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7/11/2012 to 7/31/2012
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Today's Belize News

July 31, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

July 30 - Aug. 6, 2012

The features that will influence weather conditions across Belize this week will be the approach and passage of a weak tropical wave on Wednesday morning (Figure 3 below), and a second tropical wave reaching Belize by Friday morning (Figure 4 below). This second tropical wave will be the remnants of the very active easterly wave or perturbation that will be traversing the eastern and central Caribbean this week. Meanwhile, an upper level low in the southern Gulf of Mexico will provide support for scattered thunderstorms over Belize on Saturday and Sunday. Another well defined tropical disturbance is forecast to move across the Lesser Antilles on Saturday evening (see Figure 6 below). This system is projected to move towards Hispaniola and weaken.

Daytime heating will add to the instability associated with the tropical waves on Tuesday and later on Friday, resulting in renewed outbreaks thunderstorms over central inland areas and the coast, especially. Otherwise, the weather during the next seven days will be a mix of sunshine and localized, brief showers.

Daily rainfall accumulations will range from 0.25-0.75 of-an-inch in the northern and central coast on Monday and Tuesday. Elsewhere, rainfall totals will be 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch. Daily rainfall accumulation will be a minimum on Wednesday and Thursday, but we can see an increase on Friday through until Monday, when daily totals will range from 0.50-1.00 inch especially in the hilly areas and some parts of the central and northern coastal zone. Other areas will be getting daily accumulations of 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch during this period.

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

Noche Tropical at Ramon’s Village Resort
The island is gearing up for the highly anticipated annual Costa Maya Festival. With all the delegates for the La Riena de la Costa Maya Pageant on the island, everyone is eager to get a glimpse of them ahead of the big stage appearance scheduled for Thursday August 1st. On Saturday July 28th, islanders had the opportunity to meet, greet and socialize with all delegates at their first big public appearance at Noche Tropical hosted by Ramon’s Village Resort. The main purpose of the event was to officially introduce the delegates to the community along with the official sashing ceremony for all eight contestants of the pageant. Noche Tropical took place under the stars at the beach side just in front of Ramon’s Village Resort. Tiki torches, colorful lighting, lively music, the rhythm of the Garifuna drums and a cool sea breeze all made the right combination for a Tropical Noche indeed! As an annual sponsor from its Sea and Air Festival days, and the delegate hosts since the start of the pageant, Ramon’s Village Resort staff was happy to organize the event for the second consecutive year. This year’s delegates are Miss Guatemala – Alessandra Manzur Franco, Miss Mexico – Natalia Villanueva, Miss Nicaragua – Ivey Jellisa Alvarez Hunter, Miss Costa Rica – Mariela Aparicio, Miss Belize – Karen Jasmine Middleton, Miss Panama – Karen Elena Jordan Beitia, Miss Honduras – Esthefany Maolyth Piñeda Perez and Miss El Salvador – Nathaly Jazmin Mena. The delegates each introduced themselves by name and explained that they were happy to be in Belize as beauty ambassadors to their country. After they each introduced themselves they were sashed.

ACES – Croc Chronicles
Early this July three international pre-vet students trained alongside ACES/American Crocodile Education Sanctuary to learn crocodile biology, behaviour, and scientific data collection techniques, including safe crocodile handling, sexing, tagging, and release. Olivier Mathiaud, Viviane Heily, both from Nantes, France, and Chelsea Canon, a student from New Mexico State University, USA, came to Belize through The Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic’s internship program, which was established to support the activities of the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network, its members and wildlife work for the Government of Belize. During the week-long internship with ACES on Ambergris Caye, Belmopan’s OpenLearningTV, Channel 17, came to film their experience with ACES crocodile conservation efforts. The team filmed the capture, tag and release of a large male American crocodile being tagged as part of ACES ongoing population survey. They also got to experience the reward of saving a threatened species when Ronald assisted ACES animal behaviorist Vince with the release of a crocodile rescued last month that had been hooked by a local fisherman. “We removed the hook from the croc’s leg and kept it for a short while in a secure holding pen to be sure it healed properly. The reward of our volunteer work is in knowing that we are helping to preserve a species, that has been around for millions of years, for the children of Belize,” stated ACES biologist Cherie. The show will air sometime this August and can also be viewed on Central Cable Vision, Channel 18.

Boat capsizes of north Ambergris Caye
The name of the vessel is Don Juan, a Mexican vessel that had just departed San Pedro town travelling northbound.

Ambergris Today

PADI Certifies 34 Junior Open Water Divers in San Pedro
PADI in collaboration with the San Pedro Tour Guide Association and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve gave 34 local kids the opportunity to explore the underwater world and learn of its wonders. Children were presented with their manuals and introduced to their dive instructors. For ten days they had to study and carry out dives with their instructors. On Thursday, July 26, 2012, the students were taken as a group to do their last dive to one of the many dive sites here on the island. The group was taken to Tuffy Channel courtesy of Hugh Parkey’s Belize Dive Connection and Ramon’s Village. After their last dive a graduation ceremony was held on Friday, July 27, 2012, at the San Pedro High School where students were presented with their certificates of completion of the course.

Costa Maya Pageant Delegates Hosted in Tropical Night
Ramon’s Village Resort, the official resort and sponsor of the Costa Maya Pageant, hosted a fantastic evening of fun, fashion and island entertainment during Noche Tropical, Saturday, July 28, 2012, where it hosted the eight contestants of the Costa Maya Pageant who have arrived in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The competition started way before pageant night as the eight delegates from the Mundo Maya countries were judged for their cultural costumes which they presented during the evening. The best cultural costume will be awarded to one lovely lady on pageant night where the second part of the cultural presentation will take place. On pageant night the contestants will display a second cultural costume, a more carnival and extravagant one. Points on pageant night will be added to those given during Noche Tropical (the best cultural costume judging is judge separately from pageant night competition and does not influence in any way in the selection of Miss Costa Maya). Noche Tropical at Ramon’s Village was just a preview of what the audience at Costa Maya, pageant night, Thursday, August 2, 2012 will experience.

Costa Maya Pageant Beauties Enjoy Adventures in Belize
The San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival commences on Thursday, August 2, 2012, but pageant week starts a seven days ahead the festival with the arrival of the eight delegates who kick start a whirlwind of activates leading up to competition night. This year the delegates arrived on Thursday, July 26, 2012, and were whisked away to San Ignacio, Cayo, where they were hosted by the San Ignacio Resort with a welcome dinner with the proprietors, friends and Rebecca Stirm, Belize’s rising fashion designer who had two of the girls model one of her dresses.

Are You an Old Timer or Modern Sanpedrano? Number 17
YOUK KNOW YOU ARE AN OLD TIMER SANPEDRANO IF In your days you could only buy nightly raffles from some women and children and on Sundays you bought Panama instead of lottery. YOU KNOW YOU ARE AN OLD TIMER SANPEDRANO IF In your youthful days you had heard that marijuana was smoked by the bad boys at Yabrough area or Majestic Alley but you never got to see a stick of weed yourself here in San Pedro. YOU KNOW YOU ARE AN OLD TIMER SANPEDRANO IF Early in the morning you had to rush to the public toilets before your friends made a line at the latrine. All boys and men used these communal/public latrines which were located over the lagoon at the end of each street that led to the lagoon- that is Black Coral Street, Buccaneer Street, Ambergris Street, Pelican Street, and Caribeña Street.

Flashback: Beauties of Sea and Air Festival
The Costa Maya International Festival actually had its origin as The San Pedro International Sea and Air Festival. It was the brainchild of a few Sanpedranos along with members of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, particularly Bruce and Victoria Collins. The early days of the festival had the participation of Belize, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador- the Mundo Maya countries. Yes, the festival was all about music, artists, culture, food galore and ties of friendship among the participating countries. Noche Mexicana offered Mexican beer, folklore, and food and so were the other nights dedicated to each country (five nights of festival- Tuesday to Saturday) That is how the Salvadoran pupusas came to San Pedro. And yes, there was also the selection of Miss Sea & Air Festival Queen. In this flashback, right at Fido’s Beach, beautiful Patty Arceo, on the far right, took the title and the crown as Miss Sea and Year Festival.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIP Tables for Costa Maya
We are excited to say we will once again be providing a VIP Section courtesy of SAGA Humane Society. We will offer 10 VIP Tables each night, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Attached is our flier promoting the fundraising event. If you would all be so kind, please blast our 2nd Annual Costa Maya SAGA Fundraiser in your media! We are all excited to be asked by the Costa Maya Committee to be doing this again! With the recent strain of the unfortunate current events that have occurred within our local animal community, SAGA needs the support more than ever. Help us in supporting all aspect of the animal population on Ambergris Caye.

Costa Maya Contestants Visit Cahal Pech
The Costa Maya contestants also visitied Cahal Pech while they were in Cayo. Dorian Nunez from the Ambergris Today was on hand to capture the ladies as they posed on the Mayan ruins. Great work, Dorian!

Costa Maya Delegates Visit Iguana Hatchery
The contestants for La Reina de la Costa Maya visited the Green Iguana Conservation Project at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel while they were visiting Cayo. Looks like they had a great time, and they surely gave the iguanas some love. Miss Honduras released one into the wild! When wast the last time you saw pageant contestants covered with iguanas? "The International Costa Maya Festival has officially began with the arrival of the Reina de la Costa Maya Delegates. The eight beauties from el Mundo Maya, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize have been having fun since their arrival in our beautiful country. They first headed to San Ignacio, Cayo and were hosted by the San Ignacio Resort where they had a welcome dinner by the hotel’s proprietors and got to meet Rebecca Stirm, a rising Belizean fashion designer who had two of the girls model one of her dresses. The following day, they were given a tour to the Iguana Project, an initiative by the San Ignacio Resort to help protect Green Iguanas in Belize. The delegates had fun interacting with the reptiles and took many photos to take memories back home. Miss Honduras even got to release one to the wild as a Birthday present by The San Ignacio Hotel."

Belize is Best Dressed in Opening Ceremonies
Belize made the top 10 list for being best dressed at the Opening Ceremonies for the Olympics. The article starts with the top 10 worst dressed countries, and is pretty funny. "The contrasting piping on the blazer sets this jacket off. The tie, the jacket, the pants and the shoes are all a great combination. I could do without the hat."

4ft crocodile captured in the back of Caye Caulker!
It is not a common sight to see a 4ft crocodile being carried on somebodies back through the streets of Caye Caulker but yesterday many of us did!! Onlookers were amazed that the croc was so big and yet seemingly so docile in the arms of Ricardo Alcala (Piojo). Ricardo captured him on Saturday night after he found it terrorizing his dog behind his house. He has encountered many crocodiles (both samller and larger) in this same area and captured them all. Once caught he tapes up their mouth and (rightly or wrongly) keeps the reptiles a few days and then sets them free, back in to the seas but away this time from residential properties where they can do harm and come to harm. Whether he is right or wrong to keep the crocodile, that is not up for debate – what we are at least happy about is that the croc ends up back where he belongs as for so many of these creatures in Belize, they end up as food or even somebodies purse!!

VIDEO: Drinking and Sliding in Caye Caulker, Belize
Fin is a local favorite in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye (located in Belize, Central America). While taking a trip to Caye Caulker, this magic moment was captured of Fin doing what he does best. Drinking and sliding.

Channel 7

Two Toledo Constables Charged For Murder
Tonight, Police Constables Tush and Cucul attached to the Punta Gorda formation stand charged for murder - and other offences. It all arises out of a violent drunken brawl that occurred in the center of the town last night, and has left the Punta Gorda community shaken. According to reports, around 10:10 pm, Tush and Cucul - who were off duty and had been drinking - saw 47 year old Michael Valerio who they believed had stolen a bike from one of them. They chased him up a flight of stairs unto the verandah of Central Bar where they viciously beat him. They also injured the owner of the bar, Louis Braddick - who lived above the bar - and 34 year old Noel George Lopez. Valerio was viciously beaten and was left bleeding on the verandah for an hour - until police drove past with another Lopez on the way to the hospital - and were alerted to his presence. He died less than an hour later at the Punta Gorda Hospital. Today the police press officer addressed the outlandish attack that has outaged Punta Gorda:

BDF Trumpeter's Streetside Execution
BDF Trumpeter Wayne Madrill was all set to play at police Corporal Victor Lima's funeral on Saturday - but he never made it, because Madrill was executed on the street in the wee hours of Saturday morning. And now, his family is getting ready to bury the well-known music man. Today, we found out more about his street side execution:.. Jules Vasquez reporting On Sunday morning at a few minutes to three, 42 year old Wayne Madrill, a veteran member of the BDF band was found dead here on Cemetery Road lying in a pool of blood with multiple gunshot wounds to his face and head. His common law wife, Elena Montes heard the shot at home: Elena Montes - Common Law Wife of Decased "I was asleep, but not too asleep because that's what woke me, the echo of the gunshots." Jules Vasquez "How many shot did you hear?"

Stephen Flowers Murder, Cops Say Gang Related
And there was another murder in the city this weekend. It happened on Friday night - and police say it has the appearance of being gang related. 24-year-old Stephen Flowers was shot multiple times on Mahogany Street. The police press officer told us more:.. Jules Vasquez reporting On Friday night at about 9:25, 24 year old Stephen Flowers, known as Brooks and Ryan Rice Mejia were standing here in front of ISARAY Bakery, a popular hangout on Mahogany Street. Suddenly they heard a spray of bullets and Flowers was shot to the rib cage, the chest, the hand and right side while Ryan Mejia was also shot to both legs.. Riddled with gunshots, Flowers died at 11:00 pm. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "Flowers succumb to his injuries sometime around 11pm whilst undergoing treatment at the KHMH. Our initial investigation has reveal so far that Flowers and Mejia were socializing on Mahogany Street in front of a bakery when they heard several shots coming from a dark area and realize that they were hit. Both men were rushed to the KHMH. We have 4 persons detain in connection with this murder and hope to file charges soon."

Child Who House Fell On Is Critical
Last we told you about Briton (Brighton) Cordova - who was crushed beneath a house as it collapsed on him and a friend. They were playing with a pair of puppies when the lower stilts on the home gave way - killing both puppies and injuring Brighton and 7 year old Jova Griffith. Luckily, Jova's injuries were not too serious and he was treated and released. But Briton remains in a critical condition on life support. His mother told us that the boy's brain is swollen, his neck fractured; he has a collapsed right lung, injuries to his eye, stomach and face and he suffered cardiac arrest. We'll keep updating you on this very sad case.

PG: 7-year-old Accident Victim May Lose Foot
And there is another seriously injured boy in the KHMH. Kevin Wagner's condition is not nearly as serious as Brighton's but it's pretty bad. The 7 year old Punta Gorda resident was knocked down by a bus a week ago. He was knocked down and then the bus ran over his leg, mangling it completely. On Saturday his mother and aunt told us that his injuries are massive and coping with them is proving excessively difficult:.. Rosilda Wagner, mother of victim "He was going and they saw a James Bus coming and one was going and when one passed he cross the street and he never saw the next one that was coming in front of him. They say that the bus knock his head and was flung two feet from the bus and some people shouted at the bus driver that a child was there. The bus driver did not stop; the child could not pick up himself. When the bus reverses, it ran over his foot." Jules Vasquez "What is his condition now?" Rosilda Wagner, mother of victim "His foot right now is very bad, everything is torn up. He doesn't have his tendons, nothing. His foot is ground up. i hop he doesn't lose his foot because we don't want him to lose his foot."

Macy's Restaurant Closes Down
A Belize City institution, Macy's Restaurant will close its doors for the very last time tonight. After 30 years in operation, the well-loved Belizean restaurant has called it quits. Owner, Mavis Pitamba, known as Ms. May today told us that business has been especially bad for the last two years. Faithful customers begged Pitamba to remain open, but she told us that the restaurant can't run on water - so, she's closing down. Apart from die-hard patrons, Macy's has also fed some famous mouths: including Tupac Shakur, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Chill Mitchell, Brooke Shields, and former Barbadian PM, Owen Arthur. Pitamba told us she's not quite sure what she'll do next.

Home Shot Up In City
We've already told you about a number of homicides in the city - but there were also shootings, which left two men injured. Last night, just before 11, an unknown gunman fired shots at the Dawson home, located on Cemetery Road. No one was hurt, but Mavis Dawson, one of the residents at the home, told 7News that many of her family and friends were in the yard, and they could have been hit by this seemingly random shooting. Dawson, who was at work at the time, told us what her family experienced last night. Mavis Dawson "My brother was here and he just calls me and tell me that they are shooting around here, but he didn't told me that the house got caught. He says that they were out on the verandah when the shooting happened." "When I left from work to come here I see an amount of police parked here dealing with it. So far they retrieve about 4 bullets from the area." Daniel Ortiz "Bullets that hit your house?"

Olympics: Sanchez Taken Down In Seconds
Belize's judo competitor at the 2012 London Olympics flitted across the world stage almost as quickly as our tiny contingent did at the Olympic opening ceremonies. Eddermys Sanchez got a bye into the elimination round of 32 where he lasted only 19 seconds against Miklos Ungvari from Hungary. If it's any consolation, Ungvari went on to win the silver medal - meaning he only lost once. While someone must have blinked - so we did not get footage of this event - on Friday live at 3:40 am, we will have footage of Kaina Martinez in the 100 meter track and field heats.

Missionary Cleared Of Unnatural Crime Charges
35 year old Bryan Sears, the American Missionary accused of sexually molesting two teenage brothers is free of charges. In October of 2011 Sears made headline news countrywide, when the mother of 2 teenage boys of Sarteneja village in the Corozal District came forward accusing him of sodomy. Sears was arrested and charged with three counts of an unnatural crime and since then his case in the magistrate's court has been just a succession of adjournments. But now the case has ended and Sear's sex charges have been withdrawn. He was discharged and allowed to walk freely on Thursday of last week. Brian Sears - was a missionary who had been in the Sartaneja community for three years.

Shooting For Precision
In Belize City - particularly on the Southside - too many of us have had to get used to the sound of gunshots. But even the most hardened city resident from the hottest 'hood, couldn't have sustained the sound from barrage of bullets that were fired. But, it wasn't a crime, it was practice! It happened at the BDF range near Hattieville - and we have video of a most unusual type of competition. Jules Vasquez reporting How fast can a shooter lock and load, unload and reload? That's what's being measured in this annual marksmanship challenge where the BDF invites civilians from pistol clubs to see who shoots best: Lt. Col. James Requena - Acting Chief of Staff, BDF "Today marks a very important event for the BDF. It's a time for us to compare our shooting capability with shooting clubs in Belize and also it's a competition within the force to see which is the best unit. The pistol competition has been a tradition from the military. It started back in 1978 since the formation on the Belize Defence Force and the competition initially was only open to military personnel. Since 1998 we have open it up to the pistol clubs of Belize in order to test our skills and also to promote shooting as a sport in Belize."

Belize Basketball Now Has Size!
2 Belizean American basketball stars are in Belize with intentions of joining the national team. Now, our national team has recently been handicapped at the center position because of a lack of size in the talent pool. The officials at the Belize Basketball Federation are looking to change that with the addition of Noel Felix Jr. and Charles Garcia Jr., who are 6 feet, 9 inches, and 6 feet, 10 inches tall, respectively. Felix, who started his career at the California State University in Fresno, has played all over the world, including the NBA, the Israeli Premier League, and the Super Basketball League in Taiwan. Garcia played ball for Seattle University, and he then moved on to play in Turkey, and after that he went back to the US to the NBA Minor Leagues. He just recently finished playing with the Phoenix Suns in the Summer League. With all that experience, both told 7News that they want to play for the National Team to put Belizean Basketball on the map. Here's what they told us: Noel Felix Jr. "I do have the intentions of joining but also understand our goals, our federation and we want to develop our young guys as well so my job if I can is to play and win as many games as possible to pave the way for those younger guys to do their jobs as well."

Erwin And The Big Ticket
On Friday night we told you that Cayo West Representative Erwin Contreras's official ministerial vehicle had gotten a ticket for excessively dark tint. Turns out we were mistaken; Contreras did not get a ticket for his ministerial ride -the ticket was issued to a friend's vehicle - a red Mitsubishi pickup that Contreras is often known to travel in. And the reason we got mixed up is because we saw Contreras arrive at Friday's house sitting in that same tinted red pickup. He says the pickup belongs to the Benque Free Zone and is for a friend. But, according to our sources, when that friend or his driver was pulled over last week by Cayo Police for the tint violation he said the vehicle was for Contreras. Indeed, that may have just been idle name dropping - but combining that with the fact that we saw Contreras delivered to the house in the pickup - caused the mixup.

Channel 5

2 police officers charged for murder in P.G.
It was a violent weekend in the south and in the City that ended in the murder of three persons while two others were shot. In Punta Gorda tonight, police have arrested two of their own; who from all accounts went on a wild rampage on Sunday night.  Police Constables Modesto Cucul and Federico Tush [...]

B.D.F. soldier killed during early morning shooting
While two cops are to be arraigned for murder, in the city, a B.D.F. corporal lost his life in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Corporal Wayne Madrill, who was also a band member, did not make it home from a party. The corporal was on Cemetery Road when someone opened fire; he was shot [...]

Corporal Madrill will be laid to rest with an official funeral
Since Madrill joined the B.D.F. in 1991, he was a part of the B.D.F. Band. His bandmaster, colleague and friend is B.D.F. Staff Sergeant Kevin Campbell. Campbell told News Five that the slain soldier was an integral part of the unit and the band will play for Madrill this Friday at St. John’s Cathedral.   [...]

Was Flowers a victim of gang warfare?
The first person to be killed over the weekend was Steven Flowers, who was shot multiple times on the chest and rib cage in close proximity of his Mahogany Street house. Flowers was along with another person, Rayan Mejia hanging out in front of a bakery when gunshots rang out. Mejia was also shot and [...]

U.S. Citizen freed of molestation charges
The case of a U.S. National, who was accused of molesting three boys in October, 2011 made the headlines, but the case was quietly dropped in the Corozal courts last week Thursday. According to reports, the three victims refused to testify and the prosecutor had no choice but to withdraw the charges against the American [...]

Shooting victim Sutherland lucky to be alive
Back to the violence, two men were injured in separate shootings over the weekend in Belize City, but were fortunate to survive. At around eight on Sunday night, twenty-three year old Dwayne Sutherland was targeted by two young men on bicycles, who opened fire at him at a party on Lacroix Boulevard. No one else [...]

More shootings mar the weekend
So far, we have reported on three murders and one shooting. The other incident in the old capital involves the shooting of twenty-eight year old stevedore, Raymond Arnold. On Friday night, Arnold was shot a stone’s throw away from his home. He told police that he was standing on Rivero Street when an unknown gunman [...]

Charges withdrawn against cops charged with wounding
Two cops, who were accused of brutalizing a Magistrate’s Court bailiff, agreed to settle the matter out of court, resulting in criminal charges as well as a civil suit being dismissed. The officers, forty-six year old Sergeant Jose Ortiz and forty-one year old Police Constable Leonardo Yama, were charged with Wounding for an alleged attack [...]

Sandro Montejo, burglar, didn’t make bail
Twenty-two year old Sandro Montejo, a resident of Sand Hill Village, is tonight on remand at the Belize Central Prison after appearing in Magistrate’s Court today where he was arraigned for Burglary.  Montejo is accused of breaking into the home of Francisco Gomez between July twentieth and twenty-fourth and stealing a selection of items totaling [...]

Belizean athletes at 2012 Olympics
Turning to London 2012, a lavish celebration of the world’s many cultures and the athletic prowess of its people, officially got underway last Friday with a festival of colors during which each participating country paraded its flag at the opening of the Summer Olympic Games.  It is the biggest and most important global sporting event [...]

Summer Camp for kids living with diabetes
Summer camps are usually about sports, arts, education and the like but one started this morning with a health theme of a disease that is affecting thousands. There is no known data on the exact number of children living in this country with diabetes, but the camp is geared exclusively to this group. Over thirty [...]

National Fire Service testing its skills
Promotions are in the pipeline for a number of firefighters, but first they have to prove that they are fit to assume new responsibilities. That is why the National Fire Service is carrying out five weeks of training that will test and develop the tactical response skills of the participating officers. Of the seventeen that [...]

Sports Monday bounces with basketball and cricket
Good Evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   It was indeed an honor for us to meet 2 international basketball players of solid Belizean heritage after they touched down at the Philip Goldson International Airport this morning. Clinton Lightburn told us that these 2 players could have gotten us into the London [...]


American fugitive freed of sex charges in northern Belize
The case of American missionary Brian Sears accused of sexually molesting two teenage brothers in Sarteneja village in the Corozal district exploded on the national scene in October of 2011. Sears was arrested and charged with three counts of an unnatural crime and the case has been meandering through the Magistrate’s Court since. Today, word [...]

Shooting incidents reported in Belize City
Meanwhile, in a shooting that happened on Friday night, a stevedore was targeted on Rivero Street in the Port Loyola area. Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, told reporters how it happened. Another man is receiving treatment at the KHMH as a result of gunshot wounds he suffered on Sunday night. Yearwood gave us the [...]

Weekend violence leaves two men dead in Belize City
Blood poured once again in the streets of Belize City over the weekend. Reporter Marion Ali and Videographer Brian Castillo worked the crime beat today and bring you the details in the following report.

Policemen accused of Toledo murder
A Toledo resident is dead after he succumbed to injuries allegedly inflicted by two police officers on Sunday night. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the story. This afternoon both officers were charged for murder and two counts of harm to Noel Lopez and Luis Braddick of Punta Gorda.

Fallen policeman buried with full honors
Funeral services were held this past weekend for two police officers who lost their lives in the past couple of weeks. Thirty-five year old Corporal Victor Lima was laid to rest with full police honours in his hometown of Benque Viejo del Carmen on Sunday. Lima, who was assigned as a supervisor at the [...]

Officer wounded in the line of duty passes away
After having been injured while trying to protect others, Corporal Victor Lima lost his battle with life. Love Tv’s Marion Ali and Videographer Myles Gillett bring you the heart wrenching story in the following report.

Juvenile diabetics attend summer camp in Belize City
A summer camp for young people living with Diabetes is being held in Belize City. Reporter Patrick Jones and Videographer Myles Gillet visited today and bring you the following report.

SSB gives scholarships to Cayo students
Correspondent Elaine Berry tells us more about Scholarships granted in the San Ignacio, Santa Elena area.

SSB Scholarships for Toledo students
In Punta Gorda, Seven students were presented with Belize Social Security Scholarship Awards. Paul Mahung reports.

San Pedro school getting new classrooms
Placement of students in schools around the country has always been a challenge with the demands of a growing population. In San Pedro, there are at least fifty-seven students who are out of school, not for the summer holidays, but because there simply is no space for them, will now have the chance come this [...]

Scholarships for Belize City students from Social Security Board
Over ninety students from throughout the country today received full scholarships from the Social Security Board to continue their education. Ceremonies were conducted at the Board’s various district branches this morning. In Belize City, Love News’ Marion Ali spoke with the Branch Manager of the Belize City office, Turnica Middleton, who explained how the recipients [...]

GOB is borrowing from CDB to fund education sector reform
The government of Belize is borrowing two million dollars from the Caribbean Development Bank. A Loan Motion was introduced to the House this morning, which explains that the purpose of the loan is to finance government’s new education sector reform initiative. According to the motion, which was introduced by Minister of Education Patrick Faber, the [...]

PUP raises concerns to House Speaker
The Opposition People’s United Party presented its full compliments of elected representatives for today’s House meeting in Belmopan. But the PUP members were not a happy group today. On Thursday the party issued a statement condemning their late notification of today’s sitting and the lack of sufficient time to submit questions to be answered on [...]

Professional development training for the National Fire Service
A two-week professional development training for fire-fighters is underway in Belize City. It has the participation of sub office supervisors from all over the country and according to chief training officer Ervin Smith the end result of the training is not only to sharpen the skills of the officers but qualify them for promotion within [...]

Four bills brought to the House for introduction
Four Bills were brought to the floor of House of Representatives today for introduction. They all dealt with financial matters and according to the Prime Minister, are part of the process to help renegotiate the super bond, by showing the nation’s creditors that government is serious about putting its fiscal house in order. The first [...]

Belizean-American basketball players want to join the Belize National Team
Two Belizean-American basketball players are back home tonight and they have their eyes set on making it to the national men’s basketball team. Twenty four year old Charles Garcia, Junior and thirty one year old Noel Felix are in peak playing form and they stopped by the RSV News Centre this evening for a courtesy [...]


Punta Gorda man’s death possibly linked to Police brutality
Two policemen have been detained for PG murder. 34 year old Noel George Lopez, visited the Punta Gorda Police Stati...

Gunshots ring out in Belize City, one dead, another injured
A hail of bullets take two men down one of them dies. CIB personnel visited the K.H.M.H. on Friday night (July 27) ...

BDF found lying in pool of blood
Police responded to a report of a shooting early Sunday morning (JULY 29) on Cemetery Road. They saw the lifeless b...

Stevedore is victim of gun violence
A Belize City man takes several bullets to the body. Raymond Arnold was standing on Rivero St. on Friday night (Jul...

Detonating the Superbond
In last week’s House Meeting the Prime Minister also made a statement directly referring to a debt restructuring ex...

Accused pedophile acquitted, boys say Police reports were untrue
Viewers may remember Brian Sears, the American missionary accused of sexually molesting three teenage boys back in ...

State funeral for Corporal Victor Lima
Police Corporal Victor Manuel Lima was laid to rest in his home town of Benque Viejo yesterday (July 29). The state...

New phone listings for Police headquarters
The Police Department has in some instances posted new numbers for the various branches for quick and easy access. ...

How Belmopan Day survived rainy weekend
Celebrators from near and afar flocked to Belmopan this past weekend to join in the festivities of the city's forty...


“Small Country, Big Heart” - Belize’s Olympic Team
“We may be a small country, but we have a big heart when it comes to looking after each other and I’m sure all of us are wishing the 2012 Olympic Team Belize all the best,” he said. The Belize London 2012 Olympics team is comprised of Kaina Martinez and Kenneth Medwood competing in Athletics and Eddermys Sanchez in Judo. They were selected from competitors in ten different sports and managed by the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association working with Belize’s national governing bodies and the Belize National Sports Council Association.

Funny to Me: Power Lifting at La Divinia Providencia
Monday, July 30, 2012 Funny to Me: Power Lifting at La Divinia Providencia I shop at one of my favorite stores La Divinia Providencia in Escalante at least four times a week. If you haven't been, you can read about my love for these guys (and their location) here if you like. They are a classic neighborhood grocery store and restaurant...super friendly and they serve some KILLER stuffed jalapenos each night. I have passed this sign inside quite a few times before. It's taped right over the frozen chicken and always catches my eye. And since I am trying to get just a little bit fitter (the stuffed jalapenos have something to do with that)...I thought I'd figure out what this was all about. Maybe I need to start dead lifting. Spinning? So five years ago. Zumba? So last week. Maybe lifting cement blocks (yes...the kind you see them lifting in prison movies, a sort of felon fitness) might be a road I should explore. This John Mader looks like he's in pretty good shape. Here is the set up on the front lawn of LDP. Two different sized barbells. And the wooden bench for bench pressing. The blue table is used most Sunday afternoon for a ROWDY game of dominoes and beer or rum drinking. Now there is an activity I can really get behind.

How to ride the bus in Belize (and really see the country)
Your journey begins around eight in the morning at the bus terminal in Belize City, which sits beside one of the city’s infamous canals—more of an open sewer, now undergoing long overdue repairs. The piles of sand and miscellaneous construction equipment are no impediment to the taxis and other vehicles that drop passengers off at the depot and the vendors hawking wares at the entrance. The big room you’ll enter seems to promise the opportunity to buy view bus schedules and purchase tickets. But, you’ll soon see that the ticket windows are dark and unused, and the boards above them are devoid of timetables. Passengers don’t linger in this space; they know better. Keep walking and you’ll find yourself at the departure gates. Don’t be fooled by the chaos. Buses leave promptly. At each gate you’ll find a conductor who can answer the only questions that really matter: “Where is this bus going?” Or, “Does this bus go to (insert destination here)?” And, “What time does it leave?”

International Sources

This Is What 350,000 Websites Look Like [Visualization]
Try to picture the internet and you invariably have a hard time. Fortunately, Ruslan Enikeev has decided to help you out by creating a map which organizes websites by popularity and similarity. The result is The Internet Map. In total, the whole map depicts 350,000 sites and two million links from 196 countries. Each site is represented by a circle, whose size depends on the amount of traffic, and the space between each one is determined by the frequency with which users jump from one to another. Enikeev explains: As one might have expected, the largest clusters are formed by national websites, i.e. sites belonging to one country. For the sake of convenience, all websites relative to a certain country carry the same color. For instance, the red zone at the top corresponds to Russian segment of the net, the yellow one on the left stands for the Chinese segment, the purple one on the right is Japanese, the large light-blue central one is the American segment, etc.

Default Concerns Make Belize’s Bonds Worst In Emerging Markets
Belize’s notes are the worst performers in emerging markets this month as the Central American nation’s budget deficit widens and concerns grow that the government will force holders of $544 million of bonds to take losses in a restructuring. Belize’s dollar bonds have fallen 2.5 percent this month, the most among 52 emerging-market countries tracked by JPMorgan Chase & Co’s EMBIG index. Brazilian and Indonesian bonds have gained 4.2 percent over the same period. Yields on Belize’s so- called superbond due in 2029 climbed 145 basis points, or 1.45 percentage point, to 20.08 percent this month as the country nears its second restructuring in five years. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who campaigned on a promise to restructure the bonds, told lawmakers in June that lowering the debt burden is “unavoidable.” The government faces an Aug. 20 payment of about $25 million and Barrow said Belize’s budget deficit will swell to 2.5 percent of gross domestic product next year from 1.1 percent this year. Investors are starting to “appreciate the difficulty” the government will have in meeting creditor demands, said Stuart Culverhouse, chief economist at Exotix Ltd. “The market has underpriced the risk until this month,” Culverhouse, who downgraded the bonds from hold to sell on July 5, said in a phone interview from London. “People are now beginning to focus on when the concessions are happening.” Officials at Belize’s Finance Ministry didn’t return calls seeking comment.

VIDEO: Discovering the Blue Hole, Belize Barrier Reef
MSNBC: Originally aired on November 17th 2008, Matt Lauer visits the famous Blue Hole of Belize Barrier Reef. Joined by Fabian Costeau.

Great review of the Best Little Zoo in the World - Belize Zoo
The Belize Zoo is about 50 kilometres outside of Belize City, down the Western Highway and on the way to Belmopan and the west and south of the country. It’s a painless pit stop if you’re travelling in those directions, or an easy day trip if you’re based in Belize City or Belmopan. And, unless you’re an expert wildlife photographer with a year to spend in the country, it’s the only place that you’ll see the rarer animals of Belize (not to mention the best place to see the rest of them). All the zoo’s species are native to Belize, so you won’t see any tigers or polar bears, but you will see all of the country’s exotic wildlife, including the species that you’d never see in the wild, like the jaguar. The local nature of the occupants means the zoo is quite small (you can see it all in a couple of hours), but it does give a great introduction to the wildlife of Belize and Central America. Being in the middle of nowhere (like many places in Belize!), the zoo is surrounded by empty jungle, and its environment is the same as the land that surrounds it. Gravel trails through the forest are one of the few man-made things inside the grounds – rather than metal cages or concrete enclosures, the animals are mainly housed in open, natural-looking areas, so the place feels less like an animal prison and more like a zoological country club.

July 30, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! Opposites - Part I
She lived up two hills, on suddenly flat ground that seemed to be carved horizontally into a mountain. The sun rose through two mountain peaks, shining its golden rays down on the houses below. For many hours in the day, sunshine caressed the area, inviting the chickens, pigs, horses and cows to meander the entire area. Shining white laundry hung amidst bright pops of color, grandmothers sat outdoors shelling beans, picking through peanuts, feeding the animals, or embroidering beautiful pillowcases and tablecloths. Mothers worked the small patch of farm behind their homes, children ran half naked behind the lanky dogs, aiming for their tails. Fathers saddled their workhorses, digging their heels in their flanks and setting them at a fast clip-clop pace to the surrounding mountains where their farms grew crops of vegetables and fruit. Sometimes, they would carry a gun across their back, and in the late afternoons, a booming sound would echo forever, running sound across the nearly circular patch of mountains that ringed the village.

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


YWCA holds camp for young people
And speaking of the YWCA and its many programs, the organization is currently hosting its annual summer camp which keeps the young ones busy during their vacation break from School. Administrator for the YWCA, Lisa Coleman told Love News just what the enthusiastic children are spending their time on. There is one program however, which Coleman says that the YWCA wants to keep for the longer run since it has been very successful during this summer camp.

YWC gets help from Uncle Sam
The YWCA has for many years focused on training women to make successful persons out of them. The organization however has taken an interest in helping young men achieve a better life. Consequently the YWCA’s Enterprise Creation and Extracurricular Development Project was launched yesterday morning at the YWCA headquarters on St. Thomas Street. The project is made possible by a grant from the United States Embassy, funded by the Central American Regional Security Initiative CARSI. At the launching ceremony, President of YWCA, Sheree Smiling-Craig spoke of the achievements of her organization. Guest Speaker, U.S. Ambassador to Belize, Vinai Thummalapally said that the American Embassy has a long history of collaborating with the YWCA. The gratitude for the donation was also shared by Deborah Arnold currently enrolled and has completed one year in the H.E.L.P Program and Steve Geynair who recently signed up for the Barber program. Thummalapally presented the two hundred thousand dollars cheque to Craig during the ceremonies this morning. The Vote of thanks was shared by YWCA board member Ann-Marie Williams and notably present were the Ambassador of Mexico to Belize Mario Velasquez and woman of the year 2012 awardee Rita Coleman.

The saga of St. Peter’s School continues in San Pedro town
On yesterday’s Evening News Broadcast we told you about a St. Peter’s School in San Pedro Town, which was forced to close down after fifteen years of operations. Love Tv’s Marion Ali continues to follow up on the story and together with Videographer Brian Castillo, brings you a follow up in the following report.

House of Representatives to meet in Belmopan
The House of Representatives will meet in Belmopan on Friday. The majority of the items on the agenda have to do with finances and include the introduction of Bills to amend the Customs and Excise Duties Act to adjust the rates of customs duties on certain items consequent upon the removal of licensing requirements and quantitative restrictions on such items. The Prime Minister will also be introducing a bill to amend the Domestic and Financial Institutions Act which is designed to strengthen the supervisory powers of the Central Bank and enhance its regulatory independence. According to the Order papers for tomorrow’s house meeting, the amendment to the Domestic and Financial Institutions Act effectively repeal the Banks and Financial Institutions Act and go on to address the deficiencies and vulnerabilities in the domestic banking sector. It will also provide for the appointment of a statutory administrator of a licensee in appropriate cases to protect the interests of depositors, creditors and shareholders. Also on the agenda for tomorrow’s House meeting is the introduction of a Bill to amend the International Banking Act, Chapter 267 of the Laws of Belize, to clarify the provisions relating to exemption from stamp duty of documents executed by an international bank in connection with international banking business. Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia, Junior will also take legislation to the floor of the House, seeking to amend the Hotels and Tourist Accommodation Act. The idea is to repeal the accommodation tax and to replace it with general sales tax. Friday’s House of Representatives meeting starts at ten o’clock in the morning at the National Assembly Building in Belmopan. The day’s proceedings will be broadcast live, right here on Love FM.

Distressed Sea Turtle rescued in Hol Chan reserve
A juvenile Green Sea Turtle was rescued in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve this week and is currently undergoing rehabilitation. According to reports reaching the RSV News Centre, the sea turtle was found on Tuesday afternoon, completely covered by what appears to be petroleum tar. The source of the tar is not known at this time; but the contaminated sea turtle is currently undergoing rehabilitation in San Pedro town. Kera Foreman is a biologist with the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. As noted before, the contaminated sea turtle is a juvenile, and research shows that the endangered species can live for as long as eight years in the wild.


Poker run with a happy ending and shipping help request
Since tacoboy was doing last night’s poker run that was my Saturday option for a date night. I could not believe how packed it was when I turned up at Roadkill bar, this was the biggest one yet with 52 poker players. I was not too hopeful after my first card 7 clubs and definitely thinking no one was going to be calling fix for me winning. At Average Joe’s and Lola’s Pub I got 2 aces, my luck was improving for sure and in more ways than one. I ended up sitting with Cindy chatting in in her cart outside of Lola’s and decided to ride with her and Andy to Wayo’s instead of with Paul, Eric and Denise. Turns out they got a flat tire on the way and had to leave the cart by Ritchie’s supermarket. Thankfully my Gringo burger was still there on our way back to Pedro’s Pizza. Unfortunately at the end of the night when the flop was drawn my aces did not do me any good. 2 people did get a happy ending though, for the first time ever it was a split pot. Even though I did not win the pot, I figured there was no reason I could not make my own happy ending so I consoled myself with a large thin crust white pizza with green pepper and bacon. When I was out for my walk today Danyelle invited me into AJ’s for a lemonade, I found that it s actually ended up being a 3 way split in the end. Danyelle and Mike decided to make a side bet with their friends half way through the poker run. They agreed that if either couple won they would split the winnings and their friends won.

With only two full days of camp remaining, our theme today emphasized Chaa Creek’s goals, actions, and vision for the future – responsible tourism and sustainability. Before heading to the conference center for a presentation from Chaa Creek Owner and Founder, Lucy Fleming, our Eco Camp Director, Jacqueline Britt, gave the campers a talk about Mennonite sustainable living. Living in Barton Creek, Jacqueline is neighbors with many of whom we would consider to be “old world” Mennonites, and brought in some of their clothing, handiwork, and food to show us. Not only did this provide a fascinating look at one of many cultural groups living in Belize, it also gave the children a chance to revisit some of the important concepts they have learned with regards to the 3 R’s. The Mennonites are quite possibly the most eco-friendly group in the whole country, and the kids saw how they reduced, reused, and recycled things like clothes and jars. To top it off, the eco-campers got to try some of their delicious (or extremely sour for the some of the group) preserved fruit and vegetables Jacqueline brought in! Today’s other main activity was a visit to our unofficial classroom up at the resort to learn more about how we can be more responsible in our tourism practices. Lucy explained to us that tourism already accounts for 25% of Belize’s Gross Domestic Product and directly employs one quarter of the population. As the fastest growing industry in Belize, we have an obligation to ensure that we are practicing the most eco-friendly techniques and mentality in this field. Ecotourism revolves around many important aspects and Chaa Creek ensures that strict guidelines are met in their award winning tourism model.

July 29, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Valid: Friday, July 27 until Monday, July 30, 2012

A steady, but drier easterly airflow will prevail this weekend. A trough in the upper level in the SE Gulf of Mexico will favor low level convection on Monday and Tuesday as a weak tropical wave cross the country on Tuesday evening.

Conditions are becoming a bit more stable and drier favouring generally fair weather this weekend. Daytime heating could provoke a few isolated thunderstorms inland. A tropical wave will approach and cross the coast of Yucatan and Belize on Tuesday, under the divergent area of an upper level trough in the SE Gulf of Mexico. This will trigger localized scattered thunderstorm activity around Belize and coastal waters on Tuesday and Wednesday. Another active tropical wave will enter the eastern Caribbean early next week, and the GFS model indicate that this feature could become a bit more defined as it moves over Hispaniola by mid week. However, the model weakens the system as it reaches the NW Caribbean by late Wednesday or early Thursday of next week (See Figure 5 below).

Daily rainfall accumulations will be in the range of 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch today Friday through the weekend over some areas of the interior. However, the rainfall will be on the increase on Monday through Tuesday, with daily totals in the hills and coastal areas ranging from 0.50-0.75 of-an-inch. Higher rainfall rates are possible in the elevated terrain of the Stann Creek, Cayo and Toledo districts, but the activity will not be persistent or concentrated. Belize can see another increase in heavier showers and thunderstorms later on Wednesday and Thursday of next week.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend 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

Official Countdown to the 20th International Costa Maya Festival BEGINS NOW!
Celebrating the culture and ancestry of the Maya and the completion of the Maya Calendar 13th Baktun-under and highlighting the beauties of the Mundo Maya World, Belize is once again proud to host the the International Costa Maya Festival from August 2nd – August 5th, 2012 on the beautiful island of San Pedro. The International Costa Maya Festival, first held in 1992, was organized to unify the Mundo Maya world, bringing together representatives from across Central America to showcase their Mayan Ancestry, which has now become one of Belize’s most anticipated annual events. This year, the Costa Maya Committee has put together a full and pulsating list of entertainment and events to satisfy friends and family alike. Today, to kick start the events will be the amiable arrivals of the 8 beautiful delegates vying for this years’ Reina Del La Costa Maya title. The lineup for this year are Miss Belize – Karen Jasmine Middleton, Miss Panama – Karen Elena Jordan Beitia, Miss Honduras – Esthefany Maolyth Piñeda Perez., Miss El Salvador – Nathaly Jazmin Mena Arauz, Miss Nicaragua – Ivey Jellisa Alvarez, Miss Guatemala – Alessandra Manzur Franco, Miss Mexico – Natalia Villanueva and Miss Costa Rica – Mariela Aparicio. Upon arrivals, the delegates will be transported to the San Ignacio Resort and Hotel where they will be hosted for dinner and enjoy a mythical Maya Tour along with an official photo-shoot early tomorrow morning.

Green Reef and foreign students clean up turtle nesting area
Green Reef through the assistance of some visiting foreign students was involved in a beach cleanup of a portion of the turtle nesting area on northern Ambergris Caye. The cleanup campaign of the sea turtle nesting beach was conducted on the eastern side of the island between Robles and the Rocky Point beach areas on July 18th and 19th. According to Mito Paz of Green Reef, a group of nine students from various high schools in Canada and one student from Bolivia were visiting Ambergris Caye and wanted to do some community service. They decided to contact Green Reef which was happy to organize a two-day cleanup along the important piece of nesting beach since it is sea turtle nesting season in Belize.

Gymnastics comes to San Pedro
The San Pedro Dance Academy teamed up with the Belize Tumblers Association to offer the first ever ‘Intro to Gymnastics’ Summer Camp to kids in San Pedro. The summer camp started on Monday July 23rd and will go through Friday August 3rd and is being offered to children of all ages, targeting the ages 5-14. According to Catherine Paz of the San Pedro Dance Academy, the idea for the gymnastics summer camp came after the Academy realized how much gymnastics moves were being used in the dancers’ choreography. “We needed to do something extra for the girls this summer, and after noticing that the dance company incorporates cartwheels and other gymnastics moves we just thought that we should get them perfected. This would help them in their dance careers.” The summer camp is for two weeks during which the kids will learn skills such as hand springs with back flips, and full twists among others. Mr. Mark Grant, President of the Belize Tumbler’s Association is on the island, teaching the kids the various gymnastics skills. Mark’s group has been performing in the Belize City and Orange Walk Carnival for years now.

Fish Aggregating Device placed in offshore Ambergris Caye
Captain Shark’s worked closely with the San Pedro Game Fish Association on June 29th to install a fish aggregating device (FAD). The FAD was placed in the waters approximately two miles offshore from El Pescador Resort on Ambergris Caye and anchored at a depth of about 2,400 feet. The main reason for placing the FAD is to show tour guides and business of the potential behind FADs so that local fishermen and tourists on local fishing tours can fish closer to the island. A FAD is a floating device tethered by rope with buoys and anchored to the water bed with a drum of cement to keep everything in place avoiding it from drifting. FADs are known to attract fish, especially tuna and marlin. However other curious marine life such as sharks, are also attracted to the floating device. The FAD that was installed was anchored at a depth of about 2,400 feet with the use of 1 1/15 inch rope. Ten buoys were also place on it also to attract other fish. The square shaping floating device was built at Captain Shark’s boatyard and was constructed from aluminum, fiberglass and plywood all anchored to a drum of cement at the seabed. On top of the FAD is a solar led light that flashes every second at night to avoid vessels from running over it. The FAD was installed at a cost of about $16,000, which was paid by Captain Shark’s.

Island women attend self defense class
With the increase in violence towards girls and women, especially after the tragic death of Jasmine Lowe in the Cayo District, there has been a significant rally to prepare and prevent such incidents from reoccurring. With “safety first” in mind, a group of women came together for a lesson in self-defense taught by instructor Renee Wentz. Held at the Banyan Bay conference room, the self-defense class was initiated by Colette Kase and Renee Wentz, organized by Jan Lyons and Ti Southwell, and marketed by Beth Hart. These ladies all had one goal in common: get as many women as possible to learn some self-defense techniques and empower themselves. Wentz has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and has taught self-defense since 2002.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Features in News Exchange Magazine
The newest edition of New Exchange (NE) Magazine is out in stores already and Ambergris Today is happy to boast a few of San Pedro’s very own featured in the pages of Belize’s first magazine. Ambergris Today, Jose Luis Zapata Photography and Wave Music Festival all graced the magazine with coverage on San Pedro’s dining experience, local photographer and a fashion show that featured the island’s top and upcoming models. Ambergris Today’s work on the Belize Dance Company and restaurant review on Elvi’s Kitchen both made it into the pages of NE Magazine, as well as an interview with local photographer Jose Luis Zapata who talks about his career in photography. His work was also featured in a large spread of San Pedro’s Wave Music Festival which presented a large fashion show. Jose Luis photographed the models on and off the runway.

Misc Belizean Sources

SIRH Hosts La Reina de la Costa Maya Contestants
The contestants for La Reina de la Costa Maya were at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel last night. They posed for pictures over drinks and appetizers. Rebecca Stirm, who represented Belize on Mission Catwalk, was one of the special guests. The Running W Steakhouse prepared an exquisite meal for everyone. Thanks go out to the SIRH for hosting an amazing night. The ladies really enjoyed their stay in Cayo.

Market Day Pictures of Cayo
There are some great pictures from around Cayo in this travel article, including some amusing pictures from Santa Elena too. Bonus points go to this article because Hotel California is mentioned. "So I made it over to the Big Weekly Market in San Ignacio Saturday where there is row after row of very affordable and healthy bean, veggie and fruit at stalls and under tents. Was a little surprised at all the other vendors, hawking everything from stick-free skillets (bought one) to amazing hand-carved crafts and bicycles... Heading back home to Succotz Village the other night, the driver had 'Hotel California' blaring from the boom box he has mounted at the front and he and I and the porter started singing along to Don Henley’s haunting classic song, the one where you can check out any time you like (but you can never leave)."

Belmopan Festive Weekend Started Last night
Belmopan is having a 'Festive Weekend' to celebrate the opening of the Olympics, tarting tonight at 6pm at GG Field. The 3 days of festivities will include mechanical rides, sporting activities, clowns, animals, music, and a business expo. Tonight, they'll have the opening ceremony on a giant screen at 7:00.

Verano Beer Free Sampling in Cayo
Belikin Beer's new Verano Beer - Summer in a Bottle - is quite good, and they will be giving free samples away tonight and tomorrow. Tonight, in Belmopan, at La Cabana, starting at 7:30pm, you can try Verano. Saturday night at Meluchi's, at 7:30pm, you can also try it. It has a good taste to it. Their new brewmaster is really earning his keep with the 3 great new flavors released in the last year.

Photo: Belize at the Olympic opening ceremony
Belize Contingent

Channel 5

Foreign Affairs Minister explains the incident that led to the death of Guatemalan national
A special session of the House of Representatives was held this morning in Belmopan. It was called for the presentations of four bills, but it was other hot button issues that dominated the session. With pressure building up, the Foreign Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington addressed the House on an erroneous report by the OAS in [...]

Minister Elrington says he accepts the OAS correction of erroneous report on incident
Minister Elrington says that while the OAS blunder was objectionable, he is satisfied with the withdrawal of its original statement and the issuance of a corrected version.   Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs “In respect of the OAS press release which first came out on last week Friday, twentieth July, I can report [...]

Colonel Javier Castellanos: is he in or out of the B.D.F.?
The fate of Colonel Javier Castellanos, as a ranking officer in the Belize Defense Force, hangs in the balance tonight. The Belize Advisory Council, chaired by Attorney Lionel Welch, has already determined that he is to be reinstated as the deputy commander of the B.D.F. On Tuesday, the Belize Advisory Council, essentially comprised of government-appointed [...]

It’s official: the Police Association and Min. of National Security have patched things up
As we reported on Thursday night, the Police Association and Ministry of National Security have mended fences. In a joint press release, it was announced that the leaders of the association, Corporal Eldon Arzu and Sergeant Edlin Lorenzo, have apologized to the Commissioner of Police, David Henderson and Minister John Saldivar for going to the [...]

Cpl. Victor Lima succumbs to gunshot wounds; he is hailed as a hero
Corporal Victor Lima passed away after two a.m. this morning in the Intensive Care Unit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he in a critical condition since Tuesday night. The cop, who is now being called a hero, was shot while responding to a home invasion in Hattieville. Two bullets found their mark on [...]

10 year old boy remains comatose after his house fell on him
Ten year old Brithon Cordova is tonight in a coma after his house collapsed on him at around nine a.m. on Thursday. Brithon along with his seven year old nephew, were playing with a puppy under their unstable zinc house, when it crashed on them. Neighbors pulled them from under the house [...]

19 year old loses appeal of gun/ammo conviction
A nineteen year old is back in prison tonight after being out on bail for over a year pending the appeal of a firearm conviction. Orson Andrews was busted with a point thirty-eight revolver at his house on April sixteenth, 2011. He pleaded guilty to charges for keeping an unlicensed firearm and ammunition that same [...]

Jose Mendez is granted bail for charges related to gas tank explosion
Jose Mendez, the man who cut the hose from a butane tank and triggered a mini explosion at his Orange Walk house was today granted bail on charges of Wounding and Arson. Mendez received burns on his hands and body; his common-law-wife was also injured. The incident on May twenty-fourth, was believed to have been [...]

Education Ministry gets $2 Million loan
In the House, the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, announced today that it has been granted a loan of two million US dollars from the Caribbean Development Bank to be used for education sector reform. According to Faber, the monies will greatly assist in the development of a policy that will seek to improve the [...]

Toledo West Area rep. says his constituents are affected by Guatemalan incursions
Toledo West area representative Oscar Requeña, whose constituency is made up of a number of villages near the Belize/Guatemala Border, today raised concerns in the House in light of the recent encounter with illegal Guatemalan loggers in Machaquila. According to Requeña, residents of communities in those areas have been living under the constant threat of [...]

2012 Olympics get underway in London
The 2012 Olympics officially opened in London today. A Belizean delegation left this past Saturday to represent the Jewel in disciplines of athletics and Judo. First to compete will be Eddermys Sanchez, who will participate on Sunday morning in Judo, sixty-six kg. According to Sanchez’ coach, Wellington Chee, who has been in touch with this [...]

Belizean living in Scotland confesses to stealing from Post Office
A Belizean, who was working as a Post Office Manager in Fife, Scotland is now doing unpaid community service after he admitted to stealing two thousand, five hundred and fifty British Pounds; that’s over eight thousand Belize dollars. Twenty-eight year old Dylan Lindo was in charge of an office in the Balmullo area had he [...]

M.O.E. and Crime Stoppers team up for Expressive Arts Summer Camp
An expressive arts camp in drama, dance and arts and craft culminated today at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts. The camp was sponsored by the Ministry of Education to promote patriotism and by Crimestoppers Belize. Close to fifty students participated and they were beaming with pride as they showed off to friends and [...]

Be the Next Superstar gets off to hot start!
Who’s gonna Be the Next Superstar? It’s too early to tell, but we can say that the talent in the first season of the show is superb. The show opened on Tuesday night with thirteen participants in Group A. The performances ranged from drama to singing to dance and drumming and the viewing audience was [...]


It is reported that Corporal Victor Lima succumbed to his injuries at around 3 O Clock this morning at the KHMH. On Tuesday night a little after 10pm Corporal Victor Lima who is assigned to the Hattieville police substation along with another constable responded to a home invasion in t...

Marion Ali, Reports The Police Department is mourning the loss of a second policeman in one week. Corporal Victor Lima, the officer who was shot in the line of duty during a reported home invasion in Hattieville Village on Tuesday night, died at around three this ...

The Opposition People’s United Party presented its full compliments of elected representatives for today’s House meeting in Belmopan. But the PUP members were not a happy group today. On Thursday the party issued a statement condemning their late notification of...

The Dangriga Town Council held a business mix on Thursday, July twenty sixth at the Sea Breeze Restaurant and Hotel in that Municipality. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details HARRY ARZU, Reporter “The event which got under way at 7 PM provided a forum...

Placement of students in schools around the country has always been a challenge with the demands of a growing population. In San Pedro, there are at least fifty-seven students who are out of school, not for the summer holidays, but because there simply is no space for them, will ...

The Organization of American States has issued a definitive statement on the illegal incursion into the Chiquibul Forest Reserve by Guatemalan farmers a week ago which led to the death of one of the men. Two others are currently in the custody of Belizean law enforcement authorit...

Seven Toledo students were presented with Belize Social Security Board Scholarship Awards this morning in Punta Gorda. PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “Opening prayer at the ceremony was led by parent Robert Jacobs and welcome address by Social Security Board Punta Gorda...

Correspondent Elaine Berry tells us more about Scholarships granted in the San Ignacio, Santa Elena area ELAINE BERRY, Reporter “Social Security, Santa Elena Branch held a scholarship award ceremony at...

We now join Correspondent Harry Arzu for a report on scholarship handing over in that municipality HARRY ARZU, Reporter “The Social Security Board awarded seven scholarships to students of Dangriga who will be pursuing their secondary and tertiary education in ...


Officer Lima succumbs to gunshot injuries
Plus news visits Hattieville to speak with chairman on the recent passing of Cpl. Lima. On Tuesday night sometime a...

Police Association and Ministry reconcile
A press release from the Ministry of National Security has been issued and according to the release, the leaders of...

OAS statement amended says Minister
A release posted on the OAS website today seeks to further clarify its position regarding the shooting of a Guatema...

And what about public officers' allowances?
The People’s United Party yesterday issued a statement regarding the House Meeting. Their position was that they co...

BGYEA distributing more parcels of land
Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) has made a name amongst Belizeans by acquiring land for the......

BCVI's 16th annual summer camp for visually impaired kids
The Belize Council for the Visually Impaired holds its 16th annual Summer Camp in Belize City at the Lion’s den. Th...

House pays tribute to officers, extends condolences to families
The family of Corporal Victor Lima, is in mourning this morning (July 27). Lima who was in a critical condition in ...

SSB branch offices awards scholarships throughout country
Social Security Board held its annual scholarships awards ceremony


“Let me tell you about the few troubles I’ve had …”
Police brass and Ministry faced with new problem: overworked, underpaid, fatigued officers... There are complaints of more workers’ rights infringement coming from police officers this week, as information leaked to the media today alleges that police officers are being forced to work tiring 12-hour shifts, instead of 8-hour shifts, which, in one case, allegedly caused one officer to become so fatigued that he crashed one of the newly donated mobiles when he fell asleep behind the steering wheel.

Did the Police Association blink?
After interdiction and disciplinary charges Wednesday, executives “apologize” to Commissioner, Minister; rules on Association to “be revisited”... NTUCB expresses solidarity, but planned demonstration on hold

Hon. Godwin Hulse wants Belize Times retraction: land in River Valley was for “compensation”
Belize City Mayor also wants retraction; other UDPs suing PUP Times over “land grab” allegations... Minister of Labour, Local Government, National Emergency Management and Immigration, Hon. Senator Godwin Hulse, told Channel 7 News and Amandala today that he has demanded, through his attorneys, a retraction from Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) organ the Belize Times for an article appearing in its Sunday, July 8, 2012 issue that accuses him of improperly obtaining land in the Belize River Valley area of the Belize District just months after being appointed to his post.

Six almost killed in road accidents in Toledo
Bus ran over 5-year-old’s foot... Of five workers from Eugene Zabaneh’s citrus farm, two suffered massive injuries to their bodies, including broken bones, and were immediately rushed to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, while another suffered head injuries and was taken to the Belmopan Hospital. A worker’s leg was broken and he was treated and released from the Belmopan Hospital, while the last worker was treated and released from the Belmopan Hospital for scrapes and bruises.

Cop, 28, shot in investigating Hattieville home invasion
Police Corporal Victor Lima, 28, is presently fighting for his life in the Intensive Care Unit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was shot twice by a robber in his upper chest during a robbery attempt in Hattieville around 10:30 last night, Tuesday.

DFC vs Rene Villanueva, son and company for $790,000
Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall today heard testimonies from six witnesses in the lawsuit filed by the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) of Belize to recover roughly $790,000 from broadcaster and businessman, Rene Villanueva, Sr., his son, Rene, Jr., and their company, Cahal Pech Limited.

Belize track athletes at the London Olympics
According to information provided by Ian Gray, last president of the Belize Amateur Athletic Association, Belizean track athletes Kaina Martinez and Ken Medwood, who are representing Belize at the Olympic Games in London, will both be competing in their respective heats on Friday, August 3, of next week. Kaina will compete in the Women 100m, while Ken’s event is the Men 400m hurdles.

Judo Belize to 30th Olympiad 2012 in London
The Judo Association of Belize (JAB), representing the nation by way of its 66 kg division judo athlete Eddermys Sanchez, and supported by coach Wellington Chee, President of JAB, flew to Miami on Saturday, July 21, to arrive in England by July 23 for a date with destiny at the ExCel Exhibition Centre in London and the XXX Olympic Games which begin on July

Bze City Champions Cup semifinals this Sunday, Game 1 of Finals on Wednesday
The secretariat of the Belize City Champions Cup, organized by “Marvellous” Marvin Ottley, yesterday released the detailed results of last Sunday’s games, and indicated that the semifinal playoffs schedule had already been set for this coming Sunday. The two scheduled games for yesterday, Wednesday, had been cancelled, although we had indicated in our last issue that the RG City Boys vs BDF game might have had an effect on the standings, and thus the seeding for the semifinals. What is certain, is that the four playoff bound teams would not change, and Marvin, who also coaches F.C. Belize, may have felt he was doing the aforementioned two clubs a favor by settling for the 4th spot and thus committing his team, #4 seed F.C. Belize, to meet the #1 seed, West Lake in the semi’s. Whichever way we pair them, the 4 playoff bound teams would make two exciting match-ups, which is what fans will be treated to this Sunday at the MCC. The losers “go home,” and the winners move on to a 2-game series for the championship.

Bodybuilding News
The Belize Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation held an important meeting on July 14, where preliminary planning began for the biggest competition of the year; formerly the Mr. Belize, now called the Belize Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships, to be held on October 5 at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. This year, the competition will include male and female bodybuilding, with the return of gold medalist Lurnette Sankey, Body Figure , Bikini Fitness, and the newest addition, Men’ Physique. All bodybuilders countrywide are encouraged to participate, as there will be attractive prizes and great opportunities for attending the 2013 Central American Games in Costa Rica. Tickets for this grand event will be on sale as early as August.

AIDS Commission presents plan of attack on HIV
Targets zero new infections, more and better services, education and changing attitudes... The National AIDS Commission today released an ambitious four-year strategic plan and two-year operational plan designed to tackle key problem areas in reducing the grip of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) on Belizean society.

COLA “bon fire” on OAS, Sedi
Foreign Minister Elrington branded “traitor” and “Judas,” burnt in effigy... Executive members of the organization Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) this morning, around 11:00 a.m., set on fire placards with the visage of Elrington ringed by the words “traitor” and “Judas,” along with an OAS flag carrying a similar image in the center of a design in a heap outside the Blue Marlin Drive offices of the OAS, which it shares with the Oak Foundation.

Ideas and Opinions - The Ombudsman
Governments which institute the office of Ombudsman are to be lauded for giving their citizens a great gift. This office provides a necessary protection for the ordinary citizen, who may be defenseless against the abuse or misuse of power by public authorities.

Editorial: Our perpetual problem
In a perfectly ordered world, the level of crime would be tolerable, our country would be paying its bills, and our citizens would be living the life they dream. In a perfectly ordered world, our borders would be intact, the Guatemalan claim would be a relic of the past, and we wouldn’t have to worry about incursions into our blessed land. But we don’t live in a perfectly ordered world. Because if we did, we wouldn’t have to worry about a “reprehensible” OAS release from its Secretary General, and our Foreign Ministry would have long issued a press release reporting to the citizens of our beloved land, while formally calling on the Secretary General to set the record straight. The Secretary General of the OAS, Jose Miguel Insulza, had every right to express his regret at the death of a Guatemalan logger in an exchange with Belize Defence Force soldiers last week. But he, however, perhaps more than anybody else, had a responsibility to get the facts straight before he issued an “international” press release. And he, above all, had a responsibility to maintain neutrality in such a sensitive matter as this.

From The Publisher
While attending university in New Hampshire from 1965 to 1968, I became friends with an economics student from Malawi in southern Africa. His name was Guy Mhone, may he rest in peace. He was four years older than I, and he had been active in anti-apartheid student politics in Malawi, which made him a target for the Hastings Kamuzu Banda government in his home country.

Letters: Police Department “out of touch with its rank and file,” and the Ministry “has no interest in reforming”
I write to express my solidarity with Cpl. Eldon Arzu and Sergeant Edlin Lorenzo for their valiant efforts to reform an archaic institution. Instead of showing a willingness to dialogue and address the legitimate grievances that the officers were putting forward, the Ministry of National Security has decided to cut them down and hide behind the letter of the law.

Letters: Congratulates Rowan, criticizes media and “big business”
One downfall of the whole telethon, though, was when those children took their piggy banks, full of coins, and donated it. Why didn’t the media give them live coverage donating it? Why were only those companies or organizations who donated big monies given live coverage?


Today’s theme was Bio Waste Management, and we focused on using the 3 R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle. During our arts and crafts time, the eco-campers were lucky enough to receive a visit from the youth ambassadors of the Friends for Conservation and Development. The highlight of their visit was a chance to participate in the making of a plastic bottle garbage can. The basic concept here is that instead of throwing away empty bottles, one can make a very cool and functional trash bin. Using a re-bar outline, the campers attached rows of four bottles through wires from the top to the bottom of the structure. After there were enough rows to complete the circle, they were left with a unique place to store their full bags of trash (see the pictures at the end for an image). The youth ambassadors also brought in jewelry and accessories they had made out of old bottle caps, and gave a talk on the importance of conservation in Chiquibul. As one of our eco-campers pointed out, “when you destroy the forests, you are destroying us!” Clearly the messages of the camp are getting through to the youth. Our presentation today was given by Chaa Creek Senior Naturalist Guide and waste management expert Brion Young. Brion focused his talk on the importance of the 3 R’s, and demonstrated how Chaa Creek tries to implement these in as many of its daily practices as possible. The first R, reduce, is the method of cutting down on the products or materials used if they are unnecessary or unneeded. One of the most innovative ways Chaa Creek reduces waste is by providing guests and staff with water containers and water stations around the property to cut back on water bottles garbage. The second R, reuse, is the method of using the same item again, either for the same purpose, or for something entirely different. The eco-campers were quick to point out that yesterday they had learned that many food scraps and items were re-used by Chaa Creek to be turned into compost at the Maya Organic Farm.

International Sources

How to Set Up an Offshore Company... Highly Recommended Comparison
Anna Vaivade works for one of these companies. She is in Latvia, but her employer offers company registration in Seychelles, British Virgin Islands or Belize. She told me all these places offer no taxes and extreme confidentiality. "No third parties, no creditors, no other companies have access to this information, " said Vaivade. But what good is a company without a bank account attached? Anna Vaivade said she could help Planet Money with that too. She told me we could open a bank account in Switzerland that's tied to my offshore company in Belize. And if that's not enough anonymity for you, Anna's company offers another service — a board of directors. "In all public documents where the director's name appears, it will be our name," she told me. The idea is to ensure no one knows we are in involved in the company. Anna calls it "absolute confidentiality." And all of this is perfectly legal. I can think of legitimate reasons why you might want to have a company in Belize with a bank account in Switzerland and fake Latvian shareholders. Maybe you don't want your competitors to know what you're up to or maybe you're a large business operating across borders. It's easier to do business when you have accounts offshore.

This week’s best travel bargains around the globe
 El Secreto, a new boutique resort on Belize’s Ambergris Caye, is offering introductory deals. Rates at the 13-villa oceanfront property start at $200 a night plus $38 taxes, a savings of $250, for stays from the Oct. 1 opening date through Nov. 16. The resort is also offering a four-night grand-opening package of $1,670 for two adults, which includes lodging in a tropical villa, transfers, breakfasts and dinners, one spa treatment per person, excursion to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and taxes; priced separately, the package would cost $2,226. Book by Sept. 30. Info: 800-479-5037,

AIDS Commission presents plan of attack on HIV in Belize
The National AIDS Commission today released an ambitious four-year strategic plan and two-year operational plan designed to tackle key problem areas in reducing the grip of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) on Belizean society. Executive Director of the Commission, Dr. Martin Cuellar, told Amandala that the three listed priorities in both the strategic and operational plans – ending new HIV infections, improving the health and well-being of persons with the disease and creating an “enabling environment” by means of improving access, expanding education and changing national attitudes high and low to a disease with which 34.2 million people are living currently – are not more or less important than each other or exclusive from each other, and therefore implementation should not be done exclusively. There were 2.5 million new infections around the world in 2011 (including 226 in Belize), and 1.7 million died from AIDS-related causes worldwide, according to the UNAIDS program of the United Nations. 2011 in Belize saw a third consecutive year of decreases in new HIV infections across the board, though young people aged 15-29 and other vulnerable populations continued to be adversely affected. Overall, some 5,000 persons are infected and living with HIV in Belize currently, according to the National AIDS Commission. Dr. Cuellar pointed out that there are other HIV-vulnerable groups such as sex workers and homosexuals (aka men who have sex with men, or MSM). An ongoing baseline surveillance study is due later this year that will present the first information on these groups, but the work continues on changing behaviors to reduce HIV’s scourge and dispel lingering myths and stigma, both official and unofficial.

Guatemala logger shot in Belize was armed and working in protected area, says OAS
Initial investigations have confirmed that a Guatemalan logger, who was shot and killed by Belize Defence Force (BDF) soldiers, was carrying two firearms at the time that he was confronted by the BDF in a protected national park. The incident took place on July 19 in the Toledo District of Belize, involving BDF soldiers and a group of three Guatemalan citizens, which resulted in the death of one of the Guatemalan citizens and the arrest of the other two, who were charged with illegal entry into the country and illegal logging in a protected national park. A statement issued by the Organization of American States (OAS) on Friday confirmed that the incident took place more than 3 km from the Adjacency Line outside the Adjacency Zone administered by Belize; that the Guatemalan citizens were felling trees in a protected national park; and that the deceased Guatemalan citizen was carrying two firearms at the time that he was confronted by the BDF. Although the full investigation has yet to be completed, the OAS said it is important to note that the government of Belize has given Guatemalan authorities full access to interview the arrested Guatemalan citizens, as well as to the autopsy of the deceased, during which a Guatemalan forensic doctor was present. Members of the Embassy of Guatemala in Belize were also able to visit the site of the incident. This incident, together with other priority issues on the bilateral agenda, will be discussed at the high level meeting between Belize and Guatemala at the deputy minister level, which will take place next Tuesday at OAS Headquarters in Washington, DC.

Regional conference on Central America, Panama and Dominican Republic concludes
The ministers of finance, central bank governors, and financial sector superintendents of Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic, and representatives of the IMF met in the Dominican Republic from July 26 to 27 to discuss the regional economic outlook and strategies for consolidating macroeconomic stability and sustaining higher growth. The conference focused on the possible effects on the region of prospects in the global economy; the relevance of continuing strengthening the macroeconomic and financial defenses against adverse shocks in the future; and the role of structural reforms, particularly intraregional trade, in boosting growth in the region. According to a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the meeting on Friday, “The conference took place in the context of a weakening global recovery. Global growth is expected to continue to be moderate in the coming years, threatened by downside risks, while global financial stability will remain fragile. It is expected that the region will then be confronted with moderate growth in external demand and will continue to face relatively high imported commodity prices in years to come, including oil. Participants agreed that risks to the region mainly result from a failure to sustain moderate growth in the global economy. “The resilience displayed by the economies of the region in the aftermath of the global crisis is a testament to the strengthening of policy frameworks in the years prior to the crisis. Those years’ efforts to lower fiscal deficits and public debt ratios, modernize monetary and exchange rate frameworks, and upgrade financial systems had paid off not only in mitigating the impact of the severe external shock, but also in supporting the region to operate at near capacity today. Participants agreed that more work needs to be done to rebuild the macroeconomic and financial buffers that have been used during the crisis to enhance the region’s preparedness to deal with future adverse shocks...

July 27, 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

New solid waste transfer station underway in San Pedro
Work on the construction of a garbage transfer station on Ambergris Caye has commenced in the Marina Area south of San Pedro Town. The garbage transfer station is a part of the national Solid Waste Management Project (SWMP) which will see the garbage generated on the island transferred to mainland Belize for proper disposal. The Government of Belize (GOB) proposed to implement the project over a four-year period starting in 2009. The actual project is expected to be fully functional in early 2013. After obtaining all legal licenses and permits from the Department of Environment, mangrove clearance has commenced with dredging and land fill to follow shortly thereafter. The preliminary site layout will include an administrative building with ample parking area and suitable access to the site. There will also be a transfer/loading building in which the collection trucks will discharge the garbage onto a tipping floor. It will be at that stage that recyclables contained in the garbage will be recovered by the waste pickers and bailed. A storage area will also be constructed to store the bailed recyclables recovered from the transfer loading building. There will also be a Material Drop-off Facility. Once sorted, residual garbage (garbage left after sorting) will then be barged to the mainland and hauled to mile 24 on the Western Highway at the Regional Sanitary Landfill for final disposal. Upon completion the SWMP transfer station in San Pedro Town will sit on a total of 2.5 acres of land.

UWI Students conduct the effect of Climate Change survey on San Pedro
Six students along with two professors from the University of the West Indies “Institute of International Relations” in St. Augustine Trinidad and Tobago were on the island for a little more than two weeks conducting a survey on the effect of climate change on the island. The survey was done by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) working in conjunction with the Telfer School of Management coming out of the University of Ottawa, the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute of Belize and the Coral Alliance of Belize. According to Dr. Marlon Anatol, of the UWI, the various entities joined forces and decided that they wanted to try to measure the effects of climate change on San Pedro, particularly with the rise in sea levels and floods. As a result they have come up with a research instrument which seeks to measure people’s opinion, the awareness and the general perception of climate change. The team of eight members, Dr. Raymond Mark Kirton, Dr. Marlon Anatol, Nia Nanan, Juval Daniel, Stefan Haynes, Shivonne Pariag, Kurtly Ravello and Stefan Affonso hit the streets on July 11th and wrapped up their surveying on Thursday July 26th. All students are either in the Masters or PhD Program. The team set out to conduct 1,050 surveys with individuals from the various sectors of the island, going house to house. In speaking of her experience, interviewer Nia Nanan stated, “We went house to house to find out people’s perceptions, perspectives and take on climate change and its impact on San Pedro, and a little bit of socio economic data as well. It’s been fun. San Pedro is very, very fun. Most of the people are very friendly.

Three new classrooms for SPRCS
The very over populated San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS) is receiving much needed assistance in the creation of new space for the many students that are currently in need of attending school. By the beginning of the new school year, SPRCS will boast three new classrooms. This is just the beginning of a very ambitious undertaking by Canary Cove and the San Pedro Town Council who have teamed up after a wish list was sent by the school to both entities earlier this year. The primary focus for the team is getting a new building measuring 24ft wide by 72ft long to house three new classrooms. Construction of the new building commenced on Tuesday July 24th and is expected to be completed in time for the commencement of the school year 2012-2013.

Ambergris Today

St. Peter’s College Closed Down!
St. Peter’s College has been closed by the Ministry of Education after having being in operation for the past 15 years. St. Peter’s College was forced to close down its doors on Thursday, July 19, 2012, for failing to comply with the standard rules and regulations of the Ministry of Education as it pertains to the operations of a High School. Mr. Jahmor Lopez, Manager of the Belize District Education Center along with Education Officer Mrs. Miriam Codd, were on Reef Radio’s Morning Show and explained the reason for the closure of the school as well as the immediate plan of action that the Ministry of Education has taken to allocate the students for this coming school year. According to Mr. Lopez the school had been under investigation and lead to the discovery that there were several irregularities and discrepancies into the running of the High School which were seriously taken into consideration for the closure of the school. Mr. Lopez stated that college was a specially assisted school and that even the ownership of property where the school operates is in question.

Work Commences on New Classrooms for SPRCS
The San Pedro Roman Catholic School is San Pedro’s oldest educational institution and has been operating since the 1920’s. The current building which still stands on the school ground was built in 1963 and gradually as years go by more classrooms are added since the school has an increased enrollment every year Even though the school has an enrollment of over 900 students yearly there is still a huge problem in the area that children are still out of school because of lack of space. The new San Pedro Town Council was presented with a wish list during the school visits and the school also presented a wish list to kind donors and owners of Canary Cove. In January of this year owners of Canary Cove donated a new picnic area (palapa) for the school as the previous one was mischievously burnt down over the Christmas holidays of 2011. Canary Cove also restored the bathroom facilities in the school ground. This week Ambergris Today met with Canary Cove Representative, Mr. Gil Nuñez and Councilor Gaby Nuñez to learn a bit more about a new project for the school which has commenced and is being done by Canary Cove in collaboration with the San Pedro Town Council. “A wish list was presented to both the San Pedro Town Council and the owners of Canary Cove and we will be working together to bring some much needed changes and repairs for the school,” commented Councilor Gaby Nuñez.

Misc Belizean Sources

FCD Youth Group's Eco-Bins
The Friends for Conservation and Development Environmental Youth Group has found a way to use old plastic bottles to make a durable bin. Quite amazing. They've released pictures of the process. Sell those around Cayo.

BAS' Kids Nature Photography Camp
The Belize Audubon Society had their Kid's Nature Photography Camp, and visited Cayo. You can see some pictures where they were having fun at Guanacaste National Park. "Scenes from our 2012 kids nature photography camp. Thanks to S&L Tours for their kind support for this activity."

Kurse a di Xtabai Opening at SIRH
Kurse a di Xtabai is going around Belize. The first was last weekend at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel's Bedran Hall. There was a great showing.

Benque Library Annual Summer Program
The Benque House of Culture teamed up with the Benque Library for their Summer program. "HERITAGE CULTURE FOLKLORE ANCESTOR"

Miss Belize Chantae Guy Makes Quarterfinals
For the first time, Belize has made the quarterfinals at the Miss World competition. Congratulations, Chantae Guy! "The excitement was palpable as Graeme took to the floor to brief the contestants on what was expected of them. He - alongside three other representatives of the brand - would be judging them so the representatives were keen to catch every word. He started by saying how magnificent they all looked and how he wished every single one of them could be in the show! To be selected, he asked them to tell him a catwalk story with their walk and clarified that he was looking for someone to suit his brand, and who could interpret the clothes in their own way. He finished by instructing them to ‘become actresses’ and ‘walk casually’, as though they were on a street and not in front of thousands of people! Having wished them all luck, he headed for the judges table and the audition began in earnest."

SIRH Hosts Costa Maya Contestants
Tonight the San Ignacio Resort Hotel will be welcoming the delegates of La Reina de la Costa Maya to Cayo. They'll be getting a great meal at the Running W Steakhouse. Rebecca Stirm will be one of the special invited guests.

National Cultural Policy Consultations
Looks like there was a great turnout for the National Cultural Policy Consultation at the Cahal Pech Resort. Joris and Antonio both had things to say. Thanks to ISCR and NICH for allowing such a great discourse.

Bare Pantry Pot Roast
In this video, Joe shows us how to make a true pot roast. This meat is well seasoned and and tender after cooking in a stainless steel pot in the oven. Joe shows us how he browns the beef on the stove top then cooks it in the oven.

G Adventures ‘cleans up’ Caye Caulker as part of their Glympics!!
There have been some strange antics around Raggamuffin these past two days, ending in persons seemingly covered in garbage, all in the name of sportsmanship!! G Adventures (the largest adventure tour company in Central America to pass through Caye Caulker) is celebrating the Olympics by participating their very own Glympics. Just like the five rings of the Olympics they have five core values at G – Embrace the Bizarre, Do the Right Thing, We Love Changing Peoples Lives, Lead with Service, Create Happiness and Community). The whole G Nation, from Africa to Asia and to Central America are posting video or photos on Twitter about what these core values mean to them. G Adventures basecamp in Toronto will be giving out bronze, silver or gold medals to each photo or video. We will see which part of the world will win the Glympics. Here in Caye Caulker, two G Adventures groups participated in an island cleaning competition. The game: Pick up as much trash as you can in half an hour and then: Decorate your CEO (Tour Leader) with that trash. Both groups competed hard and both CEO’s (Zema and Luis) ended up being covered in trash – but in the end and there does have to be a winner, Zema’s group won for their creativity. The Village Council truthfully do a fantastic job of keeping the island and particularly the front of Caye Caulker clean, however, the more residential areas are really the responsibility of locals and these are the areas that need the assistance – therefore this was the focus of the clean up! All in all 10 bags of trash were picked up in just a few hours, so it sends a huge message to their passengers and locals alike that we need to take care of how we dispose our trash! Caye Caulker is a beautiful place and G Adventures passengers helped keep it that way yesterday – THANK YOU G ADVENTURES! To follow their CEO’s and staff around the world by following #Glympics on Twitter!

'Hopkins Day' celebrated this weekend in Belize
The intense beating of drums followed by singing and dancing will welcome you as you enter the sleepy fishing village of Hopkins in Belize. Hopkins Day is this weekend and everyone is invited, this Friday to Sunday, July 27 – 29, 2012. “Hopkins Day” celebrates the existence one of Belize’s villages known for its Garifuna culture and golden beaches. Reva Dark of BTIA Hopkins shared, “2012 marks the 71st year of the arrival of the Garifuna to Hopkins, and Hopkins Day has been celebrated since 1990.” It is a festival that grows every year. “Aside from locals, more and more Belizeans from the Diaspora come home to join in the festivities.” The celebrations will kick off with opening ceremonies on Friday night. The night will showcase various cultural activities, and there will be plenty to eat and drink. On Saturday, experience the “Battle of the Drums”, along with a number of entertaining games like dancing and eating contests. The night will come alive with a “Punta Fest” that ensures to have everyone dancing the night away. Bands from all over the country are expected to participate. On Sunday, the village will host a family day where everyone can relax and just enjoy being with their families. 2012 marks the 12th year Hopkins Day has been celebrated. Everyone is invited to join in the celebrations and one of Belize’s growing tourist destinations.

VIDEO: Discover Scuba - For non certified divers who want to see the reef
If you want to find out but aren't quite ready to take the plunge into a certification course, Discover Scuba Diving will let you try scuba to see if you like it.

Channel 7

Kumbaya Time! Pol Ass'n, Compol And Ministry Kiss and Make Up!
Last week, the leaders of the police association broke out into the media mainstream with unprecedented candor and defiance - and when we left you last night, the association had been dismantled and those leaders were on interdiction facing disciplinary charges. Justice - if you can call it that - was swift, deliberate and, a tad cruel. This morning the minister of National Security explained that it is what had to be done:.. Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "I don't know if it's about speaking out for the police officers. Our position is clear - the police act as well as the constitution of Belize forbids police officers and members of the discipline forces which includes the Coast Guard and the BDF from belonging to unions or from carrying any union type activity. So that is our position and so we believe that what the association and others are lobbying for in terms of giving them full industrial relations rights is just not allowable under the constitution and the police act." Daniel Ortiz "Sir, bit they have simply just come out and explain that certain transfers were rushed through. I mean they have not agitated for any industrial action." Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "I imagine that when you call for the head of the commissioner and you publicly state that he is incompetent - that is allowable and that should be allowed from officers who under his command? You have difficulty with that? I do."

Belize Advisory Council Tells BDF: Reinstate Dep. Commander Castellanos
Last year October, 42 guns were stolen from the BDF Price Barracks Compound and two months later, the Deputy Commander of the BDF, Colonel (Cornel) Javier Castellanos was summarily dismissed from the BDF by the Security Services Commission. The second in charge of the BDF, gone, just like that: no press release issued, no public announcement made, even Castellanos was never told why he was discharged. He appealed his dismissal to the Belize Advisory Council where his attorney Godfrey Smith argued that he was dismissed without being given any real reason, and without being given a chance to rebut any allegation against him. Well, the Belize Advisory Council met on July 13th to consider Castellanos's appeal - and they agreed with Smith. The five member body voted - unanimously, we are told - to set aside the decision of the Security Services Commission. In a letter dated July 24th , the Council orders that, quote, "Col Castellanos is to be reinstated as Deputy with all benefits," end quote. It's a remarkable reversal or fortune and a sharp come uppance for the brass in the Ministry of National Security. Castellanos told us today that he is elated and relieved to have his position vindicated by the Belize Advisory Council. But, not so fast…Castellanos shouldn't start ironing those military fatigues and spit shining those officers' shoes just yet.

Foreign Minister Elrington Defends OAS
Even for a public figure stewed in the mud of everyday political discourse - it's probably not easy to tolerate being called a Judas and a Traitor. That's what Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington got called yesterday when COLA staged a small but powerfully symbolic protest in front of the OAS Local Office. They ended by burning up images of Elrington and printouts of the OAS flag. Today Elrington told us he isn't bothered by it - and he explained why in this interview:.. Jules Vasquez "It has to pain you in some way to see your name drag into the public discourse as Judas and traitor?" Hon. Wilfred "Sedi" Elrington - Minister of Foreign Affairs "Actually it doesn't Jules, as I indicated earlier to you this morning, it is not what I am called that bothers me, it is who does the name calling. People are very free to express their views and it is the easiest thing to call people unpleasant names." Jules Vasquez "They think that you are not taking a staunch and stout stand for Belize in the name of Belize in this entire press release affair. It indicates that you are not heart and soul for the job."

Two Boys Crushed Under Collapsed Home
Tonight a young boy is fighting for his life at the KHMH. Little 10 year old Briton (Brighton) Cordova is on life support after a house collapsed on him this morning. The child suffered a cardiac arrest and severe head trauma. The incident happened in Orange Walk Town on Yo Creek Street around 9 this morning. 10 year old Briton Cordova along with another boy, 7 year old Jova Griffith were playing with a pair of puppies under their house when it toppled off its stilts. Luckily the house was very low in the first place, only two to three feet off the ground - so the fall was not that great but it still trapped the two children underneath. With help from the neighbors, the children were rescued and rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital where 7 year old Jova was treated for bruises on his foot. 10 year old Briton Cordova was in a critical state and had to be rushed to the KHMH. 7news caught up with the child's mother who told us his condition. She asked to appear off camera:.. Voice of: Mother of Briton Cordova "We got up this morning but we were still in the room when I heard that the house began to crack and we jumped up but I heard my baby cry downstairs and we heard silence and that's when we knew that he was downstairs."

CWU and The Social Security Board Finally Agree!
For the past five years the Christian Workers Union has been trying to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with the SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD. And finally today - after so much back and forth - including low grade industrial action, and dozens of threats of industrial action, they signed a new collective bargaining agreement. We spoke to the leaders of the Christian Workers Union who told us they are relieved that a protracted and strenuous negotiation is finally over:.. Antonio Gonzalez - President, CWU "This is the document that we just signed. It is an agreement between Social Security Board and the Christian Workers Union. It's from July 1st to the 31st December, 2013. What we have learned is this and I think that they have also learned in any negotiations you have to give and take and this is whereby they were more or less adamant with certain positions to the extent due to the frustrated process." James McFoy - General Secretary, CWU "What I would like to say to management in the future is that please this is a union of dialogue and let us dialogue, let us understand because if you are refusing to meet with us then our members will pressure us and then in turn we have to pressure where the pressure comes from. That is our position."

FCD/BDF Will Arrest Gold Panners
All this week, we've been telling you about the 20 Guatemalans found panning for gold in the Chiquibul. It's a serious, organized incursion and the Friends for Conservation and development which co-manages the national park estimates that there could be as many as 300 Guatemalans looking for gold along the Ceibo Chico Creek. Representatives of FCD came to Belize today for the monthly meeting of enforcement agencies at the BDF Headquarters. Rafael Manzanero tells us the decision has been taken to start rounding up the gold-panners and charging them for illegal entry. He says it's the next phase of operations:.. Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director - FCD "It has already spiral, we have already pass through that already. We know that the word out there in Guatemala is that there is gild in the Chiquibul, so once that becomes widespread is already the condition then we should be prepared really of ensuring that there can be a rigorous and a bold movement in terms of containing it. So now the next stage is now that people encountered will subsequently be take out from there in being detained and hopefully to be charged successfully." Jules Vasquez "Is that practical? We know that place is in one of the remotest regions of the country. You would have to take them back to San Ignacio to be charged?"

Pol Minister Visits Critical Corporal Lima
Corporal Victor Lima, was shot in the line of duty while responding to a home invasion in Hattieville on Tuesday. He was shot twice in the chest, and tonight, he remains in the critical condition at the KHMH. Well, the police department is monitoring Lima's fragile condition very closely, and today, Police Minister Saldivar visited him in the hospital. Here's what he told us about Lima's condition, and about the Department's intention to support for the family. Daniel Ortiz "We were made to understand that you have intentions of taking a visit to the officer that was injured in the line of duty." Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "Yes, as soon as you allow me I will be heading out that way and yes the police department will do all it can do assist the family. We are certainly proud of his valiant effort in carrying out his duties and we will stand by him." Marion Ali, reporter "In the absence for insurance for police officers and their lives, in instances like these what is available to them through the department?"

Minister: Karol Mello Go Home!
Alleged Slovakian Mafia Boss and Belizean Permanent Resident Karol Mello continues to languish in jail pending an expulsion order which was issued to him on July 16th. A "habeas corpus" hearing has been set for next week where his attorney Godfrey Smith is demanding that he be brought before the court - on the argument that he is being wrongfully detained. Today, we spoke to Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse who told us what the Government's position on Mello is:... Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration "Of course as you know I signed the order and the order after proper consultation with the director of immigration, the police and everybody else's concern and we are hoping to enforce the order." Jules vasquez "But then why didn't you all expel him on the 16th when the order was issued?" Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration "There is a little complication there in terms of how it was done. It should have been done on that day. There was a glitch with the police I understand and how it was done and the attorneys for him were able to get the court to get a restraining order against us but let me make this clear to the Belizean public - it is my view and this is my view that any person who is not a citizen of Belize who is a permanent resident of Belize who is requested by his government - the government of which he holds a passport and of which he is citizen and as long as it is a legitimate government - it not some government that we have any difficulty with who says that he is accused of some crime or otherwise it is our view that he should actually be exonerated by his peers, so he should face the music, to use a clear word. After that he is happy to come back to Belize to resume his residency. That is my candid view. I don't think that we are in a position to suggest to a sovereign government that their citizen should not be returned to their country. We don't have any extradition orders with that country, but Lord man, if it was a Belizean who was accused of doing something here and he fled to another country we would want him back here to stand trial basically."

CEMO Puts On Show for NEMO
We caught up with Minister Hulse at a meeting of the City Emergency Management Organization, CEMO. He's also the NEMO Minister - and CEMO's coordinator in the city, Councilor Phillip Willoughby told us why he wanted the NEMO to know the full details of disaster planning for the country's largest population center. Councilor Willoughby explained and we took it from there:.. Phillip Willoughby, Councilor "This entire presentation was just to show the ministry and the country and Belize City proper that we are ready for a disaster." Jules Vasquez "But are we ready councilor? We only have shelter for 6,300 people. The city has 5,300 and 8,000 more are coming in from the islands." Phillip Willoughby, Councilor "Yes but there are procedures and there are terms of reference that guide us how to deal with those people or those individuals, so there isn't any problem in terms of evacuating the city. Who would normally show up and go to a shelter would normally do so and who will evacuate will evacuate and we have up to this point heard any complaints from citizenry to make any adjustments."

Hon. Hulse Says He'll Sue
And while we had Hulse in front of the camera, we had to ask him about a report we read in the Belize Times three weeks ago. The article is entitled "Godwin Hustler???" and alleges that in June, three months after becoming Minister, Hulse acquired 100 acres of land in the Belize River Valley for 25 thousand dollars. Now, Hulse, a hustler? Well, that's enough to make your brown eyes blue - and so we asked him about it today - and he shot back an emphatic "no!" Here's how that exchange went:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse "I stand on my integrity 100% and nobody in this country or anywhere is going to mess with it. I've have already instructed our attorneys to demand of the Belize Times a front-page retraction and if they don't then they will feel the weight of the legal system on them. The last time I went to the Ministry of Lands to deal with any transaction was in 1990. That was a private transaction involving BTL. I have never been to the Ministry of Lands, not since I am a minister. I have not spoken to the minister of lands outside of Cabinet interactions we have. I don't even know where his office is and so unless they can prove this parcel of land well they are in hot water. I can declare as I have always declared the parcels of lands I have, yes I have lands in the Belize River Valley, I've farmed them for years and everybody knows that." Today's Belize Times did not feature a front page retraction.

The Other Police Problem
In an update to the Police Association story, we have now received the press release from the Ministry of National Security. According to the release, the leaders of the Police Association have apologized to the Commissioner of Police, and the Minister of National Security for the manner in which they publicly ventilated those issues. According to the Ministry, the Association has agreed to operate in line with the rules and in line with the Police Act. The Ministry goes on to say that the Commissioner of Police has decided to withdraw the charges, and he has expressed regret at the breakdown in communication. There is also an undertaking in the works which will see the Police Act revised to enable the Association to quote, "function more effectively without surpassing the legal boundaries afforded to it by law privileges or power akin to those afforded to a Union." End quote. The release ends by saying that the Association agrees that it cannot be allowed to act like a union, but models in the Caribbean are being looked at to be possibly adopted. And while the Police Association dispute has been resolved, another issue is coming to the fore. An unsigned letter emailed to media houses, alleges that officers attached to the Belize City Patrol Branch are actually working in the Punishment Branch - and that's mainly because they are now working 12 hour shifts. The letter complains that the scheduling of shifts are reportedly over-working and some officers because they are forced to work 6 and 7-day weeks.

Ugly Sight As Oil Covered Turtle Found Near Hol Chan
There is a disturbing report coming out of the San Pedro Sun. The paper's website reports that a turtle covered in oil was found floating in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve off Ambergris Caye. On Tuesday, a group of divers on encountered the juvenile Green Sea Turtle along the channel at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. It was rescued and handed over to park rangers in the area. The green turtle, believed to be between two to three years old, was smothered with thick black crude oil and inside the turtle's mouth was also filled with oil. The turtle was fatigued and unable to move. The Sun reports that Biologists at Hol Chan suspect that there may have been an oil spill or natural seepage that has not been reported. Those at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve are hoping that the green turtle fully recovers from its ordeal. This is the first time that Hol Chan Marine Reserve has recorded a marine animal covered in oil.

Cross Country Songbirds
Birds are known for their long flights across continents according to the weather patterns, but the North American songbirds precise movements have now been tracked. According to a York University Study, 200 songbirds were outfitted with 1.5 gram geolocator "backpack" since 2007, and data was collected on their flight travel habits. The impressive thing about these songbirds is that they leave Central America mid-April every year and arrive two to three weeks later in the Northeastern US. According to data, the songbirds make a round trip from Nicaragua, Honduras and Belize to Canada and then ending northeastern US. The birds spend the winter months in Nicaragua, and they return to their breeding grounds in Canada for the summer.

The Product Of What Rowan Raised
The Belize Council for the Visually Impaired 16th annual summer camp came to an end today. Over 30 students who attended the camp had an opportunity to showcase what they have done over the past 2 weeks. It was all smiles from the children and 7news got to capture it. Carla Musa - Communications Officer - BCVI "Today we are having our summer camp open day and we had a little AGM so that everyone can be up to date on what we've been doing for the past year. We have all our kids here from throughout the country, so we have about 35 children who are in our summer camp area right now and what we wanted to do was to let everyone who have heard about BCVI - everyone who provided support to make the camp possible - we wanted to invite them in to be able to see what they've actually made possible whether it's through the artwork, through the computer programs and the computer classes or through their brail and reading and writing. Everyone is just mingling right now and getting to meet the kids." "This year summer camp like I said has 35 children and we split the groups because it was a bigger group that we had last year. We had about 80 people total whether it was children, guardians and staff members - we have half of the group at the Lion's Den at Princess Margaret Drive and the other half over at Stella Maris. They were split up by age. We were able to provide more individualize support per group, so we did braille typewriting classes, reading classes, math, art, computers and we had a lot of field trips as well."

Let The Games Begin!
And before we leave you tonight, just a programming note. Channel 7's exclusive coverage of the 2012 London Olympics starts tomorrow morning at 4:30 am with women's soccer. The highlite of the day will be the opening ceremonies which you will see live at 2:00 pm. Through and arrangement with the IMC media group out of Jamaica, channel 7 will air international coverage with a Caribbean emphasis, Caribbean commentators and no North American bias. And that means that you can watch tomorrow's opening ceremonies in the certainty that no commercial break will be taken when the Belize contingent walks into the stadium. We'll have coverage Virtually around the clock - so you can watch anytime. Those who like the NBC coverage can watch on cable - through a special arrangement we have reached with the cable operators association.

Channel 5

A house collapses in Orange Walk; 10 year old boy critically injured
Two children were injured today in a freak accident up north. Ten year old Brithon Cordova is in critical condition while his nephew, seven year old Jovuan was more fortunate and sustained minor injuries when their house crashed on them. The accident happened on San Martin Street in Orange Walk Town this morning when Brithon [...]

Belize Advisory Council orders reinstatement of Col. Javier Castellans
There is justice for Colonel Javier Castellanos. Seven months after he was removed from the Belize Defence Force as Deputy Commandant, Castellanos has been cleared by the Belize Advisory Council and re-instated to return to post as second in command at the B.D.F. He heads to the Ministry of National Security in Belmopan this Friday, [...]

Police Association and the Ministry clear the air
Tonight, it appears that the dust has settled between the Belize Police Association and the Police Department. On Wednesday, the president of the Association, Corporal Eldon Arzu and its vice president, Sergeant Edlin Lorenzo, appeared before a tribunal where they were arraigned for disrespecting their superiors and for disobeying a command. The two had fallen [...]

Illegal gold mining ring is suspected to involve over 300 Guatemalans
Belize’s natural resources are under sustained threat. In the Chiquibul, incursions by Guatemalan nationals to illegally log, extract xate and poach for exotic birds are escalating. There is now news that about three hundred Guatemalans are panning for gold. It takes a bit less work than logging, and it fetches more on the market, so [...]

C.W.U. and S.S.B. finally pen Collective Bargaining Agreement
After years of back and forth, today the Christian Workers Union signed a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Social Security Board. Following the lengthy negotiations, President of the C.W.U., Antonio Gonzalez, says that they achieved at least seventy-five percent of what they had originally proposed and will continue to negotiate on other benefits. But for [...]

P.U.P. condemns last minute House Meeting announcements
The P.U.P. is condemning the lack of adequate notice for Friday’s House sitting. According to the P.U.P., members of the opposition received notice of Friday’s meeting on Tuesday and a bare agenda on Wednesday. The party is railing up that the government is hiding behind the so called special meetings to prevent the opposition from [...]

Fisherman says he was detained after a raid that yielded nothing
A fisherman of Alligator Head Caye in Southern Belize is complaining that the Belize Coast Guard reportedly carried out two raids at his house on the island. According to Jamaal Tablada, he went out to the Caye on July twelfth with three employees and four kids. He says that as they arrived, he noticed a [...]

Accused cop shooter faces 6 criminal charges
Thirty year old Delford Slusher is accused of shooting police corporal Victor Lima, during a home invasion in Hattieville on Tuesday night. In court this morning, Slusher was slapped with six charges when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. The charges levied against him are Attempted Murder, Use of Deadly Means of Harm and [...]

One of two suspects is charged for armed robbery on Elston Kerr Street
A man was held up, pistol whipped and robbed in his yard on Monday night and tonight one of two suspects is behind bars. The victim is twenty-nine year old Elston Kerr Street resident, Godwin Samuel Straughan, who reported that at around eight-thirty, two men arrived at his house. One of the assailants, who was [...]

CEMO presents disaster plans to NEMO Minister and Coordinator
The City Emergency Management Organization, CEMO, the municipal arm of the National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO, is gearing up for any disaster this season. This morning, a presentation was held at City Hall where the disaster preparedness and relief plan were discussed. The CEMO team outlined various hurricane shelters across the city, their capacity, as [...]

BCVI’s summer camp; fun and education for visually impaired kids
Special needs students from primary and high schools from all corners of the jewel have been camping in Belize City. They have been attending the annual summer camp of the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired which, in addition to providing them with an outlet for fun and education, prepares them for the upcoming school [...]

Crimestoppers partners with Central Assembly of God for Summer Camp
Not far away, over two hundred children have been attending the Central Assembly of God’s summer camp. The students were engaged in the creative and performing arts for the past three days under a partnership with Crimestoppers Belize and members of Orchard Assembly. Organizer, Phillipa Herrera says that this year’s camp seeks to bridge social [...]

The medical perspective on decriminalizing marijuana possession
You will have heard by now of a proposal to decriminalize the possession of a small quantity of marijuana. The pros and cons of this proposal have been and will continue to be debated; and there are strong arguments on both sides. The recreational and medicinal use are separate and distinct issues; this week, Healthy [...]


Two young children are hospitalized in a critical condition at the northern regional hospital after they were trapped underneath their house that collapsed over them. Around 8:30 this morning neighbors of St. Martin Street in the Marcus Canul area of Orange Walk town heard a cras...

A twenty seven year old man is recovering from gunshot wounds he sustained last night in Corozal Town. Police responded to a call after nine last night and found Corozal Town resident Mark Massam Jr. being treated for four gunshot wounds at the Corozal Community Hospital. Acc...

Five persons are injured after a trailer tractor that they were travelling in, was hit from behind by an eighteen wheeler trailer truck. Correspondent Fem Cruz Reports FEM CRUZ, Reporter “Yesterday Wednesday, July 25 sometime around 12 PM between miles 35...

Two separate fires reported in Dangriga on Wednesday night.. Harry Arzu Reports HARRY ARZU, Reporter “The National Fire Service, Dangriga Branch responded to two separate fires that occurred on Wednesday, July 25 in this municipality. The first incident o...

On Wednesday morning the group Citizens Organized for Liberty through action staged a mini protest in front of the OAS office on blue Marlin Drive in Belize City. The intention was to send a message that the group is not happy with statements attributed to the Secretary General of the ...

People who have been hoping to one day become land owners may have that chance very soon. This is through new efforts by the Belize Grass Roots Youth Empowerment Association, BGYEA, to locate more land for distribution at affordable prices to people. Today BGYEA&...

The House of Representatives will meet in Belmopan on Friday. The majority of the items on the agenda have to do with finances and include the introduction of Bills to amend the Customs and Excise Duties Act to adjust the rates of customs duties on certain items consequent upon t...

A juvenile Green Sea Turtle was rescued in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve this week and is currently undergoing rehabilitation. According to reports reaching the RSV News Centre, the sea turtle was found on Tuesday afternoon, completely covered by what appears to be petroleum tar.&n...

A number of summer camps throughout the country have been keeping school children busy during their vacations. However an organization called Belize Camping Experience gets busy throughout the year to raise funds for the camps they facilitate. The non-profit, non-governmental, Ch...

American Sugar Refining’s proposal to acquire between 80 to 85 percent shares in Belize Sugar Industries is yet to be finalized. 81. 29% of the shares are owned by BSI Employees Holding Trust, the remaining is owned by Tate & Lyle and the Government of Belize owns a minority ...

Last week representatives of the Belize Police Association appeared on Love FM’s Morning Show to publicize issues that police officers have with the Police Department as it relates to police officers’ welfare. One of the areas that the President of the Association, Co...


Corporal Arzu and Sergeant Edlin Lorenzo Charged For Disrespecting A Senior Officer
Corporal Eldon Arzu and Detective Sergeant Edlin Lorenzo have been very vocal in representing the Police Association regarding the rushed transfers of police officers across the country. Arzu is the acting president of the association while Lorenzo is the vice president and both men have been placed on interdiction by the Commissioner of Police, David Henderson. Lorenzo and Arzu are being charged with disrespecting a senior officer and the Police Association has being dismantled by COMPOL. We understand that both men are seeking legal advice in the latest disciplinary actions by the Police Department. In last night’s newscast we brought to you the public support the National Trade Union Congress of Belize expressed in solidarity for the Police Association. In a press release issued by the NTUCB, the umbrella association for all unions, it is calling on the commissioner and the Minister of Police to step in and resolve the issue. We note that the police association is not a union and by law cannot be a union but nonetheless the NTUCB has expressed, and we quote, "Threatening the members of the Police Association and seeking to dismantle the Association is clearly the current response of the Ministry of Police. From the NTUCB's perspective, this cannot and will not be accepted nor tolerated." End of quote. We attempted to contact the offices of the NTUCB today but all efforts for futile. We will bring to you any new developments in this story.


COLA pickets OAS office; Foreign Affairs CEO says its all a big misunderstanding
The group Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action today turned up the heat, literally on the Organization of American States and Belize’s foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington. The group today staged a mini-protest in front of the offices of the OAS in Belize City. Love Tv’s Patrick Jones and Videographer Myles Gillett bring you the details in the following report. Late this evening Love News spoke via telephone with the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Alexis Rosado who explained that the whole issue of the statements attributed to the OAS Secretary General was an unfortunate misunderstanding that has been worked out to the satisfaction of Belmopan. That was the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Alexis Rosado. A high level vice-ministerial level meeting between Belize and Guatemala is schedule for early next week at the OAS Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

NTUCB throws its support behind the embattled Police Association
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize is putting its full support behind the embattled Belize Police Association. NTUCB issued a statement on Thursday pledging solidarity with the Association in its mission to protect and secure the rights and advancement of decent work for all police officers. Today, the president of the NTUCB Dylan Reneau told Love News that the umbrella organization is prepared to take to the streets in support of the police association. Love News has confirmed that the president of the Police Association Corporal Eldon Arzu and his vice president Sergeant Edlin Lorenzo were both placed on interdiction on Tuesday. As we have reported previously, the Commissioner of Police David Henderson has revoked the privileges of the Police Association, which, according to the law, exists at the discretion of the office of the Commissioner. Reneau says the actions by the Commissioner and the Ministry of National Security could be viewed as showing a police high command out of touch with the rank and file. By law, police officers are not allowed to join a union. Reneau says that is a part of the changes the NTUCB would like to see as the men and women of law enforcement need to be able to agitate for betterment, without being victimized. The NTUCB president says he encourages the Police Association to continue to agitate for the changes they are so very much in need of. The logistics of Saturday’s protest march have not yet been finalized and Reneau says that appropriate announcement will be made via the media in the coming days so that the general public can join in support of the Police Association.

Police officers brought up on disciplinary charges
Two police officers who are former members of the now disbanded Belize Police Association today made their first appearance before a police tribunal. President of the Association Corporal Eldon Arzu and his vice president Sergeant Edlin Lorenzo were both placed on interdiction on Tuesday and ordered before the tribunal today to face disciplinary charges stemming from their media appearance last week challenging the transfer of police officers and other matters relating to officers welfare within the department. Officials of the Ministry of National Security have been tight-lipped about the tribunal saying it is an internal matter for the police department; but sources tell Love News that both Corporal Arzu and Sergeant Lorenzo today pleaded not guilty to the charges they were brought up on. As we understand it, Sergeant Lorenzo’s hearing has been adjourned until Tuesday, August seventh; while his colleague Corporal Arzu will reappear before the tribunal two days later on Thursday, August ninth. Love News will continue to follow this developing story.

The YWCA gets much needed program assistance
The YWCA has for many years focused on training women to make successful persons out of them. The organization however has taken an interest in helping young men achieve a better life. Consequently the YWCA’s Enterprise Creation and Extracurricular Development Project was launched this morning at the YWCA headquarters on St. Thomas Street. The project is made possible by a grant from the United States Embassy, funded by the Central American Regional Security Initiative CARSI. At the launching ceremony this morning, President of YWCA, Sheree Smiling-Craig spoke of the achievements of her organization. Guest Speaker, U.S. Ambassador to Belize, Vinai Thummalapally said that the American Embassy has a long history of collaborating with the YWCA. The gratitude for the donation was also shared by Deborah Arnold currently enrolled and has completed one year in the H.E.L.P Program and Steve Geynair who recently signed up for the Barber program. Thummalapally presented the two hundred thousand dollar cheque to Craig during the ceremonies this morning. The Vote of thanks was shared by YWCA board member Ann-Marie Williams and notably present were the Ambassador of Mexico to Belize Mario Velasquez and woman of the year 2012 awardee Rita Coleman.

San Pedro school forced to close its doors
After fifteen years of operation in San Pedro Town, St. Peter’s School was forced to shut down last week. Love Tv’s Marion Ali and Videographer Brian Castillo travelled to the island to investigate the motive of the shut down. Here’s the story.

Case of DFC versus the Villanuevas continues in the Supreme Court
The case of the Development Finance Corporation versus Rene Villanueva, Senior and Rene Villanueva Junior continues to meander through the Supreme Court. The suit was brought against the Villanuevas, who are owners of this television station, by the DFC as claimants against Cahal Pech Limited. The case is being heard before Justice Oswal Legal and today, following legal arguments from both sides, the judge has set Friday, September fourteenth as the deadline for the submission of written arguments after which he will he handing down his decision. The Villanuevas are being represented by Senior Counsel Michael Young and Melissa Balderamos Mahler while the Development Finance Corporation is being represented by Darlene Vernon of Michel Chebat and Company.

Belize City man is the victim of a shooting incident
Meanwhile there was another shooting incident last night, this time in Belize City. It happened about an hour before Corporal Lima was critically wounded in Hattieville. The police press officer gave reporters the details of the Belize City shooting. No one has been arrested but police say that just one day before this incident Darwin reported an aggravated assault against a woman. The police are further investigating the incident to see if there may be any connection between the aggravated assault report and the shooting incident.

Police officer injured in the line of duty
A police officer was injured in the line of duty last night. It happened around ten o’clock last night in Hattieville village. The victim has been identified as Corporal Victor Lima who is assigned to the Hattieville police substation. According to police press officer, Corporal Lima was responding to reports of a home invasion in the village and that he came under attack as he arrived at the scene. Inspector Yearwood told reporters at an impromptu press conference in Belize City that Corporal Lima was struck twice in the chest when the gunman opened fire on him. Corporal Lima remains in a critical condition at the KHMH. The man believed to have pulled the trigger on Corporal Lima has been identified as thirty year old Delford Slusher, a fisherman and farmer of mile 17 and a half on the Western Highway. Slusher was charged with the offence of kept ammunition without a gun license when he appeared today in the number six Magistrate’s Court. Slusher pleaded not guilty to the charge. Magistrate Hurl Hamilton explained to him that the court cannot offer him bail because of the nature of the offence. He remanded Slusher into custody until August 30. The Police reported that when they searched Slusher’s house shortly before midnight on July 24, they found 2 live rounds of 9 millimetre caliber ammunition. Slusher has also been charged with attempted murder for the shooting of police corporal Victor Lima but he has not been arraigned on that charge as yet.


Minister Saldivar comments on friction within Police ranks
Minister John Saldivar has gone on record stating that the President and vice-president of the Belize Police Associ...

Measures being taken for border security
Of recent there has been a boost in reports of incursions at the Western border of Belize by Guatemalans – whether ...

Cracking down on tint laws
The new law regulating the tint on your car became effective June 1, 2011. If your vehicle windows are too dark, it...

GOB/Oceana case adjourned until August
Oceana Belize, Cola and the Belize Coalition were back in court yesterday. On July 5 of this month the appellants a...

Belmopan CITCO regulating city's taxi service
The Taxi service is utilized by commuters, tourist and Belizeans in general. Here in the City of Belmopan majority ...

Minister says give shift system a chance
A letter has been circulating and has reach the media – it’s entitled “Belize Police Department – patrol branch aka...

Shooting victim in hospital, under Police watch
A Corozal man is shot whilst hanging out by the sea. Last night (July 25) around 9:30m Police visited the Corozal C...

One fire engine, two separate house fires in Dangriga
Authorities are tonight investigating two separate house fires in Dangriga Town. They both occurred last night arou...

Woman expected to be charged for shooting
Our story last night on the shooting of Darwin Lodge had more to it than was given. The story goes that Lodge alleg...

VIP wants justice for Police Association
In a press release the VIP has declared that they are in Solidarity with the Belize Police Association. The release...

House to assemble for special meet
A Special Sitting of the House of Representatives is set for Friday July 27 at 10 a.m. The People’s United Party ha...

Skiff reported stolen
YVES JEAN LE BELTON, is a 72 year old US retiree from Houston Texas and resident at Casa Blanca Mata Grande Resort ...

The Guardian

Police Corporal Shot in the line of duty
At about 10 p.m. on Tuesday, July 24, Hattieville Police responded to a report of an aggravated burglary in progress at the residence of Shakira Smith. Smith and a 17-year-old minor were at home when a man known to them as “Peter” entered the house and held them up at gunpoint. According to a source close to the family, the man asked where is the “kilo” and proceeded to search the house. It was at this time that police arrived. As the officers entered the house, the burglar opened fire at them. Corporal Victor Lima was struck by bullets twice, to the chest. Lima was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memmorial Hospital where he remains in a critical and serious condition. The other officers proceeded to apprehend 30-year-old Delford Slusher. According to police, Slusher was found with two rounds of 9 mm ammunition. He was arrested and charged with keeping unlicensed ammunition and attempted murder. Slusher appeared in the Belize City Magistrates Court shortly after 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 25, to answer to the ammunition charge. He pled not guilty to the offense. Since it is an ammunition charge, bail could not be granted. In addition, Slusher will serve 3 months in prison after it was discovered that he owes the court $350 from a drug possession conviction. Slusher is expected to return to court to answer to the charge of attempted murder upon Police Corporal Victor Lima. According to our source, Smith has been so traumatized by the incident that she refuses to return home. Slusher has six previous convictions for drug related offenses and presently has a huge drug trafficking case before the Court.

Belize Times sued for Yellow Journalism
The Belize Times was this week served with at least one lawsuit after it published an article entitled "UDP Land Hogs". Well, for their so called article the Slimes was served with a lawsuit after it libeled multiple persons including the Mayor of Belize City, Darrell Bradley. Mayor Bradley, a trained attorney, told the Guardian that as a result of the front page article, which appeared in the July 22nd edition of the Belize Times, he is suing the newspaper for libel. The Mayor says that the newspaper is liable to pay thousands of dollars as they misrepresented the manner in which he obtained the land that they wrote about. But Mayor Bradley is not the only person who was libeled; there are a number of government ministers and CEOs who, like the Mayor were libeled. A bit of advice for the Slimes, get ready for a slew of lawsuits, which may end up closing that political rag of a paper for good.

$20 Million City Bond
Mayor Darrell Bradley and the Belize City Council are pressing ahead with the issue of a 20-million-dollar municipal bond, which will be used for infrastructure development in Belize City. According to Mayor Bradley, the issue of a municipal bond is unprecedented not only in Belize, but in the entire Caribbean. Even so, Bradley held a press conference on Monday, July 23rd, in which he expressed great enthusiasm at the prospect of issuing the bond. The bond, he says, will be issued in two tranches; the first will be comprised of two issues; one being for 3 million dollars bearing interest between 3.5 and 4.5 percent for 2 years. The second issue on the first tranche will be for 7 million dollars for 5 years and bearing interest at between 4.5 and 5.5 percent. The second tranche will be for 10 million dollars for 8 years and will bear interest at between 5.5 and 7.5 percent. According to Ervin Perez of Legacy Fund, the company that is in charge of the bond issue, they have been aggressively marketing the bond and so far, there has been great interest in it. They have taken the investment opportunity to financial institutions, as well as insurance companies and the Social Security Board, and the reception has been overwhelming. Mayor Bradley says that the prospectus will be prepared by the middle of August and within a week of that release, they expect to have sold off the first 3-million-dollar portion of the bond. Bradley said that the Bond program is designed in such a way that the average Belizean will be able to invest and as such, they will be offering bond certificates in 200-dollar denominations. For the two issues of the first tranche, payments to holders are proposed for February and August of each year for the life of the bond while the second tranche will see payments in May and November. And for those who choose to invest in the bond, both Bradley and Perez guarantee payment to the holders. A sinking fund will be established, which will be financed through existing secure revenue streams that include government's yearly subvention to the council as well as the BTB's head tax that is paid to the Council. These two revenue streams will secure the first tranche of the bond. The second tranche will be secured by asset-backed collateral and the Council is looking at putting the Commercial Center and the NICH parking lot on Regent Street as that collateral. Speaking at the bond presentation, Mayor Bradley pointed out that there is a need for it since the council's revenue is tied up mostly in salaries and sanitation. He said that 70 percent of the revenue is taken up by these two expenses. He noted that with the issue of the bond, the Council will have more financing to do a lot more streets. Currently, the Council has done work on 14 streets at a cost of $939,356.03. Work will now commence on Freetown and Barrack Roads parts of Princess Margaret Drive and the intersection of Ceasar Ridge Road and Central American Boulevard. This will be financed through internal council revenues. The bond will be used to 10 other streets in the city including Craig Street, Hyde's Lane, Cran Street, North Front Street, New Road, Mapp Street, Douglas Jones Street, Wilson Street, Sixth Street, Mex Avenue and Allenby Street.

$30 Reduction in Butane Prices
Customers now enjoy a decrease in the cost of butane On Thursday, July 19th, the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection announced that it has negotiated a significant decrease in the retail price of Butane to the public.

Belize Represented At CCT Meeting In Nicaragua
Contingent to CCT meeting Belize City, Belize – Thursday, July 19, 2012 A contingent of four tourism delegates represented Belize at the 85th ordinary meeting of the Central American Tourism Council (CCT) on July 11th - 12th 2012. The series of meetings were held at the Hotel Camino Real in Managua, Nicaragua. The 85th Ordinary Meeting is a conference geared towards technical tourism meetings and a general meeting for the Tourism Ministers of Central America. Belize was represented by Tracy Panton and Valdemar Andrade of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Alyssa Carnegie and Lenny Ayuso of the BTB.

Corozal South East Reorganizes
Hon. Patrick Faber and members of new executive committee for the Corozal South East Constituency The United Democratic Party's Chairman, Hon. Patrick Faber was in Calcutta Village on Sunday, July 22nd, for the purpose of selecting a new executive committee for the Corozal South East constituency.

Hon. Gaspar Vega launches Construction of Multi-purpose Center for San Jose Village
ony On Friday, July 21, Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister of Belize, launched a project for the construction of a new multi-purpose centre in San Jose Village in the Orange Walk District. The project will be implemented by the Social Investment Fund and financed by the Government of Belize through a $555,000 loan from the Caribbean Development Bank.

Minister Saldivar Visits BDF Youth Cadet Corps Summer Camp
Hon. John Saldivar visits Cadet Corps Summer On Friday, July 20th July, Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar, made a special visit to the grounds of the 2012 BDF Youth Cadet Corps Summer Camp, being held in the Cayo District on the campus of the Eden Seventh Day Adventist High School in Santa Elena.

Police Association overstep Their Limitations
Police Corporal Eldon Arzu, the president of the Police Association and Sergeant Edlin Lorenzo, Vice President of the Association, have been put on interdiction following inflammatory remarks they have been making on radio and television against the Commissioner of Police and the Ministry of National Security. Arzu has been charged for being disrespectful to a superior officer while Lorenzo was charged for disobeying a lawful command. This is in addition to a decision by the Commissioner of Police to discontinue the support that his office has been giving to the Police Association. The decision came after numerous media appearances by the executive of the Association in various media outlets in which they made disparaging remarks against the COMPOL. Those remarks were done after the Association attempted to reverse the transfer of officers from one formation to another.

Lifeline and Special Envoy donates $3,500 to BCVI
Lifeline Foundation makes donation to BCVI On Tuesday, July 24, both the Lifeline Foundation and the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children presented cheques to the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI) in honour of Rowan Garel's inspirational walk across Belize.

Government responds to Illegal Gold Panning in Ceibo Chico
Belizeans are once again frustrated from news of the pillaging of natural resources by Guatemalan nationals in the Chiquibul Jungle. Unlike when it was news of xate or hardwood extraction, news of illegal gold panning by trespassing Guatemalans has hit home nationally. Gold is one of few objects that are recognized as something of great value to people all over the world. It is a personified object. Almost everyone has thought about what they would do if they had a great quantity of gold. When news spread that illegal Guatemalan immigrants have established a systematic operation to extract gold from the Chiquibul area, Belizeans countrywide were shocked and disgusted.

Cola barking at shadows
Burning in front of OAS headquarters They call themselves COLA, the Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action and by the looks of it, they have the appropriate name, because they are always behind everything.

BTB joins International Council Of Tourism Partners (ICTP)
Belize City, Belize – Thursday, July 19, 2012 – The Belize Tourism Board is honored to announce its new recent membership into the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP). The International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) is a Global Alliance to support and promote destinations and stakeholders in selected destinations with a shared belief in well-managed travel and tourism as a driver of community business, jobs, and well being. By becoming a member of the ICTP, the BTB will have the opportunity to augment core strategies to better market Belize in the tourism industry. Alyssa Carnegie, Director of Marketing and Industry Relations at the BTB stated, “Tourism is vital to our economy and with the growing tourism industry in Belize, new business strategies to address existing challenges and the reconnaissance of new opportunities to further enhance our market position and brand is a must. This is why the BTB is pleased to have joined this network”. The ICTP has a global alliance with member countries like Belgium, Canada, Greece, Palestine, Croatia, Germany, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Trinidad &Tobago among others. ICTP supports the UN Millennium Development Goals, the UN World Tourism Organization's Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, and a range of programs that underpin them. The worldly strength of this alliance involves countries, regions, and cities from around the globe. They all work together to reach to global media, trade, consumers, and share support with each other at trade events and secondary global markets. That is something that one destination could not effectuate on its own.

AIDS Commission Launches Five-Year Strategic and Operational Plan
Dr. Peter Allen, CEO in Ministry of Health; Judith Alpuche, CEO in Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation; and Kathy Esquivel, Chair of National AIDS Commisiion. The National AIDS Commission launched its 2012-2016 National Strategic and Operational Plan on Thursday, July 19. Dr. Martin Cuellar, Executive Director of the National AIDS Commission, said that the plans were drafted after two years of consultations with civil society, community-based organizations and government institutions.

Life imprisonment for Kenrick Williams
Kenrick Williams, 34, will spend the remainder of his life time behind bars, after he was sentenced, on Wednesday, July 18th, for the 2004 murder of student, Elia Gonzales, 16, who was raped and strangled. The sentence was handed down in Corozal Town by Justice, Dennis Hanomansingh. During mitigation plea, Williams failed to provide character witnesses to speak on his behalf. Williams also chose to remain silent leaving his attorney, Phillip Palacio, to speak on his behalf. Palacio told the Court that Williams had been convicted of crimes such as theft, handling stolen goods, but none of a violent nature. At the end of the trial, a jury of 12 people had returned with a guilty verdict, on Wednesday July 4th, after deliberating for over three hours. On March 23rd, 2004, Gonzales had left the Corozal Community College compound and was heading home to Libertad Village. When she didn’t arrive home some hours later, her parents became concerned. A missing person’s report was filed and on the following day, her body was found about 15 yards from a water reservoir.

Life imprisonment for Kenrick Williams
Kenrick Williams, 34, will spend the remainder of his life time behind bars, after he was sentenced, on Wednesday, July 18th, for the 2004 murder of student, Elia Gonzales, 16, who was raped and strangled. The sentence was handed down in Corozal Town by Justice, Dennis Hanomansingh. During mitigation plea, Williams failed to provide character witnesses to speak on his behalf. Williams also chose to remain silent leaving his attorney, Phillip Palacio, to speak on his behalf. Palacio told the Court that Williams had been convicted of crimes such as theft, handling stolen goods, but none of a violent nature. At the end of the trial, a jury of 12 people had returned with a guilty verdict, on Wednesday July 4th, after deliberating for over three hours. On March 23rd, 2004, Gonzales had left the Corozal Community College compound and was heading home to Libertad Village. When she didn’t arrive home some hours later, her parents became concerned. A missing person’s report was filed and on the following day, her body was found about 15 yards from a water reservoir. Williams waited in the nearby bushes as Gonzales passed by. She was pulled in by Williams, taken into the bushes and raped.

Alejandro Baptist charged with Theft
Alejandro Baptist, 18, appeared in the Magistrate’s Court, on Thursday, July 19, to answer to a single charge of theft. The following day, Friday, he reappeared in Court where he was granted bail, after spending one night at the Kolbe Foundation. When arraigned in Court on Thursday, Baptist had pleaded not guilty of stealing an Isuzu Rodeo valued at $10,000. The Rodeo belongs to Julian Ferguson. The court prosecutor had then objected to bail on the grounds that the evidence from the prosecution side is solid, as Baptist had been found inside the car an hour after it had been stolen. The prosecutor also cited the nature of the offence and the prevalence of it, as part of his reasons for objecting to bail. When Baptist was asked if he had any good reasons why the Court should grant him bail, he remained silent breifly. He later broke the silence by telling the Court that this was his first time being charged and that he was being wrongfully accused. But the Senior Magistrate was not convinced and she remanded him to prison for a night. On Friday, Baptist reappeared in Court and bail of $5,000 plus one surety was offered which he met by midday. Baptist is scheduled to reappear in Court again on August 2. Ferguson had told police that his Rodeo, which had been parked in the Palmdale Drive area, had been stolen sometime between the hours of 8:45 a.m., on Wednesday, July 18, and 1:25 a.m., on Thursday, July 19. At about 2:30 a.m., Baptist was found sitting inside the stolen vehicle.

Cassian Young charged with Threat of Death
Cassian Young, 21, appeared unrepresented in the Magistrate’s Court, on Thursday, July 19, to answer to charges of threat of death against Alejandro Baptist. Young appeared before Magistrate, Dale Cayetano, where he was read one count of threat of death. Young pleaded not guilty to the charge and was offered bail in the sum of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount. He is to return to Court on September 3rd. According to Baptist, on Wednesday, July 18th, Young threatened to kill him. Young is to return to Court on September 3rd.

Fatal traffic accident claims the life of three
Edwin Crawford, deceased A violent head on-collision between an SUV and a car claimed the life of three people including a police constable. It happened in Ladyville, along Mile 11 ¼ of the Northern Highway, at around 2:50 a.m., on Friday July 20. According to police, when they arrived at the scene of the accident, they saw two white vehicles extensively damaged and parked almost facing each other. These were, a Saturn SUV bearing L/P BZ-C37238 and a white Saturn car bearing L/P- C-O3454. Police constable, Dion Makin was the driver of the Saturn SUV and accompanying him at the time of the collision were Jay Lewis Avila, 22 Edwin Elvis Crawford, 25, Helen Canelo, 19, and a female, who has gone as unidentified by police. Makin and the four were heading towards Orange Walk, when they crashed into a car driven by Lawrence Chow, a resident of Belize City.

Butcher remanded to Prison for Attempted Murder
On Thursday, July 19th, Joseph Castillo, 43, a butcher of Gibnut Street appeared unrepresented in the Magistrate’s Court to answer to charges of attempted murder, the use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm against Salvadoran national, Jose Argueta, 29. No plea was taken in court because the offenses are indictable and bail was also denied. Castillo was remanded to prison until August 20. On Sunday, July 8, 2012, at around 4:00 p.m., Argueta was socializing at Good Fortune Bar &Pool, located on Newtown Barracks when an argument ensued between the two. According to Argueta, Castillo then pulled out a knife and stabbed him to the left arm pit. He was treated for injuries at the Karl Husner Memorial Hospital, where he was later visited by police. As a result, Castillo was charged with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm.

Former police officer, Michael Diaz, remanded to prison on another robbery charge
On Thursday, July 19th, former law enforcement officer, Michael Diaz, 27, appeared in the Magistrate’s Court to answer to a single charge of robbery. This is reportedly the fourth time he has faced similar charges. In 2010, he had been dismissed from the Belize Police Department, following the allegations of an accountant. According to the accountant, on July 3, 2010, Diaz had snatched his chain from around his neck. The chain was valued at $675. This was recorded as the first robbery allegation against him. In this most recent incident, the victim, Anne Marie Hulse, claimed that on Friday, July 6, Diaz snatched her chain valued at $800, from around her neck. In court, Diaz was read a single charge of robbery for stealing by the use of force. To the single charge, he pleaded not guilty. However, there were objections raised in Court by the prosecutor, on the grounds that Diaz was on bail for similar offenses. The Magistrate took the objection into consideration and denied bail and Diaz to prison until July 31. Hulse had reported to police that on Friday, July 6, she was walking along with her two young children when a ligh skinned man rode up to her on bicycle and grabbed the chain from around her neck.

Trio accused of the Theft of Raw Sugar granted Bail
Ernel Brooks, 30, Alex “Lexus” O’Brien, 35, and O’Brien’s father, Oscar Mena, 68, all fishermen, re-appeared in the Magistrate’s Court, on Friday, July 20, and were granted of bail, after they had been remanded two weeks for allegedly stealing over 100 tons of raw sugar from the Belize Sugar Industry between the months of April and July. The trio appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer, who explained to the men that bail could not be offered at the usual amount in reference to the charge of theft, since the quantity of the alleged stolen sugar was great. She also told the men that the bail must reflect the cost of the items and so, she then granted bail in the sum of $30,000 each. And while O’Brien and Mena were able to meet bail, Brooks was unable to and he was remanded back to prison until October 18, the date when all three are due back in court. Linberth Seguro, chief security at the Belize Sugar Industry Storage Division, reported that sometime between the months of April and July 2012, approximately 125 tons of raw sugar was stolen from different barges that were docked at Drown Caye, located about 5 Miles East of Belize City. The stolen sugar is valued at $125,000. Police then launched an investigation and later visited Mena’s house, located on Riverside Street, in the Saint Martin area. Allegedly, police found half a sack of raw brown sugar along with an empty sack. The men re-appeared unrepresented, but their respective relatives have sought legal advice from a local attorney.

A Tale of Two Cities
Before you attempt to associate my topic with the epic tale by the great Charles Dickens, let me quickly clarify that my intention is to simply attempt to draw contrast between Belize City and Orange Walk Town. My thesis in this essay is to demonstrate that when the leadership of a political party has vision, a nation will move forward in development. Since March 7th, the Mayor of Belize City has appeared on several occasions in the news, beginning with his hundred-day plan and his clean-up campaign on Labour Day. He soon thereafter, gave full account of these endeavors, explaining their individual successes or limited accomplishments. Judging from his press coverage, it seems that Mayor Bradley is enjoying good credibility ratings on account of his stern headship at the Council. He has further, since the first hundred days, cemented his commitment to improve the old capital by paving several streets even with the financial constraints being encountered by the Council owing to a low revenue stream to its coffers. In addition to his candor, the Mayor seems to be a no-nonsense character, as was seen in his decisiveness with the traffic portfolio. It is usually at this point that some of you might murmur, but they all start that way and then promptly deviate from the straight and narrow. In response, all I can say is, I am not in the habit of swearing for any man, or woman, so we will have to leave that one for time to address. For now, however, I can readily admit that with the idea of floating a municipal bond the Mayor has shown vision and panache. The nagging question at the back of my mind was this: where will the money come from to service this bond? Will he be just another Mayor who brags about doing this and that and then runs to Central Government hat-in-hands for grants? The Mayor not only outlined how he would raise the funds and what he will utilize these on, but he had a plan how the City Council itself would meet payments on the bond. Seems that the City now has a very focused Mayor, which is long overdue, and the Old Capital will soon witness major improvements to look maybe even like Chetumal in the future. But now as I turn my eyes on my hometown, I want to weep. We previously had a Mayor, who was a dedicated Orange Walkeño with love for town and country but we went ahead and replaced him. We heeded the courtship of demagogues, who promised to fix up this town. They had all the answers before the elections; how to fix streets, dig drains, create jobs, you name it; they could do it like it’s never been done before. Now look at our streets, man, and our parks and playgrounds. There is no pride in calling it my town now and my fellow citizens are quickly coming to grips with what we did on March 7. We can now appreciate that words alone cannot fix streets, drains, and create jobs; it needs bold plans to do these things, along with vision and resolve. Orange Walk slumbers on these days; leaderless and rudderless.

Minister Herman Longsworth attending 6th Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting
Hon. Herman Longsworth, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports with direct responsibilities for Youth and Sports is currently in London, England, attending the 6th Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting that began Wednesday, July 25th, 2012. Minister Longsworth will join his colleagues from 52 Commonwealth countries at the The Banqueting House, Whitehall in London, England. The meeting will receive the Minutes of the last Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting that was held in New Delhi, India in 2012, and will look at the updated report from the Organising Committee for the 20th Commonwealth Games scheduled for Glasgow, Scotland in 2014. While in London, Minister Longsworth will also be meeting with Executive Members of Olympic Solidarity Programme of the International Olympic Committee. He will also attend the meeting, “Celebrating The Role of Business and Sport in the Commonwealth” scheduled for Thursday, August 2nd, 2012.

Tuff “E” Nuff and Alamilla’s/MOE Even at a Game Each
Farron Louriano scored 16 points The 2012 Interoffice Basketball Competition entered its championship round on Friday, July 20 at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City between Tuff “E” Nuff and Alamilla’s/MOE. The championship series will utilize the best of five. In game one of the series, the young and talented Tuff “E” Nuff defeated Alamilla’s/MOE by the score of Tuff 66-58. The top scorers for Tuff “E” Nuff were Farron Louriano, who scored 16 points and 11 rebounds; Tyrone Edwards with 14 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal; and Raul Roches with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Alamilla’s/MOE were Greg Rudon with 15 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals; Brandon Rogers with 14 points and 5 rebounds; and Kurt Burgess with 9 points and 7 rebounds. The championship series then continued on Saturday, July 21, 2012, with game two The second game saw the reversal of fortune for Alamilla’s/MOE as they edged out Tuff “E” Nuff by the score of 79-76. The top scorers for Alamillas/MOE were Greg Rudon with 23 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals; Kurt Burgess with 15 points, 17 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals; and Brandon Rogers with 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Tuff “E” Nuff were Jamal Kelly with 17 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals; Keith Acosta with 13 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal; and Tyrone Edwards with 11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. The championship series will continue on Friday, July 27th, 2012, with game three and on Saturday, July 28th, when game four is scheduled to be played. The games are both scheduled for 8:00 pm at Bird’s Isle. If a game five becomes necessary, then it will be played on Friday August 3rd, 2012, also at 8:00 pm.

Football Referees’ Training in Belize
Forty-seven referees converged at the FFB Goal Project Headquarters in Belmopan over the weekend of July 20-22, 2012, to attend a Referees’ Seminar facilitated by FFB’s National Referee Instructors, Eugene Contreras, Mauro Manzanero and Director of Referees, David Henry Jones. The referees, who came from all parts of the country, saw the attendance of 47 counterparts. The seminar was to conduct a physical training test and to update and test the referees on the Seven Laws of the Game. Marlon Kuylen, Executive member of the FFB, opened the seminar and expressed his appreciation for the large turnout. At the closing of the seminar, Kuylen congratulated the five female participants, who attended the seminar, especially Nelita Novelo of Orange Walk, who received a perfect score on the written test. Kuylen also expressed his support and that of the Federation to the referees.

Belize City Softball Competition enters Playoff Round
The 78th Belize City Senior Female Softball Competition entered its playoff round on Wednesday, July 25th, at Rogers Stadium,the home of softball, between Mirage Lady Rebels (the number two seed) and Orchid Blazers (the number three seed). The playoff round will utilise the best of three series with the winner facing the defending champion Telemedia (the number one seed) in the championship series. The second game in the series between Mirage Lady Rebels and Orchid Blazers is scheduled for Friday, July 27th, at 6:30 pm and if a game three becomes necessary, it will be played on Monday, July 30th, 2012 also at 6:30 pm.

YWCA receives $200,000 Grant
Ambassador Vinai THummalapally hands over check to the Y’s Sheree Smiling Craig (center) and Sonia Linares) The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) received a 200-thousand-dollar grant from the U.S. Embassy through the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI).

Mexican Embassy presents Three Exhibitions on Belizean Artist Benjamin Nicholas
The Embassy of Mexico is pleased to present three art exhibitions as a tribute to the renowned Belizean artist, Benjamin Nicholas, in a unique collaboration with Atlantic Bank and the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH). The exhibitions titled “Story Color Life, honouring Benjamin Nicholas” feature more than 25 works by the celebrated Belizean painter, who died on April 9th, 2012 in his hometown Dangriga. Nicholas represents the pinnacle of Garifuna and Belizean art. Born on August 6th, 1930, Benjamin Nicholas studied art at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in the US. On his return to Belize, he settled in Dangriga and painted to the time of his death. He has been recognized internationally and was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE). According to the Belizean artist Yasser Musa, “with his images Benjamin Nicholas inspired Belizeans to appreciate, respect and recognize the rural life as a potent aspect of the growing nation. He boldly narrated with his brush the many aspects of Garifuna culture. His art works hang on the walls of ordinary people, art collectors, in museums around the world and in the halls of power of many nations including Cuba, South Africa, Venezuela, and Canada”. During his 50-year artistic career, Nicholas was also an inspiration to other prominent Belizean artists. The collection that will be presented includes art works belonging to the private collections of the Mexican Embassy, the Belize Bank and NICH. The first exhibition will take place at the Sacred Heart Church in Dangringa, on Friday, August 3rd, at 6:30 pm. This exhibition is organized also with the support of the Mayor of Dangriga, Gilbert Swazo, Father Dominic McDonagh of the Sacred Heart Parish of Dangriga, and the Nicholas family. Currently, the Sacred Heart Parish houses two murals by Benjamin Nicholas and different paintings depicting the Stations of the Cross and the Passion of the Christ. The second exhibition will be hosted the Embassy of Mexico in Belmopan on Tuesday, August 7th, at 6:30 pm. The third exhibition will take place at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City. It will be inaugurated on Thursday, August 9th at 6:30 pm, and will remain open until August 15th. The public is invited to participate in any of the three exhibitions. The entrance is free and open to the public. Schools are encouraged to organize excursions to visit the exhibition at the Institute of Mexico.

Bredda “DAVID” & Tribal Vibes Latest Release
After 20 years in of the creation of Kungo Muzic, Bredda David Obi and the Tribal vibes is releasing their 10th album. Obi stopped by the Guardian Newspaper to explain the album is a mix of previously released songs as well as new ones. It is entitled "Day D Dawn" and features 14 tracks. As the title implies, a new day is dawning in Belize, new era of awareness where hope for a better future abounds. This theme is in keeping with the pervasive spirit of Kungo Muzik. The 14-track album features new arrangements of previously released Tribal Vibes tunes such as “Stronger”, “Experience”, “Sambai Da Muchula”, and “Mi Plantation”. Complementing the old are first releases “We Roots De Ina Afreeka”, a fusion of a particularly Belizean feel with rich jive vocals reminiscent of South Africa; “Sanctuary 2” an instrumental sequel to 2008’s “Sanctuary”; and a completely fresh treatment of Kriol tradition’s “Freetown Gial”, interpreted by jazz-guitar chording of Jason Guerrero and musical craftsmanship of Dale Davis on clarinet. A Kungo-ized version of the latter also appears. While the pure drumming of Truth Cut Steel represents the clearest return to Kriol rootsy Gale Point Manatee Sambai, other debut songs include “Brukdong Vibes”, “Sweet Belizean Music” and “All Day All Nite”. Each listener is expected to find his/her own preference from this project. The project’s personnel are David’s son Nkrumah & Indio Obi, Dale Davis, Harry “Chagu” Thompson, Bill Gabourel, Ernestine Carballo, Darwin Lino. A special thanks is given to Jeremy Lamb for sharing the title track “Day di Dawn”. Bredda David & Tribal Vibes will hold a free family concert entitled “Day di Dawn” on Sunday, August 19th at the BTL Park in Belize City. Obi says the concert is a way of bringing the music to the Belizean public who have been following him for the past 20 years. The latest release is available at record stores countrywide or directly from him. He can be reached at phone: 502-3489/ 602-3077 or email: [email protected] .

Comfort Zones
A comfort zone is a place where we can shake off some of life’s stresses and relax. In its most basic sense, it is where we can feel safe and for many of us our most important comfort zones include our immediate family and childhood friends. These are usually people, who share our history, culture, life experiences and values. We do not have to explain ourselves; they know. We are often willing to overlook or explain away faults in our immediate family and friends that we find unforgiveable in strangers. This differentiation between us and them is the beginning of stigma and discrimination and, of which, we must be continually aware if we are to avoid the pitfalls of intolerance and see beyond superficial differences to the essential humanity of others. There is nothing wrong with enjoying our comfort zone – the fault is in demonizing those outside. Belizeans abroad like nothing better than a function that allows them to get together and reminisce about old times. There is a special place in our heart for a childhood friend even if we have lost contact over the years. We enjoy rallies of our chosen political party or religious denomination and ...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Volleyball tourney coming soon to Caye Caulker….

The Reporter

Civic minded citizen foils afternoon robbery and helps capture crooks
Ernest Billary, a 20- year-old manual labourer of Hibiscus Street in southside Belize City, was captured by a community-minded citizen who interrupted Billary’s attempt to rob the popular Señor Coconut Restaurant on Eve Street around 2:00 last Friday afternoon, July 20. Billary was remanded into custody after he was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on charges of armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Billary and an accomplice, armed with a handgun, had entered the popular eatery on Eve Street and demanded money as they held a gun to the head of one of three women inside.

Guatemalan gold fever in the Chiquibul Reserve! A huge problem for Belize law enforcement!
The government of Belize needs to synchronize law enforcement efforts and resources immediately to create a credible deterrent against Guatemalans illegally panning for gold in the streams of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. This is the recommendation of Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director of Friends for Conservation and Development, the organization which manages the reserve.

Police Association leaders apologize to ComPol
The dispute brewing last week between the leaders of the Police Association and Commissioner of Police David Henderson has ended amicably, with the Association leaders apologizing to the Commissioner for the manner in which they had sought to have the issue of Police transfers and other internal matters addressed.

2 Orange Walk boys hurt when their home collapsed
By Janine Crawford Freelance Reporter An Orange Walk child is in a critical state, after the wooden house he and his family occupied on Yo Creek Street collapsed shortly after 9:00 this morning, in the Marcus Canul area. Briton, 10 and his brother, Jova, 7, were playing this morning in their yard as usual, engrossed over a litter of new-born puppies.

COLA takes dim view of OAS! Says Belize Foreign Minister to blame.
The right-wing organization called Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) bristled this week at a statement by OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza which seemed to blame Belize for the shooting in the Columbia River Forest Reserve which killed Guatemalan illegal logger Luis Alberto Martinez Alonzo.

Lord Ashcroft wants Justice Awich gone
Lord Michael Ashcroft, KCMG, Dean Boyce and the British Caribbean Bank, the so-called Ashcroft Alliance, have taken on another fight. This time they are gunning for the removal of newly appointed Belize Court of Appeal Justice, Mr. Samuel Lingole Awich.

Decriminalization of marijuana: a world issue
Whether marijuana is glorified by musicians, scorned by churches, revered as a religious sacrament or outlawed as a drug, the only constant about marijuana is that it is a topic of constant conflict. A prevalent problem in the marijuana debate is that policy makers and public differ in their opinions about whether or not the plant should be classified as a “drug”. While Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is scientifically proven to have chemical effects consistent with that of “drug” use, marijuana is simply the dried leaves of a plant. When weighed against other substances such as cigarettes, which are processed and have a myriad of chemicals, marijuana, being an all-natural substance, at first glance doesn’t seem to fit the description of a drug at all.

OCEANA challenging exploration licenses in court on grounds that companies don’t quaify
Six companies granted concessions to explore for oil in Belize between 2005 and 2007 have been challenged in court by Oceana, the resident watchdog organization, on grounds that they fail to meet the legal requirements for a concession under the Petroleum Act. The challenge is also directed at the Ministry of Natural Resources for granting the concession. The dispute, now before Justice Legal, has been further adjourned until August 22. Oceana contends that the companies: Island Oil Belize Limited, Tropical Energy Limited, PetroBelize Company Limited, Princess Petroleum Limited, Providence Energy Belize Limited and Sol Oil Belize Limited, do not meet the requirements of the Petroleum Act and therefore their oil exploration contracts should be declared null and void.

“Kungo Muzik” to unite us all
Music has long since carried the epithet “the universal language,” but Belize’s very own David Obi, popularly known as “Bredda David”, has taken music’s unifying power a step further with his unique genre of music—“Kungo Muzik”. This week, Obi shared with The Reporter the message behind his music and how that message is reflected in the genre’s very musical composition and lyrical context. Obi—a man of Kriol (Creole) ancestry who was raised in culture capital Dangriga—said that the fortunate opportunity to have lived the mores of both the Kriol and the Garinagu had helped him to come to a clear revelation about the so-called Kriol-Garifuna cultural dichotomy: that there is none.

7 ways to reduce your risk of diabetes
What is diabetes and how serious is it in our country? Diabetes is a chronic disorder of either lack of production of insulin (as in the case of type – 1 diabetes), or the inability of the body to utilize it properly (insulin resistance – as in the case of type 2 diabetes). Consequently, glucose remains in the blood stream and causes havoc to many of the organs of the human body. Some of these negative effects include: heart complications, eye disorders, nerve problems and the unfortunate recent increase of kidney failure in Belize.

Heavy drinking in pregnancy linked to problems in children
Central nervous system abnormalities are common among children whose mothers drink large amounts of alcohol during pregnancy, a small new study finds. Most children exposed to large amounts of alcohol while in the womb do not go on to develop fetal alcohol syndrome. Diagnosis of this condition requires abnormalities in three areas: facial features, physical growth and the central nervous system.

Carlos Cui & Mishek Musa win in Barrow & Williams table tennis
Carlos Cui won the open division, while Mishek Musa won the under-15 Cadets’ division of the Barrow & Williams Summer Table Tennis Tournament held under the auspices of the Belize Table Tennis Association at the Belize Elementary School on Sunday, July 22. Cui won the championship finals 3-1 over Nicholas Martin. Cui advanced by a 3-0 win over Fabio Carballo in the first round and a 3-0 win over Mike Rivero in the second round. He went on to triumph 3-0 over Martin in their first encounter in the third round.

BDF & City Boys win in Champions Cup football
The Belize Defence Force enjoyed a 4-0 win over “Sugar &Water” Old Road while the Raymond Gentle City Boys routed FC Belize 3-0 when the competition continued at the M.C.C. grounds on Sunday, July 22. But Westlake continues to lead the Champions Cup Football Competition, posting their fourth victory 3-0 by default over Maskall. Erwin “Bird” Flores and Daniel Jimenez led the BDF offensive supported by Philip Lewis and Richard “Cheety” Jimenez on the wings and Harrison Tasher and David “Gringo” Ramos at midfield.


Extreme Belize time
I have reached a new level of understanding how some people / things get on Belize time – it goes something like this…. I was working on this post yesterday morning when I got a call from BTL that they were coming to look at an issue we had reported a couple of weeks ago. Now sometimes people can be that slow to get back to you here, but in this case they were actually doing their job and following up. Very grateful for that because tacoboy on his last communication with them said our internet was fine and he was right at the time it was. I was already experiencing one big sidetracked moment in time. No matter how hard I tried to stay on task I keept getting pulled in all different directions literally. - Answering emails set me of on pinterest for too long, but I for some great pins out of it. - Pulled myself away from pinning pictures and back to emails. - BTL guy calls and says they are on their way over in 10 minutes to speedtest our internet – I was not going to say no. - Stop answering emails and start tiding the house a bit and dusting the router. - Of course toilet brush had to break at the wrong end while I was cleaning the guest bathroom. - Took out garbage swept stairs and back to emails and blog – net down Surprised? Not - BTL guys were on time and when they did speed test, they discovered a corroded wire that needed to be replaced, no small task as it had to be done cosmetically and be put under ground. - Tim Invest in Belize, the house realtor, came lightening fast to make sure that the work was done cost effectively, weatherproof and most of all invisible. - Heraldo who works for Tim shows up almost as fast and was ready to do his part of the fix so the BTL guys could come back and hook us up. - Patiently edited yesterdays pics while I wait for internet. This process is took slightly longer than I had hoped,we are not going to be back online till sometime Thursday been offline since Wed morning. - Ended up at El Divino to do some emails by phone and have a well deserved rum and cranberry or two.

Today’s land conservation theme brought the eco campers to the 33 acre Maya Organic Farm, which plays an integral part on the Chaa Creek Reserve. Not only does it help to conserve the land, but the farm also provides jobs for local workers, and supplies produce for the The Lodge at Chaa Chreek and the Macal River Camp, where the kids are staying this week. One the main goals of the farm is to implement as many traditional Maya farming techniques as possible, the most notable of these being the absence of chemicals in their agricultural practices. While it may be quicker and easy to use pesticides, and most modern farms do exactly that, Mr. Mick explained to us that the Flemings choose to follow an environmentally friendly model, and as I’m sure the children will testify, the difference is clearly shown in the delicious food we have eaten thus far! The eco-campers had a chance to tour the operation and recognize many local plants, trees, herbs, and produce. They were also treated to some live action as we met the sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, heifers, and even the bull. To top off the farm adventure, the kids had a chance to stick their entire arms into the compost piles, as Mr. Mick explained to them how everything in an organic farm is connected, right down to the animals’ feces! No wonder they all washed their hands so well before lunch. An afternoon filled with swimming, canoeing, and lots of fun in the sun has left this blogger’s brain on empty so we will let the pictures tell the rest of the tale.

International Sources

Internet speeds and prices in the Caribbean
The Caribbean has had some semblance of publicly available Internet service for about two decades, but in recent times it has become a key platform for the delivery of a broad range of telecoms and computing services and applications. Critical considerations when assessing the Internet’s effectiveness as a medium of connectivity are transmission speeds and the prices charged for its use. This snapshot examines those two factors across the English-speaking Caribbean, since they speak to the region’s ability to harness the potential of the Internet and to create knowledge-based societies. As reflected in the Table 2 below, the minimum download speeds offered in most countries is 1 Mbps, with the exception of Belize, Dominica and Trinidad & Tobago, where speeds of 256 kbps and lower are still available. Interestingly, the price for the service plan with the lowest download speed in Guyana (1 Mbps) is over eight times that of the most expensive plan in the rest of the sample group (Belize, USD 436.05 for a 4 Mbps package). On the other hand, just under half of the sample group offered plans with 8 Mbps as the highest download speed. In Jamaica and Trinidad, plans with download speeds of 100 Mbps are available at prices lower than what has been specified in other countries for less than a tenth of that speed. Attention is again drawn to the exorbitant monthly fee charged in Guyana for a 4.5 Mbps connection. This price would be well beyond the reach of most domestic customers and businesses. In all countries except Guyana and Belize, the monthly rate for a 2 Mbps Internet plan is under USD 85.00, and is even under USD 30.00 in Grenada. Again, excluding Belize and Guyana, the average monthly rate for a 2 Mbps Internet plan is approx

How To Set Up An Offshore Company
Setting up an offshore company in a tax haven is surprisingly easy. A simple Google search offers up thousands of companies willing to help you do it. Anna Vaivade works for one of these companies. She is in Latvia, but her employer offers company registration in Seychelles, British Virgin Islands or Belize. She told me all these places offer no taxes and extreme confidentiality. "No third parties, no creditors, no other companies have access to this information, " said Vaivade. But what good is a company without a bank account attached? Anna Vaivade said she could help Planet Money with that too. She told me we could open a bank account in Switzerland that's tied to my offshore company in Belize. And if that's not enough anonymity for you, Anna's company offers another service — a board of directors. (Chana Joffe-Walt / NPR) "In all public documents where the director's name appears, it will be our name," she told me. The idea is to ensure no one knows we are in involved in the company. Anna calls it "absolute confidentiality." And all of this is perfectly legal. I can think of legitimate reasons why you might want to have a company in Belize with a bank account in Switzerland and fake Latvian shareholders. Maybe you don't want your competitors to know what you're up to or maybe you're a large business operating across borders. It's easier to do business when you have accounts offshore. But what is striking about all the offshore services available is that while they are totally legal, the system seems to make it easy to get away with things that are not legal. In the end, it took a week and a half and fair bit of paperwork to get our Belizean company registered. I had to fax a notarized passport. To get our bank account, I needed a reference letter from my bank, an accountant and a lawyer.

5 Questions About Travel For Photographer Macduff Everton
Good advice from a photographer visiting our region for over 40 years. People are making billions of dollars every year off the Maya. There is the Mundo Maya, Riviera Maya, Playa Maya, Ruta Maya, but the Maya aren't profiting from this. They are the employees rather than the owners.. Macduff Everton's latest book, The Modern Maya: Incidents of Travel and Friendship in Yucatán was 40 years in the making. It is no mere coffee table showcase. It is, as has been reported by a number of reviewers, nothing less than a magnum opus and a serious tribute to the people he has met and befriended during his decades traveling in the Maya region. Everton is a contributing editor at National Geographic Traveler, and his editorial clients include Condé Nast Traveler, Outside and The New York Times Magazine. There aren't many documentary photography projects that, like The Modern Maya, span more than forty years, especially working with the same families. This book, says the author, consists of their stories, told through these images. "While most history chronicles the famous," he says, "this book is about the lives of ordinary people who are the soul of their culture. History only exists if someone documents it."

Belizeans as well as many others around the World will be watching the 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony Today
Olympics excitement was building today just hours before the spectacular opening ceremony was set to be the greatest sporting show on earth - with Sir Roger Bannister now favourte to light the flame. Sixty-thousand ecstatic fans will pack the Olympics stadium in Stratford, east London, for the historic a three-hour crescendo to months of build-up marking the start of the London 2012 Games. And although bookies were tipping the legendary four-minute mile man Sir Roger to officially start the Games, mystery still surrounds the identity of the person who'll perform the historic feat with Sir Steve Redgrave and Daley Thompson still in the running. Organisers are at pains to keep every last detail of the event secret, and only a handful of people are thought to know who will be given the job.

July 26, 2012

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

Turtle found covered with crude oil at Hol Chan Marine Reserve
A turtle completely covered in crude oil was found floating in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve off Ambergris Caye. The juvenile Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) was found by a group of divers on Tuesday July 24th along the channel at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The divers rescued the animal and turned it over to park rangers in the area. According to Hol Chan Marine Reserve Manager Miguel Alamilla, the green turtle was found sometime around 3PM on Tuesday. “The turtle was immediately transferred to our office where we began caring for it,” said Alamilla. The green turtle, with carapace/back measuring 11 inches long and suspected to be between two to three years old, was observed entirely covered with thick black crude oil and inside the turtle’s mouth was also filled with oil. The turtle was observed to be very fatigued and was unable to move “We removed all of the crude oil from its outer body and as much of the oil from within the turtle’s mouth. We do strongly believe that the turtle may have ingested some of the thick oil. We know that turtles are strong and tolerant and we are hoping that the turtle makes a full recovery” said Alamilla. The turtle is under close observation as cooking oil has been given to the turtle orally in an attempt to help the animal pass any crude oil it may have swallowed. While the turtle is weak, Alamilla says that the condition seems better than when it was brought in. If the heath of turtle deteriorates, an IV drip will be applied.

Abandoned black jaguar rescued and on the way to recovery thanks to help from The Belize Zoo and other Environmental Organizations
The sad story of Bosch, the emaciated black jaguar that had been found starving and left abandoned at the Ballum Na Lodge in Punta Gorda has taken a happy turn after the heroic and caring efforts of a coalition of environmental organizations that came to his rescue and are now helping him to recuperate. Hearts were saddened and angered when word came out of the jaguar that had been left for dead in a cage after irrational and possibly illegal circumstances led to those who were responsible for his care abandoning him without concern for his wellbeing or safety. It was only after Wil Maheia, a member of the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network, alerted everyone to the jaguar’s plight that Bosch’s condition became known. Immediately, a coordinated and dedicated team consisting of the Belize Zoo, the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network, and the Belize Forest Department came together to provide food, vitamins and supplements to prevent further deterioration in Bosch’s condition and help to keep him alive until a proper veterinary assessment could be conducted. On July 20th, rangers and volunteers from the Belize Zoo and the Forest Department successfully rescued Bosch and transferred him to his new home and the Zoo. Bosch, who has been fondly renamed ‘Lucky Boy’ is now living comfortably at the Belize Zoo under the cautious and attentive hands of qualified and caring professionals who are slowly nursing him back to full health and providing the necessary love and attention he deserves. On the Belize Zoo’s Facebook Page they’ve commented that “Lucky Boy’s eating like a champ, and interacting enthusiastically with his caregivers. A surprisingly calm and easy going jaguar, a special diet and tender love and care are all he wanted. He’s definitely on his way back to being healthy and beautiful once more.” Lucky Boy is believed to be about 11 – 12 years old and according to the Zoo originated from Xcaret Zoo in Mexico. The Zoo keepers say that although it will take a number of months for Lucky Boy a.k.a. Bosch to make a full recovery and come back to full health they do believe that he will certainly return to his full majesty and beauty over time.

“Hopkins Day” Celebrated This Weekend
The intense beating of drums followed by singing and dancing will welcome you as you enter the sleepy fishing village of Hopkins. Hopkins Day is this weekend and everyone is invited this Friday to Sunday, July 27th – 29th 2012. “Hopkins Day” celebrates the existence of one of Belize’s villages known for its Garifuna culture and golden beaches. Reva Dark of BTIA Hopkins shared, “2012 marks the 71st year of the arrival of the Garifuna to Hopkins, and Hopkins Day has been celebrated since 1990.” It is a festival that grows every year. “Aside from locals, more and more Belizeans from the Diaspora come home to join in the festivities.” The celebrations will kick off with opening ceremonies on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. at the village’s basketball court. The night will showcase various cultural activities, and there will be plenty to eat and drink. On Saturday, July 28th, experience the “Battle of the Drums”, along with a number of entertaining games like dancing and eating contests. The night will come alive with a “Punta Fest” that ensures to have everyone dancing the night away. Bands from all over the country are expected to participate. On Sunday, the village will host a family day where everyone can relax and just enjoy being with their families. 2012 marks the 12th year Hopkins Day has been celebrated. Everyone is invited to join in the celebrations and one of Belize’s growing tourist destinations. For more information on the Hopkins Day, contact Reva Dark of BTIA Hopkins at [email protected]

Misc Belizean Sources

A Full House of Queens Party Saga 2012 Fundraiser @ Casino
"A Full House of Queens" Casino Night Cocktail Party Event @ Captain's Casino, featuring the Beauty Pageant Contestants for Reina de la Costa Maya as special guests. The Event is happening Monday, July 30 from 6 to 10PM.

Miss World 2012 Opening Ceremony - All Contestants
Chantae Guy is representing Belize at the Miss World pageant in China. Good luck, Chantae! "The delegates in evening wear during the Miss World Opening Ceremony held yesterday. Chantae can be seen at 01:29." You can like her FB page:

The Flavors of Belize Cookbook Giveaway
One of the food photographers that helped with The Flavors of Belize has a great article on the process, along with a couple of cool videos. There's even a recipe for a hot pepper and onion salsa. If you leave a comment, you might win a copy of the cookbook. "There’s so many wonderful recipes to dive into within the book’s pages, and if you’ve never experienced Belizean food then you’re in for a treat. It’s a fantastic blend of distinct cultures, sometimes moving in one direction before coming back to another. It’s Mayan, it’s Carribeean, It’s Asian, it’s Creole, and it’s all delicious. In fact, several recipes from the book have become standards at our house."

13 Baktun Performance from BFF
Cayo was represented at the Belize Film Festival opening ceremony. Orquidea Negra was there, as were many others. The Benque House of Culture has uploaded quite a few pictures from the 13th Baktun performance. "NO wonder why we are known as The West is the Best!! Espectacular and extraordinary presentation from Benque HOC's very own artisits, Orquidea Negra Dance Company, Luna Maya Studio and no other than Mr. Pablo Collado, Simply Magnificent!! But images speak better than words! Congratulations to all mebers that represented our culture, Benque HOC applaud their great efforts, specially to Director Mr. Mike Maurico, and thank you for sharing your talent."

Marlon Williams Representing Belize at Go4BioDiv
Congratulations to Marlon Williams, who will represent Belize at the Go4BioDiv, which will take place in India this October. And congratulations again to PACT on their 16th birthday. PACT has a great write up about the upcoming event. "Go4BioDiv is an International Youth Forum which gives young adults the opportunity to express their opinions about biodiversity conservation, to exchange with other young experts from all over the world, to learn about marine conservation and protected areas management and to engage with decision-makers and the wider public at CBD-COP. The theme of Go4BioDiv International Youth Forum 2012 will be ‘Conserving coastal and marine biodiversity for sustaining life and livelihoods’. This year, 35 youth messengers will participate from the different crown jewels of marine conservation: Marine and Coastal World Heritage Sites around the world, including the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage Site (BBRRS-WHS)."

Noema Manzanero is Cayo's Teacher of the Year
Congratulations to Noema Manzanero for being Cayo's Teacher of the Year! Thank you for doing such an amazing job, and always being there for the Bullet Tree Mission Youth Association. Bullet Tree Falls, and Cayo, are proud. "Congratulations to NOEMA MANZANERO of Bullet Tree Falls village. She has won the Courts giveaway for Teachers, an impressive $7,000 in prizes, including furniture. You are Teacher of the year for Cayo! And we salute you NOEMA ELYDE MANZANERO."

Captain Kevin and his snorkelers save turtle in Hol Chan!!
Yes, can you believe it but yesterday at Hol Chan, Captain Kevin and a group of G Adventure snorkelers found a turtle covered in oil and saved its life!! The group were out snorkeling in the Channel with Captain Kevin being their guide, when they came upon the motionless turtle. The turtle initially looked dead and covered in black oil that surrounded it but when they lifted out of the water and away from the oil the turtle looked to try and gasp for air. Kevin removed the excess oil from its mouth and quickly summoned the attention of the Marine Park Rangers who quickly took the injured turtle back to San Pedro to be treated!! Initially all concerned, including Rangers felt that the turtle had traveled some miles with the oil as this had been an isolated incident that day and there were no reported oil spills around San Pedro that day. However, the day was far from over!!

Four teams are in the hunt for the championship in Women's Softball in Cayo. The playoffs began on Sunday, July 22nd. at the Denbigh Fuller Stadium in Camalote village. The teams taking part in the playoffs are: Camalote United, UB Black Jaguars, Ontario Rebels and Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy. The championships continue this weekend at the Joan Garbutt Stadium is Esperanza village and will be broadcast live on Central Cable Vision.

Channel 7

Outspoken Cops Face Disciplinary Tribunal
This afternoon at 1:00, the leaders of the Police Association, Corporal Eldon Arzu, and Detective Sergeant Edlin Lorenzo were both arraigned before a police tribunal at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan. They were very vocal against the Police High Command last week about the rush transfers. According to the Ministry of National Security, both members were warned many times that it was unlawful for them to go to the press with their grievances. Well, the Commissioner of Police and the ranking officers brought them up on disciplinary charges. Arzu was charged with being disrespectful to a superior officer, while Lorenzo was charged willfully disobeying a lawful command. Reliable information to our newsroom is that the complainant is Superintendent Linden Flowers, the officer commanding the training academy. The reasoning behind the charge against Lorenzo is reportedly that he was sent a text message on Monday, which indicated that he was to be in Belmopan along with other members of the Association to have a meeting with Commissioner of Police. This was apparently the time when the Commissioner was to tell them in person that all the privileges that they enjoyed as the Association - which included an office space - would be taken away. That office space was officially taken away from them at the tribunal today.

COLA "Burns Fire" On OAS
The Organization of American States has its headquarters in Washington DC, but, even all the way there, we expect that they've been hearing the howls of public protest coming out of Belize about the press release the OAS issued last week Friday. As we've reported, that press release, about the shooting death of Guatemalan Luis Alberto Ramirez who was logging in the Colombia Forest Reserve - said that the incident occurred within the Adjacency Zone - which is inaccurate; it happened 3.2 kilometers inside Belizean territory - the Adjacency Zone extends only one kilometer inside Belizean territory. That statement also quoted the OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza describing the shooting as reprehensible - which - considering the circumstances - has also been characterized as objectionable language. So, in short, public opinion of the OAS right now is not favorable, and today COLA, the Citizens Organized for Liberation Through Action staged a small but symbolic protest to crystallize the negative public opinion - and then added a little something more to it. We were there on Blue Marlin Drive in Belize City - and here's what happened.

Head On Collision Between Heavy Equipment Leaves 4 Injured
Four farm workers from the Cayo District remain hospitalized tonight after a dramatic traffic accident this morning. According to reports to our newsroom, shortly before noon today a heavy duty truck carrying construction supplies traveling north towards Belmopan collided head on with a tractor and trailer at mile 35, near the Silver Creek Bridge, on the Hummingbird Highway. The four passengers on the trailer and the driver took the brunt of the hit and were all rushed to the Western Regional Hospital for treatment. Three of the injured men have since been transferred by ambulance to the KHMH. The truck driver, an employee of Cisco Construction Limited, has since been identified as Saul Bailey. Police investigations into the cause of the accident continue.

Cop Critical After Shot Responding to Crime In Progress
Tonight a police Corporal is in critical condition and on a respirator at the KHMH intensive Care Unit after he was shot last night. Last night at around 10:00, Corporal Victor Lima was responding to a home invasion in Hattieville when he was shot twice in the chest with a nine millimeter pistol. This morning, police press officer Fitzroy Yearwood briefed the media on this shooting of a lawman: Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "Hattieville Police responded to a home invasion, an aggravated burglary, and upon entering the house, Corporal Lima was along with other officers. As he opened the door at that scene, the gunman fired 2 shots. He has been identified as Delford Slusher. He has already been arrested and charged for attempted Murder. Corporal Lima is in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital." Jules Vasquez "Lima was shot twice in the chest. Will he make it?" Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood "We are not sure. He is critical right now, and we just asking for your prayers and your support for him." Jules Vasquez "Does Mr. Slusher have a criminal background? Is he known in Hattieville as a trouble-maker?" Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood "Well, he was positively identified in this incident, Jules, so I wouldn't want to judge his character like this. So, we'll just leave that up to the court for them to give him his fair due."

Man Shot In City Was It Bad Neighbor Vibes?
A man was shot last night in Belize City - it happened at his home on Fairweather Street around 9:00 last night. 30 year old Taxi Driver Darwin Lodge was at home when someone called for him outside his house. He went to see who it was and was met by a gunshot to the chest from a dark skinned man. The police press officer told us about it: Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "Darwin Lodge, sometime around 9:15, he's saying that someone shouted for him at his house, and upon opening his door, a gunman just fired a single shot which hit him in the right side of the chest. He's at the Karl Heusner right now, receiving treatment." Jules Vasquez "But he had an altercation earlier in the day on West Canal, near Publics, where he's known as a taxi man. Was the altercation, earlier in the day, related to what happened in the night?" Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood "I'll have to leave that to the investigators for them to link that." Jules Vasquez "Meaning that you don't know or you don't want to say?" Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood "I will not comment on it."

Judge Sends OCEANA Back To Legal Drafts
7News has been closely following the Oceana Belize's challenge to the offshore oil contracts which were issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources between 2005 and 2007. At the last adjournment of Oceana's challenge to the off-shore oil drilling contracts, Justice Legall decided that the court should wait for an important case from the Court of Appeal. Since the claimants, Oceana, COLA and the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, cited the Froylan Gilharry case, which supposedly canvassed similar issues that are now before the court, they waited on the Court of Appeal to give their written judgment. Well, that judgment is here, and Justice Legall wasn't so convinced that it applies. Attorney Godfrey Smith said it does, so Justice Legall adjourned it again so that both sides can prepare to convince him with their arguments. We spoke to Audrey Matura-Shepherd outside of court about the importance of that case and why Justice Legall isn't convinced.

Tiny Bze Contingent Will Look Good At Olympic Opening
The London 2012 Olympics begin in less than 48 hours and Belize's tiny, six-person contingent has arrived at the Olympic Village. Our delegation has only three athletes: Kaina Martinez from the Stann Creek District who is running the 100 meter, Kenneth Medwood, a Belizean American who live sin Los Angeles who is running the 400 meter hurdles and Eddermys Sanchez, a Cuban-Belizean who is participating in the 66 kilos classification for Judo. The Chief Of Mission is Sonny Meighan, track coach Colin Thurton, and judo coach Wellington Chee. And while the Belize team is small, they will surely be stylish at the opening ceremony. Highly regarded British Fashion Designer, Jeff Banks has designed the outfits for the contingent. He says the Caribbean Blue Blazers with white trim were inspired by the fictional character, the Great Gatsby with a hint of a cricket umpire.

A Black Cat That's Nothing But Good Luck
Over the last few days, we've been telling you about the black jaguar, Lucky Boy, who was rescued from a rundown resort by the Belize Zoo. Today, we visited him in person to check up on his progress. We found a black cat, who's been nothing but good luck... Daniel Ortiz Reporting The black jaguar, Bosh - now named Lucky Boy - is in good health, showing signs of improvement, with his playful and energetic attitude to being fed. It's a complete turn-around in behaviour from the first day at zoo, when he was quiet and reserved in a far corner of his cage. He now has the company of the staff at the Belize Zoo, and he even has his own song. But it wasn't such easy-going when Lucky Boy was discovered in his extreme distress. The zoo staff described his health condition as the worst they've had to deal with. Humberto Wohlers - Animal Management Supervisor, Belize Zoo "We heard about it. We were contacted by the Forestry Department, and we moved immediately to the cite. Find a different situation, not very prepared when you go the first time, we started brainstorming how to best transport a very emaciated jaguar." So, they had the difficult task of transporting the jaguar, which was in poor health. They had to get it into a crate and transport it without using tranquillizers.

250 Caribbean Darts Players In Belize
About 250 international dart players are in the country this week taking part in the 19th annual Caribbean Cup. The opening ceremonies for the event took place yesterday evening at the Biltmore Plaza. It is the first time Belize is hosting one of the world's biggest dart competitions and today we stopped by to check out the tournament and to see just how Team Belize is performing: Malcolm Spicer - President World Darts Federation (America's Region) "This particular tournament is the Caribbean Darts Tournament. It's been going now - this is the 19th - It's been going now for about 40 years. And every 2 years, we hold it in a different country. Last year, it was in the Bahamas; the time before that, it was in Barbados. Then before that, it was Trinidad. So, we go all over the Caribbean with this game." Monica Bodden "Tell us a little bit about the competition." Malcolm Spicer "The competition is strenuous. Every team has to play every other team. It's a round-robin format, and we also have individual events: men's singles, women's singles, mixed doubles, mixed triples - it goes on. On a daily basis, except for Friday, we'll be playing from 10 in the morning until 6 in the evening. Competition is very high, and we have some of the best - well, we have the best darts players in this region playing here right now. We have Barbados, Belize, Bahamas, Brazil, Cayman, Trinidad, Florida - We allowed Florida to come as a country because they were the founding members of the Caribbean Darts Organization. We do not allow the USA to come to this tournament."

Channel 5

Police Association Leaders formally arraigned on disciplinary charges
It’s not a good day for cops; two have been arraigned before a police tribunal and the other is fighting for his life. At the Police Training School in Belmopan this afternoon, the tables were turned on two officers. The vocal president and vice president of the Belize Police Association were arraigned for disrespecting their [...]

Police Corporal shot in the chest while responding to home invasion
A cop was shot in the line of duty on Tuesday night. Corporal Victor Lima is tonight in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Lima was injured in the chest at a Hattieville house where a home invasion was in progress. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.   Andrea Polanco, Reporting Around ten o’clock [...]

COLA protests at the office of the O.A.S. and calls Minister Sedi Elrington a traitor
The fiery executives of Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action turned up the heat today on the Organization of American States and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. They headed this morning to the O.A.S. office in the city to protest the erroneous information put out by the O.A.S. in respect of the killing of a [...]

Oceana challenge over oil concessions pushed back to August
The case against the Ministry of Natural Resources & the Environment, in which Oceana is challenging oil concessions granted to six companies between 2005 and 2007, has been adjourned to August twenty-second. The deferral came after Justice Oswell Legall informed both parties that he needs to be persuaded by their arguments, in light of a [...]

More land grabs in the Ministry of Natural Resources
There has been an ongoing and scandalous land grab at the Ministry of Natural Resources. Last Wednesday, we reported on the huge parcels of land that had been acquired by Ignacio Vega, the brother of the Deputy Prime Minister for a mere pittance. We have been carefully combing through the voluminous files on the land [...]

A mother speaks out against alleged brutality at Hattieville Police Station
The following story is also about the cops, but this one is about alleged police brutality. Francelia Gillett of Hattieville says that her son, eighteen year old Richard Smith, was picked up by Hattieville Police who proceeded to inflict physical harm on him. Gillett says that the abuse of her son is wrong and that [...]

Feud between male/female taxi drivers escalates to court…and shooting?
An ongoing feud between a male and a female taxi driver has ended up before the courts with both of them facing charges. First, Darwin Lodge was charged on Tuesday with Damage to Property for allegedly throwing a beer bottle at the taxi driven by twenty-five year old Tonee Anthony, who says the car belongs [...]

Chain snatcher goes to jail for 6 years
Convicted prisoner, thirty-two year old Moses Conorquie, will spend at least six years behind bars for the robbery and wounding of Janice Leslie. Conorquie snatched Leslie’s chain from her neck back in November of 2011, but her friends fought back; trapping him in his own web. Minutes later, Conorquie managed to escape but was captured [...]

Rescued jaguar, Lucky Boy, progressing in rehabilitation at the Zoo
Two weeks ago, the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network (BWCN) was alerted that a black jaguar was in distress at the Ballum Na Resort in Punta Gorda. The jaguar was frail and deteriorating. A second jaguar on the property had recently starved to death, so BWCN partnered with the Forest Department and the Belize Zoo to [...]

The Y.W.C.A. launches a new training program for young men
The Y.W.C.A. today launched a special training programme at its headquarters on Saint Thomas Street in Belize City. It is called the Y’s Enterprise Creation and Extracurricular Development Project, which will offer skills training to unemployed young men in the city. The programme will simultaneously boost the institution’s Helping Early Leavers Program (HELP) that prepares [...]


Emergency drivers are receiving training in Punta Gorda Paul Mahung Reports. PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “Training session for drivers of emergency vehicles in Toledo was held recently in Punta Gorda. The one day training program was coordinated by officials of...

The National Trade Union Congress of Belize is putting its full support behind the embattled Belize Police Association. NTUCB issued a statement on Thursday pledging solidarity with the Association in its mission to protect and secure the rights and advancement of dece...

Meanwhile there was another shooting incident last night, this time in Belize City. It happened about an hour before Corporal Lima was critically wounded in Hattieville. The police press officer gave reporters the details of the Belize City shooting. FITZROY ...

A police officer was injured in the line of duty last night. It happened around ten o’clock last night in Hattieville village. The victim has been identified as Corporal Victor Lima who is assigned to the Hattieville police substation. According to police press office...

The group Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action today turned up the heat literally on the Organization of American States and Belize’s foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington. The group today staged a mini-protest in front of the offices of the OAS in Belize City. COLA i...


Fronting for foreigners all along?At last week’s press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow did his utmost best to distance himself from having any influence whatsoever over the granting of a large oil concession to his nephew, Kimano Barrow. But with so many Barrows enjoying the perks of big-time appointments, the PM is having a hard time selling that story. Meanwhile, there’s startling information regarding Kimano Barrow’s oil concession. The license which was owned by Barrow and Alfredo Acosta is no longer Kimano’s nor Acosta’s, or let us say not fully theirs. New interests have suddenly entered the picture and have taken over. Documents show that on February 4th 2011 a general meeting of the shareholders (Barrow and Acosta) of Paradise Energy Limited duly convened and held in Orange Walk Town elected four new directors of Paradise Energy Limited which are U.S. nationals Oren F. Miles, Oren F. Miles II, Allen L. Saum and one Erubiel Ku. Saum is no stranger to the Belize scene, as back in 2007 he claimed that he was forced to pay money to acquire a PSA license agreement. Following the accusation his uncle, Oren F. Miles, went public against his relative, maintaining that Saum had no legal right to represent him or his company, Miles Tropical Energy Limited. On February 7th just three days after the new directors were added, documents were filed to make them the new MAJORITY shareholders of Paradise Energy Limited. The new documents show that as of February 7th, Miles Tropical Energy Limited, owns 3,000 shares in Paradise Energy. They now overshadow Acosta and Barrow’s one share each.


NTUCB comes out in support of embattled police association
The National Trade Union Congress today issued a release declaring the public and the Ministry of Police that the stand in solidarity with the Police Association in their mission to protect and secure the rights for all police officers. The release charged that the action of the Commissioner and the Ministry of Police are undermining and is an outright abuse of their powers as they seek to stifle the voices of affected workers to secure their rights. NTUCB further calls on the Commissioner and the Ministry to rectify this situation with much hast and give the police officers the human dignity they deserve. In the end the release urged the Police association to continue to agitate for change saying that change in most instances happen only after serious agitation. A call was also made to the National assembly to change the laws allowing the workers to defend and protect their rights.

COLA not happy with OAS
The group Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action has issued a statement condemning statements made by the Organization of American States regarding an incident in the Colombia Forest Reserve in which a Guatemalan farmer was killed. Luis Alberto Ramirez and two other Guatemalan nationals were reported to have been logging illegally, when they got involved in an exchange of gunfire with a Belize Defence Force patrol. The OAS statement quotes Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza as saying that the death of the Guatemalan farmer was a reprehensible incident which took place in the adjacency zone. The government of Belize has confirmed that the incident happened well within Belizean territory and not in the so-called adjacency zone. COLA, in its statement says that it is reprehensible that the OAS can get so completely wrong the difference between the established border between Belize and Guatemala and their artificially established adjacency zone. COLA notes that even though a correction is being sought by Belize’s resident ambassador in Guatemala Alfredo Martinez, none has been forthcoming so far. COLA is therefore demanding that the OAS retract its statement and to make absolutely clear that it was wrong and issue a clear and unambiguous clarification as failure to do so will be seen as evidence of obvious partiality to Guatemala by the OAS, a state of affairs that cannot be countenanced. The COLA statement ends by saying that it stands fully behind Belize’s security forces and calls on the Government of Belize and in particular the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take all necessary steps to secure the interests of the Belizean people along the Belize-Guatemala border. Love News notes that the OAS has posted a revised version of their original release on the incident, removing any reference to a location of the incident. The sanitized OAS statement says that since the incident, Secretary General Insulza has been in contact with the foreign ministers of both countries and their respective ambassadors accredited to the OAS, to gather more information and ask for a broad investigation to the satisfaction of both governments. In these discussions, the Secretary General, according to the OAS release, received the commitment of Belize to conduct a diligent and immediate investigation into the incident, to which they will provide access to the government of Guatemala. The Secretary General also reported that he will participate in high-level meetings with the two governments in the coming days to discuss this incident, as well as other aspects of the bilateral relationship.

Christopher Lowe pleads guilty to wounding charge
Christopher Lowe was formally arraigned at the Magistrate Court in San Ignacio today for the blow he administered to the alleged murderer of his child. Correspondent Elaine Berry Reports. Four other men were also arraigned on wounding charges in San Ignacio this afternoon.

Robbery in Belmopan
A man was hospitalized following an attack during a robbery in Belmopan. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the details

Child is knocked down by passenger bus in Punta Gorda
A child remains hospitalized as a result of a traffic accident yesterday in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Channel 7 has exclusive broadcast rights for Summer Olympics
The Olympic torch is ready to be lit and the cast of thousands is ready for the grandest spectacle to take place in London, England. We’re talking about the summer Olympic Games and a group of Belizeans is already there carrying the blue, red and white. Love Tv’s Patrick Jones and Videographer Myles Gillet report. The Belize Delegation is led by Owen Sonny Meighan and includes coaches Colin Thurton and Wellington Chee.

Mexican embassy sponsors art exhibition
The Embassy of Mexico will host three art exhibitions in honour of renowned Belizean artist, Benjamin Nicholas. The exhibitions entitled, “Story Color Life, features more than 25 works by the celebrated Belizean painter, who died on April ninth of this year in his hometown, Dangriga. A press release from the Mexican Embassy states that Nicholas represents the pinnacle of Garifuna and Belizean art. He was born on August sixth, 1930 and studied art at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in the US. On his return to Belize, he settled in Dangriga and painted to the time of his death. He has been recognized internationally and was made a Member of the British Empire. Fellow Belizean artist, Yasser Musa, has been quoted as saying “with his images Benjamin Nicholas inspired Belizeans to appreciate, respect and recognize the rural life as a potent aspect of the growing nation. He boldly narrated with his brush the many aspects of Garifuna culture. His art works hang on the walls of ordinary people, art collectors, in museums around the world and in the halls of power of many nations including Cuba, South Africa, Venezuela, and Canada”, end quote. During his 50 year art career, Nicholas was also an inspiration to other prominent Belizean artists. The collection on display includes art works belonging to the private collections of the Mexican Embassy, the Belize Bank and NICH. The first exhibition will take place at the Sacred Heart Church in Dangringa, on Friday, August third. The second will be hosted by the Embassy of Mexico in Belmopan on Tuesday, August seventh, and the third will open at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City on Thursday, August ninth. The public and schools are invited to participate in any of the three exhibitions, free of cost. The displays are part of a collaborative effort by Atlantic Bank and the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH).

Project to rehabilitate Dangriga market commences
Under the Belize Municipal Project rehabilitation work began yesterday on the Dangriga Market, with more on this story here is Harry Arzu.

Miss World Belize competing on the international stage
Miss World Belize, Chantae Guy, has begun her rounds of competition in the pageant with an encouraging performance. The one-month of competitions opened the today in China, Taiwan. Love News spoke with Anna Guy, the mother of Chantae Guy. She updated us on the beauty queen’s accomplishment. Through the multi-media segment, Belizeans can help Chantae in gaining the kind of recognition and popularity that she is seeking. Guy explains how we at home can root for Ms World from this side of the globe. Ms World will culminate with the pageant final and crowning of Miss World 2012 on August 18, 2012.


COLA calls out Foreign Affairs Minister - Sedi Elrington
COLA it seems is lighting a fire under the seats of the OAS and Minister of Foreign affairs Hon. Sedi Elrington. Ci...

Internal tribunal convenes for officers on interdiction
Acting President and vice president of the Police Association, Officers Eldon Arzu and Edlin Lorenzo respectively, ...

Five escape horrific road accident
Tonight 5 men are thankful to be alive as they were involved in a frightening traffic accident. This afternoon shor...

Corporal in critical condition following shooting
Police officer takes bullets discharging his duty. C.I.B personnel visited the KHMH where Corporal Victor Lima was ...

Protest to be held in support of Police Association
As the Police Association is loosing ground, and more specifically leadership, the National Trade Union Congress of...

Belize City resident ambushed at his home
In another shooting in the city last night (July 24) CIB personnel visited the KHMH where Darwin Lodge, a Belizean ...

Wife allegedly forges husband signature to steal land
Anne Marie Morrison, a paralegal residing on Waha Street, in the Belama Extension Phase 2, is under criminal invest...

Annual convention for university alumni
The University of Belize Alumni Association (UBAA) will be holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) this Saturday, ...


Tranquility Bay Resort: Ahhhh...The Beach I've Been Looking For
I just (reluctantly) returned from a few amazing nights at Tranquility Bay Resort on northern Ambergris Caye. Located within the Bacalar Chico National Park, Tranquility is a small resort 13 miles north of San Pedro town. With only 10 cabanas on a perfectly private white sand beach, you almost feel like you are in another world. Yes, it is secluded but secluded in a perfect way. I wish I had never left. I honestly have found the most beautiful beach I have ever seen on Ambergris Caye. THE BEST BEACH. I am not exaggerating. Grab one of the many beach chairs or a hammock and relax. The coast at Tranquility Bay even looks good when a summer thunderstorm is brewing. And look how close the reef is! But let's back up a bit...The Tranquility Bay boat picks you up in town (minutes away from the air strip) and 30 minutes later you are sipping a welcome drink at the bar over the water. Carlos, the resort manager, is giving you a briefing on the resort and the tons of activity options you will have. There are some huge advantages to staying this far from town. The reef is very close to the shore (as you move even farther north, it actually meets the land.) There is so little beach and boat traffic. You can kayak just off shore to the cut in the reef where manatees are known to frequent. There are tons of coral heads just feet from the can snorkel for days just there (perfect for kids). The beach is fantastic for swimming. And you have access to dive and snorkel sites that those who stay in town rarely see. Like a shipwreck just outside the reef... Tranquility Bay is a full PADI certified dive resort (and located by the Basil Jones Cut on the map below). A great place to learn to dive away from the traffic of town. The bar is a replica of one of the first bars in San Pedro Town, the Tacklebox Bar. Famous for its boat shaped bar and fish tank in the back deck, the original building was destroyed in 1998 by Hurricane Mitch. Based on pictures that I have seen, this is a faithful reproduction. You can see the dock, the dive shop and restaurant/bar over the water through this hammock.

We were greeted with a surprise this morning, as a local fox snuck his way up to the kitchen looking for scraps. What better way for the kids to begin a day focusing on Belizean wildlife than to get to experience it firsthand. After spending most of the morning playing camp games, practicing for their eco song competition, and working on an arts and crafts project (making bean bags), the campers’ patience was rewarded as we began our journey to the conference center to hear from the experts at the Belize Zoo. But this was not to be any hike, for the counselors had carefully hidden an assortment of plastic bugs and animals that represented all the forms of Belizean wildlife, including each team mascot. As this was a team competition, there was extra pressure on the eco-campers as everyone involved wanted to collect the most animals to help his or her team win the prize (the Jaguars came out on top!). Along the way, our eco-camp naturalist David Juarez was on hand to discuss and answer any questions the children may have had about some of the species of animals they were finding. The highlight of the day, besides the pizza for lunch, was the visit from Belize Zoo founder and director, Sharon Matola, and educational officer, Jamal Andrewin. The children had already heard that they could expect a visit from Happy, a barn owl used to help educate students on the importance of his species in our eco-systems. While they excitedly waited for him to make his appearance, Jamal made a point of explaining how all of the different birds of prey play an essential role in maintaining the balance of nature. With the help of Sharon and her guitar, the eco-campers sang Happy’s theme song and were rewarded as he flew out of his box to visit with the kids! Once everyone had a chance to see and visit with him, posters and booklets were given out to the campers who could best answer questions on the wildlife lecture they had just received – hands shot up across the room. Unlike yesterday, once the presentation was over, the children (and counselors) could not wait to get back to camp to jump into the water and cool off from the sun making its first appearance overhead!

International Sources

Hotel key cards open to hacking, developer says
A hacker has developed a device he says can act as a universal hotel key card to access millions of rooms around the world. Using a home-made gadget, security researcher Cody Brocious said he had mimicked a master key card to gain access to any room with an Onity lock. Details will be revealed at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas this week. Onity said it would look at Mr Brocious's work and address "any potential issues". "We will review and analyse Mr Brocious's presentation and any other information that he publishes on this subject," the company told the BBC in a statement. "Onity places the highest priority on the safety and security provided by its products and works everyday to develop and supply the latest security technologies to the marketplace. "Onity is prepared to address any potential issues posed by the presentation." Onity has about 10 million locks installed in hotels around the globe.

Most corals thrive only in shallow waters, where there is enough light for them to grow. But the rapid rise in sea level, due to the melting of polar ice, is making these conditions increasingly scarce. Measurements from tropical seas around the world reveal that the rise in sea level (3.3 mm/year) is happening at a faster rate than many corals have grown in the past 10,000 years, according to new research released at the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS). “The Caribbean once had 60 percent coral cover, and that has now collapsed to 10 percent,” said Jeremy Jackson, professor emeritus at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California, in a special address to the symposium, held Jul. 9-13 in Cairns, Australia. “Corals are critical and endangered ecosystems.” Sea-level rise is just one threat to corals, which have been decimated by overfishing, pollution, and bleaching from warmer sea temperatures due to climate change, Jackson added. A colorful piece of coral is made up of thousands of tiny animals called polyps, which create cup-like limestone skeletons around themselves using calcium from seawater. Coral gets its beautiful colors from microalgae that live symbiotically with it.

Starting Our Belize Honeymoon Flying on a Tiny Plane!
First things first: We had the best wedding ever!!!! Photos will take several weeks to compile, however, so in the meantime, be content with luscious photos from our 2-week Belize Honeymoon. And please don’t demand (as several well-meaning souls have already) that I stop writing during my Honeymoon. If I hated writing, I would stop, but our Honeymoon philosophy is that of Cartman from South Park, “I do what I want!” and writing gives me great joy. So trust, dear readers, that we are fully taking advantage of all that Belize has to offer, AND reveling in a few hours each day of online work (on our private balcony gazing out across the infinity pool to the azure ocean). Ok? Ok. Here are the 3 distinct parts of our Honeymoon you can look forward to reading about: For the first third, we are on the stunning island of Ambergris Caye and are graciously hosted in one of the most beautiful hotels of Belize in San Pedro. We shall be snorkeling on a day-long boat expedition, strolling through the bustling town, and eating heartily. Mmm. Next, we head into the lush green interior of the country, San Ignacio, where we are hosted by a luxury resort in Belize’s jungle known for its decor, cuisine, and expeditions to the many surrounding Mayan ruins. Thrilling!

July 25, 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

San Pedro Volleyball Team remains undefeated in the OW Volleyball Tournament
The San Pedro Volleyball Team traveled to the Orange Walk over the weekend to square off in two games garnering two more wins, against Hard Core Juniors from Corozal and the Unpredictable’s from Orange Walk. The games took place on Saturday July 21st. In the first game against Hard Core Juniors, SP Boys won two straight sets with scores of 25-9 and 25-10 respectively. The second game saw the boys going up against the Unpredictibles in a game that they dominated once again in the first two sets with scores of 25-16 25-20, garnering them a spot in the semifinals. The team is scheduled to play two more games on August 11th, 2012. The first game sees the boys going up against the also undefeated Bad News Boys followed by a game against Sounder Barrio Boys. Winning these two games will give the boys a definite spot in the finals, scheduled for September 1st at the Complex Building in Orange Walk.

Palindomos Teatro Independiente presents La Celda Compartida at the Paradise Theater
A group of four actors, called Palindomos Teatro Independiente from San Jose Costa Rica, were on Ambergris Caye presenting a play entitled “La Celda Compartida,” translated as “the shared cell.” Palindomos’ stop to the island on Saturday July 21st is part of a tour through Central America and Mexico. While in Belize Palindomos took their play to three municipalities. La Celda Compartida, directed by Dr. Diego Salgado, was presented at the Paradise Theater to about 100 people. The play is based on four people from different walks of life that end up sharing a cell. Confused as to how each individual arrived where they are, their frustration builds up as they try to figure amongst themselves how they ended up in the enclosed cell. Their frustrations eventually lead them to believe that they are inside a prison cell surrounded by glass walls. All four eventually begin to reminisce on a crime that may have landed them in the prison. Pretty soon the group realizes that the one element they have common is that they all have some connection with the father of one of the girls in the cell who is in the illicit business of drug trafficking to North America, using ‘drug mules’. Each in the cell was affected by this person’s operations either directly or indirectly. With no help from outside the closed room, the group eventually begins putting the pieces of the puzzle together just to realize that they were not even in a cell, but rather trapped into the reality of “Death”. The decisions in their lives had lead them to their faith and inevitable death.

Ambergris Today

Belize is Finalist for Miss World Top Model in China
Belizean beauty Chantae Guy is presently at Ordos, China as she is proudly representing Belize at the Miss World Pageant. Miss Chantae Guy is among 120 contestants vying for the prestigious title and is definitely making us proud since she was chosen to compete for Miss World Top Model Competition. Miss World will be presenting its Top Model competition in association with burgeoning Chinese luxury cashmere label, ERDOS 1436. This year there’s a real treat in store for those lucky enough to be selected! Chinese luxury cashmere brand, 1436, is providing all the clothes that the contestants will wear on the catwalk. That means the most luxurious cashmere on the face of the planet, all hand-wrought by the most skilled craftsmen in the industry. As the brand’s Creative Director - and fashion legend, Graeme Black - puts it, ‘It’s cashmere couture’!

Archaeological Sites in Belize to Benefit from Sustainable Tourism Investment
A commitment from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Belize Tourism Board to invest in a quality tourism experience and improved visitor management at Belize’s archaeological sites was cemented on July 13. Construction contracts totaling over $680,000Bz ($346,000US) were signed with two local firms, ASCON and Usher Construction Ltd.

Summer in a Bottle – Belikin’s Verano Beer
Belikin Beer is doing something good - being innovative and creative by brewing seasonal craft beer and giving its customers something tasty, flavorful and FUN! It is definitely something new for the company to be producing newer beer flavor blends and at a more frequent pace. There is more talk about Belikin and its signature flavor of Belizean Beer which is known the world over. With the addition of a new Belizean brewmaster, Nolan R. T. Michael, the Belize Brewing Company Ltd. is bringing new life to the brewery and fascinating its customers with different flavors of beer, in addition to its regular Belikin, Stout, Premium and Lighthouse blends. Their seasonal craft beer flavors are fun and keep Belikin drinkers wanting more. The Verano Beer, which was just introduced this past week, promises “Summer in a Bottle”. The color of a bright golden sunrise, and with a light citrus aroma, Verano sublimely combines an orange tartness with a subtle sweetness for an extraordinarily refreshing taste experience. The brewery states that this innovative beer owes its unique appeal to the lager fermentation process, which imparts a melody of tropical fruit notes, and is combined with Belizean orange peel and exotic spices, such as an enticing hint of wheat malt from renowned Breiess Malting. All of these flavors come together beautifully to create a thirst-quenching, clean-finishing beer perfect for those warm summer days.

Misc Belizean Sources

Channel 7 presents Olympic Coverage with Caribbean Flavour
For the 2012 London Olympics, Belizeans will be able to enjoy culturally relevant, professionally packaged Caribbean flavored programming without a North American bias. Channel 7, the longest established television station in Belize, has teamed up with International Media Content (IMC), a Caribbean corporation, to exclusively provide Belizeans with coverage that provides a global view of the games, while giving special emphasis to Caribbean athletes. There will be more than 396 hours of television coverage between the games’ commencement on July 27th and the closing on August 12th. For this coverage, IMC has sold rights to 18 broadcasters across the region, including Channel 7 in Belize. The coverage begins on Friday morning at 7:30 AM – and that day’s programming culminates at 2:00 pm when the opening ceremony airs live from London with Caribbean commentators. The programming package will include six main programme slots (Daybreak, Daytime, Crunch Time, Olympics Extra, London 180 & Las’ Lap) providing Channel 7’s viewers with up-to-date information and coverage of the events, expert analysis and insightful features. The event coverage – whether track-side, pool-side or in the field – will be coloured by expert analysis from a team of seasoned sports broadcasters and former Olympians. Viewers will get a front row seat for the events, and hear from the Caribbean’s Olympic stars as they cross the finish line in record time. The coverage will be unprecedented in its scope, its span, its packaging, its relevance and its breadth – and Channel 7’s viewers are in for a treat.

Cheese Making Classes at Caves Branch
Caves Branch is doing something different. They're offering packages where you can learn cheese making skills between the jungle adventures. Sounds unique. Hope they sell some cheeses at the Saturday market. "Whether you love to eat great cheese and want to know more, or have a desire to make cheese at home for friends and family, or want to pursue cheesemaking as a career, these classes are designed to help you attain a deeper understanding of the secrets of cheese making. And when you’re not in class, explore the Caves Branch Jungle lodge and participate in exciting jungle tours."

BNYCF Chess at Hode's
The Belize National Youth Chess Foundation is having chess for all levels this week in the mornings from 8:30 to 11:30 at Hode's for kids between 8 and 15. Beginners are welcome. "Beginners, intermediate with prospective junior coaches"

National Song Competition Extended
They've extended the deadline for entries for the National Song Competition. You now have until August 10th. You could win up to $4000. The September Celebrations are right around the corner. Call 227-2110 for more information. Good luck!

Kurse a di Xtabai in San Antonio
Kurse a di Xtabai had a screening in San Antonio, which is where much of the movie was filmed. The Make-Belize Films group is embarking on a tour all around Belize. "we shot most of the movie in the San Antonio area, we had a great screening lots of people came out to see there village in the movie, Don Nicasio who plays the Bush doctors, is now a local Celebrity, a big part of this is to promote Belize natural beautiful, visit Elijo Panti national park."

Babs' Barbecue Sauce

Channel 7

Ashcroft Wants The Judge On Trial
Lord Michael Ashcroft wants Justice Sam Awich removed from the Court of Appeal - after he only just got there. Ashcroft and other Alliance functionaries have signed unto an unprecedented letter to the Judicial and Legal Services Commission asking that body to remove him for misbehavior and/or inability. Ashcroft and his employee Dean Boyce say they have been prejudiced by what they call Awich's behavior. The constitution does make provisions for the removal of a judge - which would have to be referred to the Belize Advisory Council. It's only happened once before in the case of Justice George Meerabux. Ashcroft is asking the Belize advisory Council to investigate the question of Awich's removal. The 12 page letter dated July 17th makes the case that controversy and objections surrounded Awich's appointment - including objections by the Bar Association AND the Leader Of The Opposition. The leads Ashcroft in his letter to conclude that the appointment was unlawful and should be investigated by the Belize Advisory Council.

Police Ass'n Leaders Put On Interdiction
The leaders of the Police Association Police corporal and Acting President Eldon Arzu and Detective Sergeant and Vice President Edlin Lorenzo have been placed on interdiction. That's the very reliable report reaching our newsroom this evening. The two officers went out on a limb to publicly disparage their senior command for rushed transfers - and after attempts at dialogue stalled, the command didn't break off the limb, it cut down the whole tree! Reports are that the association has been dismantled - and now its leaders have been administratively zapped - with the commissioner's decision to place them on interdiction. Today, Lorenzo told us they are seeking legal advice. But, the advice they've gotten so far doesn't seem to have served them too well - since they ended up publicly challenging the senior command and the ministry. And while they appear to have been cut off from the Department - they haven't been isolated completely. Today, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize sided publicly with the Police Association saying that they stand ready to support them in their actions. Now the Police Association is not and cannot be a Union - that's the law, but, nonetheless, the NTUCB, the umbrella agency for all unions is calling on the Commissioner and the Minister of Police to fix this situation with much haste.

Guatemalans Sell Chiquibul Gold For $70/Gramme
First they came for Xate, then timber and now it's gold. That's what we showed you on the news last night as 20 Guatemalans were found earlier this month almost five miles into Belizean territory in Southern Chiquibul panning for gold in the Ceibo Chico Creek. Tonight we revisit that story - and examine how difficult it will be to stop what is the new plunder in the Chiquibul:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This is what panning for gold looks like - he tells the BDF he's been here for three days. This man has been here for two days, it's his first time - he says he knows the area is within Belize. This man tells the camera that they pay $250.00 Quezales per gramme - that's 69 Belize dollars. The soldier warns them that they don't want to see them here again, and they should pass the word on to all the other gold panners along the Ceibo Chico. It's not much, but it's the best that can be done - because driving all of them back to Guatemala will be complex:

Woman Held Up While Exercising/Man Pleads Guilty, Changes Plea
Today 38 year-old William Tush was taken to court for assaulting a Belize city woman while she was doing her evening exercise on Sunday. It happened around 4:30 as the Belama resident was walking near the NAPA roundabout on the Northern Highway. Today, asking to appear off camera, she told us how the assailant came up from behind her and put a sharp object to her neck. She didn't sense him coming because she was connected to her ipod. Here's her narration of the terrifying event:.. Voice of: Victim "Well walking along I saw this guy cross the street in front of me and he was walking - on the northern highway and like right in front of Friendship Restaurant he bend over and tied his shoe lace, so then I overtake him. Continue walking I felt him walking behind me but it was more like I felt safe because someone was on the road with me, so I just continue walking and he continue behind me. I had my IPod in my ear and I was singing while going along and when I reach like just after the round-about by that 3-storey unpainted building I just felt something by my neck and then the guy just pull my hand while holding a knife - into this yard. he took me by surprise, so at first I wasn't really fighting or anything because he really took me by surprise, but when I realize what was happening and he was saying come on lets go while pulling me - then I started to struggle. I just push him and that's when I receive this cut, then I ran. I ran screaming and the same time a car came that had a husband, wife and a child and they stop and ask what happen, they saw my hand bleeding. I told them "that guy" pointing at him and they saw the guy running away. They say that they will call the police. I saw the man jump in his vehicle and just chase after the guy."

Man Accused Estranged Wife Of Land Theft
43 year-old Anne Marie Morrison, a paralegal residing on Waha Street, in the Belama Extension Phase 2, is currently being criminally investigated after her estranged husband reported her in relation to forgery for a parcel of land. According to police, Dean Morrison, reported that between January 21 and June 25 of 2009, Anne Morrison unlawfully obtained his land parcel: lot number 2544-1, block #16, 205 Waha Street. He also reported that on January 21, 2009, Anne Morrison allegedly forged his signatures for the transfer of the deed to the parcel from his ownership to hers. Dean Morrison even went on to say that on June 25, 2009, she even forged his signatures for the transfer of the lease to the land from his ownership to hers. Police investigated his report, and they charged her with 2 counts of forgery, and 1 count of obtaining property by deception. Today, she was arraigned before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart, who couldn't take a plea from her because the offences are going to be treated as indictable.

Crooked Tree Man Survived Croc Attack And A Coma
30 year old Devin Swasey- the man who was bitten by a crocodile 6 days ago - has awakened from a coma. According to Swasey's mother, he is recovering exceptionally well. Swasey was attacked by a large crocodile on Thursday afternoon - while he was spearfishing in the Blackburn Lagoon in Crooked tree village. He was along with 2 other persons at the time who witnessed the incident. We understand that the croc held on to Swasey and pulled him under water for a period of time before he could be rescued. Today his mother spoke to 7news about how lucky her son is to be alive. Elisa Swasey, Mother "My nephew came and ask me to please get up and change my clothes so that we can go to look for my son who got bitten by the crocodile, but before all this they wanted me to go with them for a walk and I ask them where - they told not to worry where and I told them that I have work to do, after that they told me what it was. I went to change my clothes and went with them but by that time they had already left with him to the ambulance." Monica Bodden "At that time what was going through your mind?" Elisa Swasey, Mother "All I can say is that maybe he will survive because they told me that he got bitten in his head."

The Case Against Weed Decriminalization
On Friday's newscast you heard from Doug Singh - the former police minister who's now the chairman of the committee to examine the decriminalization of marijuana. He said the committee is only considering the options - but also added that most of the members of the 8 persons committee are pro-decriminalization - including two members who are regular users of marijuana. And that's why he's invited PUP Senator Karen Bodden to lend her considerable experience and knowledge to the committee. She meets with the group for the first time on Thursday - but spoke to us today. She said that the public, national conversation about marijuana use is one that she's been waiting to hear for a long time She's happy that it's finally started but, So far, not so happy with the direction it's going. She told us more:.. Senator Karen Bodden "Today I am happy because I believe that we are at that point where that conversation that takes place in an honest, open manner. For me I am excited because what I have been trying to do for decades as you put it - I can finally see it happening. I can finally see parents throughout that period - have suffered from all the ills of marijuana use. In particular parents who have come to me seeking assistance for their child are now able to better understand the conversation and basically decriminalization should have been at the end of a continuum, so to speak. Had we been responding as we ought to have been responding to the data presented throughout the years - it would have been a time now when people would have had access to the right education, where students coming out of school would be armed with skills that they could make decisions, where the society would not feel that the lesser burden is just to decriminalize it and get them off your back because that seems to be how people start to feel - that we are so caught up in this marijuana issue that we have no way out and all that would not have been happening at the pace that it is happening today where in my mind its being manage in a haste that doesn't make much sense."

Rivers Riled Up At Port Again
By now - if you watch this newscast with any regularity - you should know Raymond Rivers. He's the firebrand stevedore - who seems like he's never happy with the port management or his own union representatives. And tonight he's angry with both of them! Rivers called our newsroom to complain about a proposal being put forward by the port management. In the ingoing negotiation of a labour agreement, The Port is proposing that union representatives who form a part of the work gangs that offload wheat and sugar ships, as well as containers - should no longer be paid for by the Port Management. An irate Rivers says that's union busting simple and plain:.. Raymond Rivers - Stevedore "We have a union rep. for the container, we have one for the sugar and we have one when we go on wheat and right now the man is proposing zero on wheat, zero on sugar and zero on container. This man doesn't want any unionism about Belize. This man is simply saying that with the union about he cannot chance people how he want. So at the end of the day I came to prove that this man is doing union busting and secondly my president, he doesn't care at all. He is on Positive Vibes buffing up his chest. When I told him about this union busting thing - he should have been the first one on the case. Now I am telling him about this union busting thing and he is saying that this is just a proposal. You don't propose anything like this in black and white, this is proof. The proof is in the pudding on this piece of paper here."

Paranga Departs Without Paying Fine
Last week, we told you about the Jamaican cargo vessel, the MV Paranga, which ran aground about 2 miles southeast of English Caye on Monday, July 16. We contacted the Chief Environmental Officer, Martin Allegria, who told us that the initial investigation done by the Department of Environment revealed that the vessel did not hit the reef as was suspected. He did say that they were to go back out last week to do an in depth environmental assessment to see if there was any major damage. Well, we contacted Allegria yesterday and he told us that the recent bad weather from last week prevented them from going out, but they will do that assessment before this week ends. And in relation to the Paranga, we received reports that it was allowed to leave Belizean waters over the weekend, even though the investigation hasn't completed. Allegria also confirmed our information saying that it was allowed to leave because it gave the Belize Port Authority, who is leading the investigation, certain assurances that they will return.

Dialog On LBGT Issues
The public awareness of the issues related to gay men has probably never been so prominent in the national discourse. But, UNIBAM wants to push it further along and it joined with other advocate organizations in a Dialog to increase the visibility of homophobia, discrimination and understanding of gender based violence while also framing a background document for the development of an Anti-Discrimination Legislation. Caleb Orozco told us more: Caleb Orozco "What's happening here is that we are looking at the issue of gender base violence, homophobia and LBGT human rights. Because we recognize that it's little discuss, little understood and so our work around this issue is about understanding and consciousness that it does exist and there is a link between the 3 issues." "Whether its sexual abuse, physical abuse and discrimination - all those persons who experience it belong to a family and that family has a mother and a father. When you look at the issues from a family perspective it's a son or a daughter being impacted. More precisely discrimination in our mind happens differently for males versus females. For males the issue might be direct insults, threats and ridicule. For women in the LBGT community it might be intense sexual harassment and mixed around the idea that if they have sex with a straight man their lesbianism would go away. These issues which not only impact psyche of the individual but it impact psyche of the family because then families are between whether to support a love one or to argue against the individual they claim they love, life and forgetting the love and the dignity of that person is the most important thing of all."

Flip Side Of City Bond: You'll Have To Pay For A Shining City!
We all want to live in a shining city by the sea - but how many of us are willing to pay for it? That's the quandary that faces Belize City residents as Mayor Darrell Bradley is trying to modernize and upgrade a city that's been neglected for decades. Last night we told you all about the municipal bond he wants to float, which if successful, would raise twenty million dollars. And while he wants regular folks to invest in it - he's also depending on those regular city residents to make it more the bond more viable by juicing up the city's' revenue stream. That means paying a monthly tax for garbage collection, paying your property taxes and paying for parking. Bradley outlined some of those revenue generating measures in his press conference yesterday - here's what he said:.. Mayor Darrell Bradley "The re-assessment in property taxes and the residential garbage fee. We are doing negotiations also with BWS and we are talking about putting this fee onto person's water bill so that that will assist us in terms of the collections."

"Lucky Boy" the Jaguar Making A Comeback
The Black Jaguar formerly known as Bosh, now called Lucky Boy - who was saved from certain death a little over a week ago is reported to be making a recovery at the Belize Zoo. According to the Zoo's facebook page, he's eating well on a special restorative diet, and is friendly with his caregivers, eating directly from their hands. He is described as a surprisingly calm and easy going jaguar.

Channel 5

House of Representatives to convene on Friday
The House of Representatives will be convened this Friday in Belmopan. Notice of the meeting raised speculation because the House met as recent as July eleventh and twelfth for the budget presentation and debate. There is no word on the nature of the sitting but from what we have learnt there are pressing financial regulations [...]

Police Association gets support from the N.T.U.C.B.
The Police Association and the senior command of the Police Department remain at odds and pressure is mounting. But tonight, the association picked up major support from unions across the country. The Ministry of National Security on Monday night, in a televised statement, condemned the actions of the association’s leadership in publicizing its objection to [...]

N.T.U.C.B. says legislation changes are needed to allow officers to defend their rights
The N.T.U.C.B. contends that a threat by the Ministry of National Security to disband the Police Association is tantamount to union busting. According to Reneau, the specific piece of legislation that applies to the association needs to be revised to allow officers the right to defend and protect their rights.   Dylan Reneau, President, N.T.U.C.B. [...]

Police Association President and Vice President interdicted
In an update to the Police Association issue, we can confirm that Corporal Eldon Arzu, the president, has been charged for being disrespectful to a superior officer while Vice President, Sergeant Edlin Lorenzo was charged for disobeying a lawful command. Both officers were given letters of interdiction, effective today and will now go to disciplinary [...]

Chris Lowe pleads guilty to wounding Bert Vasquez
Twenty-eight year old Bert Vasquez was bludgeoned to the head last Thursday by Christopher Lowe, the father of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe from Santa Elena. Jasmine is the young girl who Vasquez is accused of murdering; her body was found near a farm on the Cristo Rey Road on June eleventh. Vasquez was attacked [...]

Should disciplinary actions be taken against the police?
Decriminalizing the possession of up to ten grams of marijuana; that proposal by the Ministry of National Security is being hotly debated in all quarters. We got our viewers involved in the discussion with the question: Do you support decriminalizing marijuana? Over one thousand, five hundred votes were recorded on our e-poll, sixty-five percent saying [...]

Guatemalans caught illegally panning for gold in Chiquibul
It has come to light that Guatemalan nationals have advanced deep inside the Chiquibul National Park, panning for gold. Boiton Minerals is the company that has a license to conduct mining of gold in the area of Ceibo Chico, which is located at the extreme southern flank of the forest. In that area, Friends for [...]

Public officers allowances under review by Ministry
In a memo dated July sixteen, the Ministry of the Public Service advises that a review of allowances is being undertaken and that in September all allowances will be suspended pending the outcome of the review. The government says that the allowances cost over a million dollars per month and that in some instances they [...]

Belama paralegal charged for forging land documents
In the courts, a paralegal of Belama Phase Two is facing criminal charges for allegedly deceiving her estranged husband out of a parcel of land. Forty-three year old Anne Marie Morrison is accused of forging a transfer deed on January twenty-first, 2009 and a transfer of lease on June twenty-fifth that same year. In doing [...]

2nd drug conviction lands Dean Paulino in prison; he is also fined $20,000
While Anne Marie Morrison is out on bail, thirty-two year old Dean Paulino was fined and confined after his second drug related conviction. The charges relate to a bust on July twenty-seventh, 2011 when GSU personnel searched Paulino’s house in the Jane Usher Boulevard area. When the officers arrived, they caught Paulino throwing a bag [...]

NICH parking Lot is no longer free for public use
The City Council has imposed a new fee on drivers. Parking at the NICH Parking Lot in downtown Belize City will now cost two dollars an hour. The property, which was previously available for free public parking, is for the City Council and the new fees are a way to generate revenue to cover costs [...]

UNIBAM discusses sexual orientation; is it a choice?
The President of United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), Caleb Orosco, is taking the government to court, challenging Section Fifty-Three of the criminal code on the grounds that it criminalizes homosexuality. This morning the organization held a meeting at the Radisson to dialogue with various human rights agencies. It discussed a myriad of issues including sexual [...]

Be the next Superstar premieres live at the Bliss
The wait is almost over… the curtains are about to draw for our brand new show: Be the Next Superstar. And it is coming live from the Bliss. The kinks have been ironed out, the hosts are ready, the talent is about to take the stage and the judges promise not to hold back on [...]


The group Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action has issued a statement condemning statements made by the Organization of American States regarding an incident in the Colombia Forest Reserve in which a Guatemalan farmer was killed. Luis Alberto Ramirez and two other Guatem...

Three days from now, the 2012 Summer Olympic Games will get underway in London, England. Over ten thousand athletes from over two hundred National Olympic Committees will be competing in the Games which run from July twenty seventh to August twelfth. Three athletes will be ...

A child remains hospitalized as a result of a traffic accident yesterday in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “Police report here confirmed that five year old Kevin Scott Wagner was reportedly knocked down just about no...

Sport is an alternative way to teach people about God. At least that is what a U.S based group says it is doing in the Cayo District. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the details. FEM CRUZ, Reporter “A team of ten international softball coaches and traine...

Under the Belize Municipal Project rehabilitation work began yesterday on the Dangriga Market, with more on this story here is Harry Arzu. HARRY ARZU, Reporter “On Monday July 23rd demolition works and repairs got underway on the existing Dangriga municipal mar...

We now join Correspondent Elaine Berry with Court news in San Ignacio Town. ELAINE BERRY, Reporter “Sixty year old Christopher Lowe, naturalized Belizean farmer of a Hyah Street address of Santa Elena, was formally arraigned in the Magistrate Court this morning...


Victim of crocodile attack continues his recovery
Thirty year old Devin Swasey continues to recuperate following a vicious attack late last week by a crocodile in the Crooked Tree Lagoon. Swasey and two other men were diving for fish in the Black Burn area of the Lagoon when a large crocodile grabbed him and pulled him underwater. He was quickly rescued and rushed to the KHMH for treatment. Swasey was in an induced coma as doctors worked to stabilize his condition. A family member told Love News via text message over the weekend that Devin Swasey was responding to touches and voices and appeared to be waking up. Love News will continue to monitor this story and the progress of Devin Swasey’s recovery.

Commissioner of Police and Police Association lock horns
Love News today received reports that the Police commissioner had revoked the powers and privileges of the Police Association. We were later told that members of the association are to meet with the police high command and that after the meetings both sides would be in a better position to report to the media. We were able to contact the President of the Police Association, Eldon Arzu for an update. When asked what might resolve this situation, this is how Arzu reaponded. In an official release the Ministry of National Security had this to say. Delroy Kutkelvin from the Public Relations Unit in the Ministry had this to say.

City teen charged for death of his friend
Eighteen year old Paul Martinez, who the police alleged, fatally stabbed Raheem Smith, was charged with murder when he appeared today in the #1 Magistrate’s Court. Police reports are that on Thursday, July 19, Martinez and Smith had a misunderstanding over a bicycle which led to an altercation. Smith was stabbed during the altercation which occurred at a house on George Street. Martinez was also charged with robbery in connection with another incident. That incident occurred around 9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17 at BTL Park, located on Regent Street. The complainant, Samuel Taylor, reported to the police that while he was at the park he was held up at gunpoint and assorted jewellery and several other items were stolen. The other items included four fifty dollar notes in Belize currency, an I-phone and a Samsung cellular phone. All the items amounted to four thousand one hundred dollars in value. No plea was taken for the charge of murder because the offence is indictable. Martinez pleaded not guilty to robbery. He is to return to court on August 30 for both charges.

Police holds weekly press conference
The Police Department held its usual Monday morning press conference today at its Raccoon Street Conference Room at which it shared the latest on incidents that happened over the weekend. There were no murders or major shootings to report. In fact, the most serious incident was a stabbing in the Cayo District that has left a young man critically wounded. Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, briefed reporters of the incident. There was also an aggravated burglary that occurred on the Old Northern Highway on Sunday. But the Old Northern Highway was not the only location where this type of assault occurred. La Isla Bonita, San Pedro, also had its share of trouble over the weekend, in which a policeman, Constable Elvin Nah, was assaulted. Also, in the line of police investigations, since the murder of 25 year old Susana Lopez of Bella Vista Village, Stann Creek, over a week ago, an American national from Independence Village has claimed that he has come under heavy threats by villagers of the area over allegations that the murder was committed by a Caucasian man. However, the police investigations hover over another Caucasian in the area. The man whose life and property have come under threat claims that he was out of the country when the crime was committed. The police also spoke on this issue at today’s conference. And lastly, following last Friday afternoon’s robbery at Senor Coconut Restaurant on Eve Street, police say that they have detained an individual. And while the police are fighting crime of all levels on the streets, on some occasions officers can also become brutal in keeping the peace. On Sunday night, an officer allegedly brutalized a citizen in the Port Loyola area of Belize City. It is an act that Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of National Security, Raphael Martinez, says is not taken lightly. There was also another incident in San Pedro in which a business establishment was broken into. According to thirty year old Martha Polanco, the Supervisor of Tomza Gas, between five last Thursday evening and Last Friday morning someone broke into Tomza Gas office on Blake Street in San Pedro and stole a laptop computer, a black HP brand printer, and other accessories worth a total of over four thousand dollars. Police are looking for one Rafael Martinez for questioning. Meanwhile, in connection with the incident near the border with Guatemala where a Guatemalan farer was killed last week, Martinez says that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is expected to issue a press release shortly.

Summer camp ends in Punta Gorda
The Peoples National Party in Punta Gorda closed its annual summer camp at the weekend. Paul Mahung Reports.

Student government body president says no to increased fees at University of Belize
The Ministry of Education’s budget cut for scholarships by half a million dollars has resulted in a cut in special assistance given to students attending the University of Belize. This means that all new students will, as of January 2013, have to pay 150-dollars more in registration fees than what students were paying before. It has drawn many to weigh in on the new reality, one of which is the UB student government and members of the newly-formed group called “Nation Builders”. President of the UB student government and member of the Nation Builders, Hope Ahmad, told Love News today that the cut in subsidy will inevitably be the equivalent to UB newcomers paying double per credit hour. Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, has said explained that the Government is simply at the point where it is costing too much to continue with the amount in subsidy to UB. He did emphasize on public television that the government’s intention is not to stop paying for the students who are already enrolled in the UB system, but for new students who will enroll as of January of next year.

Crane pulls down electricity poles causes blackout
The second Western Highway accident today happened hours before near mile thirty two. A truck that was carrying a crane was exiting the Cheers compound when the heavy equipment shifted slid off the truck. The sudden movement of the crane made the boom of the machine causing it to make contact with electrical wires at the side of the road. Two of the poles buckled under the impact and the result was a loss of power to surrounding areas for most of the day. No one was hurt in this incident.

Vehicles collide in Hattieville village
Two vehicles collided on the Western Highway this morning in Hattieville village. According to reports, the crash involved a west-bound pickup truck, driven by Burrel Boom resident Jarvis Castellanos and an SUV heading in the opposite direction and being driven by Belmopan businesswoman Blanca Flowers. At the scene of the incident, the Belmopan businesswoman declined an interview, but told Love News that she saw the pickup truck veering into her land and tried unsuccessfully to avoid a collision. Her vehicle slammed into the driver side front portion of the pickup truck. The drive of the pickup truck, who was transporting tractor parts to Belmopan, appears to have sustained a broken leg and injuries to his hands. Both drivers were traveling along in their respective vehicles. While Flowers claims that she swerved to avoid a collision, at the scene it showed that the impact happened on the shoulder of the road off the pavement and in the opposite lane, which would be contrary to what the Belmopan businesswoman claims. Castellanos was taken away via ambulance for medical treatment in Belize City. Police were on the scene this morning and both drivers are expected to make official statements on the crash and their investigations continue.

Mayor Bradley explains bond issue
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 for over a decade now. But the advantage of this bond, according to advisors to City Hall is what it can offer the common man on the street. While it will work to give Belize City a much-needed facelift, it can also earn money for its residents. Mayor Darrel Bradley assured that bond-holders will not be at risk of losing their money. Ervin Perez is the Managing Director of Legacy Fund, which is the financial advisor to the Belize City Council. At a press conference at City Hall, Perez explained what the recommendations are that Legacy has made to City Hall on how to issue the bonds. The bond is part of a twenty-million-dollar loan that City Hall will acquire and the onus to repay will ultimately lies the residents of the old capital. The structural integrity of the streets should be of paramount quality, and City Hall does sign a contract with the companies doing the work to ensure that residents are getting value for money. Perez said that while there are risks, the bond will offer more to Belizeans than any other saving institution. City Hall will bring the bond issue to the fore three weeks from now for investors to buy shares in. The council has a list of thirty streets that it says it is doing works on.


Christian Workers Union rejects Port's counter proposal
Raymond Rivers says that Christian Workers Union rejects Port of Belize counter proposal. If you can recall on June...

Minister Saldivar on Police Association
Last week, the Police Association made news when it put out a release publicly condemning the Senior Command's rush...

Why the municipal bond
The Belize City Council has launched an ambitious plan to improve city streets. They have already invested over $1 ...

Million dollar project breaks ground in Dangriga
The $1.4 million dollar project, which will renovate and expand the municipal market in Dangriga, is getting underw...

UB Student Gov. President says no to fee increase
Nation builders a collected group of young students and activist organized for the development of better youth poli...

Miss World Belize 2012 profile
Last night we reported that Miss World Belize has reached an unprecedented milestone in the 2012 Miss World competi...

Sports camp for kids in the south
The Stann Creek District Sports Council is hosting it annual sport camp at the Carl Ramos Stadium from July 23 – 28...

Man in ICU after stabbing, won't name assailant
Police visited the Shawville area on July 22, around 3:15am, where they saw Gilroy Nicolas, a resident of Shawville...

Cop targeted by gunmen
Police Constable ELVIN NAH presently attached to the ADU, reported that on July 15, around 6:30pm he was on officia...

More charges levied against murder suspect
Raheem Smith was fatally stabbed in an altercation on George Street, over a punctured bicycle. That stabbing happen...


Guats stealing Belize gold in Chiquibul!
“...dozens and dozens of people from many Guatemalan communities, including Monte Los Olivos, Nueva Armenia, Poptun and even from the Department of Izabal,” coming to pan for Belize gold, says FCD exec director, Rafael Manzanero

Deadly road accident claims 3 lives
Three other persons injured... Three persons, the eldest in their families, are dead, and three others suffered various injuries after they were involved in a road accident that occurred around 3:00 a.m. on Friday, July 20, around Mile 11 ¼ on the Northern Highway near El Cas Super Store.

Decriminalization gets private sector (Chamber) support – but only for 5 grams of weed
Judiciary moving towards special drug court... Presently, the possession of less than 60 grams of marijuana is a criminal offence punishable by a $50,000 fine and/or up to 3 years imprisonment. The new proposal, though, suggests that for the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana, those convicted would be subject to fines and mandatory drug education, but no imprisonment.

CitCo wants to raise $20 mil in bonds for concrete streets
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley this morning hosted a press conference along with Ervin Perez, Managing Director of Legacy Fund Limited, CitCo’s financial advisor, to announce their intent to raise $20 million via a municipal bond to fix at least 50% of the City’s streets over the next few years.

Amazing story – Crooked Tree fisherman survives multiple croc bites and coma after being dragged under water!
At last report, fisherman Devin Swasey, 30, of Crooked Tree, Belize District, is being treated at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, recovering from multiple bites of a crocodile lurking at the bottom of the Crooked Tree Lagoon.

Guatemala ramps up “saber-rattling” against Belize
Belize is “constantly under siege...” says Belize Ambassador to Guatemala, Fred Martinez... COLA slams OAS for calling Belize’s defense of its territory “reprehensible”.. Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, has been quoted in an official OAS press release as saying, in response to the death of Guatemalan farmer, Luis Alberto Martínez Alonzo, on Wednesday that “The death of a person is always reprehensible and I hope that the circumstances in which this occurred are cleared up promptly.”

Dangriga youth footballers visit Brown Bombers at MCC
a chat with Stephen Lourie, the man behind Umadagu... The Belize City Champions Cup had taken the weekend off last week due to the referees attending a training seminar from Friday, July 13, to Sunday, July 15; but that did not stop “di bola” from rolling on the Barracks, as there were 4 youth football games played at the MCC Grounds on Sunday afternoon, July 15.

Tough call for Premier League, 3 clubs apply for 2 spots
Our sources inside the Premier League of Belize (PLB) tell us that the League’s Executive has been authorized by the General Assembly at their last meeting on Saturday, July 21, to decide on which 2 teams will be allowed, from the 3 that applied, to participate in the upcoming tournament, scheduled to begin on the weekend of August 11-12.

Cricket championship, Excellence takes Game 1 over Western Eagles in Rancho Dolores
The 2012 Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition best-of-3 championship series began with Game 1 on Saturday, July 21, in the Belize River Valley village of Rancho Dolores, where visiting Excellence of Double Head Cabbage emerged victorious, 136-119, over home standing Western Eagles of Rancho Dolores. Top scorer for Excellence was Kenny Broaster with 56 runs, and he also took 5 wickets, to be the unquestioned Man of the Match. I. Broaster also scored 37 runs for Excellence. For Western Eagles, Glenn Pook batted 35 runs, and Shane Young had 19. N. Pook and J. Benjamin each took 4 wickets for Western Eagles.

Paul Steven Martinez, 18, charged with murder
He is accused of stabbing to death Raheem Smith, also 18... Paul Steven Martinez, 18, a resident of #6321 Berry Street, was today brought before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith to answer to the charge of murder for Raheem Smith, also 18, which occurred last Thursday, July 19.

KHMH docs perform first open heart surgeries in Belize
Earlier this week, a team of physicians from Belize’s leading public hospital, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), and from Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS) in the United States, collaborated to perform the first-of-its-kind two open heart surgeries at the hospital’s new cardiovascular diagnostic and interventional facility.

Editorial: Sunny City
The Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Hon. Santi Castillo, referenced it in his budget presentation 10 days ago. Several callers on the KREM WUB morning show queried about it last week, and until a few days ago no other section of the media, except KREMANDALA, had picked up the story. The “it” we refer to is the mega project called Sunny City, to be located on 5,000 acres at Mile 12 3/4 on the Northern Highway.

From The Publisher
Back then Belize had a “censor board” which watched private showings of all movies before the public was allowed to see the films in movie theaters. In my time, the censor board was comprised of old Belizean ladies chosen by the all-powerful leadership of the ruling PUP. Usually it would be a question of their deciding whether a movie could be seen by the general public, or whether it would be classified as “For Adults Only.”

Orange Walk’s dusty streets will kill us!
In Orange Walk, one of the busiest street/roads is the San Antonio/Blue Creek/Lamanai Road. We are proud that the road is being upgraded, but here in town, from its beginning at the junction with Queen Victoria Avenue to its ending at Albert Burns Farm (formerly Dr. George Rancho), only about two little pieces of pavement remain.


A Walk in Bacalar Chico/Northern Ambergris Caye Continues...
Yesterday, I wrote about a walk I took "on the road less travelled" at the very beginning of Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve park at the northern end of Ambergris Caye. The walk was about an hour, we saw only one person at his home, no golf carts, no moving boats, a dock or two, some truly beautiful beaches, the reef barely a few hundred feet away and some of the most amazing ocean you will see anywhere on earth. GORGEOUS. Here are some more pictures... We had just passed Tranquility Bay and then a few hundred feet north, Turtleman's House. (It looks super scenic at anytime of day...especially when the sun is rising over it.) Many of the houses are wooden and many look uninhabited. Never thought of using a boat as a coconut tree planter... Did I mention how smitten I am with the beaches and the view? Let's keep walking... Uh oh...a mysterious bag filled with something white on the beach. Leave it and run. I mean, first stage a photo and then, RUN! Most of the houses are closed up. And separated by long stretches of empty beach. And then this place...does anyone know what it is? Sort of looks like the Alamo, has a bar area in the downstairs...could be an older resort...but definitely closed. As you get farther up, there are more and more turtle signs.

A Day of Maya History
Yesterday 24 eco kids had the opportunity to immerse themselves in Maya History at The Lodge at Chaa Creek. The Eco kids along with the camp counselors hiked to the Maya Temple site of Tunichilen where they received an introductory history of the Maya by Joe Awe, Chaa Creek’s Senior Guide and Mayanist. Joe Awe spoke about the significance of the 13th Baktun in the Maya Long Count and told the kids to not worry about the end of the world because the Maya never said that the world is going to end on December 21st 2012. The Eco Kids learned that the Maya Temple Site of Caracol is the tallest building in Belize and that the Maya Civilization build impressive temples, created beautiful art from stone and jade and made astonishing discoveries in mathematics and astronomy. Mr. Awe also told the kids that the ancient Maya remembered important events by building stone monuments called stelae which were carved in stone.

After another fantastic breakfast, our eco-campers were getting ready for what was expected to be a lot of serious hiking involved. The centerpiece for today’s activities focused on the ancient Mayas, with a trip to the biggest Maya temple remaining on the Chaa Creek property, as well as a presentation in the conference center from renowned cultural anthropologist Joe Awe. We had barely left the main road on the hiking trail when the skies began to pour rain down upon us!! It was not long before many of the campers were telling me that this was the longest they had ever been outside in the rain in their lives. And let’s face it, this is why we come to camp in the first place – to experience new things and bring back stories to tell our friends and families. Well, the kids certainly got that on their hike up to our Mayan site today. In fact, the rain gave Joe a perfect seg-way into discussing one of the reasons why the Maya civilization collapsed –drought, caused by over clearing of the trees. While our modern eco-campers may have been praying for the skies to clear and the sun to come out, at that very spot, over a thousand years ago, there may have been a group of Maya people praying to Chaac (their Rain god) for exactly the kind of weather we experienced. Joe did a fantastic job describing the Maya people who would have once inhabited the area and created an image of what life might have been like for them. Many of the campers were surprised to find out that some of their fellow eco kids are, in fact, descendants of these unique people. One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind was the end of the Maya calendar, which occurs on December 21, 2012. “Is the world actually going to come to an end?!” Joe was able to reassure everyone that unlike the Western calendar we use today, the ancient Maya calendar is cyclical in nature so it is not actually ending this year, but just completing the circle. Instead of worry about the end of the world, we should, in fact, be getting ready to celebrate the rebirth of the cycle.

International Sources

John McAfee: Anti-virus king turned relational yoga inventor talks latest endeavor (or prank?)
WW: Do you think you will spend the rest of your life in Belize? JM: I believe I will. I think most of my energy is going into the observational yoga and the observational weight training. WW: Tell me about your days in Belize. JM: I don't have an average day; every day varies. I live in different places around the country. If I am in Orange Walk, it is an overgrown rainforest and a totally different environment from San Pedro, which is on the ocean. I try not to become a habit unto myself, so I vary my location, I vary my activity. WW: What do you think about the idea of yoga and intellectual property? JM: I don't believe in intellectual property. Number one, when I started my anti-virus software, I put on the package: "Please steal this software." What is intellectual property? It came from combining all the ideas that are in your head; it came from other people. I don't think we own any ideas. But I don't insist on my opinion. Here in Belize, for example, there is no intellectual-property law because the government doesn't believe in it. If, in fact, Belize changes that, that's fine with me. I can live under any system. WW: You knew Greg Gumucio when you were living in Colorado. What was your relationship like?

Joel’s journey from the Big Issue to top legal firm
A RUNNER from Southgate who used to be homeless said he was “very proud” to have carried the Olympic flame in east London this weekend. Joel Hodgson, 25, who was born in Belize, took part in the Olympic torch relay in Newham on Saturday morning. “It was a surreal experience,” Joel told the Advertiser. “But I was very proud. It was great to do it in Newham because I could see the Olympic Stadium. “There were lots of people who came to see me – my family and friends. It was great to have them there, but I was very nervous beforehand. “I just hoped I wouldn’t drop the torch or fall over.” Joel is also a sprinter and can run 100 metres in under 11 seconds. He hopes to compete for the Belize team in the next Commonwealth Games. On Monday, the Belize Olympic team invited Joel to the athletes’ centre in the Olympic Village, where they were welcomed by singers and dancers. And tomorrow he will join his native country’s Olympians for dinner with Prince Harry at a London restaurant.

USA Wins 2012 America's Cup in Belize
For the first time ever Belize hosted two prestigious world-rated darts tournaments, the 19th Annual Caribbean Cup and the 6th World Darts Federation Americas Cup. The tournaments took place this month in Belize City from July 20 – 30, 2012. Team USA held on to a 7-5 victory over Team Canada. The teams fought valiantly, each holding their own at 5-5 but the US team dug deep and pulled ahead, breaking Canada to advance for Men's Doubles Gold. Canada claimed Silver. Canada took the Men's Singles Gold and Silver with Troy Hanlon's victory over fellow countryman Chris Steiger in a 4-0 contest. USA claimed Gold and Silver in the Ladies Singes when Marilyn Popp defeated Brenda Roush in a 3-0 match. Dawson Murchell claimed Gold for Canada in the Youth Singles by defeating countrywoman Robin Barnes in the finals 4-1. This was Dawson's first Internation Singles Title. Maryland local, Joe Huffman was part of team USA. "It has been a great honor to play for the US Team. We had a blast and I will never forget the experience!"

NYT Excerpt: Offshore Banking In Belize
This week in The New York Times Magazine, Adam Davidson opens a hard-to-trace offshore company in Belize, which turns out to be a piece of cake: "Setting up the company was a lot cheaper than I expected. A&P charged $900 for a basic Belizean incorporation and another $85 for a corporate seal to emboss legal documents. For $650 more, A&P offered to open a bank account to stash my fledgling operation's money in Singapore — a country, the Web site also noted, that 'cannot gather information on foreigners' bank accounts, bank-deposit interest and investment gains under domestic tax law.' And for another $690, it offered to assign a 'nominee' who would be listed as the official manager and owner of my business but would report to me under a secret power-of-attorney contract. Then an A&P associate asked me to fill out the incorporation information online, just so she wouldn't type in anything incorrectly. The whole thing took about 10 minutes."

"Dramatic" New Maya Temple Found, Covered With Giant Faces
Archaeological "gold mine" illuminates connection between king and sun god. Some 1,600 years ago, the Temple of the Night Sun was a blood-red beacon visible for miles and adorned with giant masks of the Maya sun god as a shark, blood drinker, and jaguar. Long since lost to the Guatemalan jungle, the temple is finally showing its faces to archaeologists, and revealing new clues about the rivalrous kingdoms of the Maya. Unlike the relatively centralized Aztec and Inca empires, the Maya civilization—which spanned much of what are now Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico's Yucatán region (Maya map)—was a loose aggregation of city-states. (Read about the rise and fall of the Maya in National Geographic magazine.) "This has been a growing awareness to us since the 1990s, when it became clear that a few kingdoms were more important than others," said Brown University archaeologist Stephen Houston, who announced the discovery of the new temple Thursday. El Zotz, in what's now Guatemala, was one of the smaller kingdoms, but one apparently bent on making a big impression. By 2010 archaeologists working on a hilltop near the ancient city center had discovered 45-foot-tall (13-meter-tall) Diablo Pyramid. Atop it they found a royal palace and a tomb, believed to hold the city's first ruler, who lived around A.D. 350 to 400.

July 24, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Valid: Monday, July 23, 2012 - 6:00 am

Residual instability with support in the upper levels will continue to favor outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms over most districts and coastal waters on Monday and Tuesday. A tropical wave will reach the coast of Yucatan and Belize on Wednesday night, generating another bout of showers and thunderstorms through Thursday (Figure 3 & 5 below). The atmosphere will then stabilized by Friday leading to mainly fair and dry weather over the coming weekend.

An influx of moisture and instability is enhancing outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms over southern and northern areas of the mainland and northern coastal waters today. The instability will continue on Tuesday, decreasing on Wednesday. An active tropical wave will reach the coast of Belize on Wednesday night, producing more showers and thunderstorms which will be locally concentrated over central and northern coastal areas.

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 mostly cloudy skies through Thursday, but a significant reduction in showers is expected by Friday and over the coming weekend.

Daily rainfall accumulations will range from 0.50-2.00 inches in the northern districts and northern coastal waters/Cayes, and along the coast on Monday and Tuesday. Elsewhere, rainfall totals will be 0.25-1.00 inch today and Tuesday. Most areas will see daily totals of 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch of rainfall on Wednesday; but increasing on Wednesday night and Thursday; with daily totals in the hills and central coastal areas of 0.75-1.50 inches. Daily rainfall rates will decrease on Friday and this coming weekend, ranging from 0.01-0.10 of-an-inch, with possible higher amounts in the elevated terrain produced by afternoon showers.

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

St. Peter’s College shut down by Ministry of Education
After over fifteen years of offering services to the adult population of the island wishing to further their education, St. Peter’s College was forced to close its doors on Thursday July 19th. Reliable sources have confirmed to The San Pedro Sun that the reason for closure by the Ministry of Education was due to failure to comply with the standards of the Ministry of Education as it pertains to the operations of a High School. The institution, which was being run by Mr. Frank Nuñez, was officially inaugurated on Friday, 20th December, 1996. It is understood that to accommodate the students affected by the closure, the San Pedro High School has agreed to provide night time classes. As for the Elementary School, St. Peter’s will be allowed to continue operations through the school year 2012-2013 with certain conditions. The San Pedro Sun contacted Mr. Nuñez for a comment regarding the developments. He indicated he would do so after a meeting with parents on Wednesday July 25th. We will continue to update you as more information becomes available.

Belizean born sprinter Joel Hodgson carries the Olympic Torch in London
A former Big Issue vendor carried the Olympic torch through London – and is now preparing for more international sporting glory Joel Hodgson carries the Olympic Torch through Newham, east London, photo by The BIG Issue A former Big Issue vendor has described carrying the Olympic torch as “the proudest day of my life”. On Saturday, Joel Hodgson bore the flame along the streets of Newham, east London, whilst thousands of people cheered him on. His involvement in the Olympic torch relay comes after an astonishing two years in which Joel escaped homelessness and set himself on a path to sporting glory as well as professional success. Joel now holds a full-time job with an international law firm and is set to represent Belize, his home country, in the 100m at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. After passing on the torch at 11 o’clock on Saturday morning, Joel went to a star-studded event at Newham Town Hall, where he was congratulated by the singer Paloma Faith.

Peter Lawrence of Pedro’s Inn arrested and charged with illegal gambling
San Pedro Police have formally arrested and brought several charges against 57 year old businessman Peter Lawrence of Pedro’s Inn in San Pedro Town. Lawrence was detained by SP Police on his premises after he allegedly failed to produce a gaming permit for gambling on the night of July 18th, 2012. His arrest comes as a result of a warrant obtained by the Gambling Control Board of Belize and served to the San Pedro Police Department. Police say that after meeting with members of the Gambling Control Board of Belize, they decided to conduct a special operation to look into the matter of gaming at Lawrence’s establishment. Sometime around 9:30PM on Wednesday July 18th, 2012, a team of Police officers, carrying a warrant, descended on the premises of Pedro’s Inn located on Sea Grape Drive in San Pedro Town. According to the Police, they observed a female bartender, later identified as 30 year old Ayanna Ramos, of San Pedro Town, dealing cards around a poker table. They observed proprietor Peter Lawrence accompanied by five other persons with poker chips and cards apparently gambling. When requested by Police, the authorities say that Lawrence was unable to provide a gaming license from the Gambling Control Board of Belize. The officers then proceeded to confiscate all the poker chips, the gambling cards and poker table. In addition, everyone around the poker table was detained and taken to the San Pedro Police station. Following investigation, Police released all with the exception of Lawrence and Ramos. Peter Lawrence was subsequently charged for the offences of ‘gambling in a common gaming house’, ‘use of premises as a common gaming house’ and ‘use of premises for gaming without a gaming license’. Ramos was also charged for the offence of ‘gambling in a common gaming house’.

Ambergris Today

A Night of Live Theater Drama in San Pedro
It was a night of live theater this past Saturday, July 21, 2012, as the San Pedro House of Culture hosted the cast of Palíndromos Teatro Independiente of Costa Rica. The group is on its third tour through several southern states of Mexico and Central America, but on a first pass through Belize. The theatrical performance which the group is presenting is called “La Celda Compartida” (The Shared Cell), a drama written by Diego J. Salgado which puts four characters locked in a space they believe is a waiting room at a police station. They carry on their shoulders the weight of unrelated crimes and try to figure out why they are all locked together in one room. The play has us see how humans are doomed to repeat past mistakes, urging us to do a review of history so as not to continue this vicious cycle.

Ministry of Works Assists San Pedro with Road Repairs
The San Pedro Town Council got some special assistance from government this past weekend as the Ministry of Works sent over four heavy duty road repair equipment over to the island to assist the Council’s work on the upgrading of the streets. Mayor Daniel Guerrero commented to Ambergris Today that he wants to fully upgrade the streets in the DFC and San Pedrito Areas before classes resume. Students in both areas were having difficulty reaching their schools when the rains flooded the streets in the areas and residents have been complaining on the dire condition of the roads.

Butane Prices Down By $30
The Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection negotiated a significant decrease in the retail price of Butane to the public. On Friday, June 20, 2012, the price of butane reduced by $30 per 100 pound cylinder. In light of a general downward trend in the global market price for natural gas, the Ministry took proactive steps in engaging the suppliers, and it was determined that they were able to pass some of these accumulated savings to the consumers. The new list for controlled butane prices: District Imported from Mexico Imported from Central America Belize $104 $97 Belmopan $106 $99 San Ignacio $106 $99 Benque $107 $100 Orange Walk $105 $98 Corozal $104 $97 Dangriga $108 $101 Punta Gorda $109 $102

Belize Ranks Second in Region for 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.

Marsden and Batty Island Nuptials
With stunning beaches and lush gardens, romantic sunsets and exquisite turquoise waters, Ambergris Caye was the perfect backdrop for Brian Batty and Tanya Marsden’s dream destination wedding. Joyfully celebrated on Saturday July 21, 2012, at Sueno Del Mar Resort, the couple along with family and friends, made their love known as they said their vows on a romantic beachfront setting, and later kissed as fireworks filled the sky!

Road Repairs Assist in Access to Marco Gonzalez Maya Site
A big THANK YOU to San Pedro Town Council for the road work being done on south Ambergris Caye. Repair work in the form of hard core has been done in the last two weeks to finally make the road 100% more passable. By no means is it a smooth journey, however, it doesn’t take water wings to navigate the road to just past the 5.25 mile point. I understand that the work will continue to the end of the island very quickly. I write this thank you with the understanding that by doing the repairs it is a boon to the island. The day the work was completed to the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site entrance, we had some of our first visitors (even in a light rain) in a very long time. You simply couldn’t get to the site entrance due to the amount of rain water covering the roadway. From about Mile 2.5 to the end, only the construction and sand trucks could “safely” drive down the watery road. Now we’re open for business again.

Saga Salad Cook Off a Success!
SAGA Humane Society would like to extend their thanks to Bruce & Diane Badolato and Steve Kilchenstein the owners of Wet Willy’s for hosting our monthly Cook-off Fundraiser for the second time this year! It was held on Wednesday, July 18, 2012. Bruce, Diane & Steve and their staff were once again gracious hosts. We tried a new theme – “SALADS” – and we happy to say it was well received. We had (12) entries and each and every one of them were delicious! But in the end, it was Wild Mango’s with their Roasted Chili Caesar Salad that took home the first place prize of a Nano IPod! Second Place went to AJ’s own Danielle with her Buffalo Chicken Salad Bites. And Third Place went to Adaly Ayuso with her yummy Lobster Salad.

Misc Belizean Sources

Contact numbers, for Police Stations countrywide
Belize Police Department Prepaid Listing 2011 Location Phone Numbers Corozal Corozal Police Station 402-0022 Progresso Police station 403-6179 Belize City Sandhill Police Station 205-5051 OC Crimes Investigation Branch 207-7489 Control Room Operator 207-4954 Control Room Operator 207-2222 Control Room Operator 207-2223 Control Room Operator 207-4676 ...

Kurse a di Xtabai Premiere
There was a great showing for the premiere of Kurse a di Xtabai this weekend at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. They kicked off the national tour in Cayo, where the film was shot. Here's the video of the grand premiere. Xtabai was there herself! "Premiere of the national tour, 2012 Kurse a di Xtabai, San Ignacio resort Hotel Bedran Hall, thanks everyone who worked and supported thai great Belizean art project, your are very inspiring."

NICH's National Cultural Policy Meetings
NICH will be having their Cultural Policy consultation for Cayo Tuesday, July 24th, at the Cahal Pech Resort at 5:00pm. In Belmopan they'll have it at the Civic Centre at 5:00pm on Wednesday, July 25th. "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."

Western Women Agro-processing Association
Have you tried all the homemade jams and jellies at the market? They also have homemade hot sauces too. And they're hot! On market Saturday, you can find those, and a wide selection of homemade wines. Cassava, Cashew, Rice, Carrot, Papaya, Mango, and many more flavors. "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."

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (21 July, 2012)
Straight Line 100.00 Each (7 Balls) 56 ­7 ­39 ­66 ­33 ­44 ­27­ Y 125.00 Each (10 Balls) 56 ­7 ­39 ­66 ­33 ­44 ­27 ­17 ­20 ­40­ T 150.00 Each (20 Balls) 56 ­7 ­39 ­66 ­33 ­44 ­27 ­17 ­20 ­40 ­57 ­47 ­52 ­10 ­43 ­60 ­6 ­45 ­4 ­37­ Inside World 1000.00 Each (21 Balls) 56 ­7 ­39 ­66 ­33 ­44 ­27 ­17 ­20 ­40 ­57 ­47 ­52 ­10 ­43 ­60 ­6 ­45 ­4 ­37 ­38­ L 175.00 Each (24 Balls) 56 ­7 ­39 ­66 ­33 ­44 ­27 ­17 ­20 ­40 ­57 ­47 ­52 ­10 ­43 ­60 ­6 ­45 ­4 ­37 ­38 ­14 ­1 ­63­ Letter X 750.00 Each (26 Balls) 56 ­7 ­39 ­66 ­33 ­44 ­27 ­17 ­20 ­40 ­57 ­47 ­52 ­10 ­43 ­60 ­6 ­45 ­4 ­37 ­38 ­14 ­1 ­63 ­8 ­70­

Channel 7

Guatemalan Gold Rush In Chiquibul
The pressures upon Belize's borders continue to multiply: last week it was an illegal Guatemalan logger who was killed after he engaged a BDF Patrol and this week, and tonight the news is about scores of Guatemalans illegally panning for gold in the Chiquibul. They were caught in extreme southern Chiquibul. That's the same area where the Ceibo Chico Conservation Post and the South Chiquibul Joint Enforcement Unit was inaugurated a few weeks ago - and tonight there is proof of why that post is so desperately needed. 19 days ago the joint patrol came upon a major, organized Guatemalan gold-panning operation - but due to the remote-ness of the location, only now are the pictures and video becoming available. It shows a group of 20 men, women and children set up well within Belizean territory panning for gold from the Ceibo Chico drainage system.

Police Association: Toe-To-Toe With Top Cop
Last week, the Police Association made history when it came out publicly condemning the Senior Command's rushed police transfers. Commissioner of Police, David Henderson, who stated publicly that his office was working to reverse the transfers of those aggrieved officers. Finally, we also told you that the Ministry of National Security was displeased that the Association went against the media police to speak freely to us. But it seems that things are coming to a head, and 7News received unofficial word today that the senior Command has decided that because the Association refuses to remain quiet, they will be dismantled, and all privileges that they previously enjoyed are now null and void. It sounds like a gag-order to us, but the Police Administration - all the way up to the Ministry of National Security Level - seems to have decided that they will no longer be 'dissed' by the Association which refuses to keep quiet. There is nothing official yet, but we contacted the acting president, who told us that they had to miss a 10 o'clock appointment with Commissioner, who was supposed to tell them all of this in person. Here's how he described that conversation with the Commissioner this morning:

Home Invaders Prey On 72 Year Old At His Ranch
A 72 year old man living in the rural Belize district was the victim of an early morning home invasion on Sunday. It happened in a quiet neighborhood at mile 20 on the Old Northern Highway. Around 6 o'clock on Sunday morning, 72 year old Hipolito Castillo reported to police that he went to his sheep stable on his ranch about 50 yards behind his house and while entering the stable he was approached from behind by 6 men who were armed and dressed in full black and their faces covered with cloth. The men then blind folded Castillo with transparent tape while his neck was tied with a piece of yellow rope and both of his hands tied tightly with a piece of black telephone wire. He was escorted to his house by the men who demanded that he handed over money. Police press officer Fitzroy Yearwood told us more:... Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "Hipolito Castillo, 72 year old retired person was at his at farm on the 22nd July and around 6 o' clock he said that he went around his sheep stable not too far from his house where he was attack by 6 men all dress in black clothing with their faces covered with mask. These men were all armed with firearms. These men blind-folded him, his hands were tied and he was escorted back to the house where he was instructed to hand over his chest containing an undisclosed amount of cash. These men went on to ransack the house. Fearing for his life he didn't try to do anything. The men then took him outside where they ask his for another chest - they took away his 12 gauge pump action shotgun and they left in his Isuzu pickup valued at $10,000. This pickup was later located by Ladyville police at an area around mile 23 on a feeder road 3 miles from his residence. Police are still investigating this incident."

Martinez To Court For Stabbing Raheem
Last week, 18 year-old Raheem Smith was fatally stabbed in an altercation over his bike. We also showed you the mother of the man who police have now charged for it. She said that that her son did it in self defence. Well, today, that man, 18 year-old Paul Martinez was taken to court. According to police, on Thursday, Smith loaned his bicycle to Martinez, and when he returned with it, it was flat. As a result, a verbal confrontation started, which escalated to a fight. The fight ended when Martinez stabbed Smith in the upper right side of his body. He was rushed to the KHMH, but he was pronounced dead on arrival. Well, Martinez was taken to Magistrates Court today, where he was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Smith for murder. But, police also believe that he was involved in another incident. Martinez was also arraigned on the charge of robbery, where police allege that while armed with a firearm, he robbed Samson Sheldon Jacobs on July 17 of 2 cellular phones, an assortment of jewelry, and $200 in cash, to a total value of $4,120. Martinez was remanded to prison until August 30, his next court date.

Police Take Two Guns Off Street
Intelligence gathered by Special Branch has resulted in two guns taken off the streets. Around 9 on Friday night, police searched at an open lot on Elston Kerr Street. They found a 9mm pistol with 5 live rounds stuffed inside a black plastic bag. And just an hour later while conducting another intelligence-led search in an abandoned lot - this time in the Jane Usher Boulevard area- they came across another firearm. The 9 millimeter pistol was found with one live round. The firearm was deposited and labeled as Found Property.

Mentally Ill Man Rambles In Court, Gets Off Attempted Murder Charge
Last week Friday, the trial for 23 Year-old Mark Gordon, the man who was charged with attempted murder for the double stabbing of the couple, 25-year-old Miriam Pierre and 25-year-old Jermaine Chen, ended pre-maturely after he gave an incoherent statement from the dock in his defence. In the trial which started last week, the court saw signs that Gordon may be suffering from some form of mental illness. As a result, the jury had to decide whether or not they believed if he was mentally competent enough to stand trial. Before they deliberated, they heard testimony from the Psychiatrist, Dr. Claudia Cayetano. According to Cayetano, she assessed and treated Gordon in 2006, 3 years before the offences were committed. Cayetano told the court that Gordon suffers from a psychotic disorder, and that he is sometimes not in touch with reality. Cayetano did add that if he took his medication regularly, he would be able to stand trial. With that the Jury deliberated and gave the verdict that he should stand trial because they believe that he was mentally fit. As a result, Crown Counsel Trienna Young, who represented the prosecution, called the 2 victims to testify against Gordon. Chen told the court that at around 6 a.m. on July 13, 2009, he left the bathroom area of his apartment, located at #20 Dolphin Street, when Gordon attacked him with a kitchen knife.

Employee Turned Accused Wants Restitution From ICB
Back in March of 2010, it made the news when the former cashier for Insurance Corporation of Belize, Abisai Canul, was criminally charged with 2 counts of theft for over 10 thousand dollars. According to police, the financial controller for ICB reported that Canul was terminated in January of 2010, and he was ordered to turn in all company funds, but they discovered that $10,220 dollars was missing. Canul was implicated as the one who stole the money, and as a result, he was charged with theft. Well, last week, which made it 2 years and 4 months since those charges were brought against him, he was acquitted when ICB brought several witnesses, but none of them could provide anything which pointed to Canul as the culprit. Today, Canul received his official letter from the Magistrate's Court which certified that he cleared of all charges. However, He told 7News today that the damage to his character cannot be undone, and as a result, he will bring a defamation lawsuit against ICB for the 2 years of distress that the accusation caused him. Here's what he told us about the case and about his intentions to sue.

UB Student President Rejects End Of fee Subsidy
Last week we told you about the ministry of Education's Plan to cease subsidizing UB students by paying for a 150 dollar increase in fees which was instituted 6 years ago but never passed on to students. Today the President of the University's student body told us that as part of the youth movement called Nation builders - they are asking the government to reconsider:.. Hope Amadi, Student Government President - UB "We are asking that - this time around when the minimum wage or cost of living is high is not a time when the government should be raising school fees." Marion Ali, Reporter "So you are making a preposition to government?" Hope Amadi "It's not like a preposition, it's like a father/child discussion; when your father makes decision you want to ask your father to reconsider. We from the University of Belize are asking the government to reconsider on their proposal of raising school fees come January because at this present time we cannot handle it."

Will You Buy the Citco Bond?
The much battered Belize City is looking much better than it has in decades - and that's because the recently elected city Council has shown that it means business by concrete paving 14 city streets in four months. And they want to do much more, but they've already spent over a million dollars on those streets - and so are looking to launch Belize's first every municipal bond to finance it. The bond hopes to generate 20 million dollars - and today the formal public effort to get your support - and your dollars was launched at city hall. Here's the story: Jules Vasquez reporting The pitch for the City bond is based on the city's performance this far - cementing 14 streets in just four and a half months: Mayor Darrell Bradley "We really mean to be aggressive in terms of street construction but eventually we will run out of money. The City cannot fund this from our internal operations and the only way that we can fund this is through a bond program or some other initiative that will allow us to amortize these payments and pay them off over a period of time." And the lure of the 20 million dollar city bond is that many, many more streets would be fixed:

The Real Crooks Report
His Crooks report was to have revolutionised or at least reformed the Police Department - but it didn't happen in any tangible way. And while the Crooks report gathers dust on some disused shelf at Headquarters, the man himself Harold Crooks is lucky to have dodged jail time in Jamaica. According to the Jamaica Observer, the former commandant of the Island Special Constabulary Force, was convicted earlier this month of having sexual relations with a 16 year old girl. According to the Observer, In court on Friday he was given a suspended sentence on sex charges and was immediately tasked by the court to spread the word that little girls are not to be abused or in any way disadvantaged. The newspaper adds that the 72 year old former commandant was sentenced to two years' imprisonment on two counts of indecent assault when he appeared in the Home Circuit Court, but the sentence was suspended for three years. The prosecution alleged that Crooks had sex with a teenage girl in 2009 and assaulted her a month before she turned 16. He denied the allegations, stating instead that they had sex but only after the girl turned 16 - the age of consent.

Man Charged For Armed Robbery At Restaurant
On Friday we told you about the frightening armed robbery attempt at Senor Coconut Restaurant, on Eve Street. Well, today, the man who police caught was taken to the Magistrate's Court. According to police, the cashier reported that she was in the restaurant along with her niece, her sister and one of the waitresses when 2 men walked to the counter and pretended to be customers. While they were being served, one of the men pulled out a black handgun and put it to the head of one of the occupants. They then robbed the woman with the gun to her head of her cell phone. They attempted to leave, but a concerned citizen got involved, pulled his own firearm, and shot at one of the assailants. He was then able to help police detain the man. The officers were also able to detain the assailant while he still had the firearm on him. That man who police caught is 20 year-old Ernest Billary, a laborer of Hibiscus Street. He was taken before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was arraigned on charges of robbery, possession of an unlicensed firearm, possession of unlicensed ammunition, and two counts of aggravated assault.

Police Say Shootings Are Random Act Of Craziness
You'll notice in the news tonight there were no reports of shootings or murder in the city - and we're all grateful for that. But, since last week Wednesday, reports have been coming to us consistently about shots being fired in several neighborhoods - even on the northside in the vicinity of Baymen Avenue. Police say that indeed they have gotten those reports - but nothing can come out of them:... Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "We do receive phone calls of shots being fired or shots being heard and when police actually make checks there are no official complainants and that is why you wouldn't see it reflected in my daily release. We are not saying that these incidents did not occur but in most cases there is no virtual complainant." Jules Vasquez "Is there a rivalry that is escalating or its just random acts of craziness?" Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood "I would say its random acts of craziness; in that situation on Supal Street the persons that were fired at were not males and these persons refuse to give an official report."

Int'l Darts Tourney Starts
For all those dart enthusiasts in Belize, the 19th annual Caribbean Cup and the 6th America's Cup are being held in the city. It is the first time Belize is hosting the competition and a large number of players from across the globe are in the country competing. The tournament opened on Saturday and today the 6th America's Cup competition came to an end. We found out more about it from the Dart Czar Malcolm Spicer:.. Malcolm Spicer, President World Darts Federation (America's Region) "These are the finals now. We had all the knockouts and individual rounds last night. We have the finals todays of the Americas Cup and right now we have Trinidad playing Canada and we have Bahamas playing USA and the winners of those two will go into the finals this afternoon which will be up here on the stage and then we have the individuals knockout tournaments; the men and ladies singles taking place today as well. In those the ladies are USA and Canada. The men's - we have one Bahamas man and the rest is USA and Canada, they got very strong teams." "Later on today we have the finals of all the Americas Cup. Tomorrow night we have registration of teams and then starting on Wednesday we have a full schedule from 9 in the morning to probably 6 or 7 in the evening where all the countries play each other - it's a big round and so it goes on all week long both team events and individual events."

From Children's home To London Town: Belizean Carried Olympic Torch
24 year old Belizean born Joel Hodgson - who went from the Children's Home to an adopted family in England - got his moment in the spotlight over the weekend when he carried the Olympic torch in London. Hodgson who was born in Belize and adopted by Scottish parents - revealed his inspirational life story in May of this year to the Media in Britain -and his story went universal. After moving to Scotland with his two sisters - all from the Children's Home - he ended up homeless in London, sleeping on the stairs of the police station there. And then he got a job at a London magazine - and when his story got out, he was nominated and selected to carry the torch. Yesterday, his amazing journey climaxed, when he carried the Olympic flame through Newham as the torch began the final leg of its journey around Britain. It was indeed a life changing experience for young Hodgson's who told interviewers it was the proudest moment of his life.

Channel 5

Police Association says it will resist being disbanded
The Belize Police Association has taken to the airwaves to ventilate their grievances with the senior command of the force. They are taking issue with the sudden transfer of a number of officers which is being resisted by the association because of the undue haste in the way it is being undertaken. The officers were [...]

Ministry of National Security to take disciplinary action against association leaders
According to Arzu and Lorenzo, the ComPol has threatened to cancel the B.P.A. office and equipment as well as revoke the secondment of the president. They also complained that they are being called to sudden meetings in Belmopan, and that the commissioner of police is not responding to their formal correspondences.   Cpl. Eldon Arzu, [...]

Mayor Darrell Bradley speaks on municipal bond for infrastructural upgrades
The City Council is inviting the business community to invest in a twenty million dollar bond. According to the Mayor Darrell Bradley, City Hall doesn’t have the money to spend on infrastructure so he is floating the bond to finance work on fifteen streets in the Old Capital. This morning the Mayor gave details about [...]

Friend of Raheem Smith is charged for his murder
Eighteen year old Paul Steven Martinez of Berry Street has been charged for the murder of his friend, eighteen year old Raheem Smith. No plea was taken from Martinez, who appeared unrepresented in court today. On Thursday of last week, it was reported that Smith was in the company of Martinez and a group of [...]

5 year old needs urethral surgery that his family can’t afford
A five year old boy from the west, who was hit by a vehicle six months ago is in urgent need of surgery. He is down to thirty pounds and his mother says that the internal damage caused by the accident is being complicated by diabetes. Damion Flowers is at home until his family can [...]

72 year old retiree attacked in his home by 6 armed men
A well known retiree was assaulted on his property at mile twenty on the old northern highway. On Sunday morning, seventy-two year old Hipolito Castillo was held up by six armed, masked men who blindfolded and tied him up. The men ransacked Castillo’s property and made off with cash and other items.   Insp. Fitzroy [...]

Suspected robber charged for hold-up at Senor Coconuts
Just after two on Friday, Senor Coconuts, which is approximately two blocks away from the Queen Street Police Station was targeted by armed robbers. The traumatized cashier, thirty-nine year old Veronica Tillett, told News Five that the robbers entered the establishment posing as customers and asked for the menu. After ordering something to drink, one [...]

San Ignacio resident in critical condition following stabbing incident
A San Ignacio resident is tonight in critical condition at the Intensive Care Unit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital following an attempt on his life just before dawn on Sunday. According to twenty-nine year old Gilroy Nicholas Junior, he was on the verandah at his home in the Shawville Area of the Western Town [...]

Police continue to investigate highway accident that killed 3 persons
Three people lost their lives in an early morning accident on Friday. Shortly before three, around mile eleven and a quarter, two badly damaged white vehicles were left strewn across the highway after a collision. Three persons died in one of the vehicles; Police Constable Dion Makin Jr., who was driving, Ashley Williams, and Edwin [...]

Victim of Crocodile attack wakes up from induced coma
A Crooked Tree man is slowly recovering at the K.H.M.H. after he was attacked by a crocodile, believed to be up to fourteen feet in length. It happened last week in the Crooked Tree Lagoon, which Devin Swasey is familiar with since he earns his living from spear fishing. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.   [...]

Visiting basketball teams go up against Belizean youths at Bird’s Isle
Two visiting teams from the Oaks Hills High School from Indiana have taken over Birds Isle for the next few days where the buzz is all about basketball. The teams are partnering with the Belize Basketball Federation and CSI Ministries in a summer programme to teach basketball skills to youths. On the first day of [...]

House of Shotokan takes its karate skills to Guatemala City
The House of Shotokan Karate Academy has already beaten Mexico in karate and over the weekend they headed, for the first time, to Guatemala City. Five Belizean athletes were among three hundred that competed in karate and mixed martial arts categories of the El Gran Jaguar International Competition. In the mixed martial arts, Jameel Smith [...]

International Darts Tournament and much more in Sports Monday
Good Evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. The Belize City Football Championship is back in full swing so yesterday, we took in the big time matchup between City Boys and FC Belize. Let’s do this. After a rather extended feeling out process, Lorenzo Diaz tries to get FC Belize on to the [...]


Unconfirmed reports reaching Love News are that the Police commissioner has revoked the powers and privileges of the Police Association. In our effort to verify we were told that members of the association are still meeting with the police high command and that after these meetings bot...

The Ministry of Education's budget cut for scholarships by half a million dollars has resulted in a cut in special assistance given to students attending the University of Belize. This means that all new students will, as of January 2013, have to pay 150-dollars more in regis...

The Police Department held its usual Monday morning press conference today at its Raccoon Street Conference Room at which it shared the latest on incidents that happened over the weekend. There were no major shootings to report or murders. In fact, the most serio...

Two vehicles collided on the Western Highway this morning in Hattieville village. According to reports, the crash involved a west-bound pickup truck, driven by Burrel Boom resident Jarvis Castellanos and an SUV heading in the opposite direction and being driven by Belmopan busine...

The Peoples National Party in Punta Gorda closed its annual summer camp at the weekend. Paul Mahung Reports. PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “The People’s National Party Youth Summer Camp ended at the weekend in Punta Gorda. The one week camp was ...

The two hundredth anniversary celebration of St. John’s Cathedral located on Regent Street in Belize City, came to an end yesterday. To close off the celebrations a service was held yesterday in which special guest Bishop Laish Boyd from the Bahamas shared a special message...


Decriminalize it? The people weigh in
Last week Monday the nation was hit with a press release from the Government of Belize’s Ministry of National Secur...

Infrastructural development in Belize City
This afternoon at the conference room at Belize City Hall, Mayor Darell Bradley held a press conference on the rece...

Corozal woman found hanging from a rope in her home
Corozal Police discover the body of a woman hanging from a beam in her house. On Saturday (July 21) just before 7pm...

Elderly man blind-folded, tied up in raid
Hipolito Castillo, a 72year old retiree of mile 20 on the old Northern Highway reported that on Sunday July 22, abo...

Senor Coconut robbed, bandit shot
An employee of Senor Coconut Restaurant is held up and robbed at gunpoint. Veronica Tillett, a cashier at the resta...

Teen, 18, charged with stabbing death
Last Thursday 18 year-old Raheem Smith, was fatally stabbed in an altercation on George Street, over a punctured bi...

Heavy rains cause several road mishaps
Recent heavy showers have created hazardous driving conditions and have prompted numerous road mishaps. The first m...

Arraigned for kidnapping and attempted rape of wife
27year old Emil Popper is the guy wearing the long black jeans and brown shirt in the footage being shown. Popper w...

Miss World Belize reaches unprecedented milestone in competition
Miss World Belize has reached an unprecedented milestone in the 2012 Miss World competition. 20 year old Chaetae Gu...

Cop targeted by gunmen
Police Constable ELVIN NAH presently attached to the ADU, reported that on July 15, around 6:30pm he was on officia...

Pedestrian robbed of over $900 in cash
ANDREW REYNOLDS, a 52 year old resident of Sandhill Village reported about 2:15pm on Friday (July 20) he was walkin...

National Garifuna Council board meeting
The National Garifuna Council (NGC) held their board meeting on Saturday July 21 at the Pablo Lambey building in Da...

NICH seeks assistance to foster National Cultural Policy
The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) have commenced countrywide consultations to develop a National...


The Road Less Travelled: A Walk Into Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve, Ambergris Caye
San Pedro can feel like a very small town at times. And if you live in (or around town) it's often easy to forget that Ambergris Caye is actually 25 miles long and the town? It's really just a small fraction of that. The caye actually extends all the way up to Mexico (and is only separated from the Yucatan Peninsula by a narrow canal dug by the Mayans hundreds and hundreds of years ago). At the northern end of the island is Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve, a 11,000+ acre region protected in 1996 by the government of Belize and later named a UNESCO world heritage site due to its unique characteristics. The area is incredibly bio-diverse ranging from salt marshes to "beach forests" and an area where the barrier reef actually touches the shore. Bacalar Chico also contains the largest lagoon on our island, Laguna de Cantena. It's an important sea turtle nesting ground. And all six types of cats in Belize have been spotted here (including jaguars and pumas). All in all a very cool and remote place. I'm glad it is being protected. This map is a bit crap but you get the point. (Town is all the way at the bottom where it says "San Pedro" and Bacalar Chico starts near the top in the Basil Jones area - about 13 miles north of town - and encompasses the whole top of the island. The pink line represents the reef.) We took a walk on the ocean side at the very beginning of the reserve. Just by the welcome sign (show above) is Sueno del Mar. The ride up here by boat is maybe 30-40 minutes from town.

While a 6:30AM camp-wide bell ringing should have most kids moaning and groaning in their beds, many of this year’s eco-campers informed me today that they were already up with the sounds of the birds and were eager to get started on the first full day of their camp experience. All days of camp focus on a distinctive theme, and today we looked at biodiversity and conservation. This centered around four very cool activities for the campers: creating a jungle journal, going bird watching, exploring the Natural History Centre Museum, and visiting the hilltop butterfly farm. After a delicious breakfast, the eco-campers began to collect leaves, plants, and many other interesting natural things they could use to create a unique cover for their jungle journal. These journals were not merely for presentation value as campers immediately began using them to write down contact information for their new friends, thoughts on the camp so far, and enlightening facts that they learned throughout the day, during their other fun experiences. The first of these activities was a bird watching tour of the Chaa Creek Resort. Belize is known as a bird watcher’s paradise, with tourists coming from all over the world just to catch a glimpse of some of the rare and striking birds who call this country home. Led by naturalists, David (from the Creatures of the Night hike) and Alan, the kids were given a pair of binoculars to share with a partner and the four eco teams split into two groups to go off exploring. Before leaving the Macal River Camp the eco-campers got to see and hear a beautiful toucan up in the trees. Things only got better as we were treated with an amazing selection of birds.

Ragga King returns looking good!
All boats need an enormous amount of tender loving care but particularly wooden boats. Our three wooden boats (Ragga King, Ragga Prince and Ragga Gal) get re-painted twice a year – one of those times the paint job requires pulling the entire boat out of the water to dry and renovate old and rotten planks or seating, applying a resin to the boat to make them ‘water tight’ and then finally the re-painting. This is the time of the year that the boats are one by one are hauled up out of the water and when each one is finished, it is like a beautiful work of art!! Ragga Prince (our green sailboat) always takes the longest as she is the oldest of our wooden boats and drying her tends to take much longer. She was pulled up at the end of May and Ragga King commenced her work two weeks ago. Over the past two weeks King required a number of planks replaced, the seating, the stairs and even the cock-pit have all been renovated. She has also a 35 gallon gas tank added inside her to increase the amount of space we have during the overnights. The November overhaul is merely just painting the inside of the boats as within the next few months, the boats will need it!! And for all those asking – yes of course we have thought that fibre-glassing the boats would minimise the enormous work and costs that the wood boats require – however, these are traditional Belizean built boats and that is the way our passengers like them!!

International Sources

Belize the Beautiful
Randomness of the day. There are pictures from all over Cayo, and Belize, in this article. Saturday market, Xunantunich, Martha's, and the Green Iguana Conservation Project. "As much as it is everything in the last post, Belize is also one of the most breathtaking places I've ever experienced."

My Big Fat Belizean, Singaporean Bank Account
Earlier this month, I decided to see how hard it would be to set up my own offshore bank account. I figured it would be pretty difficult, because I’m not rich and don’t have a team of tax lawyers to oversee my money and because the E.U. and U.S. governments have been cracking down on tax havens by imposing stricter tax-sharing requirements. So I proceeded with some caution. First, I Googled “company registration tax haven” and randomly picked three firms that set up accounts in offshore jurisdictions. Then I called each and explained that I was hoping to minimize my tax exposure and didn’t want anyone to know anything about my finances. Each company quickly noted that I should consult a lawyer to make sure that I wasn’t breaking the law. Then they calmly explained how to create an account that, it seemed to me, was unlikely to be discovered by the I.R.S. or any other authority. I ended up working with A&P Intertrust, a Canadian company that I chose largely because I liked its Web site the best. (The other two companies’ sites appeared stuck in a late-’90s style with lots of flashing boxes.) A&P works with the governments of Panama, the British Virgin Islands and Belize. (Other companies that I contacted prefer the Seychelles, Cyprus or the Cayman Islands, where Mitt Romney has been reported to have money.) I decided to start my shell company in Belize because it would be exempt from all Belizean taxes and, as A&P’s site explained, “information about beneficial owners, shareholders, directors and officers is not filed with the Belize government and not available to the public.”

July 23, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

The July 22nd, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Lowe Blow Injures Vasquez
  • Pandy And Trapp Get Five Years
  • American Woman, Susan Jean Harrsen, Found Dead
  • Sugar City Hosts Fiestarama Business Expo And Fair 2012!
  • Cayo Becoming Belize’s Hollywood
  • BWCN Jaguar Rescue
  • Manhunt By Foot, Motorcycle, Vehicle And Plane
  • Paulino Gets Nine Months
  • Belize Represented At CCT Meeting In Nicaragua
  • Why Does Belize Have To Do like Others?
  • Decriminalizating Marijuana
  • Cayo Archaeological Sites To Benefit From Sustainable Tourism Program (STP)Investment
  • Human Rights Watch attacks ‘abuse of power’ in Venezuela
  • Rural Chinese get online as mobile overtakes desktop
  • STAR Humor
  • Editorial: Anything else is just a waste of precious time
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

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

Repair it and they will come…
A big THANK YOU to San Pedro Town Council for the road work being done on south Ambergris Caye. Repair work in the form of hard core has been done in the last two weeks to finally make the road 100% more passable. By no means is it a smooth journey, however, it doesn’t take water wings to navigate the road to just past the 5.25 mile point. I understand that the work will continue to the end of the island very quickly. I write this thank you with the understanding that by doing the repairs it is a boon to the island. The day the work was completed to the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site entrance, we had some of our first visitors (even in a light rain) in a very long time. You simply couldn’t get to the Site entrance due to the amount of rain water covering the roadway. From about Mile 2.5 to the end, only the construction and sand trucks could “safely” drive down the watery road. Now we’re open for business again. By doing the repairs, the realtors can show property, construction supplies can be bought, workers can go to their jobs, everyone can get paid which equates to paying rent, buying food, paying bills, etc. It’s also safer for the locals to drive down for fishing and recreation. THANK YOU AGAIN, SPTC. It is a wise investment you’ve decided to make.

Editorial: How LOW Can You Go?
For the last 37 years the San Pedro International Lions Club has held steady to its motto, “We Serve”. It is impossible to list everything the Club has done for the community and residents of San Pedro over last three-plus decades, but they are the first ones who come to mind when we are in a time of need. Be it helping individuals and families with unexpected medical expenses, fundraising for victims of fire and misfortune, providing the community with the beachside Mosquito Coast Park or hosting free monthly eye exam clinics, the San Pedro Lions tirelessly comes to the aid of our community. They have even worked to raise funds to help those who have suffered disasters globally and I recall they collected over $5000 for the victims of the Haiti Earthquake in 2010. Leading by example, our San Pedro Lions Club is the most recognized and accomplished Club in Belize. So how is it that a Club that is dedicated to serving the community can fall prey to thieves and vandals? Over the years there have been countless break-ins at their Den located on Barrier Reef Drive and often the place is ransacked and damaged while the thieves help themselves to the few things that belong to the Club. Even their “tail twister” bronze lion fine bank used to collect fines imposed by the club’s tail twister was stolen a couple years ago while the Den was open for a meeting. The San Pedro tail twister fine bank had been with the Club from its beginning in 1975 and the symbolic and historic icon was never recovered, despite an appeal to the community. This week was no exception, when thieves broke into the Den and made off with booze from the Lions Bar and a new flat screen TV. Property was damaged and the vandalism will set the charitable club back more than $2,500.

Letter to the Editor: Dog Poisonings
To the Honorable Danny Guerrero and esteemed members of the San Pedro Town Board, I am writing to you as a visitor to your wonderful island, a friend to many of your constituents, and also as a dog owner. I do not expect to receive a response to my email but I would like to express my dear hopes that you reexamine the current process of eradication of stray dogs and animals on the island. Reading via the online news publications, social media and emails of the late night unannounced poisoning of stray animals sickens me and begs the question is there not a better and more humane way? I live in a large metropolitan city that also has its fair share of stray and dangerous animals and would please hope that you please explore how other towns and cities handle this problem before using a barbaric and inhumane method of eradication. I acknowledge that this problem is from pet owners that do not either spay/neuter their pets or abandon them but yet there are those who do follow the rules that are now living in fear. My friends on the island, who also treat their pets like family members, are now in fear of letting their pets go outside as they are afraid if anything was thrown into their yard in the middle of the night with no warning and this is not right. As a gringo who is sitting in the states right now, I don’t have a dog in this fight but as a pet owner I humbly ask that you please consider the outcry of my friends and extended family that do live in your town and look at other options. Sincerely yours and a friend to the island, John S Robilio

Misc Belizean Sources

“SALADS” Were a Success!
SAGA Humane Society would like to extend their thanks to Bruce & Diane Badolato and Steve Kilchenstein the owners of Wet Willy’s for hosting our monthly Cook-off Fundraiser for the second time this year! It was held on Wednesday, July 18, 2012. Bruce, Diane & Steve and their staff were once again gracious hosts. We tried a new theme – “SALAD”S – and we happy to say it was well received. We had (12) entries and each and every one of them were delicious! But in the end, it was Wild Mango’s with their Roasted Chili Caesar Salad that took home the first place prize of a Nano IPod! 2nd Place went to AJ’s own Danielle with her Buffalo Chicken Salad Bites. And 3rd Place went to Adaly Ayuso with her yummy Lobster Salad. The other mouth watering entries were as follows: Caprice with their Shrimp-n-Pasta Salad, Caroline’s Cooking with her Cold Ham Pasta Salad, Bruce Badolato of Wet Willy’s with his Smoked Fish & Crostini w/Shrimp, Steve Kilchenstein of Wet Willy’s with his Roasted Chicken Salad w/Balsamic Dressing and Sautéed Zucchini, Pineapples at Ramon’s Village with their Fiesta Salad, Carolina Gonzalez with her Vegetable Pasta Salad, Luis Caliz with his Lobster Salad, Rosa LaRosa with her Roasted Corn & Sweet Pepper Salad and Arlethe Lima with her Grilled Salad w/Ranch Dressing. Thank you to everyone who entered a dish!

Belize archaeological sites to benefit from sustainable tourism investment
A commitment from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Belize Tourism Board to invest in a quality tourism experience and improved visitor management at Belize’s archaeological sites was cemented on July 13. Construction contracts totaling over Bz$680,000 (US$346,000) were signed with two local firms, ASCON and Usher Construction Ltd. Under the Sustainable Tourism Program (STP), funds totaling Bz$504,596.74 will be spent on expanded bathroom and interpretation facilities at Cahal Pech and Belize’s second most visited site, Xunantunich. A new visitor centre will be built at Xunantunich to present and communicate its history, architecture and Maya cosmology. The existing visitor centre at Cahal Pech will undergo a revamp, and improvements will be made to the site trail. The enhancements are timely, as Cahal Pech is the chosen venue for a number of the special events planned to celebrate the completion of the 13th B'ak'tun in December. Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) will benefit from Bz$177,500 investment. It is an exclusive tour, as ATM is one of the most spectacular subterranean Maya archaeological sites in the region. By December, visitors will enjoy complete restroom and bathing facilities, set in a landscaped jungle environment at the entrance to the site.

Scuba Diving Certification Videos
Dive Certification, Sandy Point, Belize Barrier Reef, Another dive for Raegan, Catalina and Marcus for their Open Water Diver Certification, with Island Divers Team. Diver Certification- Dive Three, Skills on The Reef. Featuring Open Water Diver Candidates Reagan, Catalina and Marcus with Island Divers Belize. Diver Certification- Dive Two with Sharks! Featuring Open Water Diver candidates Reagan Heitzig, Catalina Ovalle and Marcus Amaro with Island Divers PADI Team, San Pedro Belize.

Fry Jack in One Minute
I show in one minute, how to make Fry Jacks


This afternoon, the excited chatter of twenty four children came echoing through the jungle, as our new group of eco-campers entered the Macal River Camp, where they will be spending the next eight days. The 2012 Eco Kids Camp brings us a unique group of twelve boys and twelve girls who have travelled from all the corners of Belize to experience what is sure to be another memorable week of friends, fun, laughter, and of course, eco-education! Upon arrival, the campers were introduced to their camp counselors and the sponsors of the retreat, Mick and Lucy Fleming. The children were soon broken up into four groups (the Jaguars, Howler Monkeys, Blue Morphos, and Fireflies) and were quickly making new friends as they helped design this year’s team banners. As the eco-campers found their assigned cabins and played some group games, the smells from the kitchen took over and the children sat down to what promised to be the first of many great meals prepared by camp leader Docio and his family. As if all this wasn’t enough excitement for the first day, the campers were in for a treat as Chaa Creek naturalists, David and Meshack, showed up to take the kids on a Creatures of the Night walking tour. From giant grasshoppers and cock roaches, to wolf spiders and tarantulas, to lizards and salamanders, and all sorts of creatures in between, this was the first taste of Belizean jungle nightlife for many of our young campers. Despite being divided into two tours, and taking two different trails, it was not hard to tell when a new creature was spotted as the excited (and nervous) gasps and screams could be heard throughout the wilderness. The tours guides were filled with interesting and informative information on everything we encountered and it was obvious the kids gained a new respect and awareness for the living things and ecosystems around them.

Reasons To Retire In Belize
As an Expat Relocation Consultant and Property Manager in Belize, one of the first questions I ask my clients or prospective tenants is, “Why do you want to retire in Belize?” It’s important for me to know, because I want to make sure they have practical and valid reasons. It helps me answer their questions better. And if for any reason they have a mistaken notion about Belize, I can easily correct them before they move here and it’s too late! Over the years of working with clients, here are their top reasons for retiring in Belize: You’ve had a dream Many people have worked their entire lives with the idea that one day, they will escape the rat race and move to paradise. They can’t wait to waive goodbye to the materialistic and news-centric culture they are from and embrace a laid back and simple lifestyle. Belize is one of the most casual and slow-paced countries in Central America. So much so, that you may not know what to do with yourself for the first few weeks. But that feeling won’t last long. Warm weather year round Let’s face it – the older we get the colder we get. Why do you think so many retirees live in Florida? But Belize has become the new Florida, and it’s not hard to see why. With an average year round high of 84 degrees, you can leave your jeans and coats behind.

July 22, 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

Team San Pedro wins first game in Orange Walk Four by Four Volleyball Tournament
One team from San Pedro has been travelling to orange Walk to compete in the four by four (four persons playing) Orange Walk Volleyball Tournament. The tournament is being held in the Multi Purpose complex building. Team San Pedro is comprised of Eric Santizo, Armando Escalon, Gabi Nunez Jr., Gustavo Morataya and Guillermo Rivero. The first games were played on July 14th when team San Pedro went up against Bad News 2 from Orange walk. In the first set, San Pedro took the lead in a score of 25-21, falling back in the second set with a score of 27-29. In the deciding third set San Pedro dominated with a score of 15-7. Games are scheduled for Saturday July 21, 2012 around 9:30PM when San Pedro is scheduled to play against Hard Core Jr from Corozal.

High Level security meeting conducted with UNODC and Belize officials
Belize, through the Ministry of National Security and the National Security Council, conducted a four-day training ending with a high level meeting with representatives of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Joining the meeting were various ambassadors representing their country in Belize. The high level meeting, which took place in Belmopan City on Friday July 13th saw the group discussing serious areas such as intelligence gathering, strategic analysis and organized crime. Speaking at the closure of the meeting, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security Retired Major George Lovell explained that the meeting comes at a time when there is a spike in crime in the country, one as never before seen in Belize’s history. But according to Lovell, with the assistance from the UNODC, it is the hope of the Government of Belize to look at formulas that will help to prevent, investigate and solve crime in Belize. “There have been 129 homicides [in 2012 so far] which the country has never seen in its history. In my view it is reason for us to be alarmed and quite appropriately, we were alarmed. With the level of criminal activities that we witness in Belize City, the people that were involved in those types of activities are all reasons for us to have concern as a people. It is a reason 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 then looked at some of the areas that we needed to strengthen. Intelligence certainly was one of those areas,” said Lovell. But even when intelligence fails in preventing a crime, Lovell said that the next thing that must be working to ensure is that information gathering will assist in a proper investigation that will guarantee appropriate justice. And for that reason Lovell told the media that the discussion was frank and open and they looked at the entire aspect of how law enforcement agencies conduct intelligence architecture. In doing so Lovell explained that they hope to come up with a model that is in line with UNODC so as to enhance what currently exists in Belize. “We have identified that there are weaknesses that exists in our structure and getting a model generally does not necessarily fit the weaknesses we have, even though it’s good. What is more needed and we have agreed that we need to work towards – is to ensure that we have the right mix of people within our organizations. We need to have people who are competent; we need to have pragmatic people within our organization.”

German reality series “Das Duell um die Welt” films in San Pedro
Residents would certainly have noticed a group of guys with video cameras and production equipment making their way through the streets of San Pedro on the 24th and 25th of May. They were a film crew from a German digital production company, Endemol, here on the island filming an episode of a new prime time reality series called “Joko gegen Klaas – Das Duell um die Welt” exclusively for German television network ProSeiben (Pro7). In English the show is called “Joko vs. Klaas – The Battle for the World”, and is a reality show that pins its two stars against one another in a series of challenges all over the globe. Hosts Joachim ‘Joko’ Winterscheidt and Klaas Heufer-Umlauf give each other a series of outrageous and tough challenges in countries all over the world; they know where they’re going but have no idea what they will have to do until they get there. It is a travel game show and reality series where each host tries to push the other to their limits in an attempt to be crowned the “world champion” by taking on all the obstacles and coming out on top as the one who has won the battle for world domination. It is a high stakes truth or dare without the truth but a whole lot of dare! Shooting began at the John Greif Airstrip and Tropic Air Terminal in San Pedro where The San Pedro Sun caught up with them filming the arrival of Joko in Belize. It was Joko’s turn to be challenged and Klaas sent him to Belize to find out what he had to do. The San Pedro Sun spent the day behind the scenes with the production team accompanying them around town as they took on the challenge, which included a surprise cameo of one of islands most famous faces… Coconut Leo! Joko arrived and to his surprise and bewilderment was handed a piece of paper with a picture of Leo and the single phrase “Suche diesen Mann!”… “Find this man!” which sent Joko on a crazy adventure all around town trying to figure out who this person is and how to find him. Joko spent hours around town searching and talking to unsuspecting bystanders trying to find where Coconut Leo lives. When he finally found Leo’s home, Joko asked Leo to show him what he needed to do for his challenge. Leo then took Joko to show him what he does best… climb super tall coconut trees!

Misc Belizean Sources

Diane Auxillou gets married on Caye Caulker, Saturday, July 22, 2012.
My daughter's wedding on Saturday on Caye Caulker, Belize. The crowd flew in from Illinois to Di's home island. PAPA was too sick to make it, but I like the photo. It rained in Western Belize and it looks like it rained out there on the Barrier Reef Island. CONGRATULATIONS AND BEST WISHES TO ALL.

Congratulations Hon. Oscar Requeña – Toledo West is Proud of You
The debate over Barrow’s bogus “discipline” budget ended with citizens of this country having less any hopes than before. There was no sigh of relief. Members of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition led by Hon. Francis Fonseca, explained to the Belizean people what is in store for them. Like the last four budgets, there was no allocation for the Toledo West constituency in this year’s budget. The representative of Toledo West, Hon. Oscar Requena, contributed significantly and told the government to make allocations and take serious consideration for the Toledo District. Unlike the government side, the representative for Toledo West did not attack on personal issues on any house member. Rather, he pointed out the facts of negligence displayed by the former UDP area representative. The honourable member pointed that the government can do better. After four years, Toledo West now has a voice in the National Assembly. The people of Toledo West were very proud and applauded for Hon. Oscar Requena when Mr. Speaker commended him for a presentation well prepared and is the best during the two days. Hon. Oscar Requena – CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Balance Exhibit at SISE HoC
The Balance Exhibit will be at the SISE HoC through the month of July. They have pictures from the Belize Audubon Society from all around Belize. At the inauguration, they had quick introductions, and some good refreshments. Don't miss it.


tiny frogs and Big Skeeters aka the pros and cons Belize Rainy Season
Due to the rainy weather and washed out skies on Wednesday I only got three pictures I liked, so I went for a walk the following day and shot 200 more figuring I will get lucky after editing. As it turns out I deleted a whole bunch, dumped 50 to my stock photo pile and am still editing through 35 to pick 3 images for today’s post. As I was going through my puddle pictures, I was reminded of some of the trade offs I experienced in moving to a tropical island off the coast of Belize. I will take cons of rainy season – occasionally getting drenched, giant puddles and the skeeters any day over cold Canadian Winter. There are a few pros as well – nothing like seeing tons tiny frogs hopping around the back road puddles and when I am waterproofed, I love getting caught in a warm tropical downpour. Check out my staying dry in Belize Rainy Season post for some good tips on personal waterproofing. You will also find a best dry bag recommendation from - Press Officer of the San Pedro Sailing Club and avid Hobie cat master Forrest Jones.

Walking, Walking and More Walking & Some Pictures: 10,000 Steps a Day Ain't Easy's been about one week now in my attempt to get a bit more fit. For some reason, sitting by the pool and on my couch all day and drinking beer all night wasn't quite getting me there. So I did an about face. Strict dieting (blah) and exercise. 10,000 steps a day is suggested all over the internet as something to aim for. Who knew 10,000 steps (pedometer worn only outside) was about 2 hours of walking a day? Ugh. Tedious. One positive part (I guess) allows me to traipse all over the island with my bestest friend. Here are some of the places I've visited over the past few days. Construction continues on the dock at Grand Colony... And the huge dock continues to be a local favorite for swimming for kids of all ages... The car wash by the Belize Yacht Club is relatively new. Wonder how busy this place gets? I guess it's both a car and golf cart wash. Hurricane's Bar right in front of BC's. A kid freaking me out playing dead man float in the water. We waited until she moved. Belikin is giving out free samples of the Verano beer for those who haven't tried it. Always good to know when you can get something free... A new building going up on middle street for the Bank Co-op that is currently across the street.

International Sources

Mating Manatees Off Florida's Courtney Campbell Causeway Bewilder Locals (VIDEO)
Can't some mating manatees get a little privacy, people?! On Thursday evening, authorities were called by people concerned that a group of manatees were beached off Courtney Campbell Parkway, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Drivers exited their cars to observe the phenomenon, and police called upon Clearwater Marine Aquarium staff, who revealed that these manatees were not in danger, but rather were simply mating. Up to ten manatees were spotted. The waters were reportedly secured with crime scene tape to protect the manatees from humans fascinated by manatee lovin'.

Illegal logger shot dead in Belize forestry reserve
A shooting incident occurred on Thursday evening in the Colombia Reserve in the Toledo District of Belize when a patrol encountered three men who were allegedly engaged in illegal logging approximately 2 miles east of the border with Guatemala. There was a confrontation that resulted in one fatality and the arrest of two other men believed to be Guatemalan nationals. Police were flown in to the area on Friday morning to conduct an investigation. The dead man has been identified by the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Luis Alberto Martínez Alonzo. Two others, José Antonio Sosa and Hugo Monroy Ramos, have been detained by Belize security forces. Illegal activities including xate harvesting, logging and gold mining are a persistent and growing problem in Belize, and encounters with law enforcement officials often occur in areas along the border but seldom result in injuries or fatalities. Meanwhile, Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who is away until the weekend, has been informed of the incident and he will reportedly be speaking with Guatemalan president, Otto Perez Molina, to discuss the incident.

Belize Lawmakers Ponder Marijuana Decriminalization
The government of Belize is studying the possible decriminalization of the possession of small amounts of marijuana in a bid to unclog its courts and jails. In a Monday press release, the government said it had appointed a committee headed by a former national police chief to review the issue. The English-speaking Central American nation becomes the latest in the region attempting to find new, more effective ways of dealing with drug use and drug trafficking. Earlier this year, Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina spearheaded legalization discussions at the Summit of the America, a process that will continue next month. More recently, Uruguayan President Jose Mujica floated a proposal for a state monopoly on marijuana sales there. And Mexico’s presumptive president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto, has said he is open too legalization discussions. So far the US has held firm to its prohibitionist line, but the trickle of dissent over drug policy is threatening to turn into a torrent.

Belize Olympic Team athletes selected
The Belize Olympic & Commonwealth Games Association [BOCGA] has announced today three athletes selected to represent Belize at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Team Belize will compete across three disciplines, Athletics 400 meter mens hurdles, Athletics 100m women's sprint and Judo. KENNETH MEDWOOD – ATHLETICS - 400 meter hurdles [men] KIANA MARTINEZ – ATHLETICS – 100 meter sprint [women] EDDERMYS SANCHEZ – JUDO - 66kg The squad hope to be an inspiration for all sports men and women in Belize by performing to their best against the best in the world. Commenting on the announcement Chief of Mission Sonny Meighan, said "This is the 50th year that Belize has sent athletes to the Summer Olympic Games and I am proud that we have been able to select 3 inspirational individuals who Belize can be rightly proud of. Each of them has proved over the last 6 months that they have what it takes to perform against the best in the world and on the biggest stage in the world and I know the whole of Belize and Belizeans across the world will be supporting us all the way".

Urge San Pedro to Stop Poisoning Dogs
Target: Mayor of San Pedro, Daniel Guerrero Goal: Urge San Pedro to stop poisoning dogs to death. In an effort to eradicate its overpopulation of stray dogs, San Pedro, Belize is poisoning them to death with strychnine. Disguised in meatballs along the streets, strychnine capsules kill the animals in anywhere from 10 minutes to hours, depending on the size, species, and amount of poison ingested. Although Mayor Daniel Guerrero says this is the town’s only option, the SAGA Humane Society has offered its services to humanely euthanize dogs that are not adopted or causing problems. Please sign this petition and urge Mayor Guerrero to stop poisoning dogs and use the SAGA Humane Society to contain the surplus. San Pedro is located on the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize. An increased number of stray dogs are relieving themselves on beaches and getting into garbage, leading to health concerns in the tourist town. As a solution to the problem, the Health Department used the poison strychnine to kill off 180 dogs. Fortunately, due to unexpected rain, only 31 capsules were used on the night of July 9th and the rest have not gone out. According to an article by The San Pedro Sun News, “The Dogs Act Chapter 153 of the Laws Belize revised edition of 2000 allows the authority of ‘any city or town’ to ‘place poison in any street or place of public resort in such city or town for the purpose of poisoning any dog which is at large therein.’”

The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw Review
The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw, by Bruce Barcott, gets reviewed in this article. It's a well rounded review too. "I ended up being equally overwhelmed by Bruce Barcott's non-fiction account of the fight to stop the Chalillo Dam in Belize, as the international struggle over the plan to block the Macal river in inland Central America sent me running to check websites in London, Newfoundland, Washington, D.C., and even Sierra Leone. It also left me pondering the best way to approach such a complicated tale. Do you inject yourself into the narrative? Adopt a dispassionate omniscient tone? What do you do if half of the players in such a complex case--in this case the proponents of the dam and the leaders of the Belizean government--refuse to be interviewed for their side of the story? How do you lay out the facts without having your objectivity being distorted by the very strong personalities that you end up being forced to rely upon?"

July 21, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Valid: Friday, July 20 until Monday, July 23, 2012

What we are looking at is an active TW approaching Jamaica and gradually making its way to the extreme NW Caribbean by Monday afternoon. Even before the wave axis crosses the coast of Yucatan and Belize on Monday night, it will be generating heavy showers and TS on Sunday & Monday.

A surge in the easterlies coupled with an approaching Tropical Wave will generate outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms across Belize later this weekend. This activity will increase in intensity on Monday, Monday night and Tuesday morning of next week as the TW makes its entry over Yucatan and Belize.

Conditions will become increasingly favourable for another bout of showers and thunderstorms this weekend across the country of Belize associated with instability in the atmosphere and the lifting side of an upper level trough axis over the southern Gulf of Mexico. A surge in the low-level easterly flow over the NW Caribbean and northern Central America will herald the approach of an active TW on Monday and Monday night, resulting in an upsurge in the shower and thunderstorm activity, which will become intense at times. The bulk of the rainfall will be concentrated over the central area of the mainland and along the coast on Monday and Tuesday.

Daily rainfall totals over most places will result in rainfall accumulations in the range of 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch today Friday and Saturday. However, he rainfall will be on the increase on Sunday through Tuesday, with daily totals in the hills and coastal areas ranging from 2.00-3.00 inches. Higher rainfall rates are possible in the elevated terrain of the Stann Creek, Cayo and Toledo districts, resulting in rapid runoff and a high probability of flash floods on Monday through early Wednesday. Residents in flood prone zones and hilly terrain should remain vigilant and be prepared to move to higher grounds if the need arises…

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend 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

Coral Reef Ed-venture schools San Pedro’s kids on conservation
The Hol Chan Coral Reef Ed-Ventures, a children’s educational summer program held in collaboration with Smiths College from Massachusetts, USA and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve held gradation for its 13th year on the island on Thursday July 12th at the Lion’s Den. The program teaches children about reef ecology and conservation. The program was started some 13 years ago by professors of Smiths College working along with Miguel Alamilla of Hol Chan in an effort to give back to the community in which they had been conducting much research. The camp has grown immensely from an enrollment of about two students in its first year to some 125 registered students this year. Each year, six students from Smith College visit the island for a six weeks stay to conduct the program and this year was no different. The program serves as a summer internship for the participating college students. Prior to arriving on the island, the students have a week of preparation and one of which is used for research on the reef along with their professors. As part of their research, the students get to enjoy our barrier reef eco-system through scuba diving as they research the various fish species and their occurrence.

SPTC, SAGA and SPAH to work together to humanely euthanize dogs
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), SAGA Humane Society and the San Pedro Animal Hospital (SPAH) have decided to work together in humanely euthanizing stray dogs on the island. The decision to work together was made during a meeting by the two organizations with Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero and his councilors. The meeting was as a direct result of a decision made by the council last week where 31 stray dogs were eradicated using strychnine. Mayor Guerrero defended his position by saying that the decision taken by the council was because there was a number of issues arising from stray dogs in the community. The issues ranged from serious health concerns expressed by medical practitioners on the island as well as complains from both locals and tourist about dog feces found all over the island and the garbage scattered by these dogs. But even with the serious concerns being highlighted, the humane society adamantly objected to the method used by the SPTC. The SPTC used strychnine capsules, placed within pieces of meat, to introduce poison into the body of the stray dogs causing a slow and painful death. Both SAGA and SPAH took their plights to the SPTC proposing a more humane way of conducting the eradication. Considering that the council had expressed that they would continue with the eradication of stray dogs, all three interested parties met on Monday July 16th to discuss the best possible and humane way forward to deal with the situation. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Mayor Guerrero expressed that better heads prevailed and a more humane way will be used to reach the same goal of eradicating stray dogs off the streets of Ambergris Caye. “We have decided to work together and we have set out a plan of action how we intend to eradicate stray animals in San Pedro. It will be done by SAGA and the San Pedro Animal Hospital with support from the council. We have given them some tasks to do. First they will go out and identify problematic areas and find out the amount of dogs that are problematic. Our goal is for us to eradicate 20 dogs per week until we can bring the number of stray dogs completely under control,” said Guerrero.

Jose Alfredo Castillo, Missing since Monday July 9th
The family of a San Pedro businessman is concerned after their loved one has been missing for over a week. 40 year old Jose Alfredo Castillo, owner of a vegetable stand located on Pescador Drive has been reportedly missing since Monday night, July 9th. According to his wife, Marta Castellanos, she last saw her husband on Monday morning when he left en route to Belize City around 8AM. He is reported to have had on his person over $1,500 which should have been used to purchase vegetables to re-stock the business as well as payment for their monthly rent. According to Casatellanos her husband first went to Caye Caulker where he dropped off her son and the made his way to the city. “He went to Belize City where he arrived at around 3pm at my aunts house. I had been calling him since that evening to find out whether he had made it okay, but he wasn’t answering his phone. My aunt said he told her that he was going to return the vehicle to the parking lot and come back but he never reached. The following day, well I thought that the pickup might have broken down and he was stranded somewhere. I waited on Tuesday and I noticed that he hadn’t returned on the last boat and still no word from him. I’d been calling him all day on Tuesday as well, and he did not respond. So on Wednesday I called his father and asked if he’d do me the favor of taking care of the fruit stand as we are the only ones that normally take care of the stand. Once he agreed to take care of the place, he told me that my husband’s aunt hadn’t heard from him and that no one at the market is reporting having made any sale to him. So, on Thursday, I went to Belize City to the big police station to find out what happened to him. They asked me if any of his family members had seen him and I told them that no one had seen him. There was a report from some guys that know my truck, who are normally about in the night time and they said that they had seen my truck parked in front of a bar known as JMC. So I gave that information to the police to see if they can investigate the case, whether he came out of there or whether he was assaulted, as he had $1,800 with him. I’m expecting the worst, especially with the crime situation in the city. I thought that he might have been robbed, taking away the pickup. The police went and investigated at the bar and from their surveillance tapes, it showed that my husband entered the bar around 6PM the Monday afternoon and he was well dressed. It showed him drinking with some of the girls there at the bar. I am very hurt. I have not heard anything else about him. The police never told me when he left or whether he left the bar of anything.”

Tuff E Nuff is in the finals of the 2012 Interoffice Basketball Competition
Hometown hopefuls Tuff E Nuff Tours are fresh off a league topping 8 – 1 season and a 2 – 1 semifinal run to reach the finals of this year’s Interoffice Basketball Competition. In their semifinal match, after dominating the competition in the regular season and sporting the best record this year, Tuff E Nuff went up against the only team that were able to snatch a victory from them, Quan’s Engineering. In another surprise defeat the San Pedro based basketball team went down 1 – 0 after Quan’s Engineering managed to overcome them yet again. However, after carefully analyzing their opponents and making the necessary adjustments to the team roster, the Tuff E Nuff boys were able to come back from the deficit and clinch victory in the best of three series by winning the next two games back to back, exacting their revenge against their QE counterparts with only a 10 man rotation. As player/coach Rico Black said in an interview with The San Pedro Sun at the start of the season, Tuff E Nuff always felt that they had a very good chance of making it to finals, and now their confidence has been vindicated as they come up to face their rivals Alamilla’s in game one on Friday, July 20th at 9:00pm. In what is sure to be a heated clash, Tuff E Nuff will face some of the same players in the Alamilla’s team who once played together with them on the history making San Pedro Tigersharks championship team in 2007. Ex-teammates now come face to face in the Bird’s Isle basketball stadium to find out which team is this year’s best and settle the rivalry that has been brewing all season. Black believes that with the strength of the team they have now and the dedication the adjusted roster has been showing, Alamilla’s will have their work cut out for them in order to overcome the Tuff E Nuff squad. Tipoff is at 9:00pm for the first in the 5-game series that will see some of Belize’s best players battle it out on the court.

Ambergris Today

Solani Graniel Says Goodbye to Teen Talk
Every chapter has an end and unfortunately mine has come to its one. As my senior year has come to an end and having recently graduated, I am soon moving on to start a new chapter of my life as I will be now attending St. Johns College Junior College at Belize City where I will be majoring in Environmental Science. My year as Teen Talk Reporter for Ambergris Today has unfortunately come to an end. I say regrettably because I enjoyed every minute of it. As we move on to what the future holds with many experiences yet to discover, I would like to take this time to first of all thank Mr. Angel Nuñez for asking me to be part of the Ambergris Today team as Teen Talk reporter from 2011-2012. When I read the message he sent, I was more than happy and quickly replied to him with a “Yes”!

Misc Belizean Sources

Updates on jaguar situation at Belize Lodge

Retirees enrolled in Belize's Belize Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) Incentive Program

Illegal logger shot dead in Belize forestry reserve
A shooting incident occurred on Thursday evening in the Colombia Reserve in the Toledo District of Belize when a patrol encountered three men who were allegedly engaged in illegal logging approximately 2 miles east of the border with Guatemala. There was a confrontation that resulted in one fatality and the arrest of two other men believed to be Guatemalan nationals. Police were flown in to the area on Friday morning to conduct an investigation. The dead man has been identified by the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Luis Alberto Martínez Alonzo. Two others, José Antonio Sosa and Hugo Monroy Ramos, have been detained by Belize security forces. Illegal activities including xate harvesting, logging and gold mining are a persistent and growing problem in Belize, and encounters with law enforcement officials often occur in areas along the border but seldom result in injuries or fatalities. Meanwhile, Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who is away until the weekend, has been informed of the incident and he will reportedly be speaking with Guatemalan president, Otto Perez Molina, to discuss the incident.

LightHawk: Flights Show the Way for Jaguars
The thin wire strands surrounding the cattle paddock would not keep out the hungry jaguar. As its ribs protruded against a once magnificent dappled coat, the mangy cat sized up the herd looking for the easy kill. As more forest is swallowed up by development, agriculture, and ranching, jaguar habitat and traditional sources of prey are lost too. These cats must then choose between the wrath of ranchers or slow starvation. Rather than force that choice, LightHawk provides flights to help biologists discover and protect pathways connecting large protected areas so that jaguars in Mexico and Central America can roam free forever.

Jaguar Pathways
Large protected parks and sanctuaries provide ample natural prey like deer, tapirs, peccaries and sloth that jaguars need to survive. But to thrive, they need room to roam, to find their ideal mate and produce the next generation of jaguar kittens. By establishing and maintaining linkages, or corridors, between protected areas, jaguars are able to roam great distances to find suitable mates and establish home territory. This ensures a healthy next generation of young jaguars. But making these connections isn't as easy as drawing lines between protected areas on a map. "Our flights with LightHawk...have been fundamental to setting up priority actions for ground-truthing," says Roberto Salom, Mesoamerica Jaguar Program Coordinator for Panthera who works to protect jaguars and other large cats around the world. "[It] is essential in a setting where resources are limited." LightHawk and Panthera have established a strategic partnership in part because flight is so critical in helping secure a Jaguar Corridor in Mexico and Central America for big cats and other wildlife. Flights identify illegal encroachment on the ground, such as deforestation and development, reveal opportunities to give the cats a bit more elbowroom and prioritize what happens next on the ground. The success of this work often relies upon the dedication and involvement of local communities and government.

Building Support from 1,000 feet up
Still unpacking her office, Belize's new Minister of the Environment had a full dance card. Panthera knew that the aerial view would give her an instant understanding of the dwindling jaguar corridor and asked for LightHawk's assistance. When getting on the minister's schedule was proving impossible, Armando Ubeda, LightHawk's program manager in the region, had to get creative. "I knew this was a really important flight for the future of the jaguar in Belize," he explained, "so we moved our other scheduled flights around and kept our Cessna 206 in Belize until we could fly the Minister." The flight was a success. "...without a flight that permitted a bird's eye view of the area, it would have been really difficult to explain to the Minister what the corridor is, how it functions and the specific threats that affect it," said Elma Kay from the University of Belize. "Since our flight with the Minister, an illegal trench cutting through [a protected area] has been discovered and her awareness of the corridor and its issues have helped us to get her unconditional support in prosecuting those responsible."

Seeing Progress from the Pilot's Seat
Every year, retired insurance broker and avid pilot Bill Rush travels from his home in Boulder Creek, California to fly with LightHawk in Mexico and Central America. "Some of my favorite missions are flying with Panthera," explains Bill. "These cats traverse over extremely large areas and require ease of movement for feeding and breeding. Having flown two seasons in a row with Panthera, I am seeing progress in the corridor initiative and the number of jaguars being photographed... It gives me a triumphant feeling of accomplishment and progress when the numbers begin to trend in the right direction." As jaguar habitat continues to be lost or fragmented, humans and jaguars are coming into increasingly close contact. Jaguars continue to be hunted by people, such as ranchers, who view them as a threat to cattle and therefore their livelihoods. LightHawk and Panthera will continue efforts to maintain safe places for this apex predator to thrive, and to keep these great cats and their future generations safely out of harm's way.

VIDEO: Jaguar climbing tree in pursuit of a sloth
The jaguar (Panthera onca) is the largest cat of the Americas and a formidable predator. Its common name comes from the native Indian name ‘yaguara’, meaning ‘a beast that kills its prey with one bound’ (3) (4), and its power is clearly displayed by its muscular build, deep chest, large head, broad muzzle, and strong jaws (2). This remarkable cat possesses a visually striking coat of large black rosettes, mostly enclosing dark spots, set against golden brown to yellow fur, which pales to white on the cheeks, throat and underside (2) (5). Melanistic forms are also relatively common, often called ‘black panthers’ in the Americas. Jaguars vary considerably in size in different regions, but genetic studies indicate that there are no subspecies (6). Jaguars found in the dense forested areas of the Amazon Basin are generally smaller and darker in colour than those found in more open terrain (3).

"Big PAWS UP from Trip Advisor!"
Congratulations to the Belize Zoo for having such a great ranking with Trip Advisor! They have plans at the zoo to make it even better. "And now, we are positioned to become an even better nature-destination in Belize. How so? Our current focus is to transform The Belize Zoo into a SHED zoo. Becoming a (S)Stroller-(H)Handicap-(E)Elderly-(D)Disable- Friendly destination is on the front burner of our must-see-happen plans of transformation. Yes! We are so proud of this recent designation of honour from TripAdvisor, but our goal to become accessible to ALL the people of Belize, no matter what the physical profile commands, is of prominent importance to the entire Belize Zoo staff... And we look forward to a closer working relationship with the Belmopan Rotary Club . Our common mission to see that kids with special needs can enjoy the wildlife of their country is playing a big role in fueling both Rotary and Zoo efforts."

KHMH Kid's Ward Turkey Dinner Fundraiser
Today in Macal River Park, they will be selling Turkey Dinners at noon for $10. The Challenge Gobie Foundation is doing the fundraiser to help build a Kid's Ward at KHMH. Buy a turkey dinner, and help a child.

Verano Beer Sampling Tomorrow
Belikin's new flavor of beer, Verano Beer, will be around for free sampling in Cayo tomorrow. You can find Bowen & Bowen tents at Costless Supermarket and the M&J Shopping Center tomorrow.

Balance Exhibit Opening pictures
The SISE House of Culture along with the Belize Audubon Society opened the Balance Exhibit last night in Cayo. After a short inauguration, the exhibit opened, where guests were given some delicious refreshments and food. There are some great pictures in the exhibit. It runs through the month of July. "Belize Audubon Society launched the Balance photo exhibit at the San Ignacio and Santa Elena House of Culture. The exhibition features faces and places at Belize Audubon Society. Come and check it out!!!! It closes on July 31st, 2012."

Kurse a di Xtabai Documentary
Daniel Velazquez, who is working on the documentary film based on the making of Kurse a di Xtabai, has released some footage. The first part will be called 'The Judgement,' and it features the Belize Film Festival's awards ceremony, and the commotion that happened during and after.

Kurse a di Xtabai at SIRH
Today at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel's Bedran Hall, they'll be showing Kurse a di Xtabai at 7:00 and again at 9;00pm. It was filmed in the Cayo district, and there's even a part that takes place at Sacred Heart, and it even stars some students from SHJC.

VIDEO: In his own words ... A Crooked Tree man tells how a crocodile almost killed Devin Swasey.
I have seen the Crocs in the lagoon but never thought they would be so fierce. Will be praying for the quick recovery of the young man.

Channel 7

Truly Tragic Traffic Accident Kills Three
Three people are dead after an early morning accident on the Northern Highway. It happened at mile 11 and a half - at the junction of the Old Well road - which is about a hundred yards from El Ca's. At about 2:30 am, a white Saturn Car has heading in the direction of Corozal while a Saturn "VUE" SUV was heading towards the city. Reports are that at mile 11 and a half, without warning the car suddenly veered into the path of the oncoming SUV. No one even had time to apply their brakes; they had a massive drivers side to divers side collision. Five people were in the car, and three of them were killed on impact. That included the driver, Police Constable Deon Makin, who was crushed behind the wheel, a still unidentified female who was in the back seat and was crushed as she was thrown forward by the impact, and 25 year old Edwin Elvis Crawford who was also in the back seat behind the driver.

Good Samaritan Scares Off Robbers, Follows One, Helps Apprehend Him
Around 2:30 this afternoon - the popular Senor Coconut's restaurant on Eve Street was held up by robbers. We understand that the two men entered the establishment demanding money. According to reports, one of the robbers was armed with a handgun and pointed it at an employee's head. A waitress managed to run outside and shout for help. A man who was in the vicinity heard what was happening and fired a single shot in the air from his licensed firearm. The armed robber then fired a shot from inside the restaurant and the bullet exited through front glass door. The pair of culprits then dashed out of the restaurant. One of them ran through Mortuary lane while the other casually walked unto Queen Street. But he was being followed by the same man who fired the shot. He called the police and with quick response, the robber was intercepted on North Front Street in front of Petticoat Alley. But things didn't quite end there; the armed robber began fighting with the officer for his gun. While the struggle was going on the good citizen who assisted from the start, jumped out his vehicle and held the robber at gunpoint. He was then subdued and taken away. At this time we are not certain if the robbers got away with any money - but at least one of them is detained tonight.

Why Did Paul Martinez Stab And Kill Raheem Smith?
Last night, 7News told you about 18 year-old Raheem Smith, the young man who was fatally stabbed in an altercation on the far end of George Street yesterday evening. Smith's family told us that their initial information from bystanders was that the altercation started over Smith's bike. We also told you that police had a young man in detention, and he was being investigated as the main suspect in the incident. We chose not to reveal his identity because police still haven't brought any formal charges against him as yet. Tonight, however, the rules of identity bar us no longer because the family of 18 year-old Paul Martinez came to us today saying that he only attacked Smith in self-defense. According to his mother, Martinez borrowed Smith's bicycle to go run errands, and when he returned with it, one of the tires had a flat. According to Paul Martinez, the tire was flat before and Smith only pumped it before loaning it out. Well, this was the spark and the heightened tension of peer pressure led to the fight. According to Martinez, Smith hit him over the back with a piece of board, and he responded with a stab in self-defence. Here's how his mother explained what he described it to her:

OAS Calls BDF Shooting "Reprehensible"; Belize Objects To Language
Tensions are high between Belize and Guatemala tonight and a troubling statement from the OAS isn't making things any better. As we reported last night - a BDF patrol encountered Guatemalan loggers inside the Colombia Forest Reserve at a position two miles within Belize. There was a confrontation, which resulted in the BDF shooting and killing Luis Alberto Martinez and detaining his two partners Jose Antonio Sosa and Hugo Monroy Ramos. It is being investigated by the Belize Police department and the OAS - but this afternoon, the OAS issued a statement leading us to question their impartiality in the matter. The statement says - and we quote: "The Secretary General of the OAS, Jose Miguel Insulza, expressed his regret at the death of a Guatemalan tenant farmer in the adjacency zone between Guatemala and Belize. It quotes him as saying, 'The death of a person in a shootout is always reprehensible and I hope that the circumstances in which this occurred are cleared up promptly."

The Port In The Court, Again
Earlier this month, 7News told you about the Port of Belize case against the Government of Belize which was started by its previous owner, Luke Espat. As we reported, this case is before the courts because the management of the Port claim that GOB violated the Belize City Port licensing agreement of January 2002, the Commerce Beight Port Lease of 2002, the January 2002 Prospectus, the Share Purchase Agreement of March 2002, the Cruise Terminal Agreement of April 2004, the Privatization Cooperation Agreement of December 2005. All of these agreements were made with the Musa Administration, but they were never effected. As a result, the Luke Espat led management filed the case claiming financial damages, and even got Justice Hafiz-Bertram to grant an injunction against GOB and the Belize Port Authority to terminate a lease contract which they claimed the Port Management did not honor. But the lease termination and the damage claims before the courts presently are two completely different things. And that's the main point which the Government attorney, Denys Barrow, used to convince Justice Hafiz-Bertram to discharge the injunction, which had been in place for several years. Here's how he described how and why the injunction was granted:

Man Throws Loaded "9" In Drain Cops Dig It Out
18 year old Shane Godoy, a resident of Aloe Vera Street, is at prison tonight after police busted him with an unlicensed firearm. A police patrol was on Peter Seco Street yesterday at around 10:30 p.m., and they passed Godoy as he was riding home. When Godoy saw the vehicle, he allegedly pulled an object out of his pants waist and threw it into a nearby yard. Police say that the officers detained Godoy, and escorted him to yard where he threw the object. They retrieve the item, which was discovered to be black Sig Pro 9mm pistol, which was loaded 5 live rounds of 9mm ammunition. As a result, police charged him with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. He was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, where he pleaded not guilty to the offenses. Senior Magistrate Frazer remanded Godoy to prison until August 21.

Man Survives Croc Attack
Tonight a Crooked Tree resident is in an induced coma at the KHMH - after an encounter with a crocodile. According to reports, the incident happened on Thursday afternoon. 30 year old Devin Swasey along with 2 others was spear fishing in the Blackburn area of the Crooked tree lagoon - when he was attacked by a large crocodile. The reptile held on to Swasey and pulled him under water for a period of time before he was rescued. Swasey received bites to his head, hands and shoulder. We'll follow up on his condition next week.

Black Jaguar "Bosh" Now Named "Lucky Boy"
Last night we told you about the black jaguar named Bosh who was rescued from an abandoned tourist Lodge in the Toledo District. We reported that he was rescued by the wildlife conservation network - but actually, it was the Belize Zoo that did the job. Zoo staff built a transfer crate, coaxed the cat inside with beef liver and took him on a three and a half hour ride to the zoo. He could not be tranquilized due to his extremely poor health. He is now at the zoo where his name has been changed from Bosh to Lucky Boy. He is being nourished with a specialized feline diet to build up his strength. You can check the zoo's facebook page for updates on his condition.

Butane Price Tweak
Last night we told you about the sharp decrease in the controlled price of butane. We quoted prices sent out by the ministry of trade. Well, those prices were slightly off, but, no matter, you still get a 30 dollar decrease in price which took effect today. In Belize City, the price for high grade Mexican Butane is now 104 dollars per hundred pound cyclinder - not 103, and the lower grade Central American Butane is 97 dollars, not 96 dollars.

Placencia Robbers Caught
Tonight, 28 year-old Michael "Mikey" Palacio, 36 year-old Martin Augustine, and a 17 year-old minor are all detained by police for a burglary which took place in Placencia. According to police, Andy Williams, a salesman for Belize Western Energy Limited, told police that between the hours of 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. last night, his Seine Bight home was burglarized. Stolen were a 19-inch flat screen TV and an electric guitar, to a total value of $825 dollars. Police launched an investigation today, and they recovered the items. They also detained the 3 men, and Palacio the 17 year-old minor were charged with burglary and handling stolen goods. Augustine was charged with handling stolen goods. All 3 men await an arraignment in Magistrate's Court.

Legalize It? Or Decriminalize It?
Before we go into our next story, we warn you that it discusses and displays use of marijuana which may be unsuitable for young audiences. So if you have children around the TV, you might want to ask them out of the room or change the channel. No doubt, the hot topic this week is decriminalizing marijuana - after Government announced that it had named a committee to explore the subject. And the reason it's a hot topic - is because, frankly, based only on anecdotal evidence, we'd say that marijuana is very widely used in Belize. You can argue over whether that is a good or bad thing, but it is a real thing - and thus the committee has been tasked to figure out what to do with all the casual users - those who risk imprisonment - and sometimes end up in jail, just for a joint. Doug Singh - who first named a committee to explore decriminalization when he was police minister, now, finds himself chairing that committee. He says they started by looking at decriminalization laws in other countries where anywhere from three to 25 grammes was decriminalized. He said the Belize model that is being explored falls somewhere in the middle.:..

"Puppy" Leslie Says Three on Three is Real Deal
For the past two weeks, we have been closely following the Sprite Belikin National 3 by 3 basketball tour. So far, district tournaments have been played in Belize City, Belmopan, and San Ignacio, and according to the organizers, there has been moderate support from the Belize public. Well, it's going to Dangriga this weekend, and one of the big name participants in the Belmopan round, came to our studios to encourage Belizean ballers around the country to participate. Darwin "Puppy" Leslie, one of the elite players who've emerged over the past ten years, encouraged all ballers to support the tour when it comes to their town. Darwin "Puppy" Leslie, member of Belize National Basketball Team "The caliber of players that came out in Belmopan, I participated in Belmopan - it was all the elite players in Belmopan and fortunately we came out and top successfully. The next stop will be Dangriga by the roundabout, "Drums of our Father," so I am just inviting all the players, its U-18 category and its senior category. I am just encouraging all the players to out and try this new stuff "3 on 3" is something that we play all the time at the basketball court, just that this around its more structured, it has a little more rules but it's awesome." "I am encouraging all the players countrywide, whenever you hear these guys are in your town come out and enjoy. They have prizes also; you are not playing for free so I am just encouraging the whole nation of young basketball players and senior players to come out and give these guys your support." The tournament will be played near the Drums of My Fathers roundabout in Dangriga on Saturday at 9a.m.

They Love King Selassie-I
As we told you earlier this week, Rastafarians will be celebrating Halie Selassie's birthday this weekend. The Rasta United Organization will be having an all day celebration at BTL Park on Sunday - with a fair during the day and a concert in the evening. Ras Ruben and Serafim Gabourel explained that it's kind a recruitment drive - and orientation session for the wider society:.. Ras Ruben "The whole aspect of sharing is to enlighten the people about his majesty divinity and to teach the people. It's all about education, so at this time when we say to be festive and celebrate is also to educate and enlighten the people so that they become more aware of his Imperial Majesty and would bring the message to the broader community because a lot of people want to know." Serafim Gabourel "That's what Rastafarian is about - doing good, because the man of right is God in man and the man of wrong is Satan in man. Once we beat the drum we release the tension from the people and bring calmness and harmony once again - bring back the love, the love that we lost, we need to bring that forward." The event starts at 10:00 am on Sunday.

Channel 5

Afternoon robbery at Senor Coconuts; 1 suspect is injured
There was a shooting at Senor Coconuts on Eve Street in Belize City just before three this afternoon; a suspected robber was injured in a foiled robbery attempt by armed bandits at the restaurant. According to employees, two men who posed as customers entered around two-forty-five asking for food. The two pulled out firearms and [...]

3 die in early morning collision on the Northern Highway
A police officer and two others are dead tonight after a horrible traffic accident on the Northern Highway in the wee hours of this morning. Police Constable Dion Makin Junior was behind the wheels of an SUV that collided into a car. In the cops’ vehicle were five others who are believed to have been [...]

Reaction from across the border on Guatemalan killed by B.D.F.
On Wednesday evening, a Guatemalan logger was killed in a shootout with the Belize Defence Force. It is second such incident this year and it is being vehemently protested by the Guatemalan government, which called a press conference late Thursday evening. The Organization of American States has been brought into the picture and both are [...]

OAS observing investigation into death of illegal logger
The Guatemalan Foreign Ministry posted an official release on its website. It condemns the killing of Martinez and puts the incident in the area of Machaquila near El Carrizal, Peten, three kilometers east of adjacency zone. In a most unusual statement, Guatemala also questions the effectiveness of the office of the O.A.S. in the Adjacency [...]

Mother of accused murderer cries self-defense
On Thursday night we told you about the fatal stabbing incident on George Street that claimed the life of eighteen year old Raheem Smith. Sometime around two in the afternoon, Smith received a single stab wound to the upper right side of his body but died shortly after at the K.H.M.H. Smith’s aunt told News [...]

Chris Lowe to be arraigned for wounding Bert Vasquez
This coming Tuesday, Christopher Lowe will be arraigned on a charge of wounding. Lowe is the father of thirteen year old Jasmine, whose murder in June triggered a massive community protest in San Ignacio. On Thursday, Lowe was among the spectators when Bert Vasquez, his daughter’s murder suspect, was being taken to the Magistrate Court. [...]

List of new butane prices released after $30 decrease
It was announced on Thursday that butane prices would take a huge dip of thirty dollars per hundred pound cylinder. The higher prices are for the LPG Imported from Mexico while the lower priced butane is imported from Central America. The Ministry of Trade and Consumer Protection says that in Belize City and Corozal, butane [...]

Kenrick Williams gets life in prison for strangling 16 year old girl
Thirty-four year old Kenrick Williams, convicted of strangling sixteen year old Elia Gonzalez to death in 2004, has been sentenced to life in prison. Gonzalez, a student who was heading home to Libertad from school in Corozal Town, was accosted and dragged into some bushes where she was raped and suffocated with her shoe lace. [...]

Trio accused of stealing 125 tons of sugar granted $30,000 bail
Two weeks ago, Belize City fishermen, thirty year old Ernel Brooks, thirty five year old Alex O’Brien and sixty eight year old, Oscar Mena, appeared before the Magistrate court to answer to theft charges of over one hundred tons of raw brown sugar from the Belize Sugar Industry. All three were denied bail on three [...]

Seine Bight bandits arrested after Thursday night burglary
In Seine Bight, quick police work led to the detention of three men for a burglary at the house of BWEL salesman Andy Williams, between eight and eleven o’clock on Thursday night. Stolen from the victim’s house on the Main Peninsula Road, were a flat screen television set and an electric guitar. Police launched an [...]

San Ignacio Police gets upgrades to fight increasing crime
Through the U.S. Embassy, the San Ignacio Police Department has received an automated fingerprint identification system. The Aphis system will be linked to Belize City and Belmopan data bases. The department is also supplementing technology with human resources. And as part of a Special Constable Programme, on Wednesday forty-one special constables completed training. Some will [...]

Fun and First Aid at the Red Cross’ 1st Summer Camp
The Belize Red Cross today held its closing ceremony for its first ever summer camp that catered for school age children from the south side. The students were engaged in a fun and educational camp that fostered good behavior and equipped them with first aid skills. News Five’s Andrea Polanco has the story.   Andrea [...]

Football stars in Smart Summer Camp take home trophies and certificates
Outstanding campers received certificates this morning in the Stars Summer Camp. The football camp drew a large number of participants that honed their skills on the various techniques of the sport. Freelance reporter Duane Moody was present for the closing of the camp.   Duane Moody, Reporting The SMART sponsored Stars Summer Camp that fosters [...]


Workers from the Belize Lodge & Excursion in Punta Gorda are disgruntled of unpaid wages and have taken steps to address the situation. Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “Workers of a lodge in Toledo remain very concerned about their unpaid wages.&...

A summer camp hosted by the Belize Red Cross at St. John Vianney School in Belize City. Field officer for strenghting resilience in urban youths through education, Evelyn Landaverry, spoke to Love News about the camp EVELYN LANDAVERRY, Field Officer “The ...

Belize has taken part in food festivals in Taipei, Taiwan and Antigua, Guatemala. The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, BELTRAIDE, says that it along with representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accompanied Royal Mayan Shrimp Farm and Hot Mama’s...

A traffic accident early this morning on the Northern Highway has claimed the lives of three persons and has left two more injured. The mishap occurred at two twenty-five this morning at mile eleven and a half and involved two vehicles. Love News has received unofficial rep...

The home of a Belmopan businessman was burglarized during his absence. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports FEM CRUZ, Reporter “Douglas Johnson, fifty two years old Belizean business man of #13 Pine Street, Belmopan City told Love News that sometime between the...

Motorists on traveling on the Southern Highway for almost a week have been enjoying the use of the new Kendal Bridge. Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “Buses and travelling vehicles on the Southern Highway this week were among those who made the histo...

The severely malnourished Jaguar that was found at the Ballum Na resort near Indian Creek village is now in his new home and in safe hands. Love News spoke with Umberto Wahlers, head of animal management at the Belize Zoo for an update on the Jaguar. UMBERTO WAHLERS, Hea...

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...


Owner of Belize Lodge and Excursions catching heat
The Belize Lodge and Excursions in the Toledo District has found itself in the center of controversy. That is after...

Cayo district making strides in combat against crime
The Cayo District is making strides toward greater efficiency in its fight against crime, one of which is in area o...

Scotiabank San Ignacio branch donates scholarships
Scotia Bank Belize Education Foundation San Ignacio Branch handed out seven primary school scholarships to children...

BDF Youth Cadet Corps summer camp
The BDF Youth Cadet Corps Summer Camp, is being held at the Eden Seventh Day Adventist High School campus in Santa ...

Dep. of Human Services facilitates workshop for incoming officers
A workshop was held in Belize City at the Belize Institute of Management conference room for the Department of Huma...

24 year old suffers heart attack on basketball court, dies
Ian Chavez Resident of George town village and the Liberian of Richard Quinn R.C pass away from a heart attack arou...

Gruesome road accident claims three lives
Lady Ville police responded to a traffic accident at 11¼ miles on the Northern Highway just before 3am this morning...

Teenager murdered over bicycle misunderstanding
A teenager dies over a bicycle misunderstanding. On Thursday July 19, CIB personnel visited the K.H.M.H. They saw t...

Butane cost goes down
And the price of butane is down. The Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consum...

Guatemalan delegation tour Belize's farms
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture along with the MESOTERRA Project of the Central American Universi...


“If we could only get our hands on you!”
Jasmine’s father, Chris Lowe, charged with attacking Bert Vasquez... Feelings of revulsion and anger ran high among citizens of San Ignacio and other supporters from throughout the nation who appeared in front of the police station and Magistrate’s Court when police brought Bert Vasquez, 28, back to court around 11 o’clock to be given disclosure for 13 assault and indecent assault charges he had previously been charged with, and also to receive additional charges against him.

Guat illegal logger, Luis Alonzo, shot dead in forest reserve
Belize security forces say the illegal loggers were about “3.2 kilometers” inside Belize territory... Belizean security officials have confirmed that a Guatemalan, whose identity has been identified by the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Luis Alberto Martínez Alonzo, was shot dead inside the Columbia River Forest Reserve, Toledo, three kilometers from Belize’s western border with Guatemala, in what Belizean officials claim was an armed confrontation between Belize Defence Force (BDF) officers and illegal loggers.

Raheem Smith, 18, stabbed to death over a bicycle
He and a friend allegedly had a deadly quarrel over punctured bicycle... Inspector of Police Fitzroy Yearwood this evening reported one suspect in custody, and said that police continue to investigate the exact circumstances of the case.

Trouble in the ranks; police officers want “an end to injustice”
A group of police officers have decried what they contend is the continued injustice meted out by their high command, who have long maintained the practice of effecting the transfer of police officers without due process and without giving them the transfer grant due to them, to facilitate the move to their new locations.

Life in prison for Kenrick Williams, 34
Convicted of murder of Elia Gonzalez, 16... The mandatory sentence of life in prison was today handed down to Libertad resident Kenrick Williams, 34, for the murder of Corozal schoolgirl Elia Gonzalez, 16, in 2004.

Corpse of missing woman left exposed 24 hours
Residents of Bella Vista Village, Stann Creek District, are angry after the decomposed body of one of their own was left exposed in the open area where it was found in the village, for 25 hours, because police ordered that it remain there until the arrival of the coroner. The coroner, Dr. Mario Estradabran did not arrive until a full 25 hours after the body was discovered.

FFB holds Referee Seminar, Grassroots U-13 loses to Honduras and Guatemala
Forty-seven referees this past weekend convened at the FFB Goal Project headquarters in Belmopan to attend a Referees seminar facilitated by FFB’s National Referee Instructors Eugene Contreras, Mauro Manzanero and Director of Referees David Henry Jones…The seminar commenced on Friday, July 13, and concluded on Sunday

Belize sends 3 athletes, 4 officials to 2012 London Olympic Games
It is announced by the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association that the Belize Delegation travelling to London to partake in the 2012 London Olympic Games will be leaving the country on Saturday, July 21.

BBF’s Sprite/Belikin 3x3 basketball tour travels to Dangriga
This weekend, Saturday, July 21, the Sprite/Belikin 3x3 basketball tour travels to Dangriga at the Drums of our Father roundabout, starting at 9:00 a.m. The tour is taking shape, with winners in the Men’s Senior from Belize City, Belmopan and San Ignacio. In Belize City, the well-experienced seniors, including Angus “Walla” Cherrington and Vince “Post” Estrada, were victorious; while in San Ignacio, prime time player Kurt “Chengo” Burgess teamed up with three upcoming players - Zui Usher, Shelton Defour and Dujon McNab. In Belmopan, national team player Darwin “Puppy” Leslie was joined by Leon “Bigs” Williams and Lindbergh “Prince” Graham to take the championship in the capital city.

A plea for “Summer Camps”, for the children
A lot of focus and studies are directed towards the reforming and rehabilitating of young men who have gone “the wrong way” and gotten themselves into the world of gangs and criminal activity. A lot of effort and resources, for example the so-called “gang truce” initiative, are spent in trying to reclaim these young people into a positive and socially cohesive life style.

Oscar Kareem Usher, 25, walks from attempted murder of Kenrick Longsworth
The victim “remembers nothing” and “doesn’t want to testify”... Usher is accused of the attempted murder of Kenrick Longsworth, then 17, on October 14, 2009 in a shooting incident which occurred at the corner of Lovely Lane and Victoria Street, in which Longsworth was shot three times – once each in the left and right pelvic area, and once in the abdomen.

Budget passes Senate without amendments
“...the time is long past due that we should learn to live within our means.”... The Senate this afternoon passed without amendments the 2012-2013 revenue appropriation bill, also known as the national budget, in addition to revisions to the Evidence Act, to allow for the admission of inconsistent statements to the court in the event that a prosecution witness retracts an earlier statement, as well as amendments to the Income and Business Tax Act, which features a reduction in the tax levy on Belize Electricity Limited from 6.5% to 1.75%.

BNE’s Sheila is back
British Virgin Islands court says Tony Quinn directorship was invalid... “My purported suspension as a Director of INE was invalid and of no effect. I therefore remain a Director of the company and will regain my position as Chairman of INE with immediate effect.” – Sheila McCaffrey... There are major developments on Belize’s oil scene as a recent ruling in the British Virgin Islands has indicated that Sheila McCaffrey, who was one of the founding directors of International Natural Energy (INE) and its local subsidiary, Belize Natural Energy (the only oil-producing company in Belize), was never validly booted from the company. McCaffrey has since issued a statement declaring that the chairmanship of INE returns to her, although INE contends that Susan Morrice remains the INE chair.

On cannabis
The decision by the government to consider the decriminalization of marijuana is a bold and long overdue move. And while in the United States decriminalization of marijuana has been picking up steam over the last few years, and Argentina and Mexico just a few years ago approved a similar initiative, Belize, we believe, would be the first country in the Caribbean to so do.

From The Publisher
Someone (perhaps Robert Frost) once said that home is where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in. With respect to a man’s tribe, his “’hood,” or his “peeps,” this is the body of people to whom a man will turn and cling when he is experiencing any kind of crisis.

Chinese justice
As politicians, lawyers have the opportunity to modify or amend laws for the future convenience of their law firms. This practice is prevalent in most, if not all so-called democracies. Anyone who has seen documentaries on the North American Library of Congress will understand what I am talking about.

Victim of the system: Open letter to the DPP
Keyron was born to Ruben Taylor and Golda Johnson in the City of Belmopan and is the eldest of (5) five siblings, four boys and one girl, who is the youngest. I became a single mother with Keyron right from the time of birth, so I moved from Belmopan and came back to Belize City to my family. Keyron attended Port Loyola Pre-School, then went to Wesley School, all three (3) divisions, and finally Wesley College, where he graduated in June 2009.


Humane Animal Eradication Begins in San Pedro
A few weeks ago I blogged about the brutal stray dog eradication by strychnine poisoning by the San Pedro Town Council on July 9th. Since that time, Bill Milstead with SAGA Humane Society (and my husband) and Dr.Laurie Droke with San Pedro Animal Hospital met with Mayor Daniel Guerrero to stop the eradication by strychnine poisoning after a national out cry from animal lovers about the inhumane process used to control the dog population in San Pedro. Mayor Guerrero agreed to stop the inhumane practice but also made it very clear that he is depending upon SAGA to handle the humane eradication of the island dogs in an efficient and timely manner or the town council will authorize the poisoning by strychnine poisoning again. The first week of August SAGA will begin the process of picking up any stray animals on the streets and will do so on a continuing basis. Any animal picked up will be held for 3 days. If the animal has not been sprayed or neutered, SAGA will do so and the fees will be passed on to the owners. If no one claims the animals, a decision will be made as to the adoptability of the animals and they will either be humanely euthanized or kept a short while longer in hopes of finding a good home for them. SAGA is asking for your help by donating, you can contribute by going by SAGA or through the website at SAGA is a 501c charity through the United States which makes your donation 100% tax deductible for Americans.

International Sources

Travel Picks: Top 10 cities for street food
San Pedro is noted especially for its conch ceviche. Other street food cities include Bangkok, Istanbul, Mexico City, Singapore, Palermo and Ho Chi Minh City -- some great company!

Watchful Shrimp, Defending Their Territory
Collecting shrimp is a complicated business. I am not as seasoned as my colleagues, but I quickly learn how tedious it can be. After taking a photograph and estimating the volume of a sponge, we have to locate every shrimp inside. Synalpheus have the amazing ability to wiggle their way into the sponge’s inner depths, making themselves very difficult to find. And they are not the only inhabitants of the sponge or coral rubble. We often find brittle stars, polychaete and fire worms, various tiny crustaceans, mantis shrimp and even the occasional octopus. Although some sponges are quite malleable, others are rubbery and difficult to pick apart. Reaching into the bags for rubble is like a carnival game. We all hope to avoid certain species of sponges that require more effort than others. Depending on the species, a sponge with the volume of a tennis ball could take 30 minutes or more to dissect. For some of the tougher species, we often use a serrated bread knife to carefully slice pieces of sponge, trying not to do the same to the shrimp. Many species of sponge are quite painful to touch. The chemicals they exude can sting or itch for days. Others can leave dozens of tiny glass needles, called spicules, that make up their skeleton embedded in your fingers. Although others in our group prefer to wear gloves while dissecting sponges, I find them too restrictive. Needless to say, my hands will likely ache for the rest of the week, full of spicules, cuts and fire worm hairs. When we finally locate a Synalpheus shrimp, we delicately grasp it with forceps and place it in an individual plastic drinking cup to avoid damaging fights with others. After each piece of sponge is visually inspected, it is dipped in freshwater for a few seconds. If a Synalpheus manages to escape visual identification, it typically snaps its major chela, or snapping claw, after being immersed in fresh water. By the end of a session, maybe hundreds of shrimp each rest in its own plastic cup, occasionally snapping.

"Belize was Unbelizable"
Belize was a surprise trip from my BF for my birthday and we had an incredible time! It is a quick trip, total time of about 4 1/2 hours in the air from LA with one quick stop in Houston to fly into Belize City where you are a short drive into paradise. We were in San Ignacio which is the home of the jungle and all the animals that come with it, caves with turquoise blue water and sacrificial remains, mayan ruins, and sweet corn colodas (will post recipe soon)! There are also beautiful coastal islands in Belize that some friends we met were traveling to after San Ignacio and we want to make a trip back to do those! Here is my photo diary below!

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