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7/11/2012 to 7/20/2012
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Today's Belize News

July 20, 2012

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The San Pedro Sun

SPTGA and CZMAI team up to promote Fly Fishing and Scuba Diving among youth of San Pedro
The San Pedro Tourist Guide Association (SPTGA) along with the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI), Professional Association of Diving Instructors PADI and Hol Chan has teamed up this year to simultaneously provide two unique Summer Camps to children of San Pedro. The two camps being offered are PADI Summer Dive Camp and the Sport Fishing Camp. Both camps targeted students between the ages of 10 – 16 years old. The Summer Dive Camp targets all primary schools in San Pedro with the aim to get a few students from each school to participate and become certified as PADI Open Water divers. According to President of the SPTGA, Phillip “Billy” Leslie, this year, the program has some 34 students participating, “The SPTGA has always embarked on programs that give back to the community. Two of the programs that we are currently going through at this moment is a summer program with kids. The largest of the two is the scuba diving program. We have gone to all of the elementary schools and offered them this program as an incentive for their kids. We don’t end up choosing the kids; the schools choose the kids as an incentive. We provide the training.”

Oceana’s CEO meets with Belize’s Leader of the Opposition
Oceana’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Andy Sharpless was in Belize for a brief courtesy meeting to meet with key officials of the new government and members of the private sector community. Sharpless requested a meeting with the re-elected Prime Minister and also the newly installed Leader of the Opposition. The Office of the Prime Minister was unable to accommodate Mr. Sharpless’ meeting request. On his first official visit to Belize however, Oceana’s CEO had met with Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow. He had never met Hon. Francis Fonseca, with whom he now had a brief and cordial courtesy visit. Mr. Sharpless provided Mr. Fonseca with an overview of Oceana’s purpose and work both internationally and in Belize and shared with Mr. Fonseca the importance for nations to adopt new marine resource management policies in order for each nation to continue harvesting the long term economic and food security benefits for its people and development. Mr. Sharpless took the opportunity to thank Belize, and all parties involved, for leading the world by becoming the first country, globally, to completely ban all forms of trawling; a fishing practice which indiscriminately destroys marine life and home. He explained how Belize is now being used as a model internationally and praised the Government for having taken such a bold move.

Ambergris Today

Video Pick: Kevin Lyttle Sends Costa Maya Fest Message, Plus Divash!
Caribbean Soca Artist Kevin Lyttle will highlight Friday, August 3, 2012, at the San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival, Belize. Here is his personal invitation to everybody to come down to Belize and enjoy the Costa Maya Festival 2012. Kevin Lyttle is a soca artist hailing from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, who had a worldwide monster hit with the addictive soca ballad "Turn Me On", which was recorded by Lyttle and the dancehall artist Spragga Benz. Ladies of Divash Also to Perform on Friday Night Remember Miss Guatemala Gabriela Asturias, also Miss Costa Maya 2010? She is a model, television personality, spokesperson and public figure in Guatemala. But she is also a member of the sexy dance squad Divash, along with three other beautiful ladies. Gabriela and her Divash dance squad have been confirmed to perform on Friday Night, August 3; promising to add some hot and spicy flavor to the Costa Maya Festival.

Work Starts on Humanely Eradicating Stray Dogs in San Pedro
Earlier this month the eradication of stray dogs via strychnine poisoning, conducted by the San Pedro Town Council, caused an uproar as some residents did not agree with the inhumane process of controlling the dog population in the country. While some residents support the idea and had been asking for the eradicating problematic stray dogs, the humane society and dog lovers adamantly objected to the method used by the SPTC. Mayor Daniel Guerrero had stated the main reason for his decision to carry out the eradication was because of the complaints by tourists and island residents and the increasing health issues which were brought to his attention by local doctors. It wasn’t something he wanted to do but had to do it for the best of the community. He also mentioned that the council would continue eradications to lower the population of problematic dogs. Both the SAGA Humane Society and the San Pedro Animal Hospital (SPAH) met with the San Pedro Town Council to address the current situation and discuss the best possible and humane way to deal with stray dogs. It was established that the eradications will be conducted by SAGA and SPAH personnel, who will go out, identify areas where problematic dogs are, round them up and hold them up for three days for pet owners to claim.

Summer Program on Hurricane Preparedness
The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) just recently concluded its three-day summer program for youths of San Pedro and Caye Caulker and held a closing ceremony on Wednesday, July 18, 2012, at Fido’s Courtyard. The purpose of NEMO’s summer program was to recruit and train participants in the event of an emergency or disaster. The participating youth were given knowledge on disaster preparedness, to build capacity and empower the community with the skills and tools needed to respond to a disaster. They were awarded with certificates of completion and presented a short skit to show off the knowledge they had obtained during the program.

Misc Belizean Sources

Weaving and Basketry Course pictures
The Benque House of Culture has pictures from their Weaving and Basketry course. It's never too late to learn something new. "As part of our Summer Program, women are learnig new skills so that for tomorrow's future they can manage their own entrepreneurship."

Cinnamon Buns/Sticky Buns
Gooey,sweet and soft cinnamon buns are always a great comfort food. In this recipe, I use coconut milk which make these buns even more rich and soft. I used 2 different types of topping.

A peaceful demonstration while Bert Vasquez was being taken to Magistrate's court for a "full disclosure" hearing turned violent when the father of Jasmine Lowe physically assaulted the accused man with an umbrella.

Channel 7

Bert Vasquez Lashed Across the Head By Jasmine's Dad
Accused girl killer and sexual predator Bert Vasquez was lashed across the head with an umbrella by Jasmine Lowe's father as he went to court this morning. It happened in San Ignacio Town as Vasquez was being arraigned for the assault charged against a dozen under aged girls. It should have been just a routine adjournment hearing - but a modest crowd came out to the town center to see that town's Public Enemy Number One. Things took a turn for the crazy when Vasquez was taken out of the police van and was marched, handcuffed, into the police station - right through the throng of onlookers. It was a spontaneous, surreal moment - on another crazy day in Cayo - Monica Bodden has the story. Monica Bodden reporting Crowds of Cayo residents gathered once more in front of the San Ignacio police station as they anxiously waited to see the accused child predator - Bert Vasquez. The crowd was much smaller than the previous time but was just as riled up. And then the man of the hour made his grand appearance - in front of an angry mob of spectators - And while being escorted by police officer on his way to the courtroom - He was struck in the head with an umbrella. The unexpected hit almost made Vasquez stumble to the ground - as the crowd chanted words of anger. The man who hit him - was Chris Lowe - the father of 13 year old Jasmine Lowe who was found murdered on June 6th. And so both the accused killer and the grieving father were in police custody today.

Stabbing Death In City
But first, there was a murder in the city this afternoon, which left a teenager dead. 18 year-old Raheem Smith was stabbed to death just before 2:00 this afternoon. The Allenby Street resident got into a fight with a man at this residence, which is located at the far end of George Street and its intersection with Racecourse Street. The accused stabbed Smith under the right armpit with a large knife, and he was rushed to the KHMH, but died 15 minutes later. This evening, the family of the deceased told the media that they don't know why anyone would want to hurt him. According to them, he is a hardworking young man who had no affiliation to any gangs. His aunt spoke to us off-camera about what information they had: Voice of: Aunt of victim "He was an 18 year old young man. He was working at Princess. He is not a person that has a record; he is not a person that gets in trouble. I haven't heard my nephew getting in a fight, much less out there shooting anybody. I don't really what happen today but I got a call from my sister after 3 telling me to come to the hospital because Raheem is in there and he is in a serious condition. I went to the hospital, but at that time he had already die."

BDF Kill Guatemalan Logger
A BDF patrol has killed a man believed to be a Guatemalan - after he was found logging two miles within Belizean territory. It happened yesterday evening as A BDF patrol was making its way through the Columbia forest Reservr to the Machaquilha Observation Post in extreme southwestern Belize. According to an official release, the patrol came upon three men engaged in illegal logging 3.2 kilometers, or about two miles east of the border, which is to say within Belizean territory. The official report only says that quote "there was a confrontation which resulted in one fatality and the arrest of two persons believed to be Guatemalan nationals." It does not disclose whether it was an armed confrontation or whether the fatality is a Guatemalan male. We understand that this has not been formed yet - but he most likely is since the two men with him were arrested and they are Guatemalan. Police were flown into the area to do an investigation and the body is being retrieved while the two arrested persons remain detained. In its statement, The Government of Belize expresses its regret at the loss of life and extends its sympathies to the affected family. This is likely to unfold into another major international incident - similar to the one that occurred six months ago when the BDF killed a Guatemalan in extreme western Belize.

Controlled Price Of Butane Down, Down, Down
World oil prices have been going down - but the controlled price of Liquid Petroleum Gas - which we commonly call butane, has remained constant. That is until tomorrow - when it takes a huge dive. The controlled price is going down by thirty dollars per hundred pound cylinder across the board! So, in Belize City where the price of a hundred pound cylinder is $126.00 dollars - that will now be $96.00 for basic butane. For the high grade butane imported from Mexico - which currently sells for $133.00 dollars in the city - that price is going down to $103.00. The agreement was reached today in a meeting between the Ministry of trade and the Butane importers. The Ministry demonstrated to them that acquisition prices have been trending down for some months - which allowed them to recover from the period when it was high. We understand a few hard words were exchanged but the meeting produced accord and the new slashed price goes into effect tomorrow.

Black Jaguar Left to Starve At Hard Time Resort
A rare black jaguar called Bosh is at the Belize Zoo being rehabilitated after he was left to starve by a the management of a resort in the Toledo district. The cat was found at Belize Loge and Excursions, in the Boden Creek Ecological Preserve adjacent to Indian Creek village in Toledo. The property was formerly a high end, five star, ecotourism resort featuring captive animals to display to their guests. But the resort seems to have fallen on hard times and management stopped paying their staff and stopped feeding the animals. Marchilio Ack, the haad ranger from the Ya'xche conservation trust became aware of their plight on Saturday and told us what he found when he went to the resort:.. Marchilio Ack, Head Ranger - Ya'axche Conservation Trust "When I reach out there I saw the jaguar barely moving, he was starving to death because you could see that he is very slim. There were two of them, we saw the other jaguar motionless - not moving, we tried to give him stuff to see if he could move but he was already dead. There was no water in the cage and they has not been feeding the jaguar. That the reason why one of the jaguar died." "On Saturday I start feeding the jaguar that was alive with chicken; we can see that he gain some energy and started to move around. The condition that we found him in he was barely moving."

Another City Stabbing is Attempted Murder
Earlier in the newscast, we told you about a stabbing which led the death of 18 year-old Raheem Smith, Well, there was another stabbing which occurred last week, but in that case, the victim survived. 43 year-old Joseph Castilo, a butcher of Gibnut Street, is at prison tonight after he allegedly stabbed 29 year-old Jose Argueta. According to police, on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at about 5:00 p.m., they visited the KHMH where they saw Argueta, a resident of Iguana Street, suffering from a stab wound to the left arm pit. According to Argueta, at 4:00 p.m., he was at Good Fortune Bar & Pool, located on New Town Barracks, and he was socializing with a friend. He said that he got into an argument with Castillo, who got angry, pulled out a knife, and stabbed him. As a result, police arrested and charged Castillo with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, and dangerous harm. He was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who remanded him to prison until his next court date, which is set for August 20.

Five Year AIDS Plan Launched
The National Strategic Plan and the National Operational Plan on HIV and AIDS was launched today at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City. The purpose of the plan is to coordinate the national response to HIV for the next 5 years. It's a huge effort and requires the collaboration of over 23 different agencies. Director of the National Aids Commission Martin Cuellar outlined the priority areas for us:.. Martin Cuellar, Director of the National Aids Commission "And so equally important is for us to continue to reduce the number of new infections but for us to improve the quality and the length of life of people living with HIV and then also for us to continue to improve the environment in which we are doing the work we do so that it can happen a little bit more smoothly and a little bit more efficiently and quickly." "We utilize the input and the collaboration of over 23 different agencies, government departments, civil society organizations and community base organizations and so the implementation of the plan will be done at that level. We like to use the phrase "think nationally, act locally" and so all our member agencies will be the actual implementers of the plan."

Six Computers for the KHMH
Today at KHMH, the representatives of Fultec Systems donated 6 computers to the hospital, a gift worth $9,000 dollars. Now, the new units won't be used to order 800 US Dollar tuxedo's over the internet; no it'll be used to benefit patients who want to stay in touch. Fultec's PR Officer explained:.. Grace Brown, PR Officer - Fultec Systems "We decided that we wanted to donate something to the KHMH because we believe in what they are selling basically and we wanted to donate 6 computers to them, so we are donating 2 to the lobby where family of patients can inform other family members of the status of the patient and so on and it will be free of cost to those family members and the other 4 will go to the training center for the doctors and nurses." Daniel Ortiz "What's the value of the donation?" Grace Brown, PR Officer - Fultec Systems "It's approximately $9,000.00 but of course you know it's immeasurable in terms of what it will be giving back to the family of the patients."

From a Gala Event To Charity
And keeping up with the donations, earlier this month, 7News featured the launch of the Flavors of Belize Cookbook, a world class publication featuring Belizean culinary specialties. For the launch gala, James Brodie and Company sponsored 6 brand-new stoves. It was only a single-use event, but Brodies couldn't quite put them back on display so Flavors of Belize collaborated with the Hand Wash Hand organization, to donate the stoves to 6 charity organizations. Publisher Tanya McNab explained:.. Tanya McNab, Publisher "What is happening today is that we are having the handing over, we partnered with Hand Wash Hand as well and they are giving 6 organizations and families the stoves as a donation."

Darts Players From All Over Gather In Belize
You may think Darts is a past-time drunk guys play in bars, but, you would be wrong: Darts is a real sport, and if you don't believe, just witness 2 major international Dart events, The 19th Caribbean Cup and the Sixth America's Cup which are being held in Belize starting on Saturday. A large number of players from all over the world started arriving in Belize today and today, we were at the PGIA to see delegations from Barbados and from Bahamas arrive. They said they are happy to be here:.. Jose Mora, President Belize Darts Federation "We are holding the 19th Caribbean Cup and the 6th Americas Cup to play at the Biltmore Plaza. It starts on Saturday at 1 o' clock opening ceremonies and then we go on with the Americas Cup for 3 days and on the 24th we start the 19th Caribbean Cup."

Channel 5

Bert Vasquez gets an umbrella to the head on his way to court
The air was emotionally charged outside the San Ignacio Magistrate court this morning. Bert Vasquez, who is charged with the June murder of Jasmine Lowe as well as thirteen charges of aggravated assault of eleven young girls, was transferred from the Belize Central prison under heavy police escort. As he made his way, Vasquez was [...]

A Guatemalan illegal logger is killed in the south; 2 others arrested
There is breaking news tonight that a Guatemalan logger has been killed by the B.D.F. in the Colombia Reserve in the Toledo District. According to a release late this evening from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the incident happened on Wednesday evening between the Edward Central and Union Camps when a B.D.F. patrol was heading [...]

Belize City teen stabbed to death allegedly for his own bike
In the city, the short reprieve was broken when a youth was stabbed and killed this afternoon. According to residents on George Street, around two-thirty, eighteen year old Raheem Smith was socializing with some friends in a yard where an exchange of ‘hard talk’ between Smith and another young man broke out. The victim, an [...]

US national still in custody for murder of Bella Vista woman
And in respect of a previous murder, on Tuesday of this week we reported that police had detained a U.S National in connection with the murder of twenty-five year old waitress, Susana Roselia Romero of Bella Vista Village. He has not been charged, but today, Romero’s family told News Five that they were informed by [...]

Butane prices drop by a whopping $30 per 100lb cylinder
There is some good news to report tonight that will bring major relief to the pockets of Belizeans. Effective this Friday, the retail price of butane will be reduced by a whopping thirty dollars per hundred pound cylinder. Yes you heard right… a reduction of thirty dollars. The hundred pound cylinder of butane will now [...]

Support continues to flow for decriminalization of marijuana possession
The decriminalization of the possession of up to ten grams of marijuana is being hotly debated and it appears that the government initiative is getting support from many quarters. Current legislation considers marijuana possession of less than sixty grams a criminal offense punishable by a fine up to fifty thousand dollars and as many as [...]

UB subsidy cut to take effect in January 2013
Last week, during the budget debate, the Minister of education, Patrick Faber, said that government will be cutting the subsidies to the University of Belize for general semester fees. It sparked a firestorm among UB students, who feared that it would result in a fee increase. This afternoon, the university confirmed that the cutback won’t [...]

Belize City butcher goes to jail for allegedly stabbing another man
A local butcher has been charged for allegedly stabbing another man during an altercation at Good Fortune Bar on Newtown Barracks. This morning, forty-three year old Joseph Castillo appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith and was charged with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm. He is accused of attacking [...]

National HIV Strategic and Operational plans launched
The world’s largest AIDS conference opens in Washington in the next few days. Around the world, more than thirty-four million persons are affected with the AIDS virus. But the good news is that new infections and deaths went down slightly last year. In Belize, the numbers have been going down in the past three years [...]

National AIDS Commission says HIV belongs on the budget
Copies of the HIV strategic and operational plans were also handed over to the government this morning. And while several ministries, particular the Ministry of Health, have been supportive of initiatives by the National AIDS Commission, Martin Cuellar says they need the Ministry of Finance to come onboard. That’s because external funding is on the [...]

Flavors of Belize donates 6 stoves to charity
The Flavors of Belize cookbook was launched early this month at a grand cocktail at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza. The event featured several cooking stations where buyers sampled some of the recipes included in the book. For that night, the chefs were working with gas range stoves donated by Brodies and today, Flavors [...]

SIF prepares for infrastructural works in Municipal Development
An initiative known as the Belize Municipal Development Project is being financed through a thirty million dollar loan by the World Bank. The Social Investment Fund is responsible for implementing different infrastructure projects in the towns of Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Belmopan, Dangriga, Punta Gorda, Orange Walk and Corozal. During implementation, it is expected that [...]

Fultec celebrates 20 years with a donation to the K.H.M.H.
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital was today gifted with six brand new Acer desktop computers from Fultec Systems. The company, in celebrating its twentieth anniversary, made the donation to the hospital for medics and relatives of patients to use. News Five was on hand for the handing over.   Grace Brown, P.R., Fulltec Systems “We [...]

Healthy Living looks back at Rowan Garel’s “Walk Across Belize.”
The daily newscast is often dominated by crime, but the story of a young and heroic blind teenager has captured our attention and captivated the hearts of thousands across the nation. Rowan Garel is an inspiration, who we have been following for some time. When he climbed atop Victoria Peak last year, we were there [...]


Teachers take a one day workshop on Traditional Creole games at the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk Town. Dalila Ical reports. DALILA ICAL, Reporter “When children in this generation think of games, most of the time, if not all, they think of vi...

A meeting took place yesterday between government officials and Oceana’s Chief Executive Officer, Andy Sharpless. Sharpless also met with members of the private sector, and requested a meeting with Prime Minister, Dean Barrow. However, a release from Oceana states tha...

Since 2010, the Belize Municipal Development Project has been in the pipeline. It’s really a multi-million-dollar project that will give seven municipal communities facelifts through a loan from the World Bank. Today, the Social Investment Fund, which is overseeing th...

Human Services staff normally deal with sensitive cases involving children who are in situations that can be detrimental to their wellbeing. When the officers who deal with them do not know what tips to look for or what questions to ask, then it does not help. So today and ...

The National Aids Commission today publicly launched the National Strategic and Operational Plans at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel on the Northern Highway. According to the Executive Director of the National AIDS Commission Secretariat, Martin Cuellar, the purpose of the strategic pla...

Four more charges are to be brought against Bert Vasquez in San-Ignacio today. Patrick Jones is in front of the Magistrate Court in San-Ignacio. PATRICK JONES, Reporter “Bert Vasquez versus the people continues in San Ignacio Town. A short while ago V...


Bert Vasquez wounded on way to court, father of deceased victim charged
There was a show of force downstairs of the Magistrate’s Court, as residents gathered en mass, in San Ignacio today...

SIF aims at enhancing communication channels with public
Social Investment Fund holds a strategy workshop. A one-day communication strategy workshop for media representativ...

National AIDS commission launches its National Strategic Plan
The National AIDS commission held an official ceremony to launch its National Strategic and operational Plans. Toda...

Fatal shooting in the Toledo District
Reports have come in of a shooting that occurred yesterday evening at around 6pm in the Colombia Reserve, Toledo Di...

Police investigate burglary and apparent arson
On Wednesday July 18, Regino Hernandez, a Special Constable of Big Falls Village reported that at about 7:00pm on J...

Two arrested for attempted murder
Regarding a report made by Jose Samuel Argueta on July 8; on July 18 Police arrested and charged Joseph Alexander C...

The Guardian

Belize City: Infrastructure and Employment
Over the past couple of weeks, it has been quite the task to get around Belize City with the number of streets that have been closed and traffic being re-directed to others. But the streets are not just being closed down to cause an inconvenience. As a matter of fact, the streets are being closed down in order to accommodate the volume of work that the Belize City Council is doing to fix them. No one would have thought it possible that so much work could have been done in such a short space of time, but under Mayor Darrell Bradley and the new Belize City Council, impossible is just a word. And as the work is being demanded ,CISCO Construction and M&M Engineering have been able to meet the challenge. So far there are six streets that have been completed and these include the following: Cemetery Road, Glenn Street, Ferrell Lane, South Street, Belize Bank Street, Daly Street and Calle al Mar. Nearing completion is Thomas Vincent Ramos Street in the Belama Phase 3 area. On Monday, July 16th, work commenced on two of the main streets in downtown Belize City. These are namely: Queen Street and Treasury Lane, which is immediately in front of the Supreme Court Building.

First Open Heart Surgery in Belize
Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s Director of Medical Services, Dr. Adrian Coye, made history on Monday, July 16, when he performed the first open heart surgery in Belize. Coye operated for four hours on a 73-year-old man who suffered from coronary artery disease. The surgery performed was a cervical revascularization. It is a milestone for Belize’s health system and a dream come true for a very talented cardiothoracic surgeon. Dr. Coye said, “This has always been what I wanted to do. My life’s ambition has been to come home and do these type of surgeries for my Belizean people.” Dr. Coye always knew that heart surgeries would one day be performed in Belize. He had hoped that it could be done within the first five years of his return home. He did not factor in the generous support of friends of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Many of the expensive machines and equipment needed for such surgeries were donated by international institutions. Dr. Francis Robicsek is the Chair Emeritus of the Department of Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgeries at the Carolinas Healthcare System and a pioneer in the practice. Through their international program, Dr. Robicsek was able to organize a team to travel to Belize to assist Dr. Coye, who was prepared to conduct Belize’s first heart surgery after being back in the country for little over 18 months. That team consisted of six specialists including Dr. Robert Stiegel, who is a highly regarded Cardio Thoracic Surgeon. Belize also organized a team to match at least one local medical practitioner with a peer from abroad. The fused team worked together throughout the preparation and execution of the successful surgery that was conducted by Dr. Coye.

Jamaican Cargo Ship Runs Aground Near English Caye
Shortly after 9 a.m. on Monday, July 16, the Belize Port Authority received a distress call that a Jamaican registered cargo ship, MV Paranga, had run aground 2 miles southeast of English Caye. A joint operation was launched immediately which saw officials from the Belize Port Authority, Belize Coast Guard and the Department of the Environment responding to the scene.

Kudos to the Speaker
Last week Wednesday and Thursday's Budget debate proved that there must be a very good Speaker of the House of Representatives to be able to handle the obstinate representatives of the People's United Party. And the new speaker proved that ...

Women In Politics: “Because man and woman are the complement of one another, we need woman’s thought in national affairs to make a safe and stable government.”
Non-interventionism of women in politics is a theme of vital importance in the modern world. Men rule because women let them. Let’s realise that women are not essentially passive or peaceful; we’re all not naturally anything, but human. Though men and women have been equal partners in the development of civilizations, women were denied an equal status. Social and political institutions, as well as the legal systems, discriminated against them. Women’s roles in most societies were defined as household demands and largely limited to the private domain. Despite sacrifices made by them and their contributions in building up the family as the nucleus of society and civilized life, they were relegated to an inferior position. Unequal opportunities in education and training, limited rights in owning wealth and assets, and denial of the right to exercise political power condemned them to a subordinate status in most societies.

Prime Minister Departs the Country
The Office of the Prime Minister wishes to inform the public that the Hon. Dean Barrow will depart the country today, 17th July, 2012, to accompany his wife, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow for the continuance of her medical treatment.

Belize Ranks Second in Influenza Response
Last month, at the Influenza Surveillance Regional Meeting in Panama City, Panama, it was reported that Belize ranked second behind only Panama in its ability to monitor and respond to Influenza cases across the country. The regional meeting was held in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The objectives of the meeting were to share the results and experience with influenza surveillance of each participating country, to define and analyze laboratory influenza diagnostic procedures, to identify the needs of the country to continue strengthening and development of influenza surveillance, and to prepare a plan of action including activities and funding source for Influenza strengthening. Englebert Emmanuel, National Surveillance Officer of the Ministry of Health, was pleased to report that Belize ranked second in surveillance scores among all participating regional countries. He mentioned that although the assessment showed progress, we still need to build on capacity strengthening in our lab testing and analysis. A draft Influenza Surveillance Action Plan for Belize was developed at the meeting and partners from the CDC and COMISCA will be doing follow-up visits to Belize to review and finalize the draft plan for implementation. The Ministry of Health is very proud of this accomplishment by our team of dedicated health care providers and is committed to work along with our regional and international partners to strengthen Influenza Surveillance.

Decriminalization of Marijuana
A committee has been appointed by the Minister of National Security to evaluate and, if appropriate, make proposals for the decriminalization of the possession of small portions of Cannabis Sativa (commonly known as Marijuana and Weed). For the purpose of this exercise, the word decriminalization means that the treatment of the infraction will be adjusted so that most of the detriments are removed or reduced. The offence will then be subject to regulation which will allow for the implementation of probationary measures. It is also proposed that no criminal record be kept in the first instance and portions of the penalty be reserved for drug education. The current legislation treats the possession of under 60 grams of marijuana as a criminal offence and is punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 and/or up to three years imprisonment. This proposal is to decriminalize the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana which will then be subject to fines, mandatory drug education and no imprisonment. This initiative is driven by increasing evidence that the current legislation clutters the courts and the prison with primarily a marginalized segment of our population. The added impact of a permanent criminal record further disadvantages this already marginalized group as it establishes a barrier against meaningful employment. The committee wishes to emphasize that the proposal is not to legalize the offence thereby purging it of all its penalties; it is merely to reduce and regulate. This is further supported by international trends towards decriminalization.

Two Jamaicans to be deported
On Monday, July 16th, 27-year-old Romando Michael Richards, and 31-year-old Rayon Anthony Spence, both students and electricians from Kingston, Jamaica, appeared in Magistrate's Court to answer to charges of disembarking a vessel without the authority of an Immigration Officer. They appeared before Magistrate Hurl Hamilton in Court #6 where they were deemed to be illegal immigrants and where they pleaded guilty to the charge. They were both fined $1,000 each plus $5.00 cost of court of which they were order to pay forthwith or in default, six months in prison. A removal order was also issued for them to be deported back to Jamaica. The two Jamaican nationals left their home town, Kingston, on June 3rd of this year en route to the United States but somehow did not make it there and instead sought refuge in Belize. Police got a tip that they were living on Electric Avenue since June 7th, when they claim they arrived in Belize and they were detained and handed over to Immigration personnel.

Three Men to stand Trial for Attempting to kill Policeman
On Tuesday, July 18th, three Belize City men appeared in Magistrate's Court where their case was committed to the Supreme Court. The men, Justo Lopez, 33, Karim Morris and Linsford Acosta appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart where they were committed to stand trial for the March 26th, 2011 attempted murder of PC Nigel White. During the Preliminary Inquiry, 18 statements were tendered into evidence along with a medico legal form as well as a firearm, which is alleged to have been stolen when White was shot. The gun was allegedly found in possession of a Belize City man who was later charged for keping firearm and ammunition without a license.

Tuff “E”Nuff squares off against Alamilla’s/MOE
The finals of the 2012 Inter-office Basketball League Belize City Competition will commence on Friday, July 20th, at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City with game one of the best of five series between Tuff “E” Nuff and Alamilla’s/MOE.

Belize City Softball Competition fast winding down
The 78th Belize City female softball regular season is fast winding down at Roger’s Stadium, the home of softball in Belize. The regular season continued on Tuesday July 17, 2012, between the league leading Belize Telemedia and Orchid Blazers. Telemedia defeated Orchid Blazers by the score of 14-5 in five innings. Telemedia scored 1 run in the top of the 1st inning and then added 3 in the 2nd inning and 7 in the 3rd inning, 1 in the 4th and 2 more runs in the top of the 5th inning. Telemedia pounded the pitching of Orchid Blazers starter and loser, Ortencia Richards for 12 hits including first baseman Barbara Cadle’s two-run triple in the top of the 3rd inning and a run-producing triple in the top of the 5th inning.

Grassroots Selection from Belmopan in Guatemala
On Saturday, the Belmopan Football Association Grassroots Selection departed for Retalhuleu City, Guatemala to participate in the Codicader Primary Schools tournament sponsored by the Guatemalan Government. Kenneth Budna, Liliana Abril and Santiago Valencia, BFA’s technical staff are heading the delegation, which arrived in Retalhuleu City on Sunday. Belize played their first game against El Salvador on July 16th where they won by a score of three goals to two. Belizean Rogi Solorzano scored a hat-trick to win the first game for Belize. Belize played on July 17 at 10am against Honduras, who are the favorites, and Guatemala on Wednesday, July 18th. Belize’s Belmopan selection consists of the following players: (See list below) The Football Federation of Belize congratulates the Belmopan Selection and wishes them all the best in their upcoming games. The selection leaves Guatemala on Friday, July 20th, 2012 and arrives in Belize on Saturday.

Belizeans to the 30th Olympiad in London
The Belizean contingent to the 30th Olympiad in London, England, is scheduled to leave the country on Saturday, July 21, 2012. The Belizean contingent is comprised of Kaina Martinez from Athletics (100m); Kenneth Medwood from Athletics (400m); Eddermys Sanchez from Judo (-66kg); Josephine Flowers Athletics (Official/Delegate), Colin Thurton Athletics (Coach), Wellington Chee Judo (Coach/official). The Chef-de-Mission to the 30th Olympiad in London is Owen “Sonny” Meighan. Meighan departs on July 19, 2012, to the London Games.

Orchid Blazers stop Telemedia in its track
Orchid Blazers, one of the two development teams in the Belize City Senior Female Softball Competition, pulled off the biggest upset in this year’s competition when it halted the defending champions Belize Telemedia the score of 6-5 on Wednesday July 11, 2012. Telemedia batting in the bottom of the 1st inning scored 2 runs when it sent 8 batters to the plate. It then added 1 run in the bottom of the 3rd inning when 6 batters when to the plate. Telemedia then scored its final 2 runs of the game in the bottom of the 6th inning. Telemedia collected a total of 11 hits off the combined pitching of Ashley Lucas, Ortencia Richards and Nicole Arnold. Meanwhile, Orchid Blazers proved that it will be a force to reckon with in the next competition when it scored 6 runs off BTL’s starter and loser, Mary Flowers.

Creating Opportunities
The recently released photos of Kendale Flowers and Alexander Mazariegos posing with assault weapons supported the official reports concerning a fatal fire fight on Northern Ambergris Caye. There is little doubt that they were engaged in dangerous and criminal activities, probably orchestrated by much older men. However, the photos also underlined the waste of losing such young men to the lure of criminal gangs. Although legally childhood ends at eighteen, these young men still look more like children posing with their new Christmas toys than the hardened criminals that they emulated. It is easy to understand the lure of such excitement to young men with few other avenues to gain status in society. In simpler, societies young men gained status through their prowess as a warrior but in more complex societies, the route to status is through the opportunities that education opens up but poverty

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Women’s self defense Training!!
Learn self defense in San Pedro! Saturday June 21

The Reporter

The marijuana trade is big business in Belize! The empirical evidence seems to suggest that more than 30 percent of the population currently use or have used marijuana as a recreational drug. A sizable portion of that average use marijuana on a daily basis, as a stimulant, and are addicted to it.

2nd trial without jury ends in acquittal! Crown’s witness couldn’t remember
Oscar Kareem Usher, 25, charged with attempted murder for the shooting of Kenrick Longsworth, 19, on October 14, 2009, walked out of Supreme Court of Justice Herbert Lord a free man. It was the second trial without a jury, but lasted a scant five minutes: from 10:45 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. The prosecutor, Senior Crown Counsel, Cecil Ramirez had to abort his case because the prosecution’s primary witness could not remember what happened the night he was shot.

Family of murdered man afraid to testify! Accused gunman walks free!
Supreme Court Justice Herbert Lord directed a jury of eight women and four men on Wednesday, July 18, to return a verdict of not guilty in the murder trial of Neil Grey, 24, accused of killing Aaron Thomas Brooks, 21. Justice Lord had no choice in his instructions to the jury, after two key prosecution witnesses, relatives of the victim, indicated to the court that they are not willing to testify at the trial, because they fear for their lives. The trial lasted only minutes, while Justice Lord accepted a no-case submission from Grey’s attorney, Senior Counsel Hubert Elrington. Aaron Brooks was 21 at the time he was shot and killed around 7:00 the evening of April 3, 2009.

Working it Out(side)
By Niall Gillett Before implementing a public relations plan, a business must look at its reputation to confirm that the message it wants to promote will be accepted by its publics. A good way to start is to do some internal research with your own staff to see how they feel about the project at hand as well as about the particular promotion or campaign about to be undertaken. If your own internal staff does not “feel” great about the project, then changes will have to be made, as internal support is crucial.

Belize International Film Festival awards stirs controversy
The Belize International Film Festival showcased 64 films over the weekend, from its traditional red carpet opening gala at the Bliss Centre in Belize City on Friday, July 13, until the last day of screenings on Monday, July 16. However, when its international jury announced the award winners at the House of Culture on Tuesday, July 17, not everyone was happy, particularly with the judges’ choice for Best Belizean film, which went to “Mrs. Robinson”, a documentary directed by Belizean Thomas Hines. Opening night has always showcased one of the best full-length feature films in the Festival, and this year for the first time the opening feature was a Belizean film, made by Belizeans, with Belizean actors and shot in Belize: “2012, Kurse of Di Xtabai.”

Over 60,000 unregistered cellphones disconnected
Some 65,000 prepaid cellphone users missed the deadline to register their phones last Friday night, July 13, and had their service cut off. Despite two extensions from the initial deadline announced in March, many subscribers failed to come in to their service provider and register their phones. Of these, almost 45,000 were Belize Telemedia customers, the rest were clients of Smart Speednet. BTL Public Relations Manager Anjali Vasquez, said the company had even kept its offices open on Saturday, July 7, to facilitate the registration process, but many did not capitalize on that opportunity.

FDA bans BPA from baby bottles, sippy cups
The controversial plastics chemical bisphenol A (BPA) is now banned for use in baby bottles and sippy cups, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday. The move was prompted by a request in October from the American Chemistry Council, which represents industry, as a way to clarify for consumers that BPA will not be found in these items.

The grossest thing in the bathroom
“If you have your toothbrush too close to the toilet,” microbiologist Charles Gerba, PhD, tells WebMD, “you are brushing your teeth with what’s in your toilet.” He explains that when you flush with the lid open, contaminated water vapor settles on surfaces in your bathroom. And that’s not the only way germs pollute your toothbrush. Brushing your teeth removes bacteria, food debris, and blood and saliva that might be infected with a virus. If you don’t rinse the bristles properly, you will be putting these contaminants right back into your mouth the next time you brush. Many families store their toothbrushes jammed together in a cup or holder, which can also cause cross contamination.

Belize wins 4th place in Central American U-23 volleyball championships
Belize national under-23 men’s volleyball team won fourth place, but fell short of the bronze medal at the Central American U-23 volleyball championships at the Jorge Galeano Gymnasium in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, last Saturday, July 14. Belize lost the bronze medal match 2-3 to Honduras, who were playing before a home crowd of fans, even though Belize actually scored more points; 107 to Honduras’ 104. Led by Karym Coleman’s 17 pts and Jaleel Lino’s 15 pts, the Belize men forced the Hondurans to go to extra points to win the first set 26-24. But with Keith Castillo’s five blocks and Arnie Augustine also scoring three blocks, the Belize boys won the second set: 25-17.

Tuff E’Nuff & Alamilla’s enter Interoffice basketball finals
Alamilla’s Furniture and Tuff E’Nuff won through to the championship finals of the 2012 Belize City Interoffice Basketball Competition in the third game of the semifinals series at Bird’s Isle last Saturday, July 14. After a surprise upset in Game 1, Tuff e’Nuff zoned out Quan’s Trading Company 63-41 in its rematch last Friday night, forcing their series to a third game. Farron Louriano led with 16pts, nine boards, as Tuff E’Nuff led 21-8 in the first quarter. Keith Acosta added 10 pts, nine boards and Stephen “Muerte” Williams scored nine points and two rebounds, taking Tuff e’Nuff to a 33-15 lead at intermission.

Help for fearful witnesses
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has proposed two solutions to the now prevalent judicial phenomenon of witnesses recanting statements, resulting in seven murder trials ending in acquitals since January this year.

Angry father assaults daughter’s accused killer
Christopher Lowe, the father of murdered 13-year-old student Jasmine Lowe, was charged with wounding, after he erupted in a violent rage, throwing an umbrella at his daughter’s accused killer, Bert Vasquez, 28, when Vasquez was brought to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, July 19.

GOB may set new policy on Marijuana: No more jail time for a stick or two!
The Ministry of National Security announced this week that it will be looking at a proposal to make it a misdemeanor, instead of a criminal offence, for persons to possess up to 10 grams of marijuana. Persons found with marijuana in small quantities (less than 10 grams) would be required to pay a fine, but would not be sent to jail, under the new proposal.

GOB will no longer subsidize UB fees
The Ministry Education has made good on its word to discontinue the subsidizing fees for new University of Belize students


BELIZE: Exploring Caves, Ruins & Cuisine at Ka’ana Resort
I’ll come right out with it: I’m not a resort-type traveler. Don’t get me wrong, I love a hot stone massage as much as the next girl, but it’s always been my contention that there’s an element of authenticity that’s lost when you wall yourself off in five star accommodations, especially in developing countries. The pampering is great, of course, but being completely confined from the sights, smells, and people of the streets seems counterintuitive. Why not just splurge for a trip to the spa at home and save yourself the airfare? But a recent journey to the Cayo district of Belize upended my backpacker beliefs, showing me that there are, in fact, some resorts that can deliver genuine cultural experiences while sustaining the pampering touch and creature comforts of a luxury property – all the while contributing to the community. The Ka’ana Resort, located in San Ignacio, is one of those places. Located in San Ignacio, the Ka’ana Resort is situated about 80 miles West of Belize City, far away from the country’s extensive reef system and Blue Hole dive site that attracts underwater enthusiasts for its world class sea-life and picturesque beaches featured on “The Bachelor.” Because most people come seeking that beach lifestyle, they may never experience the lush green jungles of the West. That’s a shame, because the opportunity for adventure, eco-tourism, and yes, even a bit of pampering, abound, particularly at Ka’ana’s boutique digs. Ka’ana, which means “heavenly place” in Maya, the original culture of this region, lives up to its name. The resort was opened in 2007 by Colin and Ronan Hannan, two Irish travelers who saw an opportunity to showcase local artisanship with first-rate service. The boutique property is home to lush tropical gardens, 5 airy suites, 10 rooms, and two brand new, ultra-swanky villas with private pools. It embodies experiential travel, offering all sorts of off-the-wall adventures, from spelunking in ancient Maya sacrificial sites to zip-lining through the area’s lush jungle terrain. For the Hannans, travel is not just about seeing, it’s about doing.

A Fun Shopping Experience In San Pedro: The Rum, Cigar and Coffee Shop
Thursday, July 19, 2012 A Fun Shopping Experience In San Pedro: The Rum, Cigar and Coffee Shop I am still trying to highlight good spots to shop and look for souvenirs when you are visiting San Pedro, Belize. So let's get going... My first featured spot was Graniel's Dreamland, a great place to find San Pedro-made Belizean hardwood crafts and furniture. It is absolutely a place you must stop when you're here. Another "must visit" is the Rum, Cigar and Coffee House on Middle Street just north of Graniel's (one block up). Everything about it is super cute. Saul, the owner, opened the shop in this spot 21 years ago. He has been making and selling mixed Belizean liquors ever since. Distinctive products that are carried nowhere else. And his signature mix is the Belize national drink, the Pantiripa. (Panty Ripper: Coconut rum and pineapple juice.) Love this sign outside and they usually have this design printed on a t-shirt. They are out of stock now but getting more in a few weeks. Definitely one of the best shirts sold in this San Pedro. I'm guessing (a wild guess here) that it's a play on the old Coppertone logo. Don't be a pale face. I'm going to get a t-shirt when they come in.

UFO filmed and caught on tape while we were flying over The Great Blue Hole, off the coast of Belize, near Belize City. The Great Blue Hole is a large submarine sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 70 km (43 mi) from the mainland and Belize City. The hole is circular in shape, over 300 m (984 ft) across and 124 m (407 ft) deep. It was formed during several episodes of Quaternary glaciation when sea levels were much lower – the analysis of stalactites found in Great Blue Hole shows that formation took place 153,000, 66,000, 60,000, and 15,000 years ago. As the ocean began to rise again, the caves were flooded. The Great Blue Hole is a part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a World Heritage Site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

A Day at the Seashore
Sometimes it is the little things that catch a photographer's eye... Photos by Tony Rath

International Sources

Great Barrier Reef at a Crossroads
The world’s largest and best protected coral reef will be doomed by Australia’s unprecedented scale of planned coal and gas development, experts say. This threat to the Great Barrier Reef is so serious that UNESCO recently announced it may downgrade the reef’s prestigious designation as a World Heritage Site to a “World Heritage Site in Danger”. “That would be a big blow to our tourism industry, which generates nearly six billion dollars a year and employs over 50,000 people,” said Terry Hughes, director of the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in Australia on the last day of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) here in Cairns, Australia. “It’s immoral to keep building new coal mines when we know so much about climate change and its impacts,” Hughes told IPS. Newly-elected Queensland Premier Campbell Newman responded to the UNESCO announcement by reportedly saying, “We are in the coal business. If you want decent hospitals, schools and police on the beat, we all need to understand that.” Both the state and federal government collect substantial royalties from the mining sector.

Mexico holds a Health Fair in Belize
The Government of Quintana Roo and the Embassy of Mexico are holding a two day Health Fair in Corozal, Belize, in coordination with the Ministry of Health of Belize. The objective is to provide free health services to Belizean families and population at risk, as well as free educational and scientific activities for children. The event was inaugurated on 18 July at the Corozal Civic Centre, by representatives of Health Services of the Ministry of Health of Belize, and the Quintana Roo Health Department, the Family Development Agency (DIF), the Quintana Roo Women’s Department and the Quintana Roo Council for Science and Technology, as well as the Mexican Ambassador Mario Velazquez. During the two day health fair, more than 48 medical, nurse and health services personnel from Quintana Roo will participate, along with 3 mobile units for dental services, 2 gynecological units and 1 unit for rehabilitation, provided by the Government of Quintana Roo. It is expected that more than 2,000 Belizean will receive services ranging from general medical consultation, dental services, clinical breast examination, pap smears, detection of osteoporosis and attention for the prevention of disabilities, as well as free medicines and glasses.

A Healthier Reef, Holding a Mystery
Carrie Bow Cay is a small island located 10 miles offshore on Belize's coast. J. Emmett Duffy, a professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the College of William and Mary, writes from the coral reefs of Belize where he is studying sponge-dwelling snapping shrimps. Our hunt yesterday produced a good haul of shrimp species, but, alas, none of the social ones we’re searching for. I worked with my former Ph.D. student, Tripp McDonald, long into the night identifying the shrimp. Though little known to most people, they are like old friends to us, since we described and named many of the species around the island. Identifying these shrimp is no small task. There are dozens of species, many of them very similar, so it requires a good microscope, a steady hand and a great deal of patience to identify the subtle features that distinguish one from another, ranging from a subtle spine on the antennae to the color of a female’s eggs. To our great surprise, instead of the big colonies of social shrimp that usually dominate this environment, most of what we uncover are asocial pair-formers. The few social colonies that we do find are of a single species and much smaller than usual. Today, we head farther south, hoping for a more productive patch of reef. The rings of turquoise water above shallow white sand, dotted with darker coral patches, make the sand-bore reefs easy to spot against the deeper blue water as we approach, and the surf crashing against the exposed reef crest betrays them from a distance. Dozens of these patch reefs stud the lagoon behind the barrier reef, making navigation tricky. Some of the small reefs have vigorous thickets of coral, including the elkhorn and staghorn corals that once dominated reefs throughout the Caribbean, but declined precipitously in the 1970s. Others are clothed in soft corals and sea fans or short forests of brown seaweeds. I am surprised and delighted that the reefs seem much healthier than I remember seeing them, perhaps at any time in the last 24 years. This is great news for the Belizean reefs, but makes our hunt for dead coral rubble harder than it used to be. Probably as a result, the sponges we need are proving especially elusive.

July 19, 2012

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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

Wanted Slovakian Karol Mello arrested by Interpol; lawyers fight his extradition!
On Wednesday, July 11th San Pedro Police arrested a man from the Slovak Republic who is wanted for a double murder investigation in his country. According to police 42 year old Karol Mello, described as “mafia boss” is accused of organizing a double murder in the village of Most pri Bratislave in 2004 which resulted in the death of a woman and her child. According to The Slovak Spectator publication, the spoke person for special prosecutor in the Slovak Republic Katarína Kudjaková has also announced that he believes Mello was involved in the murder of Peter ongrády, the alleged boss of the Bratislava underworld. According to the Slovak Spectator after Mello was in hiding for several years, a Polish special police force arrested him in October 2010 but he was released in May 2011 by Slovak courts, reportedly due to procedural errors by a court. After being detained again, he filed a complaint and was released from pre-trial custody for a second time later in the same month. According to Slovak authorities Mello has been at large since then until his arrest in San Pedro Town, Belize. Mello was apprehended by local authorities in San Pedro Town on Pescador Drive after months of being sought in Belize followed a tip off by Belize police and Interpol. Mello was transported to Belmopan early on Thursday July 12th and handed over to Interpol authorities in the capital city.

GOB approves loan motion for BWS project on Ambergris Caye
The Prime Minister of Belize Hon Dean Barrow on behalf of the Government of Belize (GOB) on Wednesday July 11th tabled a loan motion at the sitting of the House of Representatives to approve a loan of US$720,000. The loan, which is being obtained from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), is for the creation of a detailed design for the expansion of water and sewerage facilities by Belize Water Services (BWS) on Ambergris Caye. The loan motion was taken through all stages and approved the subsequent day on Thursday July 12th following the 2012 Budget Debate. According to PM Barrow, the main objectives of the project is to “assist BWS in updating and incorporating missing background considerations related to the project’s environmental and social context; validate feasibility study conclusions and the preparation of detailed design, drawings, technical specifications cost estimates and bidding documents for expanding the existing water and sewage systems on Ambergris Caye, Belize in order to facilitate the appraisal and financing of a capital project.” Such design will give a complete and updated layout of how the entire island’s portable water and sewer pipes, extending two miles north and almost five miles south including the subdivisions, would look like if and when the main execution of the project is done.

Ambergris Today

Marine Turtle Conservation in San Pedro, Belize
The 2012 sea turtle nesting season is well underway and the marine biologist of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and staff of Bacalar Chico Reserve are working hard in monitoring the beaches up north and taking down data for this season. A special discover was made this week on the northernmost part of the island; the very first Hawksbill turtle nest for the season was found by the team. This season is looking extremely positive and in the four years of monitoring turtle nesting on the beaches of Ambergris Caye, the Hol Chan and Bacalar Chico staff came upon a Hawksbill Turtle nest with a total of 175 hatchlings, along with Green and Loggerhead turtles.

Malnourished Black Jaguar to be Rescued from Captivity in Belize
guar in distress at Ballum Na Lodge in the Punta Gorda area. Wil Maheia, a BWCN member and well known Belizean conservationist, had been able to gain access to the jaguar, named Bosch, and he attempted to provide him with food. During this time he was able to take a photograph of the animal and the condition of the jaguar in the photograph made it clear to the BWCN that urgent action was required.

Misc Belizean Sources

Balance Exhibit Starts Tomorrow
The SISE House of Culture and the BAS will be having the opening of the Balance Exhibit tomorrow at 6:30pm. The exhibit will run through the rest of July. "Balance: People + Environment A photography exhibition on the work of Belize Audubon Society in managing Belize's natural resources."

Rowan Walks Across Belize Video
Great video highlighting Rowan's Walk Across Belize. "Rowan Garel, blind since birth, walks 90 miles across the country of Belize to raise money for other blind children. This collage was produced by Yasser Musa who photographed the 5-Day event." The Walk Across Belize Blog has been updated quite a bit today:

Belize Film Festival Winners
Winners of the Belize Film Festival. Congratulations! Best Feature Film - LA HIJA NATURAL / LOVE CHILD Dir. By Leticia Tonos of Dominican Republic Best Short Film - FISH Dir. by Shaun Escayg of Trinidad and Tobago Best Belizean Film - MRS. ROBINSON Dir. by Thomas Hines Best Music Video - BABY IT'S NEW Dir. by Juan Reyes Feature Length Documentary - AKWANTU: THE JOURNEY Dir. by Roy T. Anderson Feature Length Short - BROKEN STONES Dir. by Guetty Felin

Channel 7

Expulsion Order For Mello Issued; GOB Slow To Act
Tonight 42 year old alleged Slovakian Mafia boss Karol Mello remains in detention at the Queen Street Police Station - pending a Government decision on whether they will expel him - or observe a Supreme Court order which blocks expulsion until a hearing is held. The news tonight is that the expulsion order has already been issued and has been served on Mello. The order is dated the 16th July - which was two days ago - but it is unclear at this point why the government didn't act on it immediately. A representative of the Solciritor General's office - which is now handling the matter - told us that they strictly could not comment because it is now before the courts. According to our sources, the Immigration Authorities hold the position that Mello misrepresented himself when he applied for Permanent Residence. They refer to a specific question on the form which asks if he has been involved in any criminal prosecutions or if there are any criminal cases pending against him. His answer to those questions were "no" but according to news reports form that country he is wanted for a gangland murder of a young boy and a woman in 2004. Mello has been in Belize for about a year, has a Belizean son, a Slovakian partner and has set up a business in San Pedro...

Police Ass'n Lashes Out At High Command
Complaining about police abuses has become a regular feature of the evening news - but tonight, the police are the ones doing the complaining about their own senior command. The issue is police transfers - the Police Association says a new round of them has been executed with undue haste and extreme lack of consideration. They spoke out publicly on Friday and continued today saying that the Force Administration is ignoring their concerns. It's gotten so bad that according to them, the officers who feel victimized by this rush transfer will go to court - if they continue to be ignored. Daniel Ortiz examined in detail the true nature of the alleged indifference of the Administration to even consider their written correspondence. Daniel Ortiz Reporting The Police Association has submitted in writing a list of all the officers aggrieved by the rush transfers. But, the problem is that the Police Administration has only made promises to address the situation. The association believes that there is deliberate foot-dragging - maybe even a deliberate ignorance.

COMPOL Says Police Assn Over-Reacting
Today, we contacted the Commissioner of Police, David Henderson, and we asked him about the transfer situation, and he categorically refuted any claims that his office is responding with indifference. In fact, he claims that his office has already started to process to reverse the transfers of those officers who were aggrieved. Here's how he described the belaboring of a point which is already being dealt with. David Henderson - Commissioner of Police "Well, I know that I heard on the morning talk-show that the Association was making quite a number of complaints, but I don't know what is the big deal over their complaints because they have had a meeting with me on Friday, where were sat with them, and we went over the names. We asked them if they had anybody who had any gripes with the transfers. They were told to submit the names. They have submitted some names, yesterday. We have since gone over the names, and we have seen that the people that they are complaining about are people who have come in, and we have spoken to, and there have been adjustments made to their transfers. In fact, it is quite clear that it is only people who were informed from about January, who were slated to be transferred from January are on transfer. There were a few names that were on the transfer list, and have already been dealt with, and I don't know what the complaint is, or what sort of axe they have to grind. There is nobody who is being transferred who is under 2 years. In fact, I know of persons who have been posted at some stations for maybe 4 to 9 years, who haven't moved, and don't want to move. I have no axe to grind with anybody. I have no need to punish anybody, and I will not punish anybody."

Alleged Killer Walks Free; Witnesses Scared
An alleged murderer walked free today - and again it's because of witnesses too scared to testify. 24-year-old Neil Grey, the man who was accused of the April 2009 murder of 21-year-old Aaron Brooks, was acquitted today in the courtroom of Herbert Lord. The prosecution's main witnesses refused to testify against Grey, claiming that they feared for their lives. According to police, on April 3, 2009, at about 7:00 p.m., Aaron Brooks, was hanging out with friends at the home of his brother, Mark Brooks, on Neal's Pen Road. That's when Grey arrived and allegedly fired several shots which hit Brooks in several areas of his body. He died while being transported to the KHMH. The prosecution, Crown Counsel Thalia Meagan Francis, called her 2 main witnesses to testify against Grey, but both of them took the stand and refused to give any incriminating evidence against Grey, claiming that they were fearful for their lives. They refused to testify despite the fact that they gave police statements after the shooting When both witness stepped down, Crown Counsel Francis closed her case saying that she couldn't provide any further evidence. Grey's attorney, Hubert Elrington, then made a no-case submission, which Justice Lord was forced to uphold. He directed the jury to acquit Grey of both murder and manslaughter, setting him free.

First Open Heart Surgical Procedures Done In Belize
The first open heart surgery in Belize's medical history was performed this week at the KHMH. It is a great leap forward - and one that was only made possible with the collaboration of a team of medical partners from the United states. But, don't get it wrong, it was a Belize mission - and today we found out what was required to get it done - and why it matters - even if you'll never need open heart surgery: Jules Vasquez Reporting Dr. Bernard Bulwer - Echo-Cardiologist "This huge undertaking of a cardiac surgery, which - in the words of CEO in the Ministry of Health, he said that he did not believe he would see the day in his lifetime, cardiac surgery in Belize at the KHMH. Now, it has happened." And this is the team - or at least some of them that made it possible - participating in the first two open heart surgeries in Belize's history. Dr. Francis Gary Longsworth - CEO, KHMH "Certainly, it is cutting-edge surgery, and the surgery that was done here is no different or no less than the surgery that similar patients will get in the USA, Canada, Europe - anywhere in the world." And anywhere in the world, it would cost about one hundred thousand US dollars - but for these first two patients, it was free.

Minister Says UB Fees Overall Are Too Low
Last night we told you about The Ministry of Education's decision to discontinue subsidizing registration fees for new UB students. It started in 2006 - when the fees were first increased - and due to student protests - government was forced to step in and pay the fees at that time. The subsidy continues - but with a cut in the budget for scholarships - the Ministry of Education has to find areas to make cuts. So they have decided to discontinue paying the $150.00 dollar fee for all those new students who start UB in January. They will continue to pay for all students who are currently enrolled. Today the Nation Builders national youth movement issued a release to declare its, quote, "vehement opposition to any kind of increase in fees at the national university." The release characterizes it as an increase in fees and calls it outrageous when, quote, "access to tertiary education among the adolescent population is a measly 5%-7%." We asked the minister about just that point in our interview with him yesterday:

Film Festival Winner Defends His Work As Thoroughly Belizean
Last night on the news - you heard all the ruckus coming out of the Belize International Film Festival over the judges' choice of the Best Belizean Film. The film that won is named Mrs. Robinson - a charming story of 83 year old Patricia Robinson - who - after five decades in Belize returned to England to live out her last years. Robinson was the British wife of a Belizean born creole, Eugene Robinson - and the couple made their life in Belize. Part of that life is Thomas Hines - Patricia's grandson - who grew up in Belize and is now studying film-making in the UK. The judges thought his film was the best, but his local competitors thought it somehow wasn't Belizean enough. Today we spoke to Hines via telephone. He's studying in the UK - and told us his film is Belizean through and through: Thomas Hines - Winner, Best Belizean Film, BIFF (Via Telephone) "No, not at all, I am not hurt, I wouldn't say. I entered the film to get a chance in Belize because that's where I'm from, Canaan High School. You really can't more Belizean than that. I didn't enter it thinking I would win, the success is a surprise. I am a bit sorry, not hurt; nor do I feel any agression toward it. I feel that it should be a natural. Everyone is saying that it's a British character, and not a Belizean actor, and it wasn't flimed in Belize. But it is."

Why Was Bella Vista Woman Killed?
Tonight a family in the Toledo District cannot come to terms with the loss of a daughter, friend and mother of two. 25 year old Susana Romero is believed to have been killed early on Thursday morning. Police still haven't disclosed what was the cause of death - or if anyone has been arrested. But, right now the family could hardly be consoled by police platitudes: they were made to endure the ultimate indignity of watching the decomposing remains of their loved one rot in the open sun as they waited 25 hours for police to perform a post mortem. When Monica Bodden visited them today, their emotions were still raw - and the pain of their loss, overwhelming. Here's her report from Bella Vista: Monica Bodden Reporting The quiet community of Bella Vista is still grieving the loss of Susana Romero - the mother of 2 who was found murdered on Monday morning. Her body was found less than half mile away from La Mafia Bar where she was last seen alive. It was hidden behind some bushes just a few yards off the highway -partially nude. In the vicinity were visible tire tracks - believed to have been those from her murder's vehicle. Susana Romero was last seen exactly a week ago from today - socializing at this Bar in the village.

"Guess Who's Coming To Pedro?" Michael Rose!
On Monday the followers of the Rastafari Religion will celebrate the 120th anniversary of the birth of Haile Selassie, who they hold as their messiah. In San Pedro, there will be a concert to celebrate the anniversary, and the promoters have brought in the iconic reggae artist, Michael Rose, as the main event. Rose's is one of the most identifiable voices in all of reggae music and for years he defined the progressive reggae sound of Black Uhuru. His distinctive style of scatting and wailing is instantly recognizable - 30 years after he first started doing it. He arrived in Belize this afternoon, and told us how he plans to delight the Belizean audience: Mykal Rose - Artist "Well, it's just to know and the Belizean people must understand that I am here. I arrived today, and they show will be great because we are here, live and in living color, so." Promoter "Yes this is Mr. Rose right here. Get ready for this nice party. It's going to be on July 21, 2012, starting at 3 p.m. to 3 a.m., at the Central Park, San Pedro. Get ready. It's on." The show, featuring 11 Belizean artists starts at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday at the central Park in San Pedro.

Channel 5

Decriminalization of marijuana possession getting support
The government has rolled out a proposal for the decriminalization of the possession of certain quantities of marijuana. It is moving at the speed of light; and from the looks of it, the proposal is getting support. A committee has been formed and while it was just announced on Monday, a deadline has been set [...]

Police Association still waiting on response on transfers
The Police Association says the clock is ticking and it is losing patience with the Police Department on the last minute transfer of several officers. Official notice was served on the affected officers at the end of June giving the cops and their families a mere two weeks to move to their new posts on [...]

Neil Grey is the 17th person to be acquitted of murder this year
Since the start of 2012, at least seventeen persons have been freed of murder charges in eleven separate cases. In most instances, the witnesses either develop amnesia or were in fear. Well, the trend continues and the latest murder acquittal came today in the case against Neil Grey, who was accused of fatally shooting twenty-one [...]

Expulsion order for Karol Mello granted on Monday, but not enforced
The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted an order to stop the expulsion of a Slovakian national, Karol Mello, who was arrested without incident in San Pedro last Wednesday. Tonight, Mello remains in police custody. Mello, who is described as a mafia boss, is wanted for a double murder of a woman and child in Slovakia. [...]

Belize’s 1st successful open heart surgeries done at the K.H.M.H.
This week marks a milestone for the medical field in Belize; the first two successful open heart surgeries were carried out at the K.H.M.H. This medical procedure is available in a limited number of countries so for Belize, it’s major news, particularly for patients afflicted with ailments including defective heart valves, or heart muscle blockages. [...]

Budget goes to the Senate; business senator says it offers nothing to the youth
Unemployment, which currently stands at roughly twenty-three percent of the adult population below the retirement age, remains a socioeconomic problem that only seems to compound with the annual entrance of students into the workforce. But the budget for the current fiscal year gives very little consideration to the staggering unemployment rate, according to the private [...]

P.U.P. Senator Karen Bodden explains the effects of budget cuts on education
The re-alignment of funds earmarked for secondary education has been the topic of discussion in the wake of the recent budget presentation for the current fiscal year. In the Senate, the issue of rationalizing resources within the education budget came up again. Opposition senator Karen Bodden, a career educator, delved into the impact that restructuring [...]

P.U.P. senator Collet Montejo says Cayo has the highest unemployment rate
P.U.P. Senator Collet Montejo echoed similar sentiments regarding joblessness and the overall dismal state of Belize’s economy during his presentation. The budget, Montejo says, offers nothing to the youth population, instead it seeks to further plunge an already embattled middle class into abject poverty.   Collet Montejo, P.U.P. Senator “As our good colleague for the [...]

3 men committed to stand trial for attempted murder of a cop
Back to the courts; Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart has committed three Belize City men to stand trial in the Supreme Court for the Attempted Murder of Police Constable Nigel White. The officer was shot on March twenty-sixth, 2011 and his point thirty-eight service revolver was stolen from him. Linsford Acosta, Karim Morris and Justo Lopez [...]

San Pedro man convicted of molesting 6 year old girl
Forty-seven year old Sergio Duarte a.k.a. ‘Diablo’, a Honduran national who resides in San Pedro Town, was found guilty of committing an aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a six year old child. The little girl, who testified en camera, said that on November sixteenth 2011, she was playing with her sister and a [...]

Land grab in the Ministry of Natural Resources exposed
Before the sitting of the senate to ratify the national budget, there was the debate in the House that lasted two days. We could not cover all the members of the House but there were first time speakers who stood out from the fray. Issues other than the budget were also raised; one such involves [...]

SMART sponsors football summer camp for kids
Youth summer camps are popping up all over and the disciplines are varied from creative arts programmes, to math, sports and other interesting activities. Today we caught with a three week summer camp that is geared at honing the skills of youths from as young as age four in the sport of football. It is [...]

5-month old Marianni Run needs your help for life-saving surgery
First-time parents Rosita Barredo and Leovani Tun recently received devastating news; their five month old daughter, Marianni has been diagnosed with an extremely rare birth condition called biliary atresia. The disease can lead to liver failure and so far, only one of four babies previously diagnosed in Belize has survived. Marianni was born premature at [...]


Heart disease is considered the number one killer in the world. And if statistics are correct, the majority of people who suffer from acute heart disease live in areas not considered to be first-world countries. Now in Belize, people who suffer from heart disease who may in...

Medical personnel from the State of Quintana Roo Mexico are in Belize to conducting a two day health fair in Corozal Town. The event was organized through the Embassy of Mexico in Belize, the Ministry and the Desarrollo integral de la Familia, the National System for Integral Family De...

In a press release issued today the Nation Builders national youth movement has claimed solidarity and joined with the students of the University of Belize to declare its vehement opposition to any kind of increase in fees at the national university. According to the re...

Mayor Darrel Bradley has spoken of the municipal bond in his campaign leading up to the elections and also since he has gotten into office. The twenty million dollar bond is specifically earmarked for infrastructural development – something that the old capital has needed f...

About six thirty this morning Ms. Mel Spain went to the Lion’s Den and notices that her door was busted down. Ms. Mel Spain told Love News she also notice that they stole a flat screan TV and some drinks. MEL SPAIN, President (Lion’s Club) “Ye...

Several primary school students in San-Ignacio are today recipients of scholarships from the Scotia Bank Branch in that municipality. Our correspondent Elaine Berry Reports. ELAINE BERRY, Reporter “Today Scotia Bank Belize Education Foundation, San Ignacio Bran...

Tide Belize has once again motivated youths participating in its annual fresh water cup tournament to undertake environmental projects for special prizes. Paul Mahung Reports. PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “A football team completed an anti-littering project in Punta G...


Open heart surgery done at KHMH
Heart disease is considered the number one killer in the world. And if statistics are correct, the majority of people who suffer from acute heart disease live in areas not considered to be first-world countries. Now in Belize, people who suffer from heart disease who may in the future need open heart surgery will be able to access this life-saving procedure. Today the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital held a press conference to announce that over the past week, with the assistance of a team of visiting heart specialists from North Carolina, it performed its first set of open heart surgeries on patients who ordinarily would have perished if left untreated. Chief Executive Officer at the KHMH, Dr. Gary Longsworth, told reporters how this cutting edge procedure became possible in Belize. The surgeries were led by Dr. Francis Robicsek, a pioneer in cardiac surgery at Charlotte Memorial Hospital in North Carolina and Belize’s own Cardiothoracic Surgeon Specialist at the KHMH, Dr. Adrian Coye. The procedure is so sophisticated and enduring, that the hospital will conduct surgeries of this sort on an elective basis under normal circumstances. However, Dr. Bulwer says that it is something that people can completely avoid, if they keep a healthy diet. Today’s reality is the dream of the lat Sir Barry Bowen, who appealed on behalf of Belize to his friend, Dr. Robicsek, to bring cardiac surgery to Belize. Soon after that appeal, the KHMH received the donation of the CATH Lab, which came through the generousity of Dr. Robicsek and local donors. Since the program’s inception 52 patients have received coronary angiography, which is a procedure different from open heart surgery conducted over the past week. The type of open heart surgery which would previously require Belizeans to travel abroad, costs around two hundred thousand dollars. A price has not been set for the procedure at the KHMH as yet, but as the hospital always assures, payment plans can be worked out with patients and their families. Altogether, the team that performed the first set of surgeries included eight persons, including Drs. Pedro Arriaga, Jorge Hidalgo and Bernard Bulwer.

Group announces opposition to fees increase at University of Belize
A group calling itself Nation Builders is claiming solidarity with students of the University of Belize in opposing any kind of increase in fees at the national university. In a statement sent out today, the group said the decision to oppose the fee increase was taken because after comments by Education Minister Patrick Faber in the House of Representatives last week that government was no longer going to be bearing the cost of certain fees for UB students. The Nation Builders group says they cannot accept any increase in fees and will stand shoulder to shoulder with the students who would be negatively affected by it. The release went on to say that it is outrageous to deliberately increase fees at a time when the socio-economic conditions in our country have become a great pressure on our people. The group believes that more emphasis is needed to get more students into tertiary school, instead of creating obstacles for them. The release ended by applauding the Minister for acknowledging the need for quality education and called on Government to show that it is serious about youth development and to make every effort to make education even more affordable and accessible for young people.

Lodge owner comments on mistreatment of captive jaguar
A rescue operation is currently underway in the Toledo district where a severely malnourished and starving jaguar was found in captivity. Since the weekend, the rumours of the emaciated animal had been circulating, but it was not until Tuesday night that these rumours were confirmed with dramatic pictures. According to the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network, the animal was found at the Ballum Na resort near Indian Creek village on the Southern Highway in Toledo. Volunteers of the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network, assisted by the Forestry Department are working were reported to be collaborating efforts to stabilize the health of the black jaguar by feeding it specially prepared food packed with vitamin supplements. The Belize Wildlife Conservation Network, in a statement issued last night, said the group was hoping to remove the starving jaguar on Tuesday; but his condition was too grave to attempt to move him at this time. Arrangements have been made to ensure he will receive the care that he needs this week and he will be closely monitored in the hope that he will be fit for travel by Friday. Dr. Isabelle Paquet Durand, wildlife specialist from the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic in Cayo, was scheduled to travel to Toledo get a firsthand look at the distressed jaguar. While efforts are underway to rescue this black jaguar, named Bosh, there are persistent reports that another jaguar which was also being held in captivity at the same location perished earlier. In a statement posted on Facebook in response to the story, the Managing Director of Belize Lodge and Excursions, Kenneth Karas laid the blame for the condition of the jaguar and other animals squarely n the shoulders of the manager who was left in charge, accusing that unnamed person of misusing the funds provided to him for the care and feeding of the animals. Karas said that when his resort closed operations at the end of May as is usually the case, staff were left to care for the animals. Karas claims that the manager was provided with a weekly budget for feeding the animals and that as far as he knew the animals were being taken care of. Karas says that as has been the norm over the last ten years, the manager has been sending him weekly reports but never was he told that there were any health issues or that they were not being fed. The Belize Lodge and Excursions boss, in his online statement, said that he only learned of the condition of the animals at Ballum Na on Saturday, when one of the company’s former employees contacted him. The release from Kenneth Karas ends by saying, quote: I deeply regret what has happened and we are currently working with the Forestry Department and a vet to stabilize the animal and move it to the Belize Zoo,” end of quote. It is a story that we will definitely continue to follow up.

Man acquitted of murder
A Belize City man has been acquitted of a charge or murder. Twenty four year old Neil Gray was freed of the charge of murder in the death of Aaron Brooks in April of 2009 when the prosecution’s case fell apart without any evidence coming from the main witnesses. Justice Lord then directed the jury of 7 women and 5 men to return a formal verdict of not guilty. Brooks, a resident of North Creek Road, was shot and killed on the night of April third as he sat on a car in his brother’s yard. Gray was represented by attorney Hubert Elrington, while the case was prosecuted by Crown Counsel Thalia-Megan Francis.

TIDE steps up Fresh Water Cup program
The Toledo Institute for Development and the Environment, TIDE has once again motivated youths participating in its annual fresh water cup tournament to undertake environmental projects for special prizes. Out Toledo correspondent, Paul Mahung Reports.

Do you think the government should decriminalize small amounts of marijuana?
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Senate meets to debate the budget
The special sitting of the Senate was held today in the Assembly Chambers. The session was to debate and ratify the...

Douglas Singh comments on proposed marijuana measures
The Minister of National Security has appointed a committee to evaluate and make proposals, where appropriate, on t...

Students visit Belize on international exchange program
The Youth Ambassador program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, implemented internationally by Partners ...

Christian artist 'Tamo' releases debut album
Timoteo Vanegas aka ‘Tamo’ is a popular Christian artist who has made his mark on the gospel music scene. Always bu...

Captured fugitive challenges extradition to Slovak
In a release issued by the family of alleged fugitive Karol Mello it was revealed that Mello is a permanent residen...

Convicted killer sentenced to life
Kenrick Williams, was convicted for the tragic rape/murder of sixteen year old Elia Gonzalez back in December of 20...

M.O.H facilitates annual Mental Health Workshop
The Ministry of Health will be conducting its tenth Annual Mental Health Workshop from July 19th to 21st at the Ban...

Rise and Shine unread text messages: Should Belize decriminalize marijuana? 17 July 2012...


Staying Dry
I had every intention of finishing this post Monday but got sidetracked by contract work for other people, Barefoot Skinny’s Joke night at Roadkill bar and watching Dexter on netflix – all very valid things. Since it was not raining yesterday I bumped this till today. Often people think with Belize rainy season that we get all day rain, this is not usually so. We tend to short heavy bursts of rain over all day every day downpours. It is also common for longer rain showers to be at night, last night was a classic example, it rained off and on all night. The rain and wind was heavy enough for me to keep the east facing windows closed and the one north facing window that I keep open in the guest bathroom. During rainy season it is always a good idea to make sure you are well waterproofed. That does not necessarily mean carrying a raincoat with you everywhere unless of course you are not wanting to look like you are entering a wet t-shirt contest, but more so for things you might be carrying in your pockets or bag that you would not want to get wet like money, phone and camera.

Tasting Belikin's New Verano Beer & A Rainbow Over the Sea
Oranges are one of Belize's biggest crops (along with sugar and bananas). And I'll be honest, they are not the prettiest fruit. They look nothing like the big, seedless, waxy, bright orange Sunkist fruit that I was used to in the States. Here is a pile below. The green heap on the left right in front of the pineapples. They are certainly not going to be featured in any TV commercials for oranges. But despite the appearance, Belize oranges are SWEET and tasty...the best, in my opinion, for juicing. So when Belikin decided to add a new flavor to its line-up...the combination sounded brilliant. A light summer ale with an orange twist. I mean, heck, I LOVE Blue Moon Belgian style beer that is always served with an orange slice. (I say Belgian style because Blue Moon is actually brewed by the US mega-company Molson Coors). I always order it when it's on tap. Belikin Beer has already brewed two new beer flavors in 2012 (I hadn't seen one new one in my previous 5 years here). All of the new twists are based on locally grown flavors. WHAT A GREAT IDEA! At Christmastime, we got Sorrel Stout. Warm and spicy, after my initial harsh review, it became a favorite of mine. It sold off shelves quickly and a second batch was ordered. (Now gone.)

Why Visit Belize’s Maya Ruins
The Maya civilization flourished from 2000 B.C. to about 900 A.D. During the classic period from 250 to 900 A.D., the Maya built impressive temples, created beautiful art from stone and jade, made astonishing discoveries in mathematics and astronomy, and devised the most sophisticated writing system in the Western Hemisphere. They also established a 1500-mile-long trade route running the length of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, and continuing through Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador. In this travel video learn about the great attractions that should make you want to explore Maya archaeological sites in Belize. Enjoy!!

International Sources

Legal Marijuana Debated as Belize Joins Regional Push on Drugs
Marijuana possession may be decriminalized in Belize as the Central American nation joins a list of countries from Mexico to Uruguay whose leaders have called for alternatives in the U.S.-led war on drugs. Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s government has appointed a committee to evaluate the decriminalization of up to 10 grams of marijuana, according to an e-mailed statement. Current legislation considers marijuana possession of less than 60 grams a criminal offense punishable by a fine up to $50,000 Belize dollars ($26,000) and as many as three years in prison, according to the statement. “The word decriminalization means that the treatment of the infraction will be adjusted so that most of the detriments are removed or reduced,” according to the statement. “This initiative is driven by increasing evidence that the current legislation clutters the courts and the prison with primarily a marginalized segment of our population.” Belize’s move follows Uruguayan President Jose Mujica’s support for a plan last month to let the government sell marijuana, while Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina urged regional leaders to consider decriminalization to limit escalating drug violence in Central America. Enrique Pena Nieto, Mexico’s recently elected president, said this month that he favors a legalization debate.

Belize’s El Secreto to Open in October
The El Secreto boutique resort in Belize is set to officially open Oct. 1, the company has announced. The property on Belize’s Ambergris Caye is 11 miles north of San Pedro Town. It consists of 13 freestanding thatched-roof villas on the hotel’s private beachfront enclave. The El Secreto project is the brainchild of Mexico City-based developers Abraham Roffe and Abraham Saade.

July 18, 2012

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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!!! Fearless or Foolish
Long ago, far more years than I care to remember, I spent three years living and studying in Belize City. While studying, I spent weeks on end in a place that was always known to me as a most dangerous place to be. Yet, it was the hubbub of education, commerce, etcetera; it was a place where inevitably, everyone must pass through. Some pass through more than once, some spend their lifetime tethered to the place, but everyone seems to find little spaces where they belong. My first year in the city was sheltered, boarding with a few other girls in a family home being well-cared for.

The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Lions’ Den burglarized
Over the past few months there have been numerous reports of burglaries that have accompanied the escalation of crime on the island. On Tuesday morning there was yet another burglary and this time it was a charitable organization that was the target. The San Pedro Lions Club located at the corner of Barrier Reef Drive and Pelican Street in San Pedro Town was burglarized. According to the SP Lions President Mel Spain, shortly before 6AM, she was informed by the caretaker Lion Gonzalo “Reds” Lara, that the Den was burglarized. “I informed him to leave everything as is while I inform the police. By the time I got to the Lions’ Den, the Police was already there processing the scene,” said President Spain. The thief or thieves gained entrance by forcedly opening the main door then proceeded to break the lock and door leading into the kitchen area. The third door that separate the kitchen and the bar area was stamped down and broken into pieces. Once inside, the thief/thieves boldly to the time drank a complete bottle of Black Label Whisky and then took with them two bottles of Caribbean Rum, a black flat screen 32” Panasonic television and its remote control all adding up to a total value of $2200.

Severely malnourished black jaguar to be rescued from Ballum Na Lodge
On Saturday the 14th of July the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network (BWCN) was alerted to a black jaguar in distress at Ballum Na Lodge in the Punta Gorda area. Wil Maheia, a BWCN member and well known Belizean conservationist, had been able to gain access to the jaguar, named Bosch, and he attempted to provide him with food. During this time he was able to take a photograph of the animal and the condition of the jaguar in the photograph made it clear to the BWCN that urgent action was required. There were also suspicions that other animals may be on the property or may have recently died. Working closely with the Belize Forest Department, it was decided that due to the location of the animal, the most urgent issue was to have the jaguar and any other animals on the property assessed and, if necessary, provided with food and fresh water.

Family Issues Personal Press Release regarding Karol Mello
The family of Karol Mello would first like to thank the Country of Belize and the Hon. Dean Barrow with particular thanks to San Pedro where Mr. Mello and his family have lived, have given birth to their second child, and have been a welcomed asset to the community for over twelve months. Mr. Mello was not here in hiding or under any false identities and the fact is that he entered the country legally using his name. He has not been on the run but only seeking refuge from constant persecution from a corrupt Government. .pdf Mr. Mello was released by Slovakian Courts four separate times based on the ruling of a previous judge which all four rulings were upheld by the Slovakian Supreme Court. Through the courts of Poland back to the supreme courts of Slovakia, Mr. Mello was detained without any evidence and all court documents currently in our counsel’s possession will prove that he has and will continue to be vindicated. We would like to state only facts as we are preparing to fight all charges through our counsel Mr. Edward Fitzgerald QC, a known activist on human rights, false imprisonment, and extradition. Mr. Mello was detained by San Pedro police on Wednesday afternoon; he was escorted to his home where an immigration officer confiscated his wife and children’s credentials with a promise to return them upon receiving Mr. Mello’s credentials that were not in their possession at that time. He was returned to the San Pedro police station where he was detained until being transferred to Belmopan for questioning on Thursday morning. He was never read his rights for due process and only asked what his name was and he was finger printed. He was transferred after 72 hours in the middle of night to Belize City were he still has not been read his rights nor has he been fed, allowed a change of clothes, or even allowed to brush his teeth since leaving San Pedro.

The Exquisite Corpse Project delights the audience at the 7th Annual Belize International Film Festival
The Paradise Theater in San Pedro came alive on July 14th, 2012 for the seventh annual Belize Film Festival and the much anticipated screening of San Pedro based director Ben Popik’s film, The Exquisite Corpse Project. The green carpet was rolled out to welcome guests and friends who came to enjoy Ben’s award-winning documentary on the big screen and show their support for the festival that has been growing in size and popularity every year since its inception in 2005. The show was a huge hit among the viewers who spent the entire time laughing and enjoying the unpredictable antics that unfolded throughout the film. After the screening there was a live Q&A with the Ben himself as he talked about making a film with a bunch of friends who have their own ideas and opinions and who only get a glimpse of what the other person wrote before they write their portion.

Wild shooting in the Airstrip Area
San Pedro Police is requesting the public’s assistance into a wild shooting that occurred last night in the Airstrip Area of the Elliot Subdivision of San Pedro Town. According to Police, shortly after 7PM on Sunday July 15th, they received information of shots being fired in the area. SP police said that upon arrival they were informed by residents in the area that two men, described only as ‘dark skinned males with dreads’, fired several shots in the direction of the residence belonging to Wayne Allen By the time police arrived on the scene some five minutes later, the two men had already left the area in a yellow skiff. No-one was injured in the incident, however, when police attempted to conduct a search of the area, two men resisted to police conducting a search. As a result Police arrested and charged the two individuals for “obstruction of a police officer in conducting duties.” The San Pedro Police believes the incident is drug related. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the San Pedro Police Department.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Town Council Continues with Street Repairs
Work on North Ambergris Caye commenced over a month ago and is still ongoing; currently work is also being carried out on the southern part of the island. In speaking with Councilor Gaby Nuñez he explained to Ambergris Today why work is being carried out primarily in these areas first. “It was decided to start working on improving the southern road since it leads to the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site and since we are a tourist destination, these are the roads that are travelled most by tourists. Improving them is key,” stated Gaby Nuñez. Truck loads of hard core have been placed on the southern road starting from the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site entrance heading north. The SPTC has also acquired loads of sand fill that will also be used to repair the streets of our island. Councilor Gaby Nuñez assured that all the streets of San Pedro will be addressed and fixed it’s just a matter of time since the Town Council does not have enough equipment and is working arduously and diligently to address all town needs.

Kids Dive into Summer Camp in San Pedro, Belize
Learning to scuba dive is a fulfilling, life-changing, and educational experience – and PADI is thrilled to be supporting a kid’s dive program in San Pedro, Belize! This summer, PADI, the largest diving organization, is collaborating with the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association (SPTGA) and the marine reserve to give local kids the opportunity to explore the underwater world. This month, 34 students ages 12-15 will be working towards their Junior Open Water Diver certifications so they engage with marine life, build character and self-confidence, and form a greater appreciation for the planet. PADI is proud to support such an enriching experience by supplying Open Water Diver manuals, course completion certificates, and more. On Monday, July 16, 2012, the camp officially kicked off as students were presented with their Open Water Diver Manuals and officially introduced to their dive instructors. Each instructor was given four students for the course. Students will be doing their last dive on July 26 and their graduation will be on the Friday, July 27, 2012.

Karol Mello’s Family Issues Personal Press Release After His Arrest
The family of Slovakian national Karol Mello, living in Belize, released the following statement regarding his arrest in San Pedro and supposed criminal charges by his government. They express their intent to clear his name and remove any false accusations towards him. "The family of Karol Mello would first like to thank the Country of Belize and the Hon. Dean Barrow with particular thanks to San Pedro where Mr. Mello and his family have lived, have given birth to their second child, and have been a welcomed asset to the community for over twelve months.

Misc Belizean Sources

Jaguar starved to death at tourism resort
This is one of two Jaguars held captive in the resort which since the business has been struggling have suffered the unimaginable pain of being slowly starved to death. On Friday we learned that the jaguars being held captive in Belize Lodge and Excursions, Boden Creek Ecological Preserve, an 11,000 acre property which lies adjacent to Indian Creek village in Toledo, were starving to death and that one had already died. The property which is a high end, five star, ecotourism resort has had captive animals on show to their guests for many years. However the resort seems to have fallen on hard times, they have not been paying their staff and it has been discovered that the animals they have been keeping captive have not been fed or watered for a long time either. It is an incredibly painful way to die, to be starved, and that is what these jaguars have been suffering, along with other animals such as spider monkeys and howler monkeys which are also understood to have been starved to death or abandoned and released into the jungle with little chance of fending for themselves after being kept in captivity for so long. Under the laws of Belize it is lawful to enter property without permission when an animal is suffering cruelty, in light of this Ya'axche's head ranger went to assess the condition of the animals and found one of the jaguars lying emaciated with a tether around its neck, the other jaguar, a black one, is still surviving but severely undernourished. Forest Department have been notfied and have stated that they will come to collect the surviving animal on Tuesday.

Commentary: Belize Police Force needs to upgrade benefits package
By Wellington C. Ramos When I joined the Belize Police Force in 1973 there was no insurance for police officers who got sick, disabled or died while on duty. If they got sick they would go to the hospital and they would receive free medical care and be given sick days with a date to return to work. If their injuries were severe, the sick days would be extended continuously until they got better and then returned to work. When a police officer was permanently disabled and could not return to work, the Commissioner of Police, along with the government of Belize, would agree on a retirement monetary settlement, which was not substantial. In the event of death, the police officer received a funeral with full honours and a meager compensation to his or her next of kin and nothing for the surviving spouse or children. On November 19, 1974, a friend and squad brother of mine PC 431 Francis Bermudez, better known as “Govna”, died in Belize City at the age of 19 years. He was one of the most dedicated police officers I worked with at the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) in Belize City. He was given a full police honours funeral in Dangriga Town but his father was only given a check for about $2,000 after the funeral by the then Commissioner of Police Esmund Willoughby.

VIDEO: Discover Belize Now "About Us"
Providing you a look at destinations found in Belize

BAS Day Camp at Blue Hole
The Belize Audubon Society had its day camp at the Blue Hole. "On July 14tth, BAS along with its enthusiastic campers went to St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park, where the campers had the opportunity to have a day of educational activities, arts and crafts, cave adventure, swimming, and lots of fun fun fun. We have more camps coming up. Register Today... and join in the adventure."

Caye Caulker’s newest attraction!!
And this bright yellow quadricycle is quite the newest attraction here on Caye Caulker. Both tourists and particularly young locals have been seen making their way up and down the streets for the past two weeks enjoying the benefits a bicycle gives – breeze and speedily getting from A to B and of course the key benefit for the youth, the fact that they can all do it together on one bike!! The bike is rented by the half hour $5US per half hour through the Mirimar Hotel and it has been on hot demand since Lobster Fest when it came into its own! Today our Raggamuffin youth have been enjoying the bike – young Harrison Jr (Harry’s son) and Malik (Jimmy and Charlie’s son)!! When you come to the island you should rent it too – it is quite the newest fashion!!

Channel 7

Alleged Slovakian Gangster Is Belizean Permanent Resident
Alleged international fugitive and Slovakian gangster Karol Mello is also a permanent resident of Belize! That's what has come out of a special Supreme Court hearing granted to his local attorney Godfrey Smith who today got an injunction restraining the Minister of Immigration from expelling the 42 year old citizen of the Slovak Republic. Tonight, the alleged Eastern European gangster and international fugitive remain detained at the Eastern Division police station - but he cannot be expelled without first being given a hearing. Smith told us about it at the Supreme Court this afternoon:.. Godfrey Smith, Attorney "Shortly after midday we manage to get an injunction until he has given an opportunity to be heard." Jules Vasquez "What moves are a foot right now as far as you know?" Godfrey Smith, Attorney "I am glad you said as far as I know because Mr. Karol Mello hasn't been given any papers, any notice of any charges, any complaints. He was just picked up and our understanding is that he is wanted by the Slovakian government. We as his legal representatives have not been told anything. We were told that the process for removing him from Belize is underway and that he is repatriated to send to Slovakia hence we had to move for an injunction."

Susana Romero Buried
The family of 25 year old Susana Roselia Romero buried her today - with emotions of grief and outrage - grief for the loss, and outrage at the indignity and inconvenience they feel the police made them endure. The body of the mother of two was found yesterday morning 50 feet off the side of the road near San Isidro Village - less than a mile away from where she was last seen on Wednesday of last week. She was nude and in an advanced state of decomposition - both her arms were missing, presumably ripped off by dogs or wild animals. A special constable who was working with a village search party found her. The search party was activated after she left La Mafia bar in Bella Vista village around 2 am on Thursday morning. The bar was closed and she was inside drinking with a friend, when an American man who resides in the village off and on called her outside. They left in his Ford Ranger - and she was never seen alive again. That man has been detained by police - two vehicles have also been impounded.

Did Cargo Vessel Paranga Wreak Environmental Damage?
Last night, 7News told you about the vessel, the MV Paranga, which was attempting to leave Belizean waters bound for Jamaica, when it had a mishap, and ended up being grounded approximately 2 miles southeast of English Caye. Well today, we've been following up by contacting all the government departments involved but neither the Coast Guard nor the Port Authority would deign to give us a comment. This evening though, we spoke to Marin Allegria, Chief Environmental Officer for the Department of Environment, and he told us briefly, via phone, what the environmental officers found yesterday: Marin Allegria, Chief Environmental Officer "Preliminary the grounding of her in old rubble, dead corals from years ago and there is some new growth of corals coming up - especially soft corals, small quantities, maybe like 10% of what I understand right now of the surface area. But all that we will know more once we do a thorough assessment." "We understood today that the vessel is now off, we are setting up a team from the fisheries department, ourselves and the coast guard. We will be out there tomorrow morning in order to do assessment as thorough as we can of the actual site itself." "Its base on that hopefully in the early afternoon we can have more details and more information on the extent and the type of damage in terms of live or dead corals or just sand bar. Whatever it was that it ran aground on." We also asked him about the status of the crew and captain, and he told us that they will remain in Belize until the investigation has finished. Marin Allegria, Chief Environmental Officer "From the preliminary - it was just leaving, a few minutes thereafter. It was not active live corals as such. Fortunately for that but it is in old rubble corals as we call it." "That is preliminary is not in area that would cause severe damage to coral formation. We will be going there tomorrow morning and then by Friday morning we will have everything already wrapped up. In the meantime we understand Port Authority, we have just spoken to them - we are working with the captain and the agency for us to try to resolve this fast - in the sense we are asking them to stay in Belize waters right now while we do the quick assessment tomorrow so that by Thursday we know what the incident is all about and where we are with the ship and the environmental issue thereof."

The Importance of Financial Literacy
400 Staffers from the international accountancy PriceWaterhouseCoopers teamed up with Peacework and the Ministry of Education to facilitate a two week financial literacy programme in Belize City for more than 1,500 primary school students. The programe is in its fourth year and it is a major, ambitious initiative to instill the values of entrepreneurship, money management and wealth creation in these primary schoolers. 200 employees from PWC were here last week - and now another 200 have come on for a programme that seems to expand every year. This year, they are including teachers and parents - and we found out more at one of the staging grounds: the ITVET Center in Belize City - where we spoke to some of the principal players:... Jahmoor Lopez, Bz District Education Officer "We actually are currently working with almost all of the primary schools in the Belize City area. I think it's a total of 30 primary schools minus the private schools." "It's having certainly a huge impact on the upper division students in those schools and also 1st and 2nd form students at 4 secondary schools. We are looking at a total of about 1500-1800 young persons who are being taught about financial literacy."

Budget Cuts Force Educ. Ministry To Cut Support For Incoming UB Students
And while those students are learning financial literacy, apparently so is the minister of education. His ministry's budget for scholarships has been cut by half a million dollars - and, as a consequence, the ministry has now been forced to cut a special assistance given to UB students. That's a 150 dollar hike in the registration fee that was first introduced in 2006. At the time, just the announcement of it - set off howls of protests - and government had to agree to pay the grand total - about half a million dollars - on the student's behalf - with a plan to revisit the arrangement in six months. Six months turned into six years and half a million turned into three million - and the arrangement has still not been revisited. But, the new budget cuts have forced the ministry to savings can be made, and that one hundred and fifty dollar assistance - which now costs about three million dollars a year is on the chopping block. Education minister Patrick Faber today explained the rationale behind the decision. Hon. Partrick Faber, Minister of Education "We are simply at the point where we are saying that it is costing the government too much at this time for that to continue. I want to be clear again and this is why I've ask for this interview so that people don't make mischief out of the whole thing. It is not intended that we will stop paying for those students who are current students of UB, in other words those students who are in their 1st year, 2nd year or 3rd year at UB and had already stated with the hope of getting this assistance for the government - this existing assistance, they will continue to get that assistance within a reasonable amount of time." "But for incoming students we are saying that the government is not going to pick up the tab for that additional amount that UB charged back in 2006 and that the full cost of what it is now will have to be paid by the new and incoming students. We will start in January. We hope that we can save to the tune of 3 million dollars for the year."

The tint law has been in effect since June of last year, and the Belize City Council's Traffic Department has been gradually enforcing it. But the reality is that there are many drivers who have ignored the regulations, and they continue keep the unlawful window tints because the truth is: when last did you see a tint checkpoint? But that has changed: there are a number of new operations where the traffic officers are doing random tint checks, and they've been given the enough new equipment to conduct these operations. The City Councilor responsible for traffic told us that the traffic department will increase its vigilance for dark tint drivers:.. Alifa Elrington-Hyde, City Councillor "The regulations for tint has been enforce since the 1st of June 2011 and we at the traffic are now putting out different operations - we are doing stop and check, we have purchase the machines necessary to check the percentage and so they are making different operations on different days where they are going to check the tints for the windows, the windshields and the back windows on your vehicle."

Sore Local Losers At Belize International Film Festival
The 2012 Belize International Film Festival concluded this morning with the announcement of winners at the House of Culture. Among those present at this morning's ceremony were a number of film- handful of local Film Directors along with sponsors of the festival. The foreign film-makers weren't present - so the local hopefuls had their hopes up. In fact, everyone was hoping they'd get the call to the front of the room - and while everybody couldn't be a winner - there were a lot of very sore losers -making a hometown argument - over the top film - a charming, well-made documentary about a trans-Atlantic connection to Belize - here's how it all played out:... Monica Bodden reporting Among those present at this morning's ceremony were a handful of local Film Directors along with sponsors of the festival. Films in 4 categories were awarded. Those categories included Best Featured Film, Best Short Film, Best Belizean Film and Best Music Video. Suzette Zayden - Director Belize International Film Festival "The award ceremony is actually the closing if the festival. Today we awarded films in 4 categories; best feature film, best short film, best music video, and best Belizean film. There is a 5th category for best animated film but that's on pause for some films that were tied up." Best featured film was awarded to Love Child - directed by Leticia Tonos from the Dominican Republic. Best short Film went to FISH Directed by SHAUN ESCAYG from Trinidad and Tobago While best MUSIC VIDEO was awarded to BABY IT'S YOU -Directed by JUAN REYES from Belize. Best Belizean Film went to - MRS. ROBINSON Directed by THOMAS HINES- a Belizean living in the UK. And then there was a segment in this morning's event where the judges opened the floor for other Belizean Directors to voice their concerns. With that said, things got a little overheated as emotions ran high. The film which won in the Best Belizean Film category stirred up quite a controversy. Matthew Klinck - Belizean Film Director "Not a single Belizean appears in that movie was not shot in Belize, it has nothing to do with Belize, it doesn't have any Belizean texture to it. I don't know what you guys were thinking but it horrible."

Taiwan Youth Ambassadors In Belize
The Taiwanese International Youth Ambassador program has been in existence since 2010, and yesterday third delegation started their educational and cultural exchange here in Belize. 7 student representatives from the University of Taiwan are here to interact and socialize with their Belizean counterparts, and yesterday, a ceremony was held at the ITVET Compound to formally introduce them. Here's how the Governor General of Belize welcomed the delegation: Sir. Colville Young, Gorvernor General "I want to join in welcoming the youth ambassadors who are visiting with us from the Republic of China Taiwan for two weeks. I know they will enjoy themselves and I know they will learn a lot." "They are sharing with you our culture and their culture. Enjoy yourselves, have fun and take back to the Republic of China happy memories of Belize." H.E. David K. Wu, Taiwan's Ambassador to Belize "We are here to build up the friendship to have a better understanding with their counterparts; the youths. They are also here to have people to people diplomacy. We hope by the end of next week when they return to Taiwan they will also learn many things from their counterparts; the youth ambassadors for Belize. Last year I can tell you when they return home they were so excited to learn dancing here so I am sure this year you will also learn very exciting things before you return home."

Channel 5

Karol Mello expulsion stopped by rushed injunction
Earlier today, Godfrey Smith, attorney for Karol Mello, rushed to the Supreme Court to prevent his expulsion to Slovakia, his country of origin. At midday Justice Oswell Legall granted an injunction to stop his expulsion but Mello, who now holds permanent residency, remains in police custody tonight. Mello is wanted in Slovakia for a series [...]

Mello’s Family says the Slovak government wants him for charges he already beat
Late this evening the family of Mello issued a statement. They claim that Mello has not been on the run and that he is being persecuted by the (quote) corrupt government of Slovakia. The family says that in fact Mello has been cleared by the Polish courts. The family says when he was apprehended on [...]

2 houses destroyed; 1 man in critical condition after “explosive” domestic dispute
Twelve persons—eight adults and four minors—are homeless following a fire after eight on Monday night in the Placencia Peninsula. A Cayo resident, thirty-four year old Orson Emerson Twist is in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital with first and second degree burns to eighty percent of his body. After a domestic dispute, Twist [...]

Bella Vista woman laid to rest; the community protests her murder
In the southern community of Bella Vista, a well known resident, Susana Romero was laid to rest as villagers protested her murder. Romero who is originally from Guatemala worked as a waitress at a bar in the village in the Toledo District. After she went missing for days, Susana’s badly decomposed body was found by [...]

D.O.E. begins detailed investigation after the MV Paranga is moved
The MV Paranga remains in Belizean waters tonight, but it is no longer grounded near English Caye. According to the Port Authority, they are still investigating to determine what caused the Jamaican registered cargo ship to run aground on Monday morning. It has been confirmed that when the tide rose on Monday night, the vessel [...]

Do you support decriminalizing marijuana?
Tonight’s question is: Do you support decriminalizing marijuana? 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]

Former P.M. and attorney discuss decriminalization of marijuana
The idea of decriminalizing small quantities of marijuana, particularly immeasurable amounts often found in blunts commonly known as roaches, is taking center stage. The government has announced that former minister of police, Dough Singh, is leading a committee that will look into its decriminalization. It has long been argued that the cost of prosecuting someone [...]

Prime Minister Dean Barrow accompanies wife abroad for medical treatment
The office of the prime minister announced to today that PM Dean Barrow left the country along with his wife, Kim Simplis Barrow, who is receiving treatment for stage three breast cancer. PM Barrow is scheduled to return to the country over the weekend.

Woman accused of killing her husband is subject of coroner’s inquest
Security Guard, twenty-six year old Albert Maverick Morgan, was killed at his Belize City home on December twenty-second, 2009. His wife, Audrey, was accused of stabbing him in the chest, but no one was ever charged for his death. Today, a coroner’s inquest began before Magistrate Dale Cayetano to determine whether anyone should be held [...]

Film Festival Awards marred by controversy over Best Belizean Film
The annual film festival ended today and it closed with a bang. A record number of films from throughout the region were screened. To wrap up the annual event, the winners were announced in the Best Feature Film, Short Video, Music Video, Belizean Film and Animated Film. But what’s a festival without controversy? Hollywood style, [...]

Cayo Women develop a family project into an income earner
In the west, an agro-processing facility is providing alternative income for a group of women. The project started on a small scale, but today the production of jams and juices from locally grown fruits has grown considerably, attracting support from the Food and Agriculture Organization. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports on the Western Women Agro-Processing [...]


Community members in Bella Vista are upset over the situation in which the decomposing body of Susana Lopez was left open to the element while it awaits a post mortem. Our correspondent Paul Mahung has been following this Story and filed this report. PAUL MAHU...

The government of Belize has begun exploring the possibility of relaxing the country’s anti-drugs laws to allow for the possession of up to ten grams of marijuana without jail time on conviction. An official statement was issued yesterday by the Ministry of National S...

Youth for the Future is hosting training sessions in Dangriga for Youths on their personal behavior and practices in regards to HIV Aids. Correspondent Harry Arzu Reports. HARRY ARZU, Reporter “Youth for the Future is presently conducting a three day HIV and AI...

Activities in celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of the historic St. John’s Anglican Cathedral are coming to a close this weekend. Love News spoke with Bishop of the Anglican Diocese in Belize, the Right Reverend Phillip Wright. PHILIP WRIGHT, Bishop of A...

The Social Investment Fund will be hosting a one day communication strategy workshop for media representatives and key stakeholders of the Belize Municipal Development Project on Thursday. Director of Public Relations for SIF, Mike Hernandez explained to us what BMDP is about and...

Belizean superstar Supa G, is reported to be in line to collect royalties from a United States television network for the unauthorized use of his intellectual property. The Belizean Society of Composers authors and publishers, BSCAP which represents local artists, first reported ...

The Belize Defense Force Youth Cadet Summer Camp is being held at the Eden High School in Santa Elena Town. Correspondent Elaine Berry has the details. ELAINE BERRY, Reporter “A total of two hundred and three cadets, thirty females and one hundred and sev...

There was great motive for celebration at the Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio Town Yesterday afternoon. Correspondent Fem Cruz was present at the party and filed this report FEM CRUZ, Reporter “The Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio celebrated the ...


International Youth Ambassadors visiting Belize
The Government of the Republic of China, Taiwan and the Government of Belize, organized a visit of an International Youth Ambassador delegation which is currently in the country. The seven talented students are visiting Belize to intensify academic and cultural exchanges between Belize and Taiwan during a two week summer camp. An official opening of the summer camp was held this morning at the ITVET building on Freetown Road in Belize City. CEO in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, David Leacock, said he is very happy to open the camp for various reasons. Leacock extended thanks to the Government of Taiwan for their continued friendship and generosity to Belize. Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize, David Wu said during his remarks that the one of the first things the youth ambassadors should learn is Belize’s National Anthem because the lyrics speak greatly about culture. Also present at this morning’s opening was Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General of Belize, Wilfred Elrington, A closing ceremony will be held on the twenty seventh of July at seven pm and the public in general is invited to attend and witness the farewell performance.

International Film Festival is a hit
The Seventh Belize International Film Festival opened in grand fashion on Friday night. Love TV’s Patrick Jones and video journalist Myles Gillett attended opening night and bring you the following report.

Battle of the Drums summer camp ends
The fourth annual Battle of the Drums summer camp ended at the weekend in Punta Gorda. Our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung has the details.

Murder in Cotton Tree village, Cayo
Cotton Tree Village in the Cayo District has been left shaken after well known person in the community Daniel Martinez fell at the hands of a murderer. His body was found yesterday in a remote area of Cotton Tree Village and today Reporter Marion Ali and Videographer Brian Castillo visited the village for answers into the incident. We recommend viewer discretion during the following story as some images may be very graphic.

Cars crash in Carolina village
A woman in the Corozal District was hospitalized following a road traffic accident in that Vicinity. Love Tv’s Marion Ali has the details.

Winner of “Show Me” competition awarded
An award ceremony for the Belize Audio Visual Industry Association and the Belize International film festival’s “Show me” competition was held today at the House of Culture in Belize City. Director of the 2012 Belize International Film Festival, Suzette Zaiden provided details on the “Show me” competition. The winner of the animation competition, Shelby Castillo spoke to Love News about his inspiration for the winning piece. Castillo walked away with one thousand dollars, courtesy of SMART who is the main sponsor of the “Show me” competition.

Blind teenage boy walks across Belize
He may be blind; but that did not stop fourteen year old Rowan Garrell from realizing an ambitious venture. That is walking across the breadth of the country. The ninety mile journey started on Thursday of last week in Benque Viejo del Carmen and concluded today at the office of the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City. Love News spoke with Garrell this afternoon. Even though he fell short of the targeted amount, Garrel told Love News is satisfied with the outcome of his cross country venture.

Lord’s Bank mother says man impregnated her 15 year old daughter
The issue of grown men taking advantage of teenage girls under the age of eighteen has been in the news a lot recently. And today there is one more to report. The latest reported case comes from the village or Lord’s Bank. The mother of the girl, whose name we will withhold, came to our studios to complain that at age fifteen her daughter, then attending high school, was impregnated by another student, who is much older than the girl. This is the mother’s story. The mother told Love News that her daughter has now given birth and that she is struggling, with little input from the father of the baby, to maintain the infant. Love News has made several attempts to get word from the Department of Human Services, but we have so far not been able to reach anyone from that office to speak on this issue.

Woman reported missing found … dead
Almost a week after she was reported missing, the search for Bella Vista resident, twenty five year old Susana Roselia Romero Lopez came to a tragic end this morning. The decomposing body of the young woman was found today by a search party including relatives of Susana. Darlene Lopez told Love News via telephone that it was family members who found her aunt’s body around eight o’clock this morning. Lopez says the family believes that Susana’s killer may have been a man she met at a local bar in Bella Vista village on the night of Wednesday, July eleventh. Late this evening, residents of Bella Vista village and the surrounding San Isidro community were preparing to hold a vigil in honor of Susana. They are hoping that police pathologist Dr. Mario Estradabran will conclude his onsite autopsy on Tuesday morning so that they can proceed with the quick burial of Susana’s body. This afternoon, our Toledo Correspondent Paul Mahung traveled to the area where the body was found and spoke with Special Constable Kayla Garcia who was a roommate of the deceased woman. Love News understands that police in Independence have detained one person of interest in connection with the murder of Susana Lopez, who was the mother of two children, ages seven and five years old respectively. Police investigations continue.

Jamaicans ordered removed from Belize for immigration violation
Three Men who violated the immigration laws of Belize were charged with immigration offences when they appeared today in the number six Magistrate’s Court. They are Jamaican nationals Romando Michael Richards and Ryan Anthony Spence and Honduran national Norberto Mungia Puerto. Richards and Spence were charged with illegal entry. They admitted that they left Jamaica by boat on June third and they arrived in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, where a smaller boat took them to Belize City. They were picked by the police today. Richards and Spence pleaded guilty to the charge. Magistrate Hurl Hamilton fined them one thousand dollars each and ordered them to pay forthwith, in default six months imprisonment. He also ordered that a removal order be prepared for them so that they can be sent back to Jamaica. Mungia was charged with being a prohibited immigrant. He pleaded guilty to the charge and he was fined one thousand dollars and ordered to pay forthwith or in default six months’ imprisonment. All three defendants were unable to pay so they were taken to prison. Mungia entered Belize in January 2004, via the banks of the Mopan River and he went to Arenal in the Cayo District.

SMART goes roaming in Mexico
If you are a SMART telephone subscriber and you plan on traveling to Mexico, you will be able to use your phone just as if you are in Belize. That is because SMART has launched a new roaming service. Ian Courtenay is the public relations officer in charge of roaming for SMART. Courtenay says there are plans to roll out the roaming service to other countries. Another exciting part of the new service is that SMART had added a virtual home network feature to the roaming service that allows customers to dial as it they are at home while roaming. In related news … the deadline for the registration passed at midnight on Friday. And today, Courtenay told Love News that a big chunk of the company’s customer base had their telephone service suspended because of non-registration. Persons wishing to register their suspended telephones are asked to go in to any of the SMART offices and showrooms around the country.

Corozal residents march for peace
With the recent violent crimes that have shaken the Corozal District in the last couple of weeks, people in that area organized a march for peace that took place over the weekend. Dalila Ical has the story.

Drugs and weapons found in Roaring Creek sweep
Police search in Roaring Creek village uncovered drugs and weapons buried near the riverbank. Correspondent Fem Cruz Reports.


Grand community development planned on Northern Hwy
Faithful viewers of Rise and Shine were this morning introduced to a very ambitious project. Ever heard about the S...

Price Waterhouse returns to Belize for financial literacy workshop
Price Waterhouse has returned to Belize for what has become its annual summer financial literacy workshop. One of t...

Current happenings of the Poverty Alleviation Project
In December of 2010, the then Minster of Works, the Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez, travelled to Vienna, Austria to ...

PlusTV to air special sitting of the Senate tomorrow
The public is hereby notified that there will be a special sitting of the Senate on Wednesday, July 18, at 9 a.m. i...

Motorcycle accident claims another life
Another motorcycle accident takes another man’s life. Ladyville Police visited a scene at mile 26½ on the Old North...

Body of missing woman found
On Thursday July 12 Silvia LOPEZ, of Bella Vista Village in the Stann Creek District reported to police that on Wed...

Rowan walked across Belize!
Ninety-two miles in five days; an amazing feat for any avid walker but young Rowan Garel has become famous for doin...

Will Belize legalize it?
A committee has been appointed by the Minister of National Security to evaluate and, if appropriate, make proposals...

Investigation continues into aground Jamaican cargo
It was reported by the media yesterday that a Jamaican cargo vessel, registered under the name MV Paranga, ran agro...

Police seek suspect in carnal knowledge accusations
A case of carnal knowledge is reported in Belmopan. A 14-year old female minor of the Cayo District accompanied by ...

PM accompanies wife for continuance of medical treatment
The Office of the Prime Minister has issued a release informing the public that Prime Minister Barrow departed the ...


Over 60,000 cell phone accounts disconnected for failure to register
The extended deadline for persons to register their cell phones and numbers was Friday, July 13, 2012, and both cell phone providers – Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and SMART – reported that in compliance with the Government order to deactivate customers who had not registered, they began disconnecting customers over the weekend.

More from the national budget debate
At Thursday’s budget debate, Cayo North East Area Representative for the United Democratic Party (UDP), Elvin Penner, Minister of State responsible for Immigration and Border Protection, announced that the Government wouldrevisit existing Belizean residency and nationality laws.

Cargo vessel Paranga grounds near English Caye
The Jamaican vessel, the M/V Paranga, ran aground on an area of the reef area approximately 2 miles southeast of English Caye between 8:46 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. today, Monday, the Belize Port Authority reported in a press release issued this afternoon.

Slovak murder fugitive captured on Isla Bonita
Karol Mello, 45, was arrested without incident in San Pedro... An international hunt for Karol Mello, 45, a fugitive from Slovakia who was wanted on double murder charges in his country, came to a peaceful conclusion when he was captured without hassle on Pescador Drive in San Pedro, bringing the international search for him to a successful end.

Cotton Tree watchman found stabbed to death
The decomposing body of a watchman of the Maya Mopan Land Farm, located in Cotton Tree Village, who was missing from his place of duty for days, was found wrapped up in a sheet with multiple stab wounds.

Belize moves to decriminalize marijuana
“This proposal is to decriminalize the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana which will then be subject to fines, mandatory drug education and no imprisonment”

BFA Grassroots Selection represents Belize in Guatemala
On Saturday, the Belmopan Football Association (BFA) Grassroots Selection departed for Retalhuleu City, Guatemala to participate in the Codicader Primary Schools Tournament, sponsored by the Guatemalan Government. Kenneth Budna, Liliana Abril and Santiago Valencia, BFA’s technical staff, are heading the delegation which arrived in Retalhuleu City on Sunday.

Brother Nolbert Moss back in the Jewel
Back home to stay, after spending about twenty years in the States, is 1980’s football icon Nolbert Moss, founder of the Wagiya Football Club in Dangriga. Mossy says he has been making a few short trips back home since about seven years ago, but now he is home to stay, and he has some serious plans for football in Dangriga and Belize as a whole. He is looking forward to work with the new FFB leadership, but he is nevertheless going ahead with his plans to help prepare the present crop of 10-year-olds to make Belize ready to claim one of the CONCACAF qualifying spots for the 2022 World Cup.

Corozal Wildfire basketball games vs Playa and Manaties, Mexico
In the first game on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m., Chetumal Manaties Under-13 defeated Corozal Wildfire Under-13, 45-30. The next game saw Corozal Wildfire defeating Playa Del Carmen Under-10, 47-27. Jordan Cassanova finished with 22 points, Reginald Sankey 12 pts, Jadee Galaz 7 pts, and Anwar Jundi 6 pts for Corozal Wildfire Under-10. In game 3, it was Corozal Wildfire over Chetumal Manaties Under-17 by a score of 103-45. Corozal Wildfire was led by Ornel Blades with 18 pts, Nigel Levy 12 pts, Stephaun Young 12 pts and 12 rebs, and Shaun Gilharry 15 points.

Editorial: A parliamentarian undressed
The House of Representatives in Belmopan is a place where the inexcusable is excused, at least that is what it appears the members believe. We have seen a Prime Minister call a former leader a “jackass” in that “honorable” House and we have seen an area representative stoned in the head with a wallet, all in the last few years. It’s been a House where anything goes. Nothing much, in there, should surprise us anymore.

From The Publisher
“Francisco Villa had been dead for forty-three years when the Mexican Congress decided recently that he was, after all, a hero of the nation. This came about only after a long and bitter debate in which the famous northern guerrilla leader was loudly denounced as a murderer and bandit and, alternately, warmly praised as a military genius and protector of the humble.

Rails about public drinking and “relieving oneself in public”
On Saturday evening I took a drive in Belize City on Cemetery Road/Orange Street from the junction of Central American Boulevard all the way to Albert Street, and the amount of people drinking alcohol in public view and relieving themselves on every corner available is disgusting. It makes the whole area look “stink”.


Barefoot Skinny’s Monday night Joke night at Roadkill Bar
Finally someone is doing an open mike night in San Pedro, I have been wanting one for years [since Playa Lounge days]. I got as far as getting Capt Jeff agreeing to MC if he was here and that is as far as it ever went – well done Roadkill Bar for making it happen. Joke night got it’s official start last week and I can see this becoming a popular thing for those who are wondering what to do in San Pedro Belize on a Monday night. Barefoot Skinny played music and got the crowd up on stage telling jokes with the promise of best joke willing a drink. Tacoboy encouraged me to go on stage and said if I can do Rhonda’s My Morning Matters tv show I can tell a joke at Roadkill. So I did….

International Sources

A World Without Coral Reefs
IT’S past time to tell the truth about the state of the world’s coral reefs, the nurseries of tropical coastal fish stocks. They have become zombie ecosystems, neither dead nor truly alive in any functional sense, and on a trajectory to collapse within a human generation. There will be remnants here and there, but the global coral reef ecosystem — with its storehouse of biodiversity and fisheries supporting millions of the world’s poor — will cease to be. Overfishing, ocean acidification and pollution are pushing coral reefs into oblivion. Each of those forces alone is fully capable of causing the global collapse of coral reefs; together, they assure it. The scientific evidence for this is compelling and unequivocal, but there seems to be a collective reluctance to accept the logical conclusion — that there is no hope of saving the global coral reef ecosystem. What we hear instead is an airbrushed view of the crisis — a view endorsed by coral reef scientists, amplified by environmentalists and accepted by governments. Coral reefs, like rain forests, are a symbol of biodiversity. And, like rain forests, they are portrayed as existentially threatened — but salvageable. The message is: “There is yet hope.”

More on Coral Reefs and Resilience or Ruination
A spirited discussion has built on Dot Earth and elsewhere in response to the potent weekend Op-Ed article by Roger Bradbury of Australian National University challenging hopeful visions of coral reef restoration and calling them “zombie ecosystems” — the living dead — in a human-dominated world. Below I’ve pulled together some notable responses. But first I also want to draw attention to a valuable Melissa Gaskill post on the Green blog summarizing discussions at an international symposium on coral reefs held last week in Cairns, Australia. Here’s an excerpt from her post centered on one example of how the establishment of marine protected zones can have a powerful impact: The overfished reefs at Cabo Pulmo on the eastern Baja California Peninsula are a case in point. After the establishment of the Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park — and more than 10 years of local enforcement of no-take inside its boundaries — the Scripps Institution of Oceanography found that the amount of fish biomass in the protected area had increased more than fivefold, and shark biomass, tenfold. That’s the largest absolute increase in fish biomass ever measured in a marine reserve anywhere in the world. What is more, the benefits of this kind of protection extend beyond the boundaries of a protected area. A recent study by the Australian Research Council Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies found that marine reserves help restore depleted populations on neighboring reefs.

Archaeologists uncover largest ancient dam built by Maya in Central America
Recent excavations, sediment coring and mapping by a multi-university team led by the University of Cincinnati at the pre-Columbian city of Tikal, a paramount urban center of the ancient Maya, have identified new landscaping and engineering feats, including the largest ancient dam built by the Maya of Central America. That dam – constructed from cut stone, rubble and earth – stretched more than 260 feet in length, stood about 33 feet high and held about 20 million gallons of water in a man-made reservoir. These findings on ancient Maya water and land-use systems at Tikal, located in northern Guatemala, are scheduled to appear this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in an article titled "Water and Sustainable Land Use at the Ancient Tropical City of Tikal, Guatemala." The research sheds new light on how the Maya conserved and used their natural resources to support a populous, highly complex society for over 1,500 years despite environmental challenges, including periodic drought.

Carolinas HealthCare System together with Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital performs first open heart surgery in Belize
On Monday, physicians from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), in Belize City, Belize, and from Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS) performed the first open heart surgery in the country of Belize. Adrian Coye, MD, Medical Services Director at KHMH and R. Mark Stiegel, MD, FACS, cardiothoracic surgeon with CHS's Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute (SHVI) performed a coronary artery bypass graft on a 72-year-old Belizean man. The patient is recovering at the hospital, where he will be monitored for at least three days post-surgery. Today the surgeons will perform a mitral valve replacement on a 56-year-old Belizean woman, completing a second heart surgery. "This is a very special moment that has allowed everyone involved to make history in Belize," said Dr. Coye. "Belizean patients should receive the same level of care as others worldwide, and we are thrilled to have reached this point in what we can offer for medical services in our country."

July 17, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Valid: Monday-Monday, July 16-23, 2012

A number of features of interest will influence the weather across the territory of Belize and its coastal waters this third week of July 2012. A weak surface low will persist over Belize through Wednesday. An active tropical wave will reach the area by Wednesday night, accompanied by a surge in the easterly trades over the NW and central Caribbean. These features will remain favorable for outbreaks of showers thunderstorms today through Thursday. An upper level trough will swing eastwards over the region on Friday and Saturday coupled with another vorticity maximum edging WNW just south of Belize.

A surge in the easterlies and an influx of moisture and instability is inducing outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms over the northern mainland and northern coastal waters today. The instability will persist on Tuesday, increasing later on Wednesday and Thursday with the approach and passage of an active Tropical wave (See Figure 2 & 3 below). Showers and thunderstorms will be locally concentrated over central and northern coastal areas at first then shifting to southern coastal areas on Wednesday and Thursday. The convective activity will become a bit more pronounced over the weekend and on Monday in association with an upper level trough moving slowly over the extreme NW Caribbean and northern Central America.

Daytime heating will add to the instability, inducing afternoon thunderstorms over inland areas of the Orange Walk, Cayo, western Stann Creek and Toledo districts. Expect some sunshine hours in the central and southern mainland and coastal waters today and Tuesday, and also on Friday. Otherwise, it will be generally cloudy over most areas this week.

Daily rainfall accumulations will range from 0.50-075 of-an-inch in the northern districts and northern coastal waters/Cayes on Monday and Tuesday. Elsewhere, rainfall totals will be 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch today and Tuesday. Most areas will see daily totals of 0.50-0.75 of-an-inch of rainfall on Wednesday through Monday of next week, with high amounts of 1.25-2.00 inches in the hilly terrain on Saturday through Monday. Runoff could be quick and flash floods possible. Remain vigilant this weekend and Monday!

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

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

Decriminalization of Marijuana in Belize being discussed
A committee has been appointed by the Minister of National Security to evaluate and, if appropriate, make proposals for the decriminalization of the possession of small portions of Cannabis Sativa (commonly known as Marijuana and Weed). For the purpose of this exercise, the word decriminalization means that the treatment of the infraction will be adjusted so that most of the detriments are removed or reduced. The offence will then be subject to regulation which will allow for the implementation of probationary measures. It is also proposed that no criminal record be kept in the first instance and portions of the penalty be reserved for drug education. The current legislation treats the possession of under 60 grams of marijuana as a criminal offence and is punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 and/or up to three years imprisonment. This proposal is to decriminalize the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana which will then be subject to fines, mandatory drug education and no imprisonment.

MV “PARANGA” runs aground off the coast of Belize
On Monday July 16th, 2012 between 0846hrs and 0915hrs, the Jamaican registered cargo vessel MV Paranga ran aground off the coast of Belize at approximate position Lat: 17° 19.1377 N and Long: 088° 02.5547 W. The 13 crew members onboard were reported to be safe. The 100.6-meter ship, which was carrying agricultural products, was on its way to Kingston, Jamaica when it ran aground in about 3 meters of water hitting a patch reef area near English Caye. The Belize Port Authority’s Maritime Communication Center intercepted a call between the Master of Paranga and the marine pilot who had just disembarked the vessel and inquired about the situation on board. Upon being informed of the grounding, the Belize Port Authority immediately deployed a team of officers to investigate the incident. Other interested parties including the Belize National Coast Guard and the Department of the Environment were informed of the incident and invited to participate in the investigation. Initial reports indicate that the vessel’s hull and structure are intact and there is neither leakage of fuel nor ingress of water. At this point, the purpose of the investigation is to determine the circumstances and cause of the incident with the aim of improving the safety of life at sea and the avoidance of accidents in the future. An assessment of any environmental damage caused by the grounding will be conducted by the Department of Environment.

Costa Maya 2012 outlines the events for this year’s Festival
The International Costa Maya Festival is Belize’s biggest festival, and it is held right here on La Isla Bonita. Featuring international and local artists, it is a celebration of music, pageantry and culture. Already, there is a buzz about the upcoming Reina de la Costa Maya pageant, as well as international artists Los Pasteles Verdes and Kevin Lyttle. But throughout the three nights of festivities, there will be lots to enjoy, and a variety of music and dance performances to keep everyone happy.

Costa Maya Presents Miss Mexico for Reina de La Costa Maya 2012
Mexico’s representative for this year’s Reina de La Costa Maya has been announced. Joining seven other delegates is the lovely Natalia Villanueva. Natalia was Señorita Juventud and was a participant in Nuestra Belleza Yucatan. She joins Belize: Karen Middleton, Costa Rica: Mariela Aparicio, El Salvador: Nathaly Jazmin Mena Arauz, Guatemala: Alessandra Manzur Franco, Honduras: Esthefany Maolyth Pineda Perez, Nicaragua: Ivey Jellisa Alvarez Hunter, and Panama: Karen Elena Jordan Beitia. Each lovely young lady will be proudly representing their country on stage at the grand event on August 2nd, hoping to be the one to take the coveted crown of Reina de La Costa Maya, currently held by Miss Mexico: Valentina Cervera Avila.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Has More Coral Reef Experts
Our children are the future of our island and teaching them about the importance of conservation of our beautiful Barrier Reef and fragile ecosystem is key. What better way of doing that than engaging them on a hands on experience camp. The Smith College Coral Reef Ed-Ventures Summer Camp was in its 13th year of fun and educational summer youth camp here on La Isla Bonita. The program seeks to inspire conservation and sustainable use of coastal resources by providing children an opportunity to learn how healthy reefs function, how various organisms interact with the reef, what threats to the reef ecosystem exist, and how to protect it. Smith College’s Environmental Science & Policy Program and Center for Community Collaboration sponsor this project along with the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. This year’s team of student teachers from Smith College consisted of: *Angela Oliverio ’12 (majors: biological sciences and philosophy) *Kaylyn Oates ’12 (geosciences and education and child study) *Alyssa Stanek ’13 (psychology and education and child study) *Kayla Clark ’14 (sociology and education and child study) *Laura Malecky ’13 (study of women and gender) *Megan Svoboda ‘12 (anthropology)

Looking into Decriminalization of Marijuana in Belize
This initiative is driven by increasing evidence that the current legislation clutters the courts and the prison with primarily a marginalized segment of our population. The added impact of a permanent criminal record further disadvantages this already marginalized group as it establishes a barrier against meaningful employment. The committee wishes to emphasize that the proposal is not to legalize the offence thereby purging it of all its penalties; it is merely to reduce and regulate. This is further supported by international trends towards decriminalization. The Committee recognizes that the instant proposal for the decriminalization of small quantities of Marijuana is a sensitive issue. All interested groups and individuals are hereby given an opportunity to express their views on the matter. The committee invites you to offer a position in writing by letter or email.

San Pedro Enjoys Belize International Film Festival Events
Events and movie screenings for the seventh annual Belize International Film Festival commenced on Friday, July 13, 2012, with the Red Carpet Gala at the Bliss Center in Belize City. Red carpet arrivals, a cocktail reception and the screening of the “Curse of the Xtabai” (filmed entirely in Belize), among other short films highlighted the evening. Screenings and gala events were not confined to Belize City, as San Ignacio, Orange Walk and San Pedro held special movie viewing and parties to celebrate the film festival. The Paradise Theater was host to the screening of “The Exquisite Corpse Project” here in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, on Saturday, July 14, where the Belize Film festival highlighted the work of director Ben Popik. The green carpet was rolled out for guests who came to view and support Ben Popik’s award-winning documentary-comedic film. The film was a total success among the viewers as it had everybody in the theater laughing out loud and enjoying some great scenes and friendly faces from the island. Director Ben Popik is a native of New York now living in San Pedro with his wife; they own Island Film which is a full service, HD video production company. His work includes productions with the Discovery Channel, his own company Olde English Comedy and he has been producing/editing/writing comedies and films for television for over eight years now. The Exquisite Corpse Project is his first feature length film that has already received great reviews and awards at various film festivals in the U.S.

Costa Maya Festival Presents Miss Mexico Contestant
This week The International Costa Maya Festival is happy to announce Miss Mexico, Natalia Villanueva Denis, vying for the title of Reina de la Costa Maya 2012. Natalia, was Señorita Juventud and participated in Nuestra Belleza Yucatán 2011. Let us all welcome Natalia to this year’s International Costa Maya Festival.

Team Belize to Represent at Olympic Games in London
Representing Belize in the Olympics is Eddermys Sanchez; a naturalized Belizean who competed and won medals in martial arts tournaments between Belize and Mexico. Sanchez is being trained by a top level US judo coach and athlete in order to have some measure of preparedness for the high level of competition at the Olympics. Also representing Belize is Andy Wigmore a naturalized Belizean who will part take in the Olympic Trap Shooting – this is the first time Belize has ever competed in this discipline. The sport requires exceptional concentration and reflexes. Each competitor shoots at a clay target that is propelled in different directions. Belize will also participate in the Athletics discipline including the male 300 meter race, 100 meter race (female) and female heptathlon race (to mention a few). Kathy Sealy and Kenneth Medwood of the United Kingdom and United States and Belize Coast Guard, Kaina Martinez are part of the 15 athletes travelling to London. The official delegates for the Olympic committee leave on July 21, 2012, for conferences and meetings prior to the games scheduled for the 27. Good Luck to Team Belize – Make us Proud!

Dying Arts Of Fishermen -Making Wells Inside Boats Part 3
Okay, so I have given you a little insight of how to knit a gill net and how to build a fish wire trap right in front of your beach in the sea and today we will take a look at another dying art- the art of making wells inside boats. Whenever I think of these ‘tanqueros’ or boats with fish tanks or wells, I think of my Uncle Ramon because he used to work in one of these along with his father and his brothers. Yes, Ramon Nuñez was a village fisherman and made his humble living working in a "tanquero". He made hundreds of journeys to Corozal to sell fish with their boat La Lupita, one of San Pedro's most famous "tanqueros". There were the regular 20 or 24 foot sailing boats that were used as fishing boats. With these the fishermen used to get to their fishing sites. However, the wire trap fisherman found the need to keep large quantities of fish alive so he could take it to Belize City and Corozal Town to sell alive and fresh at the market since they fetched better prices. To do this, he invented the well that was built inside his boat. This was a large box, perhaps six by six feet by four feet high built inside the boat or any height that was above the water level outside. The secret is that water would rise inside the well only to the level of the water outside. One-inch hole were drilled at the bottom of the boat to allow water to flow into the well. As a little boy I was always worried that water would enter the boat and flood it until it sunk, but no, the water only came as high as the water level outside. It is in this boat well that Ramon and many other fishermen used to place up to two or three hundred live fishes and carry them to sell fresh at the market. Well, look at the diagram to get a better idea of the "tanque" or well.

Betito Marin, Man of Humble Origin
No, this is not Betito Marin, but it is Mireya, his first child in the 1960’s. Betito’s dad was a humble coconut farmer/fisherman and even tailor and educated him up to high school level. Soon he became accountant at San Pedro’s fishing cooperative and bought his first property which was a thatch house. It was in this humble house that his first child was born but Betito’s drive and ambition propelled him to build his fine house and family and made all four of them into fine and productive citizens of this community. In this Flashback, Mireya Marin Castillo celebrates her birthday in her humble house in San Pedro.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Moves To Decriminalize Marijuana
The government of Belize is spearheading an initiative to decriminalize marijuana. An official press release issued late today says that a committee chaired by former police minister Douglas Singh, is inviting proposals on how to move ahead with plans to make this common herb legal for personal use in Belize. Marijuana grows wild in Belize and is used by a portion of the population but penalties are stiff and often lead to jail time even for first time offenders. The press release says: “A committee has been appointed by the Minister of National Security to evaluate and, if appropriate, make proposals for the decriminalization of the possession of small portions of Cannabis Sativa (commonly known as Marijuana and Weed). “For the purpose of this exercise, the word decriminalization means that the treatment of the infraction will be adjusted so that most of the detriments are removed or reduced. The offense will then be subject to regulation which will allow for the implementation of probationary measures. It is also proposed that no criminal record be kept in the first instance and portions of the penalty be reserved for drug education.

Belize to consider decriminalisation of marijuana
A committee has been appointed by the Minister of National Security in Belize to evaluate and, if appropriate, make proposals for the decriminalisation of the possession of small portions of Cannabis Sativa (commonly known as marijuana and weed). For the purpose of this exercise, the word decriminalisation means that the treatment of the infraction will be adjusted so that most of the detriments are removed or reduced. The offence will then be subject to regulation, which will allow for the implementation of probationary measures. It is also proposed that no criminal record be kept in the first instance and portions of the penalty be reserved for drug education. The current legislation treats the possession of under 60 grams of marijuana as a criminal offence and is punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 and/or up to three years imprisonment. This proposal is to decriminalise the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana, which will then be subject to fines, mandatory drug education and no imprisonment. This initiative is driven by increasing evidence that the current legislation clutters the courts and the prison with primarily a marginalised segment of the population. The added impact of a permanent criminal record further disadvantages this already marginalised group as it establishes a barrier against meaningful employment. The committee emphasised that the proposal is not to legalize the offence thereby purging it of all its penalties; it is merely to reduce and regulate. This is further supported by international trends towards decriminalisation. The committee recognized that the instant proposal for the decriminalisation of small quantities of marijuana is a sensitive issue.

Belize ranks second in influenza response
Last month, at the Influenza Surveillance Regional Meeting in Panama City, Panama, it was reported that Belize ranked second behind only Panama in its ability to monitor and respond to Influenza cases across the country. The regional meeting was held in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The objectives of the meeting were to share the results and experience with influenza surveillance of each participating country, to define and analyze laboratory influenza diagnostic procedures, to identify the needs of the country to continue strengthening and development of influenza surveillance, and to prepare a plan of action including activities and funding source for Influenza strengthening. Englebert Emmanuel, national surveillance officer of the Ministry of Health reported that Belize ranked second in surveillance scores among all participating regional countries. He mentioned that, although the assessment showed progress, the country still needs to build on capacity strengthening in lab testing and analysis. A draft influenza surveillance action plan for Belize was developed at the meeting and partners from the CDC and COMISCA will be doing follow-up visits to Belize to review and finalize the draft plan for implementation.

VIDEO: Reservation Confirmed "Caribbean Villas Hotel"
Caribbean Villas Hotel, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Bleize Consider prebooking your adventures prior to your arrival with our Guest Service Team. Our Resort Approved Tour Providers will make your adventure activity most memorable.

SIPL's SMART Program
The San Ignacio Public Library has pictures from their SMART Program. Looks like everyone had a great time at the 'Summer Math n Reading Tutorial.'

Rowan Garel's Walk Across Belize
Rowan Garel has finished his Walk Across Belize. The Capital Newspaper has some pictures. "In a society where hero's are a rare commodity, there is a young man who has not let his handicap deter motivation to make a difference. Since last Thursday, visually impaired, Rowan Garel has walked 20 miles per day to raise funds for BCVI, to help people who are plagued visually."

Belize Film Festival's Red Carpet Gala
You can find quite a few poeple from Cayo in the pictures from the red carpet opening for the Belize International Film Festival, where Kurse a di Xtabai debuted. You'll be able to see Kurse a di Xtabai this Friday night at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel.

SISE HoC's Summer Program
The SISE House of Culture is having drama, guitar, and pottery lessons. Today is the day to go by and have some fun while learning something new. Thanks, NICH! "Summer is here. How about discovering your talent and creativity at our fun summer program."

Benque SDA Pathfinders | Facebook
Feelgood story of the day. The Benque House of Culture has uploaded some pictures from the SDA Pathfinders doing some community service at Centennial Park. "Welcome back friends! Hope you had an enjoyable weekend, maybe a little bit tired because of the Fiesta or because doing some community service. Yep, this is the case of the Benque SDA Pathfinders, meanwhile other kids were enjoying the ferries wheel which we are happy that they did so, others were also happy doing some community service. These kids came to the Centennial Park to do some cleaning and painting of the tree trunks, the director was Mr. Ramon Valdez and some parents. Well, without saying any more enjoy the following images."

Pat the Great Cat
Have you seen the 'Pat the Great Cat' website? It's based upon the book, and gives the history of the story and the literacy project behind it. "I come from a beautiful tropical place called Belize, in Central America. Belize is home to many types of tropical forests, mountains, grassy savannahs and small islands called cayes with beautiful sand beaches. Jaguars like the tropical forests best, and we love to prowl through deep, dark caves that provide good shelter in bad weather. I’ll let you in on a big secret. The caves are cool, for a lot of reasons."

Channel 7

Man Found Dead In His Farm; Police Suspects Foul-Play
There are two murders to report tonight. We begin in Cotton Tree Village where this weekend 52 year old watchman David Martinez was found dead on the farm where he worked. That's a farm near Cotton Tree village on the Western Highway where The Honduran born, naturalized Belizean had gone missing a week earlier. Police found him this weekend. He had been savagely murdered. Monica Bodden found out more:.. Monica Bodden reporting Around 3 o'clock on Sunday afternoon the body of 52 year old Daniel Martinez was found on this Papaya Farm located just outside of Cotton Tree village about 4 miles off the Western Highway. Martinez was the watchman for the property and according to his friends they all became worried when he went missing 5 days ago. A missing person report was made over the weekend and that was when the search began.

Woman Murdered In Bella Vista
A missing woman has been found dead in the Toledo district. According to reports, 22 year old Susana Roselia Lopez was last seen on Wednesday of last week in Bella Vista village, which is in northern Toledo. The Police press office has not sent out any information but reports say she was last seen with a fair-skinned man at a Bar named "La Mafia" in Bella Vista. Searches were mounted, and this morning at eight, her body was found off the Southern Highway outside of Bella Vista village. Despite requests, Police have been unable to provide even a shred of information about the circumstances of her disappearance. The man was reported to have been driving a red pickup.

Traffic Accidents Claims Life Of One Man; Hospitalizes Another
A man was killed and another is critical after an accident this weekend on the Hummingbird Highway. It happened on Saturday night - around 8:30. 18 year old Douglas Riviera and 27 year old Dennis Santos were both on a motorcyle at mile 29 when the driver in front of them, Melissa Roseland made a left turn into her property. The cycle collided into her jeep and Rivera was killed on the spot while Dennis Santos was seriously injured and is critical but stable. No word yet on whether police intend to charge Roseland.

Cargo Ship Runs Aground Off English Caye
The word went out early this morning that a cargo vessel had run aground on the reef near the English Caye Channel. IT sent off an alarm, because this sort of thing has happened before with disastrous effect to the reef. 7news went to the area today and found out why this case is not as serious as previously though, but serious nonetheless: Daniel Ortiz reporting The vessel you are looking at is a Jamaican-registered cargo ship. Its name is the MV Paranga, and it currently has 214 tons on fuel onboard, along with several tons of agricultural products. Now, the vessel may look as though it's perfectly afloat in the sea, but make no mistake, it is stuck at its' current location - run aground due to a navigation error. If you look closely, you will see water flowing out the side. It is an attempt by the crew to get it to float a bit higher, but these vessels have thousands of gallons of sea water onboard, which is used to stabilize them while they make their voyages.

Slovak Gangster May Fight His Expulsion From Belize
Last Thursday 7news broke the story about Mello Karol - the international fugitive form the Slovak Republic who was found on San Pedro, living with his family and running a business. Since then, we've been trying to get information on this sensational capture from police, but it's been like pulling teeth. Finally today, the police press office sent out a preposterous release, asking for the media's, quote, "usual co-operation to withhold information regarding MELLO Karol." The press officer, Fitzroy Yearwood adds, quote "I am not at liberty to release any information concerning Karol Mello at this time." First of all, on the part of this station, there is no usual or unusual cooperation with police to withhold any information - those are the norms for a police state, not an informed democracy. Second, we suspect that local authorities want a hush kept because the government is trying to get an expulsion order issued as quietly as possible - and be finished with the situation. But, reports are that he has retained a British Queen's Counsel and local legal representation to fight his expulsion. They would do that on the basis that he entered the country legally - and should be entitled to some kind of hearing before he is expelled. As we have reported, Mello is reputed to be a big fish in the eastern European underworld. The 42 year old is wanted by Interpol and was caught last week Wednesday on Pescador Drive in San Pedro after months of being in Belize. He is an alleged mafia boss wanted for setting up a double murder in 2004.

Rowan Finishes His 92-Mile Walk
While most of us were unwinding this weekend - Rowan Garel, along with his family, friends and supporters were walking miles upon miles. When we left him on Friday at noon - he was at the Guanacaste park in Belmopan - tired to the bone, but not nearly halfway done. But impossible is nothing for this remarkable child - and he walked all weekend - through pain and heat - reaching his targeted destinations on both Saturday and Sunday. And that set him up for a triumphant arrival into the city this morning. 7news was there, and here's how it looked:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting A little after 8 this morning, when we caught up to the Rowan and his trekking companions, he was only a little over a mile away from his end point in Belize City. Keep in mind though, that he left mile 13 on the Western Highway, at 5 a.m. sharp. He finished at the KHMH parking lot, right next to the BCVI Headquarters, where his supporters rushed in to greet him at the end of the 92 mile walk - a feat that can only be done with endurance and will-power. But Rowan didn't just finish it right there. Like a well-experienced PR Officer, he greeted the media with energy, as though he had simply walked to the nearby shop and back.

GSU Retrieve Homemade Firearm And Recovers Unlicensed Firearm
On Thursday, the Gang Suppression Unit retrieved an M-16 Magazine and a homemade firearm from the PIV area, and on Saturday, they also caught a man - who they say is a Gill Street affiliate - with an unlicensed firearm. According to the GSU, Last week Thursday, at around 3:40 p.m. a GSU team conducted a search of an overgrown lot on Vernon Street, which is beind Cox Tire Shop. As a result, the officers found 1 empty M-16 magazine which is used for M-16 assault rifles, and a homemade firearm. From the officer's observation, they believe that the firearm is adapted to discharge 12-gauge cartridges. Both items were found under an old mattress on the property. No one was in the area. Then on Saturday, at around 1:03 a.m., another GSU team was conducting operations in the Jane Usher Boulevard area. When the officers moved unto Central American Boulevard, they saw 19 year-old Lindburg Clarke, a laborer of #3323 Central American Boulevard, near Jerry's Store.

Legalize It?
It got pretty rough in the House of Representative last week - when Prime Minister Dean Barrow accused former PM Said Musa of puffing some "sensae" in his cigar - after Musa proposed decriminalization of marijuana as a possible solution to excessive incarceration. But, apparently the PM was listening - or maybe the former PM knew his thoughts, because today it was announced that a committee has been appointed by the Minister of National Security to, quote, "evaluate and, if appropriate, make proposals for the decriminalization of the possession of small portions of Marijuana." The committee will be chaired by the former police Minister Douglas Singh. The release explains that the proposal is to decriminalize the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana which will then be subject to fines, mandatory drug education but no imprisonment. This release adds that the idea comes from quote "increasing evidence that the current legislation clutters the courts and the prison with primarily a marginalized segment of our population." It's a sensitive subject - and we stress it's just a proposal right now, and so all interested groups and individuals are invited to write to Chairman Singh at this email: [email protected] If you wish to make a representation to the committee you can say so in your written response.

Concerns For Missing Man
A San Pedro man is missing - and while the circumstances of his disappearance sound like a familiar story of a man gone on a spree - his family says eight days is too long for even that. Jose Alfredo Castillo left his family in San Pedro last Monday with a wad of cash in his pocket. Our colleagues at Reef TV filled us in with this report: That number again is 665-9548.

Usher Acquitted in 2nd Trial Without Jury
25-year-old Oscar Kareem Usher, who was accused of attempted murder, was set free in the 2nd trial without jury, before Justice Herbert Lord. Usher was implicated as the gunman in the October 2009 shooting of 19-year-old Kenrick Longsworth. The victim, Longsworth took the stand today, and forgot everything that he gave to police in a written statement. He even went as far as to flat-out admit that he didn't want to testify against Usher. Longsworth - who was 17 years-old at the time - couldn't recall that he told police that on October 14, 2009, at around 9:30 p.m., he walked to the corner of Victor Street and Lovely Lane. He said that while he was standing at the intersection, he heard shots being fired in his direction and that's when he felt a burning sensation to the right and left side of his pelvis. When he turned around, he saw Oscar Usher, standing behind him. While he could not clearly see what kind of gun was in Usher's hand, he said he saw smoke coming from its barrel. He ran away, but the pain got intense enough to force him to fall the ground, and a few minutes later, he was rescued by his uncle, who drove him to the KHMH.

Turtle Tagging Needs Support
11 months ago we took you to Gales Point Manatee where the village's wildlife sanctuary workers were tagging turtles. It's a fascinating project that puts satellite trackers on these animals which are known to swim across entire continents to get back to their hatching grounds. This year they've started again but the wildlife sanctuary wants to get the support of research teams and interested persons to come out and assist them. To raise awareness, we'll repeat our story from August of last year which gave a fascinating insight into the life and enduring mystery of sea turtles:.. Jules Vasquez Reporting Putting a sanding machine to a turtle's shell? That may seem cruel and unusual, but really, they're not torturing this mature female hawksbill - they're trying to help. What they're trying to do is sand off these tough barnacles that have molted unto her - and while the old girl looked distressed, maybe even despairing - the grinding continued. Why? Well, to take it back a few steps, she was captured two nights ago on this beach at the southern edge of the Belize district. As so many turtles do in the area she was laying eggs. She was detained, not pending charges, but pending the attachment of this satellite tracking device.

Channel 5

A farm worker is found murdered on the outskirts of Cotton Tree
An intense police investigation is underway tonight following the gruesome discovery of the badly decomposed remains of a caretaker who was murdered on a remote farm near the outskirts of Cotton Tree Village. Details are sketchy but the body of fifty-two year old David Martinez, a naturalized Belizean who had been reported missing a week [...]

The body of a missing woman discovered near Bella Vista Village
There’s another murder to report. The body of a woman, who was also reported missing last week was found this morning. Twenty-two year old Susanna Rosalia Lopez was last seen alive last Wednesday in Bella Vista Village in the south. Lopez was in the company of a man at a bar known as La Mafia. [...]

Slovakian fugitive wanted for murder is arrested in San Pedro
The high profile arrest of an international fugitive, nabbed in San Pedro last Wednesday, has left the Belize Police Department in a public relations debacle. While the local media has been asked to cooperate with the department in withholding information on the capture of forty-two year old Karol Mello, a Slovakian national who absconded toBelizein [...]

Jamaican cargo runs aground off the coast of Belize City
At this hour, a joint investigation is ongoing after a Jamaican registered cargo vessel, the MV Paranga, ran aground off the coast of Belize City this morning. The three hundred and thirty foot ship was transporting agricultural products to Kingston, Jamaica when between eight-forty-five and nine-fifteen a.m., it grounded in three meters of water southeast [...]

Rowan Garel completes 92 mile walk for charity
The following is an inspiring story about fourteen year old Rowan Garel. Born blind, Rowan has already climbed to the top of Victoria Peak. Today he accomplished another feat; he walked over ninety miles to raise much needed funds for a summer camp for children who are blind and visually impaired. Rowan started his walk [...]

Police Association negotiating hasty transfers
At the end of June, a number of police officers got notice of their sudden transfer to take effect in two weeks. Some of the officers were to relocate to their new posts today, but that has been put on hold after the Police Association spoke out last Friday against the undue haste in which [...]

Phone companies disconnect over 60,000 unregistered customers
The deadline for the mandatory registration of prepaid cellular phones was initially in March, but was extended twice, eventually landing on July thirteenth. Well, it appears that those extensions led consumers to doubt that the disconnections would really take effect, but on Friday night over sixty thousand customers from Belize Telemedia Limited and Smart were [...]

Shooting victim refuses to testify; accused gunman walks free
The second trial without jury was quickly disposed of this morning by Supreme Court Justice Herbert Lord. The prosecution’s main witness was nineteen year old Kenrick Longsworth, who was shot on October fourteenth, 2009. But today, Longsworth refused to testify against the accused gunman, twenty-five year old Oscar Kareem Usher, who was on trial for [...]

After over a month in Belize, 2 Jamaican nationals face deportation
Two Jamaican nationals left Kingston, Jamaica on June third en route to the United States, but for unknown reasons, they had a change of plans and instead sought refuge in Belize. Since June seventh, twenty-seven year old Romando Michael Richards and thirty-one year old Rayon Anthony Spence were living on Electric Avenue in Belize City, [...]

K.H.M.H. Board to review special audit report
We have been reporting on the special audit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for the period April to December 2011. By and large, it reveals that there were serious irregularities in purchases made for the hospital and that procurement practices were not followed. A number of items that were purchased from a company in [...]

BAVIA announces animated film competition winners
The International Film Festival kicked off over the weekend; sixty-seven films will be featured this year. This morning, as part of the festival, an audio visual symposium was held at the House of Culture in Belize City. The event, hosted by The Belize Audio Visual Industry Association (BAVIA) was to discuss the art and business [...]

APAMO elects new executive at Annual General Meeting
The Association of Protected Areas Management Organization, APAMO, held its fifth annual general meeting on Friday where stakeholders discussed a range of issues pertaining to the environment, natural resources and sustainable development. Other important topics included the management of protected areas within the tourism framework. According to APAMO Chairman Edilberto Romero, the environment, namely Belize’s [...]

Sports Monday weekend report with James Adderley
Good Evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The Harrison Park National Cricket Competition returned on Saturday to beautiful Lord’s Bank in an effort to conclude the decisive Game III in the semi-final round between Excellence of Double Head and Brilliant of Crooked Tree. Last Saturday, the rains forced both teams to [...]


Police are investigating the murder of a man in Cotton Tree village in the Cayo district. The victim has been identified as fifty two year old David Martinez. According to police reports, Martinez worked as a watchman at Maya Mopan Land Farm and was reported missing since S...

Police search in Roaring Creek village uncovered drugs and weapons buried near the riverbank. Correspondent Fem Cruz Reports. FEM CRUZ, Reporter “On Saturday, July 14th between the hours of 4 AM and 12:30 PM, a joint operation was conducted in the village of Co...

Five days after she was reported missing, the body of a woman from Bella Vista village has been found. Twenty two year old Susana Roselia Lopez was last seen socializing at a nightclub in Bella Vista village on Wednesday of last week. Reports to the RSV News Centre are that...

The Youth Arm of the National Garifuna Council convened over the weekend at the Gulisi Primary School where they held their fourteenth annual youth convention. Correspondent Harry Arzu tells us more HARRY ARZU, Reporter “The three days event which sort to...

The Government of the Republic of China, Taiwan and the Government of Belize, organized a visit of an International Youth Ambassador delegation which is currently in the country. The seven talented students are visiting Belize to intensify academic and cultural exchanges between ...

The fourth annual Battle of the Drums summer camp ended at the weekend in Punta Gorda. Our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “President of Battle of the Drums Secretariat, Darius Avila, confirmed that the two weeks ev...

A number of residents from Lord’s Bank village convened around three pm yesterday at Ramos Bus stop in the village where a meeting was held. According to owner of Ramos bus service and resident of Lord’s Bank, Bert Ramos the purpose of this meeting was for the village...

The walk across Belize fund-raising initiative undertaken by fourteen year old Rowan Garel has been completed. Garel and a group of his supporters and other Belizeans, walked the final leg of the journey from Hattieville village to Belize City early this morning, ending at the of...

The issue of grown men taking advantage of teenage girls under the age of eighteen has been in the news a lot recently. And today there is one more to report. The latest reported case comes from the village or Lord’s Bank. The mother of the girl, whose name we will wi...


Flooding disrupts travels in rural Toledo
Two flooded rivers in the Toledo District have caused major setbacks to vehicular traffic and to inhabitants in several rural communities in that southern District. Correspondent Paul Mahung fills us in.

Police continue to investigate Corozal double murder
Corozal police continue to follow leads in connection with the murders of Robert Hernandez and Kenrick Vacarro, an uncle and nephew duo who were murdered on Wednesday night. When we spoke with Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Station on Thursday, Love News also asked Superintendent Gualberto Garcia for an update on the murders of mother and daughter, Clari and Shanny Ferdersdorf, who were shot dead last week Thursday night. Meanwhile, no one has been arrested for the murders of Kenrick Vacarro and Robert Hernandez.

International fugitive nabbed in San Pedro
Once again Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret has been the haven for another fugitive, this time hailing all the way from Europe. Forty-two year old Karol Mello, a native of the Slovak Republic in Eastern European, was reportedly living in Belize for the past several months, and conducting a business in San Pedro Town. He was wanted by European authorities in connection with a double murder in 2004. Referred to as an alleged mafia don, the fugitive was apprehended on Pescador Drive in San Pedro on Thursday. In October of 2010, he was arrested in Poland but was let go in May of 2011 when adequate procedures were not followed in processing his case. Reports are that Mello is also believed to be involved in the murder of a European drug kingpin.

Cumberbatch sentenced to a decade behind bars
Twenty eight year old Knox Cumberbatch will spend the next ten years in prison. That is the sentence handed down today by Justice Adolph Lucas after Cumberbatch’s conviction on Monday of last week on three counts of attempted murder. The ten year jail sentence is with effect from today. Before handing down the sentence, Justice Lucas said that young men in Belize who are committing crimes of violence resort to firearms. But old days, the judge said, men used to fight with fists. Justice Lucas called today’s criminals cowards saying they only feel brave when they have steel in their hands. In the process, judge Lucas said, they kill their own black men. Cumberbatch is accused of the July 28, 2007 shooting in San Pedro Town. Four persons were socializing at a night club when there was a dispute at the basketball court. Cumberbatch reportedly left and returned shortly afterwards and opened fire on the group.

Burrel Boom man charged for discharging firearm in public
Thirty seven year old Michael Wright, a driver residing in Burrell Boom, was charged with five offences, among them discharging a firearm in public and kept firearm without a gun license, when he appeared today in the number one Magistrate’s Court. The other charges included two counts of aggravated assault and 1 count of using threatening words. Wright pleaded not guilty to the charges. Because of the nature of the offences the court could not offer him bail. He was remanded into custody until August twenty ninth. The incident occurred around one thirty a.m. on July first, in Burrell Boom. Two persons, Keron Molina and Sheryl Escobar, reported to the police that Wright pointed a firearm at them threatening them, then fired a single shot into the air. Wright did not have a license for the firearm so he was charged with kept firearm without a gun license.

Importance of intelligence information gathering and sharing discussed
A week-long training provided members of Belize’s law enforcement community as well as our Trinidadian counterparts with a forum to discuss the crucial subject of intelligence gathering and sharing. On the final day of the training, participants discussed two main topics, including the importance of intelligence in the fight against serious and organized crime and the benefits of centralized intelligence, inter-agency cooperation and information sharing. At the closing of the training this morning in Belmopan, chief executive officer in the ministry of National Security, retired colonel George Lovell said that given the current realities in Belize with a spiraling crime situation, more needs to be done in order for law enforcement to stay ahead of the criminals. Colonel Lovell says the training provided this week will go a long way in improving the nation’s intelligence gathering model and enhance the response to threats to our national security. The training was provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Colonel Lovell says that a strategic planning meeting on national security threats will be held next month which will guide the way forward in tackling crime and violence in Belize.

Police undergo customer service training
Members of the police department today participated in a customer service and public relations workshop at the House of Culture on Regent Street in Belize City. The two day workshop opened yesterday and the Deputy of the Tourism police Unit, Sergeant Karla Gamboa, further enlightened us on the training.

APAMO holds training for its members
APAMO held their general meeting today in Belize City. Correspondent Harry Arzu was there and filed the following report.

Music consultation held in Belize City
The House of Culture on Regent Street was today the venue for a consultation through the collaboration of the Belize International Film Festival, NICH and the Music Industry Association of Belize. Singer, songwriter, model , and director of MIAB, Melonie Gillett gave Love News the details on this event. Gillett says the next step for artists in the music industry is for more work, more push and more drive. She says that MIAB and NICH are working in a five year music plan with several projects in the works and today’s consultation may open bigger doors for the music industry.

Annual Garifuna Convention underway in Dangriga
The youth arm of the National Garifuna Council began its fourteenth annual convention today at the Gulisi Primary School in Dangriga. Harry Arzu reports.


Watchman turns up dead on farm in Cotton Tree Village
A search for a missing person turns into a murder investigation. DAVID McKOY, Supervisor of MayaLand Farm located i...

5 month old needs assistance for life-saving surgery
A family is seeking the assistance of the public; in order for their baby to undergo a lifesaving medical procedure...

Boots talks "Boost"
BOOST stands for Building Opportunities for our Social Transformation. BOOST is a poverty alleviation program that ...

18 year old loses life in car accident
A left turn ends the life of a young man. On Saturday night July 14, Police visited the Western Regional Hospital w...

Illegal travellers busted, remanded to prison
This is dark tale of 2 Jamaican nationals who set sail from Jamaica enroute to Uncle Sam but ended up in Belize- No...

Belize gets positive reviews at Influenza summit
Last month, at the Influenza Surveillance Regional Meeting in Panama City, Panama, it was reported that Belize rank...

Belmopan beauty heads to 2012 Miss World Pagaent
Chantae Chanice Guy (20) was recently chosen to represent Belize at the 2012 Miss World Pageant to be held at Ordos...

Corozal residents take to the streets in protest
The Citizens’ Coalition for a Better Corozal took to the streets in that municipality on Saturday (July 14) in a pe...

Mechanic charged with drug trafficking
The Dangriga Police visited Grigalizean Shopping Center on George Price Drive, Dangriga Town on Saturday evening (J...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Fresh Fire-Hearth Roasted Cashews For Sale…
This gentleman walks down the streets of Caye Caulker with his stash of bagged, fresh roasted cashew nuts. Cashew fruit is grown locally on mainland Belize. It is fresh roasted locally over a wood fire, bagged, and brought to you wherever you are. Support a local farmer and a local entrepreneur and buy some authentic Belizean cashews. You will not be disappointed. Small bags are BZ$ 10 (US$ 5) and large bags are BZ$ 20 (US$ 10).

Miss Paula’s Hand-Painted T-Shirts ROCK!
Ms. Paula is a single mom who hand paints some awesome t-shirts for a living. You can find her at one of the arts and craft stands on Front Street on the way to the Split. Ms. Paula puts a lot of love and care into her artwork, and it shows. She is also one of the most interesting conversationalists around. Next time you are on the island, stop by and say hello. Tell her the Caye Caulker Chronicles sent you.


The Internet That I Use in San Pedro
On January 31st 2012, I had no internet and was distraught. So, I bought a new "gadget" that is relatively new to the island. This little USB internet stick from Smart would provide me service, was relatively cheap and promised to be relatively quick. I told you guys about it and promised a follow-up. it is: For the previous year before I bought this stick, I was sharing Wi-Fi with the couple that lived directly below me. Any internet in Belize is EXPENSIVE. You can purchase super slow 128k speed for $49bzd a month (it will take you back to your dial up days...You've Got Mail!) to workable 512k speed for $179bzd to faster 4MB for $850bzd. $850bzd!!!!!!!!!!! Holy shit. This is all after a $150 installation fee and two visits from the phone or cable guys. I want something easier but DEFINITELY cheaper. So I talked to one of the cell phone service providers...Smart. I bought their USB stick. (But I am repeating myself like CRAZY...all of this was mentioned in my earlier post.) The actual USB stick costs $185 BZD and is yours to keep. You can use it in up to two computers. The internet time is sold as follows: $30bzd for 1GB (which they tell you is good if you only email, IM and download/upload pictures) up to $90bzd for the 10GB plan (which gives you time to Web browse, play online games, video stream and lots of other options.) The speed I was told that I would get is 300-400k uploading and 450-550k downloading. About the same as the $180bzd monthly fee that Coral Cable is charging for the same speed.

International Sources

Belizean Teachers Attend Bi-National Environmental Education Institute
On July 13th, nine Belizean teachers and one District Curriculum Officer successfully completed the 9th annual “Teacher Institute in Environmental Studies and Culture” sponsored by the Belize Foundation for Conservation and hosted by The Lodge at Chaa Creek in the Cayo District. Thirteen education professionals from The State University of New York also attended and were involved in the cross-cultural educational exchange. The Institute provided the teachers with the opportunity to engage in cross-cultural collaboration with international educators in order to examine and share best practices in education applied toward the study of the environment and cultures. Through experiential learning tasks, the teachers were able to explore and develop an understanding of ancient Maya civilization, archeology, natural resource conservation, and ecotourism. The teachers were also introduced to a new book written by children of Belize and the U.S. as part of an international literacy initiative. “Pat the (Great) Cat: A Jaguar's Journey” chronicles the true story of a jaguar whose dramatic journey from Belize to the United States is both heart-breaking and heart-warming. The Belize Ministry of Education has chosen the book as a supplemental text for the coming school year. It may be that this is the first time that the students are authors of their own textbook! The five day training workshop is a collaborative effort between the Belize Foundation for Conservation (BFC) based at the Chaa Creek Natural History Centre, the State University of New York at Cortland (SUNY-Cortland), and the Belize Ministry of Education. Since the institute’s beginning in 2003, over 90 Belizean teachers have benefited from the training. The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Thomas Pasquarello - Institute Director, State University of New York - Cortland, Mr. Pablo Chan - Ministry of Education, Cayo District Curriculum Officer, Mr. Mike Green - Executive Director of the Belize Foundation for Conservation, and Ms. Miguelina Cuevas-Post - United States Peace Corps volunteer.

Belize's Hidden Treasure
Hardwood logs lying submerged on a riverbed for 200 years could prove invaluable to preserving Belize's rainforests.Sharita Hutton takes a boat down the Belize River to find out about a project that is reducing deforestation by tracking down precious woods in the most unlikely of places – at the bottom of the river. The world's hardwoods are disappearing fast, with 1.5 acres (0.6 hectares) of rainforest cut down every second. This in turn causes the loss of an estimated 50,000 species of hardwood each year. From the Amazon Basin to the forests of Southeast Asia, extensive logging has resulted in the disappearance of huge swaths of hardwood supplies, and world population growth is putting pressure on governments to gain quick cash flow by cutting down what is left of their hardwood forests. But in the Central American country of Belize, there is a supply of hardwoods that was cut since 200 years ago that could help meet the demand without cutting down the remnants of existing forests. Starting from March, 2011, a new venture between a US logging company and the Belize government began harvesting logs that were cut down as long ago as the 18th and 19th centuries. Historically, logs were floated down the river to transport them to market in Belize City, and in the process, as many as 50 per cent of them sank to the bottom. According to Rich Petty of Greener Lumber, "there was a time when you couldn't even see the water for the logs". Because of the type of wood and the type of environment, the timber is still well preserved today, and when retrieved it will find keen buyers in places such as the US and Europe. Using divers and modern technology, the goal is to extract as much as 20,000 board feet (47 cubic metres) of logs per week and ship this old-growth mahogany and five other species to the global markets.

July 16, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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 July 15th, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • More Western Weed For Eastern Streets
  • Two Cayo Students Honored
  • The Passing Of Mr. George “Bibi” Waight
  • Fostering Literacy To Sustain National Development
  • Death of Marco Tulio Polanco
  • Jordanian MP Pulls Gun During Live TV Debate
  • Did You See The Ghosts in the Market?
  • Stop Selling Alcohol To Minors
  • STAR Humor
  • Editorial: Will This One Be Likewise Swept Under The Rug?
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

The San Pedro Sun

Editorial: A Simple Answer to Complicated Problem
There were two things I noticed at the 4th of July gathering that were key to keeping an orderly crowd. The first was a lack of alcohol. Don’t get me wrong, I was darn thirsty and with the temperature well over 100 degrees I was seriously looking for a Belikin tent. There were tons of refreshment vendors, but all alcohol sales were limited to bars and restaurants in the area, there was absolutely no public drinking. Needless to say a sober crowd tends to be better behaved. The other obvious factor was the presence of police officers on bicycles. Wearing comfortable uniforms in short pants these law officers easily maneuvered through the people and were able to maintain crowd control without disrupting the area with motor vehicles. I really love this idea, especially when transportation seems to be so difficult to obtain for our police in San Pedro. Couldn’t you just see a team of police patrolling our neighborhoods on bikes? Why not??? We don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to figuring out law enforcement in Belize. There are many countries we can learn from who have suffered the same problems we are currently facing and have found positive ways to solve them. Sometimes the easiest solutions are the hardest to see. How many unclaimed bikes are just piled at the Police Station? Why can’t they be used for transportation for our officers at times? Bicycles are certainly an acceptable means of transportation for many island residents and in many cases you can even reach a place faster on bike than by vehicle. Bike riding also offers physical health benefits to our officers, which is always a plus. I think if we could fashion a sporty biking uniform for our officers on the island and fancied up some of those abandoned bikes we could see more policemen on the streets with a minimal expense to the Police Department.

Misc Belizean Sources

Jasmine Alert
Belize is so behind on the technology time line it is not funny. With all the crime going on in Belize, the police and medical sectors need to get much financing to become what the nation needs them to be. There is so much that can be done, the Governments and people simply need to want it to happen and push as hard as needs be to get it. To start with there needs to be a system of networks bound together that will span country-wide. Ala Amber Alert here in the US. It would be a bit expensive but if a they sell off a couple of those $100,000 plus rides they can make it a reality. A farm of databases linking data from police stations and hospitals all over the nation. A website that would show pedophiles, thieves, murderers, abusers and other criminals and where they reside. Implement a proper DNA testing /forensic facility if there isn’t one yet or drastically improve what’s there. A fingerprint and eye scanner at each police station with a record in the database of each known criminal. They can even setup a dial in Emergency Hotline that people can dial into to get the latest emergency info. Like dial 3030 from your phone to get the latest emergency reports or 3031 to report something. That’s just to start.

The Case for a Belizean Pan-Africanism
This essay is an analysis of Pan-Africanism in the Central American country of Belize. One of the many significant products of W.E.B. DuBois’s now famous utterance that “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line” has been the unending commitment todocument the reality of the color line throughout the various regions of the African Diaspora.Thus, nearly a century after his speech at the First Pan-African Congress, this effort has produced a corpus of works on Pan-Africanism that capture the global dimensions of the Pan-African Movement. However, the literature on Pan-Africanism since has been and remains fixedon the Caribbean Islands, North America and most certainly Africa. This tendency is justifiablegiven the famous contributions of the many Pan-African freedom fighters and the formationshailing from these regions. But this has been at a cost. There remains significant portions of theAfrican Diaspora whose place in and contributions to the advancement of Pan-Africanism has been glossed over or fully neglected. The subject of this paper is to introduce Belize as one of the neglected yet prolific fronts in the Pan-African phenomenon. Thus this essay utilizes a Pan-African nationalist theoretical framework that captures the place of Belize in the AfricanDiaspora, with an emphasis on 1) identifying elements of Pan-Africanism based on a redefinitionof the concept and 2) applying them in a way that illustrates the Pan-African tradition in Belize.

Soursop Ice Cream & Coconut Drops
Here in the Caribbean, we have a delicious fruit that’s flavorful with an intoxicating aroma that we call soursop, in Spanish guanabana and other South American countries, graviola. Click here for other names and places where it can be found. Soursop is used to make a variety of desserts, such as a flan as created by my Brazilian friend, Valentina of Trem Bom and beverages like punches, drinks and milk shakes. I also have friends who just like to eat the de-seeded pulp with condensed milk. One of my favourite ways to have it is in a homemade ice cream. And that is exactly what I made for my entry to Meeta’s Monthly Mingle, the theme being, Scream for Ice Cream.

Belize Snapshot: Parrot Through The Window
San Miguel Village – Toledo, Belize Earlier this week I visited Maria Ack at her house in the Maya Village of San Miguel to learn how to weave baskets like the Maya women do and to have a traditional Maya lunch. While I was there, I was able to take this shot of a green parrot that randomly flew and stood patiently there next to the kitchen window. I found this to be really curious and couldn’t help but take the shot. The village of San Miguel is made up of about 380 residents, most of them being Kekchi Mayas (the minority being Mopan). The village is actually split by the Rio Blanco, where you can see many kids splashing water, women doing their laundry, and fishermen going up and down the river in their canoes. Also, as you can see in the picture, Mayas are well-known to have dozens of pots and pans lids stacked on their wooden walls, as well as dozens of bowl. They must be good at cooking, right? Oh, and it goes without saying that the Maya lunch, stew chicken and white rice, was duh-licious!

My Growing Appreciation of Spanish Lookout
Growing up in Belize City I was exposed to a melting pot of cultures. I had friends who were Creole, Mestizo, Maya, Garifuna, and visited some of their culture’s settlements. But it was not until 2008 when I was accepted to study at Galen University which is located in the Cayo District that I made acquaintances with people of the Mennonite Culture and visited their settlement of Spanish Lookout for the first time. Prior to moving to Cayo, my only encounter with Mennonites came when I purchased ice cream from Western Dairies or purchasing furniture on North Front Street in Belize City. I knew of their settlement in Spanish Lookout but had never really given much thought to actually visit the place. After all, I had all the Western Dairies ice cream I needed right across the street from my grandmother’s house. Little did I know, Spanish Lookout would play a huge role in building my family’s business-literally! My family owns a small resort named Amber Sunset Jungle Resort located in the village of Unitedville; approximately eight miles from Spanish Lookout. Built up in the hills, one of the most breath taking vantage points from the resort is overlooking the entire Spanish Lookout valley.

San Ignacio's New One Way Streets
Here's a handy map showing the new routes of downtown Cayo. "Burns Avenue: Will be closed to vehicular traffic from its junction with Bullet Tree Road to its junction with Rectory Lane."

$10,000 Cash Raffle for Bottles
Bowen & Bowen will be giving away 20 cash prizes of $500 on July 18th and August 1st. You can get raffle tickets by returning bottles. You get 1 raffle ticket if you return them to the trucks, and 2 if you return them at the bottling centers. Good luck! "REFUND your crates of clean, empty 12oz Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite and 10oz Belikin glass bottles for a CASH or credit refund and automatically get tickets to enter our CASH Raffles. You can win one of 20 CASH PRIZES of $500!"

OAS Belize & Guatemala Cultural Exchange
The Benque House of Culture has uploaded pictures from the OAS Bi-national Presentations Belize & Guatemala Cultural Exchange.

NICH Cultural Policy Announcement
NICH will be presenting their National Cultural Policy around Belize over the next 3 weeks. They'll be here in Cayo at the Cahal Pech Village Resort on July the 24th at 5:00pm. Here's the promo. "The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) hereby inform the general public that countrywide consultations will be carried out during July and August 2012 to develop a National Cultural Policy. A message from the President of NICH, Ms. Diane C. Haylock"


Belizean beauty heads to Miss World Pageant
Anthony Richards sings it best with his rendition of the song, “Sweet Belizean Girl” and on Saturday, one lovely queen will travel thousands of miles to try to put Belize on the international beauty pageants map. Twenty year old Chantae Guy, a Belizean beauty from Belmopan and a University of Belize student, will take part in the upcoming Ms World Pageant scheduled for China, Taiwan on August eighteenth. Before leaving the country, Guy told Love News that she has what it takes mentally, physically, and charismatically to carry the torch. Public Relations Officer for the Ms World Pageant, Giselle Lauriano, says that finding the funds for this level of competition is not easy, but you can still help to make Chantae Guy’s dream become a reality by helping with overhead expenses. If you would like to contribute towards the cause, the number to call again is: 600 8932. Chantae Guy will arrive in China on Wednesday and will have one month of rehearsals and tours leading up to the pageant on August eighteenth. She returns home on August twenty-sixth.

Trade Union Congress members undergo training
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize held a one day training for the membership of its affiliate at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City. Education Director Catherine Flowers told Love News about the objective of the training. About twenty persons attended today’s training.


An Exquisite Evening
From the moment that I saw the quirky trailer for The Exquisite Corpse Project, a film directed by Ben Popik, I couldn't wait to see the entire movie. Ben and his wife Joanna, who produced the film, live here in San Pedro not far down the beach from us, and we frequently see them walking their dogs, Sharkbait and Parker, or having a meal at Ak'Bol. Joanna is often in yoga practice with me as well. They are, in short, just normal young folks -- well, if you can call anyone in San Pedro "normal"! In actuality, this is a really talented, clever, and funny pair that I am proud to know. The film had already won several awards in the US before premiering in Belize at the Belize International Film Festival 2012. Last night, it premiered here in San Pedro at our one and only movie theater. We decided to walk to the theater since we didn't want to leave our bikes outside where we couldn't keep an eye on them. We were lucky enough to get a ride in our neighbor Ens' cart for the last part of the walk as he was on his way to the theater as well. We were a bit early, but there was already a crowd gathering outside, and a long row of parked golf carts...

Belize Film Festival and The Exquisite Corpse Project
Last night I went to go see the Exquisite Corpse Project which was playing at the Paradise Theater for the Belize Film Festival. It does not come as a surprise that the film has one the following awards: Audience Choice Award – Dances With Films (2012), Best Documentary – LA New Wave Film Festival (2012), and Best Director – LA New Wave Film Festival (2012). I was riveted to the movie from start to finish which says a lot, having ADD tendencies sitting through a full length movie without getting restless is often a challenge for me. I would also say it is definitely worth watching again, which I am sure I will do with tacoboy at some point. He was feeling over socialized and needed to quietly chill out with aircon and remote control . I am not going to reinvent the wheel in explaining the premise of the movie and have used the text below from The Exquisite Corpse Project facebook page. I hope you will like their page even if you have not seen the movie and do so in support of wanting to do something cool like making a feature film and actually doing it . You can also check out the official Exquisite Corpse Project website...

Things I Saw Yesterday: A Beautiful Day
For all of you who like the bar and late night scene of San Pedro, I apologize. I hope that many of my posts over the next few weeks will be similar to this one. Good old fashioned walks on the beach. My best friend has arrived for the summer and we, AGAIN, have devoted ourselves to fitness and clean living. least for as long as it lasts. Some summers we do well and some we don't. Wish me luck. Until I'm back in my normal state, here is what I saw yesterday. This crab was not happy to see me. Does anyone know what is beneath her? Eggs? Or is that what a land crab usually looks like? Xanadu is doing some sort of construction with this gorgeous piece of timber. I would estimate that it is 4 feet in diamater. The construction guys insisted that it will be a bench...but a bench for 10 foot tall individuals? I'll have to wait and see. Down close to the Belize Yacht Club, a new spa is doing massages out on this long pier. Here are some pictures of my walk south in the morning. It really was a gorgeous day. Hot and sunny but with a nice cool breeze off the ocean. I'm guessing we only have a few more weeks until the breeze disappears. But, knock on wood, the hurricane season has been fairly kind to the Atlantic so far.

Chaa Creek: beautiful, accessible Belizean nature
Chaa Creek is a well-known commodity in Belizean tourism, due to their dedication to sustainable tourism. They’ve received recognition from Green Globe, Conde Nast Traveler, Forbes, Travel & Leisure, and many more respectable institutions. Last year, Chaa Creek was awarded the Hotel of the Year award from the Belize Tourism Board. Chaa Creek gets its name from a tributary of the Macal river. The property rests on 365 acres of land, with the main site of the cottages allowing for easy access to explore the different aspects either with the trained staff or at your leisure. Guests can get a free guided Rainforest Medicine Trail Tour to learn about the traditional uses of native plants. Other free amenities for guests include: canoeing, an early morning bird walk, and guided tours of the on-site Natural History Centre and Butterfly Farm. Many resorts in the region can boast about their proximity to nature, as the jungle surrounds so much of the Cayo District. Not all of them offer the standard of service and the options that Chaa Creek does. The food was exceptional, with the coconut bread being delicious enough that I was delighted to know the recipe is available online. My room also provided me with my first outdoor shower experience. Before I saw it, I was confused about the concept, but the rock wall outside of my room was easy to understand. Being able to shower outside allows for less separation from nature, rounding out the experience. I was impressed by all of my guides, especially Meschak, who I was with for the creatures of the night walk, the morning bird walk, and the medicinal trail experience. His passion and knowledge were far beyond the usual level found in an included tour. Despite not having been on a horse in 15 or so years, my guide on the ranch made sure my experience was comfortable and safe. I was also amused that he was such the standard image cowboy, even while 100% Belizean. When I was there last year, Wi-Fi access in my room was hard to come by, but it worked well in the business center and I was told that it was something that was going to be worked on. For such a limited amount of time, I was amazed at how much Chaa Creek was able to provide for me. I don’t really consider myself a nature person, rather someone who likes varied new experiences. Chaa Creek provided that for me. And if they can make a believer out of a city lover like me, I can only imagine how much the true ecophile could gain from a stay.

International Sources

From the publisher
Vacationing in this former British colony, I was struck by a couple of unlikely characteristics shared with El Paso. For openers, there is language. Although surrounded by three Spanish-speaking countries, English is the official language and most everyone speaks it well. Still, many people know Spanish and shopkeepers switch easily between the two. Some also speak the Caribbean Creole, (Ya mon), and Garifuna, which has African roots. Mennonites still speak a German dialect. Another shared legacy left by the former colonizers is a demanding school system. Proper grammar and arithmetic are drilled into young heads in the British tradition. Another shared tradition is the rule of law. Their legal system, like ours, is based on English common law. There is a two-house legislature, including the 12-seat upper house with representatives appointed on recommendations from the ruling party, opposition parties, the council of churches, the chamber of commerce and industry, trade unions and the Belize Better Business Bureau.

July 15, 2012

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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

Sylvia Joseph is Caye Caulker’s Miss Lobster Fest 2012-2013
On Friday, June 30th, the 2012 Caye Caulker Lobster Fest activities started off with the 2012 Miss Lobster Fest Pageant. After all the planning and preparations were put in place for this much anticipated event, five stunning young ladies took to the stage and wowed the crowd as they vied for the coveted title. They were Miss Jasmine Skeen, Miss Shania Sanchez, Miss Jasmine Arce, Miss Vicky Canul and Miss Sylvia Joseph who all took turns dazzling the audience in a dance presentation, talent competition, traditional costume and of course evening wear/Q&A segment. In the end the decision of the judges was met with joy and adulation as the undeniable crowd favorite, Miss Sylvia Joseph, was awarded the title of Miss Caye Caulker Lobster Fest 2012-2013. Sylvia performed so well that she was also awarded three other titles of Miss Creativity for her work in designing her float for the delegate road march, Miss Amity for her optimistic and friendly nature, and Miss Photogenic. The entire event was a hit, and the crowd seemed to be very entertained and exited throughout the show, carried along by the superb mother and daughter duo Indira Craig and Emaun Hyde who served as Co-Mistresses of Ceremonies. Indira and her daughter Emaun did a splendid job interacting with the crowd, presenting the delegates for their segment and keeping the audience entertained during segment changes and intermissions by poking fun at one another and offering fun and quirky jokes with the crowd.

Misc Belizean Sources

National Geographic Features Belize’s Sacred Maya Caves
National Geographic ranks ATM as its number 1 sacred cave of the world. Cayo's Joe Awe talks about it in this article. "The National Geographic’s recent article was extracted from their book, Sacred Places of a Lifetime, and lists their top cave destinations from around the world, including caverns in India, Sri Lanka, Greece, China, Malta, France, Ethiopia and Italy, as well as Belize. Mr Awe said he believes that researchers have just barely scratched the surface, so to speak, of Belize’s sacred Maya caves, which exist within a vast network of naturally formed caves, underground rivers and cenotes, or deep sinkholes. The ancient Maya considered caves and cenotes to be portals to a cosmological underworld and revered them as places where their priests and rulers could communicate with and send offerings to appease their deities and to petition them for divine assistance. Actun Tunichil Muknal, for instance, features impressive altars and ceremonial areas and is packed with pottery and shards as well as numerous implements and artefacts made of jade, obsidian, bone and other materials. It’s most well-known feature is the famous 'Crystal Maiden', the intact skeleton of a young sacrificial woman that, due to an accumulation of calcium carbonate over the years, sparkles eerily in torchlight."

VIDEO: Luna Maya Presents
Presenting: Luna Maya Dance Group ... another one of Belize's Very Own!

Here are some pictures taken from the opening night of the Belize International Film Festival.

Her Own Words: Lauren Burgess-Egan
Lauren Burgess-Egan, the self described "hostess with the mostest" in her element. Definitely one of Belize's Very Own.

An innovative program designed to teach the basics of the sport of cycling has started in Belize City. It targets young people from the age of 8 - 16. It runs every Saturday for the next 8 weeks and anyone interested in taking part in this bold initiative can just show up at the UWI Open Campus on Princess Margaret Drive on Saturdays at 9 am.


New Belize Beer available at Roadkill Bar
If you are looking for a new choice of beer on Ambergris Caye head to Roadkill Bar for some ‘Summer in a Bottle’ and try the new Verano Beer. Belize Brewing Company has officially introduced it’s new seasonal summer beer. It’s light golden color combined with orange peel and spices make it the perfect drink for a hot summer day. Verano is available from now till the end of August so stock up while you can. Since my beer [and tequila] drinking days are long gone my taste report comes from Changes in Latitudes and Matt who both agreed it was very tasty. Matt recommends drinking it in a glass – he thinks beer tastes better that way. Adam and Jackie the owners of Casa Picasso stopped by Roadkill yesterday while I was enjoying my ‘world’s best panty rippa’ and were happy to have a new choice for Belize Beer. My prediction – I can see it now people will start making their Belize travel plans around the seasonal Beers so they can try them all – or get their non beer drinking friends to stash a few for when they return

2012 Coral Reef Summer Camp Graduates TONS of Kids
Each year, for the past 13, education and marine biology students from Smith College (in Northampton, Massachusetts) come to San Pedro to run a 2-3 week FREE summer camp with Hol Chan Marine Reserve for the kids of San Pedro. On Thursday night, one of the graduates invited me to attend the party at the San Pedro Lions' Den. One cool thing about this program? They teach the kids all about the island's environment, how it works and how we need to conserve it, through games, super cool artwork, lessons, songs and visits. Another cool thing? I went to Smith College (Class of 1995) and had no idea this was going on in San Pedro. (Okay...probably just cool to me.) The kids performed some songs about the mangroves, reef and even coral polyps. (They are graduating knowing WAY more than I do.) The place was PACKED. I'm guessing about 100 kids went through the camp over the past 2 weeks. My favorite song was a remix of Aretha Franklin. The coral reef needs a little R E S P E C T too. Or the little diddy about zooxanthellae (tiny plant cells that live on and feed the reef) and coral polyps. Always good to learn a new word.

International Sources

Postwar Confederate colony in Belize
After the war, McRae settled in Belize, British Honduras. McRae purchased land and continued running a plantation and mercantile business. Since he was never officially pardoned, McRae decided it was too risky to return to the former Confederate States. In May of 1868, McRae’s sister, Catherine McRae (Hempstead), and brother, John McRae, visited him in Belize. John, the ex governor of Mississippi, was gravely ill but wanted to see his brother one last time. John died soon after arriving in Belize and was buried there. While in Belize, Catherine met and married Christopher Hempstead, a successful businessman and friend of McRae, who was an exiled Confederate. During 1875, McRae willed all of his property to his sister Catherine until his nieces and nephews from his other sister, Isabelle Armor, were of age. McRae died in February of 1877.

Nora Parham: The only woman ever hanged in Belize
“Under the British laws at the time she was found guilty and sentenced to die. Today it would probably have been different.” So said George Price, the first black prime minister of Belize, recalling the case of Nora Parham who, after a long period of physical and sexual abuse by her partner, Letchel Trapp, finally killed her tormentor by pouring petrol over him and setting him on fire. The court in Belize was told that Trapp died in agony. Nora, an Asian, was the 36-year-old mother of eight sons and Trapp was the father of four of them. She was said to have complained several times to the police about Trapp’s violent behaviour. Although the jury at her trial recommended mercy, the British governor of the colony, then called British Honduras, declined to interfere with the verdict. On Wednesday, June 5th, 1963, Nora’s sons kept vigil outside the prison where their mother became the first woman to be hanged in British Honduras.

How One U.S. Carpenter Secured a Slice of Paradise
It was while sailing up the Moho River in Belize that Chris Crowell spotted his future. His 40-foot skipjack schooner, Juanita, was cutting through the calm waters as he rounded a point…and saw an abandoned jungle farm for sale. “Looming high above this beautiful property was a huge cotton tree. My breath was taken away and I knew this was where I should be,” says Chris. This wasn’t his rst trip to Belize. Chris had discovered the region in 1979 while traveling from Guatemala to Mexico. “At that time it was simply a means of getting from point A to point B. But the wondrous natural resources and the mystique of the predominantly Mayan district resonated with me,” he says. Chris hadn’t planned to live in Belize. In fact, he really didn’t start out with any plan…just a dream to do something different. “In 1988 I started a small, sailing charter company called ‘Timeless Tours’ and set sail for Belize from Florida,” says Chris. “At the time, my sailboat had no motor—everything depended on the wind—so the tours really were timeless!” After his initial sailing trip to Belize, Chris returned each year to take tourists on trips into the Bay of Honduras and up the Moho River. “Sailing in the tropics instead of working in winter as a carpenter in New England was a no-brainer,” says Chris. “And I loved the simplicity of Belize.” It was on one of his chartered sailing trips that Chris found his new home. “But for 10 years I did little more than maintain the fruit trees, dreaming of what could be,” says Chris. Then in 2000 he moved to Belize permanently. He was going to turn the abandoned farm into the Cotton Tree Lodge—an eco-lodge surrounded by lush rainforest. It wasn’t without its challenges. “I had to adjust to the cultural differences and learn to live with fewer conveniences than I was accustomed to. The rewards, however, make it worthwhile. “Living here gives me the opportunity to have more control over the outcome of my day, and the commute to work is great. Each day is different. There is always an adventure waiting to happen,” says Chris. His “commute” is a short walk along a wooden boardwalk through a lush rainforest, accompanied by the sounds of howler monkeys in the distance. Chris has been able to create a comfortable lifestyle without spending a lot of money. “We have a garden that supplies fruit and vegetables for our meals,” says Chris. “The climate is tropical, which is perfect for the plants. We have goats that supply milk for fresh goat’s cheese and the chickens keep us supplied with eggs.” Chris has just bought another 22 acres of riverfront property for under $8,000 and is building a tree house there: “I am building a simple structure…a place to escape to now and then. I may eventually rent it out, but right now it is just for me…”

July 14, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Valid: Friday, July 13 until Monday, July 16, 2012

SYNOPSIS: A weak pressure gradient over the NW Caribbean will favor warm and humid conditions this weekend. A surface trough will move over Belize and Yucatan on Monday along the leading edge of another surge in the low level easterlies.

Conditions will remain favourable for warm and sultry weather this weekend; but the approach of a surface trough on Monday will favour another bout of showers and thunderstorms. An upper level low spinning in the south-central Gulf of Mexico north of Yucatan is projected to lift slowly northwards by Monday, but it is expected to provide some uplift over Yucatan and Belize early next week, favouring convective activity in the area.

Daily rainfall totals over most districts and coastal waters will be minimal this weekend, with accumulations in the range of 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch. Rainfall activity will be on the increase on Monday through Wednesday of next week, with daily totals in the hills and coastal areas ranging from 0.50-0.75 of-an-inch. Showers will become a bit more concentrated along the coastal zone and the South next week, with daily totals of 1:00 to 2.00 inches on Thursday and Friday with the approach and passage of the tropical wave.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report

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The San Pedro Sun

Scotiabank Belize presents grants to 5 primary school students in San Pedro
Five deserving primary school students received grants along with school bags and supplies from San Pedro branch of Scotiabank Belize on Tuesday July 10, 2012. The grants were made possible as part of Scotia’s efforts to “Give back to the community” in which they exist and come from the bank’s Education Fund. Receiving their grants were Janelly Aban, Hazel Hyde and Kelly Carillo, from New Horizon SDA School. From San Pedro RC School were Nayeli Longsworth and Darwin Albeño. The students received a cheque in the amount of $300.00 made out to the relevant school, a backpack and school supplies. The money is to be used towards books, registration, uniforms or any expenditure related to the student’s education. According to acting Office Manager at the San Pedro Branch, Roanne Badillo this is the sixth year that Scotiabank Belize is giving out the grants. Funding for the grants is done by individual branches through fundraising activities.

Miriam Codd; new District Education Officer for San Pedro and Caye Caulker
Mrs. Miriam Carlene Codd Pott is San Pedro and Caye Caulker’s new District Education Officer. Pott comes to the cayes with over fifteen years of experience working in the field of Education. Pott attended TCC Toledo Community College, after which she moved on to the Belize Teacher’s College where she graduated in 1996. She then acquired a Bachelors of Science in Primary Education in 2002 from the University of Belize. Following this, Pott left the country to further her studies at the University of Lethbridge in southern Alberta, Canada where she received her Masters in Primary Education in 2009. Returning to Belize, immediately after completing her studies in Canada, Pott was employed by the Ministry of Education in the capacity as an Education Officer in 2009. Prior to this, she worked as a teacher for some twelve years. In San Pedro, Mrs. Pott hopes that her skills and experience will prove helpful in solving some of the many problems that exist in the schools here on the island.

Ambergris Today

Slovakia’s Most Wanted Arrested in San Pedro
A major international fugitive - and alleged Eastern European mafia boss has been caught in Belize. On Thursday, July 12, 2012, 42 year old Karol Mello a citizen of the Slovak Republic who is wanted by Interpol was arrested in San Pedro and taken to Belize City in handcuffs. Mello who lived on North Ambergris Caye and reportedly was operating a business was apprehended by San Pedro Police on Pescador Drive after months of being sought in Belize. Mello is an alleged mafia boss and was wanted for setting up a double murder in 2004. After successfully eluding arrest for six years, Polish special police forces arrested Mello in Krakow in October 2010 but he was released from custody last May by Slovak courts, reportedly due to procedural errors. Now he is being sought on a European and international arrest warrant.

Actress Tamala Jones Vacations in San Pedro, Belize
Belize has become the vacationing hot spot for famous actors/actresses and our beautiful island has had its fair share of artists visiting our beautiful beaches and snorkeling our pristine waters. Gene Simmons, Mya, Faizon Love, Harrison Ford and many more have been on Ambergris Caye and just last week actress Tamala R. Jones was vacationing in beautiful San Pedro. This has been Tamala’s third time vacationing in Belize and her second time in San Pedro, staying at Corona Del Mar Hotel & Suites. She was hosted by the entire staff of Corona del Mar who took her out on fishing trips and several outings on the island. It is really nice to see that many famous stars are coming down to our beautiful island and enjoying themselves amongst locals. We invite Tamala and other artists to come and enjoy La Isla Bonita and take back many fun memories along with them. Tamala R. Jones (born November 12, 1974, Pasadena, California) is an American actress. She is best known for her roles in the movies Booty Call, Madea’s Big Happy Family, Kingdom Come, The Brothers, Daddy Day Camp and Two Can Play That Game. She currently stars on the ABC television show Castle as medical examiner Lanie Parish. Her début acting role was a guest appearance on the teen sitcom California Dreams. She had her first major television role playing a student in the short-lived ABC drama Dangerous Minds. Jones had co-starring roles on the 1998-2002 series For Your Love and the short-lived The Tracy Morgan Show. She had a recurring role as Tonya, an old girlfriend of Flex's (seasons one and five) on One on One. She has guest starred on other television series, including, My Name Is Earl, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She recently appeared in the music video for the song Independent by rapper Webbie as a female black President of the United States. Tamala was voted as one of The 10 Sexiest Women of the Year in 2000 and 2001 by Black Men Magazine.

Costa Maya Festival Presents Miss Guatemala Contestant
This week The International Costa Maya Festival is happy to announce Miss Guatemala, Alessandra Manzur Franco, vying for the title of Reina de la Costa Maya 2012. Alessandra is 22 years old, 6’1” tall and her measurements are 33-23-34. Alessandra enjoys playing volleyball, dancing, and painting. Let us all welcome Alessandra to this year’s International Costa Maya Festival. She will join seven other contestants from around the Mundo Maya countries, including Belize, Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama and Nicaragua at the Miss Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant (August 2, 2012) that will take place during the San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival taking place from August 2 to August 5, 2012.

Economic Prospects for Belize Will Vary Based on U.S.A. and Europe Trends
When pleasant trade winds flow from the Caribbean over our Central American paradise, it is difficult to accept that turbulence in far off lands can have a material impact on our daily lives. At some point the daydreaming pauses, and memories from the past break through to wake us. Small emerging economies are often buffeted severely when global economic slowdowns take their toll. Investment capital moves offshore. Growth and hiring come to a halt. Government deficits expand. Gradual growth is the present forecast for Belize, but economic storm clouds on the distant horizon cannot be ignored. In today’s modern era of globalization, our economies are interconnected like never before in our recorded history. A “bump in the road” in Europe or the United States can suddenly translate into a “tsunami” by the time its impacts reach our shores. For Belize, the first impact will be on tourism. With fewer discretionary Euros and Dollars in their wallets, one can expect some slowdown to come. The same can be said to the South, also. Brazil is also pulling back, as are most developing economies in the world. The future, however, is not as bleak as this current synopsis might suggest. Europe has definitely slid back into recession, but economic data in the U.S. suggest that a pause is occurring, until the situation in Europe is stabilized and the presidential elections in the States are concluded. Elections in Belize have already concluded. The United Democratic Party has returned to power by securing 17 of 31 seats in the National Assembly and all 11 seats in the Belize City Municipal elections.

Have You Had Enough Lobster for the Season?
With the amount of lobsters rolled out during the three lobster festivals at the opening of the season I wondered if there was going to be enough for the rest of the season. Yes, the three giant lobster festivals of Belize have concluded, but that does not mean that it is the end of lobster in your plate! It’s no doubt that lobsters are in abundance; the season closes for only a few months to let the lobsters reproduce and grow. From June 14 to February 14 we all can enjoy the savory and juicy taste of the Caribbean Spiny Lobster. There are so many way to enjoy and I did not miss out on the opportunity and attended two out of the three festivals this year.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Another Shade Of Blue: KoldCast TV
ACES on KoldCast TV The large croc jump was filmed by Tamara of the San Pedro Sun. Crocodile rescues, shark feeding and 'Chicken Bingo' are just a few of the adventures that we find Ty experiencing in the adventure-laden country of Belize on Another Shade of Blue with Ty Sawyer. From ancient Maya pyramids to forbidding Maya caves where Ty discovers sites where secret bloodletting rituals took place, Belize is a country crammed with experiences. The Maya lived in Belize for thousands of years and their culture and heritage is reflected in centuries old ruins such as Xunantunich, where Ty photographs the dizzying vistas from high atop the pyramid of El Castillo, once the private platform of Maya kings. Ty flies to an island off the coast of Belize, Ambergris Caye, and he meet's a couple devoted to saving the nearly extinct species of the American Crocodile. All in a day's work for Ty Sawyer.

BAS Blue Hole Adventure Day Camp
Tomorrow, July the 14th, the Belize Audubon Society will be doing their Adventure Day Camp trip to the Blue Hole. Here are pictures from last year's event. Jungle and Cave Adventure Day Camp Date: Saturday July 14th 2012 Time: 7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Age: All Ages (children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult) Space Limit: 40 persons Location: St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park, Cayo Age: All ages (children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult)

Benque Fiesta Program of Events
The Benque Fiesta has their inauguration tonight, and it'll go strong through Monday. Digicell will be be doing their double and triple up today, as will Smart. The cycling race is tomorrow morning, followed by some football. Dances every night, and there will be fireworks tonight at 10 as the dance kicks off. Have a great fiesta weekend!

Walk Across Belize: And we're off!
And they're off! Rowan is making great progress, and many of his fellow walkers and supporters are with him. He got from Benque to Santa Elena yesterday. Best of luck to Rowan garel on his 90 mile journey. "We started our trek at 5am and are well on our way to meeting our goal of 20 miles a day! Stay tuned throughout the next 5 days for regular updates and don't forget to make a donation if you haven't already! We are counting on you all to help keep the services of BCVI alive - services that the blind children of Belize need so desperately!"

Ka'ana's Glamping On Elite Traveler
Ka'ana's glamping package, where guests stay on a Mayan ruin in a luxury tent, is mentioned on Elite Traveler. Sounds like quite the experience. "Ka'ana Belize's Yaxha Overnight Experience is an exciting new package that affords adventure seekers the rare opportunity to spend the night on an ancient Maya ruin just past the Guatemalan border in a luxury tent, without having to sacrifice the comfort and amenities of a luxury resort."

Channel 7

Radio Silence For Unregistered Cell Phones
Today at 6:00 pm - tens of thousands of cell phones and SIM Cards went dead across the country: disconnected for non-registration. Today July 13th was the firm final deadline - and we spoke with both cell phone providers to find out how many phones went out of commission at 6:00 pm. Here's what they had to say: Lisa Gonzalez, Marketing Manager, Speednet Communications "The latest information we have regarding registration is that we have 80% of our customers registered. That is good news for us because it is majority of our customers. We have about 20% more that is still left to come in and update their information, so we are waiting on them to come in." Daniel Ortiz At the time that this story airs - their cell will have been cut off. Am I correct? Lisa Gonzalez "The deadline is today. What will happen is that when we close our showrooms today we will run a report and see who is not registered and then those are the ones that will be suspended. So these customers won't be able to send or receive calls and SMS. After they are suspended we will have to open them again, once you come in and provide your information. Of course we don't want to inconvenience these customers by suspending their account. But if they don't comply by registering we will have to suspend them."

PM Barrow Closes Budget Debate With A Tongue-Lashing
Last night, we regaled you with highlights of Thursday's house sitting - a spirited back and forth between first time representatives Julius Espat and Santino Castillo. The debate continued into the night and the session didn't end until about 7:40 pm when the Budget passed the third reading. As is required by custom, the Prime Minister wound up the debate with a withering review of the budget response by the leader of the opposition. He did that and held forth on the performances by other opposition members as well - they didn't stick around to listen, but that didn't stop him from going Nagaski on them: Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "The Leader of the Opposition, member for Freetown completely misses the mark. We don't refer to the political and economic devastation elsewhere, on any misery-love's company basis or as any explanation of our straightened circumstances, not at all because we don't have straightened circumstances. Rather when we survey the wreckage elsewhere, it is for the purpose of marking underlining and even boasting about the fact that Belize, our country, our economy, our government has comparted speaking. We have done so very remarkably well. But I can't sit down without commenting on some of the more revealing aspects of the presentation by some of the senior so called leaders on the other side. Now, Mr. Speaker the Leader of the Opposition did not have as I said the courtesy to stay for the conclusion of the debate and it is not disrespecting me, he is disrespecting his constituency and the people of Belize."

Knox Cumberbatch Sentenced to 10 Years
Tonight, 28 year-old Knox Cumberbatch, is spending his 1st night of a 10 year prison term after he was sentenced by Justice Adolph Lucas today. As we reported, he was convicted of 3 counts of attempted murder on Monday, after the main witness, Uwani Nunez, testified for the prosecution that on July of 2007, they was hanging out on the Central Park basketball court in San Pedro when Cumberbatch and one of his friends got into an argument. According to Nunez, Cumberbatch left the court and returned with a firearm and shot him in the right hip. The two testified that when Cumberbatch attempted to ride away on bicycle, he had difficulty because of the beach sand. They tackled him and wrestled him to the ground, where they detained him until police came and arrested him. Today in court, Cumberbatch chose to remain silent, and he offered no mitigation plea on his behalf. In coming to his decision, Justice Lucas commented that today's youth resort to firearms when committing crimes. He also commented that based on the evidence, Cumberbatch had no regards for the value of life.

Is Avian Influenza A Threat To Belize?
There is a full-fledged outbreak of avian influenza in Jalisco, Mexico. First detected a month ago, it has since spread to 58 farms - and the concern now is that it may come over to Belize. That's because of two risk factors: contraband and the fact that avian influenza is carried by wild birds - and they don't need any visa to cross borders. Today we spoke with BAHA's director of animal health, Miguel DePaz who told us it is "likely" that avian influenza will come to Belize. First he explained why it would be dire for the poultry industry: Miguel DePaz, BAHA's director of animal health "The disease is known as highly pathogenic avian influenza H7N3 affecting only poultry and because the area is known for large numbers of poultry it is very important that the Mexican authorities contain this dreadful disease. It is known as highly pathogenic because it kills more than 75% of the birds. The state of Jalisco is poultry state with more than 75 million birds. The distraction that is going on right now in that state is numerous." "Belize is presently on the state of alert. Difficult to contain a disease as such because it spreads by wild birds mainly, so it's very difficult to stop wild birds from moving from one country to another, so we must be on alert." Jules Vasquez "It hasn't extended beyond Jalisco and its hasn't extended into any contiguous state to Belize?" Miguel DePaz "As far as we know it's only in the state of Jalisco. But as I say the way the disease gets transmitted its very difficult to contain, so countries bordering with Mexico such as Guatemala and Belize; Belize is really on alert mode. Guatemala - because there is more trade with Mexico and Guatemala - there are in a mode of emergency."

Natl. Security Execs. Meet On Organized Crime
There was a high level security meeting in Belmopan today. The Ministry of National Security and the National Security Council, met with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and various friendly-nation ambassadors for a high Level Meeting on Intelligence, Strategic Analysis and Serious and Organized Crimes. That's major considering that in the last week, five persons have been killed as a result of narco trafficking activities. CEO in the Ministry of National Security, Major George Lovell explained that - with assistance from the UN - they hope to do no less than revamp the entire intelligence apparatus. Here's how he explained it:.. Major George Lovell, CEO - Ministry of National Security "129 homicides which the country has never seen in its history in my view is reasons for us to be alarmed and quite likely we were alarm. With the level of criminal activities that we witness in Belie City, the people that were involve in those type of activities are all reasons for us to have a concern as a people and for us to look at where we were 20 years ago and where we were back in 2010 and clearly you would agree that we as a people would believe that we were near a crisis situation. We couldn't continue along those lines. We have since the look at some of the areas that we needed to strengthen. Intelligence certainly was one of those areas."

Rowan Continues His Walk Across Belize
14 year old Rowan Garel started walking from the Benque Viejo border to Belize City yesterday. Along with his family and supporters, he walked 13 miles and got to Esperanza. That set things up for today when he'd have to make the biggest one day push: Esperanza to Belmopan, a distance of over 20 miles. He set out at 5:00 am and we caught him six hours later in Camalote. He was tired, but still stepping smartly; here's how he looked:... Jules Vasquez reporting Through the majestic, rolling hills of the Cayo district - they appear as only a speck on the horizon, figures lost against the broad vista - a slender 14 year old, his friends and followers doing the impossible, the unthinkable - walking from Benque to Belize City. Well-wishers greet them along the way with gifts and small contributions. Mugging for photos with the 14 year old - who after 20 miles in the unforgiving heat can still muster a smile for his fans. Walking through Camalote today - Rowan Garel was coming up on 20 miles. But - clutching unto his father Joe for direction - he was still keeping a brisk pace. The prospects of an entire summer programme are riding on these slender shoulders, so he made sure to keep hydrated with his mother Milagro taking a turn on his arm and coming across Roaring Creek Bridge up on the end of today's arduous trek - which ended at Guanacaste Park. With the end in sight - just to show he could still pull it off - after twenty plus miles, Rowan broke into a jog. And still had the good grace to indulge us in an interview just as soon as he sat down on the roadside and took a drink.

Wagner's Youth Facility Hosts Rehab Program
Over the past 3 months, the Wagner's Youth Facility has been engaging in a rehabilitating exercise for the current inmates. Now, the current public position on prison is that accused and convicted persons just go there, and they wait their time out until they are release. When they come out, there is no positive change in personality and behavior occurs. Well, the Wagner's Youth Facility was determined not concur, and the facility's population participated in this exercise. With the help of the Government Press Office, we got a chance to look at the final day of the rehab exercise. Here's what the participants and coordinators had to say: Participant "During these past three months the program has had a great impact on my life. It has helped me to conquer and overcome one of my greatest problems in life which was anger. At first it was a challenge to adapt but with practice I eventually came to realization that I am in charge of my own feelings. I own my feelings and it is ok to feel angry. I also learn that anger is part of being human; however I have learned how to express my anger in helpful ways. Although I have learned these skills there were times I want to restore to familiar aggressive ways to expressing my feelings. I have to step back and reflect, the more I felt to take care of my anger the more powerful I became. I know that I need to control what I do with my anger."

Belize Music Industry Leaders Get International Advice
This weekend is the 2012 International Film Festival, and as a part of the show, the coordinators have brought in a US music producer turned film director to produce a reality TV show which will work the event. But, this producer comes very equipped to advice Belize on its fledgling music industry. Today, they held a forum with the local music stakeholders on how to expand the industry. The coordinator updated us on that advice. James Sanker, Coordinator - Music Forum "We basically have a person that came in and talk to us about the industry and what artist in Belize needs to do in order to move ahead with their career. This kind of forum we continue to do from MIAB as we continue to develop the industry and our industry is at this point where we need all the advice and assistance to get us to go to the next level." "We have some of the major components in place already. I would say like we have some solid foundations that have been laid already. What are needed now are directions for our local market and a direction for international market. We have some plans on how to do that, we are working on those plans over the next 5 years - we have a 5 year plan that we are working to build the industry and working on those two major components on how to build a very robust local market and how to penetrate the international market." As noted in the interview, the Music Association has a 5-year plan which they will implement very soon.

International Organization Donates Flood Relief
A few weeks ago, 7News told you about the flood in the Belize River Valley which left several farmers and residents in distress. Well, there is an international group who has come to bring 10,000 US dollars' worth of items for relief. Here's what the representative had to say about that relief: Representative "We are delivering for the affected village; 10 lbs. flour, 10 lbs. beans, 10 lbs. rice and also a bottle of oil and salt and 3 lbs. of sugar." Reporter "What is the value of all the stuff that you buy?" Representative "We brought US$10,000 worth of stuff here. Sometime when she sell a lot of things we have more and sometimes when she doesn't have money we still go to the country but with less amount."

Police Association Condemns Last-Minute Transfers
The Police Association is upset with the way certain transfers are currently being done in the Police Department. Just a few moments ago, they spoke about their displeasure with the situation, and because of time, we will air it unedited. Here's what they had to say: Daniel Ortiz "Mr. Williams can you update us on why you are opposing these transfers." Sgt. Williams "At this moment our membership is not please about the way transfer are being given to them. What happen is that we are not supporting the manner in the way transfers are now being done because there are rules that regulates the manner in which transfer are being done. The reason our membership came to us is because they have children who are in school and the time period to just give somebody a transfer immediate without notice and this time in June - people have already registered their children in school, so we do not support the manner in which transfers are now being done." Daniel Ortiz "You are saying that your membership had been ambushed." PC Williams "Let's say some sort because section 46 and 47 of the service commission states that you should inform a member for this department that he/she will be transfer - inform him/she in January to March which the transfer will take effect July/August, so that is not the manner in which transfer are now being done."

Channel 5

Health Ministry C.E.O. says zero tolerance for K.H.M.H. Financial Irregularities
The K.H.M.H. special audit was not released to the media until July fourth. The K.H.M.H. executive would not allow the media to review the document prior to giving their slant on the findings, which resulted in a media boycott. The audit revealed that established procurement practices for medical supplies were not adhered to. Travel allowances [...]

P.M. gets the last word on the budget
We’ll have more of that discussion with the C.E.O. of the Ministry of Health on Monday. But the burning issue of the week continues to be the budget. The annual budget debate for the current fiscal year concluded shortly after seven o’clock on Thursday night following a protracted discussion during which allocations and government expenditure [...]

Police Association concerned about several transfers
The Police Department is transferring officers, some of which are occurring without due notice. A press release sent from the group says, “The Belize Police Association stands firm for the rule of law and therefore strongly condemns transfers for which no formal notice has been given to its members. As law enforcement officers, it is [...]

Unregistered customers lose phone service during cuts
Today is the deadline for registering your phones. And while traffic at both phone companies was relatively slow for the week, there are still outstanding prepaid cell phone customers that have not taken heed to the disconnection of telecommunication services issued as a statutory instrument by the Ministry of National Security back 2011 to curb [...]

Bail given for man who knocked down Bowen employee
A man from Northern Belize who worked at Bowen & Bowen Limited in Ladyville was knocked down and killed on June twenty-third of this year at Mile nine on the Northern Highway. Today, almost three weeks later, the man police say is responsible for his untimely death, forty year old Everal Augustine, was charged with [...]

Armstrong loses a finger and assailant detained in prison
Gavin Armstrong lost his index finger during a domestic dispute on July fourth in Rio Grande Crescent, an area off Faber’s Road when he was allegedly chopped by a machete wielding man. And today, thirty-one year old Alex Myers was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on three counts: Attempted Murder, Maim and Use [...]

N.T.U.C.B. celebrates anniversary and plans the next 5 years
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize, the umbrella organization representing unionized workers across the country, is celebrating its anniversary this week. The N.T.U.C.B. is comprised of a number of interest groups, including the Belize Energy Workers Union, the Belize Communications Workers Union, as well as the Public Service Union which will be commemorating ninety [...]

Public Notice: road works ahead
Due to upgrades in the Belize City, starting today, Fort Street and Marine Parade Boulevard are being utilized as two way avenues as works are being done in the surrounding area. There is also a section of the Old Northern Highway between miles forty and forty-one will be closed to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic [...]

Regional initiative along with United Nations Office on drugs and crime
As a part of a regional initiative to strengthen intelligence and assist the capacity of member states, a high level meeting, only the second if its kind to be held in the Caribbean, took place this morning in Belmopan. Earlier this week, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, partnered with the Ministry of [...]

BAHA says Belize on high alert to monitor Avian Flu in Mexico
Ten days ago, The Belize Agricultural Health Authority placed a national poultry alert following a major outbreak of a highly pathogenic avian influenza called H-7-N-3 in Jalisco, Mexico. The outbreak, which was detected on three Mexican farms, has now spread to over fifty farms. It has killed thousands of birds in that country. BAHA says [...]

Reproductive Health Services for all; a mission of UNFPA
With over seven billion people on the planet, the availability of resources is a major concern for governments. While some worry about fuel, the main concern for countries in the region is healthcare. Earlier today the United Nations Population Fund gave commendations to people involved in the organizations project on health services.   Jose Sanchez, [...]

Roaming across the border with SMART
As prepaid cell phone users, have you been exhausted by not being able to make calls from you phones ones you cross the borders? Well both telecommunication companies are servicing your needs. And while it is still in the pipeline for Belize Telemedia Limited, today, SMART launched its international roaming service for prepaid customers. It [...]

News Five Journalist participates in International Visitor Leadership Program
Two countries within this region, Belize and Mexico have been chosen to send a participant for an international visitor leadership program designed to increase mutual understanding through communication at the personal and international level. The twenty-four participants in the program are established or potential leaders in government, politics, media, education economics drug and crime prevention [...]

Coastal Zone and Natural Capital Project work together
The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute is working in partnership with the Natural Capital Project, an initiative of the World Wildlife Fund to discuss the important linkages between science and policy that will guide the decisions to be made by the Coastal Zone. A seminar was held with the representatives of the project and [...]

Visually Impaired youth Walking across Belize
On Thursday, Rowan Garel set out to walk some ninety two miles all in the name of goodwill. Garel hopes to raise one hundred thousand dollars for a summer camp and also to raise awareness to visually impaired children. The journey, which started from the West, will take over four days. While they didn’t quite [...]


The House of Culture on Regent Street is today the venue for a consultation through the collaboration of the Belize International Film Festival, NICH and the Music Industry Association of Belize. Singer, songwriter, model, and director of MIAB, Melonie Gillett gave Love News the ...

Corozal police continue to follow leads in connection with the murders of Robert Hernandez and Kenrick Vacarro, an uncle and nephew duo who were murdered on Wednesday night. When we spoke with Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Station on Thursday, Love News also asked Superin...

Once again Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret has been the haven for another fugitive, this time hailing all the way from Europe. Forty-two year old Karol Mello, a native of the Slovak Republic in Eastern European, was reportedly living in Belize for the past several months, ...

Members of the police department are today participating in a customer service and public relations workshop at the House of Culture on Regent Street in Belize City. The two day workshop opened yesterday and Sergeant Karla Gamboa from the Deputy Tourism Police Unit further enligh...

The youth arm of the National Garifuna Council begins is 14th annual convention today at the Gulisi Primary School in Dangriga. HARRY ARZU, Reporter “The youth moderator, Mary Enriquez, told Love News that the three day event seeks to increase capacity of...

Two flooded rivers in the Toledo District have caused major setbacks to vehicular traffic and to inhabitants in several rural communities in that southern District. Correspondent Paul Mahung fills us in. PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “Aguacate Village Alcal...

The week-long training provided members of Belize’s law enforcement community as well as our Trinidadian counterparts with a forum to discuss the crucial subject of intelligence gathering and sharing. On the final day of the training, participants discussed two main topics,...

We now join our Correspondent Harry Arzu who is in Belize City where APAMO is holding its general meeting. HARRY ARZU, Reporter “The Association of Protect Areas Management Organization (APAMO) is holding its fifth annual general meeting at the Biltmore Plaza H...


PM closes two day budget debate
The Budget Debate for 2012 is now over. As we reported last night, the two day debate ended at around 7:15 last nig...

High level meeting of National Security
Today was the culmination of a week-long training for personnel of Belize’s law enforcement. The training was geare...

A.L.C Dance Ministries holds workshop at the Bliss
Another Level Christian Dance Ministries has been hosting a dance workshop in Belize. The US base organization was ...

Hon. Castro's uncanny bus ride experience
An interesting report was made today to the house when Minister of State Hon. Edmund Castor told the assembly about...

International producer has forum with Belizean artists
MIAB is Belize's first association that represents the music industry as a whole. It includes existing organization...

Cumberbatch gets 10 years in prison
28-year-old Knox Cumberbatch was sentenced to three 10 year jail sentences today. Cumberbatch was found guilty on M...

Convicted murderer's appeal dismissed
A man accused and convicted of killing a cop saw his appeal dismissed yesterday. 31 year old Chadwick Debride was s...

Slovakian fugitive caught in Belize
An alleged Eastern European mafia boss has been caught in Belize. 42 year old Karol Mello, a citizen of the Slovak ...

Phone registration deadline is over
If you did not make it to your telephone company to register your phone, well, as of 6 pm this evening, your phone ...


House passes 2012-2013 budget
The national budget debate wrapped up at 7:10 tonight, Thursday, July 12, 2012, with Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow making the concluding statements.

Father of 2 fights for life at KHMH
A gunman robbing his delivery truck shot him in the chest... Marty Gough, 35, a delivery truck driver of Kee’s Bakery, is presently fighting for his life at the Intensive Care Unit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and is listed in a critical condition, with a 50/50 chance of survival after he was shot in the left side of his chest by two robbers. Surgery repaired some damaged arteries in the area, and induced sleep has apparently helped his condition.

Court of Appeal dismisses appeal of Chadrick Debride, convicted of the murder of PC Nedi Reymundo
An appeal by Chadrick Debride, 31, who was convicted of the murder of police constable Nedi Reymundo and sentenced to life imprisonment, was dismissed today by the Belize Court of Appeal.

Chief Justice to preside over retrial of Melanie Coye, Money Exchange case
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has set aside Monday, July 16, 2012, to commence the retrial of the case brought against Melanie Coye et al, after the Court of Appeal rendered a decision in March, agreeing that there is a prima facie case against at least five of the eight defendants who were listed in a case brought by the Queen back in 2010.

Ronlee Petillo, 26, acquitted of attempted murder of Stackles Monsanto
Stackles, his prison mate, said he made a mistake when he told police that Petillo shot him... Ronlee Petillo, 26, was today found not guilty when the main witness and victim of the shooting, Stackles Monsanto, suddenly realized that he made a mistake.

Double murder in Corozal – again!
Just one week after a double murder occurred in Corozal Town in which Clari Fredersdorf and her daughter, Shanny Fredersdorf, 18, were violently killed in their hotel compound, two men were murdered in the same normally quiet town.

West Lake still undefeated at Week 3 of Belize City Champions Cup
With the 3 Sunday games postponed due to rain, 2 games were played last night in Week 3 of the Belize City Champions Cup, and the other game was scheduled for Friday night.

Promising basketballer on first visit to parents’ birthplace, the Jewel
21-year-old Derick Flowers was not born in Belize, but both his parents, Anthony and Yvonne Flowers are from the Jewel, and they have kept young Derick well in tune with his Belizean heritage throughout all his growing up years in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Yabra (Men’s Senior) and Kruzzars (U18) win BDBA leg of BBF’s Sprite/Belikin 3x3 Tournament
The Belize District Basketball Association (BDBA) leg of the Belize Basketball Federation’s (BBF) Sprite/Belikin 3x3 Tournament concluded last night, Wednesday, at the Belize Elementary Auditorium, with winners declared in both the Men’s Senior and U18 categories.

Drugs, death and debate
The sensational shooting death of three young men by security forces near Rocky Point, San Pedro Ambergris, not far from the Belize-Mexico border, brought into sharp focus just how far-reaching and perilous the drug trade still is in Belize.

From The Publisher
“For the next three hours crowds rampaged through the City centre (many individuals soon fueled and inflamed on looted liquor) plundering goods they could not afford to buy and settling old scores with merchants who vainly attempted to defend their property, with unpopular colonial officials and with any other unfortunate member of the white-Creole elite who happened to be on the streets. Some, like William Cadle Price, were only subject to verbal abuse, albeit of some indecency, but most did not get away so lightly. G.O’D. Walton was bombarded with missiles (including a Scrubbs Ammonia bottle) at Ida Staine’s boarding house and he feared for his life; Robert Wyatt, the Superintendent of Belize, was beaten ‘black and blue’ by Tony Hamilton outside Hofius’s store in Albert Street; Alexander Hunter, a director of Brodies and a lieutenant in the B. T. F., was assaulted in Regent Street by Philip Sabido; James Cran was only saved from serious injury by the intervention of P. C. Francis, who was badly wounded; P. E. Matthews, a captain in and adjutant to the B. T. F., received head wounds at the hands of Sergeant Panting and Private Hamilton outside the International Hotel on Gabourel Lane; Percy George was repaid with ‘fifteen minutes of blows’ in Queen Street for his cynical remarks about the Contingent members’ ambitious demands, while P. S. Woods, after an initial assault, was told, ‘Yes, yes, you old bugger Woods, we are coming back to finish you off.’”


Top Attractions in Belize City
If you’re like me, the name “Belize” conjures up dreamy images of virgin rain forests, jungles, ancient Maya cities, barrier reefs, scuba diving, and tropical island paradises. A much-overlooked destination, however, is Belize City itself – which is surprising given that it is not only the old capital of the country, but also a point of entry for the rest of Belize. In fact, Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport is located only a 30-minute drive from the city center. So what is there to see, do, and experience in Belize City? From walking tours to museums, galleries, religious sites, ancient monuments, and even a casino, there is no lack of interesting, fun, and entertaining venues to keep you busy. So let’s put our walking shoes on and explore the top attractions in Belize City!

The Story of Pat the “Great Cat”
A very special jaguar has won the hearts and minds of the teachers, college students training to be teachers and Peace Corps volunteers who have gathered at the 9th Annual Summer Institute In Environmental Studies and Culture here at The Lodge at Chaa Creek this week. His name is “Pat the Cat” and he is the subject of a new book written by children of Belize and the U.S. as part of an international literacy initiative. Children of Belize and the U.S. joined hands across nations to give a voice to a “down on his luck” real-life Belizean jaguar, whose world was forever changed as people came to share his land. The resulting book, Pat the (Great) Cat: A Jaguar’s Journey, has made the students published authors and advocates, and their teachers are taking note! Written side-by-side in English and Spanish, Pat the (Great) Cat: A Jaguar’s Journey chronicles the true story of a jaguar whose dramatic journey from Belize to the United States is both heart-breaking and heart warming. It is a magnificent tale, rich with creativity and insights that only the children of the Americas could have provided. We think that their teachers agree!

Friday the 13th, 6 Months of Living in Belize and Belizean Betty Friday
Today is Friday the 13th which is considered unlucky in Western superstition and it also marks our 6 month anniversary of living in San Pedro, Belize in Central America. We flew to Belize on January Friday the 13th, 2012 and I am usually not superstitious, but our trip to Belize in January was definitely a Friday 13th kind of day. I feel certain today, July Friday the 13th will not be as eventful. You can read about our January, Friday 13th move to Belize here.

International Sources

Earthrise Series three, episode one: Banning destructive fishing in Belize
Belize is proud to have the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, but in 2010 the tiny country was facing a huge problem – the potential loss of the reef's UNESCO World Heritage Site status. The reef's species were being depleted by bottom-dragging fish trawler, jeopardising a major source of revenue from tourism. Local fishermen also complained they were being prevented from making a living by what many critics call the maritime equivalent of strip mining or clear-cut logging. Belize decided to take a stand, becoming one of the world’s first nations to ban trawlers from all its waters. Sharita Hutton travels to Belize to find out more about the ban.

Book review: 'Whiplash River' by Lou Berney takes readers to Belize, Egypt
Sometimes it's fun to like the bad guy, and in Lou Berney's new novel released July 10, "Whiplash River," that’s not hard to do. Charles 'Shake' Bouchon is back after his debut in Berney's debut, "Gutshot Straight," and he's still a character you'll root for time and time again, no matter what stupid stunts he pulls. In Berney's latest novel, Shake thinks he left his life of crime behind when he opens a restaurant in Belize, but he's about to get himself into a whole mess of trouble, and not just because he borrowed money from drug lord Baby Jesus. After saving the life of one of his patrons, Quinn, he finds his life is in more danger than ever before. Two sometimes-bumbling assassins are on his tail, his restaurant goes up in smoke, and he's got the hots for an FBI agent, who’s keeping close tabs on him. Danger lurks in every corner in "Whiplash River," no matter where Shake and his new partner-in-crime Quinn go, from the island of Belize, to L.A., and then all the way over to Cairo for one last heist. All of the characters -- and there are a lot of them -- are fun, even when they really are the bad guys. The exotic locales too are a great touch, especially in Cairo where even Shake is stunned by the Sphinx.

July 13, 2012

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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

Interpol detains Slovak Karol Mello in San Pedro; wanted for double murder
San Pedro Police arrested a man from the Slovak Republic who is wanted for a double in his home country. According to Police, 42 year old Karol Mello, described as a ‘mafia boss’, is accused of organizing a double murder in the village of Most pri Bratislave in 2004. According to the Slovak Spectator Publication, the special prosecutor in the Slovak Republic Katarína Kudjáková has also announced that she believes Mello was involved in the murder of Peter ongrády, the alleged boss of the Bratislava underworld. After Mello was in hiding for several years, a Polish special police force arrested him in October 2010 but he was released in May 2011 by Slovak courts, reportedly due to procedural errors by a court. After being detained again, he filed a complaint and was released from pre-trial custody for a second time later in the same month. He has been at large since then until his arrest on July 11th in San Pedro Town, Belize.

Outpouring support rescues rare Orange-breasted Falcon chicks from infestation of bot flies
Two rare falcons from Central America have recovered from a near-fatal attack of bot flies and are safe in a Peregrine Fund facility, thanks to the herculean efforts of numerous government agencies, veterinary experts, and conservation groups determined to save a remnant population of Orange-breasted Falcons from extinction. Orange-breasted Falcon chick before treatment for bot fly infestation; Photo by The Peregrine Fund Bot flies (Philornis species) are parasites that lay their eggs in the skin of animals. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the tissues of the host animal, often with fatal results in young birds. Orange-breasted Falcon chicks before treatment for bot fly infestation; Photo by The Peregrine Fund “We found the dying chicks in a semi-conscious state during routine banding operations in the Maya Mountains of Belize,” said Robert B. Berry, Orange-breasted Falcon program director for The Peregrine Fund, a non-profit focused on conservation of birds of prey. “Some authorities suggested euthanasia.”

Costa Maya presents Miss Guatemala for Reina de la Costa Maya
Another contestant has been revealed for the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant, and she is the beautiful Miss Guatemala, Alessandra Manzur Franco. Alessandra is a statuesque 6’1”, brown eyed brunette who measures 33-23-34. The 22 year old enjoys playing volleyball, as well as dancing and painting. Alessandra joins Belize: Karen Middleton, Costa Rica: Mariela Aparicio, El Salvador: Nathaly Jazmin Mena Arauz, Honduras: Esthefany Maolyth Pineda Perez, Nicaragua: Ivey Jellisa Alvarez Hunter, and Panama: Karen Elena Jordan Beitia. Each lovely young lady will be proudly representing their country on stage at the grand event on August 2nd, hoping to be the one to take the coveted crown of Reina de La Costa Maya, currently held by Miss Mexico: Valentina Cervera Avila. A warm welcome to Alessandra Manzur Franco.

San Pedro Junior College Graduates 20
The San Pedro Junior College held its eleventh commencement exercises on Saturday, July 7, 2012, under the patronage of Mr. & Mrs. Alfonso Castillo. Twenty proud men and women marched onstage at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium where they received their Associate Degrees. Norma Graniel*, Hazel Gutierrez*, Maria De Socorro Rodriguez* and Guadalupe Salgado* received their Associate Degree in Business Administration Majoring in Accounting. Receiving their Associate Degree in Business Management were twelve students: Erica Acosta*, Wendy Augustin, Kristy Ancona*, Marlanie Andrews*, Nidia Badillo*, Marcelo Castillo, Luis Cordova, RosAngela Guerrero*, Kisha Itzab, Elmer Montero, Michelle Renee Paz and Evelyn Waight*. Vicky Balam, Gloria Aranda, Elgar Badillo and Gabriela Badillo obtained their Associate Degree in Tourism Management. Addressing the graduates as Guest Speaker was Mr. Jahmor Lopez, District Education Manager for the Belize District, while Michelle Renee Paz, having obtained the highest marks throughout the school years, was named Valedictorian. Honored with a full scholarship to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Belize (UB) was Maria De Socorro Rodriguez. She, along with other students, had applied for the scholarship earlier in the year. At graduation, she was surprised and very honored to find out that she had been selected as the deserving recipient of a full scholarship; she intends to attend UB in San Pedro when the first class begins. She expects to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism Management.

Misc Belizean Sources

Queen of the Jewel Pageant pictures
Queen of the Jewel Pageant pictures - evening gowns. The photographer was Charles Leslie. Congratulations to Cayo's Destinee Arnold.

45th Annual Benque Fiesta
You can read the updated information about the Benque Fiesta on the Belize Tourism Board's website. They list many of the more popular activities. Thanks, BTB! "As a means of honoring the Town’s Patroness, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the 45th Annual Benque Fiesta, now drawing crowds of over 12,000 yearly, was organized by the Mestizo-Maya residents of Belize, in the early 1900s. With the participation of the Town Council, the Catholic Church and a few neighboring country residents of (Mexico and Guatemala), this festival has grown tremendously making it one of the largest in Belize!"

Balance Exhibit Coming to SISE HoC
The SISE House of Culture and the BAS will be having the Balance Exhibit opening in one week. The opening will be at 6:30pm on the 19th of July, and the exhibit will run through July. "Balance: People + Environment A photography exhibition on the work of Belize Audubon Society in managing Belize's natural resources."

Rowan's Walk Across Belize Has Started
Rowan will be passing through today. He started early this morning in Bemque, and will stop for the night in Santa Elena. He'll walk 90 miles in 5 days. He hopes to raise over $100,000 for the Belize Center for the Visually Impaired. Good luck, Rowan! "Rowan Garel, a blind 14-year-old from Belize, hangs onto Maggie L. Walker Governor's School student Joseph Gallagher during a walk on Richmond's Belle Isle. In July, they will trek 90 miles in Belize over five days."

Four Seasons Resort given go-ahead for neighboring Caye Chapel.
It was announced by Dean Barrow (Belize’s Prime Minister) that go-ahead had been given to the Qatar Sovereign Fund to create a Four Seasons Resort on the tiny island – only half a mile away from Caye Caulker, Caye Chapel. It all links together the fact that Bill Gates who co-owns the Four Seasons Hotels Inc with Prince Al-Waleed bin Tal of Saudi Arabia, has spent some time here in the last few months – obviously scoping out the project. Whilst this on initial thought the job creation and probably countless other factors make this project look like it will benefit our small island, many have a huge concern. In developing this island the potential negative effect on our reef could be enormous … our own Caye Caulker Marine Reserve Shark and Ray Alley could be at a high risk. In Belize a country where its natural resources undoubtedly make it unique, we are ashamed to say that money rules everything. We are concerned that the voice of the environmentalist may not be heard until its too late and in a project of such enormity those all important corners that can be cut will definitely have a negative effect on life around it. We hope that the powers that be in Government do ‘have our back’ so to speak in order that the impact of such a project will only be positive and not negative – fingers crossed.

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (11 July 2012)
Straight Line 100.00 Each (8 Balls) 69 ­43 ­72 ­53 ­61 ­71 ­37 ­68­ Y 125.00 Each (17 Balls) 69 ­43 ­72 ­53 ­61 ­71 ­37 ­68 ­63 ­50 ­5 ­22 ­11 ­25 ­56 ­36 ­8­ Letter X 750.00 Each (19 Balls) 69 ­43 ­72 ­53 ­61 ­71 ­37 ­68 ­63 ­50 ­5 ­22 ­11 ­25 ­56 ­36 ­8 ­48 ­70­ L 175.00 Each (28 Balls) 69 ­43 ­72 ­53 ­61 ­71 ­37 ­68 ­63 ­50 ­5 ­22 ­11 ­25 ­56 ­36 ­8 ­48 ­70 ­54 ­9 ­4 ­46 ­49 ­32 ­30 ­75 ­7­

Do it Yuself: Cheese making in Belize
Are you a cheese lover? Have you ever thought about learning how to make cheese in your own home? Learning how to make cheese is not only a science, but an art. And for Ian Anderson at Caves Branch Jungle Lodge, it is another adventure! Ian along with artisanal cheese makers Dr. Larry and Linda Faillace brings this adventure to you with cheese making classes in Belize.

Channel 7

Another Double Murder In Corozal
Last week Wednesday, mother and daughter Clari and Shanny Federsdorf were killed execution style in Corozal town. And last night, the quiet northern town witnessed another double murder. It's left residents reeling and police searching for answers - but to find it in this case they may have to look deep into the criminal underworld. We found out why when we visited Corozal town today:... Jules Vasquez reporting Last night at 10:15 38 year old Robert Hernandez and his cousin 50 year old Kenrick Vacarro were hanging out here on sixth Avenue in front of an associate's home - a home which police say is a crack house. They are seen here very regularly - but last night was different - because they were targeted for execution. Vacarrio was shot here while 38 year old Hernandez ran and while the gunman pursued and he was shot in this drain:

Coro Woman Critical, Knocked Down By Drunk Driver
Keeping it in Corozal, a woman is in the intensive care unit at the KHMH on life support after she was knocked down on Tuesday night on Seventh Avenue - which is the Town's main street. At 8:45 on Tuesday night in the heart of the town, 42 year old Maria Aragon was riding a bicycle southbound when she was hit from behind by a speeding vehicle. We spoke to an eyewitness who works nearby - she says she heard a bang, and when she looked up Aragon was in the air:.. Voice of: Eye Witness "I heard a loud bang and when I lifted up my head I saw this lady in the air flying and she landed right across the street to my right on the edge of the pavement on the boulevard and her bicycle flew farther than where she was, so I ran outside with my cell phone, tried to call 911 several times, I ask my worker to do the same to call the police or 911 and the call kept being dropped so by the time I got to her there were some people looking on. Some men from across the street came and I ask them to turn her over and she was gasping for air and blood just came flying out of her nose and her mouth. The driver of the car came out and asks me what to do. I said she is still alive, pick her up and take her to the emergency room." Aragon remains in critical condition on life support.

Rookies Run the House! Julius Says Santi "Sauvecito!"
Yesterday in the House of Representatives, the big hitters like Francis Fonseca, Patrick Faber, Said Musa, and Michael Finnegan opened the house debate. And while those veterans did their thing, today, the rookies got their turn. There are ten first time members and many of them had a go at it today. But none more memorable than Cayo South representative Julius Espat - who is quickly gaining a reputation as a gutsy debaters - even if he is a little rough around the edges. Through the courtesy of PLUS TV we have some clips of today's presentation where Espat jousted with a UDP newcomer - who is no stranger to the microphone. Here's how that went:.. Hon. Julius Espat "We have also been designing a website to promote the people and the business establishments of Cayo South." Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "I personally am very impress by the horn blowing that the member of Cayo South is doing but I can't understand what that has to so with the general revenue appropriation will." Hon. Julius Espat "That is unacceptable by the Prime Minister Mr. Speaker because this is justifying what his horrible newspaper has been saying that we have been doing our work."

Delroy Jabs Back At Rt. Hon. Musa
But there's still some unfinished house business from yesterday's session for Delroy Cuthkelvin. Former Prime Minister said Musa took a shot at him yesterday, describing him as an "endomorph" - a big word for someone who's fat and round. Now, it's not considered parliamentary to ridicule someone who is not in the house to defend him or herself - but Mr. Musa is one of the longest serving members, plus he's the only one in there right now who is "Right Honorable." So respect is due, but it was, after all, a fat joke - and one good turn deserves another, so when Delroy Cuthklevin asked for a right of reply today, we couldn't resist. But instead of snapping back, his comeback sounded more like a hiss - here's what he told us:.. Delroy Cuthkelvin "I would like to say to me, try to thread a little softly especially where it concerns the ministry of national security because if that ministry were to get really serious about stomping out crime - they might want to consider picking out some of those folks on the other side of the House for all the crimes they committed against this nation over the 10 years that they were in office between 1998 and 2008. But on the lighter side of his comment, it seems to me that he is doing pretty good these days in terms of comic relief, he might want to consider taking up a full time career in comedy. That's as much as I would say because I don't think I want to countenance his comments especially in which the spirits in which they were said with a too serious of a response."

Major International Fugitive Caught In Belize
A major international fugitive - and alleged Eastern European mafia boss has been caught in Belize. This morning, 42 year old Karol Mello a citizen of the Slovak Republic who is wanted by Interpol was brought in from San Pedro to Belize City in handcuffs. Mello was reportedly in San Pedro where, reports say, he was operating a business. He was caught yesterday on Pescador Drive in San Pedro after months of being sought in Belize. He is an alleged mafia boss wanted for setting up a double murder in 2004. After successfully eluding arrest for six years, Polish special police forces arrested Mello in Krakow in October 2010 but he was released from custody last May by a Slovak courts, reportedly due to procedural errors. Now he is being sought on a European and international arrest warrant. The Slovak special prosecutor has also announced that he believes Mello was involved in the murder of the alleged boss of the Bratislava underworld.

Alleged Cop Killer Rejected By Appeals Court
An alleged cop killer will continue to serve out his life sentence. 31 year-old Chadwick Debride, who was convicted and sentenced in 2007 to life in prison for the 2004 murder of Police Constable Neri Reymundo, had his appeal dismissed by the Court of Appeal today. Debride's attorney, Antoinette Moore, offered the Court 3 grounds of appeal. She said that the main witness described his visual of Debride as the triggerman as only a fleeting glance. In response, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lynn Vidal, told the court that the main witness described his sighting of Debride as one where there was no obstruction, and excellent lighting, so he was not mistaken about what he saw. After considering that and other submissions from both sides, the Appeal Court dismissed Debride's appeal today, saying that their reasons for the decision will be given at a later date.

Man Escapes, Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Teen
There was some excitement while we were in Corozal town today when a detainee briefly escaped from police. He was brought to the police station without cuffs, and as he got there, he jumped out of the patrol truck and bolted! That sent the members of a joint patrol scrambling through the market area and the town center trying to recover the man known as Chito, Andrew Vasquez. He dodged them for a while - but a resourceful policeman ended up borrowing a bike to continue the chase. Just when we thought he was gone for good, police turned up with him - and by this time Chito was crying. Turns out he's famous for both escaping and crying - and famous for one more thing: harassing and assaulting females. This time a justice of the peace claims to have seen him grab the backside of a 13 year old girl who was selling tacos with her mother. The JP called the police who caught him in the area. But tonight Corozal police say that they might have to release him because they have no complainant. It seems the young lady who he assaulted has not visited the station to make a complaint. Police are asking her to please come forward.

Belize's Judo Olympian IS Going For a "Hail Mary"
Last week, 7News told you about the Judo Association of Belize's last minute entry into the 2012 Olympics, which is just 2 weeks away. As we reported, Belize was selected to compete in Judo by way of a wildcard, which is basically, a "bly" given to countries least likely to get in by way of the qualifier rounds. Although, it was a last-minute good fortune pick, the association announced that a top Belizean athlete has risen to the challenge of participating in the competition. 7News caught up with Cuban Belizean, Eddermys Sanchez, who will represent the country for Judo, and he told us how proud he was to have been given the opportunity. He also told us that although it's a "Hail Mary" attempt he comes qualified as black belt judo athlete, a brown belt jujitsu athlete, and the previous number 5 best judo representative of his country of birth, Cuba. Here's how he described his anticipation of the Olympics:

Belize Bank Gives Scholarship
Today, the Belize Bank held a handing-over ceremony for 25 recipients of their first annual secondary school scholarship program. It's their first attempt at such a big venture, in which they are not only committed to pay all school fees, book, and tuition costs for these 25 students, they'll do it for an entire 4-year period. 7News attended the ceremony, which was held at the Whitfield Tower this morning and We got a chance to speak with some of the recipients. Lyndon Guiseppi, CEO - BBC Holdings "As we approach the 25th anniversary of the bank earlier this year in May we started contemplating what legacy would this August institution the Belize Bank leave when we are long and gone. What would be the impact of the Belize Bank on the society of Belize and as we discuss that issue, and as we ponder these things we felt that the greatest that the Belize Bank would leave for this country would be a legacy of education; access to primary, secondary and tertiary education. Against that background ladies and gentlemen a committee including Ms. Michael, myself and a number of other staff members decided that we were going to expand the scholarship program which we initiated for staff to include the wider Belizean society but particularly targeted at students entering the secondary school system."

Three On three Tourney Continues
On Monday, 7News told you about the start of the Sprite Belikin National 3X3 basketball tour. It had a wet start at the Riverside Tavern Parking Lot on Saturday. BUT IT continues in Belmopan and San Ignacio this weekend, and the basketball federation welcomes all 3x3 teams who wish to participate. President of the Federation, Paul Thompson told us they have cut the entrance fee by half in order to attract more participants: Paul Thompson - President, Belize Basketball Federation "The national 3 on 3 tournament sponsored by Sprite and Belikin will be going to San Ignacio and Belmopan this weekend. On Saturday the tour will be in San Ignacio at the Falcon Field and on Sunday it will be at the Belmopan Comprehensive High School. We are asking players to come out; you can come and register on the day. The registration fee - we reduce it to $20 per team, so come out and play. The winner from each of these areas will come back to Belize on August 4th and compete in a final game. The prize for that is the winning get to go to New York in August to represent Belize in FIBA 3 by 3 world tour."

Rowan's Walk, Day One
Last night, we told you about Rowan Garel, the blind 14 year-old young man who plans to walk 92 miles to fundraise for BCVI. He hopes to raise 100 thousand dollars in much needed funds for the Council's summer cam programmes. Rowan and his family started at 5 a.m. sharp this morning, and this evening, they told us that they fell just short of their daily goal. But, they were still happy with the day's performance. We spoke to Joe Garel, Rowan's dad, and he told us that the conditions were excellent for the start of the walk. They had a following of about 2 dozen participants who jumped in and followed along in the walk at specific intervals. At the end of the walk, they arrived at the Joan Sutherland Softball field in Esperanza, which is 13 miles from their starting point at the Benque border. Garel told us that although they fell short of the 18 mile mark, tomorrow, they want to start where they finished today, and hopefully end off at the Belmopan entrance. This is an ambitious 22 mile distance, which they are pushing to meet to get back on track.

Channel 5

Schoolyard Budget Debate: On Day 2, Julius calls Santi names
Day two of the annual budget debate continued today inside the House of Representatives, where members from both sides of the floor scrutinized the fiscal budget for 2012-2013. By far, the most engaging exchange took place this afternoon between Caribbean Shores Area Representative, Santino Castillo and the member for Cayo South, Julius Espat. Espat, in [...]

Julius Espat says pro-poor budget not like George and Weezie (80’s sitcom)
As we mentioned, Cayo South Area Representative Julius Espat shared his view on the billion dollar budget earlier today, strongly criticizing the Barrow Administration for its highly praised pro-poor initiatives. He also had a few choice words for the Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation. On Wednesday, Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez’s presentation celebrated [...]

Minister of Finance plans of solar energy on a commercial sale
The United Democratic Party, which is in its second term in office, is also boasting significant growth in foreign direct investment at a time when the financial climate within the Caribbean is currently unfavorable. Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Santino Castillo, ran through a list of private sector projects that are being [...]

Another Double Murder in Corozal; this time cousins killed
Exactly one week ago, we reported on the double murder of a mother and daughter at their hotel in Corozal Town. Tonight there is another double homicide to report on, in that municipality. This time, two cousins were shot to death in the center of town while they were hanging out. The men; a car [...]

4 women charged for street robbery
Before you believe that crime lends itself only to males, think again. A Belize City resident, Leandria Ebanks was attacked and robbed on Saturday and the bandits were four women. Police have since arrested twenty year old De Andre Bell, eighteen year old Shari Bent, eighteen year old Tamara Arnold, and nineteen year old Robin [...]

Farmer walks free from indecent assault charge against minor
A young Farmer of Saint Matthews Village today walked free of a serious sexual offense. Twenty-three year old Isai Ortiz was charged in December 2011 for allegedly committing an indecent assault upon a minor. Ortiz was previously in court on April twentieth and the court ordered that he was to be given disclosure by May [...]

Woman claims that cops regularly harass her
Twenty-three year old Natasha Lewis says that the GSU is harassing her and that it has been going on for too long; she says today while she was walking on Dean Street, a truck with some officers stopped her and an officer physically assaulted her. She says that in January she was vocal about her [...]

Belize Bank gives 25 four-year high school scholarships
As noted in the previous news items, hard times and a poor upbringing without role models can lead to crime and unwanted situations. Mentorship is a key factor in any program that hopes to either reform or shape young minds. That is why the Belize Bank scholarship program was launched, not only to give an [...]

Toledo East’s Mike Espat wants rosewood moratorium temporarily lifted
While the twenty-five scholarship recipients are looking to bank managers for some guidance, hopefully they haven’t seen or heard the name calling that occurred earlier today in the House by the elected representatives. The moratorium on Rosewood harvesting also became a subject for discussion in the House. The suspension, which came into effect on April [...]

Cayo and Guatemala ‘Selectaz’ find friendship in DJ Competition
The Belize Guatemala Referendum is slated for October 2013. But there is a battle brewing between nationals of both countries that actually has more to do with peace than war. So if you’re heading west this weekend, Meluchi’s in San Ignacio is the place to be for a showdown between Belizean and Guatemalan DJs on [...]

Blaze of Glory; spiritual upliftment with local and American musicians
You may have not heard of Cyril Pitterson, but on the streets he is well known by his pseudonym, Reality Youth. The Gospel Artist has a message for every Belizean youth and it will be delivered in a free concert on Friday night. He is teaming up with other local artists and for the first [...]

Oceana on Al Jazeera for bottom trawling success
The following feature may not carry any notes of Reality Youths, or the scratches of Cayo’s DJ competition, but for Oceana Belize, it is music to their ears. The gospel truth of Oceana’s environmental conservation has travelled across the planet and had gained them major fans in the Middle East. The ban on bottom trawling [...]

Healthy Living treats a nose bleed
More frightening than it is serious, nosebleeds can occur at any time to children and adults alike. This week, Healthy Living takes a closer look at the causes of the condition and gets the doctor’s advice on how to respond to this common occurrence.   Marleni Cuellar, Reporting For many of us the mere sight [...]


Police News
Dr. Mario Estradabran on 11th July, 2012 at 1:50pm conducted a post mortem examination on the body of Alley Ismael GARCIA, 23yrs, laborer of #13 Saint Paul Street, Belmopan City and has certified the cause of death was “Traumatic shock, blast syndrome due to gunshot wounds”...

Love News’ Correspondent Dalila Ical has been following up on the murders in the Corozal District. Here is her report DALILA ICAL, Reporter “Police were called at approximately 10:20 last night and found one person dead and another severely injured ...

Belmopan police are investigating a stabbing incident that has left a seventeen year old resident of Roaring Creek Village hospitalized. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the story FEM CRUZ, Reporter “The victim seventeen year old Breampri Wright told Love News ...

Twenty five students from all over the nation today walked away as happy recipients of the Belize Bank High School Scholarship. During a ceremony held at the Belize Chamber of Commerce building on Coney Drive this morning, Chairman of the Belize Bank Lindon Guisseppe explained th...


Belize Bank grants scholarships
A group of children this morning received scholarships which will help them through high school. Reporter Natalie Novelo and videographer Matthew Villanueva have the story.

Double homicide rocks Corozal … again
A second double murder in as many weeks has rocked the Corozal community. The latest attack occurred at around ten fifteen on Wednesday night. It happened just as car dealer, thirty-eight year old Robert Hernandez and an uncle, 50 year old Kenrick Vacarro, had gone to visit a friend who lives on Sixth Avenue in ...

Woman charged for trying to import drugs to the prison
A teenage woman who went to visit an inmate at the Hattieville prison almost became one when she was arrested on charges of trying to smuggle drugs into the facility. Melissa Jones, 18, who lives on Freedom Street in Belize City was charged with the crime of drug trafficking when she appeared in the Magistrate’s Court today. Jones pleaded not guilty to the charge and was released on a bail of $5,000. Her case was adjourned until August 16. The police from Hattieville reported that they were called to the prison and upon their arrival Jones was handed over to them with 2 plastic bags that contained suspected cannabis. A prison officer reported that when she searched Jones she found the marijuana.

Convicted cop killer loses high court appeals
The man convicted of the murder of police officer Nedi Reymundo has lost his appeal in the Belize Court of Appeal. Chadrick DeBride, who on conviction for the Christmas Eve murder of Reymundo in 2004, appealed the life sentence he was given by the Supreme Court. The judged of the high court dismissed DeBride’s appeal and affirmed the conviction and sentence, meaning he will continue to serve the sentenced of life imprisonment. Reymundo was fatally wounded in broad daylight as he stood in front of Dale’s Barbershop at the corner of West Canal and Bishop Streets in Belize City.

Newly elected representatives get their feet wet in the House
The debate on the draft estimates for fiscal year 2012-2013 continues at this hour at the National Assembly building in Belmopan. Throughout the day, members of both sides of the House took turns speaking in support of or against the bill appropriating certain sums of money for the expenditure of the public service for the twelve month period starting April first. One of the first speakers today was the member for Cayo Central and the Minister of Works, who had good news for commuters in the south, when he announced that after years of waiting, the Kendal Bridge is about the be open for vehicular traffic. During the course of today’s debate, some of the newly elected representatives got their feet wet in the House by joining in the discussion of the budget. The budget debate will conclude with a summary after all the members have spoken, by Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

Teenager charged for illegal ammunition possession
Police on mobile patrol yesterday conducted a search on nineteen year old Matthew Velasquez, a laborer of Rivas Estate area, in Dangriga Town. The search resulted in the discovery of one point thirty eight live round of ammunition. Velasquez was arrested and charged for the offence of kept ammunition without a firearm license.

Garcia’s autopsy results released
Dr. Mario Estradabran yesterday conducted a post mortem examination on the body of twenty three year old Alley Ismael Garcia, a laborer of number thirteen Saint Paul Street, in the City of Belmopan and certified the cause of death as “Traumatic shock, blast syndrome due to gunshot wounds”. This in connection with the shooting incident that occurred on the seventh of July, 2012 about one mile off the Northern Side of San Pedro Ambergris Caye at Rocky Point.

Stabbing in Roaring Creek leaves teenager hospitalized
Belmopan police are investigating a stabbing incident that has left a seventeen year old resident of Roaring Creek Village hospitalized. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the story.

Double murder reported in Corozal
There are reports of another double murder in Corozal, the second such occurrence in as many weeks. Details are still sketchy, but reliable reports are that the incident happened last night. We will provide details on this developing story as they become available.

Budget debate opens in Belmopan
The much anticipated debate on the proposed budget for fiscal year 2012-2013 opened this morning at the National Assembly building in Belmopan. The debate opened with the traditional rebuttal of the budget speech by the Honorable the Leader of the Opposition Mr. Francis Fonseca. The member for Freetown said that the budget is void of a plan to take forward and is riddled with excuses. Fonseca questioned what has the UDP done in the last 4 years to help Belize weather the global financial crisis which the government often refers to. He used the example of projected economic growth by nations in the region and South America to point out that the government is failing effectively grow the Belizean economy. Among the suggestions on the way forward, the Leader of the Opposition suggested that Belize could seek open its doors to call centers as one way to generate employment and stimulate economic growth, particularly among young people. The offshore banking sector is another suggested area that Belize could explore, according to Fonseca. In short, Fonseca says the budget does not give confidence. When he rose to give his intervention on the budget, the member for Belmopan, John Saldivar used most of his time to refute the examples given by the Leader of the Opposition to point to Belize’s fragile economic growth of two percent. Mr. Saldivar says the Leader of the Opposition was comparing apples and oranges when making the comparison between Belize and countries like Brazil and Chile. Noting that it is his government that will fix the superbond, Saldivar says the budget has something for everyone. That was the member for Belmopan, John Saldivar. We will have more from the budget debate coming up shortly in the newscast.

Flowers’ autopsy results released
Two days ago relative of one of the three men killed during an exchange of gunfire a few miles north of San Pedro raised concerns over the circumstances about how he was killed. Some of them even charged that eighteen year old Kendale Flowers was assassinated instead of killed during a crossfire with law enforcement authorities. Then on Tuesday, in defense of its actions, the joint, Police, BDF and Coast Guard team called a second press conference to provide pictures of the deceased and his associates in possession of high-powered weapons which they say were taken about a month ago. Today the post mortem examination certified that Flowers died from internal and external bleeding due to injuries to the left kidney, left lung and heart as a result of gunshot wounds he suffered.

Arrest made in PG armed robbery
One person was charged for Armed Robbery in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details.

SUV up in flames
A Sport Utility Vehicle was completely destroyed by fire yesterday in Belize City. According to police reports, they visited the scene on Kelly Street where the owner Lynn Leslie, reported that she was sleeping on the upper flat of her two storey house when she was awakened by an explosion coming from the western side of the building. The fire completely destroyed her 2006 grey Pontiac Torrent SUV. Personnel from the fire department extinguished the fire, but the cause has not yet been ascertained. Police continue to investigate this incident.

Cane farmers receive bonus payments
Cane Farmers in the North were lined outside the bank today as they received their second bonus payments for their sweet crops. Dalila Ical has the story.

First recipients of Ariel Rosado scholarship named
He died a little over a year ago in a traffic accident but already, the family, friends and close affiliates of Ariel Rosado have formed the Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation in memory of him. Six months after its establishment, they raised close to twenty-five thousand dollars to fund high school scholarships. This year, eight students will benefit from that effort. Love News met Dr. Alvaro Rosado, the father of the late Ariel Rosado, who explained why the Foundation was established. For those who are not familiar with Rosado’s cycling accomplishments, Board member for the Foundation, Matthew Smiling, highlighted some of his greatest moments. Another Board member, Bruce Sanchez, Jr, explained that while the Foundation is yet in its infancy, it has already received encouraging assistance, including from the media houses. If you would like to contribute towards the cause, you can visit Bruce Cycling Club Bike Shop on Blue Marlin Boulevard.

Belize and Australia collaborate in reef management
Belize and Australia are geographically thousands of miles apart, but we have one thing in common. Our barrier reefs are the two longest coral reefs on planet Earth and now the two countries have teamed up as co-hosts of the International Coral Reef Initiative for 2012 -2013. Global estimates from the international scientific community suggest that 10 percent of the Earth’s coral reefs have been seriously damaged and that a much greater percentage is endangered, which if allowed to continue, is likely to lead to the loss of most of the world’s reef resources during the next century. Damaged or destroyed reefs can be found in more than 93 countries, with coral reefs in South and Southeast Asia, East Africa and the Caribbean facing the greatest risks. The International Coral Reef Initiative, which was founded in 1994, is a partnership among governments, the United Nations, the International Environmental non-governmental and private sector organizations to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems. It promotes the implementation of Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 and other international agreements to specifically address the plight of reefs and to reverse the trend of degradation and demise. In 2011, the Cabinet of Belize agreed to partner the Government of Australia as a co-host and assume the stewardship of the I-C-R-I from co-hosts France and Samoa. In co-hosting the I-C-R-I Secretariat, Belize will liaise with member countries in the Western Hemisphere, raise its profile in international conservation through exchange of experiences and attract additional resources for national and international initiatives in management and sustainable use of our natural marine resources. It will also work closer with the USAID to implement CARICOM Assistance Programs in strengthening regional and bilateral ties with Australia. The 27th Meeting of ICRI will take place in Cairns, Australia from July 16th to the 19th and Belize will field an Inter-ministerial Delegation to formally accept its responsibilities and to participate in running the meeting as co-host of the ICRI Secretariat. Those who will represent Belize will be Ambassador Adalbert Tucker from the Office of the Prime Minister; Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Dr. Wendell Parham; Administrator of the Fisheries Department, Beverly Wade; and Management Unit Coordinator at the Fisheries Department, James Azueta.

Conflict mediation training ends in Belmopan
Conflict resolution is a process that people use to resolve matters of contention among parties who have differences. When the parties involved are street gangs, then the level of intervention needed should be all the more sophisticated. Today, twenty persons referred to as mediators who were classed in three different cohorts received certificates after they successfully completed courses in that field. The program was conducted by RESTORE Belize which requested assistance and received it from the US Embassy in conflict resolution/mediation expertise. US Ambassador to Belize, Vinai Thumalapally, said that the US is committed to assisting Belize in these areas of cooperation. Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer in the Office of the Prime Minister, Audrey Wallace, said that the program is absolutely necessary in Belize and already there are positive outcomes. Altogether, thirty-six persons will receive certificates of completion in the program. Trainees were selected from entities that work in resolving conflict, including: the CYDP, the Belize Youth Hostel, high schools and the Wagner’s Youth Facility.

PUP leader says he is ready for budget debate
Members of the House of Representatives are making final preparations for the marathon debate on the government’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2012-2013. The two-day event kicks off on Wednesday with the traditional rebuttal of the budget speech by the Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca. It will be Fonseca’s first budget rebuttal, and on the eve of his big speech in parliament, Fonseca told Love News that he has taken a long, hard look at the government’s proposed spending bill to see if there is anything in it to take the country forward. With the stepped up payments for the nation’s foreign debt adding more stress to the national treasury, Fonseca says the proposed budget is short on a way forward out of the financial difficulty for Belize. On the issue of crime, Fonseca says his party is concerned for the personal safety of the citizens and says government must formulate a strategy that will put the criminals in check. He also expressed concerns that the drug war from the north may be making its way south into Belize. Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca. The debate on the 2012-2013 budget starts on Wednesday morning at ten o’clock. The proceedings from the National Assembly chamber will be broadcast live, on Love FM.

Prime Minister and Opposition Leader give their views on ICJ referendum
The simultaneous referendum in Belize and Guatemala to determine whether or not Guatemala’s claim to Belizean territory should go to the International Court of Justice for final resolution is still more than a year away. But it is still an issue that evokes strong emotions for many Belizeans. The people of both Belize and Guatemala will, on Sunday, October sixth, 2013, cast their ballots in a vote that will give their respective governments a clear mandate to either advance the process to the ICJ or not. While Guatemala has already set the process in motion leading up to the referendum, Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that for Belize, he does not see us starting the education campaign before the start of the New Year. While Barrow says he would votes yes, the Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca has reserved his personal position to give Belizeans a chance, he says, to make up their own minds on the issue. The simultaneous referendum on taking the Guatemalan claim to Belize will be held on Sunday, October sixth, 2013.

Shooting victim remains hospitalized in critical condition
Thirty-five year old Marty Harold Gough remains in a critical condition at the Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The employee of Kee’s Bakery and father of three was shot while making a delivery at YM Shop at the corner of M & M and M & Y Streets in the Lake Independence area of Belize City. He was shot in the left ribcage and grazed to the forehead and has undergone surgery to repair damaged arteries. The bullet, however, remains lodged in his back and doctors have not yet made a prognosis. Gough was shot by two thieves who robbed him of less than a hundred dollars, which belonged to Kee’s Bakery. The gunmen reportedly rode up to the shop on bicycles just as Gough and another Kee’s employee had stopped to conduct a transaction at the shop. No one has been arrested.


Men gunned down in Corozal
Just two weeks ago, we reported on the double murder of a mother and daughter in Corozal Town. That crime has still...

Budget Debate Day 2 - The Tourism Industry
Other industries addressed were the oil industry and the tourism industry. Hon Manuel Heredia said that tourism is ...

Budget Debate day 2 - Oil exploration
And when it comes to the oil industry, Hon. Erwin Contreras had this to say.

Budget Debate day 2 - Bus industry
An interesting report was made today to the house when Minister of State Hon. Edmund Castor told the assembly about...

Woman knocked down, listed critical
And in more news from Corozal, a woman was knocked down in that town and is in critical condition. 42 yr old Maria ...

Former Belize City local charged with molestation charge in the US
A 50 year old pastor from the United states was arrested over there for sexually abusing a 13 year old. Reports are...

Vehicle destroyed by fire
A resident of Kelly Street in Belize City was awakened to find her SUV engulfed in flames. Lynn Leslie reported to ...

The Budget Debate gets underway
With its usual flare, lengthy speeches, and across the aisle jabs, the first day of the budget debate got on the wa...

Budget Debate - The Superbond
Of course, the issue of the superbond was also a highlight of today’s debate. In line with their debate point today...

The Guardian

830 AIDS Tests in One Day
It was the first time that Belize participated in the initiative, which took place this year through the collaborative efforts of Scotiabank Belize, the Belize Chamber of ...

Belize City Champion's Cup at the MCC Grounds
Erwin Flores scored the 1st goal of the game for the Belize Defence Force The Belize City Champion's Cup continued at the MCC Grounds on Sunday July 1, ...

Minister of Transport catches Bus to Belmopan
Belize's transportation system has been the Achilles Heel of more than one administration. It was the reason why in the early 2000s there was unrest both in the ...

Police Rewards Students for Doing the Right Thing
The Belize Police Department held its 7th annual Do the Right Thing Awards ceremony at the Old Belize Restaurant on Wednesday, July 11. The program ...

Benque Police discover over 50 Pounds of Cannabis
Belize City resident, Anthony Thomas Welcome, 24, is expected to be charged with drug trafficking following an incident that allegedly transpired on Sunday in ...

Another shooting in Belize City
There is not a single legitimate investment in Belize that can yield more returns on the dollar than an investment made in Belize Telemedia Limited.

Regional Training on Serious Organised Crime for Belize and Trinidad
Sixteen participants from the Police Department, the Belizean Defence Force, Immigration and Customs Departments are attending the 4-day SOCTA Workshop, ...

Special Envoy to Expand and Upgrade Cancer Center in Dangriga
The Lifeline Foundation raised $142357.98 at the gala and turned over the proceeds to the Belize Cancer Society and the Belize Cancer Center in Dangriga on ...

Belize represented at SICA Summit in Honduras
Belizean students attended workshops and conferences that addressed problems facing society such as regional security, strengthening of democratic ...

Interoffice Basketball enters Semi-final Round
On Sunday July 1, the Quarter-final round of the competition was played at the Bird's Isle in Belize City. In the first game of the four games afternoon, Tuff “E” Nuff ...

Armed Forces Dismiss Family's Allegations on Ambergris Caye
Kendale Flowers and Alexander Mazariegos On Tuesday, July 10, the Belize Coast Guard invited members of the media to their headquarters at mile 3 on the ...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker BTIA handing over to Caye Caulker Police Formation
Members of the Caye Caulker BTIA Board were present to hand over a cheque to the Caye Caulker Village Council and some Police Officers were there to witness the handing over of a cheque for BZ$3,179.48, which was collected to assist in the re-building of restrooms at the Caye Caulker Police Barracks. The Caye Caulker Police Formation is grateful for the funds being contributed in improving the living standards of our law enforcement officers living on the island. GREAT job, BTIA! Your efforts are definitely applauded!

The Reporter

One step closer to the final MSME Policy and Strategy for Belize
It is estimated that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) generate approximately 70% of private sector employment and incomes, contributing significantly to Belize’s GDP. Despite this, there is no specific legislation providing fiscal and operational benefits to this sector. BELTRAIDE through funding from the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) completed a Draft MSME Policy and Strategy for Belize to support the development of this sector. As a result of the national consultations with both private and public stakeholders, the policy was developed to reflect regional and international best practices, to identify the needs of the sector and analyze Belize’s actual business environment.

Youths to picket budget
An assembly of youth leaders, now operating under the name Nation Builders, has made a showing in Belmopan last Wednesday during the budget debate, ostensibly to register dissatisfaction with the new Barrow Budget.

Trio accused of stealing bargeload raw sugar
Oscar Mena, 68; his son, Alex O’Brien, 35; and Ernel Brooks, 25, were arraigned this week on charges of stealing a bargeload of BSI sugar, 125 tonnes (275,500 pounds) of raw sugar, valued at $125,000 dollars..

BDF and Coast Guard clear nest of brigands from Bacalar Chico – 3 badmen dead!
Kendale Flowers, 19, of Faber’s Road, an associate of the Southside Gangsters, Alex Mazariego, 22, of Salvapan and Alley Ismael Garcia, 23 of Belmopan were shot dead in an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement officers at Bacalar Chico on Northern Ambergris Caye last Saturday morning July 7. A fourth member of the gang is believed to have escaped the joint Belize Coast Guard, Belize Defence Force and Police operation which destroyed a gangland enclave, apparently used to harvest cocaine packages washed up on the shore.

Money matters
Most international financial analysts will agree that the global economic recession is far from over. The U.S., one of the primary global economies, still faces unacceptable levels of unemployment. China exports are down, contributing to its economic decline. And most of Europe, with the exception of Germany is in a mess.

Blind boy 12, to trek across Belize
by Dyllan E. Lawrence When a young boy like Rowan Garel is blind he must look his their heart. This is what is inspiring blind 12-year-old Rowan Garel, who along with his dad, Joe Garel, plans an epic walk across Belize.

Fire-fight at Bacalar Chico:
The Belize Coast Guard called a media briefing to provide evidence that Kendale Flowers and two other men killed near Bacalar Chico by security forces on Saturday week were armed and dangerous. Photographs taken a month earlier showed the men brandishing heavy-duty attack rifles, one of which was stolen from the BDF stockade more than a year ago.

Budget debate leaves much to be desired
Belizeans wanted to hear dollars and sense, when the Opposition People United Party’s responded to Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s 2012-2013 budget in the House of Representatives debate on Wednesday and Thursday, July 11-12; instead they were disillusioned by presentations that degenerated into the all-too-common show of political posturing and diatribe.

New initiatives to protect and preserve the Chiquibul Forest
New initiatives to protect and promote the Chiquibul Forest were launched by Forestry Minister Lisel Alamilla last weekend. A Joint Enforcement Unit for southern Chiquibul was formed with the launching of a new Ceibo Chico Conservation Post, which took place at Tapir Camp in the Chiquibul National Park on Wednesday, July 4.

Belize International Film Festival 7th Edition is on!
The Belize International Film Festival continues to break new ground and the seventh edition of the festival will open with a triple treat of Belizean films, including for the first time a full-length feature film, “2012, Kurse of Di Xtabai.” Directed by Matthew Klinck, “Kurse of Di Xtabai” is done completely in the Kriol language, and produced by ‘Make-Belize Films’. The Festival opens with its traditional red carpet opening gala at the Bliss Centre in Belize City on Friday, July 13.

Sunburn may help rid body of radiation-damage
In examining exactly what happens when skin gets sunburned, researchers studying human skin cells and mice found that sunburn is the result of RNA damage. The red and painful burn is an immune response triggered by this altered genetic material to remove sun-damaged cells, according to the study published in the July 8 online edition of Nature Medicine.

Treat high blood pressure naturally
High blood pressure as you recall is a “silent killer” that is affecting millions of people worldwide, including many Belizeans everyday. In this article, we are going to be looking at ways to treat and alleviate this life threatening disease by using simple natural remedies and implementing basic lifestyle changes.

Alamilla’s & Quan’s Trading lead Interoffice basketball semifinals
Alamilla’s Furniture and Quan’s Trading Company won surprise upsets over Conscious Youth Development Program and Tuff E’Nuff when the semifinals of the 2012 Belize City Interoffice Basketball Competition began at Bird’s Isle on Thursday, July 5. Tuff e’Nuff entered the playoffs as the top ranked team with eight victories and one loss and advanced easily through the quarterfinals by eliminating the Police. But Quan’s Trading Company proved a harder nut to crack. Kachief Thomas scored 24 pts and snagged three boards as he led Quan’s to a 71-64 upset of Tuff E’Nuff. Quan’s led 19-16 at the end of the first quarter and with Vince Garbutt adding 16 pts and 10 boards, while Godsden Ferguson tossed in eight points, Quan’s romped to a 34-25 lead at intermission.

Belize to host 19th Caribbean Cup darts tournament
The Belize Darts Federation is to host the 19th Caribbean Cup Tarts Tournament and the 6th America’s Cup Darts Tournament at the Best Western Belize Biltmore plaza Hotel from July 20-30. The Belize team includes Omar Guerrero, Dimas Guerrero, Mario Graniel, Ricky Manzano and George Eiley of San Pedro, Valentin Marin, Jim Novelo, Wilbur Perez and Emmanuel Gabourel of Caye Caulker, and Theodore Lennon and David Cortez of the Cayo district. In the women’s competition, Melanie de Paz, Cecilia Joseph and Marie Osmon willcompete for Belize along with Lorena Guerra and Elvira Meighan of Belize City and Felicia Hulse from Cayo.


Learn Self Defense
Due to hearing about two girls who were prayed upon recently by guys trying to rip them off, I decided that the self defense course Jan and TI were putting together for this weekend was a sound idea. I firmly believe it never hurts to be able to show someone the picked ‘the wrong Gringa’ as Lara Goldman put it a few years back when someone tried to snatch her purse off her moving golf cart. Little did the guy know he picked a female boxer and was not going to get anything but the ass kicking he deserved. I emailed to sign myself up for the morning class and asked them for details to help promote it. After reading the flier Jan sent, I was surprised and pleased to find out Renee Wentz was the one teaching the class. I had heard about her from Dr Al in regards to a different matter. Both Jan and Ti said she is a great teacher an that we will learn a lot from her. Learn Self Defense in San Pedro! Saturday, 21 July 2012 Cost: Girls age 7-14 yrs $15.00; 15+ yrs $30.00 (fee must be paid in advance) Children under 7 yrs attend FREE with adult Place: Banyan Bay Conference Center Two sessions to choose from: 8:30am-12pm or 1pm-4:30pm Learn: street safety, observations skills, how to prevent attacks, using voice as weapon, physical skills and how to defend against chokes, strangulation, suffocation, weapons and more!

A Morning Walk...A Little Exercise and Lots of Wildlife
In an attempt to get into some sort of better shape, we went for a morning walk. It's turning out to be a beautiful day and I haven't been that far down south in a few months. Here is what I saw: We are getting into the jelly fish season. Luckily, for the most part, these things are relatively easy to spot. They look like purple balloons. But you definitely need to be carefully of the far reaching tentacles underneath. Ick. A bit farther down the beach, at this house... They are planting about 10 LARGE Royal Palms. Each is about 20 feet tall...maybe taller... Strange how small the roots are for a tree this size.

Brutal Dog Eradication by Strychnine in San Pedro
As many of you know, we moved to San Pedro, Belize this past January with our three Siberian Huskies. They are part of our family and we could have never moved to Belize without them. Back in the states Bill was on the Board for both CARA (Community Animal Rescue and Adoption) and Mississippi Spay and Neuter. So naturally one of the first things he wanted to do when he got to Belize was help with SAGA Humane Society. Our pups love riding around town in the golf cart. Waiting for their daddy to get home. In Belize dogs are not always looked at the same way as we do in the states. Most of the local dogs do have homes and owners. Most wear collars and all seem to be well fed. But the dogs are allowed to roam about town and yes defecate on the streets and beaches. A few weeks ago Bill signed on as the President for Saga and had a meeting with the Mayor of San Pedro about stray dogs running the streets. The Mayor said he needed something to be done and Bill asked that he work with Saga and try to find a solution. We had heard about the way dogs in Belize and other 3rd world countries were poisoned in mass eradication roundups. The last time this what they call "Bait Strychnine" happened in Belize was about 5 years ago when a mass poisoning eradication project was carried out in Belize City. The San Pedro Humane Society heard about it and immediately contacted the Town Council and then Mayor Elsa Paz to have a meeting to suspend further eradication of stray dogs for the time being.

International Sources

Belize overcomes Nicaragua in the second match of U 23 Men’s Central American Cup – Volleyball News
Men’s U 23 volleyball teams from Belize and Nicaragua crossed their ways on day-2 of the Central American Cup in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Belize totally dominated the opposite side and stamped 3-0 (25-15, 25-22 and 25-21) victory over Nicaragua. The team of Head Coach Morgan Derrick made a great comeback in the tournament by winning its second match. In the previous fixture, El Salvador defeated Belize with 3-2 ratio. Keith Castle of Belize exhibited a stellar performance and settled for the position of top-score in the match. He tallied match-high 11 points. Other than Castle, none of the players could touch the double-figure score. The Nicaraguan players stayed below than seven points. First whistle of the referee started things off. Karym of Belize supplied of power to the ball and served with great precision. With the nice delivery of serves and attacks, Belize jumped to an early lead in the match. Nicaragua dropped too many easy shots and suffered the set-back. Belize also committed errors, but they were fewer in number. Overall, Belize controlled the action on the net and remained ahead of the opponents. First set inched its way to the end, while gap of scores stretched out. Belize continued with success and managed to put off Nicaragua in the first set with 25-15.

Karol Mello reportedly arrested in Belize
A news website in the central American country of Belize has reported that Karol Mello, a Slovak fugitive wanted in connection with an attempted gangland hit that resulted in the murder of a woman and young boy in 2004, was arrested there on Wednesday, July 11. The website of the San Pedro Sun reported that Mello was arrested by local police on the island of San Pedro after a tip-off from Belize Police and Interpol. It reported that Mello had been transported to Belmopan, the capital, on Thursday and "handed over to Interpol authorities". The story was accompanied by photographs of a man resembling Mello, apparently in police custody. After the 2004 murders Mello spent several years evading arrest but was apprehended in Poland in 2010 and extradited to Slovakia. However, he was then released from custody by the Slovak courts in 2011 and immediately went on the run again. The Belize website incorrectly quoted The Slovak Spectator as naming the special prosecutor in the Slovak Republic as Katarína Kudjáková. In fact, Kudjáková is the spokesperson for the Specialised Criminal Court; she did not make the statements attributed to her by the San Pedro Sun.

July 12, 2012

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The San Pedro Sun

Baby Mariani Tun needs your help
Four month old Marianie Tun is in desperate need of the kind generosity of the community of San Pedro. Little Marianie was recently diagnosed with biliary atresia, a rare, congenital or acquired disease of the liver. As a birth defect in newborn infants, it has an occurrence of 1/10,000 to 1/15,000 cases in live births in the United States. In the congenital form, the common bile duct between the liver and the small intestine is blocked or absent. The acquired type most often occurs in the setting of autoimmune disease. Infants and children with biliary atresia have progressive cholestasis (stoppage or slowing of the flow of bile) with all the usual affiliated features: jaundice, pruritus (itchiness), malabsorption with growth retardation, fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies, and eventually cirrhosis with portal hypertension. The cause of the condition is unknown and the only effective treatments are certain surgeries such as a liver transplant which is the procedure little Marianie needs. According to mother, Rosita Barredo, the operation can only be done abroad. In order to get the operation alone, the family will need to come up with BZ$30,000. With travelling and other expenses, the total expenditure will amount to more than BZ$50,000. The family is from Chunox, Corozal, and they are joining with friends and other family members that live on the island have joined the cause in seeking assistance.

Mel Spain installed as the new President of the San Pedro Lions Club
Justice of the Peace Lion Murlene “Mel” Spain has been installed as the San Pedro Lions Club President for the year 2012/2013. The installation ceremony took place on Saturday July 7th at the San Pedro Lions’ Den and was conducted by Belize Lions Zone 59 Chairman Dr. Glen Espadas. Lion Spain takes over responsibility from outgoing president Lion Marina Kay, making her the third consecutive female to head the San Pedro Lions Club. The event had representation from the Belize City Lions Club and the Chetumal City, Mexico Lions Club. In giving the welcoming remarks, SP Lions Club Queen Shantell Pascascio reiterated the solemnity of the installation. She also encouraged Lion members to take the installation as an opportunity to renew their commitment to the Lions organization, “to serve.” Afterwards Kay, in her remarks, explained that one of her leading projects came to a reality with the chartering of a Leo’s club. She also thanked the community and members for lending their support during her year of presidency and pledged to work with the new president in moving the club forward. After Kay’s remarks the installation was conducted. Installing officer, Lion Espadas carefully detailed the responsibility of each new officer who is tasked to ensure the efficiency and good running of the affairs of the club. Installed as the new board of the SP Lions Club were: President – Mel Spain, 1st Vice President – Rigoberto Kumul, 2nd Vice President – Ruben Trejo, 3rd Vice President – Roger Musbach, Secretary – Bonnie Musbach, Treasurer – Abel Guerrero, one year Directors Ricardo Verde and Francisco Verde, two years Directors Nesher Acosta and Baldemar Graniel Sr., Membership Chairperson – Ines Anderson, Lion Tamer – Jan Brown and Tail Twister – Pedie Palaza.

31 dogs eradicated by the SPTC… poisoning to continue
There is mounting concern from some sectors of the San Pedro Town community regarding a sudden dog eradication exercise recently carried out by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). The SPTC is claiming that after increasing concerns, the eradication exercise was necessary to bring a short term solution to the issue of stray animals on the island. After social website backlash following the eradication, in which 31 dogs were killed between the night of Monday July 9th and the morning of Tuesday July 10th, Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero responded in depth to explain the council’s decision for taking such actions. The Mayor said that it was a combination of factors that led to the sudden eradication of dogs and the straw that broke the camel’s back was when he witnessed a tourist step in dog feces. “Based on that incident I said ‘it is enough’. There are just too many dogs out there and we have to do something about it. I took the decision against my will. I have been working with SAGA Humane Society and the San Pedro Animal Hospital. We have been getting complaints from tourists about the dog feces all over the beach and island,” said Mayor Guerrero. But of more concern are the health issues that come with the animal excrement highlighted by the health facilities, both private and public, on the island. Mayor Guerrero said that for some time now the SPTC has been warned about the increase in medical issues in islanders as a result of the animals’ feces around public areas.

Ambergris Today

Performers Line Up for Costa Maya Festival 2012
This year the International Costa Maya Festival promises to be bigger and better. Two international performers have been booked for audiences to enjoy and the list of performers is growing and top notch artists are being booked. The following are just a few performers who will be taking center stage at this year’s International Costa Maya Festival.

Town Council Continues Work in Keeping Island Clean
We have gained the name “La Isla Bonita” and it is up to us the residents to keep it “Bonita” and most importantly clean! This is one of the main priorities of Councilor Carlos Barrientos who is in charge of the island’s beautification and keeping our island clean. With this in mind Councilor Barrientos purchased four Homelite Brush Cutters for the street workers hired by the San Pedro Town Council. According to Councilor Barrientos, when they came in office, the council only had one working weed cutter and decided that it was important to invest in more equipment for the island’s beautification and up keep. The Town Council is working arduously in maintaining the island as clean as possible and would like to ask island residents to have civic pride and help in cleaning the island and keeping it as beautiful as we can!

Unregistered Cell Phones in Belize to Be Shut Down This Friday
In October 2011 the Ministry of Police and National Security made an official announcement advising the general public that in the interest of National Security under the Telecommunications Act edition 2002 section 44 (5), Belize Telemedia Limited and Speednet telephone companies will begin the mandatory registration of all existing pre-paid cellular numbers. The public was further advised that at the end of the six-month registration period, all unregistered phones will automatically be disconnected by the respective telephone company. The six month registration period has come and gone and an extended deadline was given. According to Digicell’s Facebook account, customers were being advised to register their phones by Thursday, July 12, 2012, as all unregistered phones will be shut down on Friday, July 13, 2012.

BTIA Hosts David Meerman at Tourism Summit
As part of the Belize Tourism Industry Association’s 2012 Marketing and PR Summit to be held at the Belize Biltmore Hotel’s River Room August 23, Mr. David Meerman Scott will be conducting a Real Time Marketing Masterclass, consisting of three 90 minute presentations covering cutting-edge approaches to marketing in the new global online environment Mr. David Meerman Scott; renowned marketing strategist, author and professional speaker will be conducting a Real -Time Marketing Masterclass. After each segment, there will be a panel discussion which will include key tourism stakeholders (both local and international), providing added insight in the various themes discussed. The purpose of the summit is to provide all industry stakeholders with ways in which to generate attention and build business. Below is a rundown of Mr. Meerman’s topics of discussion:

Dorian's Angels Paint It Up with Castillo's Hardware
Dorian’s Angels are always looking to promote the island’s best businesses and we always want to do our best in everything we do so this past week the Angels headed on up to Castillo’s Do It Best Hardware. The Angels did not want to interrupt Mr. Alfonso Castillo from his busy work schedule so we had Mr. Ricardo Verde helping us out and giving us a tour of Castillo’s warehouse in the DFC Area. Castillo’s Hardware has everything from power tools, household appliances, gardening tools and supplies, construction supplies, paint and much more. At Castillo’s Hardware you can always find great products at excellent prices. They are always offering great promotions and hold amazing raffles, especially their grand Christmas raffles.

Misc Belizean Sources

SAGA Cook-off for July 2012
Saga Humane Society Monthly Cook-off Fundraiser Wednesday, July 18, 2012, 6 — 9 p.m. Hosted by Wet Willies Saga Humane Society needs your support to operate the Shelter. Without fundraising & your generous donations, Saga would not be able to care for the homeless, sick and/or abused animals of San Pedro Town. Thank you for your continued support. ONLY $10.00 BZ to sample all the entries! You vote for the winner! *Prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd Place. *Great Raffles! “SALAD’S” is the Theme! Come out and support the community by attending the SAGA Humane Society monthly cook-off fundraiser hosted this month by Bruce, Diane & Steve of Wet Willies. “SALAD’S” is the theme! There are so many varieties of a salad. Enter a dish! It’s easy and fun to join in the competition. Come out and challenge our host! The monthly cook-off is a fun, social event for the whole family! See you all there!! To enter a dish, please call the clinic at 226-3266, or contact any Saga representative. Your dish will need to serve a minimum of 65 bite size or sample size servings. Registration is not required, but encouraged. Please bring your entry by 6:00 p.m. on the night of the event. Food Serving starts at approx. 6:20 p.m. Tickets sell fast! Here are some examples of some of the many salads available to make: Garden Salad Pasta Salad Three Bean Salad Taco Salad Seafood Salad

Seventh edition of Belize Film Festival gets underway this weekend
It is curtains up once again as the seventh edition of the Belize International Film Festival kicks off this Friday with its traditional Red Carpet Opening Gala at the Bliss Centre in Belize City. The film festival will expose the country to over 60 films, which will all be screened at the Princess Cinemas from July 14 to 16. Included in this year’s activities is an audio visual symposium on the 16th at the House of Culture in Belize. Film awards will be presented to the winners on the 17th at the House of Culture. The Belize International Film Festival offers the perfect opportunity to view Belizean, regional and international movies, documentaries, narratives and music videos not normally accessible to local audiences. This year, the festival will open with a triple treat of Belizean films, with the highlight being a local feature film made by Belizeans, with Belizean actors and filmed in Belize. “2012: KURSE A DI XTABAI” is completely done in the Kriol language, and produced by ‘Make-Belize Films’. According to Suzette Zayden, director of the National Film Commission, “Sixty four films were selected from an astonishing 120 entries submitted from countries like Trinidad and Tobago, USA, Brazil, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Chile among others. The films competing this year include narratives, feature length documentaries, short narratives and documentaries and short animations from 24 different nations.”

Rowan's Walk Across Belize
Rowan starts his Walk Across Belize tomorrow from Benque! Be sure and show him some support. It's all for a great cause, and proceeds will go to BCVI. "Make a contribution or get some sponsors to as you walk with Rowan from the Benque Border to Belize City to help support rehab services for blind children throughout the country!"

CCA Senior's Zipline Trip
The seniors at Cayo Christian Academy celebrated their achievement by doing some ziplining and hitting the beach.

Channel 7

Sparks Fly During Budget Debate
The Budget was presented at the end of June - and it was debated today - again the first time in memory that we've had a budget debate in July. The day began as it always does with the Official response to the budget from the leader of the opposition. In a workmanlike effort, he characterized the budget as failing to address the needs of a majority of the population - and things flowed from there: Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition "'We have turned things around, and once more are free to fly.' You remember those famous words. 'It is onward and upward.' He proudly proclaimed, 'Free to fly', 'onward and upward'. Well, Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's flight seems to have crash-landed. Mr. Speaker, the Belizean people know the UDP very well, that they will do what they do best. They will always do what they do best, personal attacks and living in the past. And over the rest of today and tomorrow, it will be on in full gear, personal attacks and living in the past. That is all the Belizean people - that is all you will hear from them. Nothing, about jobs, that is all. You all think the people like it. You all escaped narrowly this time, you all think the people enjoy that. Mr. Speaker, the Belizean people have had enough of this excuse. They are living in the here and now, and they want to hear us in this National Assembly, when we talk about the future, and about specific ways of making their lives better. Indeed, for a majority of Belizean, these are the worst of times. Each day brings with it, uncertainty and anxiety. How will they put food on the table? How will they keep the lights on? How will they keep the stove burning? How will they keep their children in school? How will pay the rent or the mortgage? What if I or my child gets sick? Where do I turn? Will I be able to find a job? Or for those lucky enough to have a job, will my employer be cutting back, or cutting my salary? These, Mr. Speaker, are real concerns of real Belizean families in July of 2012, under this failed UDP Government."

Kendale Flowers Not Shot To Head
Last night police rereleased a sensational photo of 18 year old Kendale Flowers - which they say they had a month before he was killed by the police. IT shows him and 22 year old Salvapan resident Alex Manzariego - both of whom were killed on Saturday on Northern Ambergris Caye - wielding M-4 Carbine machine guns and a 9 millimeter pistol. Well today, police have released the result of the post mortem on his body and it says he died of "Internal and External Bleeding, Left Kidney, Left Lung and Heart Injuries as a Consequence of Gunshot Injuries." The funeral for Kendal Flowers will be held tomorrow afternoon in Belize City. He is the third and last son of Shelmadine Middleton to be killed by gunfire. Her other son Peter was killed three months earlier. Back to the photos, police say they are seeking a number of suspects - one of whom also appears in the photo wearing a brown shirt.

Delivery-Man Marty Goff Clinging To Life
Last night, we gave you an update on 35 year-old Marty Goff, the Kee's Bakery deliveryman who was shot in an attempt to rob him of the proceeds of his company's sales. Well today, 7News caught up with his family and they told us that he remains unconscious after his surgery to treat the gunshot wound. According to the police he had been shot in the face, but the family told us today, that he was shot in the chest, and he suffered a minor injury to the face - most likely from the fall after being shot. Here's what his mother told us this evening: Helena Goff - Mother of Shooting Victim "So, far, he's in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, in the ICU, recuperating from the gunshot." Daniel Ortiz "Can you tell us where exactly he was hit?" Helena Goff "In in the side of his chest." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about the operation and the last time you guys say him conscious."

Shooting Victim Escarpeta Critical
Another shooting victim, 27 year old James Escarpeta is in a critical but stable condition at the KHMH. As we reported last night, he was shot in the back and arm on Baracat Street in the Port Loyola Area of Belize city yesterday afternoon - just a short distance from his home. According to police, he was shot by a fair skinned man who fired a single shot at him. No one has been arrested.

Was California Abuser A Predator/Teacher In Belize?
The story of a pastor from a church in Inglewood California who is accused of sexually abusing a 13 year old is making news in Belize tonight. And that's because 50 year old Gordon Solomon used to teach at a number of high schools in Belize. We have received reports that he was a teacher at a number of Belize City High Schools in the 80's and early 90's. It's important because according to multiple accounts - he allegedly did the same thing in Belize - preying on teenaged girls. He was never charged - but we have spoken to persons who insist that he was a known predator. And while he was never charged in Belize, Solomon faces nine felony counts in California court. He is being held in lieu of $3-million bail. According to news reports from Los Angeles, Solomon met the now 14-year-old victim at Christ's Community Church, where he is the pastor. The alleged abuse started in June 2010 and didn't end until Sunday, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. The abuse was revealed when the victim's mother stumbled upon one of the text messages sent to the girl. Solomon was charged Friday with seven counts of committing a lewd act on a child, one count of continuous sexual abuse and one count of oral copulation of a person under the age of 14. If convicted, Solomon faces up to 26 years and 8 months in state prison.

Luke Says He Owes "A Tidy Sum"
Last night you heard Luke Espat, the displaced owner of the Port of Belize explaining his position on a renewed round of litigation between the Port and the Government of Belize. The bottom line is that he was not in court last week because the receiver for the port doesn't want him there. And the truth is that when companies go over to a receiver, only rarely do they return to the hands of the original owner. So it seems Espat's chances at re-assuming control of the Port are very slim - particularly considering his overall indebtedness, which, we are told is in the hundreds of millions of Belize dollars. Still, he remains upbeat - but Jules Vasquez didn't seem quite convinced. Here's more of their exchange from yesterday's interview: Luke Espat - Displaced As Owner of The Port of Belize "Nothing is impossible in this world, you know. I have never looked at life as though anything is insurmountable. There is always a way." Jules Vasquez "So then, how do you go forward? You are saddled with multiple debts. You are in multiple receiverships. How do you move forward?" Luke Espat "That's a simple one; we are moving forward. There are new things on the horizon that we are doing, and we are working on the market to get the funding to pay the debt. It's as simple as that."

GSU Uncovers GSG Nest
The Gang Suppression Unit is reporting a number of seizures of illegal items. On Monday, they searched an abandoned property on West Street where they found half a kilo of high grade Mexican marijuana known as purple haze in the yard wrapped in plastic bags. No one was found nearby, but according to the GSU, the 534 grammes or 18 ounces was found in the territory of the George Street Gang. The unit then searched another abandoned property between West and Tigris Streets where they found awhite, Safari Land Brand bullet proof vest tucked away under a tree. An empty magazine for a 40 mm Glock pistol and a empty magazine for a Tech 9 sub machine gun - both prohibited - were found in the same area as the bullet proof vest. According to the GSU, These items were also found in the George Street Gang territory. And yesterday, in Lindo's Alley, the GSU searched a grey Honda Passport and found a purse with just under a pound of marijuana. 23 year olds Carlton Pakeman and Ashanti Scott of #58 Regent Street were inside the vehicle and they were arrested and charged with Drug Trafficking.

House Humour
Earlier on we had some fiery highlights from today's budget debate. And while those were the more heated moments, there were also some humorous ones - with former Prime Minister Said Musa playing the court jester. It was only tangentially connected to the budget but he regaled the house gallery and representative with a story about three horses and some unlucky soldiers. Rt. Hon. Said Musa - Area Representative, Fort George "The other issue I want to raise, Mr. Speaker, is that our nation's future sovereignty and security is facing yet another very serious challenge. This is the daily erosion taking place with illegal incursions into our protected areas along the border with Guatemala. And the Belize Defence Force, that is charged with the responsibility of patrolling and protecting our borders. They have to travel miles into the jungle, Mr. Speaker, to carry out their very important task. Well, we know that the British Government has withdrawn all their helicopters, which greatly facilitated this important exercise. And what are they doing? They're using horses, yes horses, to ferry their heavy equipment and rations in the jungle. According, Mr. Speaker - I am saying this because it needs to be said. According to a reliable account, 3 of these horses were confiscated from illegal Guatemalan settlers. So, they were commissioned to do the heavy lifting. When the horse reached the Guatemalan border, they bolted, and galloped straight over the border, back home to Guatemala, along with the BDF provisions. Mr. Speaker, if this was not so comical, it would be a tragedy. It's this kind of farce that makes us look bad, makes us a laughing stock. I would say this, since we're now looking to the US Government - they did help us with the Coast Guard, with vessels - why not ask the Pentagon to help us with at least one helicopter, Mr. Speaker."

Port Of Belize and CWU Reach Interim Agreement
The situation remains fluid at the Port of Belize as the negotiations continue between the members of the Christian Worker's Union and the Receiver's management. 10 minutes before news time they finished their meeting, and a major breakthrough came out of their all-day discussions. According to the Port's Receiver, Arturo Tux Vasquez, they have signed an agreement that all items that are up for discussion must be put on the table for negotiations by August 31. In addition, anything they have agreed upon will be placed in a Memorandum of Understanding, and both sides will be bound by that. If there is anything left over after that date, negotiations will continue on ONLY those pending matters. But today, that all day meeting did not sit well the stevedores who camped outside the entire time. The stevedores received word that the management was considering reducing the number of members in the gangs in order to improve efficiency. Well, the stevedores would have none of that talk, and today, they called us to vent about the current management even considering that idea. We spoke to Arturo Tux Vasquez, the Port's Receiver, and he told us that it was a misunderstanding, and that reducing gangs does not mean that anyone will be laid off. Here's what both sides told us, beginning with an update about the day's meeting:

Rowan Will Walk
Rowan Garel, the fearless 14 year-old who is blind, has been featured in this newscast several times. He performed excellently on this year's Primary School Examination, and before that, he was thrust into the national limelight when he climbed Victoria Peak. Tomorrow, he starts a walk from western to central Belize - 90 miles in five days. It is part of a campaign to raise awareness and funds for the Belize Center for the Visually Impaired, and tomorrow, he invites members of the public to join him as he starts off from the Benque Vejo Border. We caught up with him before he left for Cayo and he seemed upbeat - as he always does: Rowan Garel - Will Walk Across Belize "I think that it will be challenging because it's really long distance but you're just - okay, granted, you're walking a really long time, but I think it will be a little easier than Victoria Peak." Daniel Ortiz "And do you think that you will have the support tomorrow from the Belizean public in this effort for the fundraising?" Rowan Garel "I hope so. We have no idea how many people will show up, and even if you don't want to walk the whole thing, you can walk a part of it. It's going to take 5 days starting tomorrow, and it's 92 miles."

Kids Who Did The Right Thing
Almost every evening on the news, at risk youths with antisocial tendencies dominate the headlines. But that's only a small part of the picture; every day there are thousands of youths who are doing the right thing. And some of them were honoured today at the Belize Police Department's 7thAnnual Du Di Rait Ting Award Ceremony at Old Belize. There were 29 monthly winners, but there were 10 students who were singled out for special distinction. Here's how they described what it means to stand up for the right thing. Ken Alexander Gabb -1st Place Gwen Liz High School "Doing the right thing wasn't an easy task for me growing up because I had a lot of obstacles in my way, distracting and holding me back. But as I matured, I started to realize that I wasn't going on the right path. So, I decided to stand tall, and hold my head high, proceeding through the path of righteousness, and knowing that at the end of the road, will be a lot of rewards. Thus, I was told about the Du Di Rait Ting Competition, and decided to compete. I was elected as the regional first-place candidate for Belize City, and went on to achieve first place as the National Du Di Rait Ting candidate."

Channel 5

The great debaters: Musa Barrow and Fonseca on 2012/2013 Budget
The Prime Minister read the 2012/2013 budget on June twenty-ninth. It has been called everything including austere, spartan, slim and disciplined. Today in parliament, elected representatives from the government and Opposition squared off and took turns either applauding or shredding the budget. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca and former P.M. Said Musa [...]

Economics Minister of National Security? Saldivar forgets crime
Minister of National Security John Saldivar, addressed the House following the Leader of the Opposition’s presentation. However, he did not mention the cost of anti-crime measures and the financial resources that government has set aside for national security despite an increase of about a million dollars. As it stands, there have been seventy-five homicides since [...]

Budget not empty on education says Faber
The budget debate continues on Thursday. And while much has been said about the re-alignment of funds within the education budget, Minister of Education Patrick Faber announced during his presentation that primary and secondary school teachers in the Stann Creek District will also benefit from approximately two hundred and fifty thousand dollars which have been [...]

Cops award youths who did the right thing
A research is not needed to know for sure that many of the country’s murders are being committed by young people who should be part of the productive sector. The victims themselves are often in the same age bracket. Since 2006, the police department adopted a strategy of finding and communicating with teens, who faced [...]

SUV owner wakes to burnt vehicle
And though there are those who do the right thing, there are plenty who are ready to commit offences. On Tuesday night, police were called out on Kelly Street where a Sport Utility Vehicle belonging to Lynn Leslie was observed on fire. Leslie told police that she was asleep on the upper flat of her [...]

Restaurant owner runs in fear and foils robbery
A robbery attempt at Suly’s Restaurant located near the Belize City Fire Station, was unsuccessful. But there was still an arrest and charge for the July fifth crime. Eighteen year old Glenn Murrillo, a Construction Worker of Sarstoon Street, is believed to have been one of two men who entered the restaurant, pretending to be [...]

Scholarships given in honor of late cyclist
The Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation was established in February in honor of cyclist Ariel Rosado, who died in a traffic accident on May fourteenth, 2011. It was the brainchild of Rosado’s parents along with Bruce Sanchez Senior and Junior. Sports and education are two areas the cyclist championed in life and in his honor; [...]

Senator/Minister Joy Grant at SICA Summit
Senator Joy Grant, Minister of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities, accompanied by Margaret Juan, of the Embassy of Belize in Guatemala and Richard Vinelli of the Embassy of Belize in Honduras, represented Belize at the thirty-ninth Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Governments of SICA in Honduras. During the technical and ministerial meetings [...]

World Population Day; where is Belize in the count?
On July eleventh each year, issues affecting population and development take the global spotlight as countries observe World Population Day. This year the focus is on Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services since issues relating to pregnancy and childbirth remain among the leading causes of illness and death for women of childbearing age worldwide. Erika [...]

Restore Belize looks to conflict mediation training
The increase in crime and violence has spilled from the streets to many homes across the old capital as well as in Cayo. The situation has overwhelmed and exhausted most allocated resources since conflict is normally solved at the barrel of a gun. One of the programs formed just two years ago as a crime [...]

He forgot to pay fine and busted again on marijuana charges
Police made an early morning bust at an apartment building on the corner of Baymen Avenue and Saint Joseph Street. Four persons, including two minors, were arrested and charged with Drug Trafficking for one hundred and thirty-three grams of cannabis found during the search. But by the end of the arraignment, twenty-three year old Ryan [...]

Legalize it; official initiative to discuss small quantities of weed
While the Police Department and the Belize Defence Force have been doing their part to collect and destroy marijuana plantations in the country, burning an entire field may not be the end to the problem. There is an initiative underway to possibly legalize it on the corner. It won’t make you smarter as the popular [...]


One person was charged for Armed Robbery in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “The armed robbery occurred at King’s Service Station on Monday morning and later on in the evening, on that same day, twenty s...

Belize and Australia to Host the International Coral Reef Initiative(ICRI) Belize to Participate in 27th ICRI Meeting in Australia 16-19 July 2012 In an historic partnership, Australia and Belize, the two countries with the longest Coral Reefs in the world have joi...

The Belize Red Cross is hosting a six- day summer camp for children ages 9 to 12 from the Jane Usher Blvd. area at St. John’s Vianney Primary School. The camp started on Monday July 9, running to Thursday 12. The second phase will be on Thursday July 19 & 20, from 8:30 a.m. t...

World Population Day is being observed today. In 1987 the general assembly set aside this day to give focus and special attention to population and development issues primarily focusing on how reproductive health contributes to development in countries. Therefore, as ...


Man acquitted of attempted murder charge
Twenty five year old Ronlee Petillo, charged with the attempted murder of Stackle Monsanto, was acquitted of the charge today in the court of Justice Herbert Lord. Monsanto was shot around 9 p.m. on April 7, 2009. The case for the prosecution fell apart when Monsanto took the witness stood up in court and said he doesn’t know who shot him. Monsanto said He only thought that the person was Petillo. Monsanto testified that he was walking on Allemby Street when his assailant rode up to him on a bicycle and began to fire shots at him. Monsanto said he ran behind St, Ignatius Church and collapsed, after which the police came and took him to the hospital. Monsanto was shot in his right shoulder, his lower back, his right leg and his right foot. Because Monsanto did not identify Petillo as the shooter there was no evidence against Petillo. So after the prosecution closed its case Justice Lord directed the jury of 9 to return a formal verdict of not guilty. But although Petillo was acquitted of the charge he was not freed because he is on remand for another charge. Petillo was not represented by any attorney. Senior Crown Counsel Cecil Ramirez Represented the prosecution.

Two alleged sea pirates brought up on charges
Brenton Brackett and Sherwin Moore, two of four alleged sea pirates, were charged with 9 offences when they appeared today in the Magistrate’s Court. The offences include 3 counts of attempted murder, 1 count of robbery, 1 count of dangerous harm, 1 count of use of deadly means of harm, 1 count of burglary, 1 count of aggravated assault and 1 count of handling stolen goods. No plea was taken because the offences are indictable. Neither could the court offer them bail because of the nature of the offences. They were remanded into custody until August 28. The charges arose from an incident which occurred at Colson Range Caye in the Stann Creek District. In that incident a fisherman, 60 year old Cornelio Verde and his two sons were attacked on the night of July 3 while they were in their fishing boat. According to the police report, four men who were in another boat asked them for fuel then they produced firearms resembling AK47 assault rifles and ordered them to jump overboard. While they were in the water the gunmen opened fire and Cornelio was shot in his buttocks and thigh. The gunmen then ordered them back into their boat and took them to their camp at Colson Caye wher they robbed of several items and their residence was burglarized. The items that were stolen amounted to $9,570. IN VALUE. The sons managed to escape and they alerted the Coast Guard. The police reported that on July 6 they went to Southern Long Caye and they recovered one of the stolen items.

Farmer drowns in rural Toledo
A drowning incident was reported in the Toledo District. Our Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details

Serious organized crime threat training in Belmopan
Representatives of the Police Department, the Belize Defense Force, the Immigration and Customs Departments and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime are taking part in a four-day regional training workshop on Serious Organized Crime Threat Assessment in Belmopan. A press release from the Police Department states that the aim of the session is to strengthen regional cooperation on criminal intelligence and strategic analysis in the Caribbean, specifically on organized crime and drug trafficking. The project has the support of key partners of the region in the area of security such as Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. It is the second training workshop, but the first for the Caribbean. As a complement to the training workshop, a high-level meeting will take place on Friday in Belmopan to discuss the importance of periodic exercises to conduct national threat assessments in the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking.

New camapign against human trafficking launched
Human trafficking is referred to as a form of modern-day slavery. Even while many people use it as a form of making a living, it is illegal. The United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, is currently on a media campaign to create more awareness of the risks and potential dangers of human trafficking. Coordinator of the International Organization for Migration’s Anti-Trafficking Project in Belize, Diana Shaw, told Love News today that the catchy title of “It Could Happen to You” aims to alert primarily young people because that is the age range that perpetrators target. Shaw says that even if someone has voluntarily or consensually been used in the act, he or she is a victim and only the person who used that individual can be charged with the offense. If you are or know of someone who is a victim of human trafficking, you’re encouraged to notify the authorities by calling the hotline number: 0-800-922-TIPS.

Police gives update on north Ambergris Caye incident
A press conference was held this afternoon to provide an update on the weekend death of three men during a crossfire with police on northern Ambergris Caye. Love Tv’s Marion Ali reports. Police say that both Alexander Mazariegos and Alley Garcia had several charges of Robbery pending before the Belmopan Magistrate Court.

San Pedro resident claims town council poisoned his dog
The San Pedro Town council is this afternoon under heavy criticisms following an overnight eradication of stray dogs. An irate San Pedro resident told Love News via telephone that there were no prior warnings and that even pets were caught up in the early morning operation. Findlay Halliday is one of the affected residents, and he says that he has spent a lot of money caring for his dog only to have it killed in the eradication exercise. Love News contacted the San Pedro town council this afternoon for comment on the claims by Halliday; but we were told by the Mayor’s Secretary that he would get back to us, but up to news time tonight we haven’t been contacted.

Dance classes offered at the Bliss
Another Level Christian Dance ministry is a dance group from Harrisburg Pennsylvania who is currently conducting a training at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts this week as part of the Institute of Creative Arts Summer Program. Love News visited the Bliss this morning and spoke with the people involved in the program. Vasquez invites the general public to come out on Saturday and be inspired by the uplifting music and performances that will be taking place.

New queen of the jewel chosen
The Queen of the Jewel Pageant was also held this weekend at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts in Belize City. Ten contestants were judged in different categories including swimwear, National Costume and question and answer session. Here is a summary of what took place on Saturday night. The new queen of the Jewel, Destinee Arnold will represent Belize various international pageants.


Budget Debate - Education, Faber and Balderamos square off
At today’s budget debate, the opposition continually pointed to the Ministry of Education as part of the problem fo...

Budget Debate - Financial cuts in security forces
The members of the house focused on many issues today but perhaps tantamount was the issue of crime, at least for t...

Budget Debate - Pro-Poor Agenda
Government continues to hail its pro poor programmes as one of the main reasons they were re elected to office. But...

Budget Debate - Pay increase
We can’t look at all the topics discussed at today’s budget debate, but the final one we’ll highlight tonight is th...

Two acquitted of 2010 murder
20 year-old Michael Kerr and 27 year-old Lionel Neal were acquitted of the March 2010 murder of 29 year-old Glenfor...

Suspected pirates remanded to jail
Two alleged pirates have been remanded to prison until their next court appearance. Sherwin Moore and Brenton Brack...


Thanks for the ride
This morning felt like I was running in glue, trying to sort pics and get all the high res ones off my computer. I was hoping to finish before going out but it was just to sticky and slow, I decided that taking myself on a date to Estel’s would make everything right. Around Grand Colony LouAnn stopped to give me a ride and took me as far as the gas station. I got around the corner and Carlos pulled up and said he would take me as far as Belikin Distributor. No sooner did he drop me off, Ken and Martha pulled up and told me to hop on. They were headed to Mayan Princess for a bit to enjoy the view in their friends unit and dropped me right at my destination. No need to look at the menu I knew I wanted my usual eggs over easy, bacon, potatoes and fried jacks with butter n honey. Totally starvin Marvin so thanks to everyone who gave me a ride and got my stomach here faster

You Voted For My Lunch in Town and Noticing Some Changes
Yesterday, I asked for a lunch suggestion on the San Pedro Scoop facebook page. I promised to lunch at whatever place received the most votes. And I got tons of votes. Over 60. People voted for Elvi's Kitchen, Ramons, Mickey's, Caliente, Blue Water Grill, Wild Mango's, Red Ginger, El Fogon, Caprice, Hemmingways Cafe, Victoria House, Mesa Grill, Mathieu's and more. So I counted the votes on facebook and email and the winner? Caliente. Did I go? No. I went to Wild Mango's instead. It was raining! And Mango's outside deck is protected from the rain. Here is my protecting roof decorated with old buoys. And yesterday specials. But I always choose one of two things. I had the buffalo chicken wrap. Delicious rainy day comfort food. Creamy dressing, avocado...yummy. And half is packed up for dinner. Economical too! Today, I promise, I will eat at Caliente. I love Caliente. See the hardship that I go through for you guys?

3 Reasons to Skip the Wild Spring Break Trip and Volunteer in Belize Instead
If you’re just starting college, you might be very excited about the prospect of taking a trip with your peers alone for the first time. Personally, I had never experienced anything other than the family vacation until I was a sophomore in college. Of course, I did take a “spring break” trip to Panama City Beach in Florida, but I was incredibly underwhelmed by the experience. I vowed from that point forward that I’d take an off-the-beaten-path trip from then on out. My first volunteer experience during spring break was to Mexico, and the following year I went to Belize. Both were unforgettable experiences, but Belize was particularly riveting. Here are a few compelling reasons to consider volunteering in Belize:

Belize’s ATM Cave packs a punch, Indiana Jones style
Belize’s Actun Tunichil Muknal (otherwise known as ATM Cave) is near San Ignacio, Cayo and is one of those places that everyone thinks is really cool at first blush: skeletons, caves, and the general feeling of being Indiana Jones when scoping out artifacts. Unfortunately, once you remember that the presence of skeletons mean it’s a burial ground, you begin to understand the controversy of it and why the local Maya aren’t keen on tourists tromping about. According to Maya mythology, caves are sacred given that they are the entrance to the underworld – Xibalba. The balance of trying to figure out tourists coming to the cave is a serious one that has implications beyond offending the sensibilities of the locals: In May 2012, a tourist dropped his camera and fractured one of the ancient skulls. While they say they should be able to repair it, there’s an effect on everyone due to this mistake: current visitors can no longer take pictures/video inside the cave. Exceptions can be made but permission from Belize’s National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) must be requested in advance. Perhaps the next incident will involve further restrictions, so I’d get out there while you still can. ATM Cave awaits.

Anatomy Of Present-Day Belizean Panades
Panades is one of the most common fast foods prepared in Belize. Apart from being one of my favorite foods, panades holds a special place in the hearts of many food lovers. Because I love panades so much, I decided to make an interesting graph on the anatomy of present-day Belizean panades and how they are prepared here in Belize. The graph might seem to display some controversial information but in the end panades is one of the most delicious foods you can eat here in Belize!

July 11, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

Tres Pescados Slam Tournament
This week I thought I would talk about our upcoming Tres Pescados Slam Tournament. August 23-25, 2012 marks the fourth year of Belize’s only professional fly-fishing tournament. Anglers from around the globe come to Belize for a chance to win some cash and support a great environmental cause. In previous years we have raised more than $30,000 for the fisheries of Belize. This would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors and anglers. A huge shout out to all who have supported us in the past, and to those who continue to do so. Muchos gracias.

Belize and Australia to Host the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI)
In an historic partnership, Australia and Belize, the two countries with the longest Coral Reefs in the world have joined together as co-hosts of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) for 2012 -2013. Global estimates from the international scientific community suggest that 10 percent of the Earth’s coral reefs have been seriously degraded and that a much greater percentage is endangered, which if allowed to continue is likely to lead to the loss of most of the world’s reef resources during the next century. Damaged or destroyed reefs can be found in more than 93 countries, with coral reefs in South and Southeast Asia, East Africa and the Caribbean facing the greatest risks. ICRI, founded in 1994, is a partnership among governments, United Nations, International environmental non-governmental and private sector organizations to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems. It promotes the implementation of Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 and other international agreements to specifically address the plight of reefs and to reverse the trend of degradation and demise.

Ambergris Today

Dog Poisoning Has Dog Owners Upset
“We counted about 200 stray dogs the other day when we went out to assess the situation,” commented Mayor Guerrero. “We counted as much feces on the streets, sidewalk and in other public places. Many areas smell bad, vehicle tires drag it all over the place, it goes into the drains and when it dries up we inhale it when it is picked up by the wind. It’s a serious health problem that I had to take action as it is getting out of hand.” The Mayor says he felt obliged to act on the situation and since the government is carrying out countrywide initiatives at the moment, he just reacted quickly, with all the pressure he was under. “I understand how people feel about dog poisoning; I feel for them and the dogs too, but the problem is getting out of control and something needs to be done fast,” he stated. Mayor Guerrero stands by his decision and supports his actions when he states that the town has not been receptive to the Town Council’s requests for dog owners to keep their pets indoors or tied down in their yards. He assures the public that his workers are not throwing poison laced food into anybody’s yard or doorstep. He says if private pets have been killed it is because they were on the streets. He also mentioned that there is no law stating that a notice has to be posted before eradication takes place; the Council has the authority to carry one out whenever they feel it be necessary. After the dogs and untouched food are picked up, they are taken to the dump site and buried.

Historic Belize/Australia Partnership for Coral Reef Health
Belize will work closer with AusAID in implementation of the CARICOM Assistance Program thus strengthening regional and bilateral ties with Australia. ICRI will hold its 27th Meeting in Cairns Australia from 16-19 July 2012 and Belize will field an Inter-ministerial Delegation to formally accept its responsibilities and to participate in running the meeting as Co-Host of the ICRI Secretariat.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize and Australia to host international coral reef initiative
In an historic partnership, Australia and Belize, the two countries with the longest coral reefs in the world have joined together as co-hosts of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) for 2012 -2013. Global estimates from the international scientific community suggest that 10 percent of the Earth's coral reefs have been seriously degraded and that a much greater percentage is endangered, which if allowed to continue is likely to lead to the loss of most of the world's reef resources during the next century. Damaged or destroyed reefs can be found in more than 93 countries, with coral reefs in South and Southeast Asia, East Africa and the Caribbean facing the greatest risks. ICRI, founded in 1994, is a partnership among governments, United Nations, International environmental non-governmental and private sector organizations to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems. It promotes the implementation of Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 and other international agreements to specifically address the plight of reefs and to reverse the trend of degradation and demise. In 2011, the Cabinet of Belize agreed to partner the government of Australia as a co-host and assume the stewardship of ICRI from co-hosts France and Samoa. In co-hosting the ICRI Secretariat, Belize will liaise with ICRI member countries in the Western Hemisphere, raise its profile in international conservation through exchange of experiences and attract additional resources for national and international initiatives in management and sustainable use of our natural marine resources.

Actun Tunichil Muknal Reviewed
ATM gets a great review. The author really describes the journey and the magic of the cave, which is number 1 on National Geographic's Sacred Caves list. "When we began planning our trip to Belize last winter, Actun Tunichil Muknal (or ATM as everyone called it) was a name that appeared often in travel guides and in conversations with people who had been to that country before. 'If you can only do one thing while you're in Belize, this is the one you can't miss.' At first I was intrigued by the challenge. A cave. A long hike just to get to the mouth. A longer hike to the end where a centuries old intact skeleton lay. A guide required and only a limited number of people allowed in a group."

Chantae Chanice Guy Will Represent Belize at Miss World
Cayo's Chantae Chanice Guy will be going to Miss World 2012 to represent Belize. "Chantae Chanice Guy of Belmopan, Cayo will represent Belize at the Miss World 2012 Pageant in Inner Mongolia, China PR on August 18, 2012. She was the first runner-up at the Miss Belize World 2011 Pageant."

Flor de la Feria Pageant pictures
Once again, congratulations to Carmelita Lara for winning the Flor de la Feria pageant. "Carmelita Lara: "Srta. Flor de la Feria 2012" Loveina Pat: "Miss Popularity" (Majority of votes at the Second presentation) & "Miss Amistad" Ivania Sansores: "Miss Photogenic" (Majority of votes on""

Caracol Reviewed on Stela 9
Caracol is mentioned as the ruin to see in Belize. The article mentions how Caracol isn't overcrowded with guests. "The largest site in Belize, it is believed Caracol once defeated Tikal in war! Quite an achievement considering Tikal is known as one of the most powerful Mayan cities ever. The tallest pyramid, Caana, stands 140 feet tall and overlooks the jungle canopy. There is a lot of archaeological work continuing at the site. It is expected to proceed into the years ahead. If you get there in the dry season, chances are you will see a few hard working archaeologists floating about. While a lot of excavation work has been completed, you can still expect many of the structures to be engulfed in jungle. Remember, this means means more wildlife and more feeling like Indiana Jones or Lara Croft."

Xunantunich Climbed and Reviewed
Xunantunich is spoken of very well in this review. It is one of the most impressive Mayan ruins. "Eight miles from San Ignacio, we motored into the village of Jose Succotz, so small, by the time you say Xunantunich (zshoo-NAN-too-NEECH) you’ve missed it. Here we loaded our pimped-up-ride onto Belize’s second, hand-cranked ferry—with its fifteen-pound, attendant Iguana—and crossed the Mopan River on our way to Belize’s most impressive Mayan ruin. The Maya originated in the Yucatan around 2600 B.C. This civilization peaked around 250 A.D. in Guatemala, southern Mexico, western Honduras and northern Belize with over 2,000,000 citizens. The ruins they left behind inspire many questions."

Birds of a Feather Flock Together Camp
The Belize Audubon Society had its Birds of a Feather Summer Camp. This time, they visited Belize City, where they spotted 39 different species. Worth a look just for the bird list. "On July 8th 2012, BAS hosted it's Bird's of a Feather Flock Together Camp. It rained a lot, but that didn't stop the enthusiastic campers from sighting 39 species of birds in Belize City. BAS would like to thank Ms. Rosalie Staines (Ms. Oapn Paki) for her generous contribution and support for this camp. Also special thank you to Mr. Rudi Burgos (Rudibird) for his kind support. And to the campers who came out despite the heavy shower, and big Thank YOU!!

Meluchi's Video Invasion Reloaded Tour II
Meluchi's has video from their Video Invasion Reloaded Tour pt. 2. Black lights and strobes gone crazy. Now that looks like it was a great dance! "2ns stop of the Video Invasion Reloaded Tour II.... San Ignacio - Meluchi's!!!!"

Tarde de Oro pictures
The Benque House of Culture's Tarde do Oro was yesterday. The pictures of the fireworks came out great.

Belizean Creole/Kriol Bun
In this video I do a remake of Creole Bun or Yeast Bun. This is a semi-sweet bread that is made by using coconut milk and dried fruit like raisins. The light sugar and water glaze that is used to top this bread makes it irresistible.

Channel 7

Police Release Photographs Of Kendale Flowers with M4 Carbine
Last night, the security forces thought they would be patting themselves on the back for a job well done - after they killed three machine gun wielding outlaws on northern Ambergris Caye in a firefight on Saturday. But, emotion is a heck of thing - and when the enraged family of Kendale Flowers accused police of executing the 18 year old - it may have introduced some doubt into the public mind about what really happened on north Ambergris. And so today, in an effort to tip public opinion back in their favour, the police and Coast Guard pulled a card they didn't want to have to pull - but one that they probably should have pulled in the first place. They released photos which show two of the dead men - striking outlaw poses with assault rifles some time before they were killed. The press conference was held at the Coast Guard headquarters this afternoon and 7news was there. Here's our report:..

Alleged Pirates Caught
And while the Coast Guard is dominating the headlines this week - they were also in the news last week with the armed robbery and shooting of a fisherman and his sons in the southern waters. Tonight, 2 men are in prison, after being charged for the high seas robbery and attempted murder. Police charged Sherwin Moore, and Brenton Brackett, with 3 counts attempted murder, 1 count of dangerous harm, 1 count of deadly means of harm, 1 count of robbery, 1 count of burglary, and 1 count of handling stolen goods. They pair was also charged with aggravated assault against Francisco Cho. There was no plea taken due to the nature of the offenses, and both men were remanded to prison until August 28, at which time, they will be taken to the Dangriga Magistrate's Court. Although the offenses were committed in the Dangriga jurisdiction, they were arraigned in Belize City before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. As we reported, one week ago, 60 year-old Cornelio Verde and his 2 sons, Mescali and Ezekiel, were held up by 4 men, one of whom was armed with an AK-47.

Man Shot In City Near His Home
Another man was shot in the city today. He is James Escarpeta who was shot on Baracat Street. Just after midday today he was walking home when gunshots rang out. His mother was at home putting out clothes when she heard the shots:.. Mariegold Parks, Mother of Victim "And as I got downstairs hanging out clothes I heard the thing went "pi, pi" and I heard bawling 'Roy' and afterwards I heard the bawling coming to me. So when I rush out I saw that it was my son and I grab him by arms and ask him who shot him, but did not say anything. He got a shot in his back and one in his right arm. The police responded quickly in like 2-3 minutes and they took him to the emergency ward, I am here to see what will take place with him." Reporter "Your son is not known to give trouble. How does this strike your home?"

Two Men Critical After Violent Armed Assaults
Two men are in clinging to life at the KHMH after violent armed assaults. Kee's bakery deliveryman 34 year old Marty Goff is in a critical condition after he was shot in the face by 2 men who were attempting to rob him. According to police, he was making a delivery at the YM Store, which is located on M&M Street. He exited the vehicle, and he was ambushed by 2 men who attacked and shot him in an attempt to rob him of his company's proceeds. And, chopping victim Abner Segura remains in a critical condition in the intensive care unit of the KHMH. He was robbed and chopped up on Thursday night in Benque Viejo and then left for dead in a ditch. He was not found until 20 hours later. He is in a critical condition at the intensive care unit where the chop wound to his head which cracked open his skull is most serious. His family tells us he has been removed from the respirator and is breathing on his own. Still, his prognosis remains very guarded.

Man Gets Off Murder When Witness Refutes Statement
27 year-old Lionel "Piggy" Neal and 20 year-old Michael Kerr were acquitted 2 and a half hours ago of the March 2010 murder of 29 year-old Glenford Matura. According to police, at 7 a.m. on March 10, 2010 Glenford Matura, an employee of Belize Maintenance Limited, was working in the area of Euphrates Avenue and King Street when several shots were fired at him by an unknown gunman. One of the bullets hit him in the head, and about an hour later he succumbed to his injuries while at the KHMH. The only man who came forward to police as an eyewitness, testified in court today. He said the statement which he gave to police, and the one that he was shown, were two different things. While he acknowledged that his signature was on the statement, he told the court that he gave certain information to the police, and that information wasn't present. In fact, he went as far as to say that the statement which he gave to police was not read back to him, and he signed it without reading it.

Acquitted Of An Attempted Murder
Also in court today, 24 year-old Ronlee Petillo, the man who was charged with attempted murder for the 2009 shooting of Stackles Monsanto, was acquitted today in the courtroom of Justice Herbert Lord. Monsanto told police on April 7, at around 9:10 p.m., he was walking on Allenby Street. When he arrived in Amara Avenue, just behind the Saint Ignatius School, a man approached him from behind shot him in the right shoulder, the lower back, the right leg, and right foot. He even named Petillo as the man he saw fleeing from the area after he was shot, but today, Monsanto took the stand and told the court that he doesn't know who shot him. When Senior Crown Counsel Cecil Ramirez asked him about the statement, he said that at the time, he told police that Petillo was the one who shot him because he thought that he recognized him. As a result, Ramirez was forced to close his case, at which point, Justice Lord directed to jury to return a not guilty verdict against Petillo.

Jilted Port Owner Espat Explains Why He Was No Show At Court Last Week
Last week the Port of Belize was in the Supreme Court challenging the government for not fulfilling multiple agreements with the Port of Belize. The case is being brought by the Port under the management of the Ashcroft Alliance receivers, but it really started with the previous owner Luke Espat. It's he who signed those many agreements with the Musa Administration back in 2002, 2004 and 2005. But they were never fulfilled - and he was oddly absent form court last week Thursday when the matters were argued. Today we got a chance to ask him why he wasn't in court - and why he didn't get the Musa Administration to honour the agreements it had signed unto:.. Luke Espat "We were not there not by choice. We had contacted the attorney Mr. Courtenay who represented the Port of Belize and told him that we were available, we need to sit with the receiver, but I can't understand why the receiver would be so irresponsible and the lenders to not have involved us." Jules Vasquez "Are you concern that the receiver is not acting in the best objected interest of the Port as a business and a going concern?" Luke Espat "That is true, definitely that is true. His actions have demonstrated that."

Third World Camp: A Beautiful Struggle
Sportsman Deon Flowers has been organizing the Third World Sports and Education Summer Camp on the St. Martin's De Porres Grounds for 13 years. It's a true grassroots event and every year it seems more children participate. This year, he says it's a challenge since he also feeds the children, but he told us it's a beautiful struggle:.. Deon Flowers "I plan this every year, I try to keep the youths off the streets and try to keep them active. The longer we can get more support - now we are getting support. It is a lot of kids and we need everybody to keep the community safe." "I am still looking out for people. I invite them to come out, come out and see that you get your half. Itis something for the kids. The name of the camp is Third World, it is not just for kids from back here, it means that everybody who is interested to participate worldwide. This is for them, the young generation because we are tired of hearing the mothers cry that their young one is dead."

Study On Youth In Conflict With the Law
Youth at Social Risk and in Conflict with the Law - it's what makes the headlines every night - and now it is the subject of a new study. Today marks the end of a 5 month long consultation on violence prevention which was done by the International Peacebuilding Alliance. Interpeace, in collaboration with SICA and the Italian Cooperation, conducted these consultations with stakeholders from 4 Central American countries, including Belize. It's a proposal which they plan to present to the authorities of Belize, but today, they invited the media to the unveiling of their results. Here's what the coordinator told us about the origin of this proposal, which is expected to be adopted as policy by Belize: Isabel Aguilar, Coordinator for Interpeace "We are presenting here a national public policy proposal for the prevention of youth related violence in Belie. This proposal has been develop by Interpeace in a joint effort with the Central American Integration System, The Central America Social Integration secretariat and United Nations Population Fund. All this efforts are in the frame of a regional initiative because youth related violence is a major concern in many Central American countries."

New Laws For Trafficking, Sexual Exploitation Of Children
Trafficking in Persons, it's been in the news a lot recently - but the International Organization for Migration wants to further heighten public awareness. IOM, working with the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Committee launched an educational media outreach campaign yesterday at the George Price Center in Belmopan. CEO in the Ministry of Social Services Judith Alpuche explained that it comes just as government is preparing a pair of laws that make it easier to p[prosecute human trafficking:.. Judith Alpuche, CEO in the Ministry of Social Services "We are seeing with the tourism sector that CSEC is becoming more and more a reality and it is manifesting in different ways in that we have stories of taxi drivers being intermediaries - providing tourists with albums where they can select young women, like a menu if you will and then using the taxis as the places where these transactions occur, so we really do need a robust piece of legislation that deals with all the facets of it - with the pornography that comes with CSEC and all that and really provides protection for young people 16 and 17 who are not protected by the carnal knowledge laws but who can be exploited sexually." "This piece of legislation - we are expecting the bill to go to Cabinet in the next few weeks for furtherance to the House so those 2 pieces will be great tool really in the arsenal of the prosecutors to be able to deal with the various manifestation of what is human slavery."

Channel 5

Men killed in fight with armed forces identified as Belmopan residents
The Police Department continues to follow leads that were uncovered following Saturday’s battle with four men near the Rocky Point end of Ambergris Caye. The identity of one of three men who were killed in the crossfire was revealed to be Kendale Flowers, but since then identification cards on the other bodies have identified them [...]

Mother of man killed on san Pedro aid he left home with a soldier
News Five’s Andrea Polanco went to Belmopan today to locate the families of two men, who were killed in a shootout with lawmen in San Pedro. The relatives of Alexander Mazariegos say they don’t believe the accounts being given by law officials. His mother told Andrea Polanco that both her son and Garcia left Belmopan [...]

Heated budget debate expected
Normally, an official release would be sent regarding House meetings and though this Wednesday and Thursday’s budget debate is expected to bring out some fiery exchange between the two parties, strangely no release has been sent by the press office. Nonetheless, News Five will cover the verbal assaults and the budget debate extensively. But tonight, [...]

Will the quality of your life improve with the new budget?
Tonight’s question is: Will the quality of your life improve with the new budget? 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] As for the response to last week’s question; we asked [...]

Shot during robbery but clinging to life
A Belize City man was shot in the face on Monday afternoon when two men robbed his delivery truck while transporting bread to a store in the Lake Independence Area. Tonight, thirty-four year old Marty Goff is still in critical condition and is fighting for his life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The incident [...]

Bicyclist knocked down on highway
A Belize City resident is hospitalized after being knocked down earlier today while riding a bicycle along the Northern Highway. Shortly after eight o’clock this morning a man was hit by an oncoming vehicle whilst heading in the direction of the city. The accident, which occurred in front of Budget Rent-A-Car near mile two and [...]

Negotiations at Port of Belize will take time
Less than two weeks ago, a go-slow was initiated by the Stevedores of the Christian Workers Union at the Port of Belize and by the following day it had transformed into a work stoppage. The actions were stimulated by what Stevedores called a slow negotiation process for a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Union and [...]

Murder Acquittal; witness says it’s a wrong statement
In court today, two men were acquitted of murder after the prosecution’s main witness told the court that the statement presented in evidence was not the one he had given to police. The trial against Lionel “Piggy” Neal and Michael Kerr was for the murder of twenty-nine year old Glenford Matura, who was shot five [...]

Pirates of the Caribbean get charged
Two men from Southern Belize are suspected to be the modern day pirates that shot sixty year old fisherman, Cornelio Verde, and robbed his four-man crew at sea. Today, Sherwin Moore and Brenton Brackett, who were in police custody since Saturday, were brought before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. They were charged with three counts [...]

PASMO works on manual for persons living with HIV
Pan American Social Marketing Organization or PASMO Belize was founded in 1999 to work in HIV/AIDS prevention. The organization strives to direct its resources where they are most needed by locating at-risk and vulnerable populations and developing tailored strategies to reach each respective group. According to Guadalupe Huitron, Pasmo’s Country Manager, the organization is currently [...]

SOCTA, Serious Organized Crime Threat Assessment workshop
A regional workshop on Serious Organized Crime Threat Assessments began on Monday in Belmopan. It has the participation of sixteen persons from Police, the Belize Defence Force, Immigration and Customs Departments as well as invited participants from Trinidad and Tobago. The training, which is being provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, [...]

Rastas raise funds for Liberty Hall
Rasta United is inviting you to join in their annual Haile Selassie I Earth Day celebration at the B.T.L. Park on July twenty-second. The group is having an all day fair, both to honor Haile Selassie and to raise funds for the renovation of the historical Liberty Hall on Barrack Road, which will be used [...]

Table Tennis Association looking to school participation
The Belize Table Tennis Association held its fourth annual general meeting at the Belize Elementary Auditorium on Saturday. The matters discussed included accomplishments over the past year and the plans in forging ahead to establish a national junior selection. Association president Arturo Vasquez says that they hope the expansion into the schools will push the [...]

A Lion of a Club on San Pedro does good things
Formed in 1975, the San Pedro Lions Club has been serving the community of that municipality for over thirty years. The club was formed with the aim of providing health services and the development of community projects to assist schools and vulnerable groups likes the poor and elderly. Over the past weekend, the Lions Club [...]

2 female athletes wins medals in regional games
Belizean-American siblings, Shantell and Shaneve Swift, descendants of two generations of professional runners, are arguably the most talked about local athletes coming out of the Central American Games. Their achievements during the recent track and field events in Managua, Nicaragua have not only earned them several individual medals but they have also been tapped to [...]

Athletes ready for 2012 Olympics
While the Swifts have done well in representing Belize regionally, additional Belizean athletes living abroad have also been recruited to compete on the world stage. Altogether, a team of fifteen athletes, including Kathy Sealy and Kenneth Medwood who reside in the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as homegrown phenom Kaina Martinez will [...]


Members of the House of Representatives are making final preparations for the marathon debate on the government’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2012-2013. The two-day event kicks off on Wednesday with the traditional rebuttal of the budget speech by the Leader of the Oppo...

The simultaneous referendum in Belize and Guatemala to determine whether or not Guatemala’s claim to Belizean territory should go to the International Court of Justice for final resolution is still more than a year away. But it is still an issue that evokes strong emotions ...

On 9th July, 2012 a Regional Training Workshop on Serious Organized Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) was inaugurated in Belmopan. Sixteen participants from the Police Department, the Belizean Defense Force, Immigration and customs are attending the 4- days SOCTA Workshop, which is...

Another Level Christian Dance ministry is a dance group from Harrisburg Pennsylvania who is currently conducting a training at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts this week as part of the Institute of Creative Arts Summer Program. Youth Development officer for ICA, Kim Vasquez tol...

A coalition meeting was held last evening in Belmopan to address the crime situation. With a report here is Fem Cruz. FEM CRUZ, Reporter “Last night Monday, July 9 a meeting was held at the George Price Center here at the City of Belmopan. The purpose of ...

The Dangriga Poly Clinic for more than three weeks has been without air conditioning and has been uncomfortable for staff and patients alike. Harry Arzu reports HARRY ARZU, Reporter “Employees and patients who are under medical care at the Dangriga Poly Clinic ...

The director of police in the south zone of the state, Fredy Castro Piña, has signaled that the bonds of collaboration with Belize have been reinforced before the latest events registered in that zone with respect to the murder on the fifth of June in the Cocoyol Community, wher...

The San Pedro Town council is this afternoon under heavy criticisms following an overnight eradication of stray dogs. An irate San Pedro resident told Love News via telephone that there were no prior warnings and that even pets were caught up in the early morning operation. ...

A drowning incident has been reported in the Toledo district. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the story. PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “A farmer of Aguacate Village reportedly lost his life while crossing the Aguacate River on his way to his farm on Sunday afternoon.&nbs...

Running Water Now Accessible in Cristo Rey
After two and a half months without running water, resident of Cristo Rey village in the Cayo district got relief over the weekend. On Saturday evening a replacement pump was installed and the village’s water system restored. The restoration work started on Thursday a...


Post Mortem Results On Fredersdorf Women Released
The post mortem examination results have been released in the case of 35 year old Clari Fredersdorf, owner of Paradise Bay Villas and 18 year old Shanny Fredersdorf who were both murdered on Wednesday July 4th. As it relates to Clari Fredersdorf, the post mortem examination indicates that she died of hypovolemic shock due to internal bleeding caused by two gunshot wounds. On the night of the murder Clair received a gunshot wound on the left armpit and one on the left triceps. As for Clari’s daughter, Shanny Fredersdorf, the results indicate she died of massive brain damage as a result of a gunshot wound on the right temple. As we reported, both women were at the hotel located on #7 Almond Drive, South End Corozal Town when they were ambushed by three male persons of dark complexion. The day after the murder Corozal Police detained two individuals in connection to the crime and later arrested Shanny Fredersdorf’s boyfriend along with the caretaker of the hotel for questioning. While there are number of speculations surrounding the death of the two women, to date police haven’t figured out the exact motive for the double homicide and no charges have been levied against any of the detainees.

Fifty Year Raphael Torres Was Not Murdered
Fifty year old Raphael Torres died of asphyxia due to drowning as a result of a head injury. That’s according to Doctor Mario Estradaban. The results of the autopsy have been handed over to the family of the 50 year old who strongly believe that he was murdered. The badly decomposed body of the Orange Walk resident was discovered by police on June 12th near one of the docks at the Fort Street Tourism Village in Belize City. At that time, police had no idea who the individual was since his family had not reported him missing. On Monday July 2nd Torres’ family made an official missing person’s report to police after he went missing for 2 weeks. The family was unaware that their loved one was already dead and was buried in the old capital. It was not until Torres’ story was aired on CTV3 News that family members received a call from a person informing them about the unidentified body that was fished out from the sea. A trip to Belize City proved that the body belonged to Torres. The body was exhumed and brought to Orange Walk for proper burial.

Cane Farmers Second Payment Sweet As Sugar
More than $20 million, that’s the amount of money that will be pumped into the Belizean economy on Wednesday July 11th when cane farmers receive their second payment. As you may already know, the 2011/2012 crop season came to an end with an average TCTS of 9.34 marking the delivery of excellent cane quality on behalf of cane farmers. Similar to last year, cane famers will be paid out their second payment based on the relative factors for their respective delivery groups, meaning by cane quality and not quantity. For the Corozal Branch, Libertad Research and San Victor will receive the lowest payment. That is $22.28 per ton of cane and $20.14 per ton of cane respectively. Here in Orange Walk B.S.I’s CGP will receive the lowest payment for the second year in a row with $17.04 per ton of cane. According to Vice Chairman of the BSCFA Committee of Management, Alfredo Ortega, vigorous methods will be implemented in order to assist those groups that will receive a low second payment.

Three Men Killed During Cross Fire With Authorities
Over the weekend three men were killed as a result of a shoot out between them and Belizean authorities. On Saturday police received information of illegal activities taking place between the Bacalar Chico Rocky Point Area located a few miles away from San Pedro Town. Immediately, a joint armed forces operation was launched and dispatched to the area. Upon arriving in the area the joint team observed four male persons near the coastline acting suspiciously. The men immediately opened fire on the joint forces who took cover in some nearby bushes before releasing a barrage of bullets. The exchange of bullets lasted approximately five to ten minutes. After the shooting seized, the joint forces searched the area and found the lifeless bodies of two unidentified Hispanic males and one male of dark complexion who has been identified as 18 year old Kendel Flowers from Belize City known to be a gang affiliate. A fourth person of Hispanic descent was also seen running away from the area in the nearby bushes. Authorities were unable to capture the individual. At the scene police found a number of high caliber artillery. (1) M-16 Rifle with serial number 4806071, (2) M4 Carbine Rifles-serial number unknown, (7) 9mm Aguila brand live rounds, (115) .223 live rounds, (4) 30 rounds capacity empty magazines, (1) 20 rounds capacity empty magazine, (21) 5.56 expended shells, (7) .223 expended shells, (2) black bullet proof vest, (2) black binoculars, (1) camouflage jacket, (369) grams of cannabis and (1) 9mm empty magazine. Authorities have reveled that the M16 Rifle has been identified as one of the weapons stolen during the weapons heist at the BDF compound in 2011. Authorities suspect that a drug transaction was about to take place or had taken place in the area. Investigations continue.

MOE Launches Beginners Summer Program
Early Childhood Education is no doubt very important. With that in mind and since its summer, the Ministry of Education and the faculty of San Jose Government School joined hands in creating the Beginners Summer Program. The program will focus on enhancing communication skills among children ages four and five who are heading to the infant level without attending pre-school. It’s more like a summer pre-school program. The program started today and is scheduled to run for three weeks. Here is that story... Hipolito Novelo, Reporting Over 70 children from San Jose Village gathered in two separate classrooms, where for the next three weeks, they will meet new friends and learn how to mingle with others. The children, ages four and five, are taking part in the Beginner’s Summer Program organized by the Ministry of Education and the faculty of the San Jose Government School. The aim of the program is to prepare participants for their entrance at primary school. Lupita Gongora, Principal “We saw the needs here because majority of the kids here when they come their mother language is Spanish and definitely as soon as they start classes they speak only Spanish. We want to introduce them to an early childhood education which is pre-school to start to prepare them for infant one. This would definitely help them positively.


Belmopan men identified as deceased shooters in gun battle on the seas
The cross fire between a task team of Coast Guard, BDF, and police personnel and four gunmen resulted in the death ...

Man shot in the city, mother vows son is no trouble maker
A man was shot this afternoon in Belize City. 27 year old James Escarpeta, aka “KOJO”, was walking not too far from...

More budget talk
In his budget speech, Prime Minister Dean Barrow stated that Government has been able to maintain an average annual...

Convicted on three counts of attempted murder
28 year-old Knox Cumberbatch was convicted yesterday on three counts of attempted murder. This is in connection to ...

Citizen's Coalition Corozal staging protest against crime and violence
Last Wednesday in Corozal, a mother and daughter were shot and killed at their family owned hotel. Witnesses placed...

Stolen Forestry vehicle recovered in Camalote
Yesterday we reported on the theft of a 2012 Great Wall Wingle from the Forestry Department in Belmopan. Today, pol...

Belize and Australia to co-host International Coral Reef Initiative
Belize and Australia, homes to the longest Barrier Reefs in the world have entered a partnership to co-host the Int...

Ronlee Petillo acquitted of attempted murder
24 year old Ronlee Petillo has been acquitted of attempted murder charges. This was in connection to the 2009 shoot...

Three arrested in weapon bust
Corozal police have arrested a number of persons for Kept Prohibited Firearm and one count of Kept Ammunition witho...


Police kill 3 in shootout on Ambergris
City teenager, 18, among three killed by joint special operations force; fourth man escapes, but high-power weapons and ammo found... According to a police press release issued today, Monday, a “joint armed forces operation” launched about a mile north of the Rocky Point area of San Pedro Ambergris Caye on Saturday, July 7, resulted in the deaths of three men, two of Hispanic descent and the other, a dark-complexioned Creole.

Knox Cumberbatch, 28, guilty of 3 counts of attempted murder
He walked off two previous charges of murder and attempted murder when the witnesses couldn’t ID him... Today, a jury of 9 – 2 men and 7 women – took less than three hours to return a guilty verdict for Knox Cumberbatch, 28, who was accused of the attempted murders of Uwani Nunez, Magdaleno Martinez and Leroy Ramos.

The life of jazz musician, Cleveland Berry, 77, celebrated in Placencia
Cleveland Berry, 77, one of Belize’s most endeared jazz musicians, known for the hit songs “Hurricane Hattie” and “Good Mawnin, Miss Lady”, lost his battle with cancer on Friday afternoon, July 6, when he passed away at the Belize Healthcare Partners in Belize City.

Opposition to weigh in on Barrow budget on July 11
“Now the PUP are 14 strong and we are surely going to have a warm time and stick it to them in the ways we have to stick it to them:” Belize Rural Central, PUP rep, Dolores Balderamos-Garcia

Oscar Mena, Alex O’Brien and Ernel Brooks charged with raw sugar theft
As much as 125 tons of raw sugar was stolen from the sugar barges at Drown Caye... The charge of theft was for 125 tons of raw sugar, worth $125,000, that was stolen from the sugar barges that were docked at Drown Caye, the property of the Belize Sugar Industry. The handling stolen goods charge was for 65 lbs of raw sugar, valuing $65, also the property of the Belize Sugar Industry.

CCJ vindicates workers’ right to unionize: Antoinette Moore, SC
John Zabaneh’s Mayan King must pay nearly $100,000 to 6 fired workers... CCJ’s Justice Nelson decries almost 5-year lag between hearing and decision in Supreme Court... In its decision handed down on Friday morning, July 6, four of a panel of five CCJ justices agreed with a Supreme Court ruling made back in 2009 that the firings of Jose L. Reyes, Oscar Orlando Maradiaga, Julio Carceres Hernandez, Cornelio Rubio Guiterrez, Emilina Bautista Rivera, and Rigoberto Maldonado, who played key roles in a movement to unionize banana workers, violated the Belize Trade Unions and Employers’ Organizations Act (December, 2000), but the CCJ significantly reduced their award.

The next generation - American based Belizean sisters Shantell and Shaneve Swift represent the Jewel in Central American games
First time competitors for Belize, Shaneve Swift, 20, and her sister Shantell, 18, collected bronze medals as part of the 4 x 100 relay team; and Shaneve won individual medals, silver in the 200 metres and bronze in the 400 metres, while Shantell finished third in the triple jump in their first senior international meet, held in Managua, Nicaragua.

Belmopan Over-35 5-a-Side Tournament rolls on
Games were played after all on Thursday last in the Belmopan City Council Over-35 5-a-Side Tournament at the Mae Gordon Park. From here on, all games will be on Thursday nights, but it was not clear to us in our last report, that last Thursday’s games were still on.

NEAC to meet on Maranco EIA on Wednesday
Company wants to oil-drill in the coming months... The public consultation on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for Maranco, a petroleum company contracted to explore for oil in northern Belize, in the Orange Walk District, was held on Thursday, July 5, 2012, in San Felipe, Orange Walk, and the primary concerns of the villagers who attended were over the economic and social impacts of the initiative, as well as the potential environmental effects.

Editorial: Only in Belize
On Saturday morning we watched tennis player Serena Williams, a girl from a poor neighborhood in Compton, California, win her fifth Wimbledon singles title in London, against a European player, in front of thousands of cheering Caucasians. It was her 14th Grand Slam title. Her older sister Venus has also won five Wimbledon titles.

From The Publisher
A Master’s degree candidate came to interview me on Wednesday afternoon for her dissertation, on Belizean voting patterns. In that respect, Belizean voting patterns, things have changed substantially from when I was young in the 1960s, and when it was all about PUP/George Price and NIP/Philip Goldson.


Island Mapping and Belize Red Cross Summer camp
What a crazy ride, I started this blog 3 days ago then all hell broke loose with our internet Saturday and neither of us could stay on longer than 2 seconds. Paul called BTL for service and they said they would send someone out in the next 24h. When I did a follow up call later, that 24 h had turned into Monday morning or afternoon that they would get to us, after all it was the weekend and rain had put the kibosh on the servicemen doing their work. I had planned to finish this on Sunday when our net was back but everything I had written had disappeared and my laptop had started to act like it was dying a slow death – warbled sound and taking 2 h to virus scan. I decided the best course of action was to clean and back up so I took all Sunday doing just that. Any tech people out there have any advice or opinions before I take it to the shop to get cleaned? Today I decided to make myself redo what I had been blogging when magically it was where it was supposed to be – in the draft I had started ….. Instead of getting pissed off at the internet this morning I decided to play pinball instead. My high score was 1,366,000 no bad considering I have not played in years. That is one of the things I miss from our old life going to the arcade on Young St for date night, not enough to trade in the beach and golf cart date night.

Fun friends and fab food at Wild Mango's
Today after loading up on fruits and veggies at two fruit stands, we met a group of friends at Wild Mango's for lunch. Shelby, who lives in Maya Beach, is visiting San Pedro this week; so we were looking forward to meeting her. Bill and Debra, who live here in San Pedro and write the Taking Belize blog; and Jana and CJ, who are here for a month from Texas, also joined in the fun. Barry and I finished our errands a little early so were able to take a few photos before others arrived. It was spitting rain off and on and dreary the entire time we were out and about, but never got too bad.

The Dog Days Of Summer? Lizard Parts and Empty Pools
Summer and the slower season have definitely arrived in Belize. Here on the island, it's hotter, the chances of rain have increased (particularly at night) and the kids are out from school. Many of them hit the beach yesterday. We are also between the big festivals. Mid to late June brings the Lobsterfest all over the country and the first weekend in August, the International Costa Maya to San Pedro. My cat has no problem amusing herself. I know this is cruel of me...but it is what she does outside! She collects lizard tail. This is yesterday afternoon's harvest. That's her "don't mess with my tails" look. Did you know that the tail kicks around for a full minute after removal? Gross...I know. I don't encourage it. But a cat has a one track mind. Many properties use this summer/fall season to do a bit of maintenance work. Royal Palms (the condo community where I reside) drained their pool this week and is giving it a good scrub.

Belize with kids: Cave tubing to hell and back
One of the excursions my family was looking forward to doing other than zip lining in Roatan was cave tubing in Belize during our Caribbean cruise last January. Cave tubing is a popular activity for visitors in Belize which was floating in huge, inflatable tubes inside one of the country’s many cave systems. Belize has the largest cave systems in the Americas. Many of them unexplored but more than 300 have been discovered. The unique underground experience was what sets this apart from the typical activities on the islands. There were quite a number of tour operators specializing in cave tubing. After reading many positive reviews, we went with Their tours were customizable and prices were affordable and much cheaper than what the cruise line offered. We met up a passenger van who was driving us to the caves area.

Big boats and weddings…
July has announced itself in style as there was a dramatic increase in tourists in the past week! However, after Lobster Fest there is still a sleepy feel to the island as those amongst us are still recovering from the excesses of over eating and drinking for a weekend!! For those who have been watching, out to the back of the island in the Caye Caulker bay is our newest accessory – the African Queen!! This enormous pleasure boat has been around Belize for the past few weeks but spent this weekend here on Caye Caulker. We have no information about the owners of this handsome vessel but if they are listening, if they ever anyone to ‘look after it’ in their absence, the Raggamuffin team would be more than happy to accommodate!!! And finally a wedding … highlighting that more and more Caye Caulker is couples chosen destination for their matrimonial getaway! Whether you are eloping or your entire wedding party is coming here, Caye Caulker has something for everyone. Congratulations to the happy couple who tied the knot here yesterday – we are sure that your marriage will be blessed due to this tiny island paradise!!

BTL and SMART will shut down unregistered phones on Friday
Guys, if you haven't registered your mobile phones, please head right now to your service provider and register your number. According to sources, SMART and BTL are ready to cut off service for all unregistered phones on the 13th of this month, which is Friday. The main reason for the registering of cell phone numbers is in order to fight crime, a demand made by the government last year. Not to many people took this serious the first time around, so BTL and SMART had to prolong the deadline of the registering of phones to this month. This time around they will take action and have announced that all unregistered phones will be shut down if not registered by the deadline given. When you go to register your phones you will also need to carry with you an ID, passport or your social security card. Please make sure you go from now and avoid the last minute rush.

How Can I Earn Income in Belize If I am Not Retired??
Living in Belize one of the number one questions that I get asked is "How can I earn income if I move to Belize and I am not retired?". Well sometimes, the answer can be something quite simple, with a little thought and creativity you just may come up with a great idea that can produce income. A friend of mine Sharon with Red Roof Management, who lives on the mainland and also started several businesses in Belize met a couple on facebook who did just that. Below is a post from Sharon's Blog, Wealthships. Charlotte and Chris recently moved to Ambergris Caye, Belize. Prior to that, Chris grew up in San Francisco and Charlotte went to school in Berkeley – my old stomping grounds in the States! As they were living in San Pedro, they noticed a problem all islanders face: fruits and vegetables going bad! Since produce is only delivered once or twice a week to the island, by the time the end of the week rolls around, it is very difficult to find anyone selling fruit or veggies that looked half way appetizing. This experience sparked a memory of a product on TV back in the States. They found the company that is the exclusive manufacturer and patent holder and negotiated an exclusive distributorship for the product in Belize. Now they want to bring it to market for the Belize consumers!

International Sources

American fishing trip in Belize ends with pirate gunfire
Jesse Csinscak, the winner of “The Bachelorette,“ is working with Tom Nordquist, to help save the Verde family who were attacked and taken captive by pirates in Belize. In a telephone interview July 10, Jesse Csinscak and Tom Nordquist explained the details of this ongoing fight for life. The three Americans were fishing in Belize when they were overtaken by pirates on July 4. Cornelio Verde and his two sons, Ezekiel and Nestali Verde, were taken captive and all of their belongings, including passports, were stolen. Corneio Verde was shot. “They were told they would be killed if they told anyone happened to them,” Tom Nordquist said. The Verde family managed to escape the pirates and made their way to a hospital in Belize. They were denied any type of protection from the Belize government. Cornelio Verde was given very basic medical attention at the hospital. “The Verde family were unable to protect themselves,” Jesse Csincsak said. “Only the police and the criminals have guns in Belize. Without upfront money for the medical treatment, nothing was being done for them.”

El Salvador downs Belize in the Men’s Central American Championship Opener – Volleyball News
El Salvador Men’s U 23 volleyball team bagged its first win at the Central American Championship on Tuesday, July 10. They sent Belize to a loss in five sets, 3-2 (23-25, 25-16, 20-25, 25-16 and 15-10). Top scorer’s slot was shared by El Salvador’s Mauricio Gil and Arnie Augustine of Belize. Both of them contributed 15 points each. Rodrigo Chavez was the second player from El Salvador, who went into double-figure score. He notched up 11 points and contributed to the overall success of his team. Opening frame of the match was a heated competition. Both teams showed a great fighting spirit and did not miss any chance to score points. The score soared up with close gaps, while the spectators impatiently waited for the set points. However, the situation remained undecided until Belize closed first set with two-points at 25-23. Following the loss of the opening set, El Salvador hit back aggressively. Gil and Chavez formed a nice combination and hit the ball from different angles. They directed their shots in the gaps and put their team in lead. In the meanwhile, Belize put a huge effort to catch up with the opponents, but failed to do so. El Salvador claimed second set (25-16) and successfully created the tied the game at 1-1.

Belize's sugarcane price to fall slightly in 2011/12
Cane farmers will receive the second payment for the 2012 sugarcane crop on July 11, local press reports said. The estimated average price for a tonne of sugarcane is seen at BZD68.12 ($35.20) this season, down slightly from BZD72 a year ago. There may still be a slight variation as Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) still holds some sugar in its storage. The first payment was made at the time of cane delivery when all farmers received BZD30.05 per tonne. Cane farmers were expected to receive around BZD25 as the second payment with the remainder to be paid in the third payment.

National Geographic Features Belize’s Sacred Maya Caves
Chaa Creek’s resident Mayanist Joe Awe said he’s not surprised that the National Geographic’s recent feature article of “The Top Ten Sacred Caves” of the world listed Belize’s Actun Tunichil Muknal Maya ceremonial cave as number one on its list. “I’ve been with experienced cave explorers, archaeologist, anthropologists, spelunkers and other caving aficionados on tours of the ATM, and every one, without exception, has said it’s the most amazing cave experience they ever had. I’ve always thought that was remarkable,” Mr Awe said. Actun Tunichil Muknal, which means “Cave of the Stone Sepulchre” and is often referred to simply as the ATM, is an important ancient Maya underground ceremonial area not far from Chaa Creek in the Cayo District of Belize. It was discovered in 1992 by a geological survey team who alerted archaeologists to the find, and is now considered to contain one of the most well preserved examples of ancient Mayan culture in Mesoamerica. ATM was opened to the public in 2000, but only under the close supervision of licensed guides. It is still widely studied and was the subject of a National Geographic documentary, Journey Through the Underworld. The National Geographic’s recent article was extracted from their book, Sacred Places of a Lifetime, and lists their top cave destinations from around the world, including caverns in India, Sri Lanka, Greece, China, Malta, Ethiopia and Italy, as well as Belize.

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