Recent Belize News
9/11/2012 to 9/20/2012
Click here to return to
Today's Belize News

September 20, 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 Tourist Police Unit now have PADI Certified Officers
Three officers attached to the San Pedro Tourism Police Unit have now joined the ranks of PADI Open Water Certified divers. The officers took the course over the period of September 4th through 8th which was offered by the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association (SPTGA). Four officers started the course, however only three completed. Taking the course were Police Constable Kendis Humes, Police Constable Richard Nunez, Special Constable Germain Crawford and Special Constable Kenny Ferguson. SC Ferguson did not complete the Open Water Course but is however allowed to dive within the reef. Sharmane Young, Woman Corporal 834 NCO IC (Corporal in charge of the Tourism Police Units) for San Pedro Caye Caulker spoke of what this means for her unit; “Well, I must say that the industry that we’re in requires that we are out there on the sea. As such, we have tourism police officers out there on a regular basis. It is not uncommon that we have incidents that require our officers to be informed and trained. This course will assist these officers in terms of preparation. It will give them an idea of what is to be expected, what not to expect and also what to do as to offer assistance when it becomes necessary.”

Logan Gray of ACES wins SPTC’s 2012 Spelling Bee Competition
As part of the long month of activities for the September Celebrations, the San Pedro Town Council hosted a Spelling Bee Competition for the various schools in San Pedro. The competition was an excellent opportunity for the kids to showcase their spelling abilities and win much needed cash prizes and school supplies for the new school year. Eight students from four primary schools went up against each other for a chance to win first ($150), second ($100) and third ($50) places in this year’s Spelling Bee. Representing Island Academy were Jackson Leslie and Kylee Kumul. Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES ) was represented by Bianca Narvaez and Logan Grey. Alexia Gutierrez and Kylie Alamilla proudly represented San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRC ) while New Horizon S.D.A. was represented by German Alamilla and Jadzia Cab.

Velma Melendez wins Reef Radio’s 2012 Karaoke Competition
Almost immediately following the King of Kings Karaoke Competition, a new competition began. Reef Radio/Jaguar’s 8th annual Karaoke Competition saw five weeks of eliminations, with a grand finale on Thursday September 13th, with 22 astounding performances by the 11 finalists. Previous winners from past Reef Radio competitions were not allowed to compete. 30 aspiring singers signed up to compete for the chance to take home the grand prize of $2,000.00. Leading up to the finals, each week two individuals were elevated to the finals; one by the judges and one by the crowd. However, in the first week of competitions, there was a tie between two contestants which led to 11 individuals qualifying for the finals. Competing in the finals were LeRoi Hyde, Jaime Bautista, Wilber Rivero, Javier Castillo, Gina Cadle, Velma Melendez, Jessica Lopez, Jackeline Retaña, Luis Albeño, Israel Zetina and Eric Figueroa.

SPHS’ Joel Ruiz brings back gold medal from CODICADER games
A student of San Pedro High School (SPHS) is back on the island after participating with the male basketball team of Sadie Vernon High school at the CODICADER* games held in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. 16 year old Joel Ruiz, a senior student at SPHS was chosen to join the Belize contingency to the CODICADER, which is the highest tournament for students in the Central American region. It is a major accomplishment for Ruiz, who managed to be one of the key team members whose excellent performance contributed to Belize capturing the gold medal. Belize played their four games from the 4th to the 7th of September, winning all four games. Belize played against Honduras first, winning by a score of 95 to 81. The second game was with Costa Rica and Belize also won by a narrow score of 65 to 63. Belize faced the host country Guatemala in the third game and won by 18 points earning, them a spot in the finals. The final game was a rematch between Belize and Costa Rica, who had lost only one game during the qualifying matches to Belize. Having a good knowledge of their rivals, Belize went to the court with full force, scoring 92 points to Costa Rica’s 58, capturing the gold medal. A very happy, triumphant Joel Ruiz spoke to The San Pedro Sun. “It was my first time at a CODICADER game and for me it was very exciting and I am very happy that I was asked to be a part of the Belize Team. I was the only person chosen from the SPHS, which placed second in the national tournament earlier this year,” said Ruiz. “I want to thank teacher Paul Kelly and my parents who supported me to have this experience. I also want to thank Sadie Vernon for allowing me to be a part of their team,” he ended.

Central American & Mexican communities celebrated in SP
The Central American and Mexican communities in San Pedro celebrated their independence day with two separately organized activities. The first was the official activity organized by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and the other was organized by the San Pedro People’s United Party (PUP) Executive Committee. The official activity, which is a part of the island’s September Celebration Calendar of activities, was held on Saturday September 15th at the San Pedro Central Park. Earlier this month the SPTC had invited the Central American and Mexican communities to showcase their unique cuisine as part of their county’s culture. The celebration coincided with the 191st anniversary of the Independence Day of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua having obtained political freedom from Spain on September 15th 1821. In the case of Mexico, it celebrated its 202nd year of independence having obtained it on 16th of September 1810. At the event, each country showcased the best of food, from the “pasteles de papas con salsa”, “chocolate caliente” and “pupusas” from El Salvador, the “arroz con pollo” and “ceviche de pescado” from Costa Rica to the “carne asado con frijol negro volteado con tortilla” of Guatemala. The Mexicans had their traditional “Tacos al Pastor” and “Tacos de res”. The flavors were many, and all were satisfying.

Ambergris Today

Nuñez Brothers Donate Drums to Isla Bonita Marching Band
Councilor Gaby Nuñez was kind enough to present the school with two drums on Monday, September 17, 2012. Two of councilor Nuñez’s sons were avid drum players and members of marching bands but have decided to concentrate more on their studies and had their father donate their drums to the students of Isla Bonita Marching Band. The students were very thankful for the kind donation and wasted no time in continuing their practice session with their new drums.

BTB Welcomes New Director of Quality Assurance
The Belize Tourism Board is pleased to announce the appointment of its new Director of Quality Assurance, Armeid Thompson. “We are honoured to welcome such an outstanding individual, Armeid Thompson, to our executive management team here at the Belize Tourism Board. We believe that her world-class experience will greatly contribute to the quality that the Belize Tourism Board aims to achieve,” stated the Director of Tourism, Mrs. Laura Esquivel-Frampton. Armeid began working at the Belize Tourism Board in March, 2011, where she served as the Executive Assistant to the Director of Tourism. She graduated top of her class with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, United States. She has enjoyed travelling to many places such as Papaua New Guinea, Australia, the Eastern Caribbean, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, and Guatemala.

Is Belize the next Hollywood? New Movie to Start Filming in San Pedro
Who doesn't want to make it big in Hollywood? Or be a famous rock star or famous actor/actress? It would be something great! Well our little country has quite the potential when it comes to movie making and in the future possibly be the next Hollywood. Producer Matthiew Klinck of Make Belize Films has seen this potential and has put it to great use. This year he premiered his first ever Belizean film "Kurse a dih Xtabai" that was filmed entirely in our rich Creole language, filmed in our beautiful country and had the participation of over 65 Belizean actors/actresses and film crew, making this film 100% Belizean. Ambergris Today met with producer Matthiew Klinck who was elated to share with us some exciting news about the movie and more. “First of all I am extremely happy to say that we have had an amazing run for 'Kurse a dih Xtabai; it's been screened throughout the country and it is now time to take it internationally,” stated Matthiew. “The movie will be launched on the Make Belize Films website and will be available for purchasing for just $2.00US. This way the movie will be available to international viewers, movie critiques and bloggers.”

Belize Has Been Recommend–ed, More Magazine Exposure
Excitement continues to surround Belize! The country has been featured in the August “On location” issue of Recommend magazine. The magazine has been in existence for over 43 years and is one of the leaders in the travel trade marketplace. It aims to educate and inform travel agents about the latest happenings in various locations, which assists in selling the locations. The monthly issues highlight the different aspects of tourism. Recommend also has a very active website where interested viewers can read the current and past issues of the magazine as well as view the latest information on various destinations and events.

Police Officers Receive Open Water Dive Training
Three special constables and one Police Officer, who are attached to the Tourism Unit in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, have completed a course in Open Water Diving thanks to the efforts of the San Pedro Tour Guide Association (SPTGA). They were presented with their certificates of completion by President of the SPTGA, Mr. Billy Leslie on Friday, September 14, 2012.

The Majestic Blue and Yellow Macaw
These birds can reach 76 to 86 cm (30 to 34 in) long and weigh 900 to 1500 grams (1.9 to 3.3 lbs), making it one of the larger members of its family. They are vivid in appearance with blue wings and tail, dark blue chin, golden under parts, and a green forehead. Beaks are black, and very strong for crushing nuts. They are especially very impressive when you see them in flight and in groups.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Diving the Canyons, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
Featuring Open Water Diver Certification dives and the Lionfish Divas. With the most awesome dive team Island Divers Belize!

George Price - The Father of Our Nation
A brief biography of George Price. A fitting article to end National Service Dayo with. Don Hector Silva tonight remembered him happily, and said that before he passed he came up with an idea for a peaceful revolution to bring justice back to the system. He'd called it a 'second revolution,' the first being the gaining of independence 31 years ago. The comments at the end of the article are great, and you can leave condolences or other comments if you'd like. "George Price entered into politics in 1944. With three days of preparation, he lost his first election. In 1947 however, he was elected to the Belize City Council and from 1958 to 1962 he was the Mayor of that Capital. In protest against the devaluation of the British Honduran dollar in 1949, a few citizens, George Price included, formed the People’s Committee. Here was the start of the Peaceful, Constructive, Belizean Revolution. It was the forerunner of the Peoples United Party, officially established on September 29, 1950. 6 Years later, George Price was elected Party Leader."

SHJC Clean Up of the Western Highway
Sacred Heart Junior College did a clean up today for National Service Day. They picked up trash along the Western Highway. Thanks, SHJC! They also had Hector Silva speak about Belize and its independence. It was a great session, and a lot was learned. Here's to the future! "As part of our pre-Independence celebrations at SHJC, we organized 3 events for Sept. 19. First the highway cleanup project along the Western Highway, our first ever 'Wear it Blue, Red and/or White' Day & lastly, a talk on 'Belize's Struggle to Independence' done by Mr. Hector Silva."

National Service Day in Belmopan
Clean up and beautification campaign in Belmopan. No more littering! "Photos from around Belmopan of students cleaning up, painting and honoring Rt. Hon. George Price on National Service Day"

Benque Tribute to George Price
The Benque House of Culture will be having a tribute to the late George Price tonight in Centennial Park. There will be a poetry recital, and the winners of the poetry competition will be announced. Later tonight, they will show the documentary, 'Man of Purpose and Vision.' After that, they'll have live marimba music. Happy National Service Day! "In honor of our Father of our Nation, Belize comes the Tribute to Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price, credits to much of his rich knowledge came from reading, often described as an avid reader of all kinds of books including philosophy, literature, poetry, and religion. The 19th of September will be observed as National Service Day, and through this we present the winners of the GP poetry competition, and recital, a short film documentary of the life of our Hero, including live marimba music, by " Vos de la Selva" courtesy of our Marimba players under the leadership of Mr. Ernesto Aldana 'Don Beto'."

Reflections of George Price by Richard Holder
Richard at RH Photography has created some amazing banners that really capture the messages and purpose of George Price. He definitely has the September Celebrations spirit. Feel free to share and distribute, and credit who did it. Thank you for sharing, RH! Don't forget to check out the George Price Man of Purpose and Vision exhibit at the SISE HoC. Happy National Service Day!

National Service Day Clean Up in Benque
For National Service Day in Benque, they had a clean up campaign at Centennial Park. Thanks to the Benque House of Culture for documenting it. If only we could stop the littering in the first place, we could focus our community efforts on more pressing matters, like obtaining, painting, and installing trash cans. Unfortunately, this encourages the despicable action of littering. No more littering! "Our Leaders of tomorrow, rendering their community service at the Centennial Park, Del Carmen Pre- School with family, friends and Administrative staff"

Creations of Thank You - Tribute George Price
What a great video made to honor George Price! It was made by Positive Belize Music and Belmopan Youths. There's a touching story on how they all come together to make the video too. Happy National Service Day! "As youths who have been working to impact change in our country we decided that we have to take it up yet another step—we saw the opportunity to challenge the young people of Belize in seeking real solutions for the issues affecting us as a nation. In this one night, a mere 7 hours of reflecting on such a National Hero, we saw that we already have the solutions locked up in the speeches of our hero... but it's now time to take action... So now to all my proud Belizeans, be the change for he gave us a reason and leave your country a better place than you found it!"

Channel 7

Did Belize Default On Superbond?
The Superbond payment was due a month ago - and 30 days after it's due - if no payment is made - the country is considered to be in default. Our indications were yesterday that an extension of the default period would be worked out with bondholders in exchange for a partial payment of the 46 million dollars that was due a month ago. But, up to newstime - no announcement had been made - so tonight we take the position to be that Belize has defaulted on its Superbond debt. It was foretold - but still, it is not an entirely desirable state of affairs. And it doesn't seem to be quite what the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow expected when he returned from Houston with his ailing wife today. The media caught PM Barrow at the airport and here's what he told us about the deadline:.. Jules Vasquez "Sir, its 5:15pm eastern time and I haven't seen any press release. Has Belize defaulted?" Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister "You haven't seen any press release? I don't think we have. I have a conference call with our advisors this morning from Houston, which was at 9am Belize time and we certainly - it appeared making some progress with the bond holders. If things change dramatically between then and now I would not have had an opportunity to be briefed. I am pretty confident that we are in decent shape as far as the negotiations are concern."

Another Northern Murder
And turning away from the sovereign debt issue - to violent crime in Corozal - which continues to escalate - there is news tonight of another murder in that northern district. This one happened in Libertad and the victim is taxi-man, Anwar Hernandez. Police believe it is a retaliation for some illicit type activity - although the victim had no criminal record. Daniel Ortiz went looking for answers today:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting Last night at around 7:00, the quiet of Libertad Village in the Corozal district was shattered with the execution style killing of 28 year-old Anwar Hernandez, a resident of Corozal Town. All indications from the police are that Hernandez, who is a taxi driver, picked up one or more of his assailants, who posed as customers, from his usual taxi location in town.

Chinese Grocer Jacked In Corozal
And at around the same time of the murder of Anwar Hernandez, a business place in Corozal town was robbed by 3 men. According to police, at around 7:15 p.m., 3 armed men, who were wearing masks, and long sleeved clothing, robbed Huan Huan Store, which is located on 5th Avenue in Corozal Town. The men didn't hurt any of the employees, but they managed to get away with $500 from the cash drawer. Police have no leads in that incident as yet.

Bus Collision On Northern
This evening just before 5, there was an accident on the northern highway between mile 12 and 13. Thankfully, there were no injuries or fatalities.?? It involved the two buses seen here. Initial reports to our newsroom are that both buses were northbound, following a Tillett's bus. The Tillett bus was reportedly trying to overtake another vehicle, but because there was oncoming traffic, the driver had to swerve back into his lane.?? This forced the driver to suddenly hit the brakes to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of him.?? That abrupt deceleration caused a chain effect and the driver of the yellow bus at the back couldn't respond fast enough.?? The bus at the back slammed into the bus in front, and although both buses received damage, no one was hurt.?? When we left, police officers were documenting statements and processing the scene.

Will Ashcroft Alliance Block BTL AGM?
BTL's Annual General Meeting is scheduled for next week Friday - but if the Ashcroft Alliance has its way - the phone company won't be issuing any dividends - which is like having a birthday party without any cake! 7News has learned that the Ashcroft Alliance - in the person of the BTL Employees Trust - has applied to the Caribbean Court of Justice in Trinidad to stop the payment of this year's ten million dollar dividend - most of it to the majority shareholder, the Government of Belize. The Alliance argues that with the default on the Superbond - Government is broke and basically can't be trusted with the receipts from the dividend payment. The hearing has been granted by videoconference for next week Wednesday - two days before the AGM. Today the Prime Minister said he'll have to wait and see what the court says: Jules Vasquez "The Ashcroft Alliance has applied to the CCJ and has gotten a video conference hearing for next week to block the issuance od dividend from BTL which the AGM is next Friday. Are you aware of this and will it stops the procession of the AGM and the business of the AGM which is to issue a dividend?"

Rt. Hon. Price Remembered On Nat'l Service Day
National Hero George Price passed away one year ago today - and in honour of his legacy - today was National Service Day. All across the country, school children, civic organizations, business houses and regular folk - did what Price would have done: they loaned a hand to worthwhile community causes - from picking up garbage to fixing up parks to delivering care packages to planting flowers. It is the distillation of Price's truest essence - or as he put it, quote: I believe that happiness consists in serving others and not oneself." And that's what so many did today - almost all without publicity, fanfare or self - promotion, which is also the way Price would have done it. One event we did capture was the laying of wreaths at Price's grave-site in the Lord Ridge Cemetery. Party Leader Francis Fonseca was there and he discussed Price's legacy one year after his passing:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca "Apart from the symbolism of it which is important for us, to say to the nation that we want to keep the spirit and legacy and memory of George Price alive. For us it's deeply personal, for me, having work and known George Price for so many years - it's very important for us to come and pay tribute to him on the anniversary of his death. It's important, George Price - as the young people here reminded me this morning - he did so much for this country, he did so much for Belize and so we have to as a country and have been demonstrated over the past year George Price has risen above party politics in Belize. Everybody now embraces him as a National Hero, as the Father of our Nation and that's very good to see and we have to do our part as the PUP to keep that alive; to keep the history and story about George Price alive."

Restoring A Park
One effort that caught our attention was the work at the Victoria Alvarez Park. That's the park on North Front Street that Marsha Argalles adopted after her son 9 year old Joshua Abraham was killed a year ago. She tried to organize the effort the re-fit the park earlier this year - but the effort fizzled when she ran out of building supplies. But today the effort got a mass infusion of energy, man and woman power and resources. Volunteers from Restore Belize, NICH, Atlantic Bank and the National Youth Cadet Corps descended on the park in a whirlwind of productivity. Marsha Argalles told us that she was overwhelmed and inspired:.. Jules Vasquez "How is it going out here today?" Marsha Argalles "Excellent Jules, my heart is filled with joy. I cried already, it's overwhelming. So many people that came out; Belize City Council, Restore Belize, Atlantic Bank, Women's Department, Cadets - they work and work, it's amazing."

Three On Three Will Travel
Last night we told you about the plight of the National basketball selection that's gotten a seed to attend the Three on Three World Basketball Championships in Seville Spain. The Belize Basketball Federation could not put together all the resources to make the trip possible and the Minister of State with responsibility for sports made it clear that the Federation should not be looking to them for a bailout. But, nonetheless, something did work out. President of the Federation Paul Thompson told us this evening that a private donor did come through with ten thousand dollars for visas, an official's ticket and travel accommodations. But, time is very limited since the passports have to be sent to Guatemala City for processing - and so they're crossing their fingers and hoping those passports can come back in time for the team to travel early next week. We'll keep you posted on their progress.

Can They Stop "The Hustle" At Immigration?
Jay-Z once rapped, "can't knock the hustle," but when it comes to Belize's Immigration Department - it seems you can't stop the hustle. No matter who's the minister or what safeguards are put in place - someone's always hustling at Immigration - whether its passports in the 80's, Permanent residence in the 90's, passports again in "the oughts", and now Hezbollah two day specials in 2012…there's always something up at Immigration. And, insiders will tell you that how it's set up, because there are times when high officials also need a system with loopholes to exploit for their political ends, or just regular "ends." But, regardless, the effort to clamp down continues. Today the Prime Minister told us that Immigration Minister Hulse and his Minister of State Penner held a meeting yesterday to get tighten up and batten down:.. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister "What I will say is that I spoke to Minister Hulse yesterday from Houston. He was in a full scale meeting with the key people in the ministry; the head of the department, the Minister of State and in fact they were agreed a number of new procedures so that that ministry and that Minister of State can get on top of the situation once and for all. I have every confidence that Godwin Hulse will come up with the sorts of structures that will pretty much shut the door on any irregularities that have occurred." Reports are that police are now investigating new reports of another person who also got a passport with a false birth certificate two weeks ago.

Former Accused Murderer Remanded For Armed Robbery
24 year-old Neil Grey is at prison tonight after he was taken to court for allegedly robbing 88 Kitchen at gunpoint. The owner reported to police that on Monday, a man came into the establishment, pointed a gun at him and demanded money. The owner apparently wasn't obeying fast enough because the assailant then hit him with the gun wounded him and another man who was in the establishment at the time. Fearing for his life, the owner handed over $700 from the cash register, and the assailant escaped with the money. Police investigated the report and they arrested and charged Grey with one count of robbery and 2 counts of wounding. He was taken and arraigned before Magistrate Aretha Ford today, and he pleaded not guilty to all the charges. Due to the nature of the offences, he couldn't be granted bail, and as a result, Magistrate Ford remanded him until October 30, his next court date. Grey recently walked off a 2009 murder when the prosecution's main witness refused to testify.

Kim's Cancer, An Update
Kim Simplis Barrow returned from Houston today where she has been for the past month receiving treatment for breast cancer. And while there is rarely reason to celebrate with cancer, today the Prime Minister had good news: his wife's heart function is just about back to normal. Here's his explanation of her overall condition:.. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister "She completed the radiation this morning. That was the last session. She has also made contact with a medical oncologist who will now be in charge of the monitoring process from here on out." "We have to go back in 3 months' time for a repeat visit with that oncologist. She also saw the re-constructive surgeon this morning, he will see her again when she goes back to visit with the medical oncologist and at that time he will fix an actual date for the reconstructive surgery." "In terms of the heart, we saw Dr. Duran on Friday and he did another heart test and in fact the output is now up to 50.5 I think it is. Remember when we were there the last time it was 40. It's gone up to 50.5. Dr. Duran feels that she will make a full recovery where the heart function is concern. In fact he says that once you are above 50% you are in the normal range - it's between 50 and 60; you don't go beyond 60, so she is pretty much good to go where that is concern."

Rosita Baltazar Has Breast Cancer
Another well-known person who has been diagnosed with breast cancer is well known Dancer Rosita Baltazar. She is the Assistant Artistic Director, Dancer and Choreographer with the Belize Dance Company - but she recently had to leave the Festival du Sud this past summer because of failing health. The Dance Company will have a benefit performance for her on Saturday, Sept 22nd at the Bliss Centre. Tickets are be $15 & $10 dollars, and apart from being a good cause, it's also an opportunity to see the Show that the Company toured with in Europe called "BELIZE - Diverse Cultures and Rhythms"

DeMarco Here For Belize's Independence
And on the 20th night in Orange Walk - there will be a full bill of Jamaican artists to bring in Belize's independence in that northern town. Don't frown - this has been going on since Byron Lee days - and now it's De-Marco and Black Chiney's turn. They stopped by our studio today to tell us about the concert event and generate some hype:.. Shawn Urbina, SKU Promotions "Tomorrow it's all about the big show Belize birthday bash 2012 featuring DeMarco, Black Chiney, Popeye Caution, our guest performer." DeMarco, artist "Orange Walk, tomorrow night will be mad, so make sure everybody come out and support the thing because there is going to be a lot of high energy and the performance is going to be sick."

Supa G Says It's Still Summertime
And while they are touring in Belize - perennial local favorite Supa G is home from touring abroad. He's releasing his new album - which is the 14th of his career - and the tenth solo recording. He told us about it today:.. Supa G, Artist "Actually it's something that just comes up. I was in New York at one of my friend's house and my friend ask me if I won't release any new album and I told him that I don't think so. While we were there, songs start to come out and when you see we came up with an album - just like that, very simple." "I decide to release it at this time. We only took like 1 week to put this album together. There are 9 brand new tracks and 4 old tunes. That is one of the reasons why we are selling it for only $10. There are a lot of hype songs Suga G style and I also have one song that wasn't written by myself that is from Speedwagon - I did it in reggae. Its different styles of music on it; I have a paranda track on it also."

Remembering the Great Man
One year ago tonight - Belizeans all across the land were mourning the loss of national hero George Price. The 92 year old had been hospitalized for a few days in a grave condition after accidentally falling at his home. He died in the morning and the news rippled across the country in a wave a of grief and loss. There was sadness yes, but also joy at a life lived in service of a greater cause; as it is probably best said, Because of Him, Belize. One week after Mr Price died and there were unprecedented outpourings of love and respect, a state funeral was held for him in Belmopan. Tonight, to remember the Great Man, we briefly look back at that event: Jules Vasquez Reporting From the morgue, to the Bliss, past the Price family home on Pickstock Street, into the church where Price went to mass every day for almost his whole life for a final march through the city streets - seen here from above, once more across the swing bridge, the crowds lined up by the thousands at the Bliss center, the Price Center in Belmopan.

Channel 5

International media says G.O.B. default; P.M. says no default
At five p.m. today, a grace period ended for payment of the Superbond after government missed payment in August. Government’s failure to pay triggered a technical default. The forty-six million dollar payment is only one hurdle facing the government as the bond fell zero point forty-eight cent to thirty-four point fifty-six cents after trading above [...]

Opposition Leader supports renegotiation of Superbond
The Opposition, Peoples United Party (P.U.P.) has expressed its interest and concern about the bond. Though the P.U.P. has not been a part of the negotiation, it supports the government’s desire to ease the burden on the Belizean People.   Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition “It is a critically important matter and it continues [...]

Driven to a hit, murder in Libertad
A Corozal taxi driver was killed, execution style, early on Tuesday night. It is believed that the two men, who chartered Anwar Hernandez to take them to Libertad, carried out the heinous crime. Witnesses say they heard multiple gunshots and Hernandez pleading for help but were too scared to go to his aid. His eight [...]

Before, during and after Hezbollah, Belizean visas abused?
Three days, August twenty-ninth to September first, is all it took for an alleged associate of the terrorist organization Hezbollah to obtain a Belizean birth certificate, a driver’s license and a passport. Raffic Labboun’s brief encounter with Belize is only one example of individuals who either get fraudulent passports or visas to Belize. While Labboun [...]

Lord Michael Ashcroft appointed to Privy Council at large
Lord Michael Ashcroft has been out of the news in Belize for a while but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been busy. The news out of London is that earlier this month, Lord Ashcroft was appointed to the Privy Council in the UK. For many years the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council was Belize’s [...]

Economic Indicators looks at youth reflections on Superbond
We reported on Tuesday that the major findings of a poll measuring public opinions on debt, spending and taxes show that overall there is a high level of dissatisfaction in the handling of the debt issue; that spending should be cut; taxes should not be increased; and that government should pay off the Superbond and [...]

A move to block issuance of Telemedia dividends
The B.T.L. Employees Trust has applied to the Caribbean Court of Justice to stop the payment of dividends to shareholders at the upcoming annual general meeting or that alternatively government put the money in escrow pending cases before the courts that seek to return the telephone company to its former owners. The A.G.M. is planned [...]

SCA students travel across country to give service
The Father of the Nation, George Price passed away one year ago on September nineteenth. His passing evoked huge respect and emotions of patriotism and nationalism for the man who led the country to independence and who dominated the political landscape of Belize for decades. To honor his memory, across the country, activities were held [...]

SJC’s tribute to George Price
At SJCJC, Global Minds paid a tribute to the late father of the nation through a display of pictures and screening of an interview. The student club hopes that the youngsters take away something from the tribute.   Tiffany Hope, Events Coordinator, Global Minds “We are doing a tribute for the life of George Price, [...]

Playground restored in the name of murdered youth, Joshua Abraham
Over at North Front Street, children, Restore Belize and City Councilors were among those who turned up to restore a playground in the name of Joshua Abraham. Joshua is the young boy who was murdered last Independence Day. While she grieves the death of her young son, Marcia Argalles, is happy that the children in [...]

P.U.P. looks up George Price on Service Day
Before the schools set out on their initiatives, early this morning National Service Day started with a mass in Belmopan City as a tribute to George Price. Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca said that after the mass some of the participants travelled to Belize City and placed wreaths at Price’s tomb inside Lord Ridge [...]

Kim Simplis Barrow continues cancer treatment
When we caught up with Prime Minister Dean Barrow at the airport, he also spoke on the health of his wife, Kim Simplis Barrow, who has been in Houston in the past days getting treatment for breast cancer and for a heart condition.   Prime Minister Dean Barrow “She completed the radiation this morning; that [...]

Spectacular Superstar Performances!
It’s now down to seven performers in each group to determine who will be The Next Superstar. Group B was in the spotlight at the Bliss on Tuesday night, bringing a mix of song, dance and drama to the stage. With the grand prize on the horizon, the performers stepped up their acts to impress [...]


Belize Governor General Receives Credentials From Seven Ambassadors
Seven ambassadors presented their credentials to Governor-General His Excellency Sir Colville Young at Belize House in Belmopan. Ambassadors from Colombia, France, Nigeria, Peru, Portugal, South Korea and Turkey all brought greetings from their respective Heads of State. For his part G...

National Geographic Features Belize In Upcoming Issue
Belize will be featured in the October issue of National Geographic Magazine. The magazine is concentrating on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which highlights Belize’s own Barrier Reef. This news was shared with us by Healthy Reefs Initiative and this morning Love New...

Belize Remembers George Price on National Service Day
Today marks the first year anniversary of the passing of Belize’s first Prime Minister Right Honorable George Cadle Price. Mr. Price died at the age of 92. In September 2000 Mr. Price became the first person to receive Belize’s highest honor, the Order of Nation...

Taxi Man Murdered in Corozal
Corozal is again uneasy after another murder has disrupted that community. Just before 7:30 last night Corozal police were called out to the entrance of Libertad where they found a Maroon Mitsubishi Gallant with its head engine and headlights on. Inside the vehicle, police saw the moti...

Belizeans Await Update on Super Bond Renegotiation
There has been no announcement of an official consensus with Belize’s external creditors on the bond exchange offer announced earlier this year. Today is the expiration of a thirty day grace period after Belize failed to make a forty five million dollar interest payment.&nb...

New Director of Quality Assurance for the Belize Tourism Board
The Belize Tourism Board has announced that its new Director of Quality Assurance is Armead Thompson. Before taking of her new post Thompson served as the Executive Assistant to the Director of Tourism. She began working at the Belize Tourism Board in March, 2011. According to a ...


Taxi Driver Murdered In Corozal, He Became Victim Number Nine
There was another murder in Corozal last night and police say that this one is also drug related. The victim is 28 year old taxi driver of Santa Rita Layout in Corozal Town, Anwar Hernandez. The incident happened at the entrance of Libertad Village next to the Libertad Health Centre at around 7:00pm. Our News team travelled to Corozal this morning and here is what they found out. Blood stains on the grass mark the spot where 28 year old taxi driver Anwar Hernandez took his last breath before he bled to death. Hernandez, a resident of Santa Rita Layout in Corozal Town was shot several times while driving his maroon Mitsubishi Galant car with Corozal licence plate D-00293 at the entrance of Libertad Village. Reports are that Hernandez apparently received a total of 12 gunshots wounds. But who would want him dead and why? So far Corozal Police has not established the motive behind the killing but they do believe that Hernandez’s murder was a retaliatory action linked to illicit activities. In short: a drug related hit.

Burglary At Chinese Store Caught On Tape
There was an armed burglary in Corozal Town last night and it occurred around the same time when Corozal Police was called out for the murder of 28 year old Anwar Hernandez. The victims were the proprietors of Huan Huan Chinese Grocery Store located on 5th Avenue. Inside the store is a surveillance camera which recorded the entire burglary. The video shows two armed assailants storming into the store wearing long sleeve shirts and black masks. As you can observe, one of the burglars hit the proprietor on the back of the head with the gun and proceeded to empty the cash drawer while the other assailant stood guard. According to the owners of the establishment a total of $500 was stolen and the assailants made good their escape in a getaway vehicle that was parked outside the store. So far Corozal Police have no suspects detained. From our count the entire robbery took about 20 seconds.

MJC Students, Masters Of The Road
Yesterday Muffles Junior College held their annual Masters of the Road sports competition. The event kicked off with dozens of male and female athletes starting off the marathon from the foot of the San Estevan Bridge heading to their school ground for part two of the competition. Once they reached MJC the female competitors mounted their bicycles and road back to the San Estevan Bridge while the male competitors had their work cut out for them as they rode to the Village of San Estevan and raced back to the bridge. Without a doubt the competition is tiring but for students of MJC its all about having fun and becoming actively involved in sports. Arturo Acosta- Sports Director MJC “We had 142 students signing up and we have the majority being females this year so that was quite a surprise. The name of the race is Masters of the Road and we are thinking that there could only be one master so there is only one male and one female first prize and the way we get that prize is that we ask the students to contribute towards some money chars that we have and every year is different and depending on how generous the population is but it averages about 200 dollars male, female each. We just want to give a little thank you to all the students that participated and we want to encourage everybody to do some sport.”

National Service Day Celebrated In Honour Of Mr. Price
Today marks one year that Belize lost a great man, a man who fought for the country’s Independence, a man who believed and lived by the philosophy of the Peoples United Party. Honorable George Cadle Price died on September 19th 2012 at the age of 92, in a medically induced coma at Belize Healthcare Partners Hospital after surgery to remove a blood clot. In order to commemorate the life, work, dedication and service of the late Rt. Hon. George Price, the George Price Centre for Peace and Development declared September 19th as “National Service Day”, a day set for Belizeans to carry out community service projects in order to make a positive change through hard work and service. Here in the north schools and political leaders joined hands and honored the day by carrying out a variety of community service initiatives. To think of George Cadle Price is to think of Belize. In September 2000, he became the first person to receive Belize's highest honor, the Order of National Hero for the prominent role he played in leading his country to independence. He received similar honors in other Caribbean and Central American countries and in 1982; he was made a member of the Imperial Privy Council.

BHOC Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Ten years ago the Banquitas House of Culture opened its doors to the Belizean public with the objective of promoting our history and culture. During those ten years of existence the institution can boast of a compact historical exhibit which focuses strictly on our northern culture consisting of pictures, stelae replicas, maps, and diagrams. In addition, the institution has through the years successfully initiated and carried through many activities promoting our culture. Today, September 19th the institution celebrated its 10th anniversary and a special exhibition was prepared for the public. “As you can see we have the corn exhibit, whereby this year is the year of the Mayas so we thought it is very important to depict something that represents the us and corn was a very important and symbolic in the life of the Maya civilization, so we sis an exhibit on corn, the process of corn, and also to mention that we have in our community one of the oldest tortilla factory in existence since 1969, so that is the Tortilleria Maya and we have a little history of their existence and up to right now they are still giving that service to our community and their product is corn so we have a display also whereby she is showing the process of corn, how it was done in the old days so those are some of the booths that we have of display and also we have the marimba music part of our culture and we think it is something very important.”


BDF band was playing by the National Youth Orchestra
There was music coming from the building occupied by the National Youth Orchestra located on Newton Barracks this morning. The men behind the melodious music were members of the BDF Band who were polishing their sounds with international assistance. Staff Sergeant Kevin Campbell from the BDF explains. Wade Furniss, CWO II Chief Warrant Officer two, of the Louisiana National Guard, Wade Furniss told us more about how they are training the men. Both the BDF and the Louisiana National Guard will perform for the Independence Day Celebrations.

Medication lost between Belmopan and Punta Gorda
A Laguna villager in Toledo is making every effort to locate his much needed medication lost between Belmopan and Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has his story.

The National AIDS Commission is educating the young HIV and AIDS victim
Today youths whose lives revolve around educating others on the negative factors that accompany stigma and discrimination against people with HIV and AIDS gathered to listen to new views on the issue. It is a topic high on the agenda for the National AIDS Commission over the next two years and it is taking an all-encompassing approach in every district across Belize. Jimmy Leslie is heading his group from Benque Viejo. He says it all boils down to having respect for other’s rights. But the job of imparting information that will sway the mindset of some is easier to conceptualize than to make happen, as Toledo’s Chairperson of the National AIDS Commission, Joan Palma shared. The National AIDS Commission has as its focus between now and 2014 to change people’s attitude towards others.

Murder in the Port Loyola area in Belize City
Two brothers were shot on Monday evening, one of them fatally. The incident happened on Jane Usher Boulevard in the Port Loyola area just as the brothers were going to a nearby Chinese shop. Their stepmother told reporters this morning that they heard roughly eight gunshots just a few minutes after the youths left home. When they got the news, twenty-two year old Andrew Usher was shot in the chest and lay dying and his younger brother, nineteen year old Jordan Usher was shot in the right leg. According to the stepmother, they had just relocated to the area two weeks ago. She said that the family had just returned from an outing. Usher’s stepmother said that the youths didn’t have a problem with anyone.

Bus fare increases for the ride from Belize City and Belmopan
Twenty four hours ago the Minister of State with responsibility for Public Transportation Edmund Castro announced that there is no authorized increase in bus fares. But tonight, the news is that commuters will be paying more for a ride between Belize City and Belmopan. That is because the Belizean Bus Association, at a meeting today agreed that starting on Saturday a new fee structure goes into effect across the country. At their mi-morning meeting, the Association resolved that in order to remain competitive, bus operators need lower fuel rates, duty free & Tax Exemption of Parts and Equipment and a one hundred and twenty day notification for the termination or replacement of a Road Service Permit. Those were the minor issues; but for commuters the major thing coming out of this morning’s meeting is that they will be asked to pay more for public transportation. Now technically it’s a price increase; but the bus operators are calling it a price realignment. According to advisor and spokesperson for the Belizean Bus Association Patrick Menzies, the realignment is a reflection of the hard economic times in which the public transportation industry is operating. Edmund Castro, Ministry of states, Transportation In an interview on Monday, Minister Castro said that the bus operators cannot realistically expect commuters to pay a new fare without first improving their service. The operators’ response is that they can improve the service; but there are conditions attached. The Belizean Bus Association says it also wants representation on the Transport Board and equity in the price for road service permits. Today’s meeting of the Belizean Bus Association was held at the Belize Institute of Management training room in Belize City.


Eyewitness speaks to PlusTv on Norval Belisle Murder>
Here’s an update on the Norval Belisle case. The young man who was accused of inflicting the fatal stab wound has b...

George Price's National Service day a huge success>
In remembrance of his service to the country of Belize today September 19th is observed as National Service Day. Th...

Tribute to the life of Rt. Hon. George C. Price>
Exactly one year ago today, the Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price passed away in Belize City at the age of 92. Mr. Price ...

Outbreak of Whooping Cough in Cayo's Springfield Community>
Information reaching Plus news is that cases of Pertussis or Whooping Cough, as it’s commonly known, were recently ...

Bertie Chimilio FFB financial investigations to begin>
FFB president Ruperto Vicente has ordered that an investigation be launched into the financial dealings of the FFB....

Guatemala's previous President Portillo to be extradited to the US>
Newspapers and media are reporting that Guatemala's Constitutional Court recently decided that ex-president Alfonso...

Woman says Bank is unfairly putting her life on Pause>
Tonight we give you lesson 101 on bank loans and bedroom relationships. Belmopan resident Aretha Gordon has come fa...

Taximan murdered in Libertad, Corozal>
Tonight we have another murder to report on in the Corozal District. Shortly after 7pm last night Corozal Police re...

Corozal Chinese store robbed>
Around the same time of this murder Corozal Police was called out to 5th Street where a Chinese Business Owner had ...

Man gets four years for burglarizing home of magistrate's daughter>
Racoon St. resident incarcerated for breaking into a woman’s home. 51 year-old Eric Barrow, a Belize resident, is s...

Belmopan Celebrations peaks on 20th and 21st September
As the month of September comes to and end so do the events of activities that have been slated to commemorate Beli...

Seven masked men invade Belize City home
Shortly before 3 p.m. yesterday evening, a Belize City Woman, Evelyn Conorqui, of a Logwood Street address became t...

GSU Shoots Fifteen year old minor as he escapes with weapon
A fifteen year old minor of Belize City is facing charges of kept firearm without a gun license, six counts of aggr...

From China to Ecuador… Belize's Chantae Shanice Guy making waves
From China to Ecuador ….Belize's beauty queen Chantae Shanice Guy is making waves at another pageant being held in ...

Man enters home and threatens Belmopan resident with pistol
A resident of Belmopan reported an incident of aggravated assault that took place at his home last night right here...

The Guardian

$20M Municipal Development Bond on Track
“There is never a brick wall! A lot of the things that we are doing is because of our will and determination." That was Mayor Darrell Bradley's response to reports which have come up stating that the Municipal Development Bond has hit a brick wall. That was the assumption surmised after Legacy, one of the Council's financial advisors had announced last week that it was no longer serving in that capacity for the Council. In speaking to The Guardian, Mayor Bradley explained that the Municipal Bond is well on track and that the Council actually counts on financial advice from many advisors. Among those advising the Council is the Central Bank of Belize as well as a World Bank consultant, who is assisting the Council with the Municipal Development Project as a technical advisor to the Council. As for Legacy, the Mayor pointed out that the Council is the client and the advisors work for the Council and it is not obligated to proceed along the way in which the advisors attempt to take the Council. While Bradley says that Legacy provided tremendous assistance to the council, it felt that the two had reached a certain point where it was necessary to disengage.

Bus Owners want 10 Cents a Mile
The Belize Bus Owners Association held a meeting on Tuesday, September 18th, during which they say they will be asking commuters to pay 10 cents for every mile that a passenger is transported. That means that a trip from Belize City to Belmopan for example would cost a passenger $5.00 on regular runs and $6 for express when in the past, bus owners have been charging $4.00. The change in price is not something out of the ordinary as a 1992 Statutory Instrument allows them for that rate to be charged. And while the bus owners can quickly point out that there will be an increase in the fares that they will be charging for runs such as the one mentioned, there is no talk as to what will happen in the shorter runs. The Guardian spoke to a few commuters who use the bus services for just these runs and they pointed out that if in fact the bus owners charge 10 cents per mile, it is only reasonable to believe that the price for trips to Western Paradise and Ladyville for example would go down. In these cases, The Guardian understands that the figure will be rounded off to the nearest dollar so an 8 mile run which would be equivalent to 80 cents would be rounded off to a dollar. Trips to Hattieville, which is 16 miles would be rounded off to 2 dollars. The Belize Bus Owners Association says the new fares will be implemented by September 22nd. Speaking to The Guardian Minister of Transport, Hon. Edmund Castro, explained that there is nothing wrong or illegal in the request by the bus owners however, he pointed out that the prices which are currently being charged is because the bus owners have been subsidizing the extra that is not charged by overloading buses. Still, he says, it is not an illegal move. He also explained that for the time being, there is anywhere between 70 and 80 percent compliance to the Ministry of Transport's conditions for road service permits. Among the conditions which most bus operators have complied with is the numbering of busses as well as seats inside the bus. They have also been complying with placing of the contact information at the front of the buses.

25 honoured at Tribute to Belizean Patriots
On Thursday, September 13th, 25 distinguished men and women were honoured at the 2012 Tribute to Belizean Patriots at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. The National Honours and Awards Act was passed on August 16th, 1991. It says that each year honours and awards may be conferred to individuals, living or dead, who may have rendered outstanding and meritorious service to Belize. This year, 20 individuals received Meritorious Service Awards; four received Orders of Distinction and Justice Manuel Sosa was honoured with the Order of Belize. The Tribute to Belizean Patriots is an event that is specially highlighted on Prime Minister Barrow’s September Celebrations calendar. He said that is because “this is when we fully honour selected Belizean citizens for patriotic services to Belize and Belizeans.” Unfortunately, Prime Minister Barrow could not attend the ceremony because he had to leave the country to assist his wife as she completes her cancer treatment. The Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young, handed out the awards himself. The Order of Belize was bestowed upon Justice Manuel Sosa for his contribution to the Belize Judicial system. Justice Sosa is a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). He was named Most Outstanding Student at the Norman Manley Law School from 1974-76 and practiced in Belize from 1976 to 1998 when he was appointed as a Justice of the Belize Supreme Court. In 2011, Justice Sosa was named President of the Belize Court of Appeals. The National Honours and Awards Advisory Committee refers to Justice Sosa as “an example of the power of education”.

Another Day, Another Street
Mayor Darrell Bradley and Freddy Flores cut ribbon to officially open Puma Street Mayor Darrell Bradley and Freddy Flores cut ribbon to officially open Puma Street On Friday, September 14th, Mayor Darrell Bradley, along with councilors of the Belize City Council joined Puma Energy's country manager, Freddy Flores as the ribbon was officially cut marking the opening of Puma Street located adjacent to Puma Energy Ramon's Service Station located at Mile 2 1/2 on the Northern Highway. Speaking with The Guardian, Mayor Bradley pointed out that the street was originally the property of Puma Energy but it was turned over to Belize City and officially made into a street. Along with turning over the street to the council, Puma Energy also contributed a portion of the financing to completely pave the street with concrete. The street works cost $41,000 and was constructed by M&M Engineering.

Snapshot of Bus Woes
On Tuesday, September 18th The Guardian called, Minister with responsibility of Transport, Hon. Edmund Castro for his comment on the current bus situation. Before he could give us the interview, he noted that as he was speaking to The Guardian he was on the Western Highway where he found a Shaw Bus on the side of the road where it had suffered a blowout to the front driver's side tire. The incident happened at around Mile 32 on the highway. Hon. Castro said that inspections of the bus proved that it did not have a spanner or a jack; in fact, the driver had to borrow these tools from an oil tanker with license plate number A-00221 which was heading to Belmopan. Even after the spare tire was put on, it proved that it was too worn for it to be classed as being safe to travel. A backup was then called for from Mahogany Heights and when that one arrived, the license was expired in August and that bus too was not allowed to continue the trip. Passengers had to be inconvenienced that much longer and a third bus had to be called in from Belmopan to take commuters to their final destination. Hon. Castro explained that this is the kind of sub-standard service that the commuters have to contend with on a daily basis and it is simply unacceptable to have Belizeans treated in this manner. Now, the bus Association, and in particular the president who happens to be the owner of Shaw's Bus line has been one of the most vocal persons however, he himself has been unable to sort out his own internal problems and now pretends to try to solve those of an entire industry.

UB Student killed in Belmopan
University of Belize student, 21-year-old Norval Gilbert Belisle met his untimely death on Saturday at around 12:45a.m. in Belmopan after he attempted to part a fight that had broken out outside of La Cabana Bar. Reports by police indicate that Belisle was in the company of three of his friends, identified as Drachir Reid, Kirk Morgan and Herbert Francis on a street behind the nightclub when they got involved in a fistfight with four other young men who were in the area. During the fistfight, one of the young men got hold of a pint bottle and broke it. Reports are that Belisle was attempting to part the fight when the young man with the bottle stabbed him in the neck. Belisle was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital for medical attention and died at around midday on Saturday. Police are continuing their investigations into this matter and are yet to make an arrest and charge anyone for the murder. For family members, however, it is an extremely difficult situation to deal with as Belisle was not a known troublemaker, in fact he was known for exactly what he reportedly try to do on the night of his death.

Belize Bank edged Smart in Firms Competition Basketball
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms Competition continued over the weekend with six games on the schedule. On Friday, September 14th, in game one, Airport defeated BEL by the score of 77-47. The top scorers for Airport were Paul Swasey with 33 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals; Kelvin Gillett with 14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals; and Vince Lamb with 10 points, 4 assists and 3 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for BEL were Lloyd Leslie with 20 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal; and Jason Bennett with 8 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. In game two, Belize Bank edged Smart by the score of 59-56. The top scorers for Belize Bank were Dominique Guzman with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals; and Troy Gabb with 12 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. For Smart, the top scorers were Sean Duncan with 19 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal; and Kurt Budd with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals.

The Council of One
You know, I live in Orange Walk and pass by the centre of town every day after I pick up my daughter. Never did I notice that the market extension was once again on the PUP’s chopping block until after The Guardian exposed it two weeks ago. I mean, after the public outcry here in OW against this act of waste and spite by the present PUP Town Council, one would have believed that the Mayor would have reconsidered his earlier decision and replaced the few sections of the roofing which he had removed before being caught. But the man waited until the complaints quieted away and then pursued his mischievous little exploit, no pun intended, to rip down the entire $50,000 structure simply because it was erected by a UDP Council. This shows to what level they will go to destroy anything that the UDP does, not at their personal expense, but at taxpayers. The market extension shed was not causing any harm; in fact, since the PUP Council had prohibited vendors from using the stalls, commuters and students alike were using the booths as shelter either from sudden precipitation or from the hot sun. But no, said the Mayor, the shed stands as a living testament of the UDP’s industry and commitment to growth, so go it must, any which way, day or night. In truth, this practice is nothing new to the PUP here in Orange Walk, only I had assumed that they had matured by now. Many projects that the UDP undertook in previous terms were always abandoned to ruin by subsequent PUP Councils or Governments. Perhaps, that’s why our country is so underdeveloped; one group builds and the other lays it to waste.

15-year-old shoots at Cop
A 15-year-old boy was shot by police in Belize City on Monday night. Corporal of Police Daniel Flowers reported to police that he was making his way into his home in Belize City at around 10 on Monday night when he was approached by the 15-year-old who opened fire on him. The corporal was not injured in the incident and the teenager managed to briefly make his escape, however a team from the Gang Suppression Unit was nearby and confronted the teenager in the area of Partridge and Ebony Street. The GSU reports that the teen pointed the gun in their direction and they fired on him hitting him twice to the left knee and thigh. He was taken to the hospital where he was treated and released only to be charged with 6 counts of aggravated assault on the GSU officers and additional count for his attempt on Corporal Flower's life.

Man stabbed to Death in Belize City
Shortly after 8 on the morning of Monday, September 17th, police visited an upstairs house at the corner of 12th and St. Thomas Streets, where they found the body of 27-year-old Honduran National, Wilmer Alexis Esquivel. He was found lying face up on his bed with blood coming from his mouth. He was also seen with a stab wound to the upper side of his back. Investigations have determined that Esquivel was socializing with a man identified as Jose Humberto Gabarrete on the night of Sunday, September 16th and on Monday, September 17th. Neighbors indicate that it was a common practice for Esquivel to have friends over at his house where they would socialize. Police are investigating the killing and have yet to charge anyone.

Karol Mello keeps His Permanent Residency
The case initiated by Slovakian national, Karol Mello, to keep his Belizean permanent resident status was to have begun on Monday, September 17th. Mello had initiated legal action after the Minister of Immigration had revoked his permanent resident status on July 16th. When the matter came to court however, counsel for the Government of Belize, informed Justice Oswell Legall that the Minister has withdrawn the revocation causing the Slovakian national to keep his Belizean permanent resident status. Mello was picked up by police in San Pedro on July 11th pending extradition to his home country of Slovakia; he resisted it and in a court order on August 10th, the Supreme Court deemed that there were no grounds on which he should be put out of the country. He was nonetheless levied further charges including perjury and uttering a passport which he was not entitled to utter upon. Those charges were also later withdrawn. The 42-year-old Karol Mello is wanted in his home country for charges related to a double murder in 2004.

Fisherman killed on Jane Usher Boulevard
Two brothers were shot at and one died after they had visited their father on Jane Usher Boulevard. Andrew Usher, Jr., along with his brother, Jordan Usher, had gone to visit their father Andrew Usher Sr. They stayed at their father's house for about fifteen minutes after which they left on a motor scooter. As they were leaving, they were met by a dark complexioned man dressed in full black. As the man intercepted them, he pulled out a chrome handgun and opened fired on them causing them to fall off the scooter. During the shooting, Jordan, who had received a gunshot to the right leg, managed to run for cover and hid in some nearby bushes however, his brother was not as lucky and the gunman stood over Andrew and shot him as many as 8 times. He received three gunshots to the chest, two to the right armpit, one to the left hand, one to the upper rib cage and one to the right arm. Andrew died shortly thereafter as a result of the injuries. His brother Jordan, was treated for the gunshot to the leg. Police continue their investigation in this latest homicide.

Chamber’s President wins Best Booth at Expo 2012
Kay Menzies, President of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, won big at the 2012 EXPO Belize Market Place. Karl H. Menzies won the title of best booth with their Heineken tent in the alcoholic beverage section of the Expo; however, that was not the highlight of the President’s weekend. Since the EXPO was moved from the St. John’s College Gymnasium to the ITVET compound, Menzies has been attacked viciously by critics inside and out of the Chamber. She has been accused of abusing her presidency to make the EXPO the Heineken Show and one business executive even said that the EXPO would “die because of her”. The 2012 Expo Belize Market Place proved that was far from the case. 18,000 people poured into the ITVET compound to search for the best deals at EXPO 2012. That is over 3,000 more than very generous estimation of 15,000 during the rainy weekend last year. There were also 152 official booths, 12 more than last year. The Belize Chamber of Commerce described the Expo as “a superb marriage between the arts/entertainment and displays from the commerce, manufacturing, and services sector.” In addition to the many business houses that displayed their products, NGOs such as the Youth Business Trust Belize, YWCA, Belize Camping Experience, Belize Assembly for Persons with Diverse Abilities, Ya’axche Conservation Trust and Belize Red Cross also promoted their causes at the EXPO. The entertainment was the best it has been in years as the Belize Music Agency and NICH collaborated to form a star- studded Institute of Creative Arts Creative Village. It was non-stop entertainment as musicians, dancer and fashion stars put on a show for spectators in the alcoholic beverage section. Second place for best booth went to the Belize Camping Experience and third place went to the Belize Insurance Centre Ltd. The Exhibitors were evaluated by three independent judges on the following criteria: creativity (15) points, efficiency (10) points, professionalism (15) points, and innovativeness (10).

Special Sitting of the House of Representatives
It is notified that there will be a Special Sitting of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, 26th September 2012 at 10 a.m. in the National Assembly Chamber in Belmopan.

Minister of Health Attends 28th Pan American Sanitary Conference
Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin is in Washington D.C. attending the 28th Pan American Sanitary Conference of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO.) The conference is a gathering of Ministers of Health of the Americas from the 17th to 21st of September at the PAHO Headquarters to analyze health policies in the region. The Conference serves as a forum for the exchange of information related to the prevention of disease; the preservation, promotion and restoration of mental and physical health; and the promotion of health. Objectives of this meeting include analyzing the present state of the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, child health, health related management and communication in the region. During the meeting, the Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) and the PAHO Award for Administration will be conferred. The 2012 Edition of Health in the Americas, a publication report describing the progress and challenges by the member countries of the Americas will be presented and member states will decide on the admission of Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten as Associate Members of PAHO. Additionally, one of the main highlights of the meeting will be the election of the new Director of the PAHO. The director-elect will be taking over from Dr. Mirta Roses Periago of Argentine, who has been serving as Director

PATRIOTISM: Speech delivered at UB Patriotic Day
Three decades plus one year of Independence will be celebrated by Belizeans on the 21st. Today, I am celebrating eight decades of life on this planet. I thank God and ask for another hundred years. Perhaps, my age gives me the privilege to discuss this morning, one aspect of our celebration:

Visa Waivers For three Countries In South America
The Belize Tourism Board is pleased to announce that visitors from Brazil, Argentina, and Chile will no longer need visas to visit our beautiful country. The Statutory Instrument waiving visa requirements for visitors from these countries to Belize was signed in August 2012. The Ministry of Tourism and the BTB view this as a major accomplishment as both have been working tirelessly to change the previous legislation

Mirage Lady Rebels Belize City Softball Champions
Rogers Stadium, Belize City, September 14, 2012 The 78th Belize City Senior Female Softball Competition came to an end at Rogers Stadium, the home of softball in Belize, in a dramatic finish between the National Softball Champions of Belize and the defending Belize City champions Telemedia, and the National Sub-Champions and budding Belize City champions Mirage Lady Rebels. Friday night’s game was the fourth game in the best of five series, with Mirage Lady Rebels enjoying a 2-1 lead over its nemesis Telemedia, who was in a must-win situation. Mirage Lady Rebels, batting in the bottom of the 1st inning, wasted no time in going to work against Telemedia’s starter and loser Mary Flowers. Mirage Lady Rebels’ centre fielder, Marsha Cassasola opened the inning with a single to left field; she then advanced to second base on a Mary Flowers’ wild pitch. Cassasola further advanced to third base on a sharply hit ball to centre field by the third baseman, Lisa Jones. Cassasola scored the 1st run of the game when she scored on an infield hit by catcher Ashanti Anderson.

Telemedia to defend Charles Solis Memorial Trophy
The 5th Annual Charles Solis Memorial Tournament is scheduled for Sunday, September 30th, 2012, commencing at 9:00 am sharp at the Rogers Stadium. This year’s Charles Solis tournament will utilise a new format and will feature the champions and sub-champions from the affiliated associations of the federation. The Charles Solis Memorial Tournament will be declared opened by Linda Reyes, ISF Hall of Fame Member, Honorary Life Member of the Belize Softball Federation and a former National Team player under Manager, Charles Solis. The championship medals and awards will be presented by Lorne Solis, son of Charles Arthur Solis. The Telemedia Softball Team is the defending Charles Solis Memorial Champions.

NTUCB asks for what is Reasonable
On Monday, September 17th, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) issued a press release in which it agreed with the government's position that the Superbond should be renegotiated to better terms. The NTUCB's position is now among the countless other organizations which have agreed with the government's position that we simply cannot pay under the onerous terms that the bond is structured under.

International Sources

Belize Independence Day
Press Statement Hillary Rodham Clinton Secretary of State Washington, DC September 19, 2012 On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Belize as you celebrate 31 years of independence this September 21. Whether you are gathering with family, friends or loved ones, all Belizeans can rejoice in your nation’s great diversity of cultures, ethnicities, and languages and your proud heritage as a vibrant democracy situated at the crossroads of Latin America and the Caribbean. The ties between our two countries pre-date Belizean independence -- the 50th anniversary this year of the Peace Corps’ presence in Belize offers us the opportunity to renew our longstanding commitment to community development, education, and youth empowerment. Together, we are working to promote citizen security, expand trade and economic growth, and build more opportunities for all people. As you celebrate this special day, know that the United States is a partner and friend. We will continue to stand with you in the years ahead to build a brighter future for the Belizean people.

Belize Defaulted Debt Grace Period Ends on $544 Million of Bonds
A 30-day grace period for Belize to make a payment on $544 million of defaulted bonds ends today with the Central American country’s government and creditors still trying to reach an accord. “While the grace period ends, we do not believe this will interrupt negotiations,” Mark Espat, the government’s chief negotiator in the debt talks, said in an e-mail message. “The government’s view is that a fair and timely resolution is only possible through transparent and good faith negotiations.” Belize, which has a population of 333,000 people, missed a $23 million interest payment Aug. 20 after Prime Minister Dean Barrow won re-election this year on promises to restructure borrowings. The government is holding talks with a creditor group that holds more than $300 million of debt. Belize’s bonds due in 2029 fell 0.48 cent to 34.56 cents, according to Bloomberg data, after trading just above 35 cents since the middle of August. Bank of Nova Scotia and Citigroup Inc. say the government’s three proposals to restructure debt presented Aug. 8 give the securities a net present value of about 20 cents, the least among 16 sovereign debt restructurings since 1998. AJ Mediratta, a partner at Greylock Capital Management in New York who is leading the investors group, declined to comment on the committee’s negotiations with the government.

Belize eyes partial bond payment, shrugs at default talk
Belize is considering making a partial payment on its "superbond" as a sign of good faith in talks with creditors aimed at restructuring $550 million in debt, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said on Wednesday. The tiny Central American country missed a $23.5 million interest payment on the sovereign bond in August and, according to analysts, was set to default on $550 million of debt as of Wednesday when a 30-day grace period ended. "We have been talking about the possibility of a partial payment," Barrow told reporters, noting that he had been briefed on the status of talks with bondholders early on Wednesday. Barrow downplayed the impact of what he referred to as a "technical default" and said he was optimistic about reaching a compromise. "I've said that the deadline and the triggering of a technical default doesn't have any serious practical consequences. In any event, there would be extensions that are automatically built into the process," he said. "But we are prepared to demonstrate some good faith if in turn we get from the bondholders what we consider to be reciprocity." Representatives of a bondholder committee were not available to comment.

Belize’s grace period ends on its debt default
Belize officially defaulted on its international debt obligations yesterday (September 19) when it failed to make the US$23.5 million interest payment that it had outstanding on its sovereign bonds. After the interest rate on its so-called “superbonds” rose to 8.5 percent from 6 percent, Belize said it could not afford to service its debt a fandiled to make the payment to creditors when it was due on August 20. However, Belize had a 30-day grace period to make a payment on theUS$544 million worth of bonds before it became officially registered as a default. Despite now officially in default, the Caribbean country and its creditors are still trying to reach an accord and Prime Minister Dean Barrow has offered the possibility that creditors might still receive something. "We have been talking about the possibility of a partial payment," Barrow told reporters, noting that he had been briefed on the status of talks with bondholders early on Wednesday.

Belize close to extension, part payment on debt
The Central American nation of Belize may be close to a negotiated extension and partial payment on a $23 million bond payment it would default on this week if nothing is done. Belize missed a deadline for the payment on August 20, but has been under a one-month grace period. A source on the government negotiating team that has been talking with creditors said Wednesday there has been progress on extending the grace period, in exchange for a partial payment. The source was not authorized to be quoted by name and did not say how much the payment would involve. The country's total debt is $544 million. Parliament said Monday it will hold a special session one week from Wednesday. Belize has heavy debts from infrastructure projects and recent nationalizations.

I-Team: How We Started An Offshore Shell Company
It is no secret that America’s ultra-rich stash much of their wealth in offshore accounts. The idea is to avoid taxes by keeping assets hidden in shell companies that just happen to be incorporated in zero-tax nations like the Cayman Islands or Belize. The mere mention of the term “shell company” or “offshore tax haven” may evoke thoughts of complicated international finance. But as it turns out, you don’t need a squadron of bankers or international lawyers to set up one of these secretive shell corporations. Delving into the little-known world of offshore finance, the I-Team set up its own tax haven shell company -- and it only took a phone call plus a few emails. The transaction required no lawyer, no complicated paperwork and no expensive trips to a tiny Caribbean island. Indeed, the salespeople offering set up our offshore corporation were stunningly frank about how the shell company could be used to avoid U.S. taxes - and how our names could be kept out of official paperwork in order to remain hidden from anyone who might inquire. The I-Team called about a dozen so-called “corporate services” firms in Antigua, Belize, and the Island of Nevis. Three of the firms allowed the I-Team to record their sales pitch. “I’m trying to set up a company that my name is completely unattached to. Do you guys do that?” asked I-Team reporter Chris Glorioso.

Belize’s Birthday Proof That Multiculturalism Works
elize’s 31st birthday is not only a celebration of this tiny Caribbean nation’s independence, but a festival of multiculturalism and living proof that racial, religious and cultural harmony does work, the owners of the Lodge at Chaa Creek said today. In the run up to the nationwide celebrations about to take place in Belize under the theme of "Many faces, many dreams, but one goal; celebrating Belize”, Mick and Lucy Fleming said they wished to highlight one of Belize’s most fundamental but sometimes overlooked qualities. “When people think of Belize, it’s usually the pristine rainforests, Maya temples, sparkling Caribbean islands and the Belize Great Barrier Reef that come to mind, but one of the country’s most magnificent attributes and proudest accomplishments is the racial and cultural harmony we see every day throughout Belize,” Ms Fleming said. Ms Fleming said that as Chaa Creek was also celebrating its 31st birthday as Belize’s first rainforest eco resort, she and her husband wanted to congratulate their very multicultural staff of 135 people. “I think we all take it for granted just how large and varied the Chaa Creek family has become over the last three decades, and in this way we truly represent Belize as a whole.

Luxury Travel Misses The Point
Oh, I love the idea of this article...there are so many adventures in Belize that don't require luxury, even if you have the money, think about adventure and the "real Belize' over luxury... "...If you are unable to detach yourself from your wealth, your comfort and your entitlement for even a few days, then please just stay at home..."

Top 6 places to visit in Belize
From exotic animals to mysterious Mayan ruins; don't miss these six stops on a trip to this underestimated Central American country 1. Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary Crooked Tree is a village rich in Creole culture and a reserve with abundant bird life This is possibly one of the richest birding areas in Belize and Central America. It is recognised as a wetland of international importance and has the highest number of indigenous and migratory birds. The huge Jabiru stork (the world's largest flying bird) is Crooked Tree's most famous resident. Plan to stay the night and be there at dawn when the birds are most active. Explore the inland waters of Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary and experience the astounding diversity of birds and wildlife for which Belize is renowned... From northern jacanas, white ibis, and wood storks to the infamous Jabiru stork! Head for the jungle during May – the best time of year for birdwatching – when the lagoon's water level drops and the animals must stray further for their food. 2. Lamanai Magnificent Maya ruins surrounded by dense jungle; accessible by boat The ancient Mayan city of Lamanai is on the New River Lagoon. Lamanai, which roughly translates to ‘Submerged Crocodile’, was one of the most important trading and ceremonial centres in the Caribbean lowlands. Occupied for over 3,000 years, from 1500 BC until 1600 AD, the ruins are unique as they illuminate a period of history that encompasses the early formative years of Mayan civilisation through to initial European contact and colonisation. With structures ranging from pre-classic temples to the Spanish colonial-era, jungle trails, refreshing swimming holes, and an excellent on-site museum, Lamanai is one of the most charming of all the Mayan sites in Belize. Travel upriver and explore these ancient Maya ruins surrounded by jungle and accessible by boat. As you cruise the waterways, enjoy tremendous birding and wildlife opportunities, including iguana, parrots, toucan, aracari, and Morelet’s crocodile. 3. Lighthouse Reef and the Blue Hole Made famous by Jacques Cousteau Lighthouse Reef is one of only four coral atolls in the Caribbean and home to the famous and unique Blue Hole. In 1972, Captain Jacques Cousteau and the intrepid crew of the Calypso explored and filmed this incredible atoll, showing its amazing underwater diversity to the world for the first time. The Blue Hole is a mesmerising cenote – a water-filled limestone sinkhole – around 100m in diameter and at least 33m deep. It makes for a cool place to swim on the hottest days of the year. 4. Glover's Reef The diving here is about as good as it gets in the whole of the Atlantic. Protected as a Marine Reserve and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Glover's Reef has the greatest diversity of reef types of all the atolls in the Caribbean. Divers can spot whale sharks, manta rays, black tip and hammerhead sharks, or corals of every colour and a range of fascinating marine fauna and flora. Plus you can kip on Southwest Caye with Marine Basecamps, ideally located for snorkelling, sea kayaking, kayak sailing, diving and fishing. Sleep in comfortable, oceanfront tent cabanas and wake up to the cool sea breeze. 5. Five Blue Lakes National Park Centred around an intensely blue lake, still unexplored but thought to be 200 feet deep Five Blue Lakes is a 10-acre natural wonder of earth and water, surrounded by over 4,000 acres of limestone hills and tropical forests. The varying water depth and ambient light filtering through the trees cause the water to take on remarkably different shades of blue, giving the lake its name. Five Blues is one of the newest parks in Belize so there are fewer visitors and you get a real feeling of unexplored terrain. A total of 217 species of birds have been identified in the park and all five of Belize’s wildcats (jaguar, ocelot, mountain lion, margay and jaguarundi) are known to make their homes within its boundaries. Inside the tangle of broadleaf trees, howler monkeys, tapir, gibnut, peccary and armadillo roam in a kaleidoscope of liana, bromeliads and orchids. 6. The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center Native Belizean animals, conservation programs and forest cabanas The Belize Zoo is situated on 29 acres of tropical savanna and exhibits over 150 animals, representing over 45 species, all native to Belize. The zoo keeps animals which were orphaned, rescued, born at the zoo, rehabilitated animals, or sent to The Belize Zoo as donations from other zoological institutions. It is home to one of the world's only Jaguar Rehabilitation Programs. The Tropical Education Center is adjacent to the zoo and has nature trails with raised boardwalks, wildlife observation platforms, birdwatching tours and caving and kayaking trips on the Sibun River.

September 19, 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

Misc Belizean Sources

The 31st Anniversary of Belize’s Independence, 2012!
Belizeans are gearing-up for a massive, colorful, celebration commemorating its 31st Independence Day on September 21st. With the theme, “Many Faces, Many Dreams-One Goal, Celebrating Belize,” families of different dynamics, religion, and ethnicity will unite, parading in their National Flag colors of: red, blue and white. To kick off the country’s Independence Day festivities, citizens will gather at the Official Ceremony being held, in Belize City, at the Memorial Park, while patriotic declarations from dynamic speakers and colorful performances, inspires all! Be part of the patriotic sensation at this year’s Independence Day Ceremonies, hosted countrywide, in: the Capital of Belize, “Belmopan City”, Belize City, Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Corozal District, Dangriga, Orange Walk District, Punta Gorda Town, San Ignacio Town, and San Pedro Ambergris Caye. Uniformed students, Government Officials and Citizens from all regions of Belize, line the principal streets, for the main event: the parade, as live music and thousands of participants wave their flags and march in unison!

VIDEO: Isla Bonita Elementary School Marching Band, September 10, 2012
Isla Bonita Elementary School Marching Band parading though the streets of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize on September 10, 2012 in honor of the Battle of St. George's Caye Day.

Video: GO SLOW

SIRH Adopts Flamingo Park
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel got into the September Celebrations spirit, and adopted Flamingo park for National Service Day. Thanks, SIRH! "The Staff and management team of the San Ignacio Resort Hotel joins its community in Celebrating Belize on National Service Day! After much brainstorming the San Ignacio Resort Hotel team came up with the concept as a community service project of cleaning and renovating. This concept, however, enthused the staff and has now become an official adoption of the park. Today, September 18th. saw the start of the renovations, as staff took turns in groups to begin the clean up , renovation , and actual adoption of the Flamingo Park located on 18th. Street in San Ignacio Town. Look out for more updates on San Ignacio Resort Hotel’s newest ADOPTION!!"

The Story Behind "Pat the (Great) Cat: A Jaguar’s Journey"
A Peace Corps Volunteer describes how 'Pat the Great Cat' came to be. The book can be found at the Belize Zoo. "The story of the publishing of the new book 'Pat the (Great)Cat: A Jaguar’s Journey' is a story of two women’s passion for literacy and learning. It is also a story of collaboration between the people of Belize and the United States. 'Pat the (Great) Cat: A Jaguar’s Journey' is the result of an international literacy initiative that is joining children across the United States and Belize through the true story of a jaguar from Belize who found his world forever changed as people came to share his land... Students from Belize and from urban Milwaukee, Wisconsin (ages 9-13), took on the task of creating international awareness through an extraordinary literacy journey that celebrates not only the jaguar but the importance of joining hands across nations to impact our natural world through education and friendship."

GPC » Belizeans, get ready for National Service Day: September 19!
Belizeans, Schools, Churches, Organizations, get ready for...National Service Day, which is tomorrow. All Belizeans are invited to carry out a community service activity in memory of the Rt. Hon. George Price, who passed away on September 19 of last year. There's are 100's of projects going on around Belize. In Belmopan: Clean up campaign of the area around the George Price Centre for Peace and Development, UB and walkways to National Assembly Building. Clean up of May Gordon Park Food distribution to the needy Rehabilitation and clean up of Devon Beaton Park Participation of 1,000+ students Rehabilitation and Clean up of Independence Park Painting of bus-stop at roundabout

Heartz Football for Success
Heartz Football Club has been having football training lately at Victor Galvez Stadium. Football for Success. Thanks, Heartz! "Heartz Football Club - After school program"

PACT's School Support Project
PACT has a school support project, where they donate school supplies, and pass the message on about protecting the environment. Thanks, PACT! "Last week, as an ongoing effort to build capacity and further create environmental awareness, PACT awarded eighty two students from five primary schools in the Belmopan area with an incentive package intended to encourage and support academic excellence. The packages, which consisted of stationary, were awarded to students who either came in first or excelled at their academic studies during the previous school year. The recipients shared gratitude for their success to God, their parents, teachers, and fellow classmates. Both students and school management welcomed the incentive and encouraged PACT to continue these initiatives, especially at this critical stage of these young students’ academic career. The project is a part of PACT’s continuing efforts to advance conservation work in Belize through educational enhancement. The message to the future of Belize was to assist in protecting the environment by keeping Belize clean.

SHJC's National Service Day Events
Sacred Heart Junior College has the September Celebrations spirit! They are doing 3 different projects for National Service Day. The main project is a clean up of the Western Highway between Cayo and Succotz, which will occur between 7:00am and noon. On campus, they welcome Mr. Hector Silva, who'll talk about Belize's struggle to independence, and they'll also have a red, white, and blue dress up day. Have a great National Service Day!

Belizean Crab Soup/Stew
My Aunt Tileen use to make the best stews with all types of seafood. She use to catch the crabs herself, clean them like I did in this video and cook them into this soup or stew.

Islander’s Away-day!!
You may not believe it but occasionally islanders need to ‘get-away’ from our island paradise and what better than Caye Caulker – an even smaller island paradise, namely Goffs Caye! So Sunday, three boats took off from the Raggamuffin dock filled with excitement of sunshine, fishing, diving and Belikin beer!! Jimmy, Simeon from Black Durgeon Diving and Carlos Ayala from Carlos Tours were the designated drivers ensuring passengers had sufficient space to be comfortable for the ride out there. Although the ladies and the kids were happy sunning themselves on the sandbar of Goffs Caye, the boys seemed to have other ideas for their days entertainment. Simeon (Black Durgeon Dives) went diving with Simon (Seaside Cabanas), Jimmy (Raggamuffin) and Rafael (Barefoot Fisherman) went spearfishing and Carlos took the rest of the pack for some relaxed deep sea trawling! When the men returned from their adventure they came bearing gifts of Tuna, Snapper and Baracuda and whipped up some food for the ladies to eat!! This washed down with the various alcoholic beverages that were consumed throughout the day, meant that this lucky crew were very much enjoying their day off the island!! So now it is back to reality as the work week is in full flow – however, the next adventure is already in the pipeline to pull us though slow season!! Thank you all for all concerned – didn’t we have fun!!

Channel 7

15 Year Old Allegedly Shot At Cop
Tonight a 15 year old Belize City resident is facing one charge for shooting a police officer - and another set of charges for pointing a gun at others. But the teenager is also in the hospital recovering after he was shot by police. They say the minor did it with this gun - a chrome 38 revolver - which has been recovered. The incident occurred around 10:00 last night on Vernon Street. That's when Police Corporal DANIEL FLOWERS got home and parked his car in his fenced yard near Vernon Street. He shut his gate and was walking into his house when he heard a male voice calling him. He turned to see who it was and he saw a minor with whom he'd had a misunderstanding a few minutes earlier. The minor fired a single shot at him but missed. The youth then jumped on a bicycle, raced off towards Ebony Street making good his escape.

Superbond: Tomorrow Is D-Day, But is it "D" For Default?
Government announced that it would not make the Superbond payment more than a month ago. The payment was due on august 20th - and the actual default is triggered 30 days later - which is tomorrow, September 19th. There's been no announcement of anything changing with the bond negotiations- so we were kind of expecting tomorrow to be the day of default. But, sources tell us that it might not be. And that's because we understand there have been talks between Government and the creditor committee - which represents a majority of the bondholders. As we understand it - the two sides are still a ways apart on the terms of a new bond - but they may have agreed on a way forward. And, for the time being, we are told that may involve the extension of a the grace period for default - in exchange for a goodwill gesture from government in the form of a partial payment. Again, these are only reports, but either way - an announcement is expected tomorrow.

City Shooter Stood Over Fallen Victim And Fired Freely
Last night - Belize City saw its first shooting related murder for September. The victim is 23 year old Andrew Usher Jr - a fisherman from Conch Shell Bay whose father, Andrew Sr. had recently moved to Jane Usher Boulevard. Usher Jr and his brother went to visit their father - and were leaving on a scooter when a gunman tracked them down. He opened fire with a hail of gunshots - and didn't stop firing until he was sure one of them was dead. We found out more today: Monica Bodden Reporting 23 year old Andrew Usher and his brother 19 year old Jordan Usher was shot just a block away from their home.

Bus Fares Are Going Up
Commuters beware, bus fares are going up! But the bus owners say it is not a hike in fares; instead, they are calling it realignment. Now, that sounds like politician talk to us - but it's best we let them explain. Their spokesman did, at a bus association meeting this morning in Belize City. Here's what that spokesman, Patrick Menzies had to say: Patrick Menzies - Spokesperson, Belizean Bus Association "For Belizeans out there to know, effective September 22, the price to travel to Belmopan will be $5 regular, $6 express." Thomas Shaw - Chairman, Belizean Bus Association "The $5 that we'll be charging from Belmopan to Belize City, it's not an increase because as the Minister to some commuters, it's an increase, but it's not. It's something that has been long overdue, and I think that most of our operators - if you looked in there a while ago - everybody is on board. We're united; everbody came to the consensus that we have got to move away from this selfish behavior of one person charging a dollar, and a next two dollars, cutting each other's throats. They all realize that we're losing money, so everybody is on board. Everybody agreed to go back to fares that were originally set, the 37 pointers that you're speakign about, you're perfectly in order, but for us to really achieve these goals, we cannot afford to be operating at a loss."

City Home Invasion Was A Terror
A few minutes before 3 p.m. this evening, a woman residing at #38 Logwood Street became the victim of a frightening home invasion, while she was waiting for her children to come home from school. She spoke to us this evening and she described the incident, in which she claims that 7 men - all armed with high-powered weapons, and with stockings over their faces - ran up into her yard and raided her house of all the valuables they could find. When we confronted her with the information we got that these assailants were probably looking for drugs, she flatly denied that saying that she works hard for everything that her family owns. Here's what how she described the terrifying incident: Voice of: Home Invasion Victim "I was on the verandah doing laundry, and I came out to take out the last load, and by the time I looked to the back of the yard, 7 men with guns - the double barrel guns, and short guns - I couldn't do anything. So, as they entered on the verandah, I told them that nothing was happening with me. I told them to take what they wanted. They took me into the house, and one of them told me to hand over my chain. I told them that it was in the bag. that guy took it out and put it in his pocket, and he ordered me to take him into my room. He dug up the room, and he looked into a box where some jewelry was. I told him that they were all fakes. He continued to dig up my room some more. One of them was in my son's room, and they rest were in the living room searching. 2of them stayed on the verandah. They told what I had in my purse: my passport, my credit union book, 4 gold chains - they took cell phones, and a lot of other things. I don't even know what is missing right now because I am still shaken up and confused. But they didn't hit me. They just got wrong information because nothing is happen at this yard. They just listened to allegations."

City Man Stabbed By House Guest
Yesterday morning, a man was found dead inside his home in Belize City. 27 year old Wilmer Alexis Esquivel was found dead on his bed with a stab wound in his back. Esquivel lived at an apartment at the corner of St. Thomas and 12th Street and the night before he was seen coming home with a person no one had seen before. The woman who lived across the hall from him shared her suspicions with us: Voice of: Soccoro Sanchez - Neighbor "The person brought a friend - just invited him over to spend some time and have some drinks. That's all I know. We didn't hear any noise. We didn't see him leave; we only know that he left his bicycle behind. He was a very nice person; he socialized a lot, and he was like any other person. He might have had a few defects due to the drinking, but nothing abnormal." Esquivel is a Honduran who had been in Belize for about 7 years - and now his friends are trying to make arrangement to fly his body back to Honduras.

Woman Claims Police Falsely Imprisoned Her Husband
Every night on the news - we report on accused persons being taken to Magistrate's Court and automatically remanded because the offence that they are charged with involves a gun. Well, that's just the situation that 38 year-old David Wade, a resident of Iguana Street Extension, and 33 year-old George Young a resident of Raccoon Street are in, and they are currently spending their second night in prison for it. They were arraigned yesterday for aggravated burglary and conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary. According to police, on Saturday they went to Dorain Polanco's house, on Neal Pen Road, armed and with the intention to harm him. As a result, police arrested and charged both men with aggravated burglary, and conspiracy to commit burglary. They were remanded to prison yesterday, and will be brought back to court on October 17 for their next adjournment, but Wade's wife says that her children can't wait 90 days to have their father home to support them. She came to speak to us today, and she told us that the gun allegation was brought into the story out of pure mischief to get her husband and the next accused man in prison.

No-Go For Three On Three National Team
In July and August, we told you about the National Three on Three Basketball Tournament. At the end of it, the winners from the senior category went to a tournament in New York - and the a select team from the under 18 tournament would go to the three on three world championships in Spain from September 27 to 30th. The World Championships is the more prestigious event as Belize will be there among 31 other countries. But, unless some miracle happens in the next 15 hours, the team won't make it. That's because the Belize Basketball Federation doesn't have the money to send them and their sponsors are tapped out. President Paul Thompson explained why the trip might not happen for the four players: Paul Thompson - President, BBF "At this point, the participation for Belize is in jeopardy due to the fact that fund raising has been challenging. We have had commitment from the Belize Olympic Committee to purchase 4 tickets for our players, however, we need to get visas for our players and for the coach to travel along with the team. It's been challenging, as I said; we've gone to many private sector partners, and nothing has come up so far. So now, it's our obligation the federation to let the public know that this opportunity to participate in the world championship, the window is closing fast."

Jailed For Jacking Magistrate's Daughter
51 year-old Eric Barrow, a resident of Raccoon Street, is spending the second night of a 4-year sentence after he was convicted of burglarizing the home of a Magistrate's daughter. Leanni Ordonez, the daughter of Magistrate Roberto Ordonez, reported to police that on September 4, she left her home at the downstairs flat of her family's house. While returning, she heard noises in her house which indicated that someone was in there. She went to her room and found Barrow under the bed. She shouted for assistance, but Barrow escaped. But not without taking plenty: Ordonez calculated the losses at $11,000 dollars worth of jewelry. She visited Monica's Pawn shop where she discovered that 2 pieces of her stolen jewelry had been pawned, and the employees reported that Barrow was the one who did it. Police received information of Barrow's location, and they arrested him at the KHMH, where he was receiving treatment. They charged him with burglary and handling stolen goods, and he was arraigned before Magistrate Aretha Ford.

Infant Thriving After Being Born With Defect
Do you remember little Hannah Castillo? She was only one week old when she made it on the news on August 13th. At the time Hannah was being flown out of the country for emergency surgery because she was born with a rare birth defect, esophageal atresia which made it impossible for her to eat. She was flown to Children's Hospital in Richmond Virginia and news coming out of that US City is that Hannah is eating and thriving off breastmilk. Her mother is quoted in the Richmond time Dispatch as saying quote "Every day, all day, she wants to be fed." But she only got there after a surgery on August 30th. Doctors say she is doing well and after she was taught to latch unto her mother's breast - and since then she hasn't let go too often. The World Pediatric Project has previously taken three other children with esophageal atresia from Belize to Virginia to have the condition repaired. But the newspaper reports that seven months ago, another child with the disorder died from respiratory problems the day before she was to be transported.

Nat Geo Magazine On Bze's Reef
The October issue of National Geographic Magazine contains a feature article about the Mesoamerican Reef. Belize features prominently in the article with spectacular photographs taken at several marine protected areas including Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserves. The images include a trumpetfish in the coral gardens of Lighthouse Reef atoll and the atoll itself one of the most seaward outliers of the Mesoamerican Reef. The October issue of National Geographic will hit newsstands a week from today but you can find the article through a link at

"Serve The People"
Tomorrow is the Anniversary of National Hero George Price's death and in honour of his memory, September 19 has been added to the September Celebrations Calendar to be observed as National Service Day. It's not going to be observed as a public and bank holiday, but the George Price Center and the People's United Party wants the public to do some form of community service project, to honor the way Price lived his life. To encourage the day's observance, the PUP has organized activities all across the country in which they hope that Belizeans participate. The Communications Director for the party's Eastern Caucus told us more today: Kareem Musa - Communications Director, PUP Eastern Caucus "As you know, tomorrow marks the first anniversary of the Passing of the Rt. Hon. George Price, the Father of Independence - the Father of the Nation. And a few months ago, the George Price Center for Peace and Development proposed and initiative that September 19 be designated as National Service Day in honor and remembrance of Mr. Price. He was a humble servant of the people, and he dedicated his entire life to the betterment of Belizeans - of all Belizeans. Even though tomorrow is not a Public and Bank holiday, I think that it is very important that we all take a little time out during the day - whether it's during the lunch hour, or after work to pay homage and tribute to Mr. Price by giving back to the community through community service. From North, South, East and West, the People's United Party is fully embracing National Service Day. We'll be partaking in numerous activities all over the country. It's going to start with a mass in Belmopan at Our Lady of Guadeloupe RC Church at 7 a.m., followed by the laying of wreaths at the Lord Ridge Cemetery at 9:30 in the morning. So for those attending the mass in Belmopan, there will also be wreath laying at 9:30 in the morning. And after that - as you can see from the long list of activities that we have all across the country - there will be retrofitting basketball courts, planting of trees, and one important event is going to be the special presentation that will be made to Raymond Parks Home. It's going to be at 10:30 a.m."

Marin Discusses Health Priorities For Belize
Health Minister Pablo Marin is in Washington D.C. attending a PAHO Conference of Ministers of Health of the Americas. The Conference is discussing the prevention of disease and the preservation of mental and physical health. Marin discussed the national health priorities for Belize with a PAHO interviewer: Hon. Pablo Marin - Minister of Health "Well, the biggest challenge for me is obesity with children and elder people. It's the type of food we eat, and soft drinks are already out there on the market. So, that's our biggest challenge. Another challenge we have is road accidents. That is something that we have to put a lot of attention to because a lot of money is being spent, and the Ministry of Health is the one who is taking a lot of the load. Every time there is an accident, they reach to our hospitals, and that's more money being invested into something that we can have some kind of work to be done on that." The meeting ends on Friday...

Channel 5

Brother shot and brother murdered in Bullet City
There was an execution-style murder on Monday evening on Jane Usher Boulevard. As we reported in our previous newscast, a gunman opened fire on two brothers on a motorbike. Jordan Usher was hit once and managed to escape but a hail of bullets found their mark on Andrew Usher. The gunman stood on top of [...]

Terrifying home invasion; what were they looking for?
By mid afternoon, there was a horrific home invasion on Logwood Street, which may be linked to Monday night’s murder. Seven heavily armed and masked men ambushed a woman who was alone at her house just before three p.m. According to the victim, the men claimed they were looking for drugs. The gunmen held her [...]

How smart is he? He fired at Corporal then pulled gun on GSU officers
A brazen minor is facing a slew of charges for allegedly shooting at a Police Corporal and pulling his gun on a group of GSU officers on Monday night. PC Daniel Flowers parked his vehicle in his yard on Zericote Street at around ten p.m. and as he walked toward his house, someone called out [...]

Telemedia net profit drops by millions
Belize Telemedia Limited is holding its annual general meeting on September twenty-eighth and some bad news is going to be delivered to its shareholders. A peak at the financial statement of the nationalized company for fiscal year ending March thirty-first, 2012 shows a huge decrease in revenue. In the 2010/11 financial year, B.T.L.’s gross income [...]

Man detained in relation to murdered UB Student
The murder of a prominent UB student, Norval Gilbert Belisle, has left the community in shock. Belisle was cut to the throat with a broken glass bottle as he was socializing on Friday night on a street in the Las Flores area. According to police, Belisle was with his friends Drachir Reid, Kirk Morgan and [...]

Who killed Wilmer Alexis Esquivel?
It is still unclear what transpired on Sunday night that ended in twenty-seven year old Honduran National, Wilmer Alexis Esquivel, being stabbed to death. Police confirmed today, however, that the friend Esquivel was socializing with is Jose Humberto Gabarrete. The body was found at around eight on Monday morning by Ostin Mitchell, one of the [...]

Online poll shows many have less to spend during festivities
It’s the month of celebrations and there are plenty of events on the calendar but many may not have the finances to enjoy it all. So we asked our viewers: Do you find that you have less to spend during this year’s celebrations? Eighty percent of participants on our e-poll say they are short on [...]

Economic Indicators: How people feel about Superbond
The ‘Superbond’ has been much on the minds of Belizeans. This issue has been heightened by the recent missed coupon payment which matured on August twentieth of this year and is now due on Wednesday because of a one month grace period. The aftershocks of such and the Governments release of the three bond restructuring [...]

P.U.P. calls on government to address economic issues
This Wednesday, a thirty day grace period for a missed coupon payment of the five hundred and fifty four million dollar super bond is due. Up to news time there not been word from the government and the Debt Review team on whether the payment will be met but there are reports that government has [...]

Bus fares will go up
Bus fares are going up. On Saturday, four dollars will no longer be able to get you from Belmopan to Belize City on the regular bus. According to the BBA, commuters will now be paying ten cents per mile. This means that you’ll now be paying five dollars on the regular bus and six dollars [...]

Belize National dance Company star has cancer
The Belize National Dance Company returned from a successful tour in Europe last Wednesday to some bad news. Assistant Artistic Director, Dancer, Choreographer and Board Member, Rosita Baltazar didn’t complete the tour due to medical problems and the company has since learned that she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Baltazar is well known as a [...]

Help Under-18 3X3 ballers get to Spain
Earlier this year, the Belize Basketball Federation teamed up with Bowen and Bowen to hold a national Three by Three basketball tournament after Belize was selected to participate in the under eighteen three by three World Championships in Spain. That event takes place from the twenty-seventh to the thirtieth of September and the Jewel is [...]

B.D.F., National Youth Orchestra get a few notes from National Guard
The National Guard Reserves from Louisiana is back in the jewel to work along with fifteen youths from the Belize Defence Force band and the National Youth Orchestra. The team of eight arrived earlier this week and at the close of the training, they will be joining the B.D.F. at the official ceremonies in Belmopan [...]

St. Joseph student win bank’s art competition
A twelve year old student from Belize City has topped the yearly art competition sponsored by Atlantic Bank Limited. The winning piece was judged on originality and creativity; it interpreted the competition’s theme by way of cultural diversity. The outstanding entries made it a difficult decision for the judges, Noel Escalante, Kirkland Smith and Tarcilla [...]

Which Superstar will win $10,000?
There are nine performers, but only seven spots are available in tonight’s episode of Be the Next Superstar. The competition is narrowing down and within the next hour, there will be awesome performances in dance, singing and drama from Group B. The competitors will take the stage at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts [...]


Police News
Nineteen year old Trevor Flowers, who allegedly robbed a 16 year student at gunpoint, was charged with robbery when he appeared in court on Monday. He pleaded not guilty to the charge. Magistrate Shona Griffith explained to that the court cannot offer him bail because of the nature of ...

Bus Owners Association Calls It a Price Realignment
Twenty four hours ago the Minister of State with responsibility for Public Transportation Edmund Castro announced that there is no authorized increase in bus fares. But tonight, the news is that commuters will be paying more for a ride between Belize City and Belmopan. That...

Minister of Health Attends Conference in Washington
Minister of Health Pablo Marin is attending the 28th Pan American sanitary conference of the Pan American Health Organization. Ministers of health of the Americas are meeting in Washington to analyze health policies in the region. The conference is a forum for the exchange ...

National Trade Union Congress Supports Debt Restructuring and Pushes for Government to Recover The Millions from the Super Bond
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize says after consulting with its members and meeting with members of the debt restructuring team it supports government’s move to restructure the super bond under more favourable terms. The NTUCB is demanding that government takes d...

Minister of Transport Talks on Bus Fares and Regulations
Callers to Love News Center reported that there has been a price increase on bus transportation. Love News spoke about this and other transportation issues with Minister of Transport Edmund Castro. HON. EDMUND CASTRO Minister of Transport Belize “Basically w...

Winners of Expo Belize Announced
The annual business exposition, known simply as Expo Belize was staged this past weekend at the old Belize Technical College grounds now known as the ITVETT compound on Freetown Road. According to a statement from the organizers, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, close to eighteen thou...


Super Furia Wins Battle Of The Bands Competition
As part of the September Celebrations festivities, a Battle of the Bands was held at the Ricalde Stadium in Corozal Town last night. Orange Walk’s very own Super Furia Band participated and brought home 1st prize. According to Francisco Alcoser Sr. the band has been in existence for the past 26 years and has competed in many competitions in the past two decades. We spoke to the band this afternoon and found out how happy they were of their win. Roxana Alcoser, Super Furia “I believe it is the energy that we brought to the stage, we brought energy and we synchronized and we followed the rules and we rehearsed it and we executed our job well.” Hiplolito Novelo – Reporter “Any last words Sir?” Fransisco Alcoser Sr. – Owner Super Furia Band “Well, thanks to all the public and we want you to have a safe and wonderful and peaceful celebration and let be one Belizean family to celebrate.” Roxana Alcoser, Super Furia “Well, we did various songs because there were various segments in the criteria used for judging and the first criteria was Melody, which was challenging because the way they are going to judge you is that the criteria is that you need the transition, the songs and you need to play a fast and a slow song so without stopping the music so we need to find a way how the transition acts smoothly and we execute that very good and then we did our patriotic song which is the tenth song and we song our original song which is long live Belize and that is what I feel very honored in doing that too.”

Butane Depots Robbed At Gunpoint
At about 10:00 clock this morning Z-Gas located on the Northern Highway was robbed at gun point. A lone gunman walked in and held at gunpoint pump attendant Raul Rodriguez and a female secretary. According to Rodriguez the assailant was a dark in complexion individual dressed in full black but did not conceal his face. The robber demanded that Rodriguez and the female secretary hand over all the money and threated to shoot them if they refused his request. Fearing for their lives, both employees of Z-Gas complied with his request and handed over to him an undisclosed amount of money. After receiving the money, the lone gunman made good his escape by running to a waiting vehicle parked on the side of the road. It is unsure if there was a getaway driver waiting in the vehicle or if the assailant acted alone. Upon making further checks, both individuals reported that the robber also made good with three cell phones. As officers converged on the scene and were processing the evidence, a little after midday, another business establishment was robbed with the same MO. Orange Walk Police were called to Belize Western Energy Limited, BWEL, situated in Palmar Village to investigate the day’s second robbery. According to reports made to the police, a dark skinned male dressed in full black entered the businesses office and was ransacking the office drawers. While the robber ransacked the office, Wilberto Sanabre came out of the bathroom and was immediately staring into the barrel of a gun. The assailant demanded Sanabre handover all the money and then proceeded to make good his escape. But before leaving the compound, the robber fired a single shot towards Sanabre’s direction hitting the office desk. He then got into a grey van which was parked by the side of the road with his accomplice in the driver’s seat. The dark in complexion robber made good with over $4,000.

Little Brithon Cordova Needs Your Assistance
On July 26th, 10 year old Brithon Cordova and his 7 year old nephew Jova Griffith were playing with a couple of puppies under their zinc house located on San Martin Street when the building collapsed. While Jova Griffith sustained a broken left leg, Brithon Cordova was seriously injured and transported to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital where he was on life support. After being admitted for weeks at the KHMH, Brighton Cordova was released on Monday August 27th. Cordova is bed ridden and needs to be fed through a tube every three hours. The family is hopeful that Cordova will get better and this morning, our news crew stopped in to see how Brithon was doing. The lives of the Cordova family have been changed after their house collapsed on 10 year old Brithon Cordova on July 26th. The tragic accident has left Brithon paralyzed and bed ridden. The future of this 10 year old was shattered the moment the house fell on him causing him severe head trauma.

UNICEF's Registration Drive Underway
The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, is working together with other agencies in carrying out a nationwide children’s birth registration drive. The registration process has already been held in the Toledo, Corozal, and Stann Creek Districts. In Toledo, the team visited forty-eight rural communities and completed sixty-three late registrations and issued 3,256 new birth certificates. In Stann Creek, the UNICEF team visited thirty-one rural communities with 183 late birth registrations and issued 3174 new birth certificates. In Corozal, the team visited thirty-one communities with 106 late registrations and 2582 new birth certificates. A little over 9,000 children were registered in these three districts alone through this exercise. The next stop for the registration process is the Orange Walk District on the 26, 27 and 28th of September. The registration campaign has three main objectives that UNICEF wishes to accomplish; to have 100% of the children registered at birth, to raise national and community level awareness on birth registration as a fundamental right, and to increase awareness of the importance of birth registration among stakeholders with specific emphasis on parents, health professionals and community leaders.


National Service Day will start early
National Service Day will be observed on Wednesday of this week. It was included on the calendar of activities for the September celebrations by the National Celebration Commission on the suggestion of the Executive Board of the George Price Centre for Peace and Development. On National Service Day all Belizeans are invited to carry out a community service activity in memory of the Rt. Hon. George Price who passed away on September 19 of last year. Suggested activities for Wednesday include the cleaning up of public parks, sea shore or river bank or a fund raising drive for a good cause. Residents of Dangriga town got a head start on National Service Day this past Saturday with the painting of bridges in the town. It was spearheaded by the People’s United Party, and area representative Ivan Ramos explained why the early start.

Murder in Belmopan
The nation’s capital is perhaps one of the more quiet places in the country; but tonight a family is devastated and an entire community is mourning the death of a young man, whose only crime it appears was that he dared to try and be a peacemaker. Reports from Belmopan are that a physical altercation involving as many as eight persons broke out near to a popular local nigh spot just after midnight on Saturday morning. One of the fighting men broke a bottle and stabbed randomly in the crowed. The edge tool found its mark and resulted in a homicide that defies logic. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo went to Belmopan this morning to bring you this tragic story.

Update on the theift of the former Ambassador James Murphy’s vehicle
Belmopan police are also trying to break up what they believe is a ring of car thieves operating under their jurisdiction. It follows last week’s theft of a vehicle belonging to former Cabinet Secretary, Ambassador James Murphy. According to Head of the Belmopan CIB, ASP Sinquest Martinez, over the past few months, almost half a dozen vehicles have been stolen from within Belmopan alone.

The second shooting incident in the nation’s capital
The second shooting incident in the nation’s capital happened on Sunday morning, and as ASP Martinez told us today, this time around it was an alleged thief who got the less discounted end of the bargain .

Shooting in Belmopan
This morning Love News spoke with one of the victims of the shooting incident Edmund Pook Jones. From his hospital bed, he recounted what transpired.

Belmopan Shooting
Returning now to the crime beat … An off-duty policeman stationed in Belmopan was shot while socializing at his house. It happened early on Saturday morning. But while the policeman has been treated and released, another man who was also injured in the incident remains in a critical but stable condition. Officer in Charge of the Belmopan CIB Unit, ASP Sinquest Martinez, told reporters how it transpired.

No authorized increase in bus fares between Belize City and Belmopan
There is no authorized increase in bus fares between Belize City and Belmopan. That is according to the Minister of State in the Ministry of Public Transport Edmund Castro. Minister Castro made the statement in an interview with Love News, following numerous complaints from commuters that certain bus operators are now charging an additional one dollar per fare between Belize City and Belmopan. Minister Castro says there is no approved increase in bus fares; but he believes that what the bus companies are now doing is implementing a long agreed per mile charge instead of the customary fare that commuters are used to paying due to strict enforcement of road service regulations by the Department of Transport. Minister Castro says that a hotline has been set up where commuters and the general public can alert authorities of wrong doing in the public transportation system. And while on the subject of public transportation, an incident this morning on the Western Highway has left a number of people concerned. Love News understands that a bus was stopped at the mile four checkpoint and when an officer asked the driver for his driving license, he could not produce the document. A further inspection of the bus led to the removal of an elderly man for what we were told was his inability to show his immigration documents to the officer. Minister Castro says that he believes that on both counts, the officer did not discharge his duties properly. The Mile Four checkpoint is usually manned by police officers, supported by Belize Defence Force soldiers.

Belmopan police takes higher percaution in the area
And while it’s the season to celebrate, people who go out to do that in Belmopan will have to do so in an abbreviated form. Assistant Superintendent of Police, Sinquest Martinez, who heads the Belmopan CIB, told reporters today that there will be some stringent measures taking place in that area as it relates to public socializing and violence that usually follows. This comes on the heels of Belisle’s murder which happened just outside of the La Cabana night club. In Martinez’ words “the good will suffer for the bad”.

Updates on the Municipal Bond
The much-touted Municipal Bond should have been released for purchase of shares anytime now, but differences between City Hall and its main consultant, Legacy, have led to the two parting ways. That, however, according to Belize City Mayor, Darrel Bradley, will only result in a slight delay of the release of the Bond. Mayor Bradley says that the Council will proceed ahead and will launch the Bond in two week’s time, despite the parting of ways between the two parties. Mayor Bradley says that up until this week he has had meetings with large potential investors in the Municipal Bond.

The Belama Phrase Four Area needs attention
While Puma Service Station now boasts a brand new street located adjacent to it, there are a few streets in the same division that need urgent attention, specifically in the Belama Phase Four area. Today Love News asked Mayor Bradley when the work will begin on those streets.

A donation was given to the Big Falls R.C. School
A donation of needed equipment was made to the Big Falls R.C. School this morning in the Toledo district. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details in the following report.

An arrest was for forging a signature of the acting PM Gaspar Vaga
A man has been arrested for forging the signature of Acting Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. Our Orange Walk correspondent Arturo Cantun reports.

The Annual meeting of the Jehovah
The annual meeting of the Jehovah’s witnesses is scheduled to take place this weekend in the north. Our Orange Walk Bureau Chief Manuela Ayuso Cantun reports.

A program for addictors was open
Hope Addiction Prison Ministries is a program spearheaded by Michael Znachko, a missionary from the U.S who has been working with patients of addiction for about ten years. Znachko says there are numerous existing addictions and his program reaches out to most. He has however been concentrating in working with prisoners. This afternoon Znachko spoke with Love News to tell us more about the program.

In the ITVET compound Expo was held
The annual business exposition organized by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry will take center stage in the commercial capital this weekend. The ITVETT compound on Freetown Road will be buzzing with activity on Saturday and Sunday. Vanessa Peyrifitte is the coordinator of Expo Belize 2012. The gates open at eight o’clock on Saturday and Sunday. On the final day, the curtain comes down at six o’clock on Sunday evening. Tickets are five dollars for adults and two dollars for children. Meanwhile, one of the displays at this year’s Expo will be mounted by the Women’s Department. Women’s Development Officer for the Stann Creek District, Michelle Irving told Love News what to expect from their booth.

A children’s rally was held at the Bird’s Isle
A children’s rally was held at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City. Ava Diaz Sosa attended the function and files the following report.

A concert will be held at The Bliss Center
The Bliss Center for the Performing Arts will be the venue for a concert entitled From la Ceiba to Belize – A tribute to Andy Palacio. The concert was put together by Events Planner and organizers say it will be a fitting tribute. Concert headliner Aurelio Martinez said he is proud to be a part of the event as we need to recognize and honor the legacy left by Andy Palacio.

The Reporter

Belize EXPO was jamming!
The scorching heat which replaced last year’s rains at this year’s Belize Trade Expo hosted by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (B.C.C.I.) did not dissuade more than 18,000 people who thronged the Expo over the weekend of September 15-16. This was thousands more than last year, and the Expo also had more booths: 152, which was 12 more than last year.

Whose bias do we seek?
There is no question that the Belizean electorate is made up of intelligent people, who are able to analyze facts, and are not afraid of the engaging in the hard work necessary to achieve a goal that they believe in. Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley reminded us of this fact in his speech at the Tenth of September official ceremony last Monday. Bradley, backed by empirical and historical data, said no real change or positive revolution could be forged where there is disunity. As intelligent Belizeans, we know this. Nevertheless, some disuniting factors continue to infiltrate and divide our people, and by extension it divides the country’s intellectual capital – a fact that was evidenced in the United Democratic Party (UDP)’s exclusion of the People’s United Party (PUP) in the current “Super bond” renegotiations.

UB Student receives fatal stab wound while intervening to stop a fight
Norval Belisle, Jr., 21, a second year student at the University of Belize, and a resident of Flowers Street in Belmopan, was fatally stabbed on Friday night near the La Cabaña Club, just outside Belmopan on the Hummingbird Highway. He was reportedly trying to stop a fight which had erupted between his friends and a group of men on the street outside the club The person charged with the crime is a 24-year-old village man known as “Cat” of Camalote , who is Norval’s distant cousin. He allegedly broke a beer bottle and stabbed Corval in the throat. . Corval Belisle left home on Friday night saying that he was going with a friend to work on a project. On the way, the two friends made a stop-over near the club. The owner of the establishment, Miguel Menjivar, has said that contrary to reports, Norval and his friends never entered the club. . He pointed to the victim’s blood on the street around the corner from the club where the stabbing occurred.

Man 50, convicted of molesting girl, 10
Dennis Frazer, 50, of Burrell Boom Village, was convicted of indecently assaulting a 10-year-old girl when his trial concluded in the Magistrate’s Court last Thursday, September 13. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith sentenced him to the maximum penalty under the law – 3 years in jail, and told him she would have given him more, if the law permitted. In closed court, the child testified that she was in her living room along with her seven-year-old sister, when Frazer entered her home on April 26, 2012, Frazer immediately sent the younger child out to buy, and as soon as the sister left, he pushed her on to the sofa, covered her mouth with one hand, and began to fondle her with the other.

Ministry of Health food borne disease study begins
Monday, September 24, will be the official start of the Ministry of Health’s Burden of Illness study. The Ministry of Health will do the study in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CAREC) – Trinidad and Tobago. The study was officially launched at the Biltmore Plaza on Thursday, September 6. It aims to determine the prevalence of acute gastroenteritis related to food and water infection; and further investigate the more common viruses or bacteria transmitted by food. The Reporter was reliably informed that the original start-up date was to be September 17, but some Customs issues caused the delay. According to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, in 2005, “1.5 million people die worldwide from diarrheal illnesses attributed to food borne diseases.” WHO notes that diarrhea and vomiting occur so commonly that in many cases , no laboratory testing is done to ascertain the exact cause, so a food-borne infection may go unreported. CAREC has reported that data from across the Caribbean, including Belize, indicate an increase in the number of cases of acute gastroenteritis, a syndrome of food borne illness.

The body’s use of water
Belize is truly blessed. It has an abundant supply of water. But why is this God given compound, ‘H2O’, so vitally important – especially to the human anatomy? The importance of receiving a fresh supply of water is understood when we realize that almost three-fourths of the body is made up of water. The vital organs are made up of at least 70 percent water. The blood and brain of the human body are composed of about four-fifths water. The fluid secretions (saliva, gastric juice, and liver bile, etc) and excretions (skin perspiration and urine, etc) are more than nine-tenths their weight in water, and these fluids need clean water regularly to perform their functions. Two-thirds of the body’s water is found in the cells and the other one-third is outside the cells, either in the blood stream as plasma, in body cavities, or between the cells as tissue fluid.

Work stress raises heart
Having a highly demanding job, but little control over it, could be a deadly combination, UK researchers say. They analysed 13 existing European studies covering nearly 200,000 people and found “job strain” was linked to a 23% increased risk of heart attacks and deaths from coronary heart disease. The risk to the heart was much smaller than for those smoking or not exercising, the Lancet medical journal reported. The British Heart Foundation said how people reacte to work stress was key. Job strain is a type of stress. The research team at University College London said working in any profession could lead to strain, but it was more common in lower skilled workers. Doctors who have a lot of decision-making in their jobs would be less likely to have job strain than someone working on a busy factory production line. There has previously been conflicting evidence on the effect of job strain on the heart. In this paper, the researchers analysed combined data from 13 studies. At the beginning of each of the studies, people were asked whether they had excessive workloads or insufficient time to do their job as well as questions around how much freedom they had to make decisions. They were then sorted into people with job strain or not and followed for an average of seven and a half years.

Placencia Assassins lead Premier League football
Undefeated Placencia Assassins continue to lead the 2012 Premier Football League of Belize competition, posting their fourth victory: 3-0 over San Ignacio United at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio on Saturday night. The home eleven held the visitors scoreless up to intermission, and for much of the second half of play, Only 16 minute of regulation remained when Ashley Torres struck the winning goal for the Assassins. Fiver minutes of play still remained when Luis Torres made doubly sure of the victory with a second goal . Ashley Torres put the game on ice with a third goal in the last minutes of play.

BWSL and Bowen & Bowen win in firms’ basketball
Belize Water Services and Bowen & Bowen both enjoyed wins when the Belize City Firms’ Basketball Competition continued at Bird’s Isle in Belize City on Saturday night, September 15. BWSL outlasted Belize Telemedia 46-43 in the first game of the evening. Andrew Gordon led BWSL with 12 pts, and seven boards, but Telemedia’s Lupito Acosta responded with two long 3-pointers to score 10 pts and give Telemedia a 15-12 lead at the end of the first quarter. Travis Lennon scored nine points and Ashley Hemsley added seven as BWSL took over the lead 27-24 at intermission. Devon Lozano scored nine points for BTL and Lennox Cayetano added eight, but BWSL continued to lead 36-33 at the end of the third quarter. Karim Thompson and Benson Matthews added six points each, and six rebounds. Lindberg “Prince” Graham and Lawrence Young added three points each to give BWSL a 41-39 lead in the fourth quarter, but Jason Lamb tied the score 39-39 with 22 seconds left on the clock, and again at 43-43 with four seconds remaining. BWSL inbounded the ball and Travis Lennon drained in a long 3-pointer just before the final buzzer for the 46-43 win.

Toddler found dead; mother & father primary suspects
A seemingly straightforward case of suspected arson turned into something sinister, when a toddler was found dead in a bucket of water Wednesday night. Kaylee Burgess, who would have celebrated her second birthday on Friday, was discovered dead at her home, where she lived with her grandmother and mother, Diedra Pratt. Kaylee’s death has aroused the attention of the police, because the discovery came one day after the home of the her father, Kevin Burgess, was torched. Burgess told the media he believes that Pratt was the arsonist. “We meet dah night [Tuesday] and she threaten me, ‘watch weh happen’. I neva pay ah much mind and when I come back my house deh pan fire.” Police Press Officer Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood speaking to the media about the case said, “They’re alleging that she [Kaylee] drowned. “We’re waiting for Doctor Estradabran to confirm that. But from the basis of the report, we have made it plain to both parties involved, the mother and the father of the child, we suspect foul play.” Yearwood also explained that the child was in the care of an aunt who reported Kaylee missing on the same evening her body was found. Yearwood also explained that the father was detained for another report of damage to property for a window at Pratt’s house Wednesday night.

Murder for love
Calaney Flowers, 26, of Lavender Street, Belize City, was remanded to the Hattieville prison on Thursday after she drove her car over her ex-boyfriend, 29-year-old Lyndon Morrison and Morrison’s new flame, Sochyl Sosa. Morrison was riding the bike at the time with Sosa on the pillion seat, when the car with Flowers at the wheel came with fury upon them. Calaney had just had a baby for Flowers, and the thought of his fooling around so soon after the baby was probably more than she could bear. She has been charged with murder and attempted murder. Morrison, a flight dispatcher, died while undergoing treatment at the Karl Heusner Hospital while Sochyl is listed in grave but stable condition. Attorney Dickie Bradley represented Calaney Flowers, an employee of Atlantic Bank’s main branch on Freetown Road, who was not required to enter a plea. Flowers was at a volleyball game, where her bank’s team was competing when she received a telephone call. She left the game and went to Freetown Road, where she saw her ex-boyfriend with Sosa. Reports say that Calaney Flowers suffers from lupus, a debilitating illness which affects the immune system. From her hospital bed on Thursday morning Sochyl Sosa told reporters she fully expects to recover from her injuries. She recalled she lost another boyfriend to a road traffic accident 17 months ago.

Bus owners say fares not fair
The Belizean Bus Association (BBA) told The Reporter Wednesday that the current fare of 8 cents per mile for the Western runs is no longer enough for bus owners to meet their operational costs, and it must be increased to at least 16 cents per mile. BBA President Thomas Shaw and advisor Patrick Menzies said that with the current high price of diesel fuel, bus owners that operate two buses would make an average loss of over $400 a day. Shaw explained that the cost to operate one bus a day is $741. Therefore, if a company has two buses the total average cost would be $1482. Moreover, bus owners are required to have a back-up bus, which averages a cost of $660. This leaves a “total cost of $2142 per day. Reading from a copy of a letter that the BBA sent to Minister Edmund Castro of the Ministry of Transport on Saturday, September 1, Shaw said, “If a bus is fully loaded going from Belize City to Benque and back, and all 54 passengers pay $8.00 going and another $8.00 for the return trip, the bus grosses $864.00.” Under such a system, two buses would make a gross of $1728, which is $414 less than their cost of operations. Shaw and Menzies argued that the loss is even greater because “buses never go fully loaded to Benque; the buses never return fully loaded to Belize City; and even when buses leave full (even with standees), this does not continue to the final destination because passengers may disembark along the way.” Menzies said that the bus owners, in order to achieve real growth and profits, “deserve a 22-cent per mile price.” That price would be almost triple the current price and would match the increased price of Diesel fuel, which has tripled from $3.65 per gallon in the year 2000 to over $10.00 presently. Recognizing the tough economic times, the BBA’s Cost-Profit Analysis shows where even 16 cents per mile could allow the bus owners to make at least $173 profit per bus—if all bus runs go filled to capacity.

GOB’s actions are “counterproductive,” bondholders say.
The “super-bond” restructuring negotiations may not have a speedy conclusion due to the “counterproductive, and adversarial actions” taken by the Government of Belize, said AJ Mediratta, the co-chair of the Bondholders Coordinating Committee. The Committee issued a press release Tuesday, in which it expressed concern regarding several of GOB’s actions: “the release of an information package that lacked critical details, the release of restructuring scenarios prior to any substantive discussion with bondholders, and more recently the announcement by the GOB of the decision to default on its August coupon payment.” Taking the recent actions into account, the Committee said, it considers GOB’s decisions to be inconsistent with the IMF’s good faith criterion, “which specifically addresses information transparency, early input from creditors, and the importance of efforts by borrowers to avoid default during negotiations.” The Committee said it recognizes that Belize is facing difficult challenges, but labelled GOB’s actions as being “unnecessarily provocative,” based on the fact that the Committee has long since maintained that the restructured terms should be based on “the ability to pay using reasonable, mutually agreed assumptions, as well as demonstrated burden sharing among commercial, bilateral and multilateral creditors and … [an] agreement as to a genuine budgetary and fiscal policy framework for the country.” In addition, the group reported that it has added new members to the Committee, and is currently representative of a majority of the bondholders. The Committee now represents some U.S$300 million of the “superbond”.

Discussion on economic opportunities for Caribbean youth comes to Washington
The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group held a panel discussion on Capitol Hill on Friday, on the topic “Developing Opportunities for Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Caribbean.” The event had bipartisan co-sponsorship from Representative Joe Baca (D-CA), Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) and the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI).

Guide to Export Financing!
Export financing involves loans made for the shipping of products outside a country or region. The financing of export sales concerns arrangements to get payment for the goods shipped or the services pro-vided to another country. If done right, it can be a very profitable venture. Why do we need finance? The ultimate goal is to decrease your startup and increase your company’s profitability. Exporting can be a complicated and expensive process since it requires time, effective planning, research, skilled staff, international travel, and overall good management. However, on the bright side you can obtain a higher price for your products being exported, but it can take 30, 60 or 90 days to retrieve your cash, which can be detrimental, especially when companies don’t have a steady cash flow.

CARICOM countries to work together on renewable energy
CARICOM member countries have resolved to work together to ensure adequate support for the region’s renewable energy push. The commitment came out of a meeting held at the September 7 conclusion of the two-day renewable energy summit in Malta, organised by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM) Julian Robinson, who was Jamaica’s representative at the summit, called the early morning meeting of member states in attendance, to examine how CARICOM, as a regional bloc of countries, can interact with entities like IRENA to source assistance, grants, and other financial instruments “to facilitate joined-up projects rather than compete head on for instruments from the same global financial pie”.


A Retreat from the Gritty City of Cali: Pance, Colombia
We headed out from Santa Rosa del Cabal (and the thermal springs) to make our way south to Cali, Colombia. And as we drove, the climate and the scenery changed pretty drastically. We went from green mountains and stunning views to tan and dusty hills to just sugar cane as far as the eye could see. Cali is completely surrounded by sugar. There is a railroad set up for the sugar, massive tractor trailers pulling 4 or 5 different trailers filled with sugar, guys sweating their butts off chopping down cane with machetes. We must have driven through 30 or 40 miles of the stuff. We decided to bypass the city and head a bit the town of Pance (NOT pronounced "pants" but "PAN-say".) Just half an hour out, along a very pretty river coming from the mountains, you wouldn't know a city was even near. Off the main highway towards the town, we drove to the very end of the road (about half an hour) a campground/hostel/finca called La Castellano. It was time for me to get back to camping. All these $8 per night hotel rooms have me a few sizes too big for my britches.

Ancient Maya Gave Thanks for Turkey Dinners Too
By celebrating Thanksgiving with a turkey dinner, the Maya of Belize are continuing a tradition that goes back for centuries before the birth of Christ, and this will be reflected in the menu of Belize’s top eco resort during the 2012 Chaa Creek Thanksgiving holiday week. Chaa Creek’s head chef Mario Alejandro Mendez Rivera, who is intimately familiar with Maya cuisine, said that he wanted his Thanksgiving degustation menu to reflect the importance of turkey in the Maya diet from ancient times up to the present day. “I learned to cook from my mother and grandmother in Guatemala using Maya recipes passed down through generations, and in the course of my career I’ve mixed the style of the Highland Maya with influences from western Belize and east Caribbean Maya. “Also, here at Chaa Creek many of our staff members are Maya, and believe me, this keeps it real. Our kitchen and service staff, for example, will say something like ‘at home we use more cacao in this turkey meal’, or, ‘my grandmother uses fresh allspice leaves in that sauce,’ and that’s been a wonderful way to pick up different elements and nuances of this centuries old style of cooking. It continues to fascinate me,” he said.

Delta Announces Discounted Airfare To Belize
Join in on the excitement of the September Celebrations in Belize! Delta Airlines is now offering a discount on flights to Belize. Visitors from Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, and New York can purchase tickets at a 10% discount. Travel time must be within September 1st to October 31st, 2012. “We’re certainly excited that Delta has decided to generously offer this discount for those wishing to travel to Belize during this exhilarating time. We know Belizeans abroad look forward to coming home and being a part of our National Celebrations, and we humbly welcome new visitors hoping to share in all the fun,” stated Alyssa Carnegie, Director of Marking and Industry Relations. The deadline for booking and payment is September 30th, 2012. Once travelling in September, payment must be made seven days prior to the travel date. A minimum stay of 7 nights is required. For more information on this offer, please visit Delta’s website at or contact a Delta Airlines office nearest you.

International Sources

Mello case is not over for Slovakia, says Kaliák
The case of Karol Mello, a fugitive who has been charged with having organised at least three murders in Slovakia, is not closed for the Slovak police despite the fact that the authorities in Belize have confirmed his permission to reside there, said Interior Minister Robert Kaliák. He added that the case will end only after Mello is “handed over to justice”, the TASR newswire reported. Kaliák also said that the ministry would continue in its efforts to have Mello extradited to Slovakia. However, there is no extradition treaty between the two countries. “There are several other possibilities which we are trying,” said the minister, as quoted by TASR. Kaliák noted that investigators at least now know where Mello is and said that he might now receive official mail from the Slovak courts. Mello was on the run for several years before being arrested in Poland in 2010. A Slovak court subsequently released him in 2011, after which he went on the run again, only to turn up in Belize earlier this year.

Belize set to default, hopes to restructure debt
Failure to pay would mark default on about half of govt debt * No consensus with creditors on bond exchange offer Belize will not make a crucial Wednesday deadline for making a payment on its sovereign bond, the head of the government's debt restructuring team said on Tuesday, effectively paving the way for a formal default on $550 million in debt. The tiny Central American nation in August missed a $23.5 million interest payment on its so-called superbond, saying it could not afford the rate, which had increased to 8.5 percent from 6 percent. That move set the clock ticking on a 30-day grace period that ends Sept. 19. Failure to pay on Wednesday would mark a default on about half of the government debt. "Belize does not have the capacity to repay on the current terms - it did not have this capacity on August 20, so that condition can only change with debt relief," Mark Espat, who is negotiating with bondholders on behalf of the Belize government, told Reuters.

Episode 403: What Can We Do With Our Shell Companies?
A few months back, we set up a couple shell companies — Unbeliezable, Inc., in Belize, and Delawho? in Delaware. On today's show, we talk to some tax lawyers to try to figure out what we can do with our companies. We draft a resolution so we can go to Belize to meet the fake director and fake shareholder of our company. And we learn owning shell companies in tax havens is a lot more of a hassle than we thought.

Belize seeks to reschedule half of its foreign debt
On the eve of crunch talks to avert default, the tiny Central American state of Belize said on Tuesday it was asking its creditors to reschedule roughly half of its $1.1 billion foreign debt. "Belize will launch an exchange offer at such time that there appears to be a general consensus around new terms, based of course, on Belize capacity to pay," Mark Espat, the government official in charge of debt rescheduling, told AFP. "We believe that all parties recognize that a fair solution will only be reached through good faith and transparent negotiations," he added. On August 20, Belize, the only English-speaking country in Central America, missed a $23.5 million bond payment and has until Wednesday to renegotiate its total $1.1 billion debt. "The government is optimistic that a resolution will be attained. Even though Belize's government does not require access to external commercial credit, rendering an expiration of the grace period inconsequential, there is a steadfast commitment to a timely negotiated agreement of new debt repayment terms, based on the country's capacity to repay," Espat said. "Our government is convinced that negotiations rather than a legal wrangle is the best path for resolution," he added. The economy of this country of 300,000 people is mainly based on tourism, farming and fishing. Belize posted sluggish economic growth of two percent last year, down from 2.7 percent in 2010, according to the central bank. Prime Minister Dean Barrow won re-election in March, vowing to restructure the debt bonds, which mature in 2029, after the coupon on the notes jumped to 8.5 percent from six percent as part of the agreement reached with creditors in 2007. After failing to make the $23.5 million bond payment in August, Belize's Prime Minister Dean Barrow notably proposed to cut interest rates, currently standing at 8.5 percent. The government's negotiating team, meanwhile, met last week with officials of the Inter-American Bank to weigh various options for possible assistance.

Belize, The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica on US list of major drug-producing or drug-transit countries
As required annually, under the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (FAA), the President of the United States of America, notifies Congress of those countries he determines to be major illicit drug-producing countries or major drug-transit countries that “significantly affect the United States.” The US State Department in a release, pointed out that "a country’s presence on the list does not necessarily reflect its counternarcotics efforts or its level of cooperation on illegal drug control with the United States. The designation can reflect a combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to be produced and/or trafficked through a country". When a country on the list does not fulfill its obligations under international counternarcotics agreements and conventions, the President determines that the country has “failed demonstrably” to meet its counterdrug obligations. Such a designation can lead to sanctions. However, the President may also execute a waiver when he determines there is a vital national interest in continuing U.S. assistance.

The Belize Zoo Exceeds Expectations
The Belize Zoo really impresses in this travel article. The funny signs, which are unique to the zoo, are mentioned too. There are some good pictures of the Tapir, the national animal of Belize. "This zoo is friggin awesome!! The Huffington Post knows what I'm talking about, they have it listed as number five on their top ten list of best zoos in the WORLD! ... It's true - other than being on nice walkways and going over little wooden bridges, I felt like I was walking through the jungle the whole time I was in there."

September 18, 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

Island students participate in annual children’s rally
Preschools, primary and secondary schools countrywide participated in the annual children’s rally organized by the Ministry of Education. The rally is a part of the September Celebration events. San Pedro was no exception as the island’s schools came out in full force on Friday, September 14th. Students along with their parents and teachers from all over the island assembled at the San Pedro Central Park for the short ceremony. Speaking to the parents, teachers and teachers at the San Pedro Central, the District Education Officer for Belize Rural South Miriam Codd said that the rally is a school day where the students learn to appreciate Belize through patriotism. Also speaking at the event was Guest Speaker Mayor Daniel Guerrero. “Let us try and revive this spirit of patriotism and pride which our forefathers had. Nowadays, we do not seem to have that love for country as they did. I encourage you to develop a sense of civic pride by respecting private and public properties, by not throwing garbage on the streets, by taking care of the plants in the parks and on the beach, by having a clean beach, by respecting our elders, by respecting our national anthem and our Belizean flag,” said the Mayor to the gathering.

Belize Has Been Recommend – ed
Excitement continues to surround Belize! The country has been featured in the August “On location” issue of Recommend magazine. The magazine has been in existence for over 43 years and is one of the leaders in the travel trade marketplace. It aims to educate and inform travel agents about the latest happenings in various locations, which assists in selling the locations. The monthly issues highlight the different aspects of tourism. Recommend also has a very active website where interested viewers can read the current and past issues of the magazine as well as view the latest information on various destinations and events. “We’re always ecstatic to see Belize highlighted in respected publications such as Recommend. We want the world to realize all that ourcountry has to offer and consequently, make Belize a part of their future travels. This magazine in particular, keeps travel agents informed about what’s new and exciting and we’re really pleased to be featured” commented the Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie.

Ambergris Today

Miss Belize Destinee Arnold Heads to Miss International Pageant, Japan
Miss Belize 2012 Destinee Arnold has recently completed phase one of her international pageant training and is ready to represent Belize with poise, grace, eloquence and pride. Along with a scholarship from the Ministry of Education, several resort vacations, and many modeling opportunities, the Official Miss Belize has received the honor of representing the jewel Belize in the highly prestigious Miss International Pageant to be held in Okinawa, Japan from October 1 to October 22, 2012. Miss International is hailed as one of the three most significant pageants in the world for its 53 year history and the ability to attract participants from over 100 countries. In addition to poise and elegance, delegates of Miss International are required to show documentation of charity work and actively promote goodwill and tourism throughout their country and express a genuine interest in strengthening their country’s foreign relationship with China and Japan.

September Celebrations in Full Swing
The calendar of events for this year’s September Celebrations was filled with educational activities. On Thursday, September 13, 2012, students from various primary schools on the island participated in the annual spelling bee. Celebrating is exactly what primary school children were doing on Friday, September 14, 2012. Students were invited to participate in a school rally where island students from pre-schools, primary schools and high school all gathered at the Central Park for a short ceremony after which they paraded through the streets of San Pedro.

San Pedro Celebrates Central American Night
On Saturday, September 15, 2012, five Central American nations - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua - celebrated 191 years of independence. On this day in 1821, Central American notables accepted a plan drafted by Mexican caudillo Agustín de Iturbide that declared the five nations free from Spain. On this day in Central America most people celebrate their independence with a day off from school and work, full of parades, picnics, parties, and patriotism. Here in San Pedro, the Town Council was very successful in organizing a Central American Night what was celebrated at Central Park during the evening on Saturday, September 15. This was the first annual celebration held on the island in honor of the independence of all our Central American brothers and sister. In the mix was also Mexico that held its independence day festivities a day after, September 16.

Miss San Pedro Exactly 25 Years Ago
During the month of September when we celebrate anniversaries of the Battle of St. George’s Caye and The Independence of Belize, many ladies reminisce with fondness on their days when they were either Miss San Pedro Queens or Maids of Honor of the Queen. This Flashback is exactly twenty five years 1987 ago when Miss Fiona Elliott was Miss San Pedro and was accompanied by her maids Yesenia Muñoz, Sherlett Belisle, Mari Cruz Nuñez, Maribel Ayuso and Carolina Sermeño. In the background is Susanne’s Gift Shop and Rocks Store in a small wooden Building. No floats, no decorations, but the celebration went on.

Miss San Pedro Pageant Without Bathing Suits
Was it different? You bet! Oh yes, we had a grand celebration, but we did it in our own wonderful way. Twenty five years ago we did not have a lot of flags to fly around the town and at our homes. So what we did was to decorate the place by going into the bush and cutting small palm trees which were placed around the town to add more greenery and to make the place look joyful and in the celebration mood. There were no large flags or banners to decorate the stage where the beauty pageants were held. Therefore the organizers, who were the village council personnel, cut coconut palms and wove them to make the stage attractive. Palms remained green for up to a week before they started getting brown. As long as the children did not tamper with the palms, the stage remained beautiful for many days.

The Blue, White And Red - Honoring Our Belizean Flag
As a result of discussions on patriotism, lately there have been many questions surrounding the official image of the flag of Belize. Questions have asked on the coat of arms, the size of the round white center piece, and the real blue color that makes up the largest part of the Belize flag. Recalling that Belize was once a British Colony, the name of the colony and later on the country was named British Honduras. At that time from 1919 to 1981 the flag of Belize as designed by the British; it was the Union Jack or the flag of England with a modified coat of arms. This flag was not displayed too much in British Honduras and most folks were not even aware of it. Folks living in Belize even in the 1950’s only recall using the official British flag in all of their patriotic events.

Misc Belizean Sources

Full Basket Belize
The International Friends of Belize NGO has changed their name to Full Basket Belize. They've a new name, a new logo, and a new newsletter! They still have the same great goal, improving the education, health and environment of Belizean communities by providing educational scholarships and small project grants. They are currently accepting grant applications. "Full Basket Belize is pleased to announce that we are opening the application process for their 2013 Community Grant Program to continue the tradition of supporting local community projects. Grants will be awarded to cover project costs of up to $1000 USD for projects that benefit Belizean communities in the areas of education, health (HIV/AIDS), and the environment."

Destinee Arnold Photo Shoot for Miss International Pageant
Destinee Arnold, Miss Belize 2012, had a photoshoot with Jose Luis Zapata. Here's the associated video from Ambergris Today. Good luck, Destinee! "Miss Belize 2012 Destinee Arnold has received the honor of representing the jewel Belize in the highly prestigious Miss International Pageant to be held in Okinawa, Japan from October 1 to October 22, 2012. Prior to her departure for Japan, Destinee visited San Pedro to conduct her official Miss International Pageant photo shoot that was carried out by Jose Luis Zapata Photography at Xanadu Island Resort on Wednesday, September 13, 2012."

National Service Day is Wednesday
For the September Celebrations, in honor of George Price, Wednesday, September 19th is National Service Day. There are quite a few events planned around Cayo. There will also be a cadlelight vigil in the evening at the Sacred Heart Church. What do you have planned for National Service Day? Distributing of food baskets to widows in Cayo Central Repairs to basketball courts in Santa Elena Clean up of Octavia Waight compound Setting up signs (scientific and common names of trees) at the Macal River Park Planting of fruit and shade trees at orphanage in Cotton Tree Buena Vista School "Brightening" Project - installing of garbage drums and picnic tables, painting, bush-hogging, book drive, ...

Scarlet Macaw Monitoring in the Chiquibul
The Rainforest Restoration Foundation had a fundraiser this weekend at the Tulsa Zoo to help out with the monitoring of the Scarlet Macaws, which is an ongoing project here in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. Roni Martinez is the main Belizean contact. Thanks, Roni! "The Rainforest Restoration Foundation, a Tulsa-based conservation NGO, is supporting a local initiative to monitor Scarlet Macaw nesting sites in Belize and deter poachers from stealing macaw chicks. The monitoring program was led by Ronaldi 'Roni' Martinez. Roni lives in the nearest village, San Antonio. He works as the Conservation Officer for Blancaneaux Lodge, the premier ecotourism resort in the Maya Mountains of Belize. His son shares his love of birds and Roni wants to make sure that scarlet macaws are around for his children’s children to admire. Roni hired men from his village and trained them with help from Charles Britt, a wildlife biologist from New Mexico who studies scarlet macaws in the area. These trained field workers paddle inflatable kayaks up the Chalillo Dam reservoir and into the Macal and Raspaculo rivers which flow into it. They record Scarlet Macaws sightings and look for nesting trees. They also search for camps used by wildlife poachers and report those to law enforcement authorities. They have digital cameras, GPS receivers and a satellite telephone so they can report precise information immediately."

Lucky Boy's Happy Update
Lucky Boy, the rescued jaguar, is doing fine at the Belize Zoo. Sharon Matola has released an update on him. "Lucky Boy, our recently rescued black jaguar, has settled well in his new home off exhibit at The Belize Zoo. Always eager for his dinner, the guy is clueless about how happy he is making all of his zoo caretakers with such an enthusiastic appetite. Not that we expected Lucky Boy to turn up his big nose at beef liver, but our consulting vet made a point in stating that some large cats are less-than-happy about eating the critical care canned feline food, which was brought in special for our Lucky Boy. Well, Lucky Boy simply loves the gooey mixture, and happily gives a jaguar 'high five' whenever it comes his way." You can still buy Lucky Boy t-shirts here.

Happy Birthday Vito!!
A big ‘Happy Belated Birthday’ shout out to Vito as it was his birthday yesterday!! Although it is only a year since Vito (Evaristo Rosado) joined Raggamuffin, it feels like we have been working together for years. Vito is really one of the favorite Guides for our crew to work with – really Captains fight over him for him to be on their boat!! Vito has been working on the sea for all of his life and therefore his sea skills and knowledge are second to none – twinned with his genuine concern and patience with all passengers in the water and his ability to entertain, all those that tour with him just love him! Vito is acknowledged by all that work with him to be a hard worker and for this above all has him highly regarded within the Raggamuffin team – something that is not easy to accomplish with the number of characters working here!!

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (15 September 2012)
Straight Line 100.00 Each (7 Balls) 35 ­71 ­24 ­45 ­27 ­60 ­14­ Y 125.00 Each (14 Balls) 35 ­71 ­24 ­45 ­27 ­60 ­14 ­11 ­23 ­68 ­15 ­4 ­10 ­36­

Channel 7

City's First Shooting Death Since September
Up until this evening, there had not been a shooting death in the city for all of September. But the holiday from killing didn't last three weeks; this evening at around 5:30 there was a shooting in Belize City. Two men were hit on Jane Usher Boulevard; both were rushed to the KHMH, one of them has died - and the other survived. They are reportedly Andrew Usher Jr and Jermaine Usher - who are brothers and fishermen. Reports are that Andrew Usher Jr was fatally injured. The shooting occurred on Jane Usher Boulevard - right near a Chinese Grocery which had witnessed a murder earlier this year. We'll have more on this in tomorrow's newscast.

Son Of Capital City Slain
There was a homicide in Belmopan over the weekend. A 21 year old was killed as he tried to break up a fight outside a popular nightclub in the Capital city. It has left his family destroyed because Norval Belisle had never been in trouble - until trouble found him outside a popular nightclub. Here's the story:... Rachel Bennett, sister of deceased "My feelings right now - there is a lot of anger. This family is terribly hurt. What they did to him was cruel - no one deserves to die like that, no one. My brother was peaceful person, a very calm young man and you can ask anyone form this society. Norval has never been in any trouble." Jules Vasquez reporting And the peaceable nature is what may have brought an end to Norval Belisle Jr.'s life - as he tried to play peacemaker in a fight, which occurred on the street beside La Cabana Bar early on Saturday morning around 1:00 am.

Kaylee's Mom Wants Someone Charged For Her Baby's Death
Baby Kaylee Burgess was killed 12 days ago - and still no one has been charged for her murder. The tragedy has destroyed and divided her mother's family - and tonight the mother of the child is asking for someone to be charged - even if it is one of her own family members. Here's what she told Monica Bodden today:... Deidra Pratt, mother "I am really upset that Kevin and I haven't get our justice from our daughter as yet because I think the police are working a little bit too slow for my baby to get justice. We have meetings from the police and we have concrete evidence to show that my daughter was murdered. There are concrete evidence to charge someone for my daughter murder and nothing has been done as yet. Its 12 days that my daughter passed away and like what Kevin says that all we are heard what the police is that the file is at the DPP office and it's up to her now." "We are turning to the media because we are not getting fair justice of Kaylee's death. " Reporter "You feel that there is a cover-up that has happen?" Deidra Pratt, mother "I feel that it's a cover-up for everybody; my family and the police and everything because we just get certain information saying that one of my family members has been involve with someone from the police department recently, so it's like they are going lenient on my baby killer. They are giving me my fair justice that I want and I just want the fair justice."

Bert Vasquez In City Supreme Court
Three Months ago, Bert Vasquez was charged for killing 13 year-old Jasmine Lowe, a murder that inflamed the passions of Cayo residents. But, before Jasmine - there were others and in June, we spoke with another of his alleged victims who was abducted and sexually assaulted in the Belize district. That case was committed fro trial in the Supreme Court and so today, Bert Vasquez was escorted before Justice Troadio Gonzales for a final date to be set down for the matter to start. The court decided that on November 15, he should return, and if the prosecution is ready to proceed, the full trial will start then. Until that matter is heard once again, Vasquez remains on remand for aggravated assault with a firearm, and forcible abduction in relation to this case. He is also on remand for murder in connection with Jasmine Lowe's death.

Karol Mello Gets Permanent Residence Restored
Last month, we told you about the Immigration Department withdrawing all charges against Slovak National - and reputed mob boss - Karol Mello. The withdrawing of the charges signaled the end of fight from the Government of Belize in trying to eject Mello from the country. Well, there was still the issue of Mello's permanent residency's revocation, which remained in effect, and which was done by the Minister of Immigration, Hon. Godwin Hulse. Mello and his attorneys filed a claim a few months ago in the Supreme Court, in which they were going sue GOB to get back his permanent residency status. But, before the opening arguments for the start of the trial, which was scheduled for today, the Government Crown Counsel notified the court that the Minister of Immigration reversed it. This meant that the permanent residency was restored, and this was yet another abrupt end to the case. We spoke to Mello's attorney outside of court to get an explanation, and here's what he told us: Godfrey Smith, Attorney "This morning the counsel for the government informed Mr. Justice Legall that the minister of immigration would be withdrawing the letter of revocation of permanent residence of Karol Mello that had been issued on July 16th. With that development it means that the case will come to an end because by the act of the minister withdrawing his letter of revocation it means that Mr. Mello's permanent resident status will remain valid and in place. With that we will issue a notice of discontinuance and that will be the end of the matter - I believe the last chapter in this case as it were."

Former Cop Missing
64 year-old Conrad Jones, a former police Sergeant and now a Customs Guard residing on West Street, has been missing since Thursday, and his family is worried sick about him. His family spoke to us today, and they said that he left for work and hasn't returned. Here's what they told us the last time he was seen: Shilpa Jones, daughter "My dad went to work on Wednesday morning; he left from here at 8 o' clock. He is guard with customs department - that means when these containers go they would go with them to different locations. Wednesday night he did not come home. Thursday we took it for granted that maybe he had an overnight trip and he would come home Thursday morning but he did not return. When I called his job they were as shock as us to find out that he had not returned as yet." "We found out that Wednesday at 4 o' clock he took a trip to Benque. They delivered what they needed to deliver and about 11:15 - 11:30 the gentleman he went with drop him off at the Hattieville roundabout. Up to about 2:30 that morning the security for retirement home notice that he was still out there sitting waiting for a ride and when he went to do hid rounds and came back my dad was gone."

NTUCB Supports Superbond Restructuring/Makes Demands
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize issued a lengthy statement today saying that it quote "supports the Government's move to renegotiate the payment of the Superbond under more favorable terms," end quote. But it doesn't end there: the NTUCB wants government to quote, "take deliberate steps to bring to justice persons, or at the very least, recover the millions from those that have benefitted from the public purse," end quote. And the NTUCB also has a list of demands - 11 of them - to be exact - that they say must be considered and initiated in exchange for their support. These include re-activating the Integrity Commission, pursuing meaningful negotiations on the Collective Bargaining Agreement for the public sector unions, and including the NTUCB in the formulation of the budget - among many other demands.

Three Men Shot In Belmopan
Five men were shot this weekend across the country: two in Belize City and two in Belmopan. Neither of the two victims in the city were seriously hurt, but the shootings in Belmopan caught our attention: because a police man was shot, his brother is critical, and in another case an alleged fuel thief was shot. We start with the shooting of the policeman. Officer in charge of CIB for Belmopan, Sinquest Martinez told us more:.. ASP Sinquest Martinez, Officer Commanding CIB Belmopan "A police officer PC Errol Jones was at his residence socializing with friend and family when apparently they were accuse someone there pertaining to some incident that happen prior to the shooting and two persons came by requesting to talk to one of the persons that were in the crowd and they did manage to talk to the person accusing him of something that he had stolen. Shortly after the said person and another person came by and fired shots in the direction of where PC Jones and his colleagues were injuring PC Jones and his cousin who is in the Western Regional Hospital in a critical condition."

Teenager Jailed For A Gun
19 Year-old Trevor Flowers is on remand tonight after he was taken to Magistrate Court for allegedly robbing a 16 year-old male minor at gunpoint. According to police, the minor reported that at 3:45 p.m. on August 8, he was standing at the corner of Mex Avenue and Fairweather Street. The minor said that a young dark-complexioned man rode up to him on bicycle, pointed a gun at him and demanded his belongings. Fearing for his life, the young man handed over his 550-dollar graduation ring, his cap and his slippers, and his assailant rode away. Police arrested Flowers this weekend, and they put him in an identification parade in which they victim positively identified him as the assailant. As a result, Fowers was arraigned in Magistrate's Court for robbery today, and because the offence was allegedly committed with a firearm, he was remanded to prison until October 17, his next court date.

EXPO Drew Thousands
The Expo Belize Marketplace 2012 was a success; it drew approximately 18,000 visitors; that's up from last year when only fifteen thousand visited due to heavy rains. There were 152 booths, 12 more than last year. This year's Best Overall Booth was awarded to Karl H Menzies.

Aurelio Honoured Andy
The Andy Palacio Tribute Concert Dubbed "La Ceiba To Belize" was held on Saturday night at the Bliss Center. It was an effort organized by a group called Events Planners who wanted to thrust Andy Palacio back into the forefront of public attention with a concert and a book about his life. Indeed, as great as he was, the memory of this music and culture man has already started to fade. So, his friends and fans set up a concert to re-kindle that memory by singing his songs and celebrating that Garifuna culture that he guarded so zealously and propagated so passionately. It aired live on Channel 7 - and here are a few highlights. Jules Vasquez reporting The evening had a familiar sound - and the man whose songs they were singing - were being sung tonight in his honor. Member of band "Four years have gone since Andy left us but yet we are here with a heavy heart continuing the hard work that he has started off for us." It was a celebration of old friends - pulling off some classic moves - and that old voice, still belting

Channel 5

Breaking News: Late evening murder in Belize City—bullet capital
There is breaking news tonight. About an hour ago, there was a fatal shooting in the Jane Usher Boulevard area of Belize City. Early reports say that two brothers were shot, Andrew and Jordan Usher. The older sibling, twenty-four year old Andrew was shot four times on the upper body and has reportedly died. Eighteen [...]

UB student killed in Belmopan
Two persons lost their lives violently in the city and in the capital. A University of Belize student was murdered just after mid-night on Friday in Belmopan. Norval Belisle Junior, the youngest and only son for his family, was well liked and known among his peers and in his community. He was out socializing when [...]

Honduran National stabbed in the heart
In Belize City, neighbors found a Honduran national in his early twenties dead. When he was not seen this morning, tenants of the apartment building where he lived on St Thomas Street made the gruesome discovery. Wilmer Esquivel, aka Botas, was employed as a security guard; he was killed by a single stab wound to [...]

Slovakian, Karol, mellow about permanent residency status
Forty-two year old Karol Mello made an appearance before Justice Oswell Legall in court today, where his attorney was prepared to dispute the cancellation of his permanent residency in mid-July. Mello was nabbed by local authorities in San Pedro two months ago, following a tip by Interpol that he was wanted in Slovakia for murder. [...]

Will alleged corruption list lead to 56 cops being dismissed?
A two page document, labeled as top secret and making serious allegations against police officers, has the department in a major upheaval. The memorandum, dated June twelfth, is purportedly signed by the head of the Special Branch and addressed to the Commissioner of Police. The subject of the memorandum centers on allegations of corruption by [...]

Mother talks about sister being a suspect for 2 year old’s death
The family of Kaylee Burgess, the toddler who was suffocated in Ladyville, says they still have no closure in the death of their daughter. It’s almost two weeks since the child was killed and no one has been charged. Family members who were detained and questioned have been released. Kaylee’s parents, Deidra Pratt and Kevin [...]

Bert Vasquez tells Five’s Duane Moody he’s innocent
Bert Vasquez has been in and out of the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court for a slew of charges—up to thirteen offences against female minors in the West, including the Murder of Jasmine Lowe. But Vasquez has prior charges of a sexual nature before the Belize City Courts. Back in February of this year, Magistrate Hettie [...]

N.T.U.C.B. supports restricting; 11 point demand to G.O.B.
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (N.T.U.C.B.) this afternoon sent out a press release with eleven points dealing on a wide range of issues of national priority including the five hundred and fifty-four million dollar Superbond. After meeting with the Debt Restructuring Team, the N.T.U.C.B. supports the government’s desire to renegotiate the Super Bond [...]

Conrad Jones still missing
The search continues for former police officer, sixty-four year old Conrad Jones, who disappeared after being dropped off on the Western Highway in Hattieville last Wednesday night. Conrad, a Customs Guard, was returning from a trip to Benque Viejo, but was not brought all the way to Belize City because the company driver was taking [...]

Tribute to the late great Andy Palacio
Andy Palacio was born on December second, 1960 and he died on January nineteenth, 2008. In that short span of time Andy, the kid from the coastal village of Barranco, rose to prominence that would result in his creation of one of the best world music releases of 2007. That final album Watina is also [...]

Feel the vibes at the Pan Yaad Concert
As the pied piper commands children to follow his tune, so does the reverberation of a steel pan calls Caribbean people to sway to the beats that flow from one Island nation to another. And though the history of steel pan resounds with African history in the region, it is a musical form that unites [...]

James Adderley with great sport highlights
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   We take you out immediately to the Norman Broaster Stadium inside San Ignacio where yesterday the PLB Fixture staged the battle for supremacy in Zone A as frontrunner the Belize Defense Force hosted its biggest rival FC Belize in a bid to remain on [...]


Winners of Expo Belize Announced
The annual business exposition, known simply as Expo Belize was staged this past weekend at the old Belize Technical College grounds now known as the ITVETT compound on Freetown Road. According to a statement from the organizers, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, close to eighteen thou...

Belmopan Police Plans for Stricter Laws for Clubs
Meanwhile Assistant Superintendent of Police, Sinquest Martinez, who heads the Belmopan CIB, told reporters that there will be some stringent measures taking place in that area as it relates to public socializing and violence that usually follows. This comes on the heels of Belisle’s ...

Right Honourable George Price Remembered
National Service Day will be observed on Wednesday of this week. It was included on the calendar of activities for the September celebrations by the National Celebration Commission on the suggestion of the Executive Board of the George Price Centre for Peace and Development. Coordinat...

Orange Walk Police Investigate Robbery
Orange Walk Police are looking for two suspects following an armed hold up in that municipality. Reports are sometime after ten o’clock this morning a dark skinned man entered Belize Gas Limited on Belize Corozal Road and held up the office clerk and plant operator. The assailant made...

University Student Killed In His Attempt to Stop Brawl
This weekend saw a spurt of violence in Belmopan. Two shooting incidents were reported and a stabbing incident that left a University student dead. Reporter Marion Ali travelled to Belmopan for details. MARION ALI News Reporter Love FM “Rachel Bennett and the Be...

Police News
Nineteen year old Trevor Flowers, who allegedly robbed a 16 year student at gunpoint, was charged with robbery when he appeared in court today. He pleaded not guilty to the charge. Magistrate Shona Griffith explained to that the court cannot offer him bail because of the nature of the offence. Sh...


Alarms Go Off About Possible Hezbollah Groups In Belzie Since 2009
raficThe case of Rafiq Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, who is named as a member of the terrorist organization Hezbollah, continues to attract attention internationally. In an article posted on El Diario De Quintana Roo on Wednesday it makes mention that for the past 4 years Mexico and the United States has had intelligence of terrorist forces operating in Chetumal and Belize. According to information released by WikiLeaks, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico found evidence that in Chetumal and Belize, at least in 2009, there was presence of radical Islamic groups such as Hezbollah. According to information from the U.S. Diplomatic Corps, Hezbollah cells used the same routes of drug traffickers and undocumented persons to reach the United States in 2009. Since then, the U.S. Embassy and its Consulate in Merida investigated the presence of radical groups in the Yucatan Peninsula, with the presumption that the very same drug routes were used to enter that country. Viewers might recall that on Sunday September 8th, an operation conducted in Merida resulted in the arrest of Rafiq Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, who is named as an alleged member of the terrorist organization Hezbollah. Allaboun was found in possession of a Belizean Passport, driver’s licence and birth certificate all issued under the name of Wilhelm Dyck who Belziean authorities say died two months after his birth in 1976 in the community of Shipyard in the Orange Walk District.

High School Students Put Their Mind To The Test
Today as well, Youth for the Future held their Stay in School Rally and Symposium under the theme “Building a Better World: Partnering With Youth.” It was held at the People’s Stadium where the 6 high schools from the Orange Walk District participated in the positive movement. According to Youth Empowerment Coordinator for Youth for the Future, Edmir Patt, the rally/symposium has a number of objectives. “The whole point of this symposium was to amalgamate youths, school and the youth for the future department to or so as for us to try to get the information and how can we partner, the youths and the department, as the theme says, building a better role partnering with the youths and our aim is to get to know how are the ways or which ways can we find so as for us to work along with the youths.”

Muffles College Holds Annual Symposium
Every year just before Belize celebrates Independence Day, Muffles College holds a symposium. Today the high school’s entire student body gathered at the Crystal Palace Auditorium where this year’s symposium was held. Like every year, one student from each form level, brought to life this year’s September Celebration’s theme “Many Faces, Many Dreams, one Goal – Celebrating Belize through a speech written by them. The symposium was organized by the Student Government Association and president Briana Leiva says, the goal is to promote patriotism. Briana Leiva, Student Body President “Well first we started with the national anthem thereafter we have the guest speaker Mr. Arturio, who helps and advices the students about unity and coming together as Belizeans, from theron we have the panelists which also goes in depth with our team and lastly we acknowledge the students, teacher and anyone who make this day possible.”

Belizean Referees Qualify For International Matches
Tonight the Football Federation of Belize is showing more signs of moving forward. In a press release the FFB is stating that a total of 6 football referees in Belize successfully completed their FIFA certified referee examination on Sunday September 9th. According to the release the examination was conducted and supervised by Nicaraguan Donald Campos who certified 6 out of the 8 referees that were taking the test to be FIFI qualified. According to FFB Executive Marlon Kuylen who is in charge of referees, this means that the 6 referees now qualify to be listed on the 2013 roster of referees that can perform their official duties internationally. Those six Belizean referees are Amir Castilla, Christopher Reid, Gerald Henry Jr, Ifran Basdemir and Assistant Referees Ricardo Ake & Daniel Catzim. The release concludes by stating that quote, “This is a milestone for Belizean football and it is hoped that additional referees will take the test to qualify for international officiating when the test is offered by FIFA again next year.” end quote

Fuel Prices Expected To Increase
On September 8TH, Miramis Ship docked at the port of Belize with the first shipment of Venezuelan fuel under the agreement of Petrocaribe which was signed back in 2005. As soon as next week that very same fuel is expected to be pumped into your vehicle. But even though back in Venezuela the price for a gallon fuel is just 10 cents, don’t expect the same to be here. In fact, expect the opposite because the prices of diesel and regular fuel are expected to rise. As a matter of fact, the price for a gallon of diesel is expected to increase by a dollar due to the increasing oil prices worldwide. Regular is also expected to take a hike and increase by 10 cents a gallon. As for the price for a gallon of premium, well, that is expected to decrease. How low the price will go, is another question. But even though you won’t generally be paying less when you visit the gas station next week, the whole purpose of Petrocaribe is that the revenues from the sales should benefit Belize in such way that the government would be allowed to allocate 50% of the proceeds and transform it into a long term low interest loan. On the other hand, the Venezuelan government has expressed that the government utilize the savings for investments in projects that will have a beneficial social impact.


UB Student, Narval Belisle, Murdered outside La Cabana
The City of Belmopan was the hub of criminal activity this past weekend: there were reports of at least two shootin...

Adventist Youths march for Godly Principles in Belmopan
The youth arm of the Union of Seventh Day Adventist Churches of Belize had a massive Church rally and march in the ...

Belize Expo sees over 18000 visitors
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted its annual EXPO Belize Market Place this past weekend. Through t...

La Cabana proprietor speaks about violence outside club
La Cabana Entertainment Center is popular among many local citizens and visitors to the capital city. The nightspot...

PLusNews talks to Belmopan Police about increasing Crime
In our earlier interview with ASP MARTINEZ we probed him to find out what exactly was the department doing about th...

Belmopan businessman shoots thief
An early morning shooting in the City of Belmopan has left a man injured. On Sunday morning, a 45yr old Business ma...

Home invasion in Santa Elena Cayo gets violent
A residence was burglarized and a woman almost violated, in Santa Elena. On Saturday September 15 around 4:30pm San...

Cayo Police intercept car with mucho marijuana
Over the weekend Police received information of a Black Toyota Corolla Taxi car transporting drugs towards San Igna...


A new beer on the block
Not too long ago we were excited to hear that Carib beer, brewed in Trinidad and Tobago, was coming to Belize. Since only a small variety of beers are sold in the country due to the Bowen & Bowen Belikin brand being a virtual monopoly, it is always nice to have a new option. We first tasted this beer, served with the customary slice of lime, years ago in the British Virgin Islands, where it was as ubiquitous as Belikin is in Belize. We bought a few of new Carib Lagers recently to see if they were as tasty as we remembered. Interestingly, the bottles available in Belize are small, just like Belikin. This little guy is just 275 ml, which is approximately 9.3 oz, rather than the typical 12 oz bottle size in the United States. I don't know if that's done to hold prices down or in an attempt to get people to drink less. Or maybe it's just the opposite -- these go down so quickly on a hot day, it's likely you'll want another!

Well deserved time off
Since this was Dicks last weekend before heading back to Turkey for another month I decided to take some time off and just enjoy hanging out. This means I did not snap a single picture of our time spent together [Sorry Janet]. We did have loads of fun though starting with Bingo and barbecue on Friday night at the Lion’s den. Dick and Erika came to pick me up then we went and got Elena and Glenn jr and headed to town. We stopped to say hi to Big Glenn at the Tropic Air hanger on the way. None of us won but everyone had a great time and Glenn jr kept us well entertained all night table dancing. Saturday I went to Dicks place before aquafit class and watched him, Glenn and Carlos winch the boat and take it out of the water. After class I went back so he and Carlos could put on my handle grips and my basket on, super exciting. I was very glad to have guys on hand to do this job and it was the first time I had seen anyone use a machete and hammer as part of their bike repairs. Glenn lowered my seat too so that it was a better height. Not only did I get my biked fixed, I learned that it is better to use liquid dish soap over wd40 to put handle grips on your bike. The reason is that it does not dry out the same way so it acts better as a lubricant and works better in the long run.

A Trip to a Thermal Springs in Santa Rosa De Cabal, Colombia
On our drive from Manizales to Salento, Colombia, we passed lots of signs for the hot springs of Santa Rosa de Cabal. And what better way to rest your weary bones after hours of hiking in the Valle Del Cocore than relaxing in a hot bath that just happens to be pouring out of a beautiful mountain? We packed our things at La Sarrenta Hostel in Salento, ate breakfast and headed back north a bit. Another crazy twisting and turning drive up and then down a huge mountain and we were in the town. There are lots of signs pointing you in the right direction. About 20 minutes outside of town, we found the springs. There are two different options and both are relatively pricey. The first is a small hike and $17,000COP (or about $9-10USD) and the second, nearer to the kitchsy Swiss Miss themed hotel, $28,000COP. More expensive must be better, right? We picked door number 2. You pay and go through a revolving outside door and run into this.

The Maya 2012 Long Count-down Begins in Belize
With the 2012 Winter Solstice approaching, a pivotal event not just for the Maya but many people around the world, some fearing apocalypse, awaiting a new era or just curious, the Lodge at Chaa Creek has begun counting the days until Belize’s hugeDecember 21 2012 Maya celebrations. Chaa Creek owner and GM Lucy Fleming said she and her husband Mick and the entire 135 member staff, many of whom are direct descendants of the ancient Maya who developed the Long Count calendar at the heart of the worldwide controversy, have ticked off the first of the 100 day countdown. “It’s really getting exciting now,” Ms Fleming said, “The sense of anticipation is palatable as we begin preparations for the 2012 Winter Solstice celebrations in earnest. We’ve thrown some pretty big parties before, like our Chaa Creek New Year’s packages, but this one will be amazing,” she added. For several years world attention has been drawn to the 2012 Winter Solstice after a number of articles, internet posts and films, such as the Hollywood blockbuster 2012 highlighted the fact that the 13th Bak’tun of the Maya Long Count calendar completes its cycle on December 21 2012. The highly accurate ancient calendar, which gives the Maya a creation date of 11 August 3114 BC, has been a source of fascination for many scholars and, unfortunately, Ms Fleming said, for conspiracy and apocalypse buffs.

International Sources

Archaeologists Excavate Ancient Maya Center at Chan Chich, Belize
Tucked away within a dense jungle shroud near the Guatemalan border in Belize are the remains of a largely unexplored ancient Maya center known as Chan Chich. The site is best known to the public and to tourists as the location of a top-ranked eco-lodge by the same name. Less known, however, is evidence of a likely array of ancient temples, tombs and artifacts that still rest mostly unseen beneath thick vegetation and rubble that have cloaked their features through centuries of time. Their only inhabitants now are small bats and spider monkeys. Before the lodge, access to the site was best approached with machetes and canoes. This was only the domain of loggers, pot hunters, and grave robbers. Then, an old logging road, originally created by logging operators through the Belize Estate and Produce Company, was reopened, and Chan Chich was rediscovered. Like so many other Maya sites, it was a target for looters. When rediscovered, three structures thought to be temples showed strong evidence of looting -- vertical slit trenches were dug into their sides. A large temple in the site's Upper Plaza area, perhaps the main temple, showed clear signs of intrusion into one or more burial chambers. This temple features a painted frieze that skirts around a low interior ceiling.

Central America and Caribbean partner on sustainable management of fisheries
The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and the Central America Fisheries and Aquaculture Organization (Spanish acronym OSPESCA) have signed a Belize Declaration on and the Cooperation for Sustainable Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture Resources. According to Milton Haughton, CRFM Executive Director, “The long-term objective of the partnership between the CRFM and OPSESCA is to secure a brighter and more prosperous future for our fishing communities that rely on the marine resources for their livelihoods, and to ensure that the fish stocks are able, through prudent management, to make enhanced contribution to the social and economic development of our countries now and in the future.” The CRFM and OSPESCA are the regional agents for the harmonization of fisheries management and development efforts across 24 states. The agreement was signed recently at the first joint meeting of the two bodies, which saw over 60 high-level delegates from 19 countries spanning Central America and the Caribbean meet in Belize to devise a comprehensive roadmap for collective action in tackling their biggest obstacles in fisheries and aquaculture.

Photo Essay: Caye Caulker, Belize
After my trip to Antarctica in January 2012 I wanted to go someplace where I could relax and work for week or two. I ended up going to Caye Caulker, Belize. With the exception of the exceptionally slow interent (which made uploading my photos extremely frustrating) I found it to be one of the most laid back places I have ever visited. With the exception of a few service trucks, there are no automobiles on the island and there are no large resorts. The entire island is walkable and you will find some of the freshest and cheapest lobster in the caribbean. If you are a looking for a place to go and relax, you can do a whole lot worse than Caye Caulker.

September 17, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! Opposites - Part VI
She woke up to a harsh shaking, his rough and calloused hands pulling at her from the depths of her dreamless sleep. Eva’s eyes opened and she blinked to try and adjust to the nighttime glow around her. Surprised that he wasn’t doing what he normally attempted every evening, she sat up. He told her to get up and make something to eat, for him and for her. School was no longer a choice for her, it was harvesting season, and he needed her hands to work too. Money for his drinking, for things that he did not spend on her, he wanted as much as he could get his hands on.

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

Woofer: Resurrection
Can you do me a favor?” Melody asked me. “What do you need?” “I need somebody to drop Davin off at Sunday School and to pick him up when it’s over.” “Why me? You know I don’t do Sunday School.” “Oh, come on. A seven year-old boy needs all the guidance he can get. You don’t actually have to go to church. All you have to do is drop him off and pick him up.” “O.K.” After Melody got him all cleaned and scrubbed and dressed Davin came upstairs to get me. “I’m ready to go Grandpa,” he said. “Wow! Where did you get that shiner?” “What’s a shiner?”

Doctor Love: Why do women cheat?
Dear Doctor Love, I have been married twice and I have had a lot of girlfriends over the years. One thing that all of them had in common was that at one time or another they cheated on me. Why? I know the reasons they gave me at the time were mostly lies. What is the real reason women cheat?

Editorial: Keeping traditions alive while starting new ones
One for the most valuable gifts we can give our younger generation is the preservation of culture. While children can find history to be a bore, it is possible to ‘sneak in’ parts of our heritage by engaging them in activities such as art, dance, song, folklore and festive celebrations that not only entertain but infuse their imaginations with the essence of ancestry. It is not only the children that benefit; as an adult it is always fun to relive such traditions when we find ourselves reminiscing about cultural practices we once celebrated with family and friends. And as a community, when we come together to witness and partake in these activities it can restore our sense of kinship and solidarity. These traditions are the foundation of our ethnic society, and even though they may still live on in our hearts they sometimes need to be taken out, dusted off and polished into a current, not a past, memory.

Misc Belizean Sources

31st Anniversary Church Service & Recognition Program
Feelgood video of the day. The Consulate of Belize had their 31st Independence Day Anniversary Church Service and Recognition Program for the September Celebrations. "The Belizean youths hold the key along with our flag and heritage. They will lead as we mentor and nourish as they take their seat at the table as they continue to teach other about our country and most of all the people."


Salento, Colombia: Figuring Out Why It is Such a Backpacker Hot Spot
We reluctantly headed away from Hacienda Venecia (oh the coffee!) outside of Manizales, Colombia and made our way south. Ultimately I would be flying from Cali, Colombia to Panama City to Cancun (slowly making my way back to Belize) and we needed to keep moving. There was lots more to see. And really not enough time. This map shows the basic route from Medellin down to Cali (and a little beyond). My friends (my ride and my heroes) Danni and Cesar follow a few different blogs of poeple that have done this PanAmerican trip before...and everyone seems to stop in the town of Salento. Okay, let's do it. Salento it is...home to a town that seems sorta cute and has lots of great hiking (I would never put the words "great" and "hiking" together but I'm game.) The road to Salento is up and down, some SERIOUS twists and turns. Though a very short distance, it took us about 3 hours. La Sarrena, the eco-farm/hostel, is about a mile outside of town.

International Sources

Belize enters the world of terrorism
The Belize Ministry of National Security has launched an investigation to determine how a Lebanese-American imam—said to have key Hezbollah links and who was wanted on a Texas warrant after skipping parole in the US—found his way into Belize and stole the identity of a dead Mennonite by obtaining an official copy of his birth certificate, which he used to obtain a passport and then a driver’s license before absconding to Mexico, where he was picked up over the weekend in a heavily armed operation by Mexican security officials aided by US intelligence operatives. Days before the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, destruction of the World Trade Center Twin Towers, Mexican state police and immigration agents descended with high caliber weapons on a house located in Francisco de Montejo in west Merida and detained Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, 44, an imam from the Shia Association Bay Area (SABA Islamic Center) in San Jose, California. The Islamic spiritual leader has allegedly been linked to a radical cell of Hezbollah agents operating in the US and Central America, who FBI authorities in the US are now investigating for alleged links to the 9/11 incident. Mexico’s National Immigration Institute (Spanish acronym INM) reported in a bulletin on Monday, September 10, that Rafic Labboun—who had allegedly skipped parole and fled to Mexico on a Belizean passport fraudulently obtained under the name Wilhelm Dyck—had been apprehended in Mérida, Yucatán, on Saturday, and returned to the USA for charges. The Mexican institute said that at the time of his arrest, Labboun was accompanied by Samer Youssef Safa, 34, who holds Belizean citizenship. Belize National Security officials say that the third man arrested, Justin George Abdallah Elters, Belizean by naturalization, has been released from custody, but Samer is still in detention and Mexican authorities are interested in questioning his elder brother, Yasser, as well. Both Safa brothers have been in Merida on business.

Realtor's work with Belizean children earns her national nomination
Charlene Brennan is one of 10 finalists for the National Association of Realtors' Good Neighbor Award. The program recognizes Realtors who improve the quality of life in their communities through volunteer work. Brennan has years of experience. For the past 27 years, she has traveled to Belize to help assist in providing orthopedic care for Belizean children under the age of 18. The Belize Children's Program was established by her uncle, Gene Verdu, in 1977. Five winners for the Good Neighbor Award will be selected in October. Brennan recently talked to business writer Will Buss about being a finalist and metro-east Realtor: How did you get involved with helping children in Belize? "My uncle Gene Verdu, started helping them out and went to serve in care-coordinating positions. We travel with the orthopedic surgeons to Belize once a year and conduct clinics for those children." "How many children have been helped? "Over 340 kids have been treated over the last 35 years. It started in '77, and Rotary International took it over in '80." How did this program get started? "Basically, everyone in my family was asked to help. Gene started as a missionary in British Honduras and he started all of us in service to humanity from a very early age. He encouraged and enlisted all of us to deliver for Meals On Wheels and reach out to our parish or church. Basically from his example and his guidance, we all moved forward to make sure we all reached out to other people, in our own family unit or people in the community. He had managed the program himself until 17 years ago. It had grown so much that we were bringing 30 to 35 kids a year, which is a lot of management. At that time, my family and my boys were old enough that I could slip out of their world for about a week to go down to Belize with doctors to do this. It's very similar to what I still do in the real estate industry. There is case management, file management, photography, coordination and problem solving. It's the same skill set you apply to help someone purchase or sell a home. You're just basically managing it, and that is what we do." How? "We go down with doctors and identify 15 to 20 children a year as potential cases that we can give greater quality of life to. Those children are put into the pipeline to start the process in Belize to come with us for medical care. Applications are completed in Belize and sent up to us. We submit them to Shriners Hospital. The Shriners Hospital in St. Louis is the only Shriners hospital in the U.S. that accepts international patients. That is because of the very strong advocacy of Dr. Perry Schoenecker. He has traveled to Belize a couple times with us, so he knows how the system works and how the program runs because we have a very solid system in place.

Richmond group helps Belize infant born with defect
Aura Chacon hasn't been getting much sleep lately, but she's not complaining. She's just happy that her 6-week-old daughter, Hanna Castillo, born with a birth defect that prevented her from eating, now has an appetite and has latched on to breastfeeding so quickly. "Every day, all day, she wants to be fed," said Chacon, who is staying at Hospital Hospitality House in Richmond. "She will sleep 20 minutes, then she wants to eat." Chacon, 27, is from Belize, and she and Hanna came to the United States in August through the efforts of World Pediatric Project, a Richmond-based philanthropic health care organization that does mission and outreach work in the Caribbean and Central America. One of the charity's established programs is in Belize, where U.S. doctors go to do surgery clinics. It's also where the charity partnered with the country's Ministry of Health in a program to see that all rice, a dietary staple, is fortified with folic acid as a way to reduce the number of babies born with spina bifida and other neural tube birth defects. World Pediatric Project's efforts there also have focused on developing a protocol to identify babies such as Hanna who are born with a condition in which the esophagus does not develop completely. The technical name is esophageal atresia. Globally, it occurs in about one of every 2,500 to 4,500 births, researchers say. It is fixable, but it has to be identified early.

8 Green Ways to Experience Belize
As far as Central American countries go, Belize has not always been known as a “must-see” travel destination as compared to its more famous neighbors, Mexico and Guatemala. But over the last 10 years, Belize has built a reputation founded on its determination to protect the rainforests and farms of its land. With the rise in the popularity of ecotourism, Belize has positioned itself as a leader in the field, with the government protecting 40% of the land for conservation purposes. It’s hard to find a hotel, lodge, or service that is not eco-friendly in Belize. Though it may be impossible to know how much the locals focus on “being green” in their daily life, connecting with indigenous Maya people through education programs or learning about sustainability efforts from guides indicates a commitment to protecting their land, even as tourism grows. Here are eight of the ways you can experience green travel in Belize: Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave, Xunantunich, Organic farm at Chaa Creek, Cyrila’s Chocolates, Lamanai Outpost, Maya homestay, Splash Dive Center, Jungle tours

Imagining a Belize hurricane: “Sea Change” is my third short story to see publication
It’s fitting that my five copies of The Caribbean Writer arrived in September. In it (pages 139-141) appears “Sea Change,” a short story based on the horrific hurricane that struck Belize Sept. 10, 1931. A hurricane is bad enough today. Imagine a ferocious storm arriving with little warning, striking a small town where nothing of its kind had hit in living memory. Add the fact that most of the town’s residents were out and about celebrating a national holiday. The hurricane struck Belize City and the north coast of British Honduras with winds up to 125 miles per hour The storm surge swamped the sea-level town An estimated 2,500 people died Did the colonial authorities fail to warn the populace of the impending danger? Did people simply ignore the warnings, unable to conceive of the the potential devastation? READ: A news report about the facts and myths surrounding what happened on Sept. 10, 1931 “Sea Change” is my imagining of that day, based on a story told in my family. As I understand the tale, my grandfather Clive Tucker and his younger brother Arthur Tucker–both children–were part of a celebratory seaside crowd when the first signs of the storm appeared. Granddad did not know exactly what was about to happen, but he had a sense of foreboding and headed home, Uncle Arthur in tow. The story is not online, but you can order copies through journal’s website. The Caribbean Writer is refereed literary journal founded in 1986 and published by the University of the Virgin Islands.

"So I stumbled upon a parade today...."
The Battle of St. George's Caye Day parade, as seen from a tourist's view. There are some decent pictures posted. "There are a lot of different celebrations in Belize every September - the most important two being The Battle of St. George's Caye day on the 10, and Independence Day on the 21st (celebrating 31 years of independence this month)- but I have no idea what today's parade was all about. I heard something about Carnival Day... but I haven't been able to confirm that information... Further up the road, though, where I noticed people standing in groups on the side of the street, I heard marching band drums and saw a police truck idling in the middle of the street with what appeared to be a parade behind it, so I ducked down a side street and watched it go by for a while."

A Wonderful Trip to San Ignacio
Here's a well written travel article about Cayo which makes for a great Sunday read. It has many colorful pictures, many from houses around town, along with some pictures from downtown, and the Mopan river. Bullet Tree Falls, 'deep into the jungle' as the author puts it, is shown in pictures, as well as the Parrot Nest, which is where they stayed. Mr. Greedy's get an honorable mention too. "How an Unexpected Delay Led to a Wonderful Trip to San Ignacio, Belize. Sometimes, when it seems like things are going from bad to worst, all you gotta do is hang in there for a bit until the sun comes out again... Something you immediately notice upon entering Belize are the colors of the residences. If you're from the USA and ever wondered whatever happens to all those always-on-sale-at-50-percent-off cans of loud, garish paint, I have a theory about where they end up."

September 16, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

The September 16th, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • One Shot To The Head Ends The Life Of Harth Gillett Sr
  • Bateman In The Slammer Again
  • Ralph Moody Is The New Sheriff In Town
  • Give Me A Chance To Try It
  • Old Beef Land Rodel Guerra In Jail Again
  • Guatemala Fuego Volcano Eruption Triggers Evacuation
  • Full Basket Belize Now Accepting Applications for 2013 Community Grants
  • Presidential Elections Are Won By Electoral College Votes And Not Polls - President Obama Only Needs 33 Colleges
  • STAR Humor
  • Editorial:
  • 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

San Pedro Cancer Society hosts a successful Health Fair
The San Pedro Cancer Society held a health fair on Saturday, September 8th. The fair served close to 200 people who took advantage of the many services that were offered to the public. In addition many residents stopped by to purchase food from the sale which took place at the San Pedro Lions Club. The SP Cancer Society had been planning the health fair for months and garnered the support of several organizations. In a report to the members, the SP Cancer Society stated, “We had quite a few organizations that were present and the turnout was ok.” The group says that they collected 14 units of blood that was donated and made a total of $781in food sales. Many who visited the health fair donated blood, had their blood pressure checked and were tested for diabetes and HIV/Aids, did a quick breast check up, got a massage, visited with the eye specialist and took advantage of the opportunity to gather information from the Social Security Board and the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC).

Belizean certified as Emergency Diving first Aid instructor
A Belizean living on Ambergris Caye has recently returned to the island newly certified as an Emergency Diving First Aid Instructor. Abner Bacab was certified after he attended a diving emergency symposium offered by Diving Alert Network (DAN) through the Training Beyond Borders program in Cancun, Mexico in July of this year. Bacab becomes the only Belizean living on the island certified as an instructor that can offer Emergency Diving First Aid training in Belize. “It is important that we make Belize an even safer diving destination for everyone including our tourists. Diving is one of the base products we sell to our tourists, which is a good tourism product. The rule is that once you are diving you have a risk of suffering from decompression sickness and we need to make sure we can respond to diving accident when it happens,” said Bacab. For that reason Bacab said it was very important for dive guides to get the adequate training so that they know how to deal with emergencies at sea.

DFC wins Manuel Heredia Cup Under 17 football tournament
The Manuel Heredia Cup 2012 an Under 17 football tournament which commenced early in May came to an end over the past weekend. The tournament originally began with five teams and in the end, saw four teams going up for first, second and third place. Reaching the finals were: Strikers, DFC, Captain’s Casino and Blue Dolphin. At the end of the first round of tournaments, Strikers were in the lead with 13 points, while DFC followed with 10 points. At the lower end of the score board were: Captain’s Casino with six points and Blue Dolphin with five points.

Misc Belizean Sources

Give Me A Chance To Try It
BY: Peter Wolf Licensed Tour Operator in Belize The average Belizean still believes that his country is listed as the number 1 ranking Ecotourism countries in the world. There is a flaw in his mind because he does not decide the ranking but the visitors do. And the average Belizean does not want to see reality but he wants to believe. He wants to believe in the superiority of his country, in God and in everything what makes him happy. So it is not easy to speak about another view of realities. Give me a chance to try it. Ecotourism means something like living in line with nature. People all over the world pay extraordinary fees to experience this kind of holidays. They are riding to Equator, exploring Brazil or Botswana and some of them are coming to Belize. You are reading right. Some of them, Belize is not the middle point of earth.

Maya 2012 Winter Solstice Celebrations Carved in Stone
The Lodge at Chaa Creek is reviving an ancient Maya art and form of communication in order to leave a lasting legacy of Belize’s 2012 Maya Winter Solstice celebrations, and they’re doing it exactly as the ancient Maya themselves would have. What we know about the ancient Maya comes primarily from early stone monuments known as stelae; large tombstone-like slabs of mostly limestone on which important dates and events were recorded using Maya glyphs; the written or carved characters considered to be one of humankind’s earliest forms of writing. Although the Spanish conquistadors of the 16th century destroyed the vast Maya libraries and almost all of their codices – long scrolls on one of the world’s earliest examples of papermaking, the stelae have survived, as has the Maya language, which is still spoken by many Chaa Creek staff members. Chaa Creek owners Mick and Lucy Fleming commissioned local Maya artist Arcenio Itza to carve a stela commemorating the 2012 Maya Winter Solstice – an event identified thousands of years ago by the Maya as having supreme importance to the human race, and more recently misinterpreted on the Internet and in Hollywood films as signifying the end of the world.

'Blease-ing' the trail
SINCE her February debut at the Quad nightclub in St Andrew, Belizean selector Miss Blease has been doing the Jamaican club rounds. She has played at the popular Fiction and Privilege nightclubs as well as lounges like Macau and Usain Bolt's Tracks & Records; none compared, however, to a particular Montego Bay show in July. "One of my biggest Jamaican performances was at the Reggae Sumfest Beach party. I was nervous and excited as I was the only female DJ among five of the reggae/dancehall industry's top DJs," the 25-year-old told the Jamaica Observer.

Expo 2012 15 Years of Excellence - This year's EXPO Season is Officially Open.
2012 marks 15 years of excellence in the organization and production of the EXPO Belize Market Place. Through the years the public has witnessed the growth of the show in terms of scale and participation from the business community. This event is one of the most popular events slated for the month of September, and it is an event that the public visits in droves. As you go through the process of applying online to secure your booth, you will notice that the EXPO Floor Plan has some minor changes from last year in that we now have 24 more booths due to the increased demand consistently expressed each year and changes in parking area for exhibitors, who will no longer drive unto the field and park, but instead be relocated in an area behind their booths that is more convenient. It is very important that you review the Rules and Policies of the EXPO, since there have been some additional rules added to the list as it relates to music, electricity, complementary passes and security procedures. From time to time it is very important that you check this website for updates as it relates to Notices and Reminders so that you are always in "the know" and are able to plan accordingly.

Get To Know Belizean Folklore
Every country has fables, some more than others. And Belize’s diverse and vibrant cultures have contributed to one of the most unique and interesting mix of folklores. As a child I recall spending Sunday evenings at my grandparents’ house hearing countless tales of old Belize. Stories that date back before there was any radio or television, when rivers were the main form of transportation, men rode horses to work, and logwood and chicle extraction was the main livelihood of most Belizeans. My grandmother was the storyteller; she really enjoyed telling her grandkids how different things were when she was growing up. She didn’t only take pleasure in telling us about rural life, early Cayo days, the dense jungle and little Sacbe roads. She loved to tell us about the folklore characters that were part of everyday life growing up in a small British colony. Here are the most popular Mayan, Creole and Mestizo beliefs:

Octavia Waight Centre Celebrates 26 Years
Cayo has a new convention center! The Octavia Waight Centre had the opening ceremony for their 26th anniversary. "The Octavia Waight Centre in San Ignacio town celebrated its twenty sixth anniversary over the weekend. On Sunday, the celebration was marked by the opening of a convention centre, which will serve the dual functions of a hurricane shelter and an avenue for a sustainable source of income for the Octavia Waight Center, which benefits senior citizens from all over the country. One of the key pillars of the establishment of the Octavia Waight Centre is former career public officer Elias Awe, who was presented with a plaque by the Board of Directors for his dedicated service. Courtesy Kent Pandy, here are highlights of Sunday’s celebration."

Books for Belize Donates to the SIPL
Feelgood news of the day. The Books for Belize project donated 300 books to the San Ignacio Public Library. They are currently doing another book drive to get more. Thanks, Books for Belize! "Curious where the books you donated last year to Belize ended up? Then check out these pictures on the San Ignacio Public Library’s Facebook page. They were taken on the happy day St. Philip’s alum, Kimberly Miralda and her brother, 6th grader Joseph Spence delivered the many boxes of books, videos and literacy resources they’d collected during the Books for Belize drive last school year. The local librarian, the town mayor and a room full of enthusiastic young readers were on hand to receive them."

International Sources

Caribbean Islands – Caye Caulker, Belize
One of the first Caribbean islands I stayed on during my travels in Central America was Caye Caulker in Belize, which probably is the most famous (and smallest) of Belize’s islands. While the people on this island is more “Caribbean” than anywhere else I have been, the look of the island is not the typical “Caribbean island” that you would think of. There is actually only one minimal beach on the island, and it’s almost not worth the definition “beach”. The rest of the coast line is mangrove, which is good in its own way as this protects the coast and sea life. " The island of Caye Caulker is only 8 km long but most of its life is focused on an even smaller part than that. One main beach walk is the focus of the tourists and behind it exist two parallel streets with only locals. Again it’s sad to see such an obvious segregation, but at the same time it’s perfect if you want to spend time with locals without any other tourists around. To get to Caye Caulker there are two options, either take a water taxi from Belize City or fly. It’s unbelievable how many of these small Caribbean islands that actually has an airstrip, but the water taxis is convenient and fun, with most of them having a roof that covers you and your luggage against the occasional heavy rains.

The Peak Of Hurricane Season Doesn't Disappoint
The title says it all. We're more than halfway through hurrican season, and now past the average peak. Here's to no more hurricanes! "The season got off to an early start with Tropical Storm Alberto and Tropical Storm Beryl developing before the official start to hurricane season on June 1st. Since then the Atlantic Basin has produced eleven more named storms, five hurricanes and one major hurricane (Michael). Eight of the thirteen named storms so far this year formed in the month of August... Since 1966, the average hurricane season produces eleven named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes."

September 15, 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

Tuna are a NO SHOW for the Second Annual Slam
Word was out that it was Tuna Tournament time, and the smart fish hightailed away from the usual fishing spots. On Sunday, September 9th, Caprice at the Holiday Hotel was the venue for the second annual Tuna Slam Tournament, and anglers took to sea as early as 5am and returned in time for weigh in at 5pm on the beach at the Holiday Hotel. This year’s tournament saw 11 boats and about 40 anglers competing to win up to $4,200 in cash prizes and trophies. The entry fee for each boat in the tournament was $100, with a $50 fee per senior angler and $25 per junior angler. The first place winner would win the proceeds of all entry fees, while second place was to take home $750. Trophies and prizes were slated for top junior angler, top female angler, biggest tuna and the biggest dorado captured would win $500 donated by Dr. Adrian Heusner.

BTB films budget commercial in San Pedro
For many of our visitors, Belize is a dream destination to be enjoyed to its fullest. A lot of travelers are enticed to come to the Jewel via the (BTB) Belize Tourism Board’s promotions. However, the BTB is now working on enticing Belizeans to enjoy vacationing in their own country with a series of commercials aimed at the local Belizean. Presently the team is working on a series of visuals that showcase the various vacation destinations that are available to the budget traveler right here in our own back yard. In San Pedro, the technical team and actors arrived on Tuesday, September 4th via water taxi. They acquired golf carts and drove down our streets to their destination. The commercial aims at showcasing the type of services that can be had in San Pedro at a cost that is affordable to the average Belizean traveler.

Two Belizeans and an American, accused of link to Hezbollah terrorist group arrested in Mexico
The arrest of two Belizean-Lebanese men, their family and an American-Lebanese is making news around the globe after they were accused of being linked to the Hezbollah terrorist network. The arrests were made on Saturday, September 8th, in Merida City in the state of Yucatan, Mexico. The three men arrested were Belizeans Justin Yasser Safa, George Abdalah Elders and Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun a Lebanese/American national. According to multiple Mexican media reports, all three men were arrested in a house belonging to Safa located on street 41-B, between 56 and 5 in the colony of Francisco de Montejo in the western part of Merida, late Saturday, September 8th. The raid involved the use of armored vehicles as well as a Barret M-82, sometimes referred to as a Light Fifty ‘anti materiel’ rifle. When police stormed the building they found Safa along with his Belizean-born wife Janine Gabb and their children. Elders, who is Safa’s brother was also on the property and was initially detained but eventually released because he legally lives in Mexico. Allaboun was also detained and according to reports, while the Belizeans were able to provide valid Belizean documentation, Allaboun presented a fake Belizean passport in the name of a Mennonite Wilhelm Dick.

Ambergris Today

Belize National Dance Company Returns from European Tour
The Belize Dance Company returned to country on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, after a two-month tour of France and Spain. The Company represented Belize at the prestigious international folkloric Festival du Sud 2012 along with 13 other countries. This Festival brought together over 1,200 musicians and dancers from each continent to share their cultural music and dances. The dance company represented the music and dance of the Maya, Creole and Garifuna cultures of Belize in 31 different villages, towns and municipalities.

Misc Belizean Sources

Famous expatriate British Honduras family lives on into the fourth generation
Sue Williams on left, her daughter Lisa on right. Sue's mother, immigrated to Belize back in the late 1960's as I recollect and had a restaurant down by the Swing Bridge in the port of Belize City, where scattered immigrants and pioneers used to gather, particularly on a Saturday for breakfast and lunch, after a grueling trip from the boondocks to the only big city in the country of those colonial British Honduras days. It was here, old rural friends used to meet, after a day of shopping in the only large town then, on a Saturday morning. Sue's mother was a hardy crusty old soul, who arrived in Belize with her son, who had built a tri-maran sailboat, in California. They both sailed down to the Panama canal, went through it, and came up the coast of Central America and ended up in British Honduras flat broke. They started a restaurant called Mom's restaurant. Jim Black, her son, started a marina on the Northern highway, a couple of miles from the then, much smaller port town.

Sounds of Freedom at UB
The University of Belize welcomed Carolyn Cooper to talk about Reggae and Dancehall music. "Students, faculty, staff and members of the public converged at the Jaguar Auditorium at University of Belize in Belmopan to hear first-hand the “Sounds of Freedom: Reggae and Dancehall Music in Decolonization and the Formation of Caribbean Identities,” by Professor Carolyn Cooper of Jamaica. The presentation was part of the 2012 September Celebrations in Belize. Dr. Cooper is a professor of literary and cultural studies at UWI, Mona, Jamaica and is an expert in Reggae/Dancehall studies, as well as in the use of Creole/Jamaican Patois. The presentation of the lecture by Dr. Cooper was a collaborated between the University of Belize and the University of the West Indies, Open Campus, Belize."

Coca Cola at 50 Exhibit at the GPC
The Coca Cola at 50 exhibit, which has been at Belmopan's George Price Centre for the last month, is leaving to go to the next spot. Most of Belize's best artists painted a picture with the theme 'open happiness.' Many of the paintings are amazing, to say the least, and the creativity really makes it hard to pick a favorite. In case you missed it, here are the 50 paintings.

Oceana's September Celebrations Message
Oceana has a great little commercial out for the September Celebrations, and to say 'Happy Independence Day" to everyone. Their 'one goal' is commendable. "Many Faces! Many Dreams! One Goal! Protecting Belize's Sea and Reef from Offshore Oil Drilling. Happy September Celebrations Belize! And a Happy Independence day to all! From Oceana!"

Children parade for September on Caye Caulker!
Ocean Academy, the Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School and Little Stars Pre School paraded to celebrate their love for Belize this morning. Children in the CCRCS had voted during the week for their Class Queen and Kings and each class decorated a golf cart upon which their chosen King and Queen rode upon. Mia Cutkelvin was voted (by the children of the school) to be class Queen and she was crowned Queen in a small ceremony at the Park before the parade. Caye Caulker was alive with the sound of the drummers, the colors of red, white and blue scattered around and the excitement in the air with September celebrations.

Belize recommended to travelers worldwide by
I am proud to announce that Belize has been featured in the August “On location” issue of Recommend magazine. Recommend is one of the most popular magazines in the travel trade industry, existing over 43 years. The featuring of Belize on this magazine is no coincidence, since they only feature some of the best travel destinations around the world. “We’re always ecstatic to see Belize highlighted in respected publications such as Recommend. We want the world to realize all that our country has to offer and consequently, make Belize a part of their future travels. This magazine in particular, keeps travel agents informed about what’s new and exciting and we’re really pleased to be featured” commented the Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie.

Channel 7

City Hall Will Soldier On Without The Legacy Fund
Earlier this week, we reported that the Legacy Fund quite suddenly announced that it had disengaged from the City Council - where it was retained as financial advisor in putting together the municipal bond. That fallout occurred with just weeks to go before the launch of the much-delayed prospectus. So then is the 20 million dollar municipal bond in trouble? The mayor bristled at the suggestion when we spoke to him today:.. Jules Vasquez "What went wrong with the Legacy Fund that caused them to send out this very adverse release?" Mayor Darrell Bradley "I don't think that anything went wrong. From the very beginning we've been using several financial advisors to advise us as it relates to the launch of the bond. We've been assisted tremendously by Legacy. They did a full forensic of our financial operations. They delivered on a lot of the works that they were supposed to give us in terms of putting us on the right footing meeting with potential investors. We also have benefitted from the insight direction of the Central Bank of Belize. We've also been advised by our internal persons. We have our auditors who are also assisting us. So we have a team of financial advisors who have complemented the internal persons from the city council who really are in charge of the release of this bond and our perspective and so it's not a problem for us to say that well at one point certain works to be delivered by a certain service supplier has been completed and we don't want to proceed with you going forward."

A Street With Cars Named PUMA
And as you may have noticed, Mayor Bradley was speaking today at the opening of another street. Under his leadership, the council has paved 23 streets - and today PUMA street was declared open. It is the namesake of PUMA Energy, which has taken charge of what was formerly the ESSO franchise in Belize. The land that PUMA street spans was actually the property of the adjacent PUMA Ramon's Gas Station - which has been newly re-branded. PUMA agreed to assist the Council with the 40% of the cost for the concrete paving so that it could become a proper street. Today the mayor said it is an important one as well:.. Mayor Darrell Bradley "They contributed about 40% of the cost for constructing the street. The street cost us $41,000.00 and it was done by M&M Construction. The street was actually finished about 2-3 `weeks ago but Puma was not ready in terms of their re-branding exercise. So today we officially dedicated the street and it provides a major gateway from Coney drive for persons to access the Northern Highway in the morning so that they could go on to the Northern Highway. From a traffic management perspective it's a street that very necessary - there are couple other of the streets that we have chosen to do because of its importance to allow access to persons in the Coney Drive area to the Northern Highway."

Mayor Says City Mass Paving Will Continue On Southside
And while there is now a free flow of traffic between Coney Drive and the Northern Highway - on the north side of Belize City - there is congestion all over. That's because some very major streets are all under construction - all at once. That's Craig Street, Barrack Road, Freetown Road and contiguous streets. It's a constant traffic headache - and that's because it hasn't come to the southside yet! But the mayor says, bear with it, it's all for the greater, long term good:.. Mayor Darrell Bradley "Right now we are focusing on the north side down town grade and the contractors are almost completed on Barrack Road and then they will move on to Freetown Road. When they finish Freetown Road they are going to move on to Douglas Jones and Mapp Street and they finish that they will do North Front Street and New Road. We are also working on the south side down town area; all the streets off Albert - Bishop Street, South Street, all of those streets." "The information we are getting though from BWS is that those installations are old and all of them need to be repaired. It's a lot of timing and its lot coordination and that's why it's difficult."

PUMA Mum On Patrocaribe
As we've been reporting - the government of Belize has resurrected the Petrocaribe agreement and is importing fuel from Venezuela again. The first shipment landed last Saturday - and, in a new arrangement, it will be stored and distributed by PUMA energy. Now PUMA is a multinational, a subsidiary of Trafigura - and Petrocaribe is a pro-poor initiative. So how will these two entities work together - and will it be a fair and transparent deal for consumers? That's the question we tried to put to PUMA's country manager Freddy Flores today when he appeared to open PUMA street - but we got the corporate cold shoulder. Here's what he said when we asked him how the PETROCARIBE agreement will work:.. Freddy Flores, PUMA's country manager "I would have to differ that comment to the government because they can give you more details." Jules Vasquez "The largest vehicle retailer in Belize is saying that there is contaminated fuel in the diesel. Can you comment on that?" Freddy Flores, PUMA's country manager "If you need any more information the public relations officer can assist you."

Man Complains About SSB
53 year old Rodney Bowen has a lot on his mind. The Ladyville resident and former BATSUB Employee hasn't been working since last August when the British Army wound down its operation in Belize. But his real problem now is that he can't work after he got a stroke last year October. Social security ruled him an invalid - but they only pay him a benefit of 188 dollars a month. And that's not for his invalidity - it's for a disability he suffered in 1994 when he lost half of his vision. And so today he came to our office well before 8:00 am - just so he could get his story unto the media. He says he can't work and he can't live on what they are giving him:... Rodney Bowen "They can't pay two pensions, so how can I live? How can I live with $188 per month that they are giving me for my eye? I am just 53 years old and I have to wait until I am 60 years old to get any kind of compensation from them. What I am saying to them is that they should think about my situation. I am a Belizean man; I have been working all the days of my life - paid my contributions constantly upfront. I am in a situation where I have my family, I have all my bills to pay and they are telling now that because of that I am getting a disability pension - they can't give me a invalidity pension. I am telling them if they can take away the disability pension and just stick to the invalidity pension."

Disgraced Coast Guard Officer Vindicated In Supreme Court
35 year-old Marlon Hernandez, a former Lieutenant of the Coast Guard, got some good news from the Supreme Court today when Justice Michelle Arana ruled that the Security Services Commission unlawfully dismissed him from the Belize Coast Guard. Back in 2008, Hernandez was criminally charged in relation to forgery but in November 2009, he was acquitted of all the charges against him. Very soon after that, the Security Services Commission brought him up on disciplinary charges in relation to the very same incident that the Judiciary acquitted him of, and they ultimately dismissed him from the Coast Guard. He decided to appeal the decision to the Belize Advisory Council, but they dismissed the appeal and upheld his dismissal from the department. Well, with the help of his attorney, Dean Lindo, they took the matter to the Supreme Court and they filed an application for Judicial Review of the decision of the Security Services Commission. That case was heard to completion earlier this year, and today, Justice Arana handed down her decision in which she ruled that Hernandez was unlawfully dismissed from the Coast Guard, and she gave him a back-salary award for just under $60,000. Today, he spoke to us, and he explained that this judgment somewhat relieves the sting of the SSC's railroading of his career as a member of the security forces.

MOH Employee Under Suspicion
A Ministry of Health employee has been charged with obtaining property by deception - allegedly after he tried to sell an engine from a Ministry vehicle that had been crashed. First class court in the registry section Fermin Zelaya had his eye on a Ministry vehicle that had been crashed in 2008. The allegation is that he accepted money from an individual to sell him the engine - for a vehicle that he didn't own. Zelaya was arraigned on the charge and received bail. We understand that he was scheming to get the vehicle but the Ministry of Finance had to write it off first. By the time they did some other government employee had already scooped it up - and Zelaya was left in the lurch. Zelaya - we are told denies receiving any such money. He continues to work at the Ministry where the CEO rather generously told us that he is innocent until proven otherwise.

Jamaica's PUC Advocates For Electricity Monopoly
The public ownership of BEL is constitutionally enshrined - which probably means that the monopoly on electricity supply that it enjoys is also probably also secure in the long term. But in Jamaica - there was a landmark Supreme Court ruling in July which found that monopoly held by Jamaica's monopoly power provider, JPS was not valid. But now the Consumer Advisory Committee on Utilities - which gives input to Jamaica's PUC has come out very strongly in favour of a sustained monopoly and against the supreme Court Judgment. It's an interesting perspective on a problem we all face - high electricity rates. The CACU argues that sometimes competition can be a bad thing.

That Winning Look...
And from the Caribbean we go to Central America. Yesterday, we spoke to the President of the National Secondary School about Belize's historic performance in the 2012 CODICADER games. Today though, we wanted to look the victory in the eye. So, we tracked down 5 of the stars from the volleyball team who brought home the bronze medal. Here's what they told us about their contribution to the team for the overall win in Guatemala: Nayala Tun, SCA Volleyball Team "It was good like the first time we actually won a medal and brought it back to Belize and it was surprising but we worked hard all summer and it paid off." Sherika Brighton, SCA Volleyball Team "You really have to train hard and you have to be consistent and learn to hit any kind of set that your setter sets you." Crystal Bevans, SCA Volleyball Team "My job is important because I touch every ball. When they pass it to me I have to touch it, so every ball that comes our side I am there for it. I believe that's very important."

Why Children Rally
Today the Ministry of Education held its annual Primary School Children's Rally - celebrated under the September Celebrations theme: "Many Faces, Many Dreams, One Goal: Celebrating Belize." The rally's main focus was patriotism which was highlighted in the list of items on the program. Over half the city's primary schools attended the event that was held this year on the Bird's Isle basketball court. We found out more from the Ministry of Education's press officer:... Arlette Gomez "We normally used to call it the Children's Rally but we've added on another element to it where the afternoon - the high school students have a rally also. So we just called it the School Rallies." "This morning we are doing the primary school rally and the theme for this rally is all about patriotism - so all the items that we've commissioned from the schools we've ask them to ensure that it has a patriotic element in there. We just finish listening to little Anthony Gill from Los Angeles. His grandmother is Henrietta Gill of the boxing fame in Belize and 10 years old and he is a motivational speaker - well renowned in the United States. So are the things that we want our young children to start to emulate and to aspire towards."

A Symphony Of Steel Drums
And while that took place today, tonight at the House of Culture - we'll hear shimmering sounds of Steel Drums. The event is the 4th annual Pan Yaad concert where pan groups will converge for something like a symphony of steel drums. It has become a mainstay of the September Celebrations - and we got a preview today:... Greg Vernon, Director ICA "Tonight's concert will be the 4th Pan Yaad that we having for the September celebrations. This is we are very proud of because we have merge all the pan groups together in one yard in making a good representation of pan music." "Tonight we will be seeing 4 groups, we are very proud to say that we have come back with Grace Primary Steel Orchestra, we have Panerifics and we also have Pantempers. This year we have gotten a soloist from Trinidad and Tobago, Dane, who will be with us and he will be doing some of his music Trinidadian style and so this will be a plus for this pan yaad this year. It's a different style of music, it's a music that represents the Caribbean and it's a true Caribbean instruments - it's one of the youngest instruments that was made in the Caribbean and so we are very proud to call it our own and having it here in Belize."

Aurelio ... To Andy
And tomorrow night, there will be sweet music as well - but this one will be coming from the Bliss Center. Master Garifuna song and dance man Aurelio Martinez is in Belize for an Andy Palacio Tribute concert called from La Ceiba to Belize. He will be performing with the with the Garifuna Collective and Paul Nabor - in a show that promises to be hugely entertaining. Arlette Gomez - who is doubling as the promoter - told us more:.. Arlette Gomez "Tomorrow we have a tribute to Andy Palacio. The show is entitled "From La Ceiba to Belize, A tribute to Andy Palacio." The Garifuna Collective will be performing sounds of Andy. Paul Nabor will be performing sounds of Andy and Aurelio Martinez and his Garifuna Soul Band from Honduras will be here performing Andy's songs and paying tribute to one of our own." "Aurelio approach Minister Faber about this initiative and Mr. Faber jump on board and says that the best way for us to remember Andy and to carry on is to put his life work on paper and so we commissioned a book on Andy's life. It has been written by Mr. Lawrence Vernon who is a former chief librarian and will be presented tomorrow night at the concert."

Belizean Patriots Honoured
Order of distinction awards went to four persons - two of them posthumously. They are broadcaster and educator, Cynthia Henry, former NIP politician Sabino Savery, matron and Red Cross Director General Audrey Courtenay, posthumously and cultural artist Benjamin Nicholas, posthumously. The meritorious service awards went to career public officer, Jeffrey Perriot, Conservationist Godsman Ellis, Advocate for older persons, Leotine Gillett Lewis, Sugar Industry Expert, Rudolph Ellis, Beverage and Olympic Executive Hilly Martinez, Educator Hortence Wade, Former Corozal Mayor Israel Jacinto Alpuche, Educator and Tennis Player Hadie Gomez, Beautician Mapye Smith, Surgeon, Mr. John Waight Educator Dr. Gilda Lewis, Musician Bredda David Obi, Four time cross country champion, Kenrick Halliday, Educator Brenda Armstrong, Boxer David Dakers, Rural Community Activist, Geraldine Joseph, Girl Guide Commissioner Marie Kos, First Female Mayor in Corozal Daisy Olga Marin, Educator and church Minister Rita Maehetibel Flowers, and cultural activist David Ruiz.

Kendawg Kills It with New Tune
Over the years, 7News has featured Kenroy "Kendawg" Williams several times in our newscast. He is a Belize City rapper who made his debut back in 2006 composing songs with inspirational lyrics. Well, he's back tonight with his new single, for which he's made a music video. Here's what he told us about the new tune: Kenroy "Kendawg" Williams "I always come to Channel 7 whenever I have a new product. I have a new video out right now, this new video is called "Only one can win" it's a hip hop music video. It featured Ras Pin on it." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about the music video and about the song?" Kenroy "Kendawg" Williams "The song is call "Only one can win" and it was shot in Orange walk

Channel 5

City Bond without Legacy
The municipal bond by the Belize City Council was launch on July twenty-third and it was tabled in the House of Representatives one month later in late August. The twenty million dollar bond, according to CitCo, is being floated by inviting the business community to invest in City Hall for much needed infrastructural improvement in [...]

Wikileaks from U.S. Embassy show Hezbollah in Belize for years
The recent capture of Rafik Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, who acquired a Belize passport and other documents in a matter of three days, is a high profile case of a very old program. Fraudulent passports, and visas given to facilitate human trafficking of Chinese, Sri Lankans, Nigerians, and Somali nationals to the United States has been [...]

Ex-coast guard gets cash award, but wants reputation back
An Ex Coast Guard officer has won a major judgment after appealing his dismissal from the force. Marlon Hernandez was a Lieutenant in the Belize Defence Force before being transferred when the Coast Guard was established in 2005. But in 2008, he was accused of serious offences including forging documents to get a credit card [...]

Former cop, Conrad Jones, missing; have you seen him?
Sixty-four year old Conrad Jones left his house at eight o’clock on Wednesday morning to go to work, but he never made it back home and tonight his family fears the worst. Jones, who was a police officer for over thirty years, retired as assistant inspector and now works as a Customs Guard. His job [...]

Family desperate for Jones’ return
Shilpa says her father was very “old fashioned” and didn’t carry a cell phone. That means he had no way to contact anyone for help when he was left on the road side after eleven o’clock at night. And while the Jones family says the Customs Department is assisting them with the search, Shilpa believes [...]

GST and the Economic Indicators
A country’s tax regime is always a key factor for any business or individual. In this segment the Great Belize Research Center looks at the general sales tax, the GST – which replaced the ‘Sales Tax’ in 2006. GST is a tax on consumer spending which is collected in stages, that is, at the point [...]

Missing twin; Doc says there were some errors
We have been following the story of Michel Gonzalez, who claimed that her twin son went missing after she gave birth at the Northern Regional Hospital. She has had two ultrasounds that confirmed she had a double pregnancy, but the mother alleged that the hospital treated her very coldly and up to now she hasn’t [...]

Children’s Rally a success
It’s September and the festivities are only half-way through for the month. As a part of the celebrations, students are engaged in fun and educational activities, like the annual Primary School Rally. Students from each primary school across the city gathered for an exciting show. News Five’s Andrea Polanco stopped by the Bird’s Isle and [...]

Ready to drive on Puma Street
The official dedication of Puma Street took place this morning. The street is located adjacent to Puma’s Ramon Gas Station at Mile one and a half on the Northern Highway and connects to Coney Drive. The event brought out the City Council in full force along with Puma representatives. Duane Moody was also on hand [...]



Woman Raped In Corozal, Police Look For Her Attacker
Tonight Corozal Police are looking for a man from the Village of Xaibe who is accused of raping a 34 year old woman. Reports are that the 34 year old female reported to police that on September 9th she was sitting in front of her house when she was approached by one Arnoldo Copo who asked her to accompany him inside her residence. The moment she refused Copo grabbed her by the arm, covered her mouth and dragged her inside his residence located in the same yard, took off her clothing and proceeded to rape her. After making her report, the woman was accompanied by police to the Corozal Community Hospital where a doctor certified that she was raped. Police are now looking for Arnoldo Copo for questioning. And while Corozal Police hunt for Arnoldo Copo, in the City of Belmopan police are investigating the rape of a 13 year old student. On September 13th the 13 year old female reported to Belmopan Police that on September 6th, at about 7:00pm, she was getting ready to go to her grandmother’s house when she noticed that a male individual identified as one Alexander Colindres had somehow gained access to the residence. According to the minor, Colindres pushed her against one of the walls of the house and had sexual intercourse with her against her will. Police have since detained 19 year old Alexander Colindres pending investigations.

New Revelations On Investigation Carried Out On Hezbollah Member
Tonight there are some new revelations as it pertains to the criminal investigation carried out on 44 year old Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, a Lebanese American marked as a member of Hezbollah who was detained during a raid in Merida Mexico on Saturday. Upon his detention, Labboun Allaboun identified himself with a Belizean passport under the name of Wilhelm Dyck from the community of Shipyard in the Orange Walk District. He also carried on him a Belizean birth certificate and a driver’s license issued under the same name of Wilhelm Dyck. Here in Belize investigations have revealed that all three documents were issued to Labboun Allaboun in the month of August 2012 in a span of three days, of course, the documents were issued under the name of Wilhelm Dyck who police have discovered died two months after his birth in 1976. Investigations have reveled also, that Rafik Mohammad Labboun Allaboun did set foot in Belize, and passing as Wilhelm Dyck, applied for his passport which was approved by one Gilroy Guzman. Since Allaboun was applying for a new passport, the officer at the immigration in Belize City requested a social security card or a voter’s identification from him which he could not produce

Anthony Garbutt Died Of Trauma Asphyxiation
Around 1:30 on Saturday morning a traffic accident claimed the life of 71 year old Anthony Garbutt from the Village of Ranchito in the Corozal District. Despite the fact that upon collision both airbags from the victim’s grey ford escort car were released, he sustained severe head and body injuries and died while receiving treatment at the Corozal Community Hospital. Garbutt was traveling from the direction of the Corozal Free Zone to Corozal Town when upon arriving between miles 85 and 86 of the Northern Highway; he crashed into a back hoe, driven at the time by 46 year old tractor operator from San Andres Village, Cecil Lewis, who was travelling in the opposite direction. A post mortem examination conducted on the body of Garbutt revealed that he died of Trauma Asphyxiation due to a neck injury and multiple trauma due to road traffic accident. As mentioned on Tuesday, the driver of the back hoe, Cecil Lewis, was charged with driving without due care and attention, driving with alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit, causing death by careless conduct and manslaughter by negligence.

Great Discounts At Sky Wireless
On Saturday and Sunday businesses from across the country will migrate to Belize City to take part in the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry 2012 Expo. It’s where all the hot deals on all items imaginable will be found. But there is one business here in Orange Walk that is not going to make the trip. Sky Wireless, located on Queen Elizabeth Avenue won’t be at the 2012 Expo because, according to Manager Melanie Claude, they will cater for the people who will be unable to travel to Belize. “Since we are not going here we just decided to stay and do a special for everybody and we have special deals on these phones right now.” Hipolito Novelo – Reporter “What would be some of the special deals?” Melanie Claude, Manager Sky Wireless “Like for example this is a smart phone and we have it for $145 and we have this Digicell phone for as low as $45 and we have this one here touch screen and it come with two different bags you can change it is a really nice phone, it is kind of cute and even has a flash light and a nice camera. This none is for $145 as well and even this is a slide phone it can slide this way and it can slide this way right.”

Cuello's Distillery Limited Corporate Social Award
This year a record 80 youths between the ages of 15 and 29 from across the country, were nominated for the Youth Award 2012. The nominees were spaced out in 15 categories and yesterday at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts, the winners of the various categories were recognized for their achievement. Among the first place winners was Cuello’s Distillery Limited who was bestowed first place in the Corporate Social Responsibility Category Award. In this category, Cuello’s Distillery Limited was recognized as a business entity whose extensive involvement in sports and recreational activities have benefited the entire community. This morning we spoke with part Director of Cuello’s Distillery, Froila Cuello, who told us why the company was awarded first place. Froila Cuello, Cuello’s Distillery Limited “We also donated 5000 block for the Technical High School, we help with the Welcoming sign for the Yo Creek R.C. School, we also sponsored the feeding program for St. Peter’s Anglican School, we also donated a young bull for the cross country race and money for the female rider and for the junior rider as he passed for the station first price, we also sponsored the first place prize for the NICH canoe race, we sponsored trophies for sport days, we also sponsored the Uprising Drum Corp, we also sponsored the Association, we donated a stove and a refrigerator for the Meal on Wheels program.”


Radiothon in aid of media personality
On Saturday, a member of the R.S.V Media Family, Love Fm announcer Armin Arana, lost his house as the result of a fire. Tomorrow a radiothon will be held to raise funds in order to assist Arana in this time of need. Organizer of the Radiothon is Julia Carrillo. Once again the lines will be open from 6:30 to 9:00 a.m. The numbers to call are 203-2098, 203-0528 or 203-2281.

Addiction workshop to be held in Belize City
Hope Addiction Prison Ministries is a program spearheaded by Michael Znachko, a missionary from the U.S who has been working with patients of addiction for about ten years. Znachko says there are numerous existing addictions and his program reaches out to most. He has however been concentrating in working with prisoners. This afternoon Znachko spoke with Love News to tell us more about the program. An event on Saturday is geared to enlighten members of the community as to what Znachko’s program is really about because according to him, he only counts with the support of one Church so far, since many tend to withdraw from the word addiction. The seminar will take place from 9:00am to 1:00 pm at St. John’s Cathedral. Lunch will be served to those in attendance.

Plot thickens in alleged Hezbollah terrorist with Belizean passport
The Immigration supervisor who reportedly approved the passport application of alleged Hezbollah terrorist, Rafic Mohammad Labbon Allaboun, without the provision of pictures has reportedly given a statement to the police. Love News has confirmed with the Government’s spokesman, Delroy Cuthkelvin that Gilroy Guzman, who is stationed at the Belize City Immigration Office, told police in the presence of his attorney, that he approved Allaboun’s passport application after Allaboun showed him a Belize Social Security card. But what is not clear is whether Guzman made a copy of that card, as would be expected. [(VO of Alleged Terrorist] Allaboun, as we have reported, is the man who, on August thirtieth, acquired a Belizean passport, after having paid for expedited services the day before. As it turns out, the investigation has so far unearthed that when Allaboun applied to the Vital Statistical Unit of the Registry Department for a copy of a birth certificate for a deceased child, that application as well either disappeared from the records or was never entered, similar to the passport application he made. [VO of Passport] Allaboun, who also acquired a forged driver’s license from the Belmopan City Council’s Licensing Authority, was allegedly trying to steal the identity of the deceased Mennonite child, Wilhelm Dick, who died at the age of two months in 1976. Love News understands that it was Allaboun himself to visited the Immigration office on August twenty ninth to apply for and on the following day received the newly issued passport in the name of Wilhelm Dick. The matter has become a full fledge Crimes Investigations Branch investigation which is looking at possibly other persons in the Immigration, Vital Statistics, Social Security Board and Belmopan City Council’s Licensing Authority, whose license issued to Allaboun bears a number series still not being used in their system.

Controversy brewing at the PG hospital
Plans to relocate the maternity and child health department at the PG Community hospital compound has stirred up controversy in Toledo. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. Shortly after the story was first broadcast on our sister network Love FM, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health Dr. Peter Allen clarified the situation with the reported relocation. Here again is correspondent Paul Mahung.

PACT hands out grants
Protecting the nation’s natural resources is always up for discussion, but this morning, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust, PACT, handed over some big money towards that end. At a brief ceremony at the Coastal Zone office on Prices Margaret Drive, the PACT Foundation gave out grant awards to four non-government organizations, including the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, Friends for Conservation and Development, Steadfast Tourism and Conservation Association and Rancho Dolores Environmental and Development Group. This is the sixth year that the PACT Foundation is giving out monetary grants to NGO’s to help with their work. Chairman of the PACT Foundation, Edilberto Romero, told Love News that the grants do not exceed forty thousand dollars and altogether, two hundred thousand dollars was distributed among the four groups. He explains how the intricacies of the grants are worked out. SATIIM’s Park Manager for the Sarstoon/Temash National Park, Cordelia Requena, says that they will invest their thirty four thousand dollars in three major areas. The Friends for Conservation and Development received forty thousand dollars and that NGO’s Executive Director, Rafael Manzanero, told Love News that they will focus on studying the behavioural patterns of poachers and hunters in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve.

Belizean Patriots to be honored
The annual Tribute to Belizean Patriots is set to take place tonight at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts in Belize City. It is part of the activities for the September Celebrations, as explained by the Acting Director of the Government Press Office Dorian Pakeman. Pakeman says that the Tribute to Belizean Patriots is an event for the entire family. This year’s tribute ceremony includes two posthumous awards to Audrey Courtenay and Benjamin Nicholas.

Burrel Boom man jailed for indecent assault
Fifty year old Dennis Frazer, a laborer of Burrell Boom charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature on an 11 year old girl, was given the maximum sentence of three years today after he was found guilty of the charge. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who imposed the sentence, told Frazer that she would have given him more jail time if it was in her power to do so. The incident occurred between 11:15 a.m. and 11:20 a.m. on April 26, 2012.The child, who testified in camera, said that her older sister had gone to get some water and had left her and her seven year old sister alone in the house. She said that she had just finished sweeping the living room when Frazer entered. She said Frazer sent her seven year old sister to the shop to buy a bottle of Coca Cola and when her sister left Frazer, pushed her on the sofa and covered her mouth with his hand. She said she bit Frazer on his hand and Frazer slapped her, the he pulled down her pants and underwear and touched her while he had himself exposed. She said her older sister entered the room and Frazer then hurriedly left the house. The older sister also testified. Frazer testified and said that the child was to blame for what happened. He said that the child called him into the house to fix a chair and after he finished fixing the chair, the child took off her underwear and told him to look. But Chief Magistrate Smith did not believe his testimony and she found him guilty. Frazer was not represented by any attorney. Inspector Carol Tucker represented the prosecution.

Minor caught shooting gun in public
A minor has been detained by police for discharging a firearm in public. According to reports, a police officer was in the area of Hondo and Nargusta Streets when he heard gunshots and he saw a seventeen year old laborer with what appeared to be a black pistol in his hand. The minor was firing gunshots towards a male person who was caught inside an open yard on Mopan Street. A search of the area revealed a nine millimeter Daewoo pistol bearing serial number BA501312 with magazine loaded with ten nine millimeter Lugar live rounds. The minor is detained pending investigations.

Lawyers car jacked
He is a prominent member of the legal fraternity, but that designation mattered little to an alleged car jacker on Wednesday morning. Attorney at Law Derek Courtenay parked his silver color 2008 Mitsubishi Montero SUV valued at seventy thousand dollars at the corner of “A” and 18th Street in Belize City around 6:15 yesterday morning. Courtenay says that he left the key in the ignition and the engine running while he went to close his gate. When returning from closing the gate, he saw a dark complexioned male person enter his vehicle and drive away with it in the direction of Princess Margaret Drive making good his escape. Police investigations continue.

Falklands Cricket team heading to Belize
The Belize National under Nineteen and Senior national Cricket teams are scheduled to play a series of international games later this year against a visiting team from the Falkland Islands. According to an online report published by the South Atlantic News Agency on Wednesday, the games are part of a Caribbean Tour by the Falkland Islands Cricket Team scheduled for November and December. The news agency report says that the fifteen strong team plans to travel first to Belize, then to Barbados and Jamaica. It is the third international tour for the Falklands Team and the news agency report says that the team players are looking forward to taking the pitch against the Belize teams. On the Belize leg of the Caribbean Tour, the Falklands team will be captained by Andrew Brownlee. Cricket has a long history in the Falklands despite the fact that the Falklands Islands Cricket Association was only founded in 2004. According to the Merco Press report, the planned Caribbean Tour will not only benefit the players involved and provide excellent Public Relations for the Falklands but will also be a way of fundraising for a charity in each country visited. The team is aiming to raise one thousand pounds sterling or about three thousand dollars for Liberty Children’s Charity in Belize, Sport For Life in Barbados and the Courtney Walsh Foundation in Jamaica. To raise this money the team plan on receiving sponsorship and undertaking a physical challenge by running, swimming, cycling and rowing the equivalent distance of the Falklands to the Caribbean.


New definition of "Spouse" is now Law; Financial Institutions Act gazetted!
The new Domestic Banks and Financial Institutions Act 2012 is now law; it was published in the government gazette l...

PlusTV reports over 1000 downloads of Controversial HFLE Manual
The discussion on the controversial HFLE Manual has been ongoing all this week on Rise and Shine and has also been ...

Video clips of Belmopan's Children's rally September 2012
Today was Children’s Rally Day. Students from the various primary schools within the Belmopan area all converged on...

Conrad Jones missing after being left at Hattiville bus stop
The Belize Police Department is seeking the assistance of the general public in trying to locate 64 year old CONRAD...

Crashed Ministry of Health vehicle lands employee in court
A Ministry of Health vehicle is at the center of a plan to make money by one entrepreneuring employee. Ministry of ...

Toledo 14 year old minor is 2 months pregnant
A Toledo mother and her 14-year old daughter, on Wednesday, reported to the police that on July 20 of this year, 19...

Groom threatened with gun at his wedding reception
Dangriga Police have formally arrested and charged Police Constable #422 Jervis Williams. PC Williams who is presen...

Visitor's gun stolen while in Belmopan
Ronald Romero reported that on Sept 11 at 8:00am he discovered that his 9mm pistol Smith and Wesson was missing fro...


Kaylee Burgess, 2, of Quilters Estate in Ladyville, who police say was suffocated to death, was laid to rest on Sunday, September 9, at the Ladyville Village Cemetery after funeral services at the Ladyville Evangelical Church. The baby was found dead in a chlorine bucket with some water in it at the home of her mother, Deidra Pratt, in the Japan area of Ladyville on Thursday, September 6, around 12:30 a.m., about six hours after she was reported missing, around 6:00 p.m., the previous evening, Wednesday.

A 50-year-old married man, Dennis Fraser, charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature on a child, now 11 years old, was given the maximum sentence of 3 years today in the #1 Magistrate’s Court after he was found guilty of the charge. Fraser is a laborer of Burrell Boom. The Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith, who imposed the sentence, said she would have given him more jail time if she had the power to do so. The incident occurred between 11:15 a.m. and 11:20 a.m. on April 26, 2012, at the child’s home.

A businessman, who is an ex-policeman of San Ignacio, is dead, and the coroner has ruled suicide. Harth Evan Gillett, 45, was shot once in the head at his home on Orange Street in San Ignacio around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11. He was rushed to the San Ignacio Hospital, where he was initially treated, and then rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was declared brain dead on arrival. Around 3:05 p.m. on Wednesday, September 12, he died while undergoing treatment. Doctor Mario Estradabran, who conducted the autopsy today, Thursday, concluded that the cause of death was “traumatic shock due to severe brain damage due to head trauma due to gunshot wound.” Police said that around 9:55 p.m. Tuesday, they went to the San Ignacio home of Harth Evan Gillett where they saw him lying face up on the floor of his house near the front door in a pool of blood, gasping for air. A 9mm pistol and an expended shell were seen on the floor beside him.

The Belize Ministry of National Security has launched an investigation to determine how a Lebanese-American imam—said to have key Hezbollah links and who was wanted on a Texas warrant after skipping parole in the US—found his way into Belize and stole the identity of a dead Mennonite by obtaining an official copy of his birth certificate, which he used to obtain a passport and then a driver’s license before absconding to Mexico, where he was picked up over the weekend in a heavily armed operation by Mexican security officials aided by US intelligence operatives. Days before the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, destruction of the World Trade Center Twin Towers, Mexican state police and immigration agents descended with high caliber weapons on a house located in Francisco de Montejo in west Merida and detained Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, 44, an imam from the Shia Association Bay Area (SABA Islamic Center) in San Jose, California. The Islamic spiritual leader has allegedly been linked to a radical cell of Hezbollah agents operating in the US and Central America, who FBI authorities in the US are now investigating for alleged links to the 9/11 incident.

Big-Up our CODICADER Gold medalists!
A delegation of high school players and coaching staff from our CODICADER Gold medal basketball and softball teams made an appearance on the Krem WUB this morning. Ladyville Technical High [...]

Here they come! BCC September Criterium Classic
Cycling fans lined the route on Albert and Regent Streets on Sunday, September 9, to witness another exciting Belize City Council (BCC) September Celebrations Criterium Classic, which featured races in [...]

The legend visits, Pine Hernandez in town for the celebrations
Legendary Belizean football star of the late 50’s and early 1960’s, Gilbert “Pine” Hernandez arrived in the Jewel on Saturday in time to see the Carnival parade. He is on a two-week visit to the old home town. Pine was captain of the legendary Dunlop team, who moved up from Junior champions to take the Senior title around 1958-59 (?), shortly after which the team folded. He then led BEC to a number of championships before migrating to Chicago, U.S.A. The X wrote about this era in his “Sports, Sin and Subversion,” which features a picture of Dunlop on the front cover. On this trip home, Pine brought us a picture of a Belize football team that just two weeks ago won its second consecutive championship of the Northern League in Waukegan, Illinois. Included in this “Team Belize” is Deon McCaulay, who is also expected back home soon to play in the Premier League tournament. Deon won the Most Goals award in the competition. Orange Walk star Marselino Tun was the Best Player, and a youngster named Matt Matus from Libertad received the Most Improved Player award. The team is coached by “Tun” Ortega, son of another Belizean legend, “Maya” Ortega, who, according to Vincent “Winty J” Johnson, presently resides in Santa Elena, Cayo. Welcome home, and enjoy your stay, Pine. (Ed. Note: The FFB heads, who are presently undertaking an administration course in Belmopan, should invite “General Pino” as perhaps a guest of honor at their closing ceremony, and try to avail themselves of the wisdom of this living legend of Belizean football.)

IT NEVER ENDS… Editorial
Colonialism in certain parts of the world was unconscionable in its brutality. In King Leopold’s Congo, for instance, up to half of the 20 million inhabitants perished. Millions were forced to harvest wild rubber, and if they missed their quota, their right hands were chopped off. The trade was notoriously one-way — shiploads of rubber and ivory were taken from the Congo while the Congolese got slaughtered in return. In Kenya, the British colonialists were savage. They not only killed more than half of the 20,000 Mau Mau guerilla insurgents who dared to fight for land reforms and political freedom in the east African country, they reportedly held nearly the entire Kikuyu population of 1.5 million in detention camps, “physically and psychologically torturing them” for supposedly taking the Mau Mau oath. In the case of Belize, the British did not have to mete out anywhere near such horrific brutality to keep control and produce whatever corporate returns they desired. They controlled us via the classic divide and conquer model. Those who the British considered safe were elevated. Those who they did not trust or who did not show enough emulation of British social and political values were relegated to a lower social status in the colony.

FROM THE PUBLISHER Publisher — 14 September 2012 — by Evan X
Late last year or early this year, Peter “Chukku” Young was visiting from Jamaica, and came over by my home one evening along with his good friend, Owen “Sonny” Meighan. We ended up next door at my dad’s, and during the course of the latter conversation on my dad’s verandah, a fairly heated argument began between myself and Chukku about the year when the MCC Grounds was declared open in Belize. He was saying 1957, but I thought it had to be later than that, because in 1957 the PUP and the British were locked in bitter dispute. And MCC was a British gift … Chukku and I reached the point of challenging each other to bet, but then he took out a big roll of money, an intimidating roll of money, and that ended the whole thing, because I had to back down, discretion being the better part of valor, you know, and all that. In 1957, the British sent Mr. Price home from London “in disgrace” because they accused him of holding secret talks with the Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Jorge Granados. The following year, 1958, the British tried Mr. Price in the British Honduras Supreme Court for sedition, for which he was acquitted by a jury of his peers. By 1959, however, Mr. Price began to speak of independence within the British Commonwealth, whereas before that he had never committed himself to the Commonwealth. The MCC Grounds was opened in May of 1960, and it is clear, in political retrospect, that it was a kind of peace offering from the Mother Country, through their leading cricket club.

Medical mystery – Corozal mother, expecting twins, gets only one son
“Did the ultrasound tell a lie?” mother asks Expert says error with three different labs’ diagnosis “highly unlikely” BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Sept. 13, 2012 The Ministry of Health continues its investigation into a strange case emerging [...]

J’ouvert participant drowns after jumping off Belcan Bridge
BELIZE CITY, Mon. Sept. 10, 2012 Just after the carnival j’ouvert (pronounced “joovay” in Belize) early Saturday morning, September 8, a young participant lost his life in the Haulover Creek by the Belcan Bridge. Jermaine Madrill, [...]

The Reporter

Carnival day 2012
Carnival Day 2012 brought out a record number of participants and spectators. The day’s festivities began as early as 5:00 a.m. with the fifth installment of Jouvert. A estimated 3000 participants convened at the BelCan Bridge for this year’s Jouvert. The enormous crowd covered themselves in mud and chocolate and danced through the streets in the pre-carnival warm up.

Wole Parks, American actor with Belizean heritage stars in action thriller
There is no Belizean in the United States’ movie industry to have made appearances in mainstream television series or major Hollywood movies. Young American actor, Wole Parks, though born in New York City, has direct Belizean heritage through his mother, Belizean retired educator, Lillett Parks-Soberanis, who now resides in Belize. Parks-Soberanis spends some of her time doing community work for the Anglican Diocese. Parks recently landed a major role in an action thriller, “Premium Rush,” which is based upon the bicycle messenger business in New York City. The “Speed Merchants,” as a New York Times article once described bicycle messengers, are the life line for many of the city’s business places. Bicycle messengers are a rugged bunch, whose ability to peddle from one end of the city to the other in a few short minutes, delivering everything imaginable that can be slipped into their specialized bags. In any kind of weather, they are seen slipping in and out of traffic, crisscrossing and speeding across red lights. Pedestrians love to hate them. Drivers curse them out on a daily basis, but the simple truth is that New York City cannot do without them.

Ex-policeman dies of gunshot to the head
Former policeman, Harth Gillett, 44, died of a single gunshot wound to the head, at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Wednesday afternoon, September 12. Gillett was rushed to the K.H.M.H. Tuesday night after he was shot at his home in San Ignacio Town, Cayo, earlier that day. The incident has not yet been reported by the police and has apparently been labeled a suicide, based on the appearance of the scene. However, the police handling of the case has irked much of the San Ignacio community. Many of Gillett’s neighbours and friends said he appeared to be full of life and was a jovial, fun-loving person.

Attorney concerned about clients well being in jail
Calaney Flowers, accused of killing her boyfriend Lyndon Morrison, is in need of special medical care that the Belize Central Prison cannot provide, her attorney Arthur Saldivar told The Reporter on Tuesday. He said Flowers suffers from lupus, which is an auto-immune disease where the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue. This results in symptoms such as inflammation, swelling, and damage to joints, skin, kidneys, blood, the heart, and lungs. The degenerative nature of the disease causes the afflicted person to need regular blood transfusions and it is advised to refrain from high levels of stress. With Flowers being on remand for murder and her seven-month-old child on the outside, Saldivar says her stress levels are exceedingly high.

Marijuana smoking tied to testicular cancer
Young men who had smoked marijuana recreationally were twice as likely to be diagnosed with testicular cancer than men who have never used marijuana, according to a U.S. study. Researchers whose findings appeared in the journal Cancer said the link appeared to be specific to a type of tumor known as nonseminoma. “This is the third study consistently demonstrating a greater than doubling of risk of this particularly undesirable subtype of testicular cancer among young men with marijuana use,” said Victoria Cortessis of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, who led the study. “I myself feel like we need to take this seriously now,” she added, noting that the rates of testicular cancer have been rising inexplicably over the past century.

Parents can let sleepless babies cry
A new study released today in the journal Pediatrics suggests it is OK to let babies cry while trying to fall asleep — a finding that may help settle a long-running debate among both parents and experts over whether allowing a baby to cry itself to sleep harms the child in the long run. Australian researchers looked at 225 babies from seven months to 6 years of age to compare the difference between parents who were trained in sleep intervention techniques and those who were not. Specifically, researchers allowed parents in the sleep intervention group to choose one of two sleep training techniques to use with their baby. Parents who chose “controlled crying” responded to their infant’s cry at increasing time intervals. Parents who chose “camping out,” also called “adult fading,” sat with their infant until they fell asleep, removing themselves earlier each night over three weeks.

SCA girls win 1 in CODICADER basketball
The girls of St Catherine’s Academy enjoyed their first victory in basketball at the XVII Central American Junior Scholastic (CODICADER) Games hosted by Guatemala in Quetzaltenango, Mazatenango and Retalhuleu on Wednesday, September 5. It was historical in that it was the first time a Belize team had won in female basketball since Belize began participating in CODICADER in 2007, coincidentally also hosted then by Guatemala. The SCA girls triumphed over the girls of Honduras’ Luis Landa de Nacaome Institute 64-51 at the Quetzaltenango Sports Complex. Dejeanne Norales hit two long 3-pointers as she scored 17 pts for SCA to lead 18-16 in the first quarter. Kursha Pollard also hit a 3-pointer as she added 15 pts, but the Honduras girls responded to tie the game 26-26 at intermission.

SCA girls win bronze in CODICADER volleyball
The girls of St Catherine’s Academy won the bronze medal in Volleyball at the XVII Central American Junior Scholastic (CODICADER) Games hosted by Guatemala in Quetzaltenango, Mazatenango and Retalhuleu on Friday, September 7. Sherika Burton also won an individual gold medal as Best Hitter. It was the first time that Belize had medalled in Volleyball since Belize began participating in CODICADER in 2007. The SCA volleyball girls won the consolation match for third place in five sets over Nicaragua 3-2 at the Mazatenango Sports Complex.


CSI Belize
Did you know we have our own CSI Belize? Crocodile Scientific Investigators. We have our fare share of crocodiles in Belize and the CSI Belize adventure crew are the perfect people to take you up close and personal. You learn a lot about croc life on Ambergris Caye and mainland Belize. In fact while taking the tour, I learned so much information about crocodiles that there will be a part 2 coming on this post. The ACES/CSI Belize adventure is very educational experience and highly necessary. With an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 wild American crocodiles [Crocodylus acutus] left World-wide. Aces, short for American Crocodile Education Sanctuary not only protects these magnificent reptiles in Belize, but conducts scientific research and educates local communities to help save human lives. The Belize forestry department has put in place strict rules and regulations regarding Crocodiles. It is unlawful to feed, touch, harass, molest, or kill crocodiles. It is illegal to have crocs or any parts of them including teeth, meat, hide, skulls, or bones in your possession without the proper permits, all of which is punishable by fines up to $500BZ for the first offense and a fines of up to $1000BZ or imprisonment for the second offense. Keep that in mind when someone is trying to sell you that cool looking crocodile tooth necklace.

International Sources

VIDEO: Osprey -- the ultimate fisher
Wonderful footage of an osprey catching fish. Hovering at moderate height, the osprey dramatically plunges down feet first to snatch fish from the water's surface. A shake of the head as it emerges from the water; the osprey carries its skilfully captured prey with its long talons.

Belize says talks with creditors are 'constructive'
Talks between Belize and its international creditors aimed at preventing a default on the country's $1.1 billion debt are "ongoing and constructive," a senior government official told AFP Friday. Mark Espat, who heads Belize's bond negotiating team, told AFP in an email that Belize "remains committed to a good faith approach. Negotiators are "confident that based on reasonable assumptions, Belize's capacity to pay justifies immediate and material debt relief from external commercial creditors," he said. Espat said he held meetings this week at the Washington-based Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and that he has remained in contact with officials from other multilateral organizations including the International Monetary Fund (IMF). "To date, a variety of options for possible multilateral support has been discussed, though none has been finalized," Espat said. "These discussions with the multilateral institutions have been consistent, completely open and will continue." The small central American country of 330,000, with an economy heavily dependent on tourism, failed to make a $23 million debt payment on August 20. Belize was not considered to be in full default however because it was already in talks with creditors to reschedule the debt.

September 14, 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

Naiely Puc coronated Miss San Pedro 2012-2013
September 10th is a day of much significance to Belizeans locally and around the world. It commemorates a pinnacle moment in our history when settlers were faced with a decision that shaped our future as a country as well as a people. This year marked the 214th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye and across the country activities were held in celebration. In San Pedro, the day celebrations commenced with the coronation of the new Miss San Pedro 2012-2013, Miss Naiely Puc. Thousands of students and guardians, along with teachers and principals of the various schools on the island converged at the Central Park as early as 8AM for a program scheduled to commence at 9AM. Around 11AM, the contestants were introduced to the stage for the official ceremonies. Following the national anthem, the national prayer and a speech by Mayor Danny Guerrero it was time for the Coronation. On stage were outgoing Miss San Pedro, Miss Yakarelis Hernandez, all contestants for the 2012 Miss San Pedro competition; Naiely Puc, Darcie Zepeda, Ashley Rhaburn and Adriana H

Ambergris Today

Video Pick: Belikin Beer Belizean Lifestyle Commercial
This is one GREAT commercial for Belize. Wow! Belikin Beer outdid itself with this fantastic product commercial that totally embodies all that is Belize! It shows Belize’s culture, sports, work ethic, dance, spirit, natural beauty, civic pride and most importantly its beautiful people. It depicts the Belizean lifestyle with Belikin – the Beer of Belize. We LOVE this commercial spot and believe you will to. You Better Belize It!

Misc Belizean Sources

Oil follies
The topic of oil is once again prominent in our everyday discourse as hopes grow high for new oil strikes by new oil companies. There were two big stories in the news this past week about this precious and coveted Black Gold. First, there is the story of a huge oil rig that has landed; so big it will take sixty containers to haul it to its destination. That destination is northern Belize, more specifically, the Blue Creek area. Apparently, though hitherto unbeknownst to Belizeans, seismic testing has already been done and drilling of up to eight thousand feet down is about to commence. Blue Creek is a rich agricultural area inhabited mostly by Mennonite families. Should oil be discovered in Blue Creek, it would be very interesting that both oil strikes in Belize would have been on land occupied by Mennonites. Comprising a mere 3 % of the population and arriving in Belize as recent as 1958, the Mennonites seems to have been lucky enough to pick the exact areas where the oil lies to settle. Coincidence….? The major concern for Belize should be the damage to arable land and adverse effect on the environment and health of our people that will result from testing, drilling and especially from the extracting of oil. One need only check with the people of Ecuador and Nigeria about what has happened to their respective lands. In Ecuador, thirty thousand residents had to file a lawsuit against Texaco/Chevron which they fought for twenty years before the case was finally settled. The charge was that the oil company deliberately dumped over 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater and spilled some 17 million gallons of crude oil into the rivers and onto the floor of their precious rainforest.

Caribbean Athletes' prowess
Medal count for the Caribbean... LONDON — The International Olympic Committee’s anti-doping chief acknowledged that they are investigating suspicious items found in the rooms of many Caribbean athletes. The IOC had been tipped off that these items may be responsible for the disproportionately superior results of the athletes from this region. Photo evidence of the items have been passed to the chairmen of those Olympic Committees for their review, and to evaluate any further steps to be taken" the spokesman also stated.

VIDEO: Bladen Nature Reserve and the Ya'axche Conservation Trust

George Price Man of Purpose and Vision Exhibit
The SISE HoC is currently showing the George Price Man of Purpose and Vision Exhibit. They had the opening ceremony last Friday. It will run through October 12th. "This exhibition takes you on a short journey through Belize’s history in search of George Price, the man behind the politician who 'by the Might of Truth and the Grace of God' led the young nation of Belize from a British colony to a strong, dynamic and independent country."

Uno Gas Station Opens
Uno is Cayo's new gas station. It's looking good. Nice paint job. "There's a new gas station in town."

Belizean Scents Hand Sanitizers
First it was Old Spice's new scent for Belize, and now Belize has a set of 3 hand sanitizers. Caribbean Sea, Mayan Mango, and Belizean Bliss are the 3 scents. You can find them on the Nexus Boutique FB page.

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (12 September 2012)
Belize Mega BingoStraight Line 100.00 Each (13 Balls) 58 ­32 ­42 ­2 ­69 ­46 ­10 ­12 ­53 ­56 ­11 ­64 ­55­ Y 125.00 Each (18 Balls) 58 ­32 ­42 ­2 ­69 ­46 ­10 ­12 ­53 ­56 ­11 ­64 ­55 ­49 ­73 ­39 ­41 ­20­ T 150.00 Each (20 Balls) 58 ­32 ­42 ­2 ­69 ­46 ­10 ­12 ­53 ­56 ­11 ­64 ­55 ­49 ­73 ­39 ­41 ­20 ­15 ­57­ Letter X 750.00 Each (29 Balls) 58 ­32 ­42 ­2 ­69 ­46 ­10 ­12 ­53 ­56 ­11 ­64 ­55 ­49 ­73 ­39 ­41 ­20 ­15 ­57 ­52 ­65 ­47 ­31 ­43 ­51 ­48 ­71 ­21­

Channel 7

DPP Reviews The Wilhelm Dyck Situation: Was There Criminal Wrongdoing
Wilhelm Dyck - AKA Rafic Labboun - last night we told you how he tricked the system and got a Belize identity in 48 hours. Tonight there is some new information. First, he did get his driver's license from the Belmopan City Council on the strength of his brand new Belizean passport. That driver's license - as you can see here - puts his address as 20 Half Moon street and is valid until 2014. But something is still amiss because the number on the front of the license - as we understand it - had been assigned to another Belmopan resident - it is 2592 -while the number on the back is in the twelve thousand series when the council is still only issuing in the eleven thousand series. When we called the council today to inquire about the procedure to get a new license - they said those procedures were being revised. Next, police have interviewed the Immigration Supervisor at the Belize City Office who approved the passport application. He is Gilroy - not Horace - Guzman - and he spoke to police this morning at the Immigration office in the presence of his attorney Phillip Palacio. According to reports, Gilroy Guzman told police that he approved the application because he was presented with a Social Security card for Wilhelm Dyck. However, our checks showed that there is no Social Security Card legitimately issued in the name of Wilhelm Dyck. Irregular, and the CIB office has compiled a file and forwarded it to the DPP for her perusal.

Petrocaribe Fuel Will Make Regular Better, Diesel More Expensive
The first shipment of Venezuelan fuel under the resurrected Petrocaribe agreement arrived on Saturday September eighth - and by next week some of it will be finding its way into your gas tank. But, don't expect lower prices! In fact, prices on diesel and Regular fuel are expected to go up! Diesel's pump price will go up sharply - possibly by as a much as a dollar per gallon because world prices are trending up - and the current local price of 10 dollars and 17 cents per gallon has been kept artificially low due to the fact that PUMA had to compete with cheaper diesel imported by BNE. Regular is also going up - reportedly by a little over ten cents a gallon. But that's because it's a higher grade of regular fuel - which is comparable with the Magna grade fuel sold in Mexico. That means it has a higher octane rating of 87 Octane, compared to the 83 Octane fuel that currently sells as regular. The price on premium fuel may go down slightly - but we're not sure how much.

Forensic Dr Rules: Harth Gillett Killed Himself
Last night, 7News told you about 44 year-old Harth Gillett Sr. who was found with gunshot to his head inside his San Ignacio home on Tuesday Night. His girlfriend reported to police that he shot himself after their argument escalated to the point that she threatened to leave. She said that he then put the gun to the right side of his head and pulled the trigger. He died yesterday evening at around 3:05 p.m., and since then, the Gillett family has staunchly refused to accept his girlfriend's account. Their opinion was only strengthened allegedly by the attending physician who told them that based on his expertise, he thought that the entry wound was on the left side of his head. If that was true, then the suicide story would go right out the door because it would be a contradiction of the girlfriend's statement to police. Well, the post-mortem was conducted today, and Dr. Mario Estradabran, in his opinion believes that the injury was self-inflicted, meaning it was a suicide.

Senior Counsel Car Jacked In Front Of Home
He is one of the most eminent attorneys in Belize, but yesterday morning Senior Counsel Derek Courtenay was targeted for a carjacking. At 6:15 yesterday morning, Courtenay backed his 2008 Montero out of his yard at one of the upscale neighborhoods of the northside at the corner of 18th and A streets. He left the engine running and got out of the SUV to close the gate. That's when a dark skinned male - who was lurking nearby slid into the driver's seat and sped off in the vehicle towards Princess Margaret Drive. The vehicle has not been recovered. The crime is noteworthy because of Courtenay's profile and the well to do neighborhood he lives in; but also because the day before - at 6:30 am in Belmopan, the former Cabinet Secretary Jim Murphy was carjacked. In that case, his SUV was recovered.

50 Year Old Jailed For Molesting 10 Year Old
50 year-old Dennis Frazer, a laborer of Burrell Boom Village, is spending his first night of a 3 year sentence after he was convicted in Magistrate's Court of Aggravated Assault of an Indecent Nature this morning. The victim, a 10 year-old female testified in closed court that sometime before 11:20 a.m. on April 26, 2012, Frazer entered her home while she was in the living room. She said that she was there along with her 7 year-old sister, who Frazer immediately sent on an errand. He then approached the victim; pushed on the sofa, cover her mouth with his hand, pulled down her clothing, and fondled her. While he was exposed, and in a kneeling position in front of the child, the child's older sister walked and caught him in the act. When the sister walked in on him, he immediately pulled up his pants and left the room. The older sister also testified for the prosecution that she left the house and went to get water, and when she returned she caught Frazer assaulting her sister. When the prosecution closed their case, Frazer testified in his defence he is a married man, and that it was the child's fault. He said that the child called him inside the house to fix a chair that was broken, and when he finished, the child pulled down her pants and underwear, and exposed herself to him in a tantalizing manner.

Still No Charges For Kaylee's Killer
The case of who killed Baby Kaylee has still not come to closure tonight. The file is now before the DPP - who has not yet completed her review. With that, it is not likely that charges will be brought imminently. The investigation is complex as the post mortem revealed that the child did not drown, instead someone had suffocated her. Multiple family members on the mother's side of the family have been detained - but they have been released. Information to 7news is that finger marks were found around the 2 year old's neck, along with a busted bottom lip and the left portion of her jaw was swollen. Also we were told that the child had been sexually violated prior to her death.

Mother Claims Twins; Hospital Says Only 1 Child Born
Earlier this week, a Corozal mother made some serious allegations against the Northern Regional Hospital. 33 year old Michelle Gonzalez alleges that someone at the hospital either stole one of her twin sons of that he child died due to negligence. She believes that the hospital is covering up the death of her missing twin. Only a month before she gave birth, Gonzalez got an ultrasound which revealed a twin pregnancy where two placentas were observed. It was confirmed on a visit to Clinica Campestre in Chetumal. A press release sent out by the Ministry of Health in Belmopan it made it clear that Gonzalez was indeed diagnosed with a twin pregnancy more than once in Belize. But, the press release states, quote, "on September 4th, 2012, Gonzalez gave birth to a single male fetus under normal conditions. It was only until then that the doctors discovered that it was not a twin but a single pregnancy." She was immediately informed of this by the surgical team which included one obstetrician, two pediatricians, one anesthesiologist, one medical officer, one operating room nurse, one certified registered nurse anesthetist and one circulating nurse. She was given reassurance during her recovery in the maternity ward and was also offered counseling prior to being discharged on September 6th, 2012 because of her grief since her expectation was not met.

PM Goes To Meet Wife
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country today, to bring his wife home, as she completes another round of treatment for breast cancer. The PM will return next Wednesday and Deputy Gaspar Vega will be acting as Prime Minister in the interim.

Belize Excelled At CODICADER
2012 makes it 6 years since Belize has been competing in the Central American Junior Scholastic games - or CODICADER - as it is well known. And, our high school teams performed excellently in Guatemala for the last 2 weeks. Belize brought home 2 gold medals and 1 bronze, and today, the President of the National Secondary Schools Sports Association spoke to us about the winning performances. Here's what he told us: Deon Sutherland, President, NSSSA "We have been competing now in this game for 6 years. This is our 6th year and this is the year that we have done so far our very best in terms of medals and in terms of team performance. This year we are participating in 7 disciplines; basketball - male and female, volleyball - male and female, softball - females, Athletics, football - male, baseball and table tennis." Daniel Ortiz "Can you please tell us about our most recent performance?" Deon Sutherland, President, NSSSA "The first part of the game was held in Guatemala, in Quetzaltenango and Retalhuleu. We participated there in softball and tennis. In softball the females from Ladyville Technical High School won the gold medal defeating Guatemala in the last championship game and so we were victorious. Last year we got 2nd and this year we got 1st place."

Tonight's I Am Belize Profile is about Rupert Brown. He lived in Hattieville, but he attended school at Gwen Lizarraga Highschool in Belize City, where he discovered his love for basketball. Even though he had to balance the sport with the commitments to his education, here's what he had to say about the role basketball played in his life to keep him from making bad decisions:

Andrew Ortiz's Nuggets Of Inspiration
And there is inspiration tonight from another young basketball player. Andrew Ortiz - the 18 year old who we featured on the news one month ago when he left for Cleveland, Ohio - caught our attention with a speech he gave in that US City. The former Sadie Vernon student - who is now in the twelfth grade - or what we would call fourth form - had to write an acceptance speech. He told his new peers that he quote, "grew up in the hood in Belize City surrounded by drugs and guns but choose not to go down the wrong path." He continued: "Many days heading to the basketball court I was chased by (gangs), so I had to change the direction I walked every day because I would have been shot or killed, but I choose to block out all of that." His speech goes on to explain that his break came when he was recruited at his neighborhood ball court by Coach Bernie Tarr of whom he says, "Many people were staring at him because he was the first white man come in the hood like that." He adds, "I want to give a special thank you to my coach because he made my life much better here. I don¹t hear gunshots here." His speech closed with this: "NEVER BLAME THE AREA YOU LIVE IN IT¹S, THE WAY YOU CHOOSE TO LIVE IN IT!"

Another Criterium
A criterium is a bicycle race on a circuit road course - and in Belize, September seems to be the month for them. Just last Sunday we had the Leslie's Imports Criterium - and now the C-Ray cycling club is inviting cyclists to sign up and be a part of their first September criterium. The races will be run on Coney Drive - on Sunday afternoon. There will be 4 categories - and Coordinator of the race, Kaya Cattouse told us more. Kaya Cattouse, coordinator "This Sunday the C-ray Cycling club will be having our first September circuit. It will be held in the Caribbean Shores area, it will start and finish on Coney Drive and we will be having 4 different categories; under 12 for kids, under 15 and the open category which includes elite cyclist, junior cyclist, masters and weekend warriors and category 4 and 5." "The registration will be done out there before the race. It starts at 12 and the race begins at 1." Monica Bodden "Tell us a little bit about the prizes and sponsors." Kaya Cattouse, coordinator "For the elite race we have cash prizes, we have beverages from Bowen and Bowen. We have a gift basket from RYO and we have medals for the top 10 finishers."

Channel 5

Mother of murdered child believes there is a family cover up
Eight days ago Kaylee Burgess, the two year old girl from Ladyville was found dead. Contrary to what was first reported, the child had been suffocated. There were unconfirmed reports that the toddler was sexually abused, but late this evening we are told that the post mortem did not reveal any signs of sexual molestation. [...]

Immigration Officer, person of interest in Hezbollah passport case
Within three days a suspected terrorist with alleged ties to the radical group Hezbollah was able to secure a Belizean identity. Rafik Mohammed Labboun Allaboun arrived in the country on August twenty-ninth and when he left, he had a Belizean birth certificate, a driver’s license and a passport all issued in the name of Wilhelm [...]

U.S. Embassy in Mexico issued warning on Hezbollah in Chetumal and Belize
Still on the ongoing investigation, in its Wednesday edition, the Diario de Quinatana Roo reports that the US Embassy in Mexico had issued a warning about the presence of radical Islamic groups such as Hezbollah in Chetumal and Belize. It cites information from Wikileaks that as far back as 2009, Hezbollah cells were using drug [...]

Prime Minister accompanies wife for cancer treatment
Prime Minister, Dean Barrow left Belize today for Houston, he is scheduled to return on September nineteenth, the same day that a thirty day grace period for payment of the Superbond expires. Barrow is joining his wife Kim, who is completing treatment for breast cancer.

Doctor says mistakes were made; woman did not have twins
Is there a missing twin? According to the Ministry of Health and Dr. Marcelo Coyi, there is no missing twin. Dr. Coyi was one of the doctors that thirty-three year old Michel Gonzalez consulted at the clinic at the Corozal Hospital during her pregnancy. He is one of the doctors who told her she was [...]

Police say Harth’s broken heart led to suicide
A post mortem has now been completed on the body of forty-four year old Harth Gillett, who died from a single gunshot to the head. The results show that Gillett had a gunshot wound to the right of his head, contrary to what his wife said on Wednesday. They believe that he was murdered, but [...]

Marsha Bood gets bail for attempted murder
Thirty-two year old Marsha Bood has several charges pending in court, but today she was released from the Central Prison on bail of four thousand dollars. Bood appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith this morning for the bail hearing on charges of Attempted Murder, Use of Deadly Means of Harm and Grievous Harm. The [...]

13 year old said she was raped
A thirteen year old student of Belmopan is the latest victim of sexual abuse. The minor reported to police that the incident happened at around seven p.m. on September sixth as she headed to her grandmother’s house. She says that she was attacked by nineteen year old Alexander Colindres, who pushed her against the wall [...]

Ministry of Education recalls manual that had pro-gay remarks
A relentless media campaign, launched recently to raise public awareness on the debatable content of the Peace Corps Health and Family Life Manual, has prompted the Ministry of Education to withdraw the publication from primary schools across the country. The handbook, which was first introduced to pastors Luis Wade and Scott Stirm in December 2011, [...]

Kristy Dawson is missing; have you seen her?
A fourteen year old student has been missing for the past two days and her mother is asking for assistance in locating her. According the Mary Flores, her daughter, Kristy Dawson didn’t go to school on Tuesday because she was sick. She did, however, go to Flores’ office at around two in the afternoon and [...]

Ken Dawg’s “For the Love of the Game” CD; just in time for Independence
As the September celebrations continue, local artists are making sure there is no shortage of Belizean music. Hip-hop artist Kenroy Williams, better known as Ken Dawg just released his latest music video for the song, Only One Can Win. It’s a motivational track from his album, For the Love of the Game Disc One and [...]

Volcano erupts in Guatemala
A massive volcano eruption has forced the evacuation of over thirty-three thousand residents in seventeen villages, ten miles from Antigua in neighboring Guatemala. Antigua is a main tourist center where many Belizeans visit on a regular basis. This morning, the active “Volcan de Fuego”, which is over twelve thousand feet high, spewed lava nearly two [...]

Healthy Living explores cleft palate and complications
A medical team from the World Pediatric Project will be holding a clinic this weekend to treat persons with congenital disorders. Many parents will be seeking evaluation for their children on a number of deformities. Healthy Living this week sat one on one with a mother, who is attending the clinic to gain some insight [...]


Criminal Investigation Underway Following the Arrests of Three Men
Yesterday it was reported that three men, two Belizeans and an American national were caught up in an operation targeting alleged Hezbollah members over the weekend in the Mexican city of Mérida. The high profile case has engaged Mexican and Belizean law enforcement a...

Mother Questions Hospital on Her Missing Baby
The Ministry of Health today issued a press release in connection with the pregnancy case of a Corozal woman who delivered at the Northern Regional Hospital. According to the initial findings by the Ministry of Health the patient, Michel Gonzalez was diagnosed with twenty three w...

Ministry of Education Says Teachers Manual Will Be Revised
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has decided to withdraw the teachers’ manual, "Education Today For A Healthy Tomorrow - Teachers’ Guide: Lessons for the HFLE Curriculum." A release from the Ministry says the manual in its present form has be...

Man Remanded to Prison After Pulling Gun on Spouse
Twenty-five year old Allison Williams, a laborer of Rivero Street, who allegedly put a pistol to his common-law wife’s back, was charged with aggravated assault when he appeared in court today. Williams was also charged with harm and using threatening words. He pl...

Police News
Twenty-five year old Randy Jones, a construction worker of Mopan Street, who the police reported they saw throw away a firearm, was charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license when he appeared in court today. He pleaded not guilty to the charges. Chief Magistrate Ann...

Traffic Accident Claims A Life in Corozal
An early Saturday morning crash on the Northern Highway has left one man dead. The victim has been identified as seventy one year old Cecil Anthony Garbutt. According to police reports Garbutt, a resident of Ranchito village was south bound in his taxi car around one thirty...


Osmar Sabido Back In Court
This morning Orange Walk Police escorted a group of eight men to stand in front of Magistrate Merlene Moody for the crimes they have been charged for. Among the eight men was Osmar Sabido who tried ever so hard to conceal his face from our cameras. But you might remember Sabido because he was charged for the murder of then 21 year old Christie Carrasco on February 28th 2011. In court today the preliminary inquiry on the case was scheduled to commence but the police prosecution called in sick and the matter was once again adjourned, this time to October 29th, 2012. As we’ve detailed before, the untimely death of Carrasco occurred in the night of February 28th of last year at the couple’s residence on San Lorenzo Housing Site. Information surfaced shortly which suggested that the accused, said to be obsessively jealous, planned to burn down the home with him and Carrasco inside. It is believed that his plan was foiled because Carrasco refused to go inside the house and that’s when an altercation ensued between the two. By the time neighbors intervened it was too late because Christie Carrasco had already been stabbed, once in the chest and once in the abdomen. She died en route to the Northern Regional Hospital.

Case Adjourned Against Blanco's Accused Murderers
Also taken to court this morning were 20 year old Feliciano Briceno and 21 year old Manuel Toloza, the two men charged for the murder of 35 year old Ricardo Blanco. Accompanying them was 25 year old taxi driver Julio Castillo who police say abetted and aided Briceno and Toloza in committing the crime. But their case was also not heard in court today. Instead it was adjourned for October 22nd, 2012. Before leaving the court room Castillo requested that bail be granted to him. But Magistrate Moody’s response to him was that in order for him to be released on bail he must apply to the Supreme Court. Viewers might recall that on August 4th police found Blanco’s nude body lying face up in some bushes about a quarter mile into a feeder road off the Northern Highway. Based on the bruises observed on the victim’s body and the piece of cloth that was found around his neck, police believe Blanco was badly beaten and then strangled to death with his underwear. Blanco was last seen alive on Thursday August 2nd drinking in front of Diamond Store located in the Village of Trail Farm where he became involved in a fight with a group of men. Police suspect that Castillo facilitated the use of his white Toyota Camry to transport Blanco to the area where his body was found.

Was Corozal Resident Pregnant With Twins
Thirty three year old Michelle Gonzalez is accusing personnel of the Northern Regional Hospital of either stealing or causing the death of one her twin baby boys which she says she was pregnant with. Two separate Ultrasounds, one conducted at the Northern Medical Specialty Plaza by radiologist Doctor Bosco Davila and the other conducted at Clinica Campestre in Chetumal Quintana Roo by radiologist Doctor Santiago Castillo Canto while Gonzalez was on her eight month of pregnancy, revealed an intrauterine twin pregnancy. The ultrasound report indicates that one baby boy weighed 2.2 pounds while the other weighed 2.3 pounds. As explained by Gonzalez last night, when she visited the Corozal Community Hospital on September 3rd she was informed that due to complications a c-section would be performed on her. With that, she was sent to the Northern Regional Hospital where she was admitted and prepped for surgery on September 4th. But to her surprise, instead of giving birth to two babies, doctors told her she only gave birth to one baby boy because she was never pregnant with twins. But the two ultrasounds show that Gonzalez was indeed pregnant for twins and based on that fact she and her family has come to the conclusion that someone at the NRH either stole one her baby boys or, that due to some type of negligence, the baby passed away and now the hospital is covering up the mishap.

Ministry Of Health Says Gonzales Gave Birth To One Baby Instead Of Two
And it seems that the ministry agrees with Gynecologist, Doctor Leslie Mendez. According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Health late this evening, Gonzalez first visited the Corozal Community Hospital on July 2nd where she was diagnosed with 23 weeks of gestational age by a medical officer. At that time one fetus was noted. On her subsequent visit on August 15th, 2012, the patient presented an ultrasound which she performed at a medical facility in Chetumal Quintana Roo. This suggested twin pregnancy and the expected date of delivery was for September 3rd, 2012. During this visit to the Corozal Community Hospital, she was again re-evaluated and diagnosed with a twin pregnancy and also at high risk due to blood pressure complications. The Ministry claims that Gonzalez was referred to the Northern Regional Hospital where she gave birth on September 4th to a single baby boy. According to the release, quote, “It was only until then that the doctors discovered that it was not a twin but a single pregnancy. The client was immediately informed of this by the surgical team which included one obstetrician, two pediatricians, one anesthesiologist, one medical officer, one operating room nurse, one certified registered nurse anesthetist and one circulating nurse. The release claims that Gonzalez was given reassurance during her recovery in the maternity ward and was also offered counseling prior to being discharged on September 6th, 2012 because of her grief since her expectation was not met.” end quote Like Doctor Mendez, the Ministry of Health believes that ultrasounds, like many other imaging diagnostic tests, may have limitations. In the case of pregnancy, the older the gestational age the higher the probability of error in determining fetal growth and development.

LICU,How Basto's Nomination Came About
On September 30th Javier Basto of Basto and Son’s Plantain Chips in the Village of Guinea Grass is scheduled to receive the Excellence in Micro-entrepreneurship Award in Bridgetown, Barbados. The award comes courtesy of Citi Foundation, the Caribbean Microfinance Alliance, and the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) who held their 1st annual Citi Micro-entrepreneurship Awards for the Caribbean. Basto and Son’s Plantain Chips was among the five finalist that were selected for the award, including Cal’s Bakery located in the Village of Trial Farm. Both businesses were nominated by the La Inmaculada Credit Union and fall under the umbrella of LICU’s micro-entrepreneurship program. The Citi Award focuses on encouraging entrepreneurship, sustainability and savings, similar to what the La Inmaculada Credit Union stands for and the qualities that Basto and Son’s Plantain Chips represent. “Because of his ingenuity, his hard work and dedication he was able to create employment for others, he was able to generate income and these are the kinds of stories that as entrepreneurs the Citi Awards looks for. We got some funding to be able to give out as individual grants. Mr. Basto was one of the lucky ones because of his plan because if his idea that we believed in him and we trusted that his plan was very feasible he was one of the lucky recipients for that individual grant. lt proves that with just a very little bit of money, just a little injection of capital these entrepreneurs can go a long way.”

Hezbolla Terrorist Obtained Belizean Documents In a Span Of three Days
Last night we told you about the three individuals that were arrested in Mexico, allegedly members of Hezbollah. Two of the individuals, Justin George Abdalah Elders and Yasser Safa are of Belizean Nationality while 44 year old Rafik Mohammed Labboun Allaboun, a Lebanese American, identified himself with a Belizean passport under the name of Wilhem Dyke at the time of his arrest. Here in Belize the news of the men’s detention sent off the alarms at the Ministry of National Security and investigations have revealed that at the time of his arrest Labboun Allaboun had a Belizean Passport a Birth Certificate and a driver’s license on him all under the name of Wilhem Dick. Today when we spoke to Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of National Security Delroy Cuthkelvin, he told us that the matter has been turned over to the Criminal Investigations Branch and their findings are alarming. Delroy Cuthkelvin - Public Relations Officer Ministry of National Security “There are three things that the police authorities have been trying to establish particularly where it concerns the individual that has been referred to in the Mexican Press as an American national with Arab origin let’s say in the East of Belize. The person has been carrying a fake Belizean passport that was issued in the name of one Wilhem Dyck, two this person has been carrying a birth certificate also in the name of Wilhem Dyck and third that person had been carrying a driver’s license also issued in the name of Wilhem Dyck.

OCEANA Says DPM Singed Secret Agreement With Princess Petroleum
This morning OCEANA, the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage and Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), were back in court in the legal battle against the Government of Belize. The three non-governmental organizations are challenging the legality of the Production Sharing Agreements between the Government of Belize and six offshore oil exploration companies. All parties gathered at court this morning to hear what grounds Government’s Crown Counsel would use to have Elmer Danenberger’s testimony strike out. But to the claimants’ surprise Government’s Crown Counsel, Herbert Panton, announced that they will no longer peruse the application. Audrey Matura Shepherd, VP OCEANA “When we went to court this morning we had expected that the Crown Counsel for the Government would have served u with the application to strike out the evidence of or expert because that is what they had announced to the court two weeks ago. However to our surprise he withdrew from that position and said to the court that they will no longer dispute it in that manner and that when they go to court they will bring up whatever they need to bring up in the substantive case. So the good news to that is that we go fully to trial.”


Football referees get international accreditation
Congratulations are in order for six of Belize’s football referees who successfully completed the FIFA referees examination on Sunday, September 9th. According to a statement from the Football Federation of Belize, the test was conducted by Nicaraguan Donald Campos and six of eight Belizean referees passed the exam. What this means, according to the FFB executive responsible for referees Marlon Kuylen, is that the six successful referees now qualify to be listed on the 2013 roster of qualified referees who can officiate internationally. The official announcement says that the success by the six referees is a milestone for Belizean football and it is hoped that additional referees will take the test to qualify for international officiating when the test is offered by FIFA again next year. The six Belizean referees who made the 2013 list to officiate internationally are Amir Castilla, Christopher Reid, Gerald Henry Jr, Ifran Basdemir and Assistant Referees Ricardo Ake & Daniel Catzim.

The war continue with FECTAB and CHUKKA Belize
The war of words between FECTAB and CHUKKA Belize over installations at Jaguar Paw in the Cayo District appears to have subsided. But being out of the headlines does not mean that everything is honky dorey. Love Tv’s Patrick Jones and Video journalist Brian Castillo have been following up the story and bring you part two of their report on the issue on the grounds at Jaguar Paw.

The Belize Dance company returns from a long European tour
Members of the Belize Dance Company today returned to Belize following a two and a half month European Tour. The 28-member contingent touched down at the Phillip Goldson international airport just after ten o’clock this morning. Courtesy our colleagues at the Amandala, members of group expressed their gratitude to all who made their trip possible. Sealy says the Belize Dance Company will take a much needed break after the rigorous tour; but plans to resume local performances and productions within a short period of time.

The fourth annual Youth Awards was held in Belize
The fourth annual Youth Awards were presented this morning in Belize City. Love Tv’s Marion Ali was there and brings us the details of the event in this report Altogether, fourteen youths won awards in as many categories, and second and third place runner-ups received certificates in the same categories.

Central Cable Vision launches out a new service
One of Belize’s major cable television provide, Central Cable Vision today launched a new service that is intended to enhance the television experience for consumers. Reporter Patrick Jones and Videographer Brian Castillo went to the Biltmore today to learn about this newest venture for cable t.v. here is what they found

A book was launched in Belize city
Two lecturers in the Biological Sciences at Saint John’s College Junior College, Kathleen Azueta and Gian Cho, today launched a book that they co-authored at the Image Factory in Belize City. The book entitled “Going Viral: a student’s guide to reproductive health” which is intended to be used in tertiary level education institutions. Kathleen Azueta who mentioned that the book was inspired by their students explained its contents According to Co-Author, Gian Cho, he and his colleague began embarking in their writing journey from October of last year. The book was reviewed by representatives of the UNFPA in Belize, the Ministry of Health and Dr. Nicholas at the KHMH. Cho told Love News about the funding The books were donated to thirteen tertiary level institutions throughout the country which include three UB campuses.

Updates on the two detain Belizean in Merida, Mexico
Yesterday it was reported that three men, two Belizeans and an American national were caught up in an operation targeting alleged Hezbollah members over the weekend in the Mexican city of Mérida. The high profile case has engaged Mexican and Belizean law enforcement authorities at the local and diplomatic levels. Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of National Security Delroy Cuthkelvyn told Love News the matter is now a criminal matter. Cuthkelvyn said the Justice of the peace who signed the passport form is being questioned by authorities. He said contrary to reports, there are indications that the person in question did enter Belize to get the documents. Cuthkelvyn told Love News the police have been unable to track down the paper trail involved the acquisition of the passport.


A jungle found -- on Ambergris Caye (!)
If you are a regular reader of our blog, you know how much we've enjoyed traveling around Belize. And some of the highlights have been our visits to the tropical rainforest in Stann Creek and Toledo Districts for hiking and birding. There's just something about the jungle; it's quintessentially tropical -- moist and green. It smells and feels so earthy, as if all the massive trees forming a canopy above your head are shielding you from all things wrong in the world. Even with its inherent dangers, the jungle feels safe, almost womb-like. There's no arguing that Ambergris Caye is beautiful, but it tends towards a sandy, beachy environment. So, we were awfully surprised (but delighted) to find a little jungle oasis right in southern Ambergris last weekend. As we mentioned in a previous blog post, we took a long bike ride south on Sunday, and after going as far as we could, we turned around and headed back just a short ways to the Marco Gonzalez Archaeological Reserve/Maya Site, which we'd never checked out because we don't get down that far south very often, and when we do, we don't always have bug spray with us. Today we did, so we decided to venture in and have a look around. As we learned from the sign below, this is a very ancient site. And it became the first Maya Site National Park on Ambergris Caye in 2011.

On the flip side What makes you Happy?
decided to take a look at the flip side of Pet Peeves and think about what makes me happy. and think about what makes me happy. My list has changed over the years and is is much bigger than below, those are a few of the top ones. - A freshly made bed - The curry snapper I ate at Robin’s kitchen last night. - Today being my 3rd water workout this week, once by myself and twice at Banana Beach with Eileen. - Starting to fix up the beach cruiser in Dicks yard yesterday with a goal to look a bit less Sanford and son. We put a new seat on, rust coat, bike basket an handlebar grips coming. - Waking up in a king size bed at Grand Caribe Resort on St Georges Caye Day.

Hacienda Venecia: Perhaps The Perfect Spot to Experience Colombia's Coffee Region
The smell of good coffee...the taste of coffee...the feel of holding a warm cup in your hands first thing in the morning, you really can't beat it. But coffee like wines or cheeses comes in many different varieties, grades and from pretty much all over the world. There is the dish water crap from your corner deli and then there is the good stuff. Colombia is the world's #2 producer of coffee. (You may remember a little marketing campaign with Juan Valdez and his mule, Conchita, which really put the spot light on the country. And yes, I had to google the mule's name) And when in the central Western part of Colombia, the thing to-do is visit the "cafetera zona" or Colombia's coffee zone and see how some of the best coffee in the world is grown, picked and then shipped out of the country. Yup, almost all of it is shipped abroad and the Colombians are left with the left-overs. The B Grade stuff. It was time for us to visit a coffee finca (farm) to taste the really good coffee. And to enjoy the insanely perfect weather and scenery of this region.

International Sources

Teaching a learning experience for Grimsby teen
Kayla Kuyvenhoven went to Belize to teach health and hygiene to primary school students in some of the poorest areas of the country. In the course of her journey, she learned as much as she taught, about the larger world and the rich culture of Belize. Kuyvenhoven was in Belize from April 28 until June 9, as part of a team from Queen’s University, where the Grimsby teen is enrolled in a general health program. The trip was the culmination of a long-standing interest in health issues. When the team finally got to Belize, they were not immediately placed in a classroom. They spent a few weeks in the countryside, living in a small village. This immersion allowed them to get used to the distinct character and pace of life in Belize. “We went to villages for the first two weeks, we got to live in the villages with the people. We would have dinners and lunches with them and they would cook for us and we’d get to know their families,” said Kuyvenhoven. Following this experience, the team were sent to schools in Belize City, the capital city. Belize City, though relatively small with just 70,000 residents, suffers badly from violent crime. Belize has the sixth highest homicide rate in the world. As such, the volunteer teachers were not allowed to wander the city alone. The lessons imparted by the Queens students were designed to help break the cycle of poverty. “They had very strict rules there. We were not allowed out at night time, and were pretty much inside for the last two weeks because there was so much danger going on. There was a lot of gang violence going on,” said Kuyvenhoven. “I absolutely loved it. All the people were so friendly, the kids were happy and friendly and excited for us to be there. It was very rich in culture,” she said. She has many positive memories from her weeks as a teacher. One student in particular stands out.

Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw on Boise State's Read List
Boise State University has chosen 'The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw' to be their campus read for this year. Sharon Matola, creator and curator of the Belize Zoo will be visiting BSU's campus next month. Bruce Barcott, the author, will visit the campus next year. "It is known as 'The Best Little Zoo in the World' because of the impact it has had in bringing about awareness of the biodiversity in Belize. As the story goes, Matola is a true eccentric, riding around on a motorcycle and keeping a three-legged jaguar as a pet. But when a web of corporations, CEOs, banks and bureaucrats conspire to purchase, dam and destroy one of the great rivers of Central America — and one of the final habitats of the scarlet macaw — she bands together a ragtag army of local villagers and starts a campaign to save the remaining birds. Her dramatic struggle brings alive the worldwide battle over globalization, demand for energy, environmental destruction, the fate of the planet’s species, and the realities of economic survival in a tiny Third World country."

September 13, 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

Tia the Tamandua Returns to the Wild
Many readers of The San Pedro Sun will recall a story we printed in volume #22, issue #19 dated May 10, 2012 of a Collard Anteater or Tamandua that was rescued in the San Juan area of San Pedro on May 6th thanks to the quick response of wildlife specialists Vince and Cherie Rose, of ACES, the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary. The suffering tamandua, affectionately dubbed “Tia” (aunt in Spanish) was found in ill health and appeared dehydrated and injured. After contacting the Belize Forest Department and Dr. Isabelle-Paquet from the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network it was decided that the animal would be transported to the new Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Cayo where she was examined by wildlife veterinarian Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand. Dr. Paquet-Durand determined that the anteater had a broken middle finger on her left hand, which is the strongest one on the tamandua.

San Pedro celebrates the Baymen with a Tribute
District Education Officer for Belize Rural South Miriam Codd officially gave a tribute to the Baymen recalling the bold stance by the Baymen to stand up and defend the colony of the then British Honduras from the constant provocative attacks by the Spaniards. She gave a detail description of the final encounter between the Spaniards and settlers of British Honduras consisting of a hand full of British Baymen and African slaves. In remember the September 10th, 1798 event, Codd said that the encounter was the last of several attacks in which well armed Spaniards captured the residents of colony’s main capital at Saint George’s Caye and burnt down all the buildings. The decision to stand and defend the small colony by strategically launched an attack on the Spaniard which forced them out of the unknown waters giving up on the settlement that is now modern day Belize.

The PACT Foundation Awards over $200,000 in grants to protected areas
The PACT FOUNDATION, in conjunction with the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT), proudly announces the award of five (5) small grants today to five (5) Non-governmental Organizations to aid in the management of conservation efforts in Belize. The recipients of these grants are:

Ambergris Today

Hezbollah Suspected Terrorist Arrested in Merida, Mexico with Belizean Passports
A trio of Lebanese men caught in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico with Belizean passports has raised concerns that there may have been a terrorist cell operating in Belize. The American citizen, of Arab origin, Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, a suspected member of the terrorist network Hezbollah, was arrested Saturday, September 8, 2012, in Merida through an operation conducted by the National Migration Institute (INM) and the State Police. According to the The Yucatan Times, Labboun Allaboun was arrested in a house located in the street 41-B, between 56 and 58 of the colony Francisco de Montejo in the west part of the city. At the moment of the arrest, the suspect identified himself as Wilhelm Dick with a fake Belizean passport.

Unemployment Statistics of Belize Released
Sib Announces Results of the April 2012 - Labor Force Survey - The Statistical Institute of Belize conducted a national labor force survey in April 2012 to estimate employment levels in the country. The survey targeted 2,800 randomly selected households countrywide and obtained responses from about 85 percent of them. This amounted to almost ten thousand respondents (9,980). Approximately two-thirds of the respondents were of working age (14 years and over) and of that amount, 65.6 percent were either working or available to work. The remaining 34.4 percent were housewives, students and retirees who were no longer interested in working, and were therefore regarded as not being in the labor force.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize to host wastewater management workshop
The Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management (CReW), a four-year project that began in 2011 and is financed by a special arrangement that involves the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Governments of some Caribbean countries, will host its first regional workshop in Belize City, Belize, 18 - 19 September 2012 to introduce the concept of revolving funds. Revolving funds are among the more flexible, innovative and effective financial management mechanisms that can provide sustainable financing for the development of much needed wastewater treatment facilities, costly propositions for regional governments struggling to maintain those that already exist. A 2009 UNEP report entitled “Assessment of Wastewater Management in the Caribbean” found untreated domestic wastewater had severe consequences for coastal ecosystems in the Wider Caribbean region. This has resulted in: increased fish mortality and negative effects on commercial fisheries; declines in coral reefs estimated to cost the region up to US$870 million by 2050; threats to human health, and threats to the tourism sector.

Miss Continente Americano Voting
You can vote for Chantae, who's representing Belize down in Ecuador, as 'Miss Photogenic' at the Miss Continente Americano website. On the site, which is in Spanish, she is the second contestant from the top. Simply click the circle next to 'Miss Belice - Chantae Guy' and then scroll to the bottom and click on 'votar.' You can vote until September 28th. Good luck, Chantae!

Benque's 10th Day of September Parade
Some pictures from Benque's parade for the Battle of St. George's Caye Day, shared by the Benque House of Culture. The next round of dances, parades, and parties are only a week away. Happy September!

Mary Open Doors' New Page and Newsletter
Mary Open Doors has a new FB page out so you can stay current with all their hard work in the Cayo community. They also have their latest newsletter out. "After a long vacation, the Mary Open Doors newsletter is back! In this issue, you will learn all about our latest fundraising activities, the continued success of our HIV/Domestic Violence presentations, some good work being done for our clients, and more. Please take time to read all about how busy we've been, and what you can do to help as the new school year approaches. As always, we wish you the best and God Bless."

Youth Empowerment Retreat pictures
There was a Youth Empowerment Retreat at Maya Mountain Lodge. Great goals and great fun! "High school youth from San Ignacio, Belmopan, and Belize City spent the holiday weekend together exploring, playing, serving, and learning. The focus was on the power of youth to shape the coming century and envision a more peaceful country and world. They studied the importance of looking within yourself and striving to be prejudice-free, honest, trustworthy, just, reliable, chaste, and a shining light no matter how dark things get around you. The event was part of the Jr Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program sponsored by the Baha'is of Belize. Maya Mountain Lodge generously offered their facilities for the event."

"The George Price In Us"
Here's a great video honoring George Price! It's a montage of pictures from his life, and is just in time for the September Celebrations. Thanks go out to MC Blas and Lucille Mendez for the video. It's a slideshow of his pictures and us as Belizeans Celebrating and an audio clip that is originally placed on the song From His DVD documentary.

Channel 7

Kaylee's Aunt Still Detained, No Charges Yet
Today makes 7 days since little 2 year-old Kaylee Burgess was found dead inside a bucket of water behind her grandmother's house. After a post mortem was conducted on the child's body, police forensic pathologist Mario Estradabran revealed that the child did not drown, instead someone had suffocated her. Since then, police have been treating the child's death as a homicide but no one has been charged for Kaylee's murder as yet. On Friday night police detained the child's two uncles and another man for questioning - but the three were released from police custody on Sunday evening. Yesterday the child's aunt a 19 year old was also detained and is tonight in police custody at the Queen Street Police Station. Reliable information to 7news tonight is that finger marks and bruises were found around 2 year old Kaylee's neck, along with a busted bottom lip and the left portion of her jaw was swollen. Also we were told that the child had been sexually violated prior to her death. Charges are expected imminently...

"A Mighty Heart Beats No More"
Well known Cayo resident Hart Gillett died in Belize City this afternoon after he was shot in the head last night in San Ignacio. It happened at 9:55 last night at his home on Orange Street in that western town. According to the police report, the 44 year old got home last night - after he had fought with his common law Jacqueline Ibarra on the tenth. He hadn't been home in a day - and she told police that he was contrite. She told him to leave her alone, and she claims he begged her not to leave him - and that if she did it would be, quote "over his dead body." She says that after he said that, he walked towards the door, took out his 9 millimeter pistol and pulled the trigger - shooting himself to the right side of the temple. The bullet went straight through his skull - but Gillett who was a large and powerfully built man - survived. He was rushed ot the KHMH in Belize City where he was put on life support in the intensive care unit. The doctors pronounced him brain dead - and by this afternoon at 3:05, he passed away. Police are ruling it as a suicide. But, his family is not so sure. They say a cat scan showed that the bullet entered the left side of his head - and he was right handed - which tells them it could have been a homicide.

Former Cab Sec Carjacked In 'Pan
The carjacking that Gillett was trying to help with happened to former Cabinet Secretary Jim Murphy. Yesterday morning in the quiet Orchid Garden area of Belmopan around 6:30am Murphy was held up at gunpoint. Plus TV reports that Murphy was about to walk through his gate when he was ambushed by two men, one of Creole descent and the other Hispanic. Murphy was closing the gate when the creole descent male held a gun to his head. Murphy stood back and the men then drove off in his 2012 Toyota Prado. The approximate value of the Prado is $150,000 BZE. In a very significant development, Police recovered the vehicle in Belize City last night. ASP Sinquest Martinez who is investigating the case says he found the vehicle on Newtown Barracks behind the Pickwick club. It was intact and only the phone had been broken. But, the license plate had already been switched to a Belize City plate - and police are following up on that lead. Murphy is currently a member of the Social security Board of Directors.

The Fugitive's Handbook: How To Get A Birth Certificate, Passport & Driver's License in Two Days Flat!
Does this look like anyone named Wilhelm Dick? That's a Mennonite name - and the man in this passport is of Middle Eastern descent. He is Rafic Mohammad Labbon Allabou - who has been named as an alleged Hezzbollah operative, but he has a passport and a driver's license from Belize with the name Wilhelm Dick. So, how do you get a birth certificate, a passport and a driver's license in two days? Rafic Labbon could write the book on that because that's what he did between August 29 and August 31st in Belize City and Belmopan. He - or his agent - started at the vital stats unit on august 29th where - no doubt with inside collusion - they got the birth certificate for Wilhelm Dick, born in Shipyard in February of 1976 - and who died in April of 1976. The real Wilhelm only lived two months - but his birth certificate endured - waiting for someone with an inside knowledge of the system to exploit it. That's where Rafic Labbon or his agent came in. They got the birth certificate and then got the signature of a Justice of the Peace, allegedly be Juliana Arana - whose house coincidentally burned down over the weekend. She today told us that she cannot recall anything about that particular application. Labbon - or his agent - then went with that to the Immigration Office in Belize City on the 29th. August, paid the expedited fee and got this passport the next day.

CCV Steps Up: Says It Wants To Be The Boss Of Cable TV In Belize
Television - it's the drug of a nation…in ways both big and small we're all addicted to TV - and if not addicted - we all need that "hit" from time to time. And whether addict of casual viewer - now one of Belize's largest Cable providers - Central Cable Vision is coming with what might be called the high-grade - a new way of interacting with your cable TV signal. Now, these kinds of things don't usually make the news - but Central Cable's new viewing platform represents a Sea of Change - and they've linked up with so many cable providers nationally - that the change will affected may thousands of cable viewers. We found out more at the launching today: Jules Vasquez Reporting Pete Lizarraga - Managing Director, CCV "We needed a product that would enhance the viewing quality of television. We need a product that would put the viewer more in control of the television set, rather than the other way around, where we manage our lives around the time that shows air on TV. And we needed a product that would lay the foundation for future services and expansion."

Man Jailed For Threatening Common-Law
25 year-old Allison Williams, a Laborer residing Rivero Street, is in jail tonight after he was taken to court this evening for allegedly assaulting his common-law wife this morning. Jacqueline Young reported to police that Williams awoke at around 5 a.m., and left the house. She said that she followed him and discovered that he went on Kraal Road. She said that she saw him speaking to the mother of his child, and as a result, she approached him and they got into an argument about it. He allegedly then pulled her by her hair, grabbed a piece of wood and hit her on her left arm causing bruising and swelling. He allegedly then walked behind a blue plywood house, and when he returned, he had a black .38 pistol in his hand, which he pointed at her and issued a death threat. Police investigated the report and they charged him with using threatening words, harm, and aggravated assault.

Educ. Ministry Pulls Handbook
For weeks PLUS TV has been crusading against the Health and Family Life Education resource book found in Primary schools across the country. PLUS TV and other Christian advocates say the book - which was generated by peace corps volunteers - fosters pro gay and other morally dubious teachings to students in standards 4, 5 and 6. Well now the Ministry of Education has given in. A Statement from he Ministry says quote, "that a decision has been taken by the Ministry to withdraw the teachers' manual." The Ministry will now defer the matter to a committee which was set up earlier this year. The release says the ministry is quote, "open to honest, productive dialogue with stakeholders on any concerns that…will advance the ultimate objective of ensuring that all Belizeans acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes for their full personal development.

OCEANA Claims GOB Gave Princess Energy Special Oil Concession
4 weeks ago, 7News told you about the interim win that Oceana Belize got in the Supreme Court over the Government of Belize in relation to their challenge to several of the offshore oil exploration contracts issued in 2007. Well, today was set as the day where the government crown counsel was to present a new strike out motion in which they were going to challenge the validity of Oceana Belize's expert witness's opinion on the conduct of a responsible government when issuing oil contracts. But, there was a surprising development in which the government crown counsel announced to Justice Oswell Legall that GOB would no longer challenge this expert witness, which means that this case will be argued to completion in open court. But the news tonight is not that Oceana has gotten their day in court, which is scheduled for October 24 and 25. It's their unearthing of a September 2009 contract which amended the agreement between the Princess Group of Companies and GOB. In this contract, which is signed by the Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Gaspar Vega, and witnessed by Andre Cho, the Director and Inspector of Petroleum, the Princess Group has exclusive rights to maintain their licensed area. You would ask well, what is the problem with that? They are a company after all, and they need to secure their investment. Well, by law, every company must give up a part of their licensed area after every contract term. This is to ensure that the company is only exploring for oil in the most profitable areas.

No One Charged For Knocking Down Shane Dougal
No one has been charged for Shane Dougal's death on the Northern Highway on Saturday - and the DPP says that it is because witnesses are not coming forward to make statements. The DPP just got the file today but those who saw the incident seems reluctant to give sworn statements. Police have been directed to further investigate and the position will be revisited when that has been done.

PACT Offers SATIIM An Olive Branch
For the first term of the Barrow administration - the Ministry of Natural resources seemed to be pursuing a scorched earth campaign against SATIIM and its Executive Director Greg Cho'q. At one point there was even the suggestions that SATIIM's co management agreement for the Sarstoon Temash National Park might be in jeopardy. But there's a new minister with responsibility for the protected areas, that's Lisel Alamilla - and she seems to be offering an olive branch to SATIIM. PACT, The Protected Areas Conservation Trust has awarded a Medium-sized Grant of $93,000 to the SATIIM for a project entitled, "Enhancing Indigenous Communities Role in Protected Areas Management". According to a release, The main purpose of this project is to conserve biodiversity and reduce deforestation within and surrounding the Park.

Dancing On A World Tour
The Belize Dance Company returned to Belize this morning - after a 2 month tour of France and Spain. The Company represented Belize at the prestigious international folkloric -Festival du Sud 2012- along with 13 other countries. This Festival brought together over 1,200 musicians and dancers from each continent to share their cultural music and dances. Belize represented the music and dance of the Maya, Creole and Garifuna cultures of Belize in 31 different villages, towns and municipalities. They told us more today: Denise Enriquez - Member, Dance Company "Well, it was exciting. I was really nice. The members of the contingent, most of the time, we were filled with pride because most of the people that we got perform for - and talk to about Belize, really appreciated our country and wanted to come and visited." Monica Bodden "For those who may not know, where were you guys?"

The Madness And Mud Of Juveey, The Colour of Carnival
And we close tonight with some unfinished business from last night. We never got the air the news about the winner of the Carnival 2012. But to tell that story first we have to start with the juveey. That cranked up at 5:00 am on Saturday morning from the SAVE-U parking lot and to say it was large would be an understatement. IT was MAMMOTH! IT is like the carnival without customs - and the only costume needed is mud and some old rags that can withstand a mud bath. From there it was reveling in the streets and all around the city - as the crowd kept up on the circuit throughout the city. From the rough and real finish of juveey there it was unto the pageantry and colour of the carnival itself. First place went to Mahogany Masqueraders With 439.5 points Second place is Mother Nature's Creation with 431 points and third place is Belize Jewels with 430.5 points.

Channel 5

Who helped Hezbollah terrorist get Belizean passport and IDs?
The case of the US national who has been deemed part of a Hezbollah terrorist cell operating in the Yucatan area and Central America, has sparked a criminal investigation in Belize because he had Belizean documents. Rafik Mohammed Labboun Allaboun was caught during a raid in Merida, Mexico over the weekend and authorities found he [...]

Yasser Safa says he and family members are innocent of allegations
As the details unravel, it has been confirmed that up to six Belizeans were detained during the raid in Merida. In addition to Samer Safa, George Abdalah Elders, Yasser Safa, his wife and two children were also detained. Yasser and his family have been released. He spoke to News Five via phone on Tuesday and [...]

Aunt of Murdered 2 year old still detained; new details revealed
Who killed baby Kaylee? There are more questions than answers in the death of Kaylee Burgess; the young child that was found dead one week ago at the family house in Ladyville. When police visited the family home, the baby was in the arms of her mother, Deidra Pratt, while her father, Kevin Burgess, was [...]

Ministry of Health said there was no twin; offers counseling for mother
A tearful mother from Corozal Town told us on Tuesday night that she was to deliver a pair of twins, but that the Northern Regional maintains she only gave birth to one child. That perplexing case continued to unravel today and the Ministry of Health has now responded. Contrary to the mother’s claims, MOH maintains [...]

Online poll says crime is the concern of most Belizeans
Our last e-poll was a question with three options; What are you most concerned about; Crime, the lack of jobs or the high Cost of Living? While all three are pressing issues, the majority of participants in the poll are most worried about the crime situation. Fifty-one percent of the votes were for crime while [...]

Economic Indicators: show high unemployment for households
Let’s face it: There is high unemployment and for households across the country, the joblessness is further aggravated by the high cost of living. The cost of a daily basket of goods from chicken and fish to beans, cheese and eggs, is sky high. Now, let’s factor in ‘Income Tax; Those who make less than [...]

Sweetheart says right handed man shot himself in left side of head
A San Ignacio businessman is dead tonight, but there are unanswered questions as to whether it is a case of murder or suicide. Superintendent Ralph Moody, officer commanding the San Ignacio Police, says their investigations have so far revealed that former police officer, forty-four year old Harth Gillett and his girlfriend, twenty-four year old Jacqueline [...]

Jim Murphy robbed
There’s a high profile robbery to report. Former cabinet secretary James Murphy was held at gunpoint on Tuesday morning in Belmopan, where he resides. Murphy, according to reports was in his 2012 Prado when he was held up by two men who made with his vehicle. The Prado was subsequently recovered in Belize City and [...]

Oceana rides waves to trial with government
On August twenty-fourth, Oceana won a groundbreaking legal victory against the Government of Belize in which the Supreme Court allowed the organization to proceed with a claim challenging the validity of six offshore oil concessions. In the wake of that decision, attorney Herbert Panton, who appears on behalf of government, told Justice Oswell Legall that [...]

Oceana challenge shows agreement with Minister and Petroleum Company
According to Matura-Shepherd, the challenge has also led to the discovery of an undisclosed agreement signed by Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega with the principals of Princess Petroleum in 2009. The condition of that contract allows the company to retain one hundred percent of the block that was granted to them for oil exploration. [...]

Not TiVO, it’s DiBO! Central Cable Vision wants you to take a pause
The suspense is finally over for subscribers of Central Cable Vision who have been feverishly anticipating today’s big reveal. This morning, during a press conference at the Biltmore, the cable operator unveiled its latest offering to the Belizean public. It’s the domestic iteration of TiVo, a digital video recorder that is being introduced to the [...]

No charges as yet in fatal traffic accident
Twenty-five year old Shane Dougal was killed in a traffic accident on Saturday evening as headed to work in Ladyville. The security officer was hit near mile six by a Nissan Altima driven by twenty-one year old Jason Castillo. Dougal died on the spot while Castillo was injured, treated and released. The family of Dougal [...]

News Five Award-winning Andrea Polanco amongst winners at 2012 Youth Awards
Youths, between the ages of fifteen to twenty-nine, from across the country gathered at the Bliss this morning for this year’s youth award ceremony. Young people, who were nominated by the public and selected by a panel of judges, were recognized for their achievements and work towards the development of Belize. A record number of [...]

S.J.C.J.C. Biology lecturers launch HIV Awareness Manual
While the youths have been awarded for their efforts, taking care of their education and health is a concern in an era plagued with dangerous diseases such as HIV. That is why two teachers from St. John’s College Junior College applied for a US Embassy sponsored grant to compose a manual that would teach them [...]


Criminal Investigation Underway Following the Arrests of Three Men
Yesterday it was reported that three men, two Belizeans and an American national were caught up in an operation targeting alleged Hezbollah members over the weekend in the Mexican city of Mérida. The high profile case has engaged Mexican and Belizean law enforcement a...

Mother Questions Hospital on Her Missing Baby
The Ministry of Health today issued a press release in connection with the pregnancy case of a Corozal woman who delivered at the Northern Regional Hospital. According to the initial findings by the Ministry of Health the patient, Michel Gonzalez was diagnosed with twenty three w...

Ministry of Education Says Teachers Manual Will Be Revised
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has decided to withdraw the teachers’ manual, "Education Today For A Healthy Tomorrow - Teachers’ Guide: Lessons for the HFLE Curriculum." A release from the Ministry says the manual in its present form has be...

Man Remanded to Prison After Pulling Gun on Spouse
Twenty-five year old Allison Williams, a laborer of Rivero Street, who allegedly put a pistol to his common-law wife’s back, was charged with aggravated assault when he appeared in court today. Williams was also charged with harm and using threatening words. He pl...

Police News
Twenty-five year old Randy Jones, a construction worker of Mopan Street, who the police reported they saw throw away a firearm, was charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license when he appeared in court today. He pleaded not guilty to the charges. Chief Magistrate Ann...

Traffic Accident Claims A Life in Corozal
An early Saturday morning crash on the Northern Highway has left one man dead. The victim has been identified as seventy one year old Cecil Anthony Garbutt. According to police reports Garbutt, a resident of Ranchito village was south bound in his taxi car around one thirty...


A Corozal family is looking for answers
A Corozal family is looking for answers following what they term as an unbelievable sequence of events. Michelle Gonzalez, the mother of three had been told she was pregnant with twins. Arturo Cantun has the story.

Fire in Belize City, having the family questioning
An investigation into a blaze that gutted the home of an elderly woman over the weekend reveals that it was deliberately set ablaze. Juliana Arana left her house late last week to attend the funeral of a relative in Barranco Village on Friday, only to discover upon her return to Belize City the following day that her house was destroyed by fire. In an interview earlier today with Love News, Arana said that she had turned off and plugged out everything inside her house at 6436 corner Mahogany and Jasmine Streets before she left. Neighbours were awakened by cracking sounds shortly after four on Saturday morning, however, and when fire fighters arrived, the concrete structure was already engulfed. While neighbour’s managed to salvage a few pieces of household appliances, the majority of Arana’s belongings were destroyed. From the onset, Arana did not rule out the possibility of arson. This afternoon, Love News confirmed with the Fire Chief, Colonel Francis Thomas, that someone entered Arana’s house and poured a flammable liquid on items in one of the bedrooms and then lit the fire. Juliana Arana is the mother of Love FM Announcer, Armin Arana, who also lived at the house with her. None of their belongings or the house was insured. They have remained at the house, and hope to rebuild the severely cracked cement house. If you would like to help the Arana’s you may call Ms. Juliana at: 653 3040. That number again is: 653 3040.

The traditional September tenth celebration
Belizeans at home and abroad celebrated the two hundred and fourteen anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye on Monday. The traditional September tenth celebration was marked by the official ceremonies, complete with all the pomp and pageantry, including the inspection of the guard of honor by Governor General, Sir Colville Young. During the official speeches, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley and Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia both noted that the Tenth day of September is a glorious celebration of freedom for all Belizeans. Following the official ceremonies there was the traditional citizens parade, which made its way from the Memorial Park through the principal streets of Belize City, ending at the Yabra Green. Here are highlights of the citizen’s parade.

This September celebration drowning victims
The jouvert which normally precedes the Carnival parade each year, ended in tragedy for the family of one teen who lost his life shortly after the event finished on Saturday. Seventeen year old Jermaine Madrill and two friends were a part of a larger crowd that assembled on the Belcan Bridge to clean up in the Haulover Creek below. The tradition each year for people is to simply jump into the water from atop the rail of the bridge, which is about seventeen feet above. And that was just what Jermaine and his friends did, but something went wrong for him, something that ended his life. Today Love News spoke with Madrill’s father, Keith Madrill, who told us that he had advised his son against jumping off the bridge. ermaine Madrill would have celebrated his eighteenth birthday on September sixteenth. He will be laid to rest on Wednesday. Meanwhile, there was another person who the police have ruled as a drowning victim. Forty-eight year old Albert Coleman, a resident of Independence Village, reportedly left his house last week Monday to go fishing in the lagoon that borders Placencia and Independence. However, he did not return and his body was not recovered until the following day with bruises and wounds. Because the corpse was already decomposed, the post mortem was conducted on a dirt road off the Boom/Hattieville Road late Friday evening. Love News was there and spoke with Coleman’s brother-in-law, Mario Requena. The body was cremated on the spot due to the advance state of decomposition. Albert Coleman lived alone in Independence Village.

Two Belizean were arrested when they were in Merida
International and Mexican press reports say two Belizeans and an American national were caught up in an operation targeting alleged Hezbollah members over the weekend in the Mexican city of Mérida. The arrest happened on Saturday night, according to Mexican press reports, which said that the US citizen was carrying a false Belizean passport and was identified as Rafic Moha-mmad Labboun Allaboun. Mexico’s Reforma newspaper reported in its online edition that authorities arrested him following a series of investigations by US intelligence agencies that found that he forms part of a terror cell operating in Central America. The high profile case has engaged Mexican and Belizean law enforcement authorities at the local and diplomatic levels. Reporter Patrick Jones spoke via telephone earlier today with the Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of National Security Delroy Cuthkelvin about the incident.

Updates on the murder of Kaylee Burgess
Baby Kaylee Burgess, the toddler who would have turned two years old last Friday if she had lived, was laid to rest this past Sunday. The post mortem completed late last Friday evening certified that she died of suffocation, which means that the police are now looking at the baby’s death with a view that someone is culpable. Today Love News traveled back to Ladyville where the incident happened last Wednesday night. As we reported, last Tuesday night the home of Kevin Burgess, who is baby Kaylee’s father, was destroyed by fire. He accused his estranged common-law wife, the baby’s mother, Deidra Pratt. The following night, the child reportedly went missing, after which her body was discovered in a bucket which reportedly had just a little bit of water. Soon after her death, her mother’s family had accused the baby’s father, Kevin, of kidnapping the child just prior to her death. Today, he told us that he is glad that the investigation is now pointing away from him and closer to someone right within the same home where the child lived with her mother’s family. Meanwhile, Kevin Burgess’ mother, Carolyn Quilter, told us that they are hoping that the police investigation brings them justice for a little girl who never lived to see her second birthday. Police are still in the process of gathering their evidence. Last week, they had questioned the child’s mother, Deidra Pratt, and an aunt in whose custody she was in just prior to allegedly going missing.

26th annniversary for the Octavia Waight Centre in San Ignacio town
The Octavia Waight Centre in San Ignacio town celebrated its twenty sixth anniversary over the weekend. On Sunday, the celebration was marked by the opening of a convention centre, which will serve the dual functions of a hurricane shelter and an avenue for a sustainable source of income for the Octavia Waight Center, which benefits senior citizens from all over the country. One of the key pillars of the establishment of the Octavia Waight Centre is former career public officer Elias Awe, who was presented with a plaque by the Board of Directors for his dedicated service. Courtesy Kent Pandy, here are highlights of Sunday’s celebration. The Octavia Waight Center was inaugurated on September fifth, 1986 by then Minister of Phillip Goldson. It occupies a two and a half acres plot of land in San Ignacio town and is currently home to twenty seven residents.

Placencia villager brings up an issue on the sewage project
A proposed water and sewerage project on the Placencia Peninsula will be the focus of a big public meeting tonight. According to the chairman of Placencia Village Charles Leslie Junior, at issue is what will become of the Placencia and the Seine Bight water boards once the project moves to full implementation. Tonight’s public meeting is taking place at the Placencia village basketball court.


Controversial HFLE manual withdrawn by MOE
There is very good news to report this evening which is as a result of a press release sent out today by the Minist...

The Guardian

Telemedia lives to fight Another Game
The defending Belize City Softball Champions, Belize Telemedia won the pivotal game three in the best-of-five series against Mirage Lady Rebels on Friday, September 7th, 2012, at Rogers Stadium to force a game four in the championship series. Mirage Lady Rebels riding on a two-games-to-nothing high batted first and was able to score 3 quick runs for a 3-0 lead. Telemedia came roaring back in the bottom of the 1st inning when it scored 4 runs on 5 hits in its turn at bat. In the bottom of the 2nd inning, Telemedia added 3 more runs on 4 hits including a run-producing double by right fielder, Barbara Cadle. It then added another 3 more runs in the 3rd inning and then 4 more runs in the 4th inning. Meanwhile, Telemedia’s starter and winner Mary Flowers was able to control the bats of the Mirage Lady Rebels hitters where she tossed zeroes to them in the 2nd, 3rd and 5th innings. In the top of the 4th inning, she gave up 2 more runs to Mirage Lady Rebels. When the dust settled around home plate, it was a 14-5 victory for the defending champions Telemedia. Telemedia scored 14 runs on 16 hits including 3 run-producing doubles by centre fielder Lydia Cacho; right fielder Barbara Cadle and third baseman Norecia Frazer. For Mirage Lady Rebels, it scored 5 runs on 4 hits. The losing pitcher was Lanisha Jones.

Fatal Trafffic Mishap on Northern Highway
Dougal’s body on the road where he was knocked down On Saturday, September 8th, police visited an area between miles 5 and 6 on the Northern Highway where they found the body of 25- year-old Shane Dougal. He had been hit by a Grey Nissan Altima car which was driven at the time by Jason Roney Castillo. Police investigations have determined that Castillo was driving his vehicle towards Ladyville when he lost control and collided with Dougal, who was riding his mountain bike in the area. The mangled remains of the bike proved that it was a severe impact, which caused Dougal to die on the spot. Police have served a notice of intended prosecution on Jason Castillo.

Tenth March in Belize City
There are a few Belizeans that march through the streets of Belize City every tenth day of September. For them it is the proudest day of the year. On September 10th in Belize, we commemorate the 1798 Battle of St George’s Caye.

Speech by Hon. Manuel Heredia on the occasion of the 214th Anniversary of the Battle of Saint George’s Caye
It is with great joy that I address you this morning as the Chairperson of the National Celebrations Commission and as Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture. On this day 214 years ago, the settlers of this land were faced with the great difficulty of defending the settlement, their home, against an enemy, who had sought to expel them from this land. On the morning of Monday, the 10th September, 1798, fourteen of the largest vessels of the Spanish fleet weighed anchor about a mile and a half from the defending fleet made up of the Flagship Merlin and a number of smaller manoeuvrable schooners and gunflats. At about half-past two Captain Moss of the defending fleet gave the signal to engage. After two hours, the Spaniard fleet, unable to penetrate the shoals, retreated. This was the culmination of one hundred years of harassment and more importantly, the end of years of difficult circumstances for the settlers in the Bay of Honduras, which included whites, free men of color, slaves and troops from Jamaica, who debated, planned, prepared well and used knowledge of our coastal seas and reef to organize a successful defence of the settlement. This successful defence of the settlement set in motion events that would lead to the settlers in the Bay of Honduras having a more permanent home. But what is the additional significance of this past event? Today, when Belize faces many adverse circumstances (very much like men at the June 1st, 1797 Public Meeting, who decided on the question of whether to evacuate the settlement or to stay and defend it in the face of an impending Spanish invasion), that - it is then - that we too must decide on what is best for our children; our families, our communities and above all what is best for our country.

Oceans of Lies by Oceana
The Government of Belize this morning informed Justice Oswell Legall that it does not intend to proceed with its application to strike out two affidavits in the Oceana Claim against the Government and instead asked the court to set a date for the substantive hearing. Oceana is presently in court seeking to have six production sharing agreements signed between the Government of Belize and private oil companies back in 2007, covering both on shore and off shore areas, set aside. Late this afternoon in what can be considered an attempt to try the matter in the public domain, Oceana put out a press release fraught with lies and misinformation.

More mobility for cops in Rural North
Through the assistance of the Ministry of National Security, Area Representative for Belize Rural North, Hon. Edmund secured three new motorcycles to improve mobility of police officers in the constituency. The cycles will be used in Sandhill, Crooked Tree and Bermudian Landing. Hon. Castro explained that over the past few years there have been young people in his division that have gone wayward and with the addition of the motorcycles the police will better be able to patrol and deter crime in his constituency.

HFLE Teachers’ Manual withdrawn
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) hereby informs all stakeholders and the general public that a decision has been taken by the Ministry to withdraw the teachers’ manual, Education Today for a Healthy Tomorrow: Teacher’s Guide: Lessons for the HFLE Curriculum in its current form as a resource for teachers in support of teaching aspects of the Health and Family Education Curriculum (HFLE). In response to concerns raised in certain segments of the media and community in December 2011, the MoEYS requested those who were at the forefront of these concerns (a committee spearheaded by Pastor Wade) to submit these concerns and feedback on the teachers’ manual in writing. These were received in February of this year. Subsequently, and in response to the written feedback, the Ministry of Education decided to convene a committee consisting of representatives from the MoEYS, the committee spearheaded by Pastor Wade, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Human Development and the stakeholder bodies of the National Council for Education and the National Council for Technical and Vocational Education. The main task of this committee was to review the manual to assess its fit with the objectives/learning outcomes of the HFLE curriculum, the accuracy of its content and the age approp-riateness and cultural sensitiveness of specific content and on the basis of such assessment to make recom-mendations for possible revision of the guide and strategies to more effectively engage parents in schools as it relates to HFLE and in particular to educating pupils about Sex, Sexuality and Sexual and Reproductive Health (S&RH).

Speech by Mayor Darrell Bradley on the Occasion of the 214th Anniversary of the Battle of Saint George’s Caye
Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley: His Excellency, the Governor General of Belize, Sir Dr. Colville Young and Lady Young; Prime Minister of Belize, Honorable Dean Barrow and Mrs. Kim Barrow; Chief Justice of Belize, Kenneth Benjamin; Leader of the Opposition, the Honorable Francis Fonseca; Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate; Members of the Diplomatic Corp; Mrs. Julie-Ann Ellis Bradley; Deputy Mayor Dion Leslie and other Councilors of the Belize City Council; Members of the Clergy; Her Graciousness, the Reigning Queen of the Bay Ms. Amanda Elizabeth Taylor; Her Graciousness the Queen Designate, Ms. Yadira Arguetta; Queen of the Bay New York; Queen of the Bay California; other Queens; other invited guests; residents and visitors of Belize City, friends and fellow Belizeans, a very pleasant good morning to all of you.

The Pact Foundation awards over $200,000 in Grants to Protected Areas
The PACT FOUNDATION, in conjunction with the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT), proudly announces the award of five (5) small grants today to five (5) Non-governmental Organizations to aid in the management of conservation efforts in Belize. The recipients of these grants are: • Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) - $40,000 for the management of the Chiquibul National Park to assess the effects of poaching on game species communities in order to develop management and conservation interventions; • Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) - $35,351 for park management, community ranger patrols on the seismic trails, documentation of changes in biodiversity, and signage along trails and borders; • Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) – emergency grant of $6,000 for a fire assessment in the Sarstoon Temash National Park;

Coincidental Oil Soaked Turtle
With the ongoing legal and public relation battles that Oceana has brought against the government of Belize over offshore drilling, it seemed a bit too coincidental that a green turtle was found completely covered in crude oil on July 24th. The San Pedro Sun had reported that the turtle was found in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve completely covered in oil. At the time the newspaper reported that marine biologists pointed out that the turtle could not have been out at sea for a long period of time since it could not have survived under the conditions it was found. Speculation was that the turtle came in contact with the crude oil a short time before it was found and that it must have been through a natural oil seepage nearby.

Hon. Hugo Patt prepares Xaibe Village for Elections
Area Representative for Corozal North, Hon. Hugo Patt was in Xaibe Village on Sunda, September 9th preparing supporters for the upcoming Village Council Elections next year. During his visit, Hon. Patt took time out to listen to villagers about concerns they have over land-related issues as well as the recovery the village is undergoing after the recent floods. He also took time to discuss other matters relating to government in the division. During his visit, Hon. Patt also oversaw the selection of candidates for the upcoming villager council elections.

Honoring our Youth: Tricia Gideon wins Belize Youth Leadership Award
Hon. Herman Longsworth with Youth Award Winners The Youth for the Future now holds an annual award ceremony in which it highlights the achievements of distinguished Belizean youths. This year’s Belize Youth Awards was held at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, September 12th.

Belize performed Above Expectation in CODICADER Games
Brandon White captured the Most Points and Most Rebounds Individual Awards. The National Secondary Schools Sports Association was the official representative of the country to the Central American Scholar Games that were held in Guatemala City over the last two weeks. This year’s CODICADER Games were originally scheduled to be hosted by Panama, but because of financial constraints they were not able to do so. As a result, the games were then redistributed between Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Panama. For the first time since Belize started to participate in the scholar games, the student-athletes were able to hold their own against student-athletes of their own age in Central America. The 2012 Edition of the Games started off with Ladyville Technical High School winning the Gold Medal in girls’ softball. This was followed by Sadie Vernon boys winning the Gold Medal in Basketball. This was followed by St. Catherine Academy girls winning the Bronze Medal in Volleyball. St. Catherine Academy was also the representative in girls’ basketball at these games while Toledo Community College was the representatives for the boys’ volleyball. Belize will participate in Football and Athletics in El Salvador during the second half of the CODICADER Games.

FFB holds Administration Course in Belmopan
The Football Federation of Belize is currently hosting a FIFA Administration and Club Management course which is being conducted by FIFA instructor Dale Spencer of Jamaica. The course, which started on Monday, September 10th will conclude on Thursday, September 14th, 2012. The course participants are namely: Frank Sutherland, Peter Alvarez, Aaron Swift, Kevin Flores, Dennis Serano, and Francis Wagner from the District Football Associations. Meanwhile, the participants from the Premier League are as follows: Phillip Leslie, Victor Briceno, Hercel Hyde, Julio Santos, Darlene Padron, Wilmore Staine, and Carlos Slusher. The other participants includes the following: Josue Rivera (Futsal), Anthony Phillips (Female Football Committee), Anthony Adderly (Competitions Committee), Renan Couch (FFB Technical Director) and Kent Gabourel (Women’s National Team Coach). The participants from the Federation are Ruperto Vicente, Sergio Chuc, Rawell Pelayo, Cruz Games, Michael Blease and Melanie Matute.

Placencia Assassins and the Belize Defence Force maintains Lead in PLB Competition
Lennox Castillo scored Police United 1st goal against R.G. City Boys United The Premier League of Belize 2012 Competition continued over the last week ending with six games across the country. On Saturday, September 8th, there were two games played. At the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, the home team, Paradise/Freedom Fighters and the visiting San Ignacio United FC played to a 1-1 draw. The Paradise/Freedom Fighters got on the scoreboard first when Victor Franco scored the 1st goal of the game in the 22nd minute of play to give his team a temporary lead. The game was then tied, a 1-1 when Joel Guzman scored the equalizing goal in the 40th minute of play. Meanwhile, out at the Isidorio Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the host team, Belmopan Bandits blanked FC San Felipe Barcelona by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Jeromy James in the 41st minute of play. The competition then continued on Sunday, September 9th, with four more games. At the FFB Stadium in Belmopan, Police United edged R.G. City Boys United by the score of 3-2. The visiting R.G. City Boys United were the first to get on the scoreboard when Delroy Andrews scored the 1st goal of the game in the 15th minute of play to give his team a temporary lead. Meanwhile, Police United was able to get on the board when Lennox Castillo scored the equalizing goal in the 22nd minute of play. The first half of the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Telemedia to defend Charles Solis Memorial Trophy
The 5th Annual Charles Solis Memorial Tournament is scheduled for Sunday, September 30th, 2012, commencing at 9:00 am sharp at the Rogers Stadium. This year’s Charles Solis Tournment will utilise a new format and will feature the champions and sub-champions from the affiliated associations of the federation. The Telemedia Softball Team is the defending Charles Solis Memorial Champions.

Black Pearl and Mahogany Masqueraders win Carnival Road March
Black Pearl won in the Junior category Road March Belize City streets were unusually busy a little after 2:30 on Saturday morning, September 8th, as scores of residents were making their way towards the Bel-Can Bridge for the start of Jouvert 2012. Though the jouvert was not scheduled to start until 5 a.m., at 4 o’ clock in front of the Save-U parking lot was already filled with excited people. The early turnout may have been directly related to the city’s new 2 o’ clock club policy. Less designer clothes were damaged in this year’s jouvert since club goers used the extra two hours to change their clothes. By 4:30 a.m., mud was being tossed at people. Some came out already pasted with mud and some came out covered in chocolate. As 5 o’ clock approached, people started to decide which truck to follow as there were at least three trucks to choose from. At 5, the horns blew and the jouvert was off. Belizeans and visitors of various races, age and background danced with each other through the streets of Belize City. As the jouvert passed Central American Boulevard, more people started to enter. By the time the turn at Cemetery Road was made, the sun had already peeked out. Nevertheless, people continued to join as the celebration continued unto West Canal, across the Vernon Street Bridge and right into Youth for the Future Drive. By the time the crowd had reached the Bel-China Bridge, it was the truck featuring Alfrain Supaul that had drawn the biggest crowd. That crowd grew more and more as it made its way up Cleghorn Street then left into Freetown Road. The jouvert ended at the flag monument roundabout. There were at least a couple thousand people in jouvert 2012. After jouvert ended, some washed themselves off in the river near Bel-Can Bridge. Some people got into their vehicles and headed home while others continued dancing through the streets as the trucks continued to their final destinations. One truck led a group all the way to the Port of Belize area. Most people rested after jouvert to get ready for the Carnival Road March.

From La Ceiba to Belize: A Tribute to Andy Palacio
On Saturday, September 15th, Events Planners and the Battle of the Drums Committee will be hosting a concert in tribute to the late great Andy Palacio at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. The show starts at 7 p.m. and features Paul Nabor, Aurelio Martinez and his Garifuna Soul Band, the Garifuna Collectives and much more. Proceeds from the concert "From La Ceiba to Belize: A Tribute to Andy Palacio" will be donated to assist in the building of the proposed gravesite monument for Andy Palacio. Tickets are $35 each and can be bought at the Bliss or by calling 600-1839, 631-5360 or 627-5902. Sponsors of the event are NICH, James Brodie and Company Limited, Belikin, Wave Radio and Wave TV, Channel 7, Channel 5, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Battle of the Drums Secretariat, Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina and The Bakadeer Inn. Also in honour of Andy Palacio, the Ministry of Education has commissioned the writing of a book on the life of Andy Palacio. The book entitled “The Andy Palacio Moment” was written by Lawrence Vernon and will be published soon. Here is a foreword of the book by Dr. Joseph O. Palacio. This small but powerful book fills a vacuum in the literature about Andy Palacio. Surprisingly, there has been only one book dedicated to him, a collection of essays and memorabilia - photographs, newspaper clippings, etc. - that Yasser Musa so gracefully compiled a few months after Andy's passing in 2008 and entitled Andy Palacio. Lawrence Vernon has added a great deal to the story of the life of our beloved Andy but not altogether filling the vacuum that gets deeper with each passing year after his untimely death.

Conch Survey to determine Stock for Upcoming Season
The conch season was closed early this year on April 24th and will re-open on September 30th. Usually, the season closed on June 30th but the season was closed early and the closed season was extended because the Queen Conch (strombus gigas) is listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). It was also determined that the Cooperatives had filled their quota and in an effort to protect the endangered specie, the season was shortened and the closed season made longer. Now as the season comes closer to opening, the Fisheries Department is conducting their bi-annual national conch survey within various marine reserves across the country. The survey is a means by which the Government takes stock of the Queen Conch's numbers in Belizean waters. At the end of the survey, the information is submitted to CITES to prove whether or not there is a healthy population of the sea creature to justify its further exploitation. During the survey, conchs are counted with 200 meter transect lines which are two meters wide inside and outside the barrier reef. In the exercise, the length of each conch encountered is taken. Also recorded is the thickest part of the conch's flair lip. The survey is done every two years from the northernmost coastal tip to the southernmost end of the country.

Jermaine Madrill
A promising young athlete lost his life on Saturday, September 8th. Jermaine Madrill, 17, drown in the Haulover Creek after he jumped into the water from the Bel-Can Bridge. Reports indicate that Madrill had participated in the Carnival Jouvert earlier on and sometime around 6 he had arrived at the bridge. Like many other participants of the Jouvert, he decided to jump into the river to remove mud and chocolate, which they use to cover themselves with as they participate in the Jourvet. After Madrill jumped into the water, he did not resurface and despite efforts by at least one other person, who was his family member to save him, he drowned. His body was retrieved from the waters at around 6:46 on Sunday morning; it was found under the Bel-Can Bridge by family members and Coast Guard personnel. By all accounts, Jermaine was a promising young athlete having represented Belize last year in the CODICADER Games last year in athletics. He was also an avid softball player and formed part of the Belize National Volleyball team.

Hope in Belize City
As evening sets in Belize City, there are children who gather daily at the corner of Plues Street and Dean Street. It is perhaps one of the least likely places where anyone would have or even want to have an after school program. Less than a block away is George Street, one of the most notorious streets in Belize City as it is the home base to one of the most ruthless and feared gangs in the Old Capital. But despite the environs, well-known Belize City personality, Timmy Stamp takes out armchairs across the street from his small grocery store for a daily evening program. The chairs are neatly arranged in rows, on a slab of concrete that was once the floor of a building. There is a small blackboard leaning against a concrete wall and a chair is placed in front of it. It is set to resemble a classroom and promptly at 4:30 in the evening, classes commence. It starts off with a prayer and the sessions go well past evening time and into the night. There is no light here, other than the street lamps so the best of the daylight that remains is taken advantage of. Stamp says that every day, there is a trickle of anywhere between 15 and 20 children from the neighborhood who sit in for after school classes. With the assistance of a young man and a young woman the children are taught the basics: mathematics, English and reading. They are also assisted with their homework as well. While most of the time he has help, there are times when Stamp himself has to do the teaching. When we caught up with him, he was giving them the basics of the September Celebrations- the 10th and the 21st. While it may seem rudimentary, the reality of it is that of the 9 boys who were present, there was only one of them who could answer basic questions about the September Celebration. The answers to the questions would incite inquisitiveness from those present; most exclaiming when they learnt that it has been 214 years since the battle of St. George's Caye.

Ministry of Health continues to investigate Pregnancy Case of Woman at Northern Regional
The Ministry of Health would like to state the findings so far in relation to the pregnancy of a 33- year-old mother of Corozal Town. The patient first visited the Corozal Community Hospital (CCH) on July 2nd, 2012 where she was diagnosed with 23 weeks gestational age by a medical officer and requested to do an ultrasound. At that time, one fetus was noted. On her subsequent visit on August 15th, 2012, the patient presented an ultrasound which she performed at a medical facility in Chetumal. This suggested twin pregnancy and the expected date of delivery of September 3rd, 2012. During this visit to the CCH, she was again re-evaluated and diagnosed with a twin pregnancy and also at high risk due to blood pressure complications. She was referred to the Northern Regional Hospital (NRH) in Orange Walk Town. Her next visit was on August 20th, 2012 at NRH. Upon assessment, she was again informed that she was with twin pregnancy at 38 weeks gestational age by a second ultrasound which was done privately. The patient was advised and scheduled to do a C-section on September 3rd, 2012. She attended prenatal clinic twice thereafter, on the 23rd and the 30th of August. She was again assessed at the CCH with no change to her diagnosis.

Government of Belize transfers Land Title to the University of Belize
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Hon. Gaspar Vega on September 5th, presented the land title for the Central Farm Campus (CFC) to the University of Belize. The presentation was made by the Deputy Prime Minister at CFC during the inauguration of a newly constructed building that will house classrooms and a Soil and Biology laboratory. In his Keynote Address entitled: “Agriculture: The foundation of our Diversified Economy,” the Deputy Prime Minister said that UB has played an important role in the development of agriculture in Belize; and in this regard, the collaboration between the ministry and UB offers a good template to positively impact development across all districts in Belize. “We are certain that the training at UB will deliver many new entrepreneurs in agriculture that will become excellent employers,” he said. “These new facilities for UB will also increase your capacity and we look forward to your new students and graduates actively participating in the job of revitalizing the agriculture and food sector.” The Deputy Prime Minister concluded that his ministry will also make available farm land to the two top graduates from UB’s agriculture programme as a way to stimulate the growth of the agricultural sector. Speaking to the gathering, Campus Administrator, Dr. Gordon Holder remarked that CFC graduates have distinguish themselves as farmers, agribusiness entrepreneurs, technicians and professionals for the agro-industry due to relevant skills training and competencies acquired at CFC.

Prince Meets Prime Minister
PM Dean Barrow meets “Lova Boy”PM Dean Barrow meets “Lova Boy”Daniel “Lova Boy” Cacho started the year by taking home the Belize Music Award for Best Song, “Tornado”. That is after he had been blowing up the radio waves for months. Since taking home that award, Lova Boy has continued to burn hot. He is now THE must see Belizean entertainer – surpassing the General, who also is scheduled to release a hot new album soon. Lova Boy has been the headliner of every national celebratory event in Belize and did all that while transforming the name Lova Boy from an entertainer into a viable brand. Not even Daniel Cacho himself could have imagined the amount of success he would experience in such a short time but with all the accomplishments, Lova Boy was most proud when the Prime Minister of Belize invited him to his Belize City office on Friday, September 7th. Lova Boy was appearing on various morning talk sho-ws on Friday with Deputy Mayor Dion Leslie as they were promoting the scheduled festivities for the weekend in Belize City when he got word that Prime Minister Barrow had requested to see him. Lova Boy said he was very excited and anxious from the time he got the message, around 10 a.m., to the time he walked into the elevator of the Whitfield Tower. His excitement was so off the charts that while he was just waiting in a couch for the Prime Minister to come greet him, he pulled out a pocket camera and said, “Tek mi picha, tek mi picha!” Prime Minister Barrow came out seconds later and invited him into a room in which he had sit down and dialogued with countless Heads of State and foreign diplomats on issues ranging from that of national security to foreign trade.

Hezbollah in Belize - Is JP Involved?
Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, Yasser Safa and Abdalah EldersRafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, Yasser Safa and Abdalah EldersYasser Safa is one of two naturalized Belizean men who were captured in Mexico along with United States fugitive, Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun on Saturday, September 8th, after a successful operation by the National Migration Institute (INM) and the State Police. According to reports, almost a dozen law enforcement vehicles were seen parked in front of Mohammed Labboun’s Mexican home in the Francisco Montejo area of Merida. The officers breached the premises with extremely high powered rifles. Arrested along with Mohammed Labboun, and naturalized Belizeans, Safa was George Abdalah Elders. Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun is an American citizen, who has lived in the States for over 30 years. He was convicted of credit card fraud and after serving time in prison, he was released on parole. However, he violated the terms of that parole when he left the United States. Mohammed Labboun was deported to the U.S. a few hours after his arrest, Sunday very early in the morning, because there was a warrant out for his arrest in Houston, Texas. On Monday, he appeared before a judge in Texas for violating his parole and was returned to California for imprisonment. According to officials, Mohammed Labboun identified himself at the time of the arrest using a Belizean passport with the name William Dyck. The Belize Police Department is currently engaged in an investigation to determine exactly how it is that he got the passport. The Guardian spoke to the Senior Public Relations Officer in the ministry of National Security, Delroy Cuthkelvin, on Wednesday, September 13th. He explained that the matter has been turned over to the Criminal Investigation Branch. So far, they have determined that William Dyck was born in Shipyard in Orange Walk on February 8th, 1976. The birth registration was confirmed by the Vital Statistics Unit. Police visited the listed address for Dyck and, according to Cuthkelvin, they spoke to a woman, who said that she does remember William Dyck. The woman identified herself as Dyck’s sister and informed the officers that William Dyck died two months after birth in 1976. Both of their parents have since died as well. Police then visited the Vital Statistics Unit but could not find documentation of the baby’s death. They then focused the investigation on the application and issuance of the identification documents. Mohammed Labboun was also found with a Belizean driver’s license.

Murder Charges for Baby’s Aunt
Baby Kaylee Burgess, deceasedBaby Kaylee Burgess, deceasedMurder charges are expected to be lain on the aunt of 2-year-old baby Kaylee Burgess. The charges come after the toddler was found dead inside a bucket at around 11:30 on Wednesday night. But the child's death is prefaced by a string of allegations and counter allegations between the child's mother, Deidre Pratt and her father, Kevin Burgess. Sometime after 10 on Tuesday night, it is alleged that Deidre Pratt made her way to her ex-common law husband's house and set it on fire. An hour later, he is said to have gone to Pratt mother's house and punched three louvers causing damages to them. After the allegations Pratt was detained by police and was released by 10 on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, Martha Mejia, who is Pratt's mother, had already made a report against Burgess for damage to property. By 9p.m. also on Wednesday, he was picked up by police as they investigated the report made by Mejia as well as another, which was made against him for kidnapping his two-year-old daughter Kaylee. Even as the parents went through their troubles, Kaylee had gone missing and it was not until after 11:30, that she was found dead inside a bucket at the home of Pratt's mother. A post mortem conducted on the baby girl has determined that she died as a result of suffocation. Police pathologist Dr. Mario Estradabran put the time of the child's death at sometime around 6 on Wednesday evening. Adding even more speculation to the incident is that family members had gathered at Dr. Estradabran's house following the outcome of the post mortem on Friday. Police had to be called in and the family members left the area. While charges were expected to be lain on Wednesday, up to press time no such charges had been filed.


Medellin, Colombia, Part 2: Put this City on Your List
I've only been in Colombia for about 4 or 5 days now but I've heard the same thing from each traveler we've run in to...they all LOVE Medellin. Originally they allotted two days and stayed one week...or one month...most never want to leave. I get it. It is an absolutely enchanting city (and it is hard for me to use a syrupy-sweet word like "enchanting"). But there is really no other way to describe it. Colombia so far has surprised me in every way. The weather? least here at 5000 feet (I will experience the heat in much lower Cali soon). Medellin, my new love, is not called the "city of eternal spring" for nothing. 80s during the day, 60s at night, sunny with maybe some late afternoon clouds.

September so far …
Firstly we have to remark that September’s weather has been unusually glorious. Yes, we have been experiencing hot weather but the traditional September cloud and overcast skies are not present – sunshine has been continuous and with that we have happy tourists and islanders – the law of averages would suggest that a little rainfall should be on its way before September closes?? Tourism is definitely down on previous years Septembers. The streets are unusually slow, some would say that they never really picked up after Hurricane Ernesto and we would tend to agree. The Split is populated with a more local vibe than tourist – not a bad thing a local energy is always a good one but the balance is necessary for everyone to sustain an income. It must be noted that tourism perhaps is just taking a different pattern than previous years as the high season this year saw an increase – it is just this slow period that appears to have taken a drop – could this be accounted for the numbers of hurricane scares in this period over the last few years?? Along with the drop in tourism we have noticed a closing of businesses slightly earlier than usual – Habaneros, Don Coroleone, Rainbow, Barefoot Caribe and Sandbox have all been closed the past week – not to mention that the cake lady has dropped a number of her daily outings!!! September 10th on the island went past without a drum, a whistle or a swinging of engine – this is not unusual. We are hoping that the September Celebrations Committee have got it all in store for us for September 21st as we are all saving ourselves for this big bang!! Roll on September!!

International Sources

Arctic Ice Melt Could Mean More Extreme Winters For U.S. And Europe
The record loss of Arctic sea ice this summer will echo throughout the weather patterns affecting the U.S. and Europe this winter, climate scientists said on Wednesday, since added heat in the Arctic influences the jet stream and may make extreme weather and climate events more likely. The “astounding” loss of sea ice this year is adding a huge amount of heat to the Arctic Ocean and the atmosphere, said Jennifer Francis, an atmospheric scientist at Rutgers University in New Jersey. “It’s like having a new energy source for the atmosphere.” Francis was one of three scientists on a conference call Wednesday to discuss the ramifications of sea ice loss for areas outside the Arctic. The call was hosted by Climate Nexus.

CARICOM countries to unite in renewable energy push
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member countries have resolved to work together to ensure adequate support for the region’s thrust towards renewable energy. This commitment resulted from a meeting held at the September 7 conclusion of the two-day renewable energy summit in Malta, organised by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Jamaica’s Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM) Julian Robinson, who was his country’s representative at the summit, called the meeting of member states in attendance to examine how CARICOM, as a regional bloc, could interact with entities like IRENA to source assistance, grants, and other financial instruments "to facilitate joined-up projects rather than compete head on for instruments from the same global financial pie". Robinson pointed out that invariably many of the smaller countries lose out to the larger and better resourced ones when trying to source financial assistance. The minister said that, arising from the meeting, the eight CARICOM countries represented have agreed in principle to work together to complete a renewable energy assessment within the region so that "we know where we are and what support we can lend to each other as well as areas where we can seek collective support."

September 12, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Week of September 2nd – September 9th, 2012
Just a classic late summer week with fun times relaxing and fishing the flats with no one around. It’s slow season primarily because it’s nice weather in North America! Lucky for us it’s great weather here too. The fish are happy due to stable conditions, and anglers have had some quality fishing both on fly and spin. The guides are using this down time to fix their boats and getting ready for a busy October. The guests who snorkeled or dove with Alonzo this week had rave reviews: Incredible creatures of the sea living on the second largest barrier reef in the world. And there were some fun stories from guests who went bar hopping on bicycles…everyone made it back intact. New friends this week...

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

SPTCC outlines recommendations on importation of vehicles
The San Pedro Traffic Control Committee is working diligently to curb the problem of traffic congestion in San Pedro. Kenrick Brackett, councilor responsible for traffic, met with the media on Wednesday morning to highlight the types and sizes of vehicles that the committee will entertain for permit approval. Please note that no application is an automatic approval. However, the committee will ONLY entertain applications of the vehicles specified above. The problem of congestion is an ever present one on the streets of San Pedro and the committee is very much aware of this issue.

Ambergris Today

Medical Tourism Becoming a Reality in Belize
As a follow up to the first workshop, a second Medical Tourism workshop was held at the House of Culture in Belize City, on Friday, September 7, 2012. Presenters for this session included Mr. Massimo Manzi, the Project’s Consultant, and Executive Director of the Council for International Promotion of Costa Rica Medicine (PROMED), and Mr. Tom Terranova, representative from the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF). Among the topics under discussion, the following were addressed:

St. George's Caye Day Commemorated in San Pedro
The September 10th celebrations commemorating the 214th Battle of St. George’s Caye in San Pedro took new form as the San Pedro House of Culture and the San Pedro Town Council held activities at Central Park to bring in the anniversary celebratory activities, parade and the official coronation of Miss San Pedro. The evening’s activities on Sunday, September 9, 2012, included marching band presentations by Isla Bonita Elementary and San Pedro Roman Catholic School who entertained the large gathering at the park with excellent drumming skills that were accompanied by their own dance squads. Other presentations included musical performances by Naslin Rivero, Trisha Godoy, Barrington Castillo and Natalie Arceo who all sang patriotic and lively songs to pick up the spirit of celebration for the evening. Dance routines included a pirate themed performance by the San Pedro Dance Company and a flag routine by Miss Chiquitita Darianie Pou.

San Pedro's Biggest Festival Back Then (Part 2)
Two weeks ago I commenced on a story of the biggest festival San Pedro put on and it was on the occasion of Dia de San Pedro, St. Peter’s Day on June 29, about one hundred years ago. All the preparations were done by village volunteers and now it was time to enjoy. For the fist song the Batab had selected 12 young men and 12 young ladies to dance and open the festival. The men bowed to the girls and took off their hats. The girls curtsied and the men put their hats on again. There was a custom that if a man liked a girl, he could put his hat on her head. Some girls got several hats and some got none.

Miss San Pedro 1986
The year is 1986, 26 years ago. No matter what size of parade it was, Miss San Pedro has always been present as the focal point of any parade. This year it was Flor Marin, with her lovely maids of honor. The float depicts a whale after which the Island got its name of Ambergris Caye. The photo was taken from the verandah of Barrier Reef Hotel, formerly the renowned Papa Blake House. Friendship Park with its volleyball court had been recently built and the sandy streets still boasted some grass and greenery on the sides. Notably the parade was being led by the Boy Scouts, an organization that we have lost with the passage of time and changes of priorities. These were still the days of NO SHIRT, NO SHOES, NO PROBLEM, in San Pedro Town.

Parents: Be involved, not difficult!
As the new school year begins many educators anticipate having to deal with “difficult” parents. These are the parents who are seen only at registration or “sometimes” picking up report cards or paying school fees; they are not actively involved in their children’s careers at school everyday. These parents have or want nothing to do with the PTA. They have far more important things to do. Yet, these parents have high expectations of their sons/daughters and of the schools. Translation: schools (administrators and teachers) do your job! Whenever these high expectations are not met, i.e. when the son or daughter is failing a class (or more) and/or having discipline problems at school, it means that the school is not doing its job. That’s when overworked and underpaid teachers need to watch out! Harsh and negative criticisms as well as tongue-lashing accusations will be pelted at them for not doing their jobs! How dare they make a parent lose time off from his/her precious work to have to come to school?!!!

Misc Belizean Sources

Today September 11, 2012; Ladies and Gentlemen, the fine people of Placencia Peninsula; we are here to inform the General Public that the Government of Belize in conjunction with Belize Water Services Ltd. (BWSL), have lied to, mislead and manipulated the communities of the Placencia Peninsula. A TIMELINE OF EVENTS: July 27, 2010: I attended the first meeting about the Integrated Water and Sanitation Programme for the Placencia Peninsula at Robert's Grove, in the capacity, of the Chairman of Placencia Village along with Francis Palacio, Chairman of Seine Bight Village. A meeting which I video recorded. At minute 49 I stated, from the information I was gathering at the meeting, that it seems that BWSL wants to take over the Peninsula's Water Boards, I also stated that if I presented the information they just gave to me, that the people of Placencia would reach the same conclusion. Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Team Leader of the Water and Sanitation Project, Lu Shen, did not clearly state whether or not BWSL would take over the Water Boards.

Benque HoC's Unidecennial Anniversary Celebrations
The Benque House of Culture had their Unideceniial Anniversary with the opening of the Story of Resistance in Belize. They have quite a few events planned for the September Celebrations. They had quite a few visitors! "11 years Anniversary & opening ceremony of exhbitions " The Story of Resistance in Belize", schools from Benque Viejo & San Jose Succotz, honored us with their presence, Mount Camrel High SChool, Victorious Nazarene, San Jose Succotz R.C. Hills of Promise S.D.A. and a host of friends & supporters, we humbly thank you for everything."

George Price Man of Purpose and Vision Exhibit
The SISE HoC's latest exhibit is on display starting today, and continuing through October 12th. Just in time for National Service Day and the September Celebrations, the exhibit is called: "George Price Man of Purpose and Vistion." Thanks go out to NICH and the SISE HoC for bringing this great cultural exhibit to Cayo.

Channel 7

Baby Kaylee's Aunt Detained For Her Death
On Saturday the funeral for two year old Baby Kaylee Burgess was held in Ladyville. The families from both sides of her family gathered to bury her two days after what would have been her birthday. And, very likely, one of the family members who was at that funeral will be charged for murder or conspiracy. It is an almost unbelievable turn in what is one of the saddest stories we've ever reported. It started on Wednesday of last week when Kevin Burgess alleged that his common-law Diedre Pratt had burned down his house. But according to police forensic pathologist Dr. Mario Estradabran, when the news aired that night, Kaylee was likely already dead - and she didn't drown; he found that someone had suffocated her. And so now murder is the case - and today Ladyville police took the child's 19 year old aunt into custody in Ladyville; she is Diedre Pratt's younger sister. She is being investigated and may be charged tomorrow - but until then speculation about who killed the child and when continues to swirl.

Belizean-Hezbollah Affiliates?
A Trio of Lebanese men caught in Merida with Belizean passports has raised concerns that there may have been a terrorist cell operating in Belize. The men are Yasser Safa - who became notorious for various hustles while he was in Belize, George Abdalah Elters who was a mechanic on Coney Drive in Belize City and a man named Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun who had a Belizean passport in the name Wilhelm Dick. According to the Yucatan Times Labboun is a suspected member of the terrorist network Hezbollah. Mexican police descended on his Merida home in force on Saturday night, which is when he presented himself with the fake passport. George Abdalah Elters and Justin Yasser Safa were also arrested with him. Media outlets in Mexico report that they both had valid immigration forms - and had entered through Chetumal. Some reports suggest that Labboun also entered through Chetumal - while other reports say that he flew into Cancun and others say he flew straight from Los Angeles.

Man Knocked Down/Killed On Way To Work
Thanks to a strong police presence, the weekend was mostly violence free in the city; there are no reports of anyone being shot or killed. But there was loss of life: two tragic events in which one city resident was knocked down while another drowned. We start with the security guard who was knocked down as he rode to work. It happened on Saturday evening at around 5:15 pm. 25 year old Shane Dougal who works for Harpy Security was riding from his home on George Street to work in Ladyville was knocked down at mile five on the Northern Highway. He suffered massive head trauma and died shortly after being hit. Police have released the name of the driver as Jason Roney Castillo, a 21 year old fitness trainer. But Shane Dougal's mother says they have been receiving mixed messages from police - and that worries her. She told us about her concerns:.

Teenager Drowns In Post-Juveey Revelry
On Saturday morning before dawn - while most of us were asleep, hundreds of city residents poured into the streets for the annual juveey. It is the pre-carnival event to get revelers into the mood for a day of bacchanal - and customarily it ends down by the river near the Belcan Bridge - with the early morning revelers washing themselves off. And in-keeping with the early morning sense of chaos and disorder - the dozens of young men who were in the juveey clamber unto the rails of the Belcan Bridge for death-defying dives into the river which is about 15 feet above the river. It's good fun but very dangerous - and that was demonstrated on Friday when 17 year old Jermaine Madrill drowned in all the ruckus. The promising young athlete is believed to have been smothered as someone else accidentally jumped on him. Search teams looked for him from Saturday morning and didn't unearth his body until the next morning - 24 hours later under the Belcan Bridge. Today his father told us he just wants closure - to know what happened to his son who would have been 18 on Sunday September 16th.

City Bond In Trouble?
It had a sort of soft public relations launch in mid-July, but since then we haven't heard much about the municipal bond. The prospectus was to have been issued by the end of July, and then the end of August - and now we're in the middle of September, and it still has not been published. And now there is news that makes it clear that all is not well with the bond. A press release has been sent out from the Legacy Fund - which had been retained as the council's financial advisor - to state that it quote, "announces the end of its service provider role with the Belize City Council with respect to the $20 million Belize City infrastructural bond project…As of 27 August 2012, Legacy has been disengaged from the project, due to an impasse with the Council over terms and conditions on moving forward with the municipal bond offering." That's big news and bad news for the city hall, which up until now had been on a roll. But it seems it has hit a brick wall with the bond launch - and it is unclear what the next step will be.

Hon. Castro Says BBOC Not Westline Should Get Western Runs
Last week, you heard both sides of the dispute between the BBOC and Westline Bus. Both of them want to have the 3:30 and 4:00 pm run from Benque Viejo to Belize City. BBOC has it right now - but Westline has been awarded it - and has paid for it - but it still has not gotten the road service permit issued. And it appears such permit may not materialize. Today the Minister of State with responsibility for Transport, Edmund Castro told us that the run should stay with the BBOC. Here are his comments:.. Hon. Edmund Castro "We had reverted the road side permit; the 3:30 and the 4:00 back to BBOC. I don't see why they are bickering over it." Jules Vasquez "Mr. Chuc told me that he has paid for those runs; 3:30 and 4:00 from Benque. He hasn't gotten the permit. He said that he got a receipt that he paid."

Sr. Supt. Williams Says Hyde Knows Where Guns Are
And tonight we have the other side of a story that made the news on Friday. Russell Hyde - who was released on bail from a kidnapping charge came to our studios to profess his innocence and to demonstrate that he was being set up by police. He had a secret recording of an exchange with former Officer Commanding Cayo Chester Williams. In it, Hyde discusses a sawed off shotgun and a nine millimeter pistol which Williams has asked him to recover. If he does recover it, Williams seems to promise that Hyde will get back his SUV which has been impounded as evidence. Today we spoke to Williams in Barbados where he is in law school. He told us there was nothing irregular about his conversation with Hyde:.. Sr. Supt. Chester Williams "He came requesting to get his vehicle back and I told him I said that you have been accused of breaking and entering into the home of Mr. Johnson during which two firearms was stolen and he came and ask me what was the description of the firearms and I told him that I didn't know but I can contact someone who knows the description."

Armin Arana's Home Torched
Tonight a popular radio personality and his mother are homeless after their concrete bungalow house was set on fire. The incident happened early Saturday morning a little after 4am. At the time both Armin Arana and his Mother Juliana Arana were in Barranco attending a family member's funeral. Neighbors who alerted the fire department who quickly responded to the house that was engulfed in flames. Today 7news spoke with Fire Operations Manager Ben Matura - who confirmed to us that it was indeed arson and the fire started from Armin Arana's bedroom. Ben Matura, Operations Officer - Fire Department "The fire department got a call approximately 4:30 am on the 8th September at the corner of Mahogany and Jasmine Streets. Upon arrival flames were coming out oif the back bedroom. We got into operation and extinguished the fire. Both bedrooms received fire damage and the rest of the house got smoke damage and a few scorched area." Juliana Arana, Home Owner "I was in Barranco for a relative funeral. As a matter of fact I was in bed sleeping when they woke me to the bad news. It's not a very good felling. I cried, it's a very bad feeling because you are not here to help yourself. Nobody was at home. Everybody was in Barranco. They are suggesting that it's from Armin's room and it spread out to my room."

Man Busted For Ruger "9"
Tonight, 25 year-old Randy Jones, a construction worker residing on Mopan Street, is at prison after police allegedly busted him with a firearm on Saturday. According to police, a team of officers were on mobile patrol, when they saw Jones riding on his bicycle on Mahogany Street. According to police, the officers saw clearly that when Jones spotted the vehicle, he lifted his shirt up, pulled out an object, threw it in a nearby yard, and tried to ride away before they caught up. The officers said that they immediately detained him, and took him back to the area where he threw the item. They discovered that it was a 9 mm Ruger brand pistol, which was loaded with 9 live rounds of ammunition.

Castro Says Rural Cops Need Motorbikes
We've told you about the problems in Crooked Tree, a larger village where there is no police presence because the station burned down some time ago. Well now there is one - and he has a motorbike to get around. Cycles were assigned to three rural police today - by the area representative through the Ministry of National security. He explained that they will be deployed to Sandhill, Crooked Tree and Bermudian Landing.. Hon. Edmund Castro "Areas such as Crooked Tree - there is no police station in Crooked Tree, the station got burnt down. What we experience over the years is that some of the youngsters are getting out of hand or people would go into the community and create mischief because there was lack of police presence. Now while we are working for construction for a new police station for Crooked Tree we found the need for us to rent a house to have a police present."

Minister's Brother Falsely Accused
And tonight, another Castro from the rural area is also making news. Edwin Castro - brother of the Honorable Edmund was named in a police report as a suspect in the stabbing of a 17 year old. The stabbing occurred at a wedding reception in front of the Maskall Community Center, where the assailant broke a beer bottle and stabbed him. Police said Edwin Castro was wanted - but he told us it's completely bogus:... Edwin Castro "I am not a wanted man because I don't have any police record. The police didn't arrest me and I don't have a charge sheet. Should my name go on the news, I should get a charge sheet, but so far none of that has happen so, please take my name off the air if so be the case." "They claim to say that I stabbed a 70 year old - who can prove it. At the end of the day I didn't get arrested and I didn't get any charge and so I want them to stop that. They should have never my name to the media if I didn't get a charge sheet or arrested."

GSU Gets Bulletproof Vest
Tonight, The Gang Suppression Unit is investigating the source of 2 bullet proof vests which were found just lying around on Saturday. According to the GSU, a team of officers were conducting operations in the Raccoon Street Extension area, and they conducted a search on an abandoned lot at around 8:40 a.m. They found 2 bullet proof vests behind a wooden house that was in the yard. The vests were disguised by 2 blue Smart 3G shirts to look like ordinary clothing items. Because no one was in the area, they were deposited as found property, but the GSU reports that the vests bear a strong resemblance the ones used by police officers. As a result, they are looking into the origins of the vests closely. And, at around 3:40 p.m. that same date, GSU searched 24 year-old Dwayne Humes while they were on Banak Street. They found 71 grams of cannabis in his left front pants pocket, and an additional 1.6 grams in the other pocket. As a result, he was charged with 1 count of drug trafficking, and 1 count of possession of controlled drugs.

A Tenth To Remember
The Tenth of September was a long and festive weekend. There were all kinds of events from carnival to concerts - but at the heart of the weekend - is a historical observance: the Battle of St. George's Caye. And as is customary - the nod to history was made on Monday morning at the memorial park - which we are happy to note was ready right on time. Here are a few highlights:... Jules Vasquez reporting The pleasantries, the formalities and the frivolities as well as the festivities and the speeches. Mayor Darrell Bradley "The success of a nation does not depend of cannons, ships or soldiers nor does it depend on money. The Baymen saw that the success of a nation depends of the share will and determination of its people that any problem no matter how large could be overcome. That any enemy, no matter how fearsome could be silence and that any dream no matter how loft it could be achieve with basic human determination. We are still here strong after 214 years. Ours is a history of courage against all odds, of victory in the face of overwhelming circumstances."

Channel 5

Yasser Safa; “I’m not a terrorist”
Two Belizeans are making headlines across the globe tonight. Justin George Abdalah Elders and Yasser Safa who lived in Belama as well as the Los Lagos area are being linked to the radical movement, Hezbollah. Safa, a naturalized Belizean, is originally from Lebanon. The third man who was arrested, Rafik Mohammed Labboun Allaboun, is a [...]

Aunt questioned about death of 2 year old
Last Friday, the shocking results of an autopsy revealed that young Kaylee Burgess had been suffocated and that she had not drowned in a bucket of water as her family had claimed. The child was in the care of her aunt who lives in the Japan area of Ladyville. At the time, Diedra Pratt, the [...]

Was pregnant woman carrying twins? Hospital has no answers
There is a disturbing allegation coming out of the north tonight. A mother of four claims that she went to the Northern Regional Hospital last week to deliver twins, but following her surgery she was told that she only gave birth to one baby; an eight pound boy. The mother, who comes from a family [...]

Shooting in Old Capital
Just after twelve noon today, shots rang out in the Old Capital on Hondo Street. The shots were aimed at a patron at the popular fast food joint Pratt’s. The gunman dressed in khaki shorts and a grey undershirt pulled out what appeared to be a nine millimeter pistol and fired at least six shots [...]

Gone too soon; man killed on the highway
The family of a security officer is grieving his untimely death. Shane Dougal, who is employed by Harpy Security, was hit and killed on the Northern Highway as he headed to work after Saturday’s carnival. His mother Sarita Pitts, says she has been getting conflicting reports from the police. News’s Five’s Delahnie Bain has that [...]

Alcohol involved in fatal Corozal accident
Another accident in Corozal Town claimed the life of a seventy-one year old man of Ranchito Village. Around one-thirty on Saturday morning, police were called out to the junction of Paraiso Village and the Northern Highway, where they saw a back hoe on the side of the road and an extensively damaged car on the [...]

Youth drowns after jumping over Belcan Bridge
The excitement from Jouvert 2012 was shattered moments after it culminated. It has become a tradition for persons to jump off the Belcan Bridge and into the Belize River near the San Cas Plaza. But it turned tragic just around seven a.m., when seventeen year old Jermaine Madrill, a promising athlete of various sporting disciplines [...]

DJ Tambran on the record about City Hall
On Friday, while most Belize City entertainers were busy taking care of last minute preparations for the Annual Carnival Road March, Lennox ‘DJ Tambran’ Young, proprietor of Tambran’s Music Depot, was being put out of business. The veteran disc jockey, who is currently embroiled in a legal battle with the Belize City Council over unpaid [...]

Arson claims Arana home on Mahogany Street
There was a fire in Belize City on Saturday morning. The home of seventy one year old Juliana Arana and her son Armin was gutted some time after four a.m. Arana, who spent the weekend in Barranco, had lived in the home for twenty years and now has to start all over again. The investigation [...]

The mud and chocolate of Jouvert 2012
This year’s Jouvert turned out to be a huge event; in fact Jouvert has grown immensely and as many as three thousand are estimated to have participated in the revelry, which precedes the road march. Bright and early on Saturday morning the crowd descended on the San Cas Plaza where the event kicked off. The [...]

The sequined Road March of Carnival 2012
Hours later, the Annual Carnival Road March made its way through the principal streets of the Old Capital in the sweltering heat on Saturday. While the riot of colors, characters and music was met with mixed reviews from spectators, it did produce three winners in the senior large band category. In first place was Mahogany [...]

Tonight Group A bedazzles on Superstar
The celebrations are well underway and one event that you can’t miss out on starts shortly at the Bliss. Performers of Group A will bring their A game on stage as they battle to capture the title and fortune as The Next Superstar. But when the curtains draw, the bottom three performers will fight to [...]

James Adderley with the equalizer on Sports Monday
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Week 3 of the PLB Football Season saw the Belmopan Bandits head to San Felipe the scheduled date with San Felipe Barcelona and we join the action as Jeremy James tries to open the scoreboard for the Bandits with this launch that’s right at [...]


A service was for the new superintendent of Toledo Methodist Circuit
A welcome and induction service for a new superintendent of the Toledo Methodist Circuit was held last night in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

A family moves the September celebration to the next level
A family in Belize City has taken patriotism to a whole new level, with the painting of a huge Belizean flag on the front of their house. Love Tv’s Patrick Jones and Videographer Brian Castillo, went to look at the work in progress and here is what they found.

The annual Belize Soundfest rolls out in Belize
The annual Belize Soundfest has become a staple of the September Celebrations. The eleventh edition of the show is poised to put a star-studded line up of local artists on stage at the Bird’s Isle tonight. Tony Wright has been the driving force behind Belize Soundfest since its inception and he says that tonight’s show has something for everyone. Wright says that persons attending Belize Soundfest will not have to worry about getting back home after the show, because organizers of the show have carefully coordinated public transportation for the event. Tickets for Belize Soundfest 2012 are selling for fifteen dollars adults, while children pay five dollars.

Punta Gorda leads a group of Belizeans to go on a special expedition
A group of Belizeans is set to go on a special expedition this weekend. Under the leadership of Punta Gorda native Wil Maheia, the group known as the Belize Territorial Volunteers will be leading a trek to the Belize-Guatemala border on Sunday. According to Mahaeia, the expedition is for a show of patriotism and he is inviting all Belizeans to head south to join is displaying their love of country. Mahaia says the expedition will go to the closest point along the Belize Guatemala border and expects the hike to be no more than thirty minutes. The entire event is expected to be completed in by mid-afternoon.

The second annual National Day Prayer Circle was held on Monday
The second annual National Day Prayer Circle will be held on Monday September 10th at 2:30pm at the Destiny Preschool in Georgeville. Reverend Rose Fairweather is the organizer of the event Fairweather says that everyone can also enjoy a walk down memory lane on this day Fairweather says last year was the first time they hosted the prayer circle and they had a good turnout. She hopes many more will join this year. Once again the time is 2:30 p.m. on Monday September 10th at the Destiny Preschool in Georgeville.

Lindo’s court case
Charge stems from a report made early last year September when Hector Usher was accused of inappropriately touching an infant. The case concluded today before Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith, and Usher was found not guilty of the charge. Usher has been targeted and threatened since the charge was laid against him and his reputation has been tarnished as a result. Today his attorney, Senior Counsel Dean Lindo, Dean Senior Counsel Lindo said that because the allegation had already created a foregone conclusion in many people’s minds, it came to a point where a media personality had been inciting violence against his client. Lindo said that he wanted to set the record straight in the media. Lindo hopes that with the acquittal of Usher today, he can now return to his life before the trial.

The University now owns Faculty of Agriculture, Central Farm in Cayo
In other news from the University of Belize, the University is now the owner of the title for land on which its Faculty of Agriculture sits in Central Farm in the Cayo district. The transfer of the land title to UB was done on Wednesday of this week, during a ceremony, which also marked the inauguration of a new building that will house classrooms as well as a soil and biology laboratory. Director of Public Information for the University of Belize Selwyn King told Love News the added infrastructure will greatly assist the University in training potential farmers and agro-producers. King says that during Wednesday’s land title transfer, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega made a commitment that his ministry will make available farm land to two top graduates from UB’s agriculture program as a way to stimulate the agriculture sector.

A protest took places at the UB campus
Yesterday students attending the Belize City campus of the University of Belize walked out of classes in protest This morning, the director of the office of public information Selwyn King, told Love News that the University’s management is in dialogue with the student government to correct anomalies at the Belize City campus of the country’s national university. As we have reported previously, the student government representatives say they will continue to press the University’s management to keep to their commitment to ensure improvements in the learning environment at the Belize City campus.

A concert was held at the Bliss
It’s not too late to start getting ready and head on to the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts where the Francis Reneau and Friends in Concert will be taking place. Love News caught up with the renowned composer this afternoon who said that his message in the songs to be presented tonight are to be remembered over time because of what Belize is going through Singer, Jenny Lovell, is one of Reneau’s friends who will be singing a couple of songs with the composer. Lovell says they will be doing a total of five songs tonight. The concert begins at 8:00 p.m. Entrance fee is twenty dollars.

Inauguration ceremonies for solar renewable energy projects was held in Toledo
Inauguration ceremonies for solar renewable energy projects at two rural schools were held in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports


Produce a'plenty
Today we had to ride our bikes into town twice because we bought so much produce we couldn't carry it all on the first trip! We also spent all our cash on the first trip, but the very nice fruit-stand proprietor said that we were welcome to take all the fruit and veggies that we wanted and bring him the money later. Wow! Even though we are regular customers there, I was still surprised and honored that he would be so trusting. It reminded me that we are in Belize, where small-town courtesies have not gone by the wayside, not yet. We couldn't carry any more on our bikes anyway, so we rode back to our condo to unload and headed right back out for the second trip to get the rest. Here's our haul: Picture Oranges, mangoes, papayas, limes, avocados, onions, bananas, tomatoes, green beans, and bell peppers

Quetzalcoatl by Pablo Collado
During our 2012 Winter Solstice Celebration which is scheduled to take place from December 15 – 22, 2012, we have invited Belizean Maya Flutist, Pablo Collado to perform a potpourri of Maya melodies to commemorate the completion of the Maya Long Count’s 13th Ba’ k tun. Below is a sample of a melody entitled “Quetzalcoalt” that Mr. Collado recorded early this year. He describes the rhythm of the song as follows: To the Aztecs, Quetzalcoatl was, as his name indicates, a feathered serpent, a flying reptile (much like a dragon), who was a boundary maker (and transgressor) between earth and sky. He was also a creator deity having contributed essentially to the creation of Mankind. He also had anthropomorphic forms, for example in his aspects as Ehecatl the wind god. Among the Aztecs the name Quetzalcoatl was also a priestly title, as the most two important priests of the Aztec Templo Mayor were called “Quetzalcoatl Tlamacazqui”. In the Aztec ritual calendar, different deities were associated with the cycle of year names: Quetzalcoatl was tied to the year Ce Acatl (One Reed), which correlates to the year 1519.

International Sources

In the Caribbean Coral Die-Off, Myriad Wrinkles
At its ongoing conference in South Korea, the International Union for Conservation of Nature released a report on Friday indicating that live coral coverage on reefs in the Caribbean has plummeted from nearly 50 percent in the 1970s to less than 10 percent today. Yet describing the entire Caribbean as a region where reefs are in a state of general collapse tends to cloud the problem’s complexity, the study suggests. Michael Lesser, a program director for biological oceanography at the National Science Foundation, acknowledges that the region is the “poster child” for the global destruction of reefs. “The pronouncement that the Caribbean itself would be in dire straits is no surprise – we’ve been talking about this for a long time now,” he said. Overfishing has left its mark, as has the decline of species like the parrotfish and the spiny black urchin known as Diadema antillarum, which graze on algae and ideally keep it from stifling the reefs. Ocean warming and acidification add more pressure, bleaching and weakening coral networks. “It’s a sort of double whammy,” Dr. Lesser said. The acidification of the ocean has contributed to the bleaching and diminution of coral off Caye Caulker, Belize.

As Belizeans we have all had direct or indirect contact with one of the different Mennonite communities of Belize. They are known to hold fast to their culture and strict beliefs while they assist in the industries of commerce, carpentry, engineering and agriculture. Due to persecution, the Mennonites migrated from Holland to Germany to Prussia and eventually to North America. About 3,000 Mennonites finally relocated to Belize in 1959 along the Rio Hondo (Orange Walk District), in search of a life free of religious persecution and the pressures of modern society. They signed a special agreement with the Belize Government which exempt them from military service and certain forms of taxation while guaranteeing them complete freedom to practice their own religion and farm within their closed communities. They also freely practice their own form of local government and run their own schools and businesses. Their unique dialect a mixture of Dutch and German has persisted the 400 years since this move and is still spoken in the Mennonite communities of Belize.

New World Oil and Gas preparing to drill in Belize
New World Oil and Gas (LON:NEW) has confirmed the arrival of the ThermaSource rig #104 in Belize, with drilling on the company’s acreage scheduled to get underway shortly. New World, which holds assets in Belize and Denmark, said the drilling work would begin on the B Crest prospect, one of three drill ready prospects identified on the its flagship Blue Creek Project in the Petén Basin. The rig has been provided by the company’s drilling contractor, ThermaSource International, following a farm-down of 5% working interest per well for the first two wells in exchange for a 25% reduction in drilling costs. The rig arrived in Belize in 65 containers, all of which have been transported to the drill site in the Blue Creek area, where it is currently being rigged up. Once fully assembled, the rig will be tested for operational capability and drilling is expected to commence on or around 1 October 2012.

Belize to host wastewater management workshop
The Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management (CReW), a four-year project that began in 2011 and is financed by a special arrangement that involves the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Governments of some Caribbean countries, will host its first regional workshop in Belize City, Belize, 18 - 19 September 2012 to introduce the concept of revolving funds. Revolving funds are among the more flexible, innovative and effective financial management mechanisms that can provide sustainable financing for the development of much needed wastewater treatment facilities, costly propositions for regional governments struggling to maintain those that already exist. A 2009 UNEP report entitled “Assessment of Wastewater Management in the Caribbean” found untreated domestic wastewater had severe consequences for coastal ecosystems in the Wider Caribbean region. This has resulted in: increased fish mortality and negative effects on commercial fisheries; declines in coral reefs estimated to cost the region up to US$870 million by 2050; threats to human health, and threats to the tourism sector. Belize is one of four participating countries in which GEF CReW is piloting financing mechanisms that can be used to provide sustainable financing for environmentally sound and cost-effective wastewater management. US$5 million of GEF CReW funds are being provided directly to the government of Belize as a capitalization grant for the Belize Wastewater Revolving Fund (BWRF) to establish a regional sewage collection, treatment and disposal system for the Placencia Peninsula. This is the first generation project of the BWRF which will provide zero or below market interest loans for eligible wastewater treatment projects.

ATM: Hell’s Tale of an Empire’s Fall
After an hour long drive and a forty minute hike, we arrived at a place that might have been Eden. The entrance to Belize’s Actun Tunichil Muknal cave is submerged in a pool of water made ice blue by dissolved minerals. The morning sun flickered through the trees, illuminating the vibrant greens of the jungle trees and moss covered rocks. It was peaceful, lovely and alive. Appearances are deceiving, though. This wasn’t the entrance to paradise. It was the opening to Xibalba (”shi-ball-bah”), the underworld of the ancient Mayan people. The story told here is not one of creation, but of sadness, desperation, and decline. We went to Actun Tunichil Muknal to simply explore another cave system, the fifth of our recent travels. What we found instead was something unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Our descent into Xibalba began with a short swim, away from the leafy jungle and into diminishing light. From inside, the view was perhaps even more striking; the bright colors of the outside world rendered more vivid by the interior darkness. Turning away from the light, we set off into the cave.

ATM From Lower Dover Lodge
In this travel article, Actun Tunichil Muknal and the Lower Dover Lodge both get great reviews. And they explain the Mayan ruins that were found there too. "I was originally drawn to this remote but accessible lodge because of the location. I had ventured to the Belizean mainland from the cayes to finally see the ATM cave and since the drive would be much quicker from Lower Dover than by going all the way to San Ignacio for the night I was sold. It also helped that they offer options for every budget."

September 11, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Valid: Monday-Monday, Sep. 10-17, 2012


Here is the Weekly Outlook. It will continue unseasonally dry this working week. Very unsual. Not a tropical wave in the Caribbean at the moment. Some thunderstorms noted around T & T and the ABC Islands..

The Caribbbean will continue remarkably quiet this week except in the SW where moisture will concentrate around mid week, but will move inland over Nicaragua/Honduras by Thursday and Friday.

Have a fine week!


An upper level low near northern Yucatan this morning is forecast to drift SE into the NW Caribbean over the next 24-36 hours and gradually dissipate. This feature will continue to support a few showers and some thunderstorms over and offshore Belize through Tuesday. A weak low pressure system will develop over the extreme NW Caribbean and Belize on Wednesday, but the lack of moisture and unfavorable environmental conditions will not support much convective activity with this system. Otherwise, an east to east-northeasterly airflow will prevail across Belize during this working week through the upcoming weekend, associated with a weak pressure pattern over the NW Caribbean.

Convergence of moisture is forecast in the SW Caribbean east of NE Nicaragua and Honduras in association with a surge in the low level easterly jet around and after mid week. However, organization of this disturbance is not expected as it moves over land across northern Nicaragua and Honduras by Thursday and Friday.

No tropical cyclone is expected to form or move into the Caribbean region during the next seven days. September 10th marks the historical peak of the North Atlantic Hurricane season. In the Atlantic we have tropical storm Leslie heading toward Newfoundland, while hurricane Michael is located in the central Atlantic west of the Azores, heading westwards. A tropical disturbance is located midway between the Caribbean and the Cape Verde Islands. This system has a 90 % chance of becoming a tropical cyclone over the next 48 hours as it drifts WNW at 15 to 20 mph. The forecast track has this disturbance veering NW away from the Caribbean. So, the Caribbean will remain remarkably quiet over the next seven days. Nevertheless, we must remain vigilant as we move into the latter part of September and the month of October, when the preferential areas for tropical cyclone formation shifts to the western Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Rainfall rates over Belize will be in the range of 0.50-0.75 of-an-inch on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday in the heavier showers and thunderstorms, especially along the coast and in the South. Daily rainfall rates will decrease on Wednesday through the weekend, with daily accumulations of only 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch in locally isolated showers or isolated thunderstorms, especially in the interior and in the hills. Rainfall will be minimal elsewhere during this period.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! Opposites - Part V
The first thing Andrea did when she got to school was put her dolly in her bag. By lunchtime, she would be in the box with the rest of her toys. She was the first inside the open classroom. Her other classmates, including Carla, chose to stay outside and prolong playtime as much as possible. She sat at her desk, staring but not seeing anything, her back gingerly leaning against the hard wood of her chair. Wincing slightly, she leaned forward instead, laying her head on her hands sideways, staring at nowhere. At her desk, her favorite teacher paused from rustling papers, looking at the little girl who far too often sat alone, not reacting, not being a child. New to the village, Miss Ana felt there was so much more to each child here than in the pampered hallways of her previous school in town. She kept an eye on this particular one.

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

Conch Survey conducted countrywide
The Fisheries Department is working within the various marine reserves countrywide in conducting their bi-annual national conch survey. The survey, which should be completed next week, is conducted in compliance with Appendix Two of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and is intended to make stock assessment of the Queen Conch scientifically known as strombus gigas. The two marine reserves on Ambergris Caye, Hol Chan and Bacalar Chico have been working in various areas inside and outside of the reef to inventory all queen conchs regardless of their size. Hol Chan Marine Reserve Biologist Kirah Forman explained that because the flesh of the queen conch is one of the biggest fishery products exported from Belize, it is important for the country to provide critical information to CITES to show that the conch population is still sustainable. Because the queen conch is listed by CITES as endangered, Forman said that it is essential that Belize reports to CITES that Belize is monitoring the conch abundance and sustainability.

Misc Belizean Sources

Artisan Cheese, Wine, and Jam
You can find everything at Cayo's Saturday market. And now, there is really good cheese and premium homemade wines. There's also homemade jams, jellies and hot sauces. When you buy cheeses and soaps from the Caves Branch tent, all the proceeds go to the Belize National Youth Chess Federation.


Happy St. George's Caye Day!
Although we knew that September 10th is a holiday in Belize, St. George's Caye Day, we hadn't actually planned on attending the parade. I knew there was going to be a parade, because, well, Belizeans have parades for just about every occasion! They need absolutely no excuse to gather and celebrate, and I remembered finding out that there was a September 10th parade last year after we'd already missed it. But we had no idea what time it started. Turns out it started right as we were finishing up our shopping at Greenhouse. We were literally trapped, as the police and fire truck were coming right along Middle Street as I exited the store with my purchases. No problem -- the parade was colorful, festive, and fun, though ear-splittingly loud (sirens, drums, and pounding music). It was a much shorter, smaller parade than the mama of them all, the Independence Day parade on September 21, which we blogged about last year. Thank goodness we were trapped on the shady side of Middle Street as it was another very hot and sunny day. The poor kids marching, playing instruments, and dancing with their school groups were dripping and swabbing their faces with hand towels, and I felt for them in their polyester uniforms. Hot! But I'll let the pictures tell the story...

Belize Battle of St George’s Caye Celebrates Freedom
The Lodge at Chaa Creek is calling on lovers of freedom the world over to join Belizeans in celebrating the little known but immensely important Battle of St George’s Caye – a colourful 18th century skirmish that continues to reverberate in regional politics today. Recognised as the defining moment in the creation of the present day Belize, a popular Caribbean vacation spot, the 1778 battle saw a group of mostly British settlers and African slaves defeat a Spanish invasion at St George’s Caye, a small island off the coast of present day Belize City. Chaa Creek owner and GM Lucy Fleming compared the victory with those that led to American independence in the United States. “It’s to Belize’s history what the battles of Concord and Lexington are to America’s; when a small group of what could be called rag tag but highly motivated patriots stood up to a larger professional army and won.

Celebrating 10th September in full color!!
The pride of all Belizean’s overflows during the month of September and nowhere better can it be seen than during the Carnival to celebrate the 10th September. This Saturday, was no exception. The city comes alive as its inhabitants prepare for this annual spectacle. and more parade ..and more parade ..and more parade .. Like many countries around the world, Belize is totally broke – and with 90% of Belizeans under the poverty line, you would have expected the budget for what some may consider, non-necessities (like costumes for Carnival) being low or non existant. But this Saturday showed us all Belize’s heart, her pride and her glory in full color on the streets of Belize as float after float slowly paraded down the streets. Belizeans expressed their love for their country as they danced to celebrate their independence and 10th September – and they did so in style!

International Sources

U.S. Rum Subsidies Hammer Caribbean Producers
Rum, the sugar-based liquor that has fueled the development of the Caribbean for centuries, has become the focus of an increasingly bitter dispute with the U.S. Small producers in countries such as Antigua, Guyana and Jamaica complain they are being punched by unfair trade and marketing advantages for global beverage corporations operating in U.S. territories, and say U.S. rum subsidies threaten to drive some beloved top-shelf Caribbean labels out of business, or force them to sell out. "The amounts that are being doled out now are staggering," said Frank Ward, chairman of the West Indies Rum & Spirits Producers' Association. "We were able to live with the level of U.S. subsidies as they once were. But the massive increases, we believe, have skewed the market."

Offshore investing in Belize, does it make sense for you?
n the past, to open an offshore bank account you would typically either visit the bank in person or use a liaison in the United States. For example, an offshore bank located in Belize or Switzerland works with a law firm in New York. To open an account, you visit the law firm and a lawyer sets up the account on your behalf for a fee. Today, you also have the option of opening an offshore bank account online or over the phone yourself, eliminating the expense of a liaison. However, because of their complexity and depending on what you’re attempting to do, lawyers can still be necessary to set up and manage an account. In some cases, investing offshore includes creating a company and incorporating in the host country. In an article recently published by The New York Times, Adam Davidson chronicled how he could have incorporated and started an offshore bank account in 10 minutes for less than $3,000. The full article is worth reading, but here is a breakdown of what Davidson did. First, he located an offshore bank in Belize that was willing to set up an account through email and over the phone. Then he contacted the bank and got a list of fees, including: $900 for basic incorporation in Belize $85 for a corporation seal $650 to open a bank account in a second country, Singapore $690 to assign an account manager

Caye Caulker Belize: A Slice of Paradise
Caye Caulker is much sleepier than it's big, much more commercialized sister, Ambergris Caye. Caulker is loved by its authentic, beachy feel. The streets of Caulker are hard-packed sand, and most everybody moves around on foot, bicycles, and golf carts. Since the weather was great, and we had only packed clothes for two days, we opted not to take the golf cart taxi. The hotel was located a mostly pleasant 10-15 minute walk from the dock. At last, we arrived at Colinda Cabanas, a completely remodeled property on the quieter side of Caulker. We were assigned the cabana right behind the main office (good WiFi signal!) The rooms were super-clean and lovely.

How an Unexpected Delay Led to a Wonderful Trip to San Ignacio, Belize
Ignacio proper is not very big, and while a bit confusing at first because of road construction, I found my bearings quickly. We asked one of the construction workers for Bullet Tree Falls Road, which leads to the part of town where Parrot's Nest is located, somewhere out in... Bullet Tree Falls. The road was easy to find and led almost straight out from the town's center. It was a fairly pleasant drive, if somewhat long a 3-4 miles, out of San Ignacio's town center. I mean, it was a "jungle" I was heading to, so I should've known it wasn't going to be located next to the town's Kwik-e Mart. After fumbling for directions, I found the dirt road that led deep into the jungle... After dodging a jaguar and a pack of wild howler monkeys (not really), we arrived at the lodge. Marcus, the friendly owner greeted us. Well, the friendly dogs did first, to be honest. Marcus showed us around the property and the various tree-houses. According to Marcus, this lodge had the first ones available to the public in Belize. We couldn't stay in the one below, since it was designed for two people.

Click here to return to
Today's Belize News

Commons Island Community History Visitor Center Goods & Services
Search Messages CIG Info

Copyright by Casado Internet Group, Belize