were given a paint job. During the Town Council’s familiarization visits to schools, Councilor Kenrick Brackett made mention that in order to keep the island’s children safe pedestrian ramps would be placed near every school. “Presently we have placed speed bumps by the San Pedro R.C. School and the San Pedro High School,” commented Councilor Brackett to Ambergris Today. “These speed bumps were purchased by the previous administration and we are currently using them as a test to see if this will work better than having pedestrian ramps.”

Kindest Kid in San Pedro Award 2012 Nominations
Be Kind Belize is looking for the “Kindest Kid” in the community and with your help they are selecting one out of these four nomination who were selected from a larger list of entries. Following are the final nominations for the Kindest Kid in San Pedro Award 2012. Every primary school in San Pedro was invited to nominate students that they felt could represent them as Kindness Ambassadors. With the fantastic support and assistance of Mr. Gustavo Ramirez, the Guidance Counsellor at San Pedro High School, along with students, the heart warming nominations made by primary schools, were narrowed down to the final four. This was done anonymously and on a scoring basis. Now it is up to the public to decide. Every vote will count. So please read these nominations and vote for the one you think best represents the sort of kindness you believe is at the heart of the San Pedro community. One winner and one runner up will be announced on the 24th of May. Voting ends on the 18th of May.

Space Object Falls Down to Guatemala/Belize Border
It was reported that residents of Benque Viejo del Carmen, Belize and neighboring Guatemala area sighted a bright white light cutting across the sky on Monday, April 30, 2012. Reports have been confirmed by the Space Command in the United States about the entry of a space object that fell into Earth and crashing near the Belize border, specifically in the town of Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala. Reports coming from Guatemala are that police and firefighters were mobilized to track and recover the presumed meteorite that possibly fell in the archaeological site of TZIKÍN TZAKÁN of the Melchor area.

Misc Belizean Sources

BEL Requests Intervention by Labor Commissioner to Bring BEWU Executives to the Discussion Table
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) has submitted a request for intervention by the Labor Commissioner in an effort to bring Executives of the Belize Energy Workers' Union (BEWU) to the discussion table. This request follows a public communication by the BEWU to the media on April 26, 2012, listing six points of action they are demanding from BEL's Management. To date the BEWU has still not presented their concerns directly to the Company. Since April 26, 2012, BEL's Management has extended two invitations to the Executives of the BEWU to meet and discuss any concerns of the Union in an effort to find a resolution. Following the most recent invitation, issued on Monday, April, 30, 2012, the BEWU Executives informed that they are willing to meet with BEL's Management at a location away from the Company's premises; a "neutral" location. The Company continues to await confirmation from the BEWU Executives on the venue, date and time for the meeting.

Westminster College Athletics Hires '93 Alum, Belizean, Kevin Siroki, as New Head Men's Basketball Coach
Westminster College has named Kevin Siroki ('93) its new head men's basketball coach. Siroki previously was the athletic director and the head men's basketball coach at Galen University in Belize, Central America.

Belize’s BETEX Tourism Expo: Gaining a New Respect for Travel Agents
This past week I spent traveling throughout Belize with a group of travel agents as press on behalf of the Belize Tourism Expo (BETEX), a travel industry event designed for wholesalers and some retail travel agents. Following the two-day conference, there were post tours available that attendees could sign up for that specialized in different aspects of Belize travel. Admittedly, I am one who books my own travel outright versus going through a travel agent. I am also one who is guilty of the belief that booking through an agent is more expensive or that I can do everything easier on my own. Going into the conference, I knew it would be an interesting experience given my pre-conceived notions on travel agents as a whole. After the conference, we spent the four days traipsing around different parts of Belize on what it is commonly referred to as a “FAM” trip. I lost count of how many hotel site inspections we did, how many mosquito bites I have, and the number of blisters still on my feet. But one thing I’ve taken away from this trip is a newfound respect for travel agents. This was really a FAM trip on steroids as I started every day with a 5am wake up and usually ended the night drooling on my keyboard while passing out at 11pm after failed attempts to get any work done.

San Ignacio Hotel's Family Day pictures
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel had their Family Day recently, and by the looks of it, they had a wonderful time. Jumproping by the pool looks like great fun. "In celebration of our 35th Anniversary - Our Annual Family Day at San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Food, Drinks, Games, Children & FUN!" They have a write up about it on their website.

TAS Belize's Tell A Story Thursday episode 8
This episode sums up the season of Tell A Story Thursday. The edited it pretty well, capturing the best information. "TAS Belize's Tell A story Thursday finale. In this episode, see a full recap of sesion one and hear more practical tips that couldn't fit in the previous episodes."

Jumping The Big Boa Opens Friday
Cayo's very own Winsom Winsom has an art exhibit at the Image Factory Gallery(in Belize) which has its opening reception Friday night at 6:30. It's entitled 'Jumping the Big Boa.' If you can go represent Cayo, you are invited to attend. Click on the picture to see some of the unique pieces that will be on display.

Ducunu is a sweet tamales type dish that's made with corn. This dish is rich because it's made with coconut milk. This side dish can be eaten with Stewed Chicken or Stewed beef or it can be eaten alone. Ducunu is usually made plain or it can be stuffed some type of meat or with spinach as I've done in this video.

Ish’s shark attack takes half his Grouper!!!!
With perfect fishing conditions, our wonderful Ish went out fishing with his long time friend Esley Usher (Eslito) yesterday. Both men are highly experienced fisherman and therefore the ‘outside of the reef or the deep sea’ on a windless day was beckoning these two sea lovers with their 400ft of lines!! Early on in the day Ish’s Rock fish or Black Grouper as it is called caught the line and for almost 2 hours Ish spent trying to haul this 50lb fish on to the boat. At what seemed like almost the end of the fight both fisherman saw the 12ft long Bull Shark that was lurking around the boat. Quicker than they imagined the shark attacked the Grouper and in one bite, cut the fish in half!!! The photo above of Ish and his half eaten Grouper tells the story – poor Ish, he had a lot less to eat that night than he originally expected!!!

Top 10 Hotels in Belmopan [LIST]
Everyday people visit Belmopan City to experiment on the different cuisines, adventures and for the peacefulness that the city proudly has to offer. Some come for a day but some come to spend a few days and for that they need a safe and humble place to stay. Normally people would prefer staying at a hotel or an apartment. In Belmopan, finding a place to stay can be a hard task depending on which method you use to search. People come in an out of Belmopan and enjoy the tranquility that the city provides but some are left unsatisfied by the the customer service provided by some of the spots they pick to say at. I am here to make it easy for everyone by listing the Top 10 Hotels in Belmopan. In that case you won't have to go through all the trouble of selecting a place to say while being in the city. I have personally been to some of these hotels and is safe to say that these are some of the best hotels Belmopan has to offer.

Channel 7

For the past week, the Belize Energy Workers Union has been agitating against management. And tonight, the news is that the temperature of the dispute has increased - on both sides. First, four workers assigned to the Gas Turbine unit at Mile 8 on the Western Highway have been declared redundant. And second, BEL's management has asked the Labour Commissioner to intervene in the dispute. It has all the ingredients of an ugly, increasingly bitter standoff and the Belize Energy Workers Union held a press conference today to discuss the new developments. Here's what they said:.. Sean Nicholas, Vice President, BEWU "The company has invited the union to a meeting. After the union accepted the invitation to the meeting they went ahead and sent the employees letters of redundancy." Marvin Mora, President BEWU "The update was that BEL has already acted against the demands. That is the update. BEL has already made well the position of the four guys at the GT. That has got us to this table."

And so while the BEL Union is not happy, neither are the gang truce participants. 7news has confirmed that they got their pay cut this week. 7news has confirmed that the 200 gang truce participants from 13 gangs all got one or two days of pay cut from their weekly salary, which averages about $175.00, And so is ita punitive measure because the violence has increased? Well, not likely. The gang truce coordination committee had been assured by the Prime Minister that there would be no cuts to the gang truce work programme - once the gangs continued to participate. But, word to us is that there are cuts to the Poverty Alleviation programme, so at best it might have been a mix up - but one that has left many gag trucers none too happy tonight.

And while that development is sure to cause some executive discomfort, we doubt it's enough to make the Prime Minister sick. Still, there are all kinds of reports circulating which say that the PM is ill after he supposedly "collapsed" in cabinet three weeks ago. The rumour gained momentum this week with a report in the Belize times that a senior minister collapsed during cabinet. Well, according to multiple reports, here's what really happened. The Prime Minister seemed to have gotten an episode of vertigo before a cabinet meeting. If you don't know, vertigo creates acute dizziness and nausea. The PM - as we understand it - had to take a break, was seen by a doctor, and half hour later, he led the cabinet meeting. A press release from the Prime Minister's office today says that, quote: "On occasions Prime Minister Dean Barrow has experienced a very common medical condition known as vertigo which causes dizziness. Three weeks ago, the start of Cabinet was delayed by half hour because the Prime Minister experienced one such episode. As a precaution, the staff called for a doctor to meet with the Prime Minister. He has since had a full check-up and received a clean bill of health." End quote. The Prime Minister is presently in Miami accompanying his wife as she receives cancer radiation therapy.

A Belize City man is in a critical condition at the KHMH intensive care unit with serious burn after a car accident this morning. At 1:00 am this morning, 31 year old Lincoln Wells who lives on East Canal in Belize City but works in Orange Walk was driving his Volkswagen Jetta when he crashed into the San Estevan/Orange Walk bridge. The vehicle burst into flames and he was very seriously burnt. Wells was transferred to the KHMH due to the seriousness of his injury. Today, his cousin, city councilor and Doctor Alain Gonzalez told us that due to very serious burns, his chances for survival are slim:.. Dr. Alain Gonzalez, Relative of burn/accident victim "I saw Mr. Wells this morning at the hospital. He was in a very critical and unstable condition. He has just came out of the operating theatre because he had suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns of 45% of his entire body; That's the entire head, the neck, the upper thorax, the abdomen and both upper extremities and he has also suffered a left fracture. He was in ICU recovering, he was on respiratory ventilation because he was not breathing by himself; the flames from the fire actually cause burning to his throat and to his larynx." "He is very critical at this time. I spoke to the doctor in charge of the case, the internist at ICU and he told us that the best solution at this moment would be for us to try to get him in a burn unit out of the country, possible United States of America. The chances of survival are very low at this time."

A robber successfully pulled what you might call a Jackie Chan style robbery early this morning in Belize City. It happened at La Popular Tortilla Factory on Vernon Street at 5:30 am. Three workers were inside the factory when they saw something they never would have expected. They told us that a tall, very slim man ran up to the entrance of the factory, leaped over the barrier, and dived, dived! right through the small square opening in the grill - where they pass the tortillas and collect money. He made it through, sprung to his feet - and then put a gun to the head of one of the workers, who was trying to run out the back. He demanded to know where the money was - and they showed him the cash drawer. He then collected about one thousand dollars - mostly in small change - right down to the one-cent coins. He then left - not the same way he came - but through the back door. Police have no suspects.

29 year-old Jervis Valencia, who is no stranger to the law, was convicted of drug trafficking yesterday in Magistrate's Court. On May 26, 2011, police searched a car on Ebony Street, and they found Valencia in the passenger seat and Douglas Gill driving. Police say that they found 3.3 ounces of marijuana under the passenger's seat, and 0.1 ounces of crack cocaine in another section of the vehicle. Both Gill and Valencia were charged with two counts of drug trafficking. In the trial yesterday, the prosecution called the arresting officer to testify where exactly the drugs were found. When the prosecutor closed his case, Gill's attorney, Ellis Arnold, made a no-case submission saying that the prosecutor failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Gill had any knowledge that the drugs were in the vehicle.

According to an article in the Cayo Star newspaper, there is a backlog of 15 bodies awaiting post mortem examinations because police pathologist Dr. Mario Estradabran is awaiting a contract renewal. Estradabran told the paper that his 2-year contract with the government expired on February first of this year and that he is still negotiating a new one with the Ministry of National Security. The STAR reports that although the contract expired, Estradabran would still perform autopsies when requested. But, as of last week he had totally stopped, pending his new contract. But the backlog is beginning to be cleared: Police say three post mortem examinations were conducted today. The morgue fee at the KHMH is twenty five to fifty dollars per day.

Last night, we told you about 18 year-old Emmanuel Polanco being charged by police for the double murder of the cousins, 22 year-old Javier Larios, and 23 year-old Moses Orellano. Well tonight, it runs out that that Polanco was the 2011 valedictorian at his graduation from Ecumenical High School in Dangriga Town. Now, just one year later he is being accused of not one, but 2 murders. Police have also charged his brother 19 year-old Francisco Polanco for grievous harm, which he allegedly committed against Javier Larios. The bloodbath all started with a brawl after the National Agriculture and Trade Show.

27 year-old Kenneth Dobson will stand trial for the murder of 22 year-old Erwin Staine. A preliminary inquiry was held today and after prosecution finished tendering all the evidence against Dobson, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith found that there is enough evidence for him to stand trial in the Supreme Court. The evidence includes a crucial witness statement which details Staine's shooting, and Dobson's positive identification as the gunman. He is currently on remand, and he will remain so until the case is heard. On June 1, of 2011, Staine was standing on North Creek Street along with a friend, when two men rode up on bicycles and fired several shots at Staine, which fatally wounded him.

The novel Beka Lamb was first published 30 years ago in March of 1982. Since then, it has come into its own as a Caribbean Classic - and has earned admirers and devotees worldwide. Now, Saint Catherine's Academy is turning it into a play. In a sense, that is taking it back to the start because the idea for Beka Lamb first came to Zee Edgell when she was teaching at the all-girls Academy. That was back in the 60's - and 13 years later, she birthed a novel that would come to define Belizean literature for a generation and become the first Belizean novel accepted into the CXC curriculum. Now, it's been adapted for the stage and our intern, Robin Schaffer got a preview yesterday. Here's her report:.. Robin Schaffer reporting Beka Lamb is a celebrated Belizean novel that focuses on many social issues that are prevalent in Belize and the rest of the Caribbean. So, was this the reason that it was chosen by Saint Catherine Academy to be performed as a play? Melissa Espat, the director and cowriter of the play says, yes.

The Hicatee turtle is a critically endangered species but it's also a much sought after delicacy in Belize. And that's why balancing cultural practices and preservation is always a delicate balance. But - all of the May month is the time for preservation. A public notice form the Fisheries Department reminds the public that the closed season for Hicatee is from May 1st to May 31st, 2012. During this time, the purchase or sale of the Hicatee including cooked Hicatee is prohibited under the Fisheries Laws.

Channel 5

B.E.L. Workers Union’s final call for negotiation with Company
The time to buy candles or check your lanterns for kerosene may be very soon at hand. The grievances filed by the Belize Energy Workers Union (B.E.W.U.) against Belize Electricity Limited (B.E.L.) is at a stalemate. A week ago, B.E.W.U. showed its sincerity to impose any option available to bring the electricity company to the [...]

To avoid blackouts, B.E.L. calls for Labor Commissioner to intervene
It may well be the National Trade Union Congress of Belize which could ultimately bring pressure on B.E.L.’s management. But B.E.L. has decided to contact the Labor Commissioner of Belize to offset B.E.W.U.’s next possible move. In a press release sent this evening, B.E.L. said that it had submitted a request for intervention by the [...]

Arrests made for 3 murders
There were no new murders in the country tonight, but that has not stopped the police from investigating and finding suspects for recent crimes. Belmopan police have arrested and charged eighteen year old Emmanuel Polanco, a resident of mile twenty-five on the Hummingbird Highway, with two counts of murder. His relative Francisco Polanco was also [...]

Kenneth Dobson to stand trial for North Creek Murder
Twenty-eight year old Kenneth Dobson has been committed to stand trial for the murder of Ervin Staine which occurred less than a stone’s throw away from his home on North Creek on June first, 2011. A preliminary inquiry concluded before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith this evening where Dobson, who appeared unrepresented, was informed that [...]

Dedicated team flips on highway bringing you daily news
A Channel Five News crew unwittingly became part of tonight’s report. While heading to the capital this morning to do a feature story on employment, the station’s Hilux became a victim of a slick portion of the Western Highway. Inside the vehicle were driver Stephen Ferguson, cameraman George Tillett and reporter Andrea Polanco. According to [...]

The awesome Miss Y pageant brings decades of entertainment on stage
It’s that time of the year again for the eighteenth annual Miss Y pageant. The pageant, sponsored by the Young Women’s Christian Association of Belize (YWCA) is specifically designed for ‘seenagers’; women over the age of sixty with an extra spunk in their step and the bell of the ball. Six ladies from across the [...]

Honing skills to start up and manage your own company
Have you ever thought about honing the skills necessary to open and manage your own business that caters to tourists visiting the jewel? The Belize Tourism Board, through the Sustainable Development Program, is offering three training sessions in Belize City, Dangriga and Punta Gorda. Although limited only to twenty-five persons each, the training is intended [...]

Jamal Galves wins regional awards because of his love of conservation
A local conservationist is the recipient of two regional awards. Jamal Galves, whom we call manatee boy because of his love of nature and the endangered species, is in Antigua on a training exercise. His colleague, Nicole Auil Gomez told News five that one of the awards will actually provide funds for further developing management [...]

Aerial manatee count signals increased population
Auil Gomez who is the National Consultant for the Coastal Zone Management Institute said that they recently conducted a flyover manatee count. That particular exercise was not conducted for six years. However, the results of the national aerial surveys had positive results.   Nicole Auil Gomez, National Consultant, CZMAI “The last time this was done [...]

Finding victims of Human Trafficking
While the business of finding manatees can be quite a difficult task, also equally daunting is finding victims of human trafficking. The rate of convictions for the crimes of human trafficking in Belize remains fairly minimal despite an increase in the number of offenses. On March twenty-seventh, Guatemalan national Jose Alfaro was arraigned on two [...]

Symposium of Human Trafficking leans towards conviction of oppressors
According to Paul Holmes, a presenter at the symposium, the idea of the seminar is not necessarily to teach participants about the law, instead the aim is to provide new information on methods of conviction.   Paul Holmes, International Organization for Migration “My task is to share with the justices of the Supreme Court most [...]

Ordination of Bishop to be televised live on 5
We end the newscast with a programming note. The ordination of a bishop is a rarity in Belize. The last known ordination was that of Right Reverend Phillip Wright of the Anglican Diocese. But on Saturday, Christopher Glancy of the Roman Catholic Church will undergo an Episcopal Ordination to the Auxiliary Bishop of Belize. Channel [...]

Honest thief told judge he wanted to smell right
There are quite a number of characters that end up at the courthouse. An honest thief presented himself before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer Thursday. We’re not sure to what degree his secret move in a supermarket would have gone until he received the axe effect by an employee who caught him. If you didn’t get [...]

Marijuana and crack in cab, but you pay for ride in Court
Twenty-nine year old Jervis Valencia, a well-known Belize City street figure, was found guilty of drug trafficking on Thursday evening inside the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Valencia, a resident of Mayflower Street, was on trial along with Douglas Gill following the discovery of marijuana and crack cocaine during the search of a [...]

He paid his insurance premium, but can’t collect his claim
There are many insurance claims that people say are taking too long to honor by their agent. Last year, the regional winner of the Unsung Hero program was unable to receive his claim after his vehicle was totaled. A local businessman with a similar story said he has done everything, including winning a case in [...]

School fair in PG brings returns to Mayan Roots
Amazing events are happening around the country this month including the Village Arts & Crafts Expo on May twelfth, the Toledo Cacao Fest on the weekend of the eighteenth, Hopkins’ Mango Festival at the end of the month and more. But one event that may not have turned up on the radar is the Feast [...]

Local book on Mayas available on
One man is also determined on turning a new page on Mayan culture. Manuel Novelo is a new author who has written a novel; The Sacred Maya Smoking Shell. The book is a fictional account of the once powerful Mayan city of Lamanai in Orange Walk. The story encompasses the adventure, war, courage, tragedy, love [...]

Zee Edgell’s daughter here for the Premiere of Beka Lamb; the Play
While that book will be a new read, an old but favorite that is still a page turner in high schools, is getting a makeover. Earlier this week, we highlighted the play, Beka Lamb on Stage; that is being presented by Saint Catherine Academy. It is a two-day show starting tonight at the Bliss Center [...]

Inside Marie Sharp’s pepper Power Plant
Marie Sharp is probably one of Belize’s best promoters because everywhere she goes; she shares the spicy side of local life in the Jewel. Sharp’s exquisite brand of pepper sauces is making its own journey to different continents. Today, Sharp went on an excursion that will lead to South Korea where she will have an [...]


Lincoln Welch, a resident of Belize City who had been working in Orange Walk is badly injured after his vehicle collided into the San Estevan Bridge in Orange Walk Town. The incident happened around 12:15 last night when Welch reportedly lost control of his Black Volkswagen Jetta on th...

The Ministry of Rural Development and other relevant agencies today rounded up representatives from throughout the rural communities countrywide to begin the process of planning their respective areas in a strategic and systemic fashion. Orlando Jimenez, whose expertise was used ...

A number of fishermen who gathered at the offices of the Northern Fishermen Cooperatives were not happy. Natalie Novelo reporting… “Members of the Northern Fisherman Cooperative were not in such a good mood today at the office located on North Fron...

Residents of Belmopan attended a consultation on the building of a market in that municipality. Marion Ali reporting… After a round of public consultations and two proposals to build a permanent vendors and farmers market in Belmopan, the Belmopan City C...

Last week it was announced that Belize and Guatemala have agreed to hold simultaneous referenda towards settling the territorial dispute. The announcement has been warmly received by the Foreign Office Minister for Latin America, Jeremy Browne. In a release issued by the Be...

American businessman John McAfee could be headed for more problems with Belizean law enforcement authorities. The Gang Suppression Unit of the police department raided McAfee’s compound near the Toll Bridge in Orange walk on Monday morning and is reported to have detained t...

Last Thursday members of the Belize Energy Workers Union staged a demonstration against their employer, Belize Electricity Limited. The Union said the action was necessary because they have been unable to meet with management to discuss a number of relevant issues. Today BE...

Rumors were fast and furious today that Prime Minister Dean Barrow was in poor health. Those rumors were quickly debunked this afternoon when a short statement from Barrow’s office was issued via the Government Press Office. It reads as follows: The office of the Prime Mini...


Laboratory Closed Say's McAfee's Worker
Last night you heard the story of 66 year old John McAfee whose residence by the Toll Bridge was ransacked in what he calls an unjustifiable raid by the GSU. While McAfee is claiming that the GSU used unnecessary force and their actions were unprofessional, the GSU sent out a press release yesterday evening justifying their actions and the level of force used. Today, the Head of Security at McAfee’s residence says otherwise. According to Emerson Michael, the GSU used excessive force on the security guards and watch dogs. Emerson Michael, Head of Security “First of all it was not a nice experience because the GSU were the one who woke us up from our bed with all noise and all the commotion which was really uncalled for. They started by cutting the fence- cutting the wire on the fence and the gate was right there. My security had opened the gate. They cut the wire and stormed in and break down all the doors which really was not professional. It wasn’t justified at all. The breaking down of the doors was not necessary. It was uncalled for.” In the press release issued out by the Gang Suppression Unit, they state and we quote, “Investigations regarding the employment of the security guards revealed that only two out of the four guards are licensed to act as Security Guards.” End quote. But according to Michael, one of the individuals in question is presently training to be a security guard and the other individual is a maintenance worker.

OWTC Receives Face-lift
The Orange Walk Town Council released their Manifesto in early February titled ‘Change Is Here’ which serves as a social contract to the people that is fixated on solutions rather than promises. Since the team of seven has been elected into office, their vision for change has been an ongoing venture for the betterment of Orange Walk Town. The blue machine has made significant changes around town but its recent change has been in the best interest of Town Council employees and Orange Walkenos. Kevin Bernard, Mayor “What we did upon taking office we sat down with the different departments and listening to the needs of the employees, there was urgent need of doing some proper spacing and expanding in some areas. So what we did if you noticed the mayor’s office is no longer within the offices of the cashiers and where all these people were crammed up. We took that out one for it to be more open to the public now somebody who comes to see the mayor does not have to go to a series of individuals instead they come directly and see the mayor.

ESTM Holds Annual Open Day
Today Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College had its third annual open day. The learning institution’s students have been preparing for today’s event all school year long. Student’s placed on display their skills in Agriculture, Information Technology, Cooking, Tourism, Business and many others for visitors to enjoy. Among the thousands of visitors that passed through the school’s gates today, Reporter Hipolito Novelo and Cameraman Keric Simpson were just two more that witnessed the hard work and talent of these young minds. Here’s their story. The sun was blazing hot today but that did not deter primary school students and the community of being part of Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College’s third annual open day. It was celebrated under the theme, “Integrating Career Knowledge to Promote Development and Show Case Abilities” and that’s what exactly the students did. According to the Dean, Hugo Gonzalez, the open days saw the participation of 28 booths - 8 from the business community and 20 from the students. Hugo Gonzalez, Dean- Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College “We have a combination of booths that were created by students and at the same time we have organizations that have come out from our communities and other organization which we work with that also have their booth here today to show in what way they collaborate with the junior college and in what way they assist us to develop our young people.” One of the businesses is Belagro, which has been working alongside the institution for many years now.

BAHA Investigates Contaminated Beans Story
Food safety measures guarantee consumers healthy eating, but how sure are you, that the food you take home from the store is not contaminated? When you are at home and you’re preparing your family meal with the utmost care for safety and cleaning of the ingredients, how sure are you that those that handled those same ingredients before you did everything in their power to ensure that the food reaches you clean and not contaminated? On Friday April 27th we informed you about the report issued in the Jamaican Observer that reported on the seizure by the Jamaican Government on an imported shipment of Red Kidney beans from Belize. The Red Kidney beans were deemed contaminated and considered unfit for consumption after tests were conducted by the Rodent Biology and Control Laboratory in Jamaica, where the contaminants were identified as rodent feces. Upon routine inspections at the Kingston Harbor the beans were found packed in seven hundred and fifty bags weighing approximately 22.73 metric tons with an estimated value of over two point six million dollars. In response to the incident Francisco Gutierrez of the Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) says even though no official reports from Jamaican authorities have been received investigation of the matter is still priority.

NDACC Host 5th Meeting To Eradicate Drugs
Today the National Drug Abuse Control Council, (NDACC) which is under the Ministry of Health, hosted the first part of its 5th Meeting of the Directors of National Drug Council at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina in Belize City. The gathering brought together twenty Directors of Drug Councils of both Member States and Associated Member States of CARICOM to discuss the Caribbean strategies to reduce the demand and supply of illicit drugs in the various countries’ action plan. The meeting is being held under the theme: Building Human Resources in Drug Demand Reduction for Sustainable Development. Specific objectives of the meeting included: improving treatment and expanding access to care for substance use disorders, Psycho-Social cost of substance addiction, funding options for the Regional Drug Demand Reduction Strategy and sustainability of the Technical Advisory Board as a regional system. It’s the first time that the meeting is being held outside of the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown and is therefore considered historic. In 2001, a framework for Drug Demand Reduction was developed and later endorsed at a meeting by the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) in Guyana. The framework was received and updated at the 1st Meeting of the Directors of National Drug Council held in November 2005 in Jamaica. At that meeting, a Technical Advisory Body was established to provide oversight and also to advance the work to reduce illicit drugs in the region. The second and final stage of the meeting will be held tomorrow also at the Radisson Fort George in Belize City.


Regional directors of drug councils meet in Belize
Drugs and other substances have increasingly become a plague on the Belizean society and economy over the years. Today, the people who offer help to kick the habits, gathered to engage in the fifth annual meeting of directors for drug councils from throughout the Caribbean. Since 2008, the National Drug Abuse Control Council has embarked on a restructuring process that seeks to develop different research-based programmes that will target people with the highest level of addictions. And based on our own analyses, the number one addiction is alcohol, followed by marijuana. This is according to N-DACC’s Director, Esner Vellos. Beverly Reynolds who is the Programme Manager for Sustainable Development at the CARICOM Secretariat. In 2011 N-DACC has treated 311 alcohol and drug addicts and in terms of drug prevention intervention, it targeted two thousand 500 high school students.

Research shows thriving manatee population
The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute and the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development have completed a marine mammal aerial survey of the entire coast of Belize. Led by consultant Nicole Auil Gomez, the surveys were conducted last month. She gave Love News the findings of the survey. According to Auil Gomez, the survey also looked at other marine species inhabiting the coastal waters of Belize. In other news from the conservation field, Belizean Manatee Researcher Jamal Galvez has received two international awards for his work with manatees in Belize. Auil explains what the citations are. Auil Gomez says she is happy for the achievement of her colleague and the awards are a good thing for the entire country of Belize. Consultant with the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute Nicole Auil Gomez. Belize City duo busted with weed in the car trunk in Cayo A man and a woman from Belize City have been arrested and charges in San Ignacio after they were busted with thirty three pounds of marijuana in their car. Twenty seven year old Sandra Thompson and thirty two year old Richard Smith were busted by a police mobile patrol on Tuesday afternoon in Santa Elena [...]


More grit found in another bottle of soft drink
Last week Plus news reported on foreign particles found inside a sealed Fanta bottle, by a customer. As we stated i...

Bomb threat prompts Commercial Center evacuation
On Wednesday May 2nd shortly before 11 in the morning, Belize City Police responded to a bomb threat at the Commerc...

Belmopan Lions Club to host 6th annual eye clinic
The Belmopan Lions Club is hosting its sixth annual eye clinic. Every year the Club brings in a group of both Profe...

New Lupus Association founded
Lupus is a destructive disease with fatal consequences for many who suffer from it. Errolyne Frazer, mother and wif...

Belmopan CITCO embarks on a street improvement project
The Belmopan City Council is embarking on one of its campaign promises made to the populace back in March; to upgra...

Youth spreads crime awareness through run
One teen is trying to create greater awareness on the violence in Belize and cancer by running from Belmopan to Bel...

Arrest made in weekend's double murder
Police have arrested 18yr old Emmanuel Polanco resident of Mile 25 along the Hummingbird Highway for the double mur...

Hicatee season closed
The Belize Fisheries Department has issued a release reminding the general public that the close season for Hicatee...


Guats stealing gold in Chiquibul!
Gold theft inside Chiquibul a growing problem: FCD... It’s a known fact that Belize’s expansive and majestic Chiquibul Forest is home to rich gold deposits. In a May 2010 report, Geologist Jean Cornec said, “Belize holds intriguing gold potential in an under-explored region....”

Belizean Berne Velasquez “confronts dinosaurs” in latest movie
Dinosaurs and terrorists - an interesting combination - Berne... He has produced multiple smash hits from albums Life after Deportation, Evolution, Celebration Time and Dileeyu and won the 2008 Carnival Song Competition, but ever seeking a challenge, he has recently turned to acting.

Belizean beans exporter, BAHA respond to allegation of rodent filth contamination in Jamaica shipment
There have been multiple reports in Caribbean and local media since last week, indicating that a shipment of 22.73 metric tons or 750 bags of Belizean red kidney beans, valued at over JM$2.6 million (BZ$60,000), had to be destroyed when it was found to be contaminated with rat droppings by the Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division (FSPID) of Jamaica’s Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.

Burglary victims show mercy in court to 3 students
Magistrate told the accused that “God” had touched the hearts of their victims... The 3-storey wooden house, located at #4 - 4th Street in the Kings Park Area, was broken into by three young men, all of whom are students at a junior college.

UNIBAM organization out of constitutional challenge
Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana handed down a written judgment this morning in relation to preliminary matters in Claim No. 668 of 2010, Caleb Orozco and United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) vs the Attorney General, with the Belize Council of Churches and Association of Evangelical Churches as interested parties.

GSU and BDF storm John McAfee’s OW estate!
The American antivirus pioneer was held for 14 hours; police say they were looking for drugs and guns... The world-renowned founder of McAfee Antivirus software, John McAfee, 66, a US multimillionaire, said to have been worth US$100 million at his peak but far less since the global financial meltdown, has been living peacefully in Belize for about three years—that is, until earlier this week, when McAfee reported that his estate on the outskirts of Orange Walk Town was raided by joint Belize Gang Suppression Unit (GSU), Belize Defence Force (BDF) and Belize Special Assignment Group (BSAG) team, which woke him up with a megaphone around dawn on Monday morning and held him in custody for 14 hours before releasing him without charges, at the conclusion of what police say was a search for drugs and guns.

Teenage sensation “Bredda” will NOT see UNCAF U-20 this year; CentAm U-20 qualifying set for July
Even as the new FFB administration delays the launch of its FIFA mandated internal inquiry into the missing finances, which were more than enough to provide for any stadium adjustments needed, the dreams of a whole crop of young footballers are apparently dashed this year. 18-year-old Gilroy “Bredda” Thurton, who elected not to participate in the present Premier League tournament, is acknowledged by football pundits as the most skilled U-20 attacking football artist in Belize right now. Last August, he won the MVP award in the Belize City Champions Cup; in February of this year he was again chosen MVP in the CYDP Peace Cup tournament; and just last Sunday, April 22, at the MCC, in a preliminary before game 1 of F.C. Belize vs Police in the Premier League semifinals, Bredda led the Brown Bombers U-19 to a 3-1 victory over the highly touted Georgeville United team that reportedly drew in a training match in Georgeville against the visiting Grenada selection during last year’s World Cup qualifiers in Belize.

Missing striking “link,” exit BDF and F.C. Belize; Placencia Assassins vs Police United in Premier League finals
You ever tried to set up a toy for a child on Christmas morning, and find yourself in a jam when there is one missing piece that has somehow been misplaced? Everything else fits, but that one missing nut, or bolt, or whatever the part is, and the thing just won’t work.

Belize Rural females and Wesley Upper males are National Primary School Basketball Champions 2012
The National Primary School Basketball Championship Tournament was played in Belize City on Friday, April 27, at the YWCA and Roger’s Stadium where games were played in the female and male categories, respectively.

Coast Guard abandons search for three fishermen missing at sea
After searching for around five days, the Belize Coast Guard announced that it has given up the search for three missing fishermen, which began on Monday, April 23, and ended today, until new information on the missing men’s possible whereabouts is received. The order to suspend the operation was given after an intense search was conducted using BDF’s Air Wing Defender Aircraft to do the aerial searches, and around five boats that combed the surrounding seas and land—including a search area of around 100 miles, extending from English Caye Channel to Gladden Spit—and nothing was found.

Eulogy - Telford Christopher Chilston Vernon
My best friend Telford Christopher Chilston Vernon was born on 5th April, 1924. He was the middle child of three children born to George Vernon and his wife Adele Vialdorres. Roy was their eldest son and their daughter Elaine, was the youngest.

Ideas and Opinions - The UNIBAM Affair
There is a striking difference between a sin and a crime. Sin is an absolute. Sin is like human nature. It is always the same and there can be no compromise. For example: “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” This means that no human agency has the power to dissolve a marriage, that has been consummated. Only the church has the power to dissolve a marriage.

Editorial: A tale of greed, stupidity and indifference
Some years ago, a documentary was released about the native people who live on an island in the Pacific. The islanders’ main source of revenue, as we remember it, was diving for oysters, in which pearls are found, in the island’s waters. As the natives explained it, the custom was that the divers were both men and women, and they did not use SCUBA gear, only a mask and fins, which meant that, fine divers that they were, they could only work as long as they could hold their breaths. It was inevitable that the interviewers should ask the natives why they did not use diving tanks, which would allow them to harvest many times more what they harvested using the traditional diving methods. The natives replied that yes, the harvest would be bountiful using the tanks, but that meant that the oysters and everything else would be cleaned out within a few seasons. If they were not greedy and stupid, the natives told the interviewers, who appeared to be from the Western world, there would always be work, and a source of income for future generations of islanders. We remember the wisdom of the natives because we in Belize appear to be both greedy and stupid where the bounty of our seas is concerned. We speak specifically about the obvious damage that gill nets and other types of fishing nets have caused to our fishing industry. These nets are used indiscriminately by fishermen who do not appear to realize, or care about the serious damage that they do to the fish stock, and the habitat in which the fish live. These nets, we are told by some dispirited sea-faring Belizeans, are set practically all along our coastline, especially in the mouth of, or near rivers that empty into the sea. The nets kill small fish and other fish that are prey for the edible fish caught in the nets.

From The Publisher
One of the things that Odinga Lumumba, may he rest in peace, taught me was always to look for the British. It’s not as easy as you may think, because the British are so diplomatic in their approach and almost always understated in their execution. By contrast, the Americans, who are the other major players in Belize, tend to be showy, even flamboyant. Lumumba, as compared to me, had a specific knowledge of the British because he had been sent to London, England just months before Hurricane Hattie in 1961. Lumumba spent eight years in London before he visited Belize shortly after the UBAD movement had begun in early 1969. During that time in London, to which he returned in September of 1969, Odinga had been active with the British version of the Black Panthers. During the 1970s, Odinga converted to Islam and took up residence in West Africa, Ghana and Mali to be specific, and this is an area where the British are active and involved. So that, the adult Lumumba saw how the British operated in their former colonial territories. My personal story was quite different from Lumumba’s. The U.S. State Department gave me a university scholarship in 1965. I was eager to travel to the United States, and had no interest whatsoever in Britain. My post-World War II generation had grown up in the 1950s in Belize hearing a lot about Manhattan, Brooklyn, and America, and our fascination became an obsession after Belizeans who had relatives in the U.S. were allowed to migrate there as refugees after Hattie. It was as if America threw open its doors to Belizeans after Hattie.

The Reporter

US$100,000 grants available for innovative Caribbean business ideas
If you have an innovative business idea, here is your opportunity to secure up to US$100,000 in grant funding. Compete Caribbean is inviting applicants from the Caribbean and the Caribbean Diaspora in the USA, Canada and the UK to apply for the Caribbean Idea Marketplace (CIM). Successful applicants can receive the above mentioned funding to develop their innovative projects. Caribbean Idea Marketplace (CIM) is a business competition platform that encourages local and Diaspora entrepreneurs to forge partnerships around innovative projects that will generate employment and economic opportunities in the Caribbean region. CIM also seeks to promote entrepreneurship, transfer knowledge and create learning networks.

A necessary tool for standards development
As standards developers gather around the world to deliberate on the establishment of new standards, amendments or revisions as the case may be in various subject areas, one must bear in mind that standards are demand-driven. This is based in part on varying needs which may be of either a public or private interest. These needs may arise from an increase in threats from risks and exposure to health and safety hazards; improvements in technology and changes in innovation; the continuous need to improve quality and competitiveness as market dynamics change etc. Whether the need is singular or multiple, it falls within the remit of each country’s National Standards Body (NSB) to ensure that standards are developed to serve these needs. The NSB is motioned and at the same time motivated to coordinate, spearhead and most importantly manage the standards development process. However, it is a responsibility that it does not entirely carry out on its own accord since it must involve all stakeholders that stand to benefit from consensus- based standards and for whom the standards will eventually play a critical role.

Lord’s Bank man remanded on indecent assault charge
Augustine Bejerano, 33, of Lord’s Bank Village, was remanded to prison after he was arraigned on a charge of aggravated assault of an indecent nature before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, April 2. Bejerano pleaded not guilty but decided to remain silent when the Magistrate asked him why she should grant him bail, so she then remanded him into custody. The court prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offence for which Bejerano is charged is prevalent, the alleged victim is of a tender age, and because the accused may interfere with the case and endanger the complainant.

Snapshots of India
A total of 21 journalists from six Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries had the opportunity to explore one of the most outstanding and unique countries in world—India, during a seven-day familiarization tour that began on April 14, 2012. The whirlwind tour of the world’s largest democracy—held under the auspices of the Indian government, in collaboration with Mr. Arun Hotchandani, Honorary Consul for India in Belize—ensured that all countries represented: Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, Brazil, and Belize, got a taste of the pride of South Asia. With the Indian government looking for increased collaboration with LAC countries, especially as it relates to trade relations, the journalists have all been asked to share the India experience with their respective countries. Literally located on the other side of the world from Belize, with over an eleven-hour time difference, and home to both a language and culture that differ greatly from western norms and mores, it’s definitely necessary to begin the discussion on India from the ground up.

Green Tropics Ltd. to build new Sugar Factory in Cayo
Green Tropics Limited, a new sugar company whose parent company in Spain has been involved in the sugar industry in Guatemala for over 20 years, is moving to develop a thriving sugar cane industry that will bring more than 700 jobs to the Cayo district within three years. The company showed off its new equipment and project plan at its booth at National Agricultural and Trade Show in Belmopan over the weekend, April 27th-29th. The company has acquired 7,069.49 acres of land in the Castille and Meditation area just north of More Tomorrow Village in the Cayo district. Almost 90% of the land has already had the forest vegetation destroyed by hurricanes and other natural disasters. The company intends to clear the land and plant five tons of cane seed per acre. The company is introducing a heavy-duty Skid Steer mulcher mounted on a 600 Hp Prime Tech tractor with caterpillar tracks, that will chop and grind all loose branches, tree root stumps and other debris in its path, churning it into the ground to form mulch for future planting. The mulcher can churn a nine-foot wide strip into ground ready for planting at a speed of 7 km/hour. The company plans to employ 300 full-time workers all year round, and anticipates that it will need as many as 700 workers during harvest time. The plan is for heavily mechanized farming and mechanized harvesting of green cane, not burnt cane, to minimize the use of chemicals needed for the clarification process in the factory.

Toledo 6th Annual Cacao Festival Is Here!
The Toledo Chocolate Growers Association is inviting Belizeans and other to come enjoy the 6th annual Toledo Cacao Festival, which the association is organizing in collaboration with the Toledo Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association and other partners for the weekend of May 18 – 20. For cultural diversity and convenience of activities, this grand event is unparalleled in the clean fun it offers in the heart of most cultured and historically rich district in Belize, Toledo. The first Toledo Cacao Festival was celebrated in 2006, bringing together a wide variety of interested professionals of the community to showcase Toledo’s history and culture. The professionals included cacao farmers, artisans, performers, restaurants, tourism and transportation providers. Roberto Coh from BTIA Toledo said, “The Festival raises funds for Punta Gorda’s community projects that include assistance to chocolate farmers and the upgrading of schools and parks.”

Rebecca Stirm leads the pack – Again!
Caribbean fashion reality series Mission Catwalk is on its sixth episode and Belize’s Rebecca Stirm, the only contestant to win more than one challenge since the start of the second season on March 27, has copped her third win with a dress designed around the red HIV/AIDS awareness ribbon. In Rebecca’s design, the ribbon framed a high neckline and continued down the back of the dress forming a dramatic scoop and crossing at the lower back. Rebecca said she wanted to create a look that would portray strength and courage since HIV is “nothing soft or pretty to face.” She found the perfect grey jacquard fabric with a subtle print in the upholstery section at Pablo’s, and complemented it with a red underskirt that balanced the piece.

What’s so bad about overeating?
Overeating is a relative term. The text book definition refers to it as the consumption of an energy intake that is inappropriately large for a given energy expenditure, thus, leading to obesity. In short, it means that what you eat is more than what you need or expend. “So what? What is so bad about overeating?” you may ask. Well, anything in excess is not healthy, and the same goes for overeating. Eating in excess has a tremendous, adverse impact on the health of an individual. There is a thin line between eating healthy and overeating. We generally fail to understand this difference and are easily enticed by the many foods around us. Indulging can result in the following: Excessive weight gain or obesity could become a factor. If guilty, you will notice a tube like structure developing around your belly and weight would rise by an average of 5 to 7 pounds in a month. To put things in perspective, consider the following. One pound of body fat contains about 3500 calories, so if you drink 2.5 bottles of soft drink such as coke or 2 bottles of 16oz fresh-squeezed fruit juice without sugar added everyday, you could gain one pound every week, 52 pounds in a year.

What is Lumbago? It affects 80% of Belizeans
Low back pain or lumbago is a common musculoskeletal disorder affecting 80% of people at some point in their lives. Only headache is more common. In Belize it is the most common cause for people to miss work. It can be classified as acute (less than 4 weeks), sub acute (4 to 12 weeks) and chronic (beyond 12 weeks). The majority of lower back pain stems from benign problems between the spine and the muscles that surround it. Over 99% of back pain instances are due to sprains and strains. Overactivity of the muscles of the back can lead to a torn ligament which causes pain. The discs (shock absorbers) between the bones of the spine can age, shrink in size, tear or move out of place and cause pain. The joints (hinges) of the spine become hardened as the years go by and this restricts mobility and can lead to pain. Arthritis and osteoporosis (the bone thins out) of the spine also cause pain. With conservative measures such as the application of heat or cold, use of medium-firm mattresses pain can reduced. Bed rest of more than 2 days is not advised. Even prolonged periods of sitting and lying will not help. Minimum activity helps to counteract the pain.

Wesley Upper boys win national primary schools basketball championship
The boys of Wesley Upper Primary School of Belize City won the National Basketball Tournament organized by the National Sports Council at Roger’s Stadium in Belize City last Friday, April 27. Most Valuable Player, Shaquille Crawford scored 20 pts as he led the Belize District champions, the boys of Wesley Upper, to win 39-16 over the Stann Creek district champions, the boys of Holy Family RC School. Clifton Castillo hit a long 3-pointer as he led the Holy Family boys with six points, but with Wesley’s Kyle Hamilton scoring eight points, Chevon Nuñez good for another six and Raymond Gongora Jr. adding three points, the Wesley Upper boys were already leading 20-6 at intermission. Rudolph Burke added a basket to seal the 39-16 win, even as Kenton Augustine and Kevon Cabral each hit long 3-pointers for Holy Family, Remington Yarde added a basket and Donovan Mariano scored a free throw.

Belize Rural Primary School girls win national basketball championship
The girls of Belize Rural Primary School from Double Head Cabbage won the National Primary Schools Basketball championship in the tournament organized by the National Sports Council at the Young Women’s Christian Association court last Friday, April 27 Most Valuable Player Kristy Terry scored 12 pts and led the Belize Rural girls the championship finals 20-2 over the Orange Walk district champions, the girls of Louisiana Government School. With Brentlee Garcia and Caithlyn McFadzean scoring four points each, the rural girls led 14-2 at intermission. Yazel Sutherland and Jennifer Torres each scored a free throw for the Louisiana girls. The Belize Rural girls advanced to the finals by a 14-4 win over the Stann Creek district champions, the girls of Holy Family RC School in the semifinals. Kristy Terry led with six points while Brentlee Garcia scored the first basket. Leyanne Moody added another and Caithlyn McFadzean added four points. Rushelle Ramos and Olga Gamboa scored a basket each for Holy Family.


Happy Cinco De Mayo
Here's what Cinco de Mayo has become in the U.S.: a celebration of all things Mexican, from mariachi music to sombreros, marked by schools, politicians and companies selling everything from beans to beer. And here's what Cinco de Mayo is not, despite all the signs in bar windows inviting revelers to drink: It's not Mexico's Independence Day, and it's barely marked in Mexico, except in the state of Puebla, where the holiday is rooted in a complicated and short-lived 1862 military victory over the French.

May 4, 2012

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

Capt. Hillyboo's Fishing Report, May 3, 2012
We have had beautiful weather all week long, especially in the mornings. It has been very calm with a light breeze picking up in the afternoons, which is very much welcomed, since it has been mostly hot and humid lately; but at least it is good fishing weather. This weekend, we are hosting our annual dorado fishing rodeo fishing competition. It has always had good participation and it has some attractive cash prices to go with it as well!! If anybody is interested in fishing it, u can contact me through my email, [email protected] Or call my cell number 011-501-6657106 for more info. I won it a couple of years ago!!! ...

The San Pedro Sun

Mother’s Day Special to Grand Cayman with Tropic Air

Marine Mammal Surveys 2012: Sperm whales in Belize
The Coastal Zone Management Authority & Institute in the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries & Sustainable Development completed marine mammal aerial surveys along the entire coast of Belize. Nicole Auil Gomez led manatee surveys on April 3rd - 4th, and cetacean (dolphin and whale) surveys on April 13. The Oceanic Society carried out the surveys for the Turneffe Atoll on April 10th – 11th, led by Dr. Holly Edwards. Eighteen national manatee surveys have been carried out since 1977, and the last count was done in 2007. The surveys provide information on distribution and relative abundance, which are applied to management strategies, including the national Coastal Zone Management Plan. The coastline, all rivers, large lagoons, and a sample of cayes were surveyed using standard protocol. A total of 507 manatees were sighted, with 10% of them being calves. This is the highest count recorded for Belize, still known globally to have the greatest number of the endangered Antillean manatee. Some key areas were in and around the Belize River; the river itself had 25 manatees; the Turneffe Atoll had 14 manatees, Placencia Lagoon had 31 individuals, and the Southern Lagoon (Gales Point) had a remarkable 52 animals. The count is a minimum population size, as for every animal seen, others present are missed.

Juventus Sugar Boys are local football tournament champs!
The Juventus Sugar Boys are the football champions for the San Pedro Belize Water Taxi tournament. The competition came to an end on Sunday, April 29th after Juventus Sugar Boys faced off Tuff E Nuff at the Saca Chispa Field before a large multitude of spectators. At the end of 90 minutes, Juventus Sugar Boys edged Tuff E Nuff in a score of four to three. For winning the tournament, Juventus takes the first place title that comes along with a trophy, 18 individual medals and $1,000 in cash. Tuff E Nuff settle for second place and also gets a trophy, 18 individual medals and $500 in cash.

Belize and Guatemala agree on date of Simultaneous Referenda
Belize and Guatemala has agreed on a date of a simultaneous referendum that will decided whether Guatemala’s long term territorial claim over Belize will go to the International Court of Justice. The date for the referenda is set for the 6th of October, 2013. The announcement was made on Friday April 27th via a press release from the Government of Belize following a meeting at the Headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington DC, USA. According to the release it states that “delegations from Belize and Guatemala, headed by their respective Foreign Ministers, Wilfred Elrington and Harold Caballeros, met with OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, to determine the date on which the simultaneous single issue referenda.” The referenda that will take place in both countries is in compliance with the Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala to submit Guatemala’s Territorial, Insular and Maritime claim to the International Court of Justice located in The Hague, Netherlands.

Minister Heredia calls BWS land deal “shady”
On March 5th The San Pedro Sun broke the story on our website at that the Government of Belize (GOB) had sold Belize Sewer Authority’s (BWSL) land located on Laguna Drive in San Pedro Town for 1% of its estimated value. The story was later printed in Vol. 22 #10 dated March 8, 2012 where it was reported that there had been no official comment from the Area Representative of Belize Rural South Hon. Manuel Heredia regarding the land sale. The prime land, with parcel number 01193 and valued at $250,000, was sold to 19 year old Alyssa Tun of a Juventus Street address in Orange Walk Town who paid $2,530 for the property. Last week however, Heredia told The SP Sun that the land deal is “wrong” and “shady“. “I personally feel that it shouldn’t have been done in the first place. It is wrong,” said Heredia adding that “it is my understanding that they are working out something and I am sure that at the end of the day they will cancel the title and give it back to BWSL and make a commitment with the person that bought it.” Heredia said that if the GOB wanted to get rid of the land, the most appropriate thing would have been to give it to the community. When asked if he (Heredia) had spoken to the Minister of Natural Resources (Hon. Gaspar Vega), Heredia said he had been unable to do so and hoped to bring up the matter when they meet during another Cabinet meeting.

Ambergris Today

Belmopan Brothers Drown in River
The shocking news took San Pedro residents by surprise as one of the victims, known to everybody as Ozzi, was a one-time resident of Ambergris Caye and a very good friend to many islanders. Twenty six year old Osbourne Grant and brother thirty two year old Allyson Thimbriel Jr. drowned on Tuesday, May 1, 2012, shortly after they decided to take a swim in the river after a day of work at a farm in the Valley of Peace. The river’s current proved to be too strong and both brothers were swept away.

Costa Maya Festival Dates Announced to Celebrate Maya 2012
The San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival has set the dates for their Maya 2012 themed celebrations for August 2 to the 5, 2012. With this, preparations have started for yet another year of cultural and high-energy presentations from across the Mundo Maya countries along the Americas.

Zelly Lisbey Celebrates Quinceaños "Under the Sea"
With an "Under the Sea" themed Quinceaños Party, including the appearances of Sebastian the crab, Ursula and an underwater scene, Zelly Lisbey celebrated her 15th Birthday in grand style at the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium on Saturday, April 28, 2012. Following a celebratory mass at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church, Zelly invited her family and friends to celebrate with her in an enchanted underwater-themed party.

Misc Belizean Sources

Kindest Kid in San Pedro Award 2012 Nominations
These are the wonderful final nominations for the Kindest Kid in San Pedro Award 2012. Every primary school in San Pedro was invited to nominate students that they felt could represent them as Kindness Ambassadors. With the fantastic support and assistance of Mr. Gustavo Ramirez, the Guidance Counsellor at San Pedro High School, along with students, the heart warming nominations made by primary schools, were narrowed down to the final four. This was done anonymously and on a scoring basis. Now it is up to the public to decide. Every vote will count. So please read these nominations and vote for the one you think best represents the sort of kindness you believe is at the heart of the San Pedro community...

Mothers Day Special to Grand Cayman with Tropic Air and Cayman Air
Treat someone special to somewhere fantastically special this Mothers Day – Grand Cayman with Tropic Air and Cayman Air see link for details, OR CALL RESERVATIONS 226 2012

VIDEO: Mama Vilma Family Home fundraiser at Wayo's, San Pedro, Belize
This weekend the Mama Vilma Family Home held a beach fundraiser at Wayo's Beernet. The motive: to generate much needed funds for the organization.

Great New Amenities for Budget Travelers in Belize
Great new amenities at Pedro's Hotel in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize provide the budget minded traveler even more value. High Season 2012 is in full swing on Ambergris Caye Belize, and Pedro’s Hotel in San Pedro Town has made significant improvements and upgrades to continue its leadership as the best hotel value in Belize. In addition to Pedro’s already free amenities, such as its on-site concierge desk, swimming pool, sea kayaks, WiFi, air-conditioned rooms with cable TV, and Huge flat screen TVs in Pedro’s Sports Bar for sports, Nintendo Wii, or movies, all of the 32 rooms in the hotel have been renovated to include: • Wood Panelling in all rooms to provide better sound-proofing to all guests • Bed-side tables handmade on site from local Belizean Hard woods • Reading Lamps throughout all room • Flat screen TV’s in all rooms (only hotel in Belize that can say this) According to Cindy Vigna, hotel manager, “In order to be responsive to guest feedback, we are very excited to be able to offer this level of value to all guests who choose to stay at Pedro’s Hotel. We think the best way to thank our previous guests is to listen to their comments and act upon their suggestions. We are always striving to provide the best service and value to the guests who choose to stay with us.”

UB's Wellness Fair pictures
The University of Belize has pictures from the Wellness Fair up. Looks like they had food and fun in abundance.

Dr Awe Spreads the Archaeological Word
Dr. Jaime Awe is back from presenting many of his papers about Belize. If you've seen him give a presentation, then you know how great he is at it. One presentation really soulds interesting: 'Cave Ritual Among the Early Preclassic Maya of Western Belize.' "Dr Jaime Awe is definitely no stranger to the great outdoors and seems a man always on the lookout for adventure whether in the jungle, a cave, and even in front of a microphone with a crowd listening intently on his every word. He recently returned from just such an adventure where he presented not one, or two, or three, but four papers, in three different seminars... We congratulate Dr Awe on representing not only the Institute of Archaeology but also Maya archaeology in general."

The Remaining Full Moon Concert
The Remaining concert is just 2 days away! The SISE House of Culture is having a free concert at Midas Saturday night. Mistah Geeh will be mixing, and The Remaining will be jamming. One of the nicest pools in Cayo, along with a great bar - the Ice Bar - are located at Midas.

Interning Stories From All Around Cayo
Central Farm, the Belize Botanic Gardens, the Belize Zoo, the Friends of Conservation and Development, the King's Children's Home, and the San Antonio Women's Group. These are some of the places that had volunteers for 2 weeks via the Creation Care Study Program in Belize. Their individual stories are worth a read. "When you study abroad with CCSP Belize, all of the weeks are full of awesomeness, but two of them in particular are unique: internships. Students get the opportunity to intern at a local Belizean organization for these weeks while staying at the home of a local Belizean family. These are consistently some of the best experiences of the semester, and this time around was no exception. Here are some thoughts from our seven very own Belizean interns."

Ka'ana in Hospitality Design
The owner's of Ka'ana were interviewed by Hospitality Design about their new private pool villas. The unique villas are quite luxurious, and utilize many different type of local woods in their design. They explain what they created quite well. “With the villas, we challenged ourselves to create a truly world-class product that could sit alongside these great destinations and really put Ka'ana on par with the best of the best, and our own favorite resorts around the world. We wanted to make sure to embrace the local environment and culture but maintain the modern feeling that is present throughout the resort. We love the contrast of providing luxury amenities to guests while they are surrounded by the raw Belizean jungle. After a hike across rivers and exploring caves it's great to return to something clean and lush.”

Burns Avenue and Welcome Center Pictures
Burns Avenue is alomost finished. It's looking good. The Welcome Center is coming along nicely, and there's already one shop open in the finished building next to the market. The latest entry in the Mural Project is done. Can't wait to see the next ones. And...Greedy's is hiring.

Caye Caulker can now qualify as a location to train Dive Instructors!
Caye Caulker Dive Masters are excited to hear that they now have a fully qualified Dive Instructor’s Instructor and Trainer living here on the island! Chip Peterson of Belize Dive Services traveled to Florida last week for some intense training to qualify him for the privilege to be able to train Dive Masters up to Dive Instructor. Previously for potential Caye Caulker DI’s had to leave the island to train in either Belize City or even Honduras so that the Scuba Dive Instructor (SDI) can take them through the heavy course work that is entailed to Instruct. The fact that there is now a source of training and qualifying on the island allows far more of our Belizean Caye Caulker Dive Masters to move up the proverbial ladder to achieve the high standards that they are all capable of! In addition to this, now Caye Caulker can too attract the tourist that also wants to study to be a Dive Instructor. This in turn brings additional revenue to the island as hotels and restaurants benefit from the increase tourism! Congratulations Chip – Caye Caulker thanks you!

Channel 7

Last night we showed you the gas station surveillance footage of the Shelton Pinky Tillett execution. We know that police are looking for the person who drove the silver Nissan Pathfinder that the shooter was a passenger in. But - though we commented on the truck at the top of the screen that seemed to leave at the same time as the Pathfinder - police don't have to look for the driver of that vehicle. He happens to be a resident who lives nearby and was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He called us today to say he was simply turning out of the street that runs alongside the gas station - and had no clue what was happening. So while that truck is out of the picture of probable suspects - the silver Pathfinder continues to elude police - and has not been tracked down yet.

Last week, they took to the picket line demanding that the CEO Jeff Locke step down, and now the Belize Energy Workers Union has fired another salvo at BEL's Management. This time the Union says it's a communication breakdown - all because - the Union claims - Management did not inform them who the Human Resources Manager was. Now, if you know anything about companies - you'll know that the Human Resource Manager is basically in charge of all staff - which means union members. And, so, for a Union not to know who's in charge of human resources - well, it's like a sick person not knowing who's the doctor. It's what you might call a major SNAFU and in a letter to the CEO, the Union says, quote, "It is incredible that a modern, supposedly progressive company promotes a person to the post of Manager, Human Resources, since 1 January 2012, and for four months does not inform its employees or the union that must conduct official business with this person's office…"End quote. It is a big deal because under the union agreement, the Human Resources Manager is the liaison for: calling or requesting union meetings and receiving and sending messages between the Company and the Union. And so the union concludes, quote: "Management expects the Union to follow proper protocols in its dealings with the Company but acts contrary to its own expectations when it so chooses," End quote.

Very regularly - in this portion of the news - we have stories about youths who have gone astray - dropped out of school, and fallen into a life of crime or anti-social behavior. But tonight's story is about at-risk youths who could have fallen, but didn't. And for a few dozen, the reason they are holding on is the Youth Apprenticeship Programme. The programme is still in its nascence and is only just seeing the graduation of its second intake. But it has already put 57 youths in the work place. 38 of them graduated today and 7news was there. Here's the story:.. Dianne Finnegan - Coordinator, Youth Apprenticeship Programme "The importance of the programme is basically to showcase the fact that young people out there have a lot of talent. With all that is happening within the society with crime and violence and the fact that young people are being labeled as worthless (they don't want anything for themselves). What they are looking for are opportunities."

On Monday, we told you about the Sunday double murder in Belmopan which reportedly escalated from a fight at the National Agricultural Showgrounds. Well tonight, police have confirmed to our newsroom that 18 year-old Emmanuel Polanco, a resident 25 miles Hummingbird Highway was charged for double murder of 22 year-old Javier Larios, and his cousin 23 year-old Moses Orellano at showgrounds. 19 year-old Francisco Polanco was charged with grievous harm, which police say he committed earlier that night against Larios. As we reported, at 2:00 am on Sunday, police found Larios with a stab wound to the center of his chest at the showgrounds. He was rushed to the hospital where he died shortly after. Not far from him, they found Orellano dead under a cargo truck; he had also been stabbed to the chest.

38 year old Belize city resident, Kevin Kelly, known as Boco-T, died in police custody a week ago - and, still, his body is in the KHMH morgue tonight awaiting a post mortem. It is an extraordinary delay - and the family says it is a cruel one. No reason has been given, but the Police Press Officer today told us that quote, "definitely tomorrow it will be done." Because of this, his family has had to delay the funeral for this father of three - and tonight, they still have not been able to set a date. Kelly died in the custody of San Pedro Police last Thursday - which happened to be his mother's birthday. Police say he may have broken his beck when he jumped a fence as he was fleeing from the officers. Only the post mortem can confirm the cause of death.

The stop order is still in effect for the river-side restaurant project spearheaded by former Mayor turned Investor Zenaida Moya. New Mayor Darrell Bradley today confirmed to us that the Local Building Authority did not meet as planned yesterday - and that's because it has 10 members and it was difficult coordinating everyone's schedule. So the stop order remains in effect - but according to other media sources - the authority will meet tomorrow and lift the stop order because the project has received all required approvals.

An aerial survey of Belize's coastline conducted a month ago has confirmed that Belize's manatee population is on the increase. A total of 507 manatees were sighted; 10% of them were calves. According to a release from the Coastal Zone Management Authority & Institute, "this is the highest count recorded for Belize, still known globally to have the greatest number of the endangered Antillean manatee." The Southern Lagoon at Gales Point had an impressive 52 manatee. An aerial survey was also conducted for dolphins and whales in mid April. They searched an area between 17 and 50 miles from the coast, looking for rough-tooth dolphins, killer whales, pilot whales, and sperm whales which have been sighted in Belize's waters. The observers made two rare sightings of sperm whale sightings at the southern end of the barrier reef, swimming southward towards Honduras. Other species spotted during the surveys were 33 dolphins, 11 turtles, and four crocodiles. In other, related news, Manatee Researcher Jamal Galves has been recognized for his work with manatees in Belize. Galves was selected for the inaugural 2012-2013 class of "Caribbean Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders." He now gets to participate in a two-year training programme. And that's not all, the talented Galves received an award of $30,000 Belize dollars from the Conservation Leadership Programme for a project called "Ameliorating Threats to the Manatee in the Heart of Belize." The project will see a threat assessment carried out in the Belize River mouth area, where most of the manatee deaths and injuries are observed.

If you've watched any local TV or listened to any radio in the last two years - you should know Berne Velasquez. He's a tireless self-promoter - and now he's been able to parlay his local celebrity into his.. It's a B-Movie called Jurassic Attack, but Berne has made the A-list - and when Monica Bodden visited the set yesterday - he gave her a tour:.. Monica Bodden reporting Its day three now - as the team of Hollywood producers get ready to shoot another scene for the film called Jurassic Attack. Deep in the bushes of the rock quarry at mile 21 - cast members move swiftly into position - It was lights, camera and then action, holding an AR-15 riffle -weighing 6lbs and dressed fully in comaflauge gear- Belize's very own Berne Valasquez plays one of the leading roles of a military guy named Tank. Berne Velasquez - Actor "Jurassic Attack is like the biggest job I've ever gotten, the biggest movie that ever came to Belize. Pretty much for me, it's a great opportunity. I am just embracing it well, I am playing the role of Tank, and he is like this real super tough guy commanding an army. I am just here grateful doing what I do best."

50 year-old Jose Herman Ochaeta was convicted yesterday of attempted murder in the Western Session of the Supreme Court. It was alleged that on May 28, 2007 he went to his in-laws' family home, and stabbed three of them. His victims were 85 year-old Ignacio Lucero Sr.; his wife, 65 year-old Hilda Lucero; and his daughter, 45 year-old Evangelina Lucero - Uck. According the witness testimonies, on that day, Ochaetagot into a fight with Ignacio Lucero's two sons, one of whom was Ochaeta's son-in-law, Ignacio Lucero Jr. Ochaeta went home, armed himself with a machete and a knife, and went to the Lucero family home on Bella Vista Street in San Ignacio Town at around 5:30 p.m. He then attacked Ignacio Lucero Sr. and stabbed him in the left arm, and when the Lucero's wife and daughter heard him cry out, they rushed out to defend him.

25 year-old Charles Mervin Leslie Jr., who is currently on remand at prison for attempted murder, was arraigned in Magistrate's court for another attempted murder charge today. He allegedly stabbed a fellow inmate on Monday of last week. Viewers may remember 21 year-old Woodrow Reyes Jr., who is currently on remand after he was arrested and charged along with a Kent Lynch, Errol Lynch, Leroy Gomez, Virginie Alvarez, Yvette Lynch, and Allison Major for a stolen shotgun and an unlicensed shotgun. Kent Lynch eventually pleaded guilty, but Reyes and the others were all remanded because they were present at the time when the police conducted the search. While at the prison, Reyes was allegedly targeted, without any prior provocation, by Leslie. According to police, Reyes told them that Leslie stabbed him in the neck at around 10 a.m. on last week Monday. As a result, police charged Leslie with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, and wounding.

The National Drug Abuse Control Council is hosting the 5th meeting of the directors of regional National Drug Councils. This annual regional gathering invites 20 directors of Drug Councils of both member of states and associated member of states of Caricom to discuss the Caribbean strategies to reduce the demand and supply of illicit drugs. For Belize, one of the focuses has to be the abuse of that legal drug alcohol. Esner Vellos of the Drug Council explains:.. Esner Vellos, Director NDACC "At this point one of the issues that we are addressing is the consumption of alcohol. In 2011 when we compile our data we found out that the highest number of consumption of illicit and licit drugs is alcohol. Therefore the National Drug Abuse Control Council is making sure that we will be able to design programs that will be able to target the consumption of alcohol." "In terms of at what age range or who are the ones that are consuming alcohol - we have found out that it's our young people. Therefore we are doing different kinds of programs in our high schools and primary schools so that we will be able to target and reduce the initiation of consumption of alcohol through the insight program."

In recent years, the number of persons charged with human trafficking has increased, but Belize has recorded only 2 successful human trafficking convictions, and both of them occurred earlier this year. Now, with some international prodding, the Judiciary is preparing itself to hear human trafficking cases. Today, the Supreme Court Judges embarked on a two-day training in which they have received international help to educate themselves about human trafficking and Belize's legislation on it. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, spoke about what the training had to offer. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin - Chief Justice of Belize "Well, this is intended to be a judicial colloquium at the instance of the International Office for Migration. The whole intention is that judges could be sensitized on anti-trafficking efforts here in Belize, and also to be familiarized with what is taking place in the international arena against what is taking place locally - more specifically - to be brought in line with all the legislation that is here at present in Belize, and what is intended in the very near future.

A new art show at the Image Factor promises to take art lovers to the Dark Side. The artist is Winsom Winsom - the Canadian who has relocated to the Cayo District. And she's come from up in the hills with a visual deliberation on mortality and the afterlife. Her show at the image factory is opening up tomorrow, but she gave is a preview today:.. Winsom Winsom, Artist "Jumping the Big Boa is a dreamt show - I had dreams on different parts of it. The symbol that's used throughout the artwork was dreamt and slowly it got developed into a deeper meaning." Jules Vasquez reporting In her latest show Jumping the Big Boa Winsom Winsom is going to the other side. Winsom Winsom, Artist "To the other world; to death and to life because they are inter-connected. Most people are afraid of talking about death or even planning their funeral or even speaking about death if you ask them. I've been fascinated with it from when I was around 4 years old and wonder what it would be like. As a got older I found out that nobody wanted to talk about it. Adults and parents would say 'oh be quite, you don't talk about that' but I feel that death is part of life and we need to talk about."

Tonight's I am Belize Profile is about Abdul Nunez Marin, a youth Director whose path in life took a turn when he was saved by the mentorship of a high school teacher. He tells us how that led him to be a mentor:..

Miss Y Contestants Practice
The contestants for the annual Miss Y pageant are between the ages of 60 and 80 years old. They are called "seenagers" as in "senior teenagers" - and on Saturday night, 6 of them will take the stage at the Birds Isle where they will vie for the title of the next Miss Y. It's the 18th annual pageant and the women are all excited to show off their casual wear, and evening gowns. Today 7news we were at rehearsals - and got a small preview:.. Joyce Flowers, Trainer "They are rehearsing. We are going through the entire program that they will be involved in, so that they get a feel of Bird's Isle, and learn that there are people out there who'll be watching them, so that they can get used to it. It has been good. They are good women. They learn quite well, and we are quite happy with them. It's a good thing for senior women; it helps you to bring out what you have inside, what you didn't even realize you could do, and it is fun. It's for a worthy cause." Monica Bodden "The tickets are sold where? Where can we purchase tickets for the show?" Joyce Flowers, Trainer "Tickets can be purchased at the YMCA Office, at the corner of St. Thomas Street and Freetown Road. The prices are $20 for reserve, $15 general admission, and $5 for children. We will be selling tickets on Saturday morning also. I want to urge the public to come out. Get your tickets early because they are going. Come out and have clean fun, supporting the 'Y'. Everybody can benefit from the 'Y', from the small babies, to the seniors who are 90+ years old." The youngest contestant is 60 year old Rosalind Joseph and the oldest, 74 year old Roslyn Hall.

Teryl and The Moon
You may know Teryl Godoy as "The Man at Work", the tireless street painter known for his renderings of a crumbling but quaint city. But what you might not know is that Terryl Godoy is also an accomplished reggae singer. On Friday, he's taking his talents to the stage at the House Of Culture in his first Reggae Concert. He told us about it today:.. Terryl Godoy - Performing Artist "The time couldn't come better than now since we just came off a lot of serious crimes. Belize is sad; we want to put a little bit of happiness in Belize again. So I decided to bring the reggae bus out to the people. In fact, they were even on the news asking where the reggae bus is. Well, we'll bring it out in the concert, and the bus and Lemoth, the driver, will be there themselves to show the people that bus is still alive. You should go because the concert is free. There is no cost, and the only thing that we would request is that well, we have our CD and DVD, so if you really want to express sincerely, you can give your support in purchasing the DVD, T-shirts, CD, and other things that we have there like the drinks, food and so on. It's going to be a very beautiful event, and the venue is the House of Culture. And like I said, you don't have to pay anything." The concert starts at 7:00 on Friday night from the House of Culture.

Channel 5

Apprenticeship Program Graduates get 2nd Chance at Life
There have been no reported murders in the country and the activities that headline the news are positive reminders that there are those individuals who are trying to develop their lives without the grip of a gun or the dark confines of a prison cell. In an effort to keep at-risk youths occupied and employable, [...]

Restore Belize targets socioeconomic issues in gang areas
The Apprenticeship program is but one on the frontline of combating the malaise and the social ills that are affecting youths across the country and in particular in Belize City. The national effort is headed by Restore Belize which is tasked with sustaining the peace between rivaling gangs within the Old Capital. And despite the [...]

Students’ Tough Tour from Hotspots to the Prison
There is yet another program within a pilot level that caught our cameras this morning. It was not devised in a boardroom, but a classroom. A local teacher had an idea of her own to have her students tour the system that catches the criminal and follow them all the way to the police station, [...]

McAfee said he contacted National Security Minister to prevent dispute
The estate of the founder of McAfee Antivirus and investor, John McAfee was busted by GSU earlier this week. Sixty-six year old McAfee has been living in Belize for some time now in Orange Walk town and claims that he has been politically victimized. This further led to a GSU raid on Labor Day this [...]

P.U.C. makes initial decision for B.E.L. annual review
The Public Utilities Commission (P.U.C.) issued a press release earlier today stating that an initial decision regarding the 2012 Annual Review Proceeding for Belize Electricity Limited (B.E.L.) was taken on Wednesday. In mid-January a proposal to lower electricity rates by six point one percent was tabled in the House of Representatives following a decision by [...]

Bomb threat at City Hall
Just after lunch this afternoon at around one-thirty p.m., business was halted at Belize City Hall and the staff and administrators were queued off to Mirab near the Tourism Village. The bomb threat at the City Hall came as no surprise to the staff because over the past two days, there have been four threats [...]

Former mayor reinvents herself as a restaurateur; but is it kosher?
One person who no longer needs to worry about issues at City Hall is former Mayor, Zenaida Moya, who has taken a leave from public life to become, a restaurateur. While her departure from politics comes after two consecutive terms as head of local government in the Old Capital, her legacy at City Hall is [...]

Family of accident victim blames driver for taking his life
A tragic accident that occurred on Saturday, April twenty-eighth, has the family of Rafael Torres reeling with agony and anger. The twenty five year old butcher was riding his bicycle home when he was knocked down by a truck at the Western Highway roundabout entrance to Belize City. His sister, who asked to speak about [...]

Beltraide gets into the magazine business
Invest Belize Magazine; it is a new publication, the first of its kind that will be published in October of this year. Beltraide partnered with Idea Lab Studios to create a high level business and investment magazine that will be used to promote Belize as an investment destination. The magazine will be distributed internationally, where [...]

Charles Leslie Jr. in Court for violent crimes in and out of prison
In court today, twenty-four year old Charles Mervin Leslie Jr., a George Street Gang associate appeared for the attempted murder and wounding of another remanded inmate. According to twenty-one year old Woodrow Reyes, on the morning of Monday April twenty-third, he was stabbed in the neck whilst he was on remand in prison. It is [...]

He stabbed 3 members of the Uck Family
On Wednesday, fifty-year old Jose Hernan Ochaeta, a resident of Cayo was convicted on one of three counts of attempted murder in the stabbing of eighty five year old Ignacio Lucero Senior, Hilda Lucero and thirty-six year old Evangelina Lucero Uck. The jury, who deliberated for over an hour, unanimously announced that Ochaeta was found [...]

Suspects detained for double murder in Belmopan
Police has just sent a press release to our newsroom indicating that two suspects detained for the weekend’s double murder at the Agricultural Trade Show grounds in the Capital. Cousins—twenty-two year old Javier Larios and twenty-three year old Moses Orellano’s lifeless bodies were discovered on Sunday at the fair after they apparently were involved in [...]

Cancer Month is being celebrated in Belize by spreading awareness
Cancer Month is currently being celebrated countrywide by activists and survivors of the various forms of the debilitating illness through a series of activities leading up to the annual Cancer Walk. Among other events to be held during the month of May is a first-of-its-kind symposium where the topic of prostate and testicular cancers will [...]

Caribbean’s strategies to reduce the demand and supply of illicit drugs
The National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) along with the Ministry of Health started the first day of an annual regional gathering. Twenty directors of member states of Caricom gathered to discuss the Caribbean’s strategies to reduce the demand and supply of illicit drugs through numerous countries plan. Esner Vellos, the Director of NDACC, breaks [...]

Marie Sharp taking Belize’s Hot Sauce to South Korea
Pioneer businesswoman Marie Sharp, proprietor of Marie Sharp’s Fine Foods Limited, the Belizean company behind her world famous pepper sauce, has been invited to attend the second largest food expo in Asia. Sharp is seizing an opportunity to expand the distribution of her products to Japan, South Korea and mainland China. On Friday, Sharp travels [...]

Winsom Winsom Jumps the Big Boa; Art before Afterlife
The art world in Belize has its own flavor and the taste on each palate is different to those who delve into the rich juices offered by our culinary artisans. The Image Factory has a storehouse full of unusual artists whose images come fresh as clockwork oranges. Winsom Winsom’s “Jumping the Big Boa” is an [...]

Healthy Living joins HANDS International for free healthcare
A Medical Mission by Health and Development Services International Incorporated has returned with its second mission to Belize. HANDS International has offered free medical services in Belize City and Belize district Rural from April thirtieth to May fourth. Healthy Living was there to lend a helping hand with Hands International.   Marleni Cuellar, Reporting For [...]


A Cayo-based university has assisted a primary school in the same district with some much needed computer accessories. Fem Cruz reporting… “Galen University in Central Farm has donated six CPA computer monitors to the Cayo Christian Academy in Onta...

Drugs and other substances have increasingly become a plague on the Belizean society and economy over the years. Today, the people who offer help to kick the habits, gathered to engage in the fifth annual meeting of directors for drug councils from throughout the Caribbean. ...

The Stann Creek-based Marie Sharp’s Fine Foods is headed for the 2012 Seoul Food Trade Show. The announcement that the company was chosen to attend this year’s event was made via a press release emailed to our News Centre this morning. Marie Sharp’s, which is a ...

The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute and the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development have completed a marine mammal aerial survey of the entire coast of Belize. Led by consultant Nicole Auil Gomez, the surveys were conducted last month. She gave...

A woman who endured and survived a horrendous stabbing one week ago is relieved tonight that the man who allegedly committed the act is finally facing the music. The attack has left twenty-one year old Lillian Lemoth of Cotton Tree Village fearful for her life because the suspect...

Over thirty young men and women graduated this morning from the second intake of the Youth Apprenticeship Program. It is a government initiative focused on providing training for young people from ages sixteen to twenty-nine, who are single mothers, school dropouts or have been trouble...


Mother clears up rumors surrounding Labor Day drownings
In our newscast last night we established the facts (according to eye witnesses) of what exactly transpired at the ...

Coroner’s contract re-negotiation causing a corpse backlog
Over the past few days, reports have surfaced that families who have lost a loved one have had to delay funeral arr...

Youth Apprenticeship Program holds graduation ceremony
Today at the Princess Hotel, Queens Room, the second graduation for the youth apprenticeship program took place. Th...

BAHA investigates claim of shipment of contaminated beans
The Jamaica Observer had published an article reporting that the Jamaican government had seized an imported shipmen...

Seen-agers prep for Miss Y pageant
Who said that pageantry is only for the young? The YWCA’s biggest fundraiser event kicks off again; the annual Miss...

Sugar production company setting up shop in Belize
Earlier this year Plus News received information that a large scale sugar production company was expressing interes...

Medical mission takes trip to Belize
A team of 23 doctors and medical interns from Ketterling College in Ohio have been in the country since Sunday (APR...

Consultation on Agriculture Health and Food Safety held
A National Consultation on setting priorities in Agricultural Health and Food Safety was held today (May 3) at the ...

Woman carrying drugs to bribe cops
Police were on mobile patrol in Santa Elena Town on Tuesday May 1 when they stopped and searched a black Nissan Alt...

Community meeting tonight on proposed farmers market
We also want to remind concerned resident of Belmopan and residents of the Mountain View area, about tonight's meet...

Police investigates separate chopping incidents
Police visited the K.H.M.H on Tuesday night around 8:30pm where they saw Glenn Staine, a 30year old, Belize City re......

The Guardian

Physical Therapist uses Weed in His Trade
On Monday, April 23, Police Constable Lawrence Martinez, a resident of Mile 15 Hattieville Village; Prison Officer Clement Martinez Jr., a resident of #4 King Street,\; UB student Christine Goff, resident of Cuello’s Alley; Physical Therapist, Harold Zuniga and son, Felix Zuniga of #85 Amara Avenue, all appeared in the Belize City Magistrate Court to answer to two counts of drug trafficking and one count of pipe possession. Shortly after 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, police visited the house where they conducted a search on the residence. During the search, police found a black plastic bag in a kitchen cabinet. Inside the bag, they found a container which contained cannabis. A further search of the kitchen cabinet led to the discovery of a second bag containing more cannabis. It was found inside a drawers. The first bag had 154 grams and the second contained 63 grams of cannabis. A 3 ½ inch pipe was also found. Harold Zuniga was not at home at the time but he was charged as the owner of the house. In court, Harold Zuniga pled guilty to the drug trafficking charge. He told the Senior Magistrate that he uses the drugs as ingredients for his acupuncture work. When he understood that the charge suggested he had the drugs to supply to someone else, he changed his plea to not guilty. All five defendants pled not guilty to all charges. Bail was granted to all five persons in the sum of $7,000 plus one surety of the same amount or two sureties of $3,500. All met bail except the police officer because he was taken into custody at the Queen Street Police Station and is expected to receive additional charges. The accused are due back in court on June 7.

Restore Belize - Gang Truce behind the scenes
Since the beginning of the year, there has been an escalation of violence in Belize City, much of which has been attributed to gang violence. That violence came to a major point on April 20th, when George Street Gang leader Shelton “Pinky” Tillett was killed and shortly thereafter during the same weekend, Arthur Young met a similar fate at the hands of the police. The last spate of violence sent Belize City into a near talespin with everyone thinking that the streets would run red with blood. Thankfully, due largely to the efforts of the Belize Police Department and the little heard of Restore Belize Program, that was not the case. The police is the center wall and Restore Belize is the mediating factor. While the work of the police is obvious by the number of checkpoints and overall increase of man power that is evident on the street, the work of Restore Belize is not as evident. In an effort to give the media a better appreciation of what the program does, in particular as it relates to the fragile gang truce, a breakfast was organized on Wednesday May 2nd to appraise us of the work being done. According to Director of Restore Belize, Marydelene Vasquez, the organization has been laboring in obscurity all in an effort to ensure that the truce is maintained.

Referendum Date Set
Following a meeting between delegations from Belize’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its Guatemalan counterparts, a date was finalized for referenda to be held in both countries.

Over 500 Volunteers to clean-up Belize City
Belize and many other countries around the globe celebrate Labour Day on May 1. It is an annual holiday held to celebrate the economic and social contributions of the working class. Traditionally in Belize, it is a day to relax and spend time with family. However, that tradition is being changed by a recent initiative of the Belize City Council. For Labour Day 2012, Mayor Darrell Bradley and the Belize City Council launched the “Labour for Belize” campaign. It encourages residents of Belize City to take a couple hours out of their holiday and participate in a community project. That would mean labouring on the date specifically set for rest. Who would do such a thing? On Tuesday, May 1, over five hundred people joined the council in cleanup projects across the city.

Demonstrate Against Crime? Close the Pawn Shops!!
Gilroy Usher, PUP Standard Bearer for Port Loyola, led a little over a dozen people in a march against crime across Belize City on Wednesday, May 2. City residents have been shaken by the recent spike in crime and violence. It has become obvious that law enforcement officials cannot stop crime on their own. Reclaiming the city will take a unified effort; everyone must play a part. Some in the community have started sports teams and programs in order to give young people constructive things to do. Then, there are others like Gilroy Usher, who has used the situation to push their face in front of cameras and generate needed publicity. His demonstration was a complete waste of time. If Usher is serious about stopping crime then he should close down his pawn shops.

Belize Minister John Saldivar and his Government should be commended for standing up for Football in Belize
As a former national football player in Belize who is passionate about this sport, I would like to take this opportunity to commend the former Minister of Sport and now the Minister for National Security Honorable John Saldivar and his Government for the stand they took against the Football Federation of Belize (F.F.B.) to reform the league and make sure that there is accountability and transparency in the election of the league’s officers. For almost fourteen years now, this league has been under the control of one President, Bertie Chimillio. The quality of football has not improved compared to the good old days and Belize has not advanced to the World Cup to compete among other countries in the world. Yet, the league’s President insisted that he was doing his best and it would only be a matter of time before our country accomplished its goals and objectives while the Belize people were becoming impatient. Despite calls from some football players - present and past - that the President be removed and be replaced by an able and capable administrator, all those calls fell to deaf ears. The President even said that FIFA is an association by itself and their problems must be resolved under the rules and regulation made by them. It got to the point where the Belize Governments both PUP and UDP, were afraid to challenge the president of the league to explain the reasons for the lack of productivity over the years. FIFA even threatened the Belize government to expel Belize from the organization if they continued to meddle into the affairs of the organization.

Minister of Public Service meets with Heads of Department
The first in a series of meetings planned by Minister of Public Service and Elections and Boundaries, Hon. Senator Charles Gibson took place today at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City. The objective of the meeting was to meet with public service stakeholders including middle management – Administrative Officers, Finance Officers, and technical officers/deputy directors, etc. Hon. Gibson stressed, in no uncertain terms, that he and his Ministry have a vision for the public service, and starting with this meeting: they will gather feedback and ideas on public officers' vision, will be listening to their views and will get some direction in terms of prioritizing issues.

Prime Minister meets with Civil Society in Response to Crime
The Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow, today convened a meeting with civil society to apprise them of the government’s response to the recent increase in gang-related crime and the heightened tensions in Belize City. In the meeting, the Prime Minister, the Minister of National Security, the Director of RESTORE Belize, and CEO in the Office of the Prime Minister presented the latest update on the current police operations to ensure citizen security and the way forward for maintaining peace. The Government then requested the cooperation and support from civil society to promote peace and to address the underlying social conditions which make our Belizean communities vulnerable to crime. The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Francis Fonseca and other representatives of the Opposition participated in the meeting as well as representatives from the religious community, the business community, the Crime Control Council, and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. All expressed concern for the current levels of insecurity and all agreed that we need to unite as one nation to tackle crime and to resolve the social conditions which make communities vulnerable. The Government of Belize was also represented by the Ministers of the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation, and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Anthony Martinez and Minister of State with responsibility for the Gang Truce and CYDP the Hon. Mark King, CEO in the Ministry of National Security, and the Police Department.

OAS Congratulates Belize on Peaceful Elections with Massive Turnout
The Election Observation Mission (EOM) of the Organization of American States (OAS) today presented a report to the Permanent Council on the national and municipal elections held on March 7, 2012 in Belize, highlighting the massive turnout on a day in which more than 73% of registered voters took part, as well as the peaceful environment in which it took place.

GOB and UN sign Development Assistance Framework
The 2nd United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) was signed by Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Belize’s Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs and United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in Belize, Roberto Valent, at a brief ceremony in Belize City. The United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2013-2016 was developed through a consultative and collaborative effort of the United Nations System (UNS) in Belize, Government of Belize (GoB) institutions, Civil Society and Development Partners. The Belize UNDAF constitutes the framework of reference for the collaborative actions of the entire UN system in Belize and is anchored to the National Development vision and priorities of the Government of Belize as outlined in Horizon 2030, as well as in other national sector plans, policies and strategies. The development of the UNDAF was guided by the Common Country Assessment (CCA), a comprehensive analysis, which should be read in conjunction with the UNDAF. The analysis was premised on a human rights framework that places the achievement of equity in development at the forefront of the UNDAF strategy. The CCA and UNDAF are the result of extensive and meaningful consultations and engagement between a variety of development partners and stakeholders, with a special focus on actively engaging the Government, Civil Society, international partners and UN Resident and Non-resident Agencies.

Life behind bars for Emmerson Eaghan
On Friday April 27th, 22-year-old Emmerson Eaghan was sentenced to life imprisonment by Justice Adolph Lucas. During mitigation, Eaghan called no character witnesses on his behalf; the only mitigation plea was made by Eaghan’s attorney, Simeon Sampson. At the conclusion of this, Justice Lucas imposed the sentence which took effect from Monday, April 23, when Eaghan was found guilty. A jury had deliberated for 2 hours and 22 minutes and unanimously agreed that Eaghan was guilty of the crime of murder 35-year-old Dennis Emmanuel Nembhard, who was shot and killed on June 1, 2009 as he walked home between Flamboyant and Oleander Streets in the Saint Martins’s de Porres area of Belize City. Eaghan’s conviction came after a statement by a witness, who was later killed was admitted into evidence in the trial. That witness was Shelmadine Sanchez who was gunned down on August 13, 2010.

Man accused of Aggravated Assault of 10-year-old-girl
On Wednesday, May 2nd, 33-year-old Lord’s bank resident Augustine Bejerano appeared in Magistrate’s Court where he was charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 10-year-old girl. The girl reported to police that on Sunday, April 15, Bejerano, touched her inappropriately. In court Bejerano appeared in Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer where he was unrepresented. He was read the single charge and when asked how he pleaded, he said “Not guilty.” The police court prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds of the prevalence of the crime, the young and sensitive age of the alleged victim, and if he is granted bail, there is a strong possibility that he will interfere with the victim. For the safety of the child, he asked the court to consider not offering bail to the accused. The Senior Magistrate upheld the objection to bail and remanded Bejerano into custody at the Belize Central Prison until June 8, when bail may be consider on his behalf.

Boco T dies from Injuries sustained during Escape Attempt
38-year-old Kevin Kelly, also known as “Boco T,” died on Thursday, April 26, after injuring himself in an attempt to escape from San Pedro Police. Kelly was detained for robbery earlier that night. According to reports, he robbed 24-year-old Philippa Lamb of a gold chain and her purse. Police in the area responded quickly to the incident and arrested Kelly. He was taken to the San Pedro Police Station. As he was in the process of being locked in a cell, Kelly escaped and was immediately pursued by police. According to police reports, Kelly jumped a fence while being pursued by police and landed on his head. The impact of the fall was severe and he struggled to remain conscious. Kelly was handcuffed and taken back to the police station where he was detained in a holding cell. While in the cell he fainted and officers noticed he was struggling to breathe. They called in Dr. Javier Zuniga for assistance but Kelly never regained consciousness. He was pronounced dead at 11:48 p.m. Police continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding Kelly’s death.

Bus Conductor charged for slapping Teenage Girl
35-year-old Felipe Kotch, a bus conductor of Benque Viejo Del Carmen, appeared in the Magistrates’ Court on Friday, April 27, to answer to a charge of harm upon a 17-year-old minor. A 17-year-old girl reported to police that on Thursday, April 26, she was walking on St. Jude Street when Kotch walked up to her and slapped her to the right side of the face for no apparent reason. She told her relatives about the incident and the matter was reported to police. Kotch was later arrested and charged with harm. In court, he was represented by Lionel Welch. Kotch pled not guilty to the charge and Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer granted bail at $1,000 plus a surety of the same amount. Kotch is due back in court on June 20.

Chain Snatcher ends up in Court
Francis Petillo, 26, was arraigned in Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, May 2nd, before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. He was charged with one count of robbery and one count of damage to property. Petillo was charged after 20-year-old Robin Erazo reported to police that her $1,200 gold chain was snatched from around her neck on Monday, April 30th. Erazo told police that she was walking on Miller Street in the Saint Martin’s de Porres Area in Belize City when she was approached by a dark complexioned man who grabbed her gold chain from around her neck. She refused to give up that easily and struggled with the attacker for possession of the chain and it broke with her ending up with a piece of the chain and the attacker with the other. As a result police arrested and charged Petillo. He was offered bail in the sum of $5,000 plus two sureties of $2,500. He is due back in court on June 26.

Five Years for Burglary
Lionel McCleary appeared in Magistrate’s Court on Monday, April 30th, where he was sentenced to 5 years for burglarizing the home of 27-year-old Lennox Stevens. McCleary was caught hiding inside the attic of Stevens’ attic on October 15th, 2011. When he appeared in Magistrate’s Court, he was found guilty and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. He appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he received the sentence. Stevens, who was not at home at the time of the burglary, testified that his home was burglarized sometime between October 14 and 17, 2011. A police officer also testified that at around 12:00 noon, he was passing by Stevens’ home when he saw a bicycle parked beside the house. The officer then got off his bicycle and made checks and realized that the home was burglarized. He made further checks inside the home where he found McCleary inside the attic of the house. It appeared that it was McCleary’s second trip inside Stevens’ home. During the burglary he made off with a silver chain and 2 DVD players.

Ibrahim Smith charged with Attempted Murder of Desmond Gonzalez
On Monday, April 30, 20-year-old Ibrahim Smith appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith to answer to charges of wounding, the use of deadly means of harm, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder upon 22-year-old Desmond Gonzalez. On Friday afternoon, April 27, there was a broad daylight shooting on M&M Street located in the Gungulung area of Belize City. A little after 1p.m. on Friday, Desmond Gonzales was walking on M&M’s Street along with a friend when a white Honda Civic car drove up beside them and a gunman exited the vehicle from the passenger’s side. The man fired several shots at Gonzalez. Residents of the area reported hearing as many as five shots. Gonzalez suffered from gunshot wounds to the left arm. He was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and was treated for his injuries. Police investigations led to the arrest of Smith, who Gonzalez was able to positively identify as his shooter. Gonzalez told police that he has known Smith for more than fifteen years. Smith was unrepresented in court and no plea was taken since the matter is an indictable offense. He will be remanded at the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance on June 11. Smith was previously charged with the manslaughter of 17-year-old Shenelle Reyes. Reyes was killed with a shotgun in November of 2010.

Belize Rural Primary Girls and Wesley Upper School Boys are National Basketball Champions
The Annual National Primary Schools Basketball Championship was played on Friday, April 27, 2012, at the YWCA (girls) and Rogers Stadium (boys) Basketball Courts here in Belize City. In the female championship game, Belize Rural Primary School, representing the Belize District, defeated Louisiana Government School representing the Orange Walk District by the score of 20-2 to capture the national title in its first trip to the big dance. The top scorer for Belize Rural Primary School was Kristy Terry, who scored 12 points, while Yazel Sutherland and Jennifer Torres scored a point each for Louisiana Government School. In the consolation game for the Bronze Medal, Faith Nazarene, representing the Cayo District, won over Holy Family Roman Catholic from Hopkins Village representing the Stann Creek District by the score of 8-7. The top scorer for Faith Nazarene was Janilee Parchue with 6 points and the top scorer for Holy Family was Stariette Requena with 4 points. In the first female game in the semi-final round, Belize Primary School won handily over Holy Family Roman Catholic by the score of 14-4. The top scorer for Belize Primary School was Kristy Terry with 6 points, while the top scorers for Holy Family Roman Catholic were Olga Gamboa and Rushelle Ramos with 2 points each.

FFB hold Certification Course for “Grassroots” Football Coaches
The Football Federation of Belize concluded its six-day certification course for coaches in “Grassroots” football at the FFB headquarters in the City of Belmopan on April 24, 2012. The certification course ,facilitated by Lenny Lake, FIFA Instructor of St. Kitts and Nevis, had the participation of 26 persons from around the country representing the seven Football districts. The course, which was both theory and practical, was enjoyed by the participants who are now eager to commence training and impart their knowledge in their respective districts. The FFB has pledged its full support to the coaches and is adamant in ensuring that the knowledge gained from this course is put to positive use. Coaches certified by district are as listed in the table.

Police United square off against Placencia Assassins for Football Supremacy
The 2012 Premier League of Belize Football Competition is fast coming to an end. The semi-final round was completed on Saturday April 28, with the two winners advancing to the championship series, which is scheduled to commence on Saturday May 5 at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village. On Saturday April 28, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the visiting Placencia Assassins advanced to the championship series when it eliminated the defending champions the Belize Defence Force by the score of 4-2 in penalties. The game ended in a 2-2 draw and as a result went into overtime and then finally to the penalties to determine the winner. The 1st goal of the game was scored by Dellon Torres in the 14th minute of play to give the visiting Placencia Assassins an early lead. The Placencia Assassins took that lead well into the closing minutes of the game when Daniel Jimenez scored the equalizing goal for the Belize Defence Force in the 80th minute of play.

Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition opens
The 2011-2012 Belize City Primary Schools Softball competition opened on Monday April 30, 2012, with two games at Rogers Stadium. This year’s Primary Schools Softball Competition will feature 9 schools in both the girls and boys competition. The schools participating in the girls’ competition are: Wesley Upper, Buttonwood Bay Nazarene, Holy Redeemer, Muslim Community, Unity Presbyterian, St. Luke Methodist, Calvary Temple, Salvation Army and St. Martin De Porres. Meanwhile, the schools in the boys competition includes Wesley Upper, Buttonwood Bay Nazarene, Holy Redeemer, St. Mary’s, St. John’s Primary, St. Luke Methodist, Calvary Temple, St. Martin De Porres and Salvation Army School. The regular Belize City competition is scheduled to end on Wednesday May 23, with the semi-finals scheduled to be played on Friday, May 25 and Monday, May 28, with the championship games on Wednesday, May 30. The District final is scheduled for Friday, June 2, and the National Primary Schools Softball Championship set for Friday, June 8, 2012. In the first female game played, Salvation Army School defeated St. Luke Methodist School by the score of 17-2. The winning pitcher was Shanell Rowland and the losing pitcher was Misty Williams.

Telemedia maintains lead in Belize City Senior Female competition
Telemedia (6-0) continued on its winning path in the on-going 78th Belize City Senior Female Softball Competition at Rogers Stadium when it picked up two more wins on Monday, April 30 and Friday, April 27, 2012. On Monday April 30, Telemedia disposed of Orchid Blazers (1-4) in quick fashion when it exploded for 8 runs in the top of the 2nd inning. Telemedia sent 12 batters to the plate in that inning where it collected 7 hits including first baseman Earline Belisle’s 3-run triple that broke the game wide open. In the top of the 3rd inning, Telemedia scored a single run, and in the 4th inning it scored 6 runs on 6 hits including pitcher Mary Flowers’ run producing double and centre fielder Lydia Cacho’s single. Cacho has now collected at least a hit in all games that Telemedia has played so far. The potent bats of Telemedia pounded the combined pitching of Orchid Blazers’ starter and loser Nicole Arnold and relief pitcher Ashley Lucas for 15 hits, which included 2 extra base hits.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Casting for Miss Lobster Fest 2012

“Women of Caye Caulker” Documentary set to film soon!
Local Hicaquena, Wendy Auxillou, is launching a documentary project to record the narratives of 20 influential women of Caye Caulker. With adequate funding, the project is set to begin filming in July. To help fund the project, please click on the link below. The minimum funding is $1 (US). There are wonderful rewards for different levels of funding. INTRODUCTION: The women of Caye Caulker who were instrumental in shaping the history of this tiny Belizean island of my childhood, when the population totaled less than 400 inhabitants about 40 years ago are now dying off, and their stories have never been told. These heroic women endured hardships and innumerable challenges in this harsh frontier environment, and persevered. My own mother is now 80 years old, yet her own story of being the most educated woman on this tiny island village where there was no electricity until the 1990's has never been told. She persevered, despite the deep-rooted poverty and lack of educational opportunities, and went on to become the first local principal of the elementary school. This is her story, and the story of all the other Hicaquena women whose sacrifices have never been recorded … until now. WHO ARE WE DOCUMENTING? We will be documenting the lives of 20 women of Caye Caulker Village in Belize, from their earliest history on the island until now. Many of the women are now in their 80's. Their stories are dying off along with them, and a rich history of struggle, entrepreneurship and endurance in the face of adversity is being lost along with them. This must be preserved.


Puerto Cortes & Omoa, Honduras and Turtle Eggs...Seriously?
I told my taxi driver that I was going to Puerto Cortes and he dropped me off at the right van. Easy. I boarded, we waited until it was filled and took off for our destination. I guess I chose the local bus. Rather than the one hour the internet had promised, we stopped OFTEN and it took almost two hours. Oh well. You pay your fare to the conductor on the van...only $55 lempira. Or just under $3usd. Puerto Cortes is not the Riviera of Honduras as touts. It is a HUGE industrial port. Massive ships were being unloaded and the small city looked...well...a bit depressing. Dani and Cesar picked me up in their super vehicle and it was off to Omoa. Omoa is a small beach town distinctive for its old Spanish fort dating back to the 1750s, its Garifuna population and the hordes of people that arrive from the inland San Pedro Sula each weekend. It is situated on a very pretty bay of crystal clear water surrounded by perputually haze covered mountains. Here is the bay during the week... My friends had set up shop at Roli's...a hostel, campground, small hotel and gorgeous garden about 200 feet from the ocean. Roli is a Swiss gentleman with a pretty big chunk of land. And the prices are cheap, cheap, cheap. (19 lempira = $1 USD) If you prefer staying right on the ocean, the nicest looking hotel is Sueno Del Mar. Owned by a Canadian couple, it has a huge airy lobby, a beachfront deck and sitting area and nice garden in the back.

Packing Guide For A Beach Holiday
Summer is the best time of the year to plan for a beach holiday. But in the excitement of going on a holiday we tend to pack excess luggage which is not even required or some people will forget to pack essential stuff required on a beach holiday. But if you make a list of all the small to big things required will help being more organized and let you enjoy your holiday stress and hassle free. So let’s go through a list of some necessary stuff you must pack for your summery beach vacation: Must Have A Sunscreen Lotion: It is not only required on a holiday but all the time you are out in sun. Carry a big pack of sunscreen lotion with SPF which suits your skin type. As on a beach you need to re-apply it quite often. After-Sun Gel: If you are on a beach in-spite of applying sun block if you get some amount of sun burn, in that case after sun gel will comes hand. After application it gives you the cooling effect and heals your burn. A big Beach bag: When you head to a beach from your hotel a large beach bag with ample amount of space and compartments will comes in much need. In this you can carry all the essential items you want to carry along with you to the beach like a towel, spare clothes, your lotions and other essentials. Carry a rough and tuff bag like canvas bags which can carry lot of items. Also carry one waterproof bag with you it will protect things like your cell phones, camera, wallet from water. Your favorite Swimsuits: A beach holiday means wearing sexy clothes. Carry casual, comfortable clothes along with you. Girls should pack at least two pair of their favorite bikinis. So that one pair is always dry. Men don’t forget to take their favorite pair of jeans, shorts and pajamas. If kids are along with you then don’t forget to pack their swim nappies. ...

International Sources

Anti-Virus Founder John McAfee Forcefully Arrested in Belize
John McAfee, founder of the deeply frustrating McAfee Antivirus, has become the target of a Belize Gang Suppression Unit. He's explained that the GSU raided his research facility, killed his dog, took his passport, handcuffed him and arrested him on a bogus weapons charge. McAffe lives in Belize, and seems to be generous within its community. In 2009, for instance, he donated a $1.2 million boat to the Belize coastguard. But in a story that sounds like it belongs on a budget TV show, McAfee suspects he's a victim because he didn't donate money to a crooked politician. Belize news channel News 5 has a statement from McAfee: "On Monday at six o'clock, I was awakened by the sound of a bullhorn, a megaphone. I went outside and saw about thirty GSU in full uniform, full dressed, automatic weapons, storming through the property and drive way... "They began, with sledge hammers, to break the doors of the buildings-none of them were locked, but they just went and broke them in any case... They confiscated my passport... handcuffed me and everyone and for fourteen hours outside in the sun, I sat handcuffed without food or water... "They murdered my dog in cold blood... I was arrested on a bogus charge of having an illegal firearm... They confiscated my passport and claimed they didn't have it. The entire day was an incredible nightmare." Turns out, McAfee's physical security isn't quite as strong as his digital counterpart. Understandably, McAfee is seeking legal advice.

Nursing students in Belize
Nursing students from University of Windsor joined with ProWorld to provide hands-on health care to Belizeans. We focused on rural outreach clinics in which we provided basic screening, assessments and health education, and we were able to work alongside a Belizean nurse to provide community members with home visits to provide basic care to those unable to attend the clinics. Our clinics were set up in the following manner: we had an intake station, where we collected chief complaints, signs and symptoms, history, height and weight; an assessment station, where we checked blood pressure, blood sugar testing, assessment focusing on chief complaint (for example, congestive cough, respiratory assessment, constipation, GI assessment) and vital signs were taken here as well. From there, we provided a suggested diagnosis and treatment as we are not yet RNs and "diagnosing" is out of the scope of our practice. If there were any questions or concerns we had regarding our assessments, a Belizean doctor was on-site to provide additional expertise and knowledge. We also had a pharmacy - from the clinic, the suggested treatment was reviewed based on the assessment and medication was provided accordingly. Instructions regarding medication use, dosage, and frequency were provided to the client in written and verbal form. Medications were dosed according to weight for pediatric patients. Pamphlets were provided alongside health teaching to each client (i.e. hypertension, nutrition, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, stress reduction, and physical activity). Throughout four days of rural outreach clinics, approximately 260 Belizean citizens were assisted. In Santa Familia we saw about 55 citizens; in San Antonio, about 85 citizens; in Bullet Tree, about 100 citizens, and in La Gracia, we saw about 20 citizens. We found the further away the village was from a hospital, the more resistant it seemed people were to receiving care.

Ronan and Colin Hannan's Ka'ana Belize Resort
As soon as Ronan Hannan became a certified accountant, he decided it was the wrong career for him. In 2002, after three years at the Dublin branch of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Hannan took a two-year trip around the world to figure out another option. In South Africa, he met up with his younger brother, Colin, who had just started working in real estate development. There, they hatched an idea: to build a hotel that would provide adventure and luxury. “I wanted to get out of the corporate world,” says Ronan, 36. “Traveling as a backpacker, you gain a lot of cultural experience. But you want to be able to have a nice meal and not have to share a bunk bed with 10 other people.” The brothers settled on Belize as the hotel’s location and moved there in 2006. “We really wanted to find a place that wasn’t exploding in growth,” says Colin, 29. Using their savings and investments from friends and family, they developed the concept for a 17-room, 16-acre boutique resort called Ka’ana Belize, which offers five-star comforts as well as ziplining and jaguar tracking. The biggest challenge when they opened, in late 2007, was attracting visitors. “We were in an unknown part of Belize and had no experience in the market,” says Ronan. By the end of 2009, their revenue had grown to $500,000. That number nearly tripled in 2011. Now the Hannans plan to build a “lifestyle brand” around the Ka’ana concept, possibly including furniture and clothing lines. Colin says they underestimated the demand for high-end adventure: “I’ve never seen so many private jets coming in to do Mayan ruins.” Ronan and Colin’s Best Advice 1. Don’t focus on the money: If the idea and the research are good enough, you should be able to come up with a great business plan that will succeed in raising investment. Don’t think about the money—focus on nailing the idea. 2. Alienate people: A properly defined product should drive away some potential consumers. Otherwise you’re not making a strong and cohesive enough statement. Being bland to everyone is no use—cause a stir.

Central America Seeks to Buffer Effects of Crisis in Europe
The economic crisis plaguing many countries in the European Union has forced Central America to look at preventive measures to mitigate the effects in this region, which could include a decline in tourism, migrant remittances, exports and investment. The search for new markets and proposals for reforms to increase tax collection and impose exchange controls are some of the actions being taken in this region, made up of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, with the aim of strengthening the local economies and counteracting external shocks. "This region needs to look more within itself and towards its neighbours, because the agro-export economic model based on products like coffee, sugar and cardamom is not working," Jonathan Menkos, an expert with the Central American Institute for Fiscal Studies (ICEFI), told IPS. Menkos added that "these countries must diversify their production and exports and invest in security, justice, education, health and nutrition, besides coming up with a strategic plan for investment in economic infrastructure."

Belize: Happy Locals and Diverse Cultures
Walk down any street or narrow village lane in tiny Belize (only about the size of the U.S. state of Rhode Island) and you’ll hear any one of a half dozen or more languages—pretty remarkable in a country that’s less-populated than many U.S. cities (320,000 inhabitants). But this little country is far more diverse than most U.S. cities. (Happier, too, I’d say, judging from the infectious smiles.) And most of its population is not just bi-lingual, but tri-lingual. English is the official language of the country, formerly known as the colony of British Honduras. In 1980 it won its independence from Great Britain and has appeared on maps as Belize (or Belice in the Spanish language) ever since. Spanish is another language you’ll often hear, thanks to the country’s borders with Mexico and Guatemala. Most Belizeans speak both English and Spanish. Some Belizeans speak Mayan. The Maya were the original inhabitants of this part of the world, and they’re still here in large numbers. (If you think Belize is just a Caribbean diving and snorkeling destination, think again. The traditional Maya communities and ancient archaeological sites that have been uncovered in its dense, lush jungles should be on the “must-see” lists of any travelers to Belize.

Community Disaster Response Team Training
You may remember back in February I went to a Belize Red Cross meeting. I met Lily Bowman, Director General for the Belize Red Cross and several other members who came from the mainland to talk to us about starting back up a branch of the Red Cross on Ambergris Caye. Well you will be happy to know that we now have a branch office of the Red Cross here on the island and now we need more volunteers. The San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross is looking for 12 – 15 people to form a Community Disaster Response Team. The training date information will be coming soon. If you or someone you know would make a good CDRT (Community Disaster Response Team) please email me at [email protected] Your help in getting the word out and working together to create a prepared and Safe Ambergris Caye for residents and tourists is much appreciated. Community Disaster Response Team (CDRT): Following a disaster there is always a period when the emergency services and first responders will be unable to react. This may be due to the size of the area affected, communication problems or impassable roads. The Community Disaster Response Team (CDRT) is designed to complement and strengthen the existing role of NEMO within the community by helping to increase its capacity. The Red Cross trains and equips Community Disaster Response Teams (CDRT) in each community to enable them to carry out emergency first response when a disaster occurs.

May 3, 2012

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! Quintessentially Belizean - Part IV
“Guinea, G-U-I-N-E-A, guinea.” The voice came across tinny and high pitched, as did the smattering of applause that followed the correct spelling of the word. The radio crackle and hiss as interference jumbled the sound brought a thwack from gray-haired Grandma Anastacia, who could not bear to miss out the sound of her grandson. He had won a spot in the National Spelling Bee Regionals, and of course, everyone was tuned in to Radio Belize, listening closely to see if one of their own village boys would make it. She wished she could have gone on the bus excursion to the capital city of Belmopan, adding to the cheers, but with all the other grandchildren needing lunch and attention, she was left to listen in for his voice on the radio.

El Pescador Fishing Report, Week of April 22-28, 2012
It’s the time of year we have been waiting for. Nice sunny days, and all the fish are in town. The big girls, tarpon up to 200 lbs are starting to show. We expect to see the masses in a few weeks. Thank you to Ed for doing a great job as fishing director while I had a chance to see friends, family and fish in the States. The highlight for me this week back home at EP was watching Ali teach our guides Fly Fishing Federation guidelines as they prepare for testing at the end of May. Ali is learning as she is teaching, and she has their 100% attention as they take on learning the language of fly casting instruction. Follow her on facebook as we all learn together! We have had great fishing, good times, and we are all pumped up on casting!

The San Pedro Sun

World Press Freedom Day message from UN Secretary General and UNESCO
Joint Message by UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon and UNESCO Director-General Ms Irina Bokova on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day Freedom of expression is one of our most precious rights. It underpins every other freedom and provides a foundation for human dignity. Free, pluralistic and independent media is essential for its exercise. This is the message of World Press Freedom Day. Media freedom entails the freedom to hold opinions and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers, as stated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This freedom is essential for healthy and vibrant societies. Change in the Arab world has shown the power of aspirations for rights when combined with new and old media. Newfound media freedom is promising to transform societies through greater transparency and accountability. It is opening new ways to communicate and to share information and knowledge. Powerful new voices are rising – especially from young people – where they were silent before. This is why this year’s World Press Freedom Day is centred on the theme of New Voices: Media Freedom Helping to Transform Societies.

Red Cross implementing “Saving lives in the Caribbean through Preparedness for Disaster” Project
The Belize Red Cross is implementing a project in 14 communities including Ambergris Caye called “Saving lives in the Caribbean through Preparedness.” The main goal of the project is to target those 14 communities and have them prepared in the long term for disaster. It seeks to reduce the number of deaths, injuries and socio-economic impact from climate change and other related disaster in the communities. Within the scope of the project, it seeks to implement a community disaster response team that would help mitigate assistance before, during, and after a disaster before a larger assistance is rendered. Project Manager Kerstin Heinze said that project looks at several activities within the entire community. Heinze explained that the project will give them the opportunity to look at the community’s “capacity, vulnerably and do a disaster simulation to see how the community respond to disaster. At the end we want community members to be aware of the risks and help them to plan actives for the reduction of vulnerability and increase capacity even before a disaster happens. We will also indentify needs and implement micro-projects to make San Pedro better prepare for a disaster.”

MAR Fund receive 10 Million Euros in Endowment Funds from the German Government
In recognition of the transnational leadership of the Mesoamerican Reef Fund (MAR Fund) in the conservation of biodiversity and natural goods and services in the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) region, the German Government, through KfW, has awarded the MAR Fund €10 million ($13.05 million dollars) in endowment funds. “Being part of the MAR Fund since its early days, when a group of idealists participated in the design of the first regional fund in Latin America, and now, almost a decade later, witnessing this watershed event that will grant permanence to the institution, makes me feel it was all worth it. Now we can concentrate on increasing the endowment to provide meaningful, long term financing for this wonderful ecosystem, pride of Mesoamerica and wonder of the world.” – Lorenzo Rosenzweig, Chairman of the Board “This partnership with the German Government and the four countries solidifies the regional and global importance of our reef system. The institutional advancement of the MAR Fund demonstrates the strengths of its founding members. We are excited to collaborate in a truly meaningful way to safeguard the livelihoods of our people.” – Sharon Ramclam, Vice Chair MAR Fund Board The endowment will enable the MAR Fund to achieve its mission of providing long-term financial support for the conservation of the MAR eco-region. Earnings will be used to advance the MAR Fund’s Small Grants and Community Fisheries programs and to co–finance the Fund’s operation.

Ministry of Health to host historic 5th Meeting of the Directors of National Drug Council

Rebecca Stirm leads the pack on Mission Catwalk Season 2
Caribbean fashion reality series Mission Catwalk is on its sixth episode and Belize’s Rebecca Stirm, the only contestant to win more than one challenge since the start of the second season on March 27th, has copped her third win with a dress designed around the red HIV/AIDS awareness ribbon. In Rebecca’s design, the ribbon framed a high neckline and continued down the back of the dress forming a dramatic scoop and crossing at the lower back. Rebecca said she wanted to create a look that would portray strength and courage since HIV is “nothing soft or pretty to face.” She found the perfect grey jacquard fabric with a subtle print in the upholstery section at Pablo’s, and complimented it with a red underskirt that balanced the piece. “I made an effort not to over-style and keep the emphasis on the neckline and HIV ribbon by sticking to a simple color palette and styling with a pair of chunky studded earrings.” For guest judge Dr. Sharlene Jarrett Ph.D., M.Sc., Senior Director of Monitoring and Evaluation at the National HIV/STI Programme, “Rebecca’s chic interpretation allowed the red ribbon to be the focus without overpowering the design.” She added, “The woman who wears the winning piece will be making a powerful statement on behalf of persons living with HIV.”

Ambergris Today

Rebecca Stirm Leads The Pack On Mission Catwalk
For guest judge Dr. Sharlene Jarrett Ph.D., M.Sc., Senior Director of Monitoring and Evaluation at the National HIV/STI Programme, “Rebecca’s chic interpretation allowed the red ribbon to be the focus without overpowering the design.” She added, “The woman who wears the winning piece will be making a powerful statement on behalf of persons living with HIV.” Just as impressed by her work were the regular judging panel of host and executive producer Keneea Linton-George, Jamaica Observer lifestyle editor Novia McDonald-Whyte and celebrated menswear designer Carlton Brown who stressed to the designers that their interpretations had to make both a fashion and social statement.

First Ever Fly Fishing Film Tour in Belize a Success
It was the first ever in Belize and San Pedro had the honor of hosting Costa Del Mar’s Fly Fishing Film Tour 2012. With the help of Tres Pescados Fly Shop of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, fly fishing enthusiasts from all over the world convened at the outdoor viewing theater that was set up at the end of Barrier Reef Drive on Saturday, April 28, 2012.

Reducing Demand and Supply of Illicit Drugs in Belize
The National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC), Ministry of Health will be hosting the 5th Meeting of the Directors of National Drug Council on 3rd and 4th May 2012 at the Radisson Fort Gorge Hotel and Marina, Belize City, Belize. This annual regional gathering brings together 20 Directors of Drug Councils of both Member States and Associated Member States of Caricom to discuss the Caribbean strategies to reduce the demand and supply of illicit drugs in the various countries action plan.

Vote for Luis A. Romero on KTV Latino Karaoke
Luis Ariel Romero and friends are asking for your support to vote for him as he competes in Belize City Channel 5's KTV Latino Karaoke Competition. The show airs live on Channel 5 (Local channel 10 in San Pedro) every Tuesday at 9p.m. Text "1" to 5885 and vote for Luis Ariel Romero. If you don't have a SMART Phone and wish to support send top up to 660-3482.

CG Esthetics Spring Celebration
Carole Goudreau of CG Esthetics held a Spring Celebration at one of San Pedro’s hotspots, Kama Lounge, on Monday, April 30, 2012. The Spring Celebration was in honor of all friends, clients, resort owners, mangers, wedding planners, photographers and florists. During the event lovely Ms. Carole Goudreau gave hair & make-up tips and bridal hair & make-up demonstrations. There were sales on hair and skin products, barefoot sandals, feathered hairpieces and much more. Carole also introduced a new line of products – Natural Benefits, which will be available at her salon for sale.

Misc Belizean Sources

Valley of Peace Living Water Project
Water Missions International Belize has a video out chronicling the Living Water Project that they did in Cayo's Valley of Peace. They finished the one in Bullet Tree Falls last year. This great video captures everything about the project to bring very cheap, clean water to Valley of Peace. "This was a video produced by a member of the One Desk Foundation team that joined us in Belize in late November to install a safe water treatment system at Valley of Peace village. Do you belong to an organization that would like to join us, too? Send us a message via our website or on our FB page and ask how!"

Belize's New Telephone Directory is Online
Belize's new telephone directory is online. BTL has uploaded their entire phone book. Cayo starts on page 223. San Ignacio starts on page 277. Benque: 217. Belmopan: 126.

Channel 7

12 Days ago - the most sensational gangland killing in Belize occurred when Shelton Pinky Tillett was killed at the Esso Ramon's Service Center. The murder caused a wave of panic to ripple through the society at every level - and the hysteria is just starting to ebb. Tonight we have footage of the murder as it was caught on the gas station's surveillance camera. We warn you - it is an execution - and you might want to change the channel - and if you have children around - you'll definitely want to do so. We have been in possession of this video form Friday and have deliberated very heavily whether it should be shown. In the end, we feel it is an important piece of public information - and so we will show it. Jules Vasquez has a short commentary with the video: Jules Vasquez Reporting The Video picks up where Shelton "Pinky" Tillett is getting into his white pickup at the bottom of your frame. At the top of the frame a gunman exits a silver Pathfinder - which is parked at a gas pump - and comes running across the gas station, pistol in hand. He runs over to the pickup and opens fire shooting multiple times - killing Tillett And then reaching across the vehicle to shoot Tillet's female companion Kamille Andrews. The shooter, then ducks down to hide his face runs off into the pathfinder where a driver is waiting - while another pickup at the top of your frame drives off at the same time. It was a planned execution as the gunman seems to have brought two vehicles to make sure it was finished. Police say the shooter was Arthur Young Police said the shooter wore a mask and was identified as Arthur Young. The shooter does bear a resemblance, but we cannot say conclusively.

John McCafee is a wealthy US investor who has retired in Belize and splits his time between homes in San Pedro and Orange Walk. You may know has name from the McAfee Virus Scan, one of the first anti-virus programs for personal computers. But neither his famous name nor his status as a wealthy investor spared the 66 year old from the indignity of an aggressive GSU search of his Orange Walk Estate on Monday morning. The estate is just right of the Tower Hill Toll Bridge at the entrance to Orange Walk. The search started at 6:00 am - and he says the first thing the GSU did was shoot and kill one of his dogs, Caramelo. After that, he says they broke down doors and ransacked the nine houses on the estate. The unit was looking for weapons - and McAfee had plenty of them: 7 shotguns and two nine millimeter pistols - which he says are licensed to his personal security company. But, it didn't matter, McAfee says he and 12 employees were still handcuffed for an extended period. He was brought in those handcuffs to Belize City and released on Tuesday at 2:00 am - without any charge being brought against him. After his 14-hour ordeal, he told us via phone from San Pedro about it:

A pair of brothers drowned yesterday near Banana Bank. Yesterday at around 4:00, Belmopan resident 32 year old Allison Thimbriel and his brother 26 year old Osbourne Grant were sitting on a log in the middle of the river - align with two friends. Their combined weight made the log suddenly sink into the water. They then had to swim for shore, but Grant started to cramp up. His older brother Thimbriel saw this and turned to help him, and that's when they both started to drown. Their friends tried to help and they too almost drowned. Bystanders at the shore threw a bucket tried to a rope to rescue them. The two friends caught it, but the brothers were too weak to catch the rope and went under. They both wend under and did not resurface. An immediate search was launched but they could not be found. It continued this morning -as this footage form our Friends at PLUS TV shows - and both bodies were found. River conditions were normal and it is believed an undercurrent caused them to drown.

38 year old Kevin Kelly, known as BOCO-T died 6 days ago in the custody of San Pedro police - and his family still hasn't laid him to rest. And that's because they say the police are not cooperating. No post mortem has been held for Kelly and the police are dismissing the family. They expressed their frustration to us today: Joan Kelly - Mother of Deceased "No police have come to me. Nobody has come and told me anything from the time I heard he died. I went to the morgue because the body came in from caye. No police has come to tell me anything up to this day." Lorna Wade - Common Law Wife of Deceased "It's going for a week that Kevin died, and we know nothing at all. I went to the police station this morning, and the police were treating me like I'm a child. The officer shouted at me, and asked me if I wanted him personally to conduct the post mortem. No, I need answers. Right now, we don't care about what happened. We just want to bury Kevin." Lincoln Kelly - Brother of Deceased "We already got a bad deal from the system because they haven't even come and notified us that my brother died. And now, when we are trying to get the autopsy done, we are facing more problems from the same police. So, right now, we don't know where to turn; we are stressed out, and we are frustrated." Jules Vasquez "Why haven't they done a post-mortem?" Joan Kelly "They say that they are waiting for the police from San Pedro. We got Karim Musa to try to locate this police, and we still haven't gotten any answers up to now. We are still waiting to try to bury him. What are they doing to us? They don't want us to bury our loved-one. They are keeping us back."

And so why hasn't Kelly's post mortem examination been done? Well, reports say that Police Pathologist Dr. Mario Estradabran is waiting for his contract to be renewed. Today, police minister John Saldivar confirmed to us that government is, quote, "dealing with his contract." But, Saldivar says, during that time, Estradabran continues to do autopsies - even if not at a pace that the public would want. As regards the contract, Saldivar says government has made a proposal, and Estradabran has sent back a counter-proposal. We could not reach Estradabran to confirm his position.

33 year-old Augustine Bejerano, is at the Belize Central Prison tonight after he was arraigned in Magistrate's Court for Indecent Assault. He is accused of fondling a 10 year-old child. According to police, the female minor and her mother reported that on February 15 in Lord's Bank, Bejerano touched her inappropriately. As a result, Police arrested and charged him with aggravated assault of an indecent nature. Bejerano pleaded not guilty to the charge in court, and chose to remain silent when Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer asked him why he should be granted bail. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds of the prevalence of the crime, the age of the victim, and because the police believe that Bejerano will be able to interfere with the case, and endanger the child.

Gilroy Usher Senior lost the 2012 general elections when he vied for the seat in Port Loyola. But now he says Belize is losing the war against crime and that's why today he led a protest from his office on Central American Boulevard all the way to down town Belize City. In terms of numbers it wasn't very successful - only 18 people marched. But he says it's not the crowd that matters, it's the message they sent. Gilroy Usher - Protesting Against Crime "This protest was held today because after 4 1/2 years in silence, the crime situation has only gotten worse. After 4 1/2 years of silence, over 400 persons have been murdered in Belize. Belize is now ranked as the 5th murderous country throughout the whole world. These continuous murders are affecting each and every single persons. It is affecting businesses. People are affraid to come out and shop, attend dances, attend sporting events and others in the city." Monica Bodden "Many might say that this is just a political stunt being that you are a defeated opposition personality."

And while Usher says too many have died, RESTORE Belize says that if it were not for their mediation efforts, the numbers could be greater. That office held a media breakfast and briefing this morning where they explained why the Gang Truce is working - even as violence abounds - starting with the controversial work programme which provides employment to 15 members from 13 gangs across the city... Mary Vasquez - Director, Restore Belize "This work program, despite what may be said to the contrary, has been very successful for the neighborhoods in that, there has been a lot of neighborhood clean-ups. There has been a lot of activity in rehabilitating parks etc. The men from these programs do want the continued economic benefit to their areas that they have still been working in. They did make a special request to the police for additional patrols to ensure their own security. What has been happening since the start of the truce - and it has been happening increasingly so as the truce progressed - is that, now, when there a conflict - some skirmish, or some kind of aggression from one gang to the other - they contact the truce mediators, and they ask for assistance to intervene directly in that event. And in mediating, if it is a conflict of some standing, they would then ask for some mediation, and in some cases, these mediation talks would continue over a period of 2 or 3 weeks. Again, it depends on who the participants are and what the depth and nature of the particular grievance is. Through this process of mediation - which as I said, it happens behind the scenes - there are many grievances that have been resolved peacefully. We continue to do this today. Our mediators are on the street every day. Our job is to try to keep communications open, and try to prevent skirmishes from escalating into shooting or into murder.

On Monday we told you about Zeniada Moya's new private life venture: she's opening a restaurant in the mouth of the Belize Harbour, at the Courthouse Wharf. The restaurant - which she wants to name Caribbean Breeze - will sit above the water where the Triple J terminal used to be. It's a great plan with financing from the Holy Redeemer Credit Union, except for one thing: the Local Building Authority - which is an arm of the Belize City Council issued a stop order. Moya told us the stop was lifted, but the current Mayor today told us that it is still in effect. Here's what Moya's successor Mayor Darrell Bradley had to say about it today: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "Well, the current status is that there is a stop order in force, which has been issued by our city engineer in terms of ensuring that everything was above board. The Local Building Authority had considered already, and they had given their tentative approval because that project has met all the requirements in terms of having their plans approved, having their enviromental approval and lots of the approvals from the Central Government. The only consideration was really to see that it would fit in line with all persons in terms of the residences. The court uses that area; there are security issues, parking, and other things like that. This was the hesitation with the Local Building Authority. So, they did not issue an approval, and no works can go on pending that approval." Jules Vasquez "So right now, works should not be proceeding on that project." Darrell Bradley "My specific instructions are that no works are proceeding.

Today, in our regular movements around town - we were stopped by an irate woman who told us, with tears in her eyes that the Family Court has been giving her the run-around since January. Ionie Underwood says that her child support money has been duly paid by the customs department to the court - but the court has been shorting her account. Today she came from her home in Orange Walk to Belize City to straighten it up - and got no satisfaction. You might call it a petty grievance over an administrative matter, but for this mother who is struggling to get by, the five hundred dollars is a great big deal. And besides, we have heard similar complaints many times before - so here's her one: Jules Vasquez "Why are you so upset?" Ionie Underwood - Angry With Family Court "Because they told me that they want to call police. I was trying to explain to them about how much money they have for me. They told me that they have the fault, and that they have the money. I came to claim the money because they sent me all the way from Orange Walk to come and deal with this problem in Belize. They want to arrest me."

According to NICH's Institute of Archaeology, the general admission fees to all the archaeological parks in Belize are set to increase. Today, the organization sent out a press release today saying that in accordance with SI #40 of 2010, the NICH Board of Directors has approved the entrance fee increase. This increase becomes effective on November 1, 2012. According to NICH, this increase is important, quote, "to continue developing the appropriate infrastructures that are reasonably necessary for the full enjoyment of our archaeological parks." End Quote. Today, we were unable to reach Tom Greenwood, the president of Federation of Cruise Tourism Association Board, for comment on the effect of this impending increase. IT has been twice proposed before and twice shelved because of push-back from tour operators large and small...

Residents of Melchor and Benque Viejo heard a resounding boom and felt the earth shake on at 10:30 on Monday night. Some said it was a missile from the Zetas, other said the Guatemalan Military had shot down a plane - well it was neither: Guatemalan authorities have concluded that it was a meteorite. According to reports coming out of Guatemala, several residents of the border town reported that they saw a great cosmic light flying across the night sky which was followed by a loud thunder. Melchor's Municipal Firefighters Association corroborated the eyewitness accounts via twitter saying that the landing of the meteorite was followed by tremors. The meteorite sighting has also been confirmed by Space Command North America. According to the Prensa Libre, Residents took to the streets in search of the remains of the meteorite but nothing was found, and no damage was reported.

We'll admit that when we heard the City Council inviting city residents to come out at 6:00 am on Labor Day to clean up the city we didn't think it would amount to much - after all, who wants to work on a holiday? - Especially when it's one of the hottest days of the year? But, the Council knew what it was doing; city hall staffers did their groundwork sending out corporate letters well in advance - and they got an overwhelming turnout - as many 500 persons - including council staff - came out. Today, the mayor raved about the success: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "It was very successful. This is part of our campaign in the sanitation area of our 100 day plan. We had put this labor for Belize City initiative, and we've been planning it for the last 6 weeks. It was very successful. We had 31 projects going on yesterday throughout Belize City. We started bright and early at 6 a.m. Most of the projects were finished by 10 to 10:30 a.m. After that, we had some of our works crew just going about the city just ensuring that things like all the garbage has been picked up, and that all of the projects signed off well. We had in excess of 500 persons, and we had issued 1500 garbage bags; we ran out of garbage bags. So, our count put it that we collected over 1500 bags of trash from the various projects throughout Belize City. We deem it a success, and this is something that we want to do on a regular basis - not every month - but we want to do it as regularly as possible to encourage people to really keep Belize City clean. People want to see a better community, and they want to work with you, but they want to see that there is structure with a way that they could fit into a plan." The Mayor says he plans to do it again - but probably not as often as once a month...

Channel 5

Video reveals the man who killed “Pinky” Tillett
The streets have been swarming with rumors about the recent gang related murders and who may have benefitted most from the slayings. The Arthur Young shooting death and the Shelton Tillett murder have been the most talked about in the rumor mill. But tonight, we hope to settle that discussion once and for all. A [...]

Restore Belize keeping Gang Truce with employment for 200
Restore Belize is one of the key agencies involved in the gang truce coordination committee. While the police patrol the streets, it is tasked to be a mediator of rivaling gangs. Its many facets were constructed by Prime Minister’s Office in 2010. Restore Belize’s efforts have mostly gone under the radar since it involves the [...]

Antivirus Founder, John McAfee, says politics caused GSU raid
John McAfee is the founder of McAfee Antivirus has been a philanthropist and investor in Belize. How rich is McAfee? We’re not sure, but rich enough to donate a vessel worth one point two million dollars to the Belize Coastguard in January 2009. McAfee lives in Belize and he says that he has become a [...]

GSU says McAfee’s research facility had unlicensed weapons
The GSU has sent its own press release about the bust at McAfee’s residence. According to the release, a joint operation between the GSU, the B.D.F. and the Belize Special Assignments Group (B-SAG) also an arm of the police department conducted a search on the premises of John McAfee, at Tower Hill, Orange Walk District. [...]

Do you support a referendum to take the territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice?
And tonight’s question is: Do you support a referendum to take the territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice? 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]

2 brothers from Belmopan drown in river
Tragedy struck a Belmopan family on Labor Day. Two brothers who were at a farm in Valley of Peace decided to take a quick swim in the Belize River in the Banana Bank area to cool down and rinse off the day’s dust. But within minutes of arriving at the river, it appears that the [...]

Contaminated with feces in Jamaica; BAHA awaits report from Jamaica
On Friday we told you about the report in the Jamaica Observer, where it was reported that the Jamaican government seized an imported shipment of red kidney beans from Belize that was contaminated and considered unfit for consumption. Tests were conducted on the contaminant found and it was identified as rodent droppings. According to the [...]

Alleged chain snatcher can’t afford bail
Twenty six year old Francis Petillo appeared in court this morning and was arraigned on two criminal offenses after a woman claimed that Petillo tried to snatch her chain off her neck. Petillo who appeared unrepresented pleaded not guilty to the charges of robbery and damage to property. Twenty year old Robin Erazo told police [...]

Lord’s Bank resident charged for assaulting 10 year old
In the courts, earlier today, thirty three year old Augustine Bejerano of Lord’s Bank was arraigned on a single count of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a ten year old girl. The minor reported to police that on Sunday April fifteen, Bejerano, someone she is familiar with, touched her inappropriately. Bejerano, who appeared [...]

Couple offers cash to pass checkpoint with marijuana stash
On Tuesday, May first, at twelve thirty five p.m., Police on mobile patrol in Santa Elena Town stopped and searched a black Nissan Altima, on the Western Highway. The driver of the vehicle was Richard Smith and travelling with him was Sandra Thompson. Thompson exited the vehicle and approached a police officer with an indecent [...]

Fire burns City Resident’s home to the ground
A fire in Belize City on Tuesday morning gutted a wooden structure in the Belama Phase Four area. Shortly before nine on Labor Day, fire service personnel responded to a fire at the residence of Harry Zelaya on Green Street that was completely engulfed in flame. They immediately got into action and got the fire [...]

Marching against violence with chants of hope
“We want to Live”—four powerful and heartfelt words used by a group of almost twenty persons in a March against Violence today in the Old Capital. Along with others messages such as “Better Education less Murders”, the group is calling on all concerned Belizeans to take action and to take a stand against the recent [...]

SCA takes Beka Lamb to the Bliss Stage
Have you ever wanted to go to the theatre to see your favorite book come to life? Well here’s your chance. It’s Beka Lamb on Stage. The Saint Catherine Academy is taking on that task and bringing the well known novel, written by Zee Edgell who happens to be an alumnus of the Academy; Class [...]

Rebecca Stirm wins another Mission Catwalk round
Another act that has been on the Caribbean Stage, includes Belmopan resident, Rebecca Stirm. She continues to dominate in Mission Catwalk Season Two. In the sixth episode of the Caribbean fashion reality series, the designers had to design an outfit incorporating the red HIV/AIDS awareness ribbon. In her design, the red ribbon framed a high [...]

500 strong clean up Belize City on Labor Day
While a majority of residents enjoyed a day off from school and work on Labor Day, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley and a dedicated army of five hundred men, women and children had their hands in the dirt, ridding the streets of the Old Capital of excess refuse. The initiative was dubbed Labor for Belize, [...]


Wednesday, May 2 - - - POLICE NEWS
Three persons were charged with burglary when they appeared in court today. They are 21-year-old Byron Montoya, an unemployed of Freetown Road, 19-year-old Kingsley Eusey, a University of Belize student residing in Buttonwood Bay and 18-year-old Colin Flores, a student of St. Joh...

The bodies of two men who drowned over the weekend in the Cayo district have been recovered. According to police reports, thirty two year old Allison Thimbrel and twenty six year old Osbourne Grant perished in the Belize River sometime after four o’clock yesterday afternoon. ...

It was created to act as mediators among Belize City’s gangs and to diffuse the level of tension on the streets. Since its last breakfast meeting with the media one year ago, there have been some positive strides and some erosion of the level of trust that the gangs have pl...

The fifth meeting of the directors of national drug council will begin on Thursday in Belize City. This annual regional meeting will bring together 20 Directors of Drug Councils of both Member States and Associated Member States of Caricom to discuss the Caribbean strategies to reduce ...

There have been demonstrations and peaceful protests against crime and violence in Belize dating back at least five years. Today there was such another, led by political activist and businessman, Gilroy Usher Senior. The event ended at the Battlefield Park in downtown Beliz...

The Youth Apprenticeship Program is an initiative of the Government of Belize which focuses primarily on young people from the age of sixteen to twenty-nine, who either dropped out of school or have been troublemakers looking to change their lives and also single mothers. The sec...


Residence Of John McAfee Raided By GSU, He Says It Is Political Mischief
More than a month ago a joint police force comprising of the Gang Suppression Unit and the Anti Drug Unit descended on Taylor's Alley in Belize City with brutal and excessive force, according to residents who spoke to the media right after the incident. It was not the first time that the GSU was being accused of police brutality and the new Minister of Police John Saldivar ordered that an investigation be carried out. The findings of the report revealed that apart from using excessive and unjustifiable force, police also took residents of Taylors Alley by surprise. As mentioned, it is not the first time that the GSU is being accused of police brutality and tonight the Gang Suppression Unit is again under extreme scrutiny after a U.S National living here in Orange Walk is accusing the unit of using excessive force on him and his employees. He is no other than 66 year old John McAfee, one of the first persons to design an anti virus software and to develop a virus scanner. McAfee, who was first living in, San Pedro relocated to Orange Walk a few years ago. He has been living in Belize for the past five years but on Monday he had one of the worst experiences ever. Here is that story. Carmelita Perez-Reporting The peacefulness and tranquility of the McAfee residence located near the toll bridge, was interrupted on Monday morning when members of the Gang Suppression Unit barged in without warning. According to U.S retiree John McAfee, who has been living in Belize for the past five years, he is still unaware of what was the mission of the GSU. What he can say tough is that the unit rained down on him and his employees as if they were criminals. John McAfee- Claims Police Brutality “It happened yesterday morning exactly at 6:00 am, they burst through the gate about fifty of them with fully automatic weapons and I come pit to saw the commotion and I was undressed and I went back in and then put on a shoes and a shirt and the nest thing I knew is that they had me against the wall, they had confiscated my passport, they confiscated weapons, they kept me and my staff in handcuffs for fourteen hours outside all day without food, when we asked for food they just left, it was the most bazaar encounter I have ever imagined.”

GSU Boss Says They Acted Based On Information Of Illegal Activity
And while that’s McAfee’s version of the story, Commander of the Gang Suppression Unit, Marco Vidal fired off a press release informing the media about what he says went on during the operation. In the press release the Gang Suppression Unit seeks to give reasons for their actions and states quote, “During the search, ten firearms - seven 12 gauge pump action shotguns (one of which had a scope), one 12 gauge single action shotgun, one Taurus 9mm pistol and one 9mm CZ pistol – were found. Five air rifles with scopes resembling sniper rifles that use 6.26 mm slugs were also found and two hundred and seventy 12 gauge cartridges, thirty 9 mm rounds and twenty .38 rounds. All these firearms and rounds of ammunition were scattered over the premises including inside the vehicles and houses that were unoccupied.” End quote According to the release, McAfee was able to produce a company firearm license for all the firearms except the single action shotgun that is licensed to Tyron Morales and the 9mm CZ pistol with serial number A796245. According to Vidal, Analysts at the Forensic Laboratory, and personnel from the Ministry of Health were taken to inspect the facility and samples of an alleged antibiotic apparently being manufactured at the Laboratory were taken for analysis. The Ministry of Health has already confirmed that no license has been granted to McAfee or any of his agents to manufacture antibiotics in Belize. A decision as to whether or not charges will be levied against McAfee will be made by the Ministry of Health after the results of the analysis are made available. Vidal does admit that McAfee was initially detained and charged for the offences of kept unlicensed firearm and ammunition, but was later released after producing a license for the said firearm to the Police. The press release concludes by stating and we quote “The search at McAfee’s premises was based solely on information received regarding illegal activities being conducted there.” End quote. Present on the premises at the time of the search were John McAfee, his girlfriend and five security guards namely: Emerson Michael 33 years Belizean who claimed to be the Chief of Security, 23 year old Emerson Dominguez, 46 year old Austin Allen and 23 year old Tyron Morales all of Belizean nationality. Also present during the raid was Michael’s common-law-wife Princesa Ericson. We will have more on this story in tomorrow’s newscast.

19 Year Old Charged For Burglary And Aggravated Assault
A 28 year old housewife from the village of Douglas in the Orange Walk District is recuperating from a frightful ordeal tonight after she was attacked by a male individual while sleeping. According to the woman, around 1:30 Saturday morning she asleep when she was awoken by 19 year old Oscar Uriel Mendez who placed a knife to her throat and physically assaulted her. The woman informed police that Mendez stole $154.00 from her bedroom before making good his escape. On Monday Mendez appeared before the Orange Walk Magistrates Court where he was charged for burglary and aggravated assault. Mendez pleaded guilty to both charges and was fined $2,500.

GSU Spreads Operation To Corozal
When we hear about the Gang Suppression Unit GSU the first thing that comes to mind is the old capital where the team of officers has concentrated their searches for drugs and illegal firearms and ammunition. But after what happened on Monday and with what we are about to report next, will surely change that sentiment. Over the weekend the GSU spread their operations in the Corozal District which resulted in the findings of several illegal items and the detention of more than a few Corozalenos including a former police constable and his girlfriend. On Wednesday night GSU personnel searched the residence of former police constable, 33 year old Ryan Genus, located on Sixth Avenue Corozal Town. At the time of the search both Genus who is allegedly a well known drug peddler and his girlfriend 19 year old Keisha Ramclam were at home when police found an undetermined amount of crack cocaine found in one of the bedrooms and a zip-lock bag containing 2.8 grams of cannabis found in the back yard. Reports are that while the raid was being conducted several persons arrived at the residence and confessed to police that they were there to purchase drugs. As a result of the findings both Genus and Ramclam were charged with 3 counts of possession of controlled drugs. The second raid was conducted at the residence of 42 year old businessman Arthur Saldano aka O.G, located on Ninth Street Corozal Town. Present at the time of the search was Saldano and his common-law wife 22 year old Shamira Pott. The search led police to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing 0.9 grams of cannabis found hidden inside a dresser drawer. Saldano, who is said to be affiliated with a major Belize City gang, and Pott were jointly charged with possession of controlled drugs.

Suicide Lookout For The Signs
Suicide is a very complicated and tabooed topic in many communities that affects virtually everyone in different levels. The topic itself is heavily surrounded by controversies especially when it comes to the motives of one committing the act. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over one million people die by suicide every year making it the 13th leading cause of death worldwide. Suicide is often committed out of despair and is attributed to a mental disorder such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse. Stress factors such as financial difficulties or troubles with interpersonal relationships often play a significant role. Similar to cancer, Suicide discriminates no one and teens are not the exception. Counselors of Orange Walk Technical School and Muffles High School, Licia Castillo and Yvette Hernandez say that suicide in adolescents is seen as an alternative to solve problems and a weak support system can directly contribute to the problem. Licia Castillo, Counselor OWTHS “You have different levels of the severity when it comes to thinking about suicide. One of the things that I was talking, we were talking about, was that you have some people that are clinically depressed. You have some kids that are clinically depressed that would see suicide as alternative and will continue to see it as an alternative. You have some kids that see it as an alternative- well you know maybe I should do this, this, this or kill myself. So, i think you have kids that- there’s an ideation where they thing about it, they fantasize about it and then you have it at a different level.”

Students Portray Their Talent At Festival Of Arts
Throughout the country students are participating in an important part of Belize’s educational curriculum which promotes the revival of arts within the country. It is the annual Festival of Arts which highlights the performances and talents of students within district schools. Today, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, National Institute of Culture and History and the Institute of Creative Arts, students performed under the theme “Talent Nurtured is Talent Flowered.” Janine Ayuso-Reporting This morning the Multi Purpose Complex Building was bursting with color and local flavor as primary school students came out to put their best foot forward in the annual district level Festival of Arts. The eye catching event featured decorative props and performances that showcased young Belizean talent at its best. And even tough smiles and excitement filled the room- drama, dance and music took the show as students gave it their all when it was their turn to perform. According to Festival of Arts Coordinator Lisa Carrillo, the event is not just about colorful displays; it has a completely different principle. Lisa Carrillo, Coordinator “The main purpose of this event as I said to showcase the talent of our children in performance, we have three discipline; the drama, the dance and the music and in these three disciplines we have different categories that we educate the children so they have a side area of categories that they can portray their talent. We have fourteen schools participating today and of these fourteen they can bring several items is not only on item, they have a choice to bring in as many items as they can, usually the big schools bring in more items, we have Trial Farm Government school bringing in the school that has the most items this year and that are seven items that they are showcasing.”


Hidden Springs contributes to agriculture
When he declared the 2012 National Agriculture and Trade Show opened on Friday, Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega boldly stated that this sector remains an important pillar of the Belizean economy. And while the yearly show puts the spotlight squarely on the men and women who drive the agriculture sector, the work of maintaining an agriculture-based economy is not a one day phenomenon. It takes hard work and dedication. Love TV’s Ava Diaz Sosa spoke with one woman whose daily work helps to keep a family and a nation fed.

Restore Belize updates the media on its work
It was created to act as mediators among Belize City’s gangs and to diffuse the level of tension on the streets. Since its last breakfast meeting with the media one year ago, there have been some positive strides and some erosion of the level of trust that the gangs have placed in the RESTORE Belize initiative, based on the recent spate of bloodshed that has gone undetected during those ongoing discussions with the gangs. Today, at another breakfast meeting, RESTORE Belize’s Programme Director, Mary Vasquez, was candid with reporters on telling it as she saw it. And while it has joined hands with the Ministry of Works to curb the level of gang violence, Vasquez says that there is now going to be a more stringent approach by those in charge to supervise the level of participation of gang members in the community effort that they have agreed to be a part of. Reporters brought forth the need for more access to timely and meaningful information, particularly when there the murder rate spikes and the tension builds among the public. The breakfast meeting, which included the Chief Executive Officer in the Prime Minister’s Office, Audrey Wallace, also endeavoured to hold more frequent meetings with the media to report on the progress of the RESTORE Belize initiative.

Fishermen from Honduras pay their Toledo cunterparts a visit
A group of fishermen from Honduras have completed an exchange visit to the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the reports.

Alleged chain snatcher arraigned in court
26-year-old Francis Petillo, a labourer who allegedly snatched a gold chain from the neck of a woman, was charged with robbery and damage to property when he appeared in court today. Petillo pleaded not guilty to the charges. The prosecution did not object to bail. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser offered Petillo a bail of $5,000.00 and adjourned his case until June 26. The incident occurred around 11:20 a.m. on Monday, April 30. The complainant, Robin Erazo, reported to the police that she was walking on Miller Street located in the St. Martin De Porress area when a man who was walking in the opposite direction snatched her gold chain as he passed by her. Erazo said the man ran leaving piece of the gold chain behind. She said the chain has a value of one thousand, two hundred dollars.

Man remanded on charge of molesting underage girl
A 33-year-old man who it is alleged sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl, was charged with aggravated assault when he appeared in court today. The man, Augustine Bejerano, an unemployed of Lord’s Bank pleaded not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offence has become prevalent, that the complainant is of a tender age and that if granted bail the defendant might interfere with the complainant. Bejerano did not have anything to say regarding why he should be granted bail. Senior Magistrate Sharon upheld the objection and she remanded Bejerano into custody until June 8. The incident occurred on April 15 in Lord’s Bank.

Trio charged with burglary; complainant declines prosecution
Three persons were charged with burglary when they appeared in court today. They are 21-year-old Byron Montoya, an unemployed of Freetown Road, 19-year-old Kingsley Eusey, a University of Belize student residing in Buttonwood Bay and 18-year-old Colin Flores, a student of St. John’s Junior College who resides in Burrell Boom. Eusey and Flores were also charged with two separate counts of handling stolen goods. After they were arraigned the complainant indicated to the court that they do not want any further court action. They are John Albert Hoy, Jorge Tesecum, Chris Gordon and Guido Gonzalez. According to the allegation, they entered as trespassers the dwelling home of Gonzalez, Hoy, Gordon and Tesecum. The items taken included a laptop computer, video games and a cell phone. Before she withdrew the charges Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser made the defendants apologize to the complainants and to their parents who were present in court.

Duo busted with marijuana arraigned in court
A man and a woman from Belize City have been arrested and charges in San Ignacio after they were busted with thirty three pounds of marijuana in their car. Twenty seven year old Sandra Thompson and thirty two year old Richard Smith were busted by a police mobile patrol on Tuesday afternoon in Santa Elena town. According to police reports, the duo was travelling in a black Nissan Altima when they were stopped. Police say Thompson admitted to officers that there were drugs in the car and offered officers two thousand dollars for them to look the other way. The officers declined the offer and proceeded to search the trunk of the car where they found a crocus sack containing fourteen thousand, nine hundred and eighty grams of cannabis. Both Thompson and Smith were arrested and charged for the crime of drug trafficking. They were formally arraigned in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court and were remanded to the Hattieville prison until their next court appearance August sixth.

City residents protest against crime
There have been demonstrations and peaceful protests against crime and violence in Belize dating back at least five years. Today there was another. Led by political activist and businessman, Gilroy Usher Senior, the event culminated at the Battlefield Park in downtown Belize City. The crowd was far from impressive, but the message, according to the protestors, was what was important. Gilroy Usher told us that while he is a politician, the effort took no political lines because at the end of the day, crime affects people, regardless of their affiliations. In April alone, the murder count in Belize was 21.

Brothers drown in the Belize River
A pair of brothers from Belmopan perished over the Labor Day holiday in what can only be described as a tragedy. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports.

Youth charged with attempted murder
A twenty year old Belize City man has been arrested and charged in connection with a shooting incident on Friday of last week. Abraham Smith was charged for the crimes of attempted murder, aggravated assault, use of deadly means of harm and wounding. The charges are the result of an incident in which Belize City resident Desmond Gonzalez was reportedly shot twice in the left arm on M&M Street. Smith allegedly exited a car and opened fire on Gonzalez injuring him. Smith was formally arraigned on the charges in Magistrate’s Court on Monday and remanded to the Hattieville prison until his next court appearance on June eleventh. No plea was taken from him because of the nature of the offences.

Man chopped in Hope Creek
A chopping incident on Monday night has left a man hospitalized at the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga. The victim has been identified by police as thirty nine year old Wilmer Carrillo. Police say that on Monday night, Carrillo, who is a farmer residing in Hope Creek village, was walking from work and that when he reached the bus stop in the village, he was attached by a man. Carrillo sustained multiple chop wounds to his body. Police say Carrillo was able to identify the person who chopped him. Police are now looking for the attacker as their investigation continues.

Altercation leaves man with chop wounds
A Belize City man was hospitalized on Tuesday night with chop wounds, following an altercation. Forty year old Miguel Zaiden sustained chop wounds to the left and right upper arms, the right forearm and left elbow. Police say initial investigations revealed that whilst Zaiden and Gareth Hemmans Jr. were socializing on Madam Liz Avenue they got into an altercation and as a result, Hemmans allegedly inflicted the injuries to Zaiden with a machete. Police have since detained Gareth Hemmans Jr. pending the outcome of their investigation.

Overnight stabbing leaves two people injured
A stabbing incident last night in Belize City has left two people injured. Police say that around eight o’clock last night, thirty year old Glenn Staine and a sixteen year old student were standing on Lacroix Boulevard when they were approached and stabbed by two men. Staine sustained two stab wounds to the left side of the abdomen, while the sixteen year old boy was stabbed to the right upper arm. Police investigations continue.

Belize City duo busted with weed in the car trunk in Cayo
A man and a woman from Belize City have been arrested and charges in San Ignacio after they were busted with thirty three pounds of marijuana in their car. Twenty seven year old Sandra Thompson and thirty two year old Richard Smith were busted by a police mobile patrol on Tuesday afternoon in Santa Elena town. According to police reports, the duo was travelling in a black Nissan Altima when they were stopped. Police say Thompson admitted to officers that there were drugs in the car and offered officers two thousand dollars for them to look the other way. The officers declined the offer and proceeded to search the trunk of the car where they found a crocus sack containing fourteen thousand, nine hundred and eighty grams of cannabis. Both Thompson and Smith were arrested and charged for the crime of drug trafficking.


Labour Day swim turns deadly for two brothers
Belizeans celebrated Labour Day (May 1) yesterday throughout the country. Families and friends looking to escape th...

Gilroy Usher Sr. marches against crime and violence
Gilroy Usher Sr. the PUP standard bearer for Port Loyola today, along with a small group about 20 supporters, march...

RESTORE Belize holds breakfast meeting with the media
In June of 2010 the Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow announced his plans for project Restore Belize - an initia...

Rise and Shine discuss UNIBAM sponsorship
The United States Government through its embassies involvement, is often fingered as an unapologetic patron of the ...

Rebecca Stirm grabs third win in Mission Catwalk
Caribbean fashion reality series Mission Catwalk is on its sixth episode and Belize’s Rebecca Stirm has taken the s...

Cancer Awareness month, events and activities
May is observed as Cancer Month and to start the month long activities, the Belize Cancer Society on Sunday (April ...

Teen detained following home invasion
An Orange Walk teenager is in police custody following a home invasion in Douglas Village over the weekend. A twent...

Suggestions to curb crime rate in Belize
The most recent wave of crime and violence has shaken the community in Belize City and has struck the members of co...

Orange Walk's "Dalla Taxi" revived
Taxi operators who make runs from the downtown Orange Walk Town to other areas of town: primarily north, to and fro...


A day trip to Chetumal, Mexico with many twists and turns
Recently our good friends and fellow bloggers Bill and Debra ( invited us to join them on a day trip to Chetumal, just over the border in Mexico. Chetumal is known as a good place to shop for those of us living in Belize, as there is a better variety of goods available, and prices are much lower than those in Belize. And of course there's the wonderful Mexican beer that is illegal in Belize. 'Nuff said! So even though we'd already booked our reservations in Crooked Tree for the very next day, we didn't want to pass up a great opportunity. It was certainly an interesting day but not without a few snafus. The first problem was entirely my fault. We'd planned to take the water taxi from Grand Caribe to town instead of walking since we needed to catch such an early ferry to Chetumal (7:30 am). All the southbound water taxis go past Grand Caribe's dock at 40 minutes after the hour, except one. I didn't pay attention and was thinking the first taxi of the day would pass at 6:40 am. So, there we were, out on the dock at 6:35 am -- quite early for us to be up and about -- and my heart sunk when I saw the posted schedule and realized that the early ferry would have passed by at around 6:25 am, not 6:40.

Going on Vacation and Community Disaster Response Team training
San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross is looking for 12 – 15 people to form a Community Disaster Response Team.Training date information will be coming soon, we need interested parties who are willing to receive training first. If you or someone you know would make a good CDRT please email [email protected] Your help in getting the word out and working together to create a prepared and Safe Ambergris Caye for residents and tourists is much appreciated and it is already working. Scott and Jody from Palapa Bar, Dov Magy aka Karaoke Joe and Renae Berg are the first 4 people to sign up for CRDT training and Dianne Campbell emailed me of 2 great candidates that are moving to Belize in June and can catch the second round of training. Community Disaster Response Team (CDRT): Following a disaster there is always a period when the emergency services and first responders will be unable to react. This may be due to the size of the area affected, communication problems or impassable roads. The Community Disaster Response Team (CDRT) is designed to complement and strengthen the existing role of NEMO within the community by helping to increase its capacity. The Red Cross trains and equips Community Disaster Response Teams (CDRT) in each community to enable them to carry out emergency first response when a disaster occurs. CDRT role and function: The main role of the CDRT is to assist with increased community resilience by: · 1. Working closely with its local NEMO to prepare for and provide assistance during any disaster that is within the scope of the CDRT’s capacity. · 2. Helping the community to prepare for and respond to disasters through public educational initiatives. · 3. Developing and maintaining a strategic community disaster plan. · 4. Assisting community members with the development of a Family Emergency Plan · 5. Mobilising residents to participate in community-based risk reduction activities · 6. Implementing, updating and testing of this plan CDRT Objectives: · Preparedness: to assist their local NEMO with community empowerment and resilience in order to better prepare for an respond to emergency situations. · Response: to save lives and property by providing where possible, first response to self, family and community during times of emergencies and disaster. · Relief: to assist in relief and assessment after a disaster as directed by NEMO CDRT Structure: The CDRT functions as a single unit with a leader and Deputy Leader appointed by its members. Additional roles including e.g. Secretary, Treasurer and Community Relations Officer can be identified and selected as necessary. The desired minimum membership is 12 with a maximum of 25 persons. The aim of the group is to ensure diverse representation of the community on the CDRT. CDRT Training: The teams learn fire prevention, basic search and rescue, First Aid, initial damage assessment, shelter management, psychosocial support, radio communication. This three to four days training includes participation from the Fire Department, health professionals, NEMO and other partners. Develop, test and review disaster plan: The CDRT are responsible of developing a Community Disaster Plan, which they do under the guidance of the Red Cross and NEMO, which defines clearly each member’s role and function, the links between CDRT and government search & rescue services, as well as the routine according to which the emergency operations will be carried out. This plan is tested through a simulation exercise and reviewed on a yearly basis.

Flying from San Pedro, Belize to San Pedro Sula, Honduras on Tropic Air: What a View!
Relatively recently, Tropic Air (the domestic airline in Belize) added a new route to their international roster. You can now fly directly from Belize City to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Honduras? So close and yet I´ve only visited once. This flight I need to try out. The current fare is $107.50 USD each way when booking a round trip ticket. And look at this view from the plane! San Pedro Sula is a huge city in Honduras...about 800,000 people (or 2.5x the size of Belize). It is considered the economic capital of the country. The international airport in SPS is serviced by flights to and from the US on airlines like Continental, American, Delta and TACA. The city is also a great kick off spot for flights around Honduras. Aerolino Sosa, CM Airlines and TACA Regional all fly from San Pedro Sula to places like Roatan, Copan (one of the great Mayan sites) and Utila (a hugely popular diving destination). Honduras, as I am finding out, also has an extensive bus system...from first class buses like Hedman Alas to old, old, OLD chicken buses. I had to take the 7am flight from San Pedro, Belize to the Belize International Airport. For my own sanity, I will gloss over the part where I got to the airstrip at 6:52am, didn't have my wallet with me and had to race back home. I am still attempting to regulate my blood pressure after that little incident. It was a beautiful day. We flew right over Caye Chapel, which I hear is reopen for golf by appointment.

The scent of the rose always lingers in the hand of the giver…Rose’s Grill in Caye Caulker Belize
Should we order one or two? Are they big enough to split?” I looked over at my host Joanna, and was met with a raised eyebrow and a smile. “Kristin, I have to tell you something about myself: I get one order of ceviche just for me. It is my dinner. I do not share.” said Joanna. She laughed and her whole face lit up. “So I guess that means we need two then.” I shot back a jesting look and a smirk. “You guessed right!” she said. It did not take long for me to understand why – the ceviche at Rose’s was the freshest and most flavorful I had ever had. The conchs were tender and sweet, with the right of amount of chew. The sauce of lime juice and pepper with a touch of onion, lent a mouth-smackingly good flavor to the seafood that could be deftly scooped up by the crisp and salty chips. Joanna prompted the owner Eduardo Arceo to invite me into the kitchen. He looked me up and down discerningly. “I will talk to you and let you know how to make ceviche – but it is my technique, and you can’t tell anyone but your readers.” he smiled.

The legend of the fried chicken businessmen in Belize
Three months in Belize with my ears open to all things food, I found myself revisiting what I came to know as the “Fry Chicken Legend.” The story goes like this: Two executive businessmen from the XYZ country came to Belize to scope out the possibility of opening the ABC fried chicken chain. (You can insert your favorite enterprising country and food chain as you see fit.) The executives toured around Belize extensively, eating at the local fry chicken restaurants, sampling the cuts of meat and documenting the price, process and suppliers. After one week in country, they packed their bags and left, abandoning any plans they had to open their franchise. Why may you ask did these singularly fixated entrepreneurs jump ship, when the country is fertile with fry chicken lovers? Well, they said, ” We can’t compete with the Belizeans in either Chinese or Kriol run stores. Its too good and we can’t compete with the low prices. We would never make it here.” Fried Chicken in Belize is something of a marvel: everyone eats it and it is cheap, fresh and satisfying. Both Belizean and the newer, Chinese-run restaurants pepper the entire country. Belizeans love it served with ketchup and a steak sauce gravy- the whole mixture, swimmingly ladled over a bed of french fries, or served aside mounds of fluffy mashed potatoes.

International Sources

Report Warns of Weather Satellites 'Rapid Decline'
Predicting the weather is tricky enough. Now a new government-sponsored report warns that the USA's ability to track tornadoes, forecast hurricanes and study climate change is about to diminish. The number and capability of weather satellites circling the planet "is beginning a rapid decline" and tight budgets have significantly delayed or eliminated missions to replace them, says a National Research Council analysis out Wednesday. The number of in-orbit and planned Earth observation missions by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is projected to drop "precipitously" from 23 this year to only six by 2020, the report found. That means the number of instruments monitoring Earth's activity is expected to decline from a peak of about 110 last year to fewer than 30 by the end of the decade.

Oil company blamed for fire in Belize national park
At the end of March in southern Belize the sun beats down through blackened trees onto what was the only known low-lying sphagnum moss bog in Central America. Now it is an expanse of ash and pale crusts of burned moss onto which dragonflies settle briefly before passing on. Fire spread through the area at the end of February 2012, and since then reeds have begun to sprout, but otherwise it remains a scene of devastation with no sign that the moss is regenerating. The sphagnum bog is in a remote area of the Sarstoon Temash National Park close to the Guatemalan border, and due to operational constraints this is the first time that park rangers and their military escorts have seen the area since the blaze. Oil company workers conducting seismic operations in the national park reported—while the fire was still burning—that company activities ignited the area on February 25 close to a seismic line running through the bog. Rain and the oil company itself extinguished the fire two and a half days later. During the patrol a smell of smoke still lingered in the surrounding rainforest but the flames had obviously concentrated on the moss itself – the boots of the rangers and soldiers pushed through the light grey shell of its remains to the solid floor beneath. The seismic line was one of many cut by US Capital Energy along which explosives were buried and detonated in a bid to find oil beneath the park, which is listed as a wetland of international significance under the Ramsar Convention. A flower believed to be a previously unknown species of carnivorous plant of the sundew (Drosera) family was discovered on the bog in 2010, and the area was believed to hold further scientific secrets.

May 2, 2012

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

Ambergris Today

Enter Lobster Fest T-Shirt Competition

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Belikin - Under The Crown Commercial
Rosie Syme in a Belikin commercial

The Ancient Maya Ruins of Tikal
The first time you hear them, your heart skips a beat. As black shadows move effortlessly through the trees above you, their ferocious howl can be heard up to 20 miles (32 km). Howler Monkeys are just one of the many flora and fauna that you’ll experience at the ancient ruins of Tikal in northern Guatemala. Tikal Background Tikal is one of the oldest sites of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It was also one of the biggest, housing as many as 90,000 Maya inhabitants. Agricultural evidence found in the area dates back to 1,000 BC; however, construction of the ruins didn’t begin until 400 to 300 BC, and didn’t finish until 810 AD. Tikal covers 220 square miles (570 sq km) and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

Scarlet Macaws in Early Morning Light
Scarlet macaws flying over the Mountain Pine Ridge of Belize.

VIDEO: Dive Belize Lionfish Awareness, Ambergris Caye
Working a local dive site in an effort to preserve reef fish habitat. The Lionfish consumes massive quanaties of small reef fish each day. A single lionfish can lay up to 30,000 eggs per month. They are venomous and if you are pinched the pain is unbearable. Although venomous, they are safe for human consumption and very good to eat.

2012: Kurse a di Xtabai trailer
They've named the movie that was shot all around Cayo, and locally at SHJC. 2012: Kurse a di Xtabai. Here's the trailer. "First feature-length supernatural thriller produced entirely in Belize in Kriol! Make-Belize Films. Stay tuned for more..."

Labour Day Memorabilia pictures
Happy Labour Day! The Benque House of Culture has posted some really cool pictures from the good old days of the Mahogany industry. "Reminisce on images of the Golden Years of our Mahogany and lumber industry in Belize"


Internet Cafe In Orange Walk Burglarized
Interplanet Cafe situated on Progress Street was broken into and burglarized for the second time since they opened for business six years ago. The incident happened in the wee hours of this morning and the thief or thieves got away with a number of items all amounting to a total value of over four thousand dollars. The owner of Interplanet Cafe, Michael Magana, told us that the burglars gained entry through the front door. Between the hours of 12 midnight and 5:00 this morning Interplanet Cafe located on Progress Street fell victim to the hands of criminals as it was burglarized. According to the owner of the establishment, Michael Magana, the discovery was made by his father who noticed that the shutters of the cafe were slightly open upon leaving the family’s residence located right across the internet cafe. Michael Magana, Owner Interplanet Cafe “Around 5:30 he was getting ready to go to work and den when he crossed here the shutters were half open so he stopped and when he opened the door he saw that the place had been burglarized. Two sets of computers were missing and some games so from that moment he went home and told me that the place had been robbed.”

Two Corozal Residents Including Stepfather of 15 Year Old Minor Charged For Rape
Tonight two Corozal residents including the stepfather of a 15 year old minor are behind bars after they were accused of rape. Both men appeared before the Corozal Magistrates Court today where they were formally arraigned for the charge and remanded to prison until their next court date scheduled for July 5th of this year. On Thursday April 26th, the 15 year old minor, accompanied by her mother, reported to police that sometime in the month of April 2011 she was sexually assaulted by her stepfather while her mother was not at home. According to the child the man entered her room, took off her clothing and raped her. But the incident did not happen once or twice, it happened three times, according to the 15 year old. The second man that was sent to prison is Ryan Skeen, accused of raping a 22 year old woman. The woman claims that around 7:00pm on April 26th she was walking along the San Andres Area in Corozal Town when she noticed that she was being followed by Skeen.

Is Foul Play Involved In Disappearance Of Three Fishermen
Today makes it nine days that 49 year old Silverio Tepaz, his brother 50 year old Teobaldo Tepaz and his nephew 21 year old Mijarie Tepaz have been last at sea. On Friday the search for the three fishermen from the Village of Sarteneja was discontinued by the Coast Guard after they searched almost 100 miles, covering from English Caye Channel to Gladden Spit and finding nothing. That was on Friday and tonight news is that there are some new revelations in the case. Reports are that family members have found what appeared to be signs of blood on a piece of tarp found inside the vessel which was found submerged near Glovers Reef. The family we understand has handed over the evidence to police. Some holes were also found on the deck of the vessel. Based on the finding it is believed that foul play is involved in the men’s disappearance. We will have more on this story in Wednesday’s Newscast.

Honey Camp Lagoon Hosts 3rd Regatta Competition
On Sunday April 29th the Belize Sailing Association held their annual Honey Camp Lagoon Regatta which is the third of a seven part regatta circuit, establishing a National Rating System necessary for Belizean sailors to engage in international sailing events. The Optimist program, which implements the vision for advanced sailing in Belize and promotes a recreational use of Belizean waters, brings to light an international class of sailing dinghy designed for children ages 9 to 14. On Sunday as 30 Optimist dinghies set sail to the finish line, our camera captured all the exciting moments from start to finish. Reporter Janine Ayuso and Cameraman Kenric Simpson filed the following report. Eight miles east of Orange Walk Town is the Honey Camp Lagoon, a favorable swimming destination not familiar with boats or vessels. But on Sunday afternoon the kidney shaped lagoon was trafficked with over 30 Optimist sailing Dinghies. As the glistening sail boats navigated the crystal clear waters of the lagoon putting off a spectacle for observers, the unusual activity was a sight on its own as a team of 60 young sailors steered their way through the Optimist Championship organized by the Belize Sailing Association.

Agric Show Sees Two Murders
Belize City recorded four murders last week including that of Shelton Pinkey Tillett and this past weekend the National Agriculture Show Grounds was stained with blood as two persons were murdered including a male individual from the village of Saint Mathews. Yesterday around 2:00pm police visited the main road within the show grounds in Belmopan where they found 22 year old Javier Larios, a labourer of Saint Mathews Village suffering from a large cut wound to the right forearm and a stab wound to the centre of the chest. Larios was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment. Approximately an hour after Larios’ body was discovered; police visited another area of the show grounds, not too far away from where Larios was found. Underneath a truck police discovered the motionless body of 23 year old Moses Orellano, a resident of mile 26 on the Hummingbird Highway with a stab wound to the left side of the chest. Investigations have revealed that the victims are cousins. The men are believed to have been involved in an altercation with a group of men. So far police have made no arrests on these latest murders.

Belizeans And Guatemalans Will Go To The Polls On October 16th 2013
On October 16th 2013, Belizeans and Guatemalans will head out to the poll to vote whether or not Guatemala’s Territorial Claim to Belize should be heard at the International Court of Justice. Minister of Foreign affairs, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, left Belize en route to Washington DC on Wednesday April 25th accompanied by a delegation of negotiators including Senator Lisa Shoman. Elrington, along with the delegation, met with Foreign Minister of Guatemala Harold Caballeros at the request of the OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza in order to determine a date for the simultaneous referendum which will be on October 16th 2013 as previously mentioned. The purpose of the simultaneous referendum is to present Guatemala’s Territorial, Insular and Maritime claim to the International Court of Justice.

The Reporter

Three Police Bullets Kill Arthur Young
A postmortem examination of the body of Arthur Young, 37, the notorious leader of the Taylor´s Alley Gang, on Wednesday, April 25th,...

Legal Advice Center Relocates
The Belize Legal Advice Center, formerly located in the government-owned building on Gabourel Lane, which has also housed the Vital...

Gang Warfare!
The inter-gang rivalry that flared up over the weekend has resulted in the death of two of the city´s most feared gang leaders. Arthur...

Sarteneja Trio Lost At Sea
By Dalton Gonzales A search and rescue mission is on for three fishermen who have been reported missing at sea since Tuesday, April...

Emerson Eagan, guilty of murder
Emmerson Eagan, 22, convicted of the murder of Dennis Nembhard, 35, is to be sentenced in the Supreme Court of Justice Adolph Lucas on...

Despite Bar’s Protest, Justice Awich is promoted to the Court of Appeal
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Lungole Awich has become the newest judge on the Belize Court of Appeal. Governor General Sir Colville Young...

UB Black Jaguars win C.A. basketball Gold
The University of Belize Black Jaguars remained undefeated as they won the Central American universities´ basketball championship,...

Lady Jaguars & Jaguars men win in Belize City volleyball
The defending national women´s volleyball champions, the Lady Jaguars and the Jaguars men´s team both enjoyed victories when the newly...

Tips to take your business idea to the next level
In today´s competitive and diverse business environment, one of the most important things in building up growth, stability and...

IMF says Caribbean economies to grow in 2012 and 2013
Caribbean economies are expected to grow in this year and next year, according to the Washington-based International Monetary Fund...

Belize started off with two gangs, the Crips and the Bloods, some 30 years ago. They have since grown to more than a dozen. The functioning gangs in the city include (in alphabetical order) the Back-a-Town Gang, the George Street Gang, the Gill Street Bloods, the Ghost Town Crips, the Krall Road Crips, the Kelly Street Crips, the Majestic Alley Crips, the Supall Street Gang, the Taylor´s Alley Bloods and the Victoria Street Bloods. These gangs have sprung up, each in its own depressed neighbourhood, and so far as we can tell, each appears to be an independent entity, a fraternity of homies who find companionship and camaraderie in its neighbourhood niche. Each one of these gangs guards its territory with eagle eyes, and no member of a rival gang is allowed to enter the demarcated territory. Each gang has its loyalty code to members of the same gang, but to no one else.

Another Truce?
I cannot see where Aaron Levenstein´s quote `Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is...

Mexico-US migration down after 40 years of growth
The rate of Mexican immigration to the US has stalled or maybe even gone into reverse, an analysis shows, ending a four-decade-long...

Ariel Rosado Ride raises scholarship funds
The Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation is holding its first bicycle ride from Santa Elena-San Ignacio to Belize City via the Boom...

Ice Cream Headaches may offer clues to migranes
That “brain freeze” headache you experience when eating ice cream or other cold foods may be caused by a sudden change in brain...


Bird-watching paradise found in Crooked Tree, Belize - Day 3 & more bird pics
The only bus that runs directly from the village of Crooked Tree to Belize City, the Jex bus, comes through at 6:30 am, so we knew it was going to be an early morning by necessity. Fortunately, as I mentioned before, it's easy to get up early at the lodge, and I managed to pop out of bed just in time to catch the stunning sunrise over the lagoon. Barry just missed it! We quickly dressed and packed our backpacks for the trek back to Ambergris Caye. I was at the lodge a little before 6 am and caught Angie coming in from a walk. The coffee was fresh and hot, and we were able to grab a cup (and a banana each for the road) while saying our goodbyes to Angie and Mick and checking out. Mick offered us a lift down to the bus stop, but our backpacks weren't that heavy, and it was a beautiful morning for a walk, so we declined.

Labor day and breakfast beach walk
Wishing everyone a safe and happy Labor Day. Labor day is a public and bank holiday which takes place annually on May 1st. It is about celebrating the achievements of workers and honoring them for their hard work. What does this mean for people on Ambergris Caye today? Most shops, bars and restaurants are open. Banks, government offices, post office closed and some businesses that choose to close. Thankfully we got our mothers day cards in the mail yesterday.

Part 2: The Food, Games, Rides, Shopping, Music and Beers at the 2012 Belize Agriculture and Trade Show
The Agriculture and Trade Show of Belize isn't just trade and agriculture, it isn't just animals and plants. There is so much going on. The fair grounds are HUGE and open at 6am...the schedule is jam packed from early morning until the grounds close at 6pm. Yesterday's post: Animals, Plants, The Rodeo and San Pedranos. Let's start with the things for sale...I am not even showing you a tiny portion. There were probably well over 200 booths as well as countless vendors walking around. This enterprising gentleman was selling clothes to wipe your sweat with. $1bzd. Critical. It was HOT and extremely dusty.

International Sources

Tsunami: If we fail to prepare, then we prepare to fail
While the governments and the people of the Caribbean have considerable experience in coping with hurricanes, we have not, in living memory, had to deal with a tsunami. Such an occurrence would be especially devastating because we are "coastal societies", ie most of the population, economic activity, buildings, and infrastructure are on the waterfront or in very close proximity. Particularly exposed are cities like Guyana's capital Georgetown, and Belize City in Belize, which are below sea level protected by low-lying sea walls. Also, most of The Bahamas and much of Barbados are below 100 feet above sea level. A tsunami would obliterate the tourism industry and severely damage housing, commercial enterprises and government building. It would affect ports, roads and some airports, in particular the Norman Manley International Airport. Although partially insulated by the narrow strip of land extending to Port Royal, the city of Kingston would suffer damage to housing, especially in Portmore, the cement factory, the flour mill, the oil refinery, the asylum, the General Penitentiary, the industries on Marcus Garvey Drive, the Bank of Jamaica, and sites in historic Port Royal.

Placencia, Belize: Tiny Beach Town Grows Up
Palencia, Belize, used to be a day’s drive from Belize City on a long, rutted road that few dared to travel, and a plane ride ended in a cloud of dust on a dirt strip. Now, the outpost for the world’s second-largest barrier boasts both a paved road and airstrip along with many more luxury amenities that are attracting travelers looking for a slice of Caribbean paradise. Boutique hotels and shops now line the streets, and visitors can find most anything they want in terms of accommodation and cuisine. Even so, Palencia remains an isolated oasis and a beautiful place to live thanks to a cost of living that hasn’t risen with the accessibility.

A Visit to the Belize Zoo
There are some great pictures of the animals of the Belize Zoo, including Junior Buddy, in this article. “The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center was started in 1983, as a last ditch effort to provide a home for a collection of wild animals which had been used in making documentary films about tropical forests. Today, The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center is settled upon 29 acres of tropical savanna and exhibits over 150 animals, representing over 45 species, all native to Belize. The zoo keeps animals which were orphaned, rescued, born at the zoo, rehabilitated animals, or sent to The Belize Zoo as donations from other zoological institutions.”

A Day In The Life Of A Travel Writer
Cayo is all over this video that Joshua Berman, who researches and writes the Moon Guide for Belize, put together on the Huffington Post. He goes up the Macal River to check out the sites. Barton Creek is also on there, although not mentioned.

May 1, 2012

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

NEMO Week planned for Belize Rural South
The Hurricane Season starts June 1st through November 30th yearly. The National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO hosts NEMO week yearly, leading to the opening of the hurricane season. This year, the week is observed under the theme, Preserving Life and Property and will take place during the week of May 27 – June 1, 2012. As part of the national activities, all schools throughout the country have been invited to join and participate in a National Poster contest to be judged in Belmopan for NEMO Week. The contest is open to students in standard 4 to 6 in all primary schools countrywide. Entries must be submitted through the school’s principal or a class teacher no later than May 22nd and depicting the theme “Preserving Life and Property”. Posters will be judged on: expression of the theme; creativity and originality, visual clarity and appeal; and broad audience appeal and educational value. There will be prizes for first, second and third places.

Winnie Estelle to stop in San Pedro on her final voyage home
Many young islanders may not be familiar with the Winnie Estelle but many long-time residents can certainly share their memories of the vessel. 90 years after her launching, the vessel is making her final voyage, with a stop on Ambergris Caye, before heading back home to the Maritime Museum at Chesapeake Bay in Crisfield, Maryland, USA. The vessel, which was built in 1920, has a long history and passed from one hand to another, eventually making its way to Belize in the 70's where it was used to transport pine lumber and eventually used for tours off the island. The Winnie Estelle was one of the original Chesapeake Bay buy boat (buy boats are a type of cargo vessel used to buy catch-of-the-day/products and transport such loads to a mainland market) used to transport melons and sea products in the US. Buy boats are so uncommon now and only a couple of them exist, so much so that it is considered a historical piece that is referred to as an “endangered piece in the Americas.”

Ambergris Today

Belize and Guatemala Agree On Date for Simultaneous Referenda
At the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) on Friday, April 27, 2012, delegations from Belize and Guatemala, headed by their respective Foreign Ministers, Wilfred Elrington and Harold Caballeros, met with OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, to determine the date on which the simultaneous single issue referenda will take place in both countries in compliance with the Special Agreement between Belize and Guatemala to submit Guatemala’s Territorial, Insular and Maritime claim to the International Court of Justice. In a cordial and cooperative atmosphere and with a view to advancing with the process, the Ministers agreed that the simultaneous referenda will take place on October 6, 2013. To this end, the Ministers stated that they would now take the necessary steps to begin informing the populations in their respective countries to sensitize them as to the territorial dispute, as well as on the need to find a peaceful and permanent solution to the differendum.

Prime Minister Meets with Civil Society in Response to Crime in City
The Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow, convened a meeting with civil society on Friday, April 27, 2012, to apprise them of the government’s response to the recent increase in gang-related crime and the heightened tensions in Belize City. In the meeting, the Prime Minister, the Minister of National Security, the Director of RESTORE Belize, and CEO in the Office of the Prime Minister presented the latest update on the current police operations to ensure citizen security and the way forward for maintaining peace. The Government then requested the cooperation and support from civil society to promote peace and to address the underlying social conditions which make our Belizean communities vulnerable to crime.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (April 28 2012)
Mini X 50.00 Each (10 Balls) 12 ­38 ­25 ­22 ­30 ­8 ­47 ­37 ­35 ­54­ Lucky Two 5.00 Each (11 Balls) 12 ­38 ­25 ­22 ­30 ­8 ­47 ­37 ­35 ­54 ­61­ Lucky Three 25.00 Each (11 Balls) 12 ­38 ­25 ­22 ­30 ­8 ­47 ­37 ­35 ­54 ­61­ Straight Line 100.00 Each (11 Balls) 12 ­38 ­25 ­22 ­30 ­8 ­47 ­37 ­35 ­54 ­61­ ...

Channel 7

There were three murders countrywide this weekend - and we start with the most recent which happened yesterday evening in the city. Brian Welch Requena known as "Yanki" or :Oregon" was killed on Faber's Road - a block away from where Lerone Johnson was killed three and a half weeks ago. Like so many others we've reported on - this killing was no accident - the gunman pursued the 49 year old victim like prey. We were there as police recovered the body and searched for clues. Here's the report. Jules Vasquez reporting Faber's road was blocked off and secured last night. As police laid evidence markers in the middle of the street finding a number of bullets but the body was 100 feet away, in the bushes where Police searched scraps of evidence of bullet fragments. 49 year old Brian Welch Requena died in a bushy area beside this home on Faber's Road.

And two men were killed this weekend in the environs of the Capital City. IT appears to have all started with a fight at the National Agricultural Showgrounds. At 2:00 am on Sunday, police found 22 year old Javier Larios with a stab wound to the center of his chest at the showgrounds. He was rushed to the hospital where he died shortly after. Not far from him, they found 23 year old Moses Orellano dead under a cargo truck - and he had also been stabbed to the chest. Police believe a third man was involved in the fight and escaped. Those three murders bring the total so far for 2012 to 42 - which is one more than last year at this time. But it also makes April 2012 one of the deadliest months in memory with 21 murders reported countrywide - as many a the three previous months combined.

Over the years, Belize City's drivers have become accustomed to the rules of roundabouts - and we rarely hear of accidents on the eight that are within city limits. But while drivers have can handle them, add bicycles into the mix and it becomes a kind of controlled chaos. And on Saturday afternoon that chaos is what pulled 25 year Rafael Torres under the wheels of a tandem trailer and crushed him. Monica Bodden found out what happened:.. Monica Bodden reporting The incident happened here at the Western Highway Roundabout - just after 3 on Saturday afternoon. 25 year old Rafael Torres lay dead on the street - alongside his body was his extensively damaged beach cruiser bicycle. Torres died on the spot after his head was run over by an 18 wheeler truck - driven at the time by 49 year old Alberto Morey.

Last week Friday, there was a shooting in the Gungulung area of Belize City which left a Belize City man injured. Today, his alleged shooter was brought to court. 20 year-old Ibrahim Smith, a resident of Mopan Street, was arraigned for charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault, use of deadly means of harm, and wounding, all of which he allegedly committed against Desmond Gonzalez. Because of the nature of the charges, no plea was taken, and Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith remanded him to Prison until June 11. According to police, Gonzalez reported that at around 1 p.m. on Friday, he was walking on M&M Street when he saw a white Honda Civic vehicle drive up. Gonzalez said that he then saw Smith - who he knew for years - jump out of the vehicle with a firearm in his hand. Smith reportedly fired several shots at Gonzalez, and 2 of them caught him in the left arm. Gonzalez said that he took cover, and that's when Smith escaped.

Last week, on Wednesday and Friday, the Gang Suppression Unit conducted major operations In Corozal and Belmopan which netted a large quantity of illegal items. On Wednesday, at about 9 p.m the GSU searched the home of 33 year-old Ex- Police Constable Ryan Genus, also a resident of Sixth Avenue Corozal Town. Genus and his girlfriend, 19 year-old Keisha Ramclam, originally of Independence Village, were both present at the time when police found an undetermined about of crack cocaine in the bedroom. The officers also found 2.8 grams of cannabis in a plastic zip-lock bag in the yard. As a result, Genus and Ramclam were both jointly charged with 3 counts of possession of a controlled drug.

15 of Belize's best young basketball players have returned home after representing Belize at the King James Amateur Athletic Union Classic. Last Saturday the team travelled to Cleveland Ohio to take part in the tournament -where they represented Belize among 99 other teams. It's the first time a Belizean team has participated and in the end Team Belize came out shining in the top sixteen - not bad for their first time playing among some of the best young talent in the United States. 7news was there when the players touched down at the P.G.I.A this morning- here's how it went. Brice Neal, Assistant Coach "The team travelled there last Saturday and spent about 10 days in the Cleveland area and participated in some training programs in different colleges and universities." "This past weekend Friday and Saturday we participated in 4 different games. On Friday we won the first game, Saturday morning we lost the second game and third game we won on Saturday. But the guys were too tired to participate in the fourth game. In every round the teams gets better. The experience was just awesome, the kids have learnt a lot. They got exposed to real organized basketball for the first time and it was just a tremendous trip for the young men."

Former two term Belize City Mayor Zenaida Moya is going to open a new restaurant over the river, at the mouth of the Belize Harbour. Moya today confirmed that she is the investor behind the project, which will occupy the space formerly used by the Triple J boat service. It came to our attention because of the piles being driven - and the news that the Local Building Authority had issued a stop order on the project. But Moya today told us that the issue has been resolved and the stop order has been lifted. She says the project has received clearance from all relevant authorities. She expects it to finish within three months and says she's thinking about naming it Caribbean Breeze.

New car dealers constantly complain that due to the slow economy, Belizeans just aren't buying new vehicles anymore. And the numbers support that claim - sales are down between 50 and 60% since the mid 2000's. But, dealers can't just bury their heads in the sand and wait for the good old days to return - they have to try and push their product - and that's what we met Eddie Bulwer of BRAVO Motors doing last week. But he wasn't pushing any regular old product; he's got an ultra-luxurious SUV that he's trying to move off the lot. He called us - not because we can afford it - (we can't) - but because he wanted to offer us a joyride - which, of course, he hoped would be on TV. It's a fair enough trade - as we got to see how the other half drives. Here's the story: Jules Vasquez reporting It's not every day - or any day really - that I get to drive a vehicle that sells for a quarter million Belize dollars. But that is the new Nissan Patrol - an imperious, imposing re-design that makes no apology for its hefty price tag.

Tomorrow is Labor Day - a public and bank holiday - the one set aside for to celebrate the achievements of workers and to thank them for their many labours. But the PSU isn't joyfully reflecting - that union issued a scathing press release today which lashes out at what it calls, quote, "insidious attacks on the public Sector." The Union says that even the problem of gang violence goes back some twenty years to budget cuts in public Services particularly to Government ministries that offer social programs to the public. The release says that for the past 4 ½ years the unions have been negotiating with Government to offer workers much needed increases in allowances - those negotiations are still ongoing.

And while the PSU laments about the woes of labour, City Hall wants labour day to be a day of community service. The Belize City Council is inviting all Belize City residents to take part in its first ever clean-up campaign called "Labour for Belize City 2012." It will be start tomorrow at 6 in the morning at the San Cas Plaza. For those willing persons, registration will take place at the San Cas Plaza where you will be assigned to a specific area to clean up along with your group. One of the coordinators of the campaign told us more. Phillip Singh, Community Outreach Officer "For those who don't know yet, we are planning a labour for Belize initiative. This initiative comes straight out of the 100 days plan and we are asking residents, groups to join us in this labour for Belize."

Channel 5

Double Murder of cousins after Agricultural Show
The gang war in Belize City may have slowed down because of the additional police and Belize Defense Force presence. Nevertheless, three men were murdered this past weekend; one man was shot several times on the south side of Belize City. However, the focus of the country this past weekend, the Agricultural show-grounds, was also [...]

Family desperate for information that will lead to killers
News Five made several attempts to speak with the family of Javier Larios; however, they eventually declined comment. Moses’ mother, Yolanda Orellano, told us this afternoon that she is at a loss for words over the death of her son. She is desperately appealing to the public to come forward with any information that can [...]

Deportee gunned down on Faber’s Road
Police investigations continue into Saturday’s double homicide. And as the weekend was coming to a close on Sunday night, it appeared that Belize City would have been spared a regular weekend murder. However, another number was added to the murder statistic. A man, identified as Brian Welch, was walking on Faber’s Road when a gunman [...]

Deadly domestic dispute; villager stabbed by her ex
Belize’s reputation as one of the most violent countries in the region can’t be fully attributed to urban violence. In Cotton Tree Village, on the outskirts of Belmopan, a woman almost lost her life during a domestic violence dispute. Twenty-one year old Lillian Lemmott is tonight recovering from multiple stab wounds after being viciously attacked [...]

Local butcher killed during accident at Western Highway roundabout
In addition to the murder victims, two more persons lost their lives in vehicular accidents. On Saturday evening, a few minutes before four p.m., Aaron Coleman was driving his green Ford Ranger on the Southern Highway. When the thirty-three year old mechanic of Big Falls Village arrived at Tambran Village between miles sixty-six and sixty-seven, [...]

Is Belize ready for border dispute referendum?
The date for the territorial dispute referendum has been set for October sixth, 2013. That date was confirmed by Belize’s Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington who along with negotiators met with Guatemalan Foreign Minister Harold Caballeros at the Organization of American States office in Washington, D.C. If successful in both countries, the simultaneous referendum about Guatemala’s [...]

Family wants answers about Boco T’s death
The death of Kevin ‘Boco T’ Kelly is not only causing grief for his family, it is also stirring up ill will towards the system, which it feels is preventing them from burying their loved one. Boco T was the second person to drop dead within two months at the San Pedro Police Formation. Though [...]

Missing Fishermen; but boat had blood and holes
It has been nine days since forty-nine year old Silverio Tepaz, fifty year old Teobaldo Tepaz and twenty year old Mejadi Tepaz went missing. The boat that the three Sarteneja fishermen chartered was found submerged near Glover’s Reef. A massive search and rescue was spearheaded by the Belize Coastguard, while other fishermen and family members [...]

Ibrahim Smith charged for M&M shooting
On Friday afternoon, there was a broad daylight shooting on M&M Street located in the Gungulung area of Southside Belize City. Twenty-two year old Desmond Gonzales was injured and before the end of the weekend, twenty-year old Mopan Street resident, Ibrahim Smith was arrested and charged for that shooting. This morning, Smith; who was unrepresented, [...]

Busted by cop in house during burglary, he says he’s innocent
Also in court, a burglary case against a thirty-four year old Belize City resident ended in a five year prison sentence. Lionel McCleary, a resident of Booths Crescent was caught by a cop hiding inside the home of Lennox Steven back in October of 2011. Today he was found guilty of burglarizing and stealing several [...]

City Hall Labour Day cleanup of streets
It’s Labour Day on Tuesday and it means that it will be a day of rest for the working class; but the City Council is asking for your time to help them clean up the old capital. An initiative called ‘Labour for Belize’ seeks to get as many hands out on tomorrow to collect the [...]

Scare at Belize Consul in the U.S.A.
An online report of an incident in the United States has caught the attention of the diplomatic corps. A bomb threat in Wilmington, North Carolina earlier today forced occupants of a two-storey office building, which houses the honorary consulate for Belize, to evacuate the premises. Around eight o’clock in the morning, Belizean Honorary Consul Ed [...]

Ariel Rosado Foundation rides for scholarships
Ariel Rosado was killed in a traffic accident but his memory lives on. Rosado, who was a stellar young cyclist in Belize in the late nineteen nineties and early 2000, made a name for himself by capturing big titles in the cycling world. He was pursuing his tertiary education up to his untimely death. Earlier [...]

Celebrating World Red Cross Day
The organizers of the ride intended to make it an annual event. Another annual event celebrated in Belize is World Red Cross Day. It is celebrated on May eighth on the birthday of its founder, Henry Durant. The day is observed to celebrate the selfless work that the volunteers put in for the vulnerable people [...]

Mission Catwalk now showing on Channel 5
Mission Catwalk, it is the popular fashion designer reality series that is hit across the Caribbean. After negotiations, Channel Five has gotten the green light to air the much talked about show. Starting on Tuesday night you can watch the first episode at eight o’clock and subsequent episodes every other Tuesday night. Featured on the [...]

Sports Monday Highlights with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The battle to get into the 1st championship series as presented by the Premier League of Belize raged simultaneously at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio and inside the F.F.B. stadium at Capital City, Belmopan Saturday night. We take you inside the Norman [...]


Monday, April 30 - - -POLICE NEWS
49-year-old Brian Requena Welch, also known as “Yankee” was murdered shortly after seven on Sunday night on Faber’s Road. The blood-stained rug below marked the spot where he fell after a volley of bullets perforated his body. Residents of Faber’s Ro...

Plans are in place for the first public meeting of the newly elected Punta Gorda Town Council. Punta Gorda Mayor Anthony Fuentes and councillors of the Punta Gorda Town Council are looking forward to meeting a good cross section of concerned Punta Gorda inhabitants to their first publi...

Dalila Ical reporting… “They are known as the “Dalla Taxi” – taxi operators who make runs from the center of Orange Walk Town to other parts of town, primarily north, to and from the Northern Regional Hospital and the Trial Farm Village area. Giorndan...

May is observed as Cancer Month and to start such an interesting month full of activities, the Belize Cancer Society held a Church Service at the Central Assembly of God. Ivorine Bulwer - Representative, Belize Cancer Society “The Cancer month is be...

Officials estimate that over 20 thousand visitors stopped in at the National Agriculture and show which ended yesterday in Belmopan. Chairman of the National Agriculture and Trade Show Committee Eugene Waight told Love News the event was a success. "I definite...

The announcement was made on Friday that Belizeans will vote in a special referendum next year. At a ministerial level meeting at the Organization of American States headquarters in Washington, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington for Belize and Harold Caballeros for Gua...


Victims of alleged police brutality file report
At this weekend’s Agricultural and Trade Show, Police and security officials were on high alert to the recent heigh...

Missing child reunited with family
A six year old boy had quite a scare today as he lost his parents and ended up at the Belmopan Police Station. Plus...

Man ran over by truck dies
A man’s life came to a crashing end on Saturday Afternoon. Police responded to a report of an accident at the Weste...

Chief Agriculture Officer assess Agric 2012
The Agriculture Show was ostentatious in presentation with impressive numbers turning out on both Saturday and Sund...

Double murder at the Agriculture and Trade Show
The National Agriculture and Trade Show has come and gone, and thousands converged on the Capital City for the thre...

10 year old knocked down and killed
Another fatal road traffic accident occurred over the weekend. This time in the south. 33 year old Aaron Coleman of...

Former Mayor Zenaida Moya's new venture
Here’s an update on the activities of former Belize City mayor, Zenaida Moya. It seems that she’s building a busine...

Neighbourhood meeting scheduled to discuss proposed farmers market
The placing of the proposed New Farmers Market continues to plague the residents of the Mountain View area. The Cou...

HANDS International's Medical Mission
The Ministry of Health (Central Health Region) in collaboration with HANDS International is organizing a Medical Mi...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Rose’s Grill and Bar celebrates 12 years of service
Rose’s Grill and Bar, the recent recipient for the 37th International Award for Tourist, Hotel and Catering Industry on January 18th, 2012 in Madrid, Spain celebrated twelve years of service on April 11, 2012, as a full service restaurant operating on Caye Caulker serving fresh delicacies to tourists and locals alike. Starting off as a small take-out restaurant 12 years ago, serving breakfast and lunch, they now boast a full service menu grilling the freshest of seafood with side orders that open your taste buds as you walk by. Proprietor/Manager, Eduardo Arceo explains how hard work and determination has paid off a great deal in having his business prosper over the years, thanks to the support of the general public, they are who make Rose’s. Now with a full staff of 10 persons, he is happy and proud of what Rose’s has become. Here are some highlighted photos of the night’s event:


Bird-watching paradise found in Crooked Tree, Belize - Day 2
Because the sun rises early over the lagoon, the birds start singing, and the dogs start barking, it is easy to get up early at Crooked Tree Lodge. We rolled out of bed at exactly 5:42 am, having just missed the sunrise by a few lazy minutes. This is at least an hour or more earlier than we usually rise. We were excited to start what we expected would be an excellent full day of birding. After grabbing a cup of coffee in the lodge, we took a morning walk before breakfast and checked out the birds along the road. Of course we saw many, as birds are most active in the morning and again at dusk. It was a beautiful morning, and the sun was already getting hot -- it gets hot early in Belize. A morning cuppa joe in a lovely setting Breakfast was served at 7, and what a spread it was -- scrambled eggs, sausage, fruit, johnny cakes, toast, homemade jam, and freshly squeezed orange juice. The perfect way to start a big day. After breakfast, we took the two touring kayaks out on the lagoon to try to find some Jabiru Storks. We had seen them on the far side of the lagoon through our binoculars in the late afternoon of the day before, but they were too far off to photograph. It was a gorgeous day for paddling, and so much fun to be out on the water again. We used to own touring kayaks but sold them on Craigslist before we sold our house in 2010, and hadn't paddled for a long time. The water was very shallow in the lagoon. By the end of May, it might be dried up totally until the rains come again. We were glad we made it here while we could still enjoy a paddle.

BETEX is Belize’s Rising Tourism Star
According to BTIA President Jim Scott, this year was the biggest in the event’s history, with over 350 attendees at Belize’s Princess Hotel. Mr. Scott said that due to the country’s small size and other unique attributes, promoting Belize in-country was more effective than attending larger trade shows overseas. 'Where better can you promote your culture and your destination than at home? They get to learn about Belize, about our culture, about our natural resources, things to do while they are here… the hotels, tour operators, sites, restaurants, smells and so many good things. Things that you have pride in as a Belizean.'

Happy Birthday Dane!
From one of the original crew members birthdays to our newest addition to the team, Dane’s birthday!! Dane joined the Raggamuffin crew back in January and he has settled into the family like he has been here for years! We were truly blessed when Dane scouted us out as he is extremely experienced (one of the few Tour Guides on Caye Caulker that has his Senior Tour Guide License) and he has the kind of personality that is difficult not to like!! As with all our Tour Guides, everybody has to learn to each others job and for Dane his priority at the moment is to master to sail a boat so that we can officially call him Captain Dane!! Watch this space, perhaps this time next year Dane will be a fully fledged Captain!! Happy Birthday Dane from all your family here at Raggamuffin – we wish you many more!!

International Sources

NASA MODIS Image of the Day: April 30, 2012 - Fires and smoke in Central America
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of fires and smoke occurring in various areas of Central America on April 26, 2012 at 1915 UTC (3:15 p.m. EDT). The fires are marked by red dots and smoke from the fires appears a light brown in color. Some of the fires are located north of Salina Cruz and Juchitan de Zaragoza along the southern Mexico coastline and smoke from them is blowing south into the Pacific Ocean in this satellite image. To the east, some fires are seen in northwestern Guatemala, burning in the Biotopo Protegido Laguna del Tigre Rio Escondido and the Parque Nacional Laguna Del Tigre. In Belize, fires also appear to be burning in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, located of the Maya Mountains in the Cayo District of south-central Belize.

No device found inside suspicious package
A building housing the Honorary Consulate of Belize was evacuated early Monday morning after a suspicious package was found. The incident took place at 1135 Military Cutoff Road around 8 a.m. Monday after a package with suspicious writing was found on it. The building is mostly made up of medical offices, including an urgent care, dentist and radiologist. The first floor has been cleared. The second floor, which houses the consulate, was checked. Officials with the Wilmington Police Department's bomb squad searched the building. They took the suspicious package into custody and were able to assess what was inside the package. "It was determined at that time that it was all writing - a series of papers with suspicious writing on them, but no device was found inside the package," explained Detective Kevin Smith. Now, officials are trying to determine how the package got in the building and who may have been behind its delivery.

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Toucan Nest, San Pedro, Belize
Periodically we'll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay. Welcome to Belize's Toucan Nest Guesthouse - a tropical getaway on Ambergris Caye - what a great find! Each morning, Toucan Nest offers a fantastic breakfast, as well as full service trip and tour planning. There are so many things to do here, including: Toucan Nest offers wifi internet access, a/c, ceiling fans in each room, daily beer delivery, and purified drinking water. Our Ambergris Caye bed and breakfast is just a seven minute walk from San Pedro, and just a stone's throw from the ocean.

Package at honorary Belize consulate investigated
An unusual package accompanied by a rambling letter prompted the temporary evacuation Monday of a Wilmington building that contains an honorary consulate for Belize. Belizean Honorary Consul Ed Paul Jr. said Monday the discovery has prompted an investigation by both federal and local authorities. When Paul went to work Monday morning, he called for police after finding a bulky package. Citing the ongoing investigation, Paul would not say more about the package's contents, where exactly it was found or whether it was mailed or dropped off.

Protect Dolphins from Oil in Belize
Right now, oil companies are preparing to drill in the middle of the Belize Barrier Reef – home to thousands of dolphins, green sea turtles and whale sharks. Thousands of people in Belize have already signed on to put a national referendum outlawing offshore drilling on the ballot, but to stop this drilling once and for all we also need your help. The deadline for the referendum is fast approaching and we want every registered Belizean to have the opportunity to sign this historic petition against offshore oil drilling. If you help us show Belize that the world is watching this debate -- and stands with those in Belize who oppose dangerous drilling -- it could have a big impact. The Belize Barrier Reef System is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to innumerable species and an irreplaceable natural resource. Your support today will help preserve this natural wonder for Belize, and for visitors from around the world. Tell the government of Belize that you want to see dolphins, not oil drills, in the Belize Barrier Reef.

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