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10/11/2012 to 10/20/2012
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Today's Belize News

October 20, 2012

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The November 2012 issue of The BELIZE AG REPORT is online HERE

This Issue's Stories:

  • Fertilizer expert visits Spanish Lookout: The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA) in collaboration with the ROC (Taiwan) Technical Mission (TTM) held a 2-day workshop on 25-26 July on the University of Belize, Central Farm campus, to introduce the efficient and effective application of soluble fertilizer for plant use through irrigation systems.
  • Apples of Belize: Featuring the Velvet Apple and the Red Custard Apple By Mary Susan Loan of Cristo Rey Village. Generally apples are considered a fruit that grows in the land of four seasons, not in a tropical environment. Belize and other Central American countries are also “apple” producing countries. Apple varieties in Belize include: Malley Apple, Custard Apple, Rose Apple, Velvet Apple, green and purple Star Apples, Wax Apple as well as classic Red and Yellow Apples. This article will feature the Velvet Apple and Custard Apple varieties.
  • Flame Weeding: Fighting Weeds With Fire. Flaming Provides Alternative Weapon in War on Weeds. Chemical weed control in Belize is changing to flaming methods The methods of controlling weeds by chemicals and adverse expensive products, is turning in Belize, to flame throwers. The trick apparently is to flame the plot, or land and burn the weeds, about a week after you plant the seeds. Doesn't touch the seeds and new plants, but gets rid of the weeds, and the charcoal produced enhances the fertility of the soil. As in ashes. Good article in AG REPORT issue 18. with a lot more details. Written by Francesca Camillo. You can find it online. This type of operation was popular early in the last century, and of course by the Maya milpa farmer even today, here. About the middle of the last century, commercial pesticides became cheaper, easier and popular, but the cycle of cost, advantages and such are bringing FLAMING, either spot burns, or wider field operations back in vogue. A guy by the name of Charles House is leading the revolution. He sells such farm equipment from his Earth & Sky Solutions business based in White Hall, Virginia, USA.
  • Permits Simplified! An Overview of the Import Permit Application Process for Agricultural Commodities, BAHA By: Francisco Gutierrez, Technical Director, Plant Health Services: The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) has been designated as the competent authority for agricultural health and food safety. This means BAHA is in charge of all those aspects related to veterinary services, plant protection, quarantine procedures, and regulations for safe and wholesome foods. In essence, the role of the organization is to mitigate risks associated with these broad roles. All these services are arranged into two main categories of work: export compliance and import regulations. This article focuses on the latter aspects of our work.
  • Black Pepper in Southern Belize: Visit a Tropical Kerala (India) Spice Farm… right here in Golden Stream, Toledo District Presenting The Belize Spice Farm & Botanical Gardens By Beth Roberson. One of the delights of being a writer for the Ag Report is discovering and exploring fascinating and diverse individuals and farms within Belize’s borders. One of the very richest agricultural veins we have struck is The Belize Spice Farm and its owners, Dr. Thomas Mathews and Mrs. Tessy Mathews.
  • Light Rein on Vaccination: By Marjie Olson. Here in Belize vaccines are often hard to find, or are expired, and when you own several or many horses, can be very costly…
  • BEYOND THE BACKYARD: SPUD BUCKET. Covers in detail the growing and storing of potatoes in the tropical conditions of Belize. This is knowledge under actual tropical conditions, found no place else to my knowledge in the world. We have commercial farming of potatoes in Belize, but it is nothing like they do in Canada, or Northern USA. Plenty of rice husk hulls available in Belize and apparently they make excellent storage of potatoes, in our heat conditions. ( separate article in Ag Report )
  • Blue Creek Cowboys Take the Lead By John Carr, BLPA Chairman: On July 25th, 2012 The Blue Creek Cattle Committee started a pilot testing program. This included testing for brucellosis, tuberculosis and putting identification tags in each ear. These numbers with statistics are being entered into the National Computer System located at the Belize Livestock Producers Association (BLPA) office. The Blue Creek cattle men had good corrals and only had to rope 15 head at one farm. While a few cattle had to be re-checked for some reactors, on the following tests they proved to be clean of brucellosis and TB infections. Most of us never thought our cattle had these problems, but it is a very comforting to be proven clean.
  • Pasture Planning By Maruja Vargas: Planning more pasture for next season? The choice of grass to plant depends on the animals you intend to graze there. For example, the choice for cattle is Brizantha, Humidicola and/or Mombasa. On the other hand, the top choices for horses are Tanzania, new hybrid “Aires” and Mombasa. All of these grasses have their origin in Africa. All have been tried and tested extensively in Belize. All are perennial. (The two legumes mentioned further into this article originate from South America. )
  • Increasing Yields With Sulfur By Cory Schurman, Sr. Agronomy Manager, Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers: Sulfur deficiencies are becoming common throughout the world. The primary reason is that in the past, soils received 15-25 pounds of sulfur (S) per acre, per year from emissions from the burning of coal, and from sulfur dioxide emissions in fuels. Now with coal plants having scrubbers, and with the use of lower sulfur fuels, and overall concern for environmental quality world-wide, growers are typically now getting much less sulfur in a year on each acre. At the same time yield levels have risen, increasing the need for sulfur, so growers are seeing increasing shortages of this secondary nutrient. The following is a list of the roles sulfur plays in plant growth and production.
  • BEL-CAR Updates: Corn, Red Kidney Beans, Black Eye Beans, New Bean Cleaning Equipment
  • Making Cocoa Powder in Belize By Kerry Goss of Goss Chocolate, Placencia
  • Potato Storage Using Rice Hulls By Dottie Feucht
  • What is a Rainy Day?
  • Agriculture Prices at a Glance- $$$$$ October 2012
  • Wild Edibles of Belize Part 2 Hamelia patens Common Names: Red Head, Firebush By Dr Mandy Tsang. Also recipes for ‘Red head’ berries
  • The Stinkhorn Mushroom Dr Alessandro Mascia: Stinkhorns are one of the easiest mushrooms to identify; in one form or another they resemble phallic protrusions when mature. They are different from other mushrooms in that they spread their spores with the help of flies and carrion beetles (lovely, isn’t it!) which are attracted to the smelly, slimy spore mass that adheres to the tip or head. The stinkhorns’ most outlandish feature, however, is the unpleasant or provocative odour of the mature spore slime, which has been variously characterized as “foul,” “fetid,” ”compelling,”… ”disconcerting,”…”nauseating,” “like rotting carrion,”…and most apt and understated of all: “indiscreet.”
  • Conserving Food Freshness By Dottie Feucht: To some companies in the food industry preserve connotes adding chemicals to extend shelf life but conserve means maintaining the original flavor and texture and interrupting the aging cycle by means of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), a procedure of extracting the air from a package and replacing it with the optimum combination of oxygen (O2), carbon dioxide (CO2 ), and nitrogen (N2) for conserving its content.
  • ASK RUBBER BOOTS, Snake ID: The best snake identification book that we have found is A Field Guide to the Snakes of Belize by Tony Garel & Sharon Matola, ISBN 9968-730. Rubber Boots & family have identified many snakes with this, and found their information ultra-accurate. The preface of the book expresses the writers’ hopes that the field guide may be useful to identify snakes in the wild. Rubber Boots has found it useful both in the wild and, unfortunately, in our home as well.
  • Ag Briefs
  • Letters To THE EDITOR

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

Family alleges that toddler was sexually molested while at pre-school
The family of a 3 and a half-year old minor of San Pedro Town is alleging that their child has been sexually molested at the preschool he attended. The incident allegedly occurred sometime last week and a formal report was made to the San Pedro Police Station. The school where it is alleged that the incident occurred is the Little Angel Preschool. San Pedro Police confirmed to The San Pedro Sun that the grandmother of the child, along with the victim visited the police station sometime last week and filed a report. According to police the child has been checked by two doctors; in the first instance the family took the child to a private doctor who certified that child had been sexually molested. As is police procedure, they took the child to a public health facility, in this case to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic II where a doctor certified the child presented signs that he has been sexually molested.

Four charged for the death of Emerito Itza
San Pedro Police has officially charged four students accused of being responsible for the death of 46-year-old Emerito Itza. The four boys who are of ages 14 and 15 and who are students of both San Pedro High School and San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School were jointly charged for manslaughter. The students were charged shortly before 7PM on Thursday October 18 and were read charges by a Justice of the Peace who remanded them to the Kolbe Foundation at the Belize Central Prison until they can appear before a Magistrate Judge. The four were charged for the death of Emerito Itza. Sometime around 8PM on Wednesday, October 10, 2012, San Pedro Police and Poly Clinic Doctors were summoned to an area just off the beach south of the San Juan Roundabout where they discovered two injured males. The doctor on duty noticed that they were suffering abrasions to the head, and asked that they be taken to the clinic for further treatment. 24-year-old Marwin Lizama and 46-year-old Emerito Itza were treated and released after no open wounds were observed. Itza had a swollen right eye along with other injuries, and seemed to be seriously wounded. Itza was released then re-admitted to the Poly Clinic the next morning and later transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Thursday afternoon. At KHMH Itza received several operations in an attempt to save his life. However, early Monday morning, he succumbed to his injuries. Based on information received, San Pedro police picked up one individual and during questioning, the minor revealed the names of the other individuals who were later picked up.

Ambergris Today

Miss Belize Enjoying Okinawa, Japan at Miss International Events
Destinee Dominque Arnold is enjoying Okinawa, Japan to the fullest! The Miss International Pageant final is set for Saturday, October 20, 2012, and for the past few weeks Miss Belize - Destinee Arnold along with 68 participants have been busy attending many events. Miss Belize seems to be a favorite for the photographers as she is being photographed a whole lot and appears in most if not all the post made of the pageant. Some events that Miss Belize has been a part of include The Naha Great Tug of War Festival, The Yukata Experience, Introduction to History & Culture Program (Ryukyumura), Marine Activities and Shopping, Okinawa City Visit, Visit & Eschange at Ozato Junior High School and Urasoe Weaving Factory.

Four Minors in San Pedro Charged for the Death of Emerito Itza
On Tuesday, October 16, 2012, San Pedro Police detained four minors in connection with the death of male person who died while receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after having been attacked and beaten and left along the beach in San Pedro Town. Police reports are that the minors were jointly charged for manslaughter by a Senior Justice of the Peace on Thursday, October 18, 2012, in San Pedro. Because the boys are all minors, their names cannot be released. Three of them are 14 years old while the fourth is 15 years old. The Senior Justice of the Peace has remanded the boys to Hattieville Prison in the mainland until they can be formally arraigned before a magistrate.

Misc Belizean Sources

Water, water, water
Water, the most aboundant substance on planet Earth yet 96.5 % is not fresh & adequate for drinking; 1.74% is stored in thick ice caps, glaciers & permanent snow; 1.70% is in the ground where a large portion is saline and inaccessible; the rest is in lakes, rivers, ground ice and permafrost, the atmosphere, swamps, biological reserves and stored as soil moisture. Yet, the small fraction of a percent that is fresh and accessible we humans contaminate, misuse and waste." This is a crisis! Fresh water is biologically more precious than gold and is becoming scarcer globally... As individuals and denizen on planet Earth, what are we doing about it!

The Purple Movement Fundraiser
Support the Purple Movement tomorrow by buying some BBQ or pastries at the Saturday market. They'll be there early to get things started. "The Purple Movement will be holding its first fundraising event by doing a Barbeque and pastry sale at the local market square. This is one of many fundraising events that will be hosted to raise funds for the planning and construction of a Forensic laboratory in San Ignacio as proposed to the Government of Belize. If you would like to contribute to the fundraiser. Feel free to take any baked goods or small monetary donation and drop it off at the market at The Purple Movement tent."

BWRC Inauguration Ceremony
Danny Chung got some great shots at the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network's inauguration this morning. Thanks go out to the San Ignacio Resort Hotel for all their donations and help with the BWRC, and for donating some delicious food for the event. Congratulations, DR. Isabelle on a dream come true! "The Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic located in Central Farm, Cayo was officially opened today October 19th. With an Inauguration Ceremony. The program of events commenced with the National Anthem performed by the Cayo Music School. Dr. Isabelle Paquet Durand, a Wildlife Veterinarian, Educator and Consultant and who is also the Founder and Director of the Clinic delivered the Welcome , Mission Objectives as well as the note of thanks. The Inauguration Address was done by Honorable LIselle Alamilla who also did the honor of cutting the ribbon."

Cayo Arts Collection Exhibit Launch
Last night, at the SISE House of Culture, they launched the Cayo Arts Collection exhibit. See a wide range of art from many local artists.

Self Defense Workshops
The University of Belize has been holding self defense workshops. Sacred Heart Junior College is holding some in the next few weeks also. A big thanks to the schools and the instructors for helping to keep our kids safe. "A self-defense workshop was held on Wed, 10 Oct, evening under the white tent on the Central Campus. Over 40 women and girls participated in the 3 hour training. Even though the rain started to pour and the lighting was striking, the women and girls stayed to learn all they could about self-protection and safety. The daughter of the man who sells hotdogs at the campus enterance even came over with her young friend and learned how to be safer. Thanks to all for coming out and look for more workshops on safety and self-defense in the near future."

BWRC Inauguration
The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic is having their inauguration today. They've finished their facility in Central Farm, and are officially ready to help save Belize's wildlife.

What Raggamuffin’s do on their time off!
We are closed for the month of October and it is a month that we re-energize and renovate! Many of the crew .. Ramsay, Jacob, Ellis and Kimani .. are spending their time off with their loved ones around the globe. For others of us with responsibilities in Belize and perhaps even children we are locked to the island and therefore we holiday here on the island. For the boats and the equipment the vacation is one of renovation. Ragga King and Prince already were dry docked during June but in a week’s time, they will get their second lick of paint for the year to ensure that they are looking good for the up coming season. Ragga Queen – the largest of our boats is currently at Moho Caye in Belize City. They have an electric crane that they can haul boats out of the water so that they can sit on land. These beauties in the water somehow look a little like sitting ducks out of the water but the process is necessary for renovation. Ragga Queen, although now almost entirely fibre glassed it has had time to dry and sanded and soon she will be painted from top to bottom. This boat gets by far more use than all our boats and the cost of maintaining her quite definitely is the same as all the other three wooden boats put together! An exciting addition to the boat when she returns will be her in-board engine. This was removed at Easter time and an outboard has been pushing her for too long – this now will become the back up engine with the inboard diesel being the powerhouse behind the boat. Ragga Gal is a different story – she is the lightest and the smallest of our boats and since the addition of Prince, she only really gets used in high season. Gal is so light that, with the help of Tiger and his big truck, we pulled her on to dry land about three week’s ago so we can see her progress from day to day. She has also been sanded and already given her coat of gluvit (to give the wood that water tight feel) and will be finished painting in the next week. These are not the only Raggamuffin items that are getting a lick of paint .. the shop will gain a new roof and a full lick of paint and even the dock we use in front of Sobre Las Olas is getting a complete overhaul!! All of this put together … refurbished and repainted boats and re-energized Captains and Guides means that Raggamuffin will be better than ever to perform to an even higher standard than we have before – watch out Belize, here we come!!

There are 76, 560 Belizeans on Facebook today, which means that 24.34% of the total population of Belize has at least one Facebook account.
According to social bakers, a company offering monitoring and tracking tools for analysis of social networks, there are 76, 560 Belizeans on Facebook today, which means that 24.34% of the total population of Belize has at least one Facebook account. Compared to our last Facebook infographic on March, there is an increase of 10,300 users from Belize on Facebook and the number continues to grow rapidly. That staggering number puts us at #158 in the ranking of all Facebook statistics by country. 49% of the 76,560 are male users and 51% are female users. The largest age group is currently 18 - 24 with total of 25 265 users, followed by the users in the age of 25 - 34.

Channel 7

Fortis Injunction Request Refused
There is breaking news this evening from the Court of Appeal. This evening after 5:00, the court handed down a judgment refusing the Fortis request for an injunction on the sale of BEL's preference shares. As we had reported on Wednesday, the former owners of BEL, filed an application at the Court of Appeal for an injunction to restrain the company from issuing these shares. Epic arguments were advanced - but they were resisted, and the injunction refused. The effect of this is that BEL can now sell 10 million dollars worth of preference shares at 5% to Social Security. The Social Security Board of Directors has approved the investment and after it is advertised for two weeks in the newspapers, disbursement of the investment can proceed.

Can WIKILEAKS Cables Save Rhett?
Can Wikileaks save Rhett Fuller from extradition to the United States? As we've been reporting, he's been fighting extradition to the US for 14 years. He is wanted for first degree Murder in connection with the fatal shooting of an American National Larry Miller which occurred in 1990. He has tried almost everything legally possible to resist the request from the US, and today, as part of his last stand in the Belizean courts, his attorney, Eamon Courtenay, made an application to the Court of Appeal. They wanted to have new evidence admitted to the case which included 3 US diplomatic cables sent to the US. These cables documented proof that Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General, had contact with members of the US Embassy of Belize. Their contention was that Elrington, being the minister who was the final arbiter as to whether or not Fuller should be extradited, introduced bias in his judgment when he had these discussions with the US Embassy representatives about Fuller's case, which, they say, would have been as serious as a judge speaking casually to an attorney about a case outside of court. Courtenay asked the court to consider admitting the cables because Minister Elrington should have disclosed this information in the original case for judicial review which was argued and struck down by Justice Awich in the Supreme Court. After hearing the application, the Court of Appeal refused it. We spoke to Fuller's wife outside of court who told us that this is just a minor loss, and the full appeal is still pending.

Minors Charged With Manslaughter, Standard Six Student Included
On Wednesday, 7News told you that police had 4 minors detained in connection with 46 year-old Emerito Itza, a resident of San Pedro who died of injuries he sustained in a brawl last week Wednesday. Well tonight, those 4 minors, one of them a 14 year old in Standard six and three of them 15 are all at prison after they were taken to family court today. They were arraigned this afternoon in the presence of their parents and their attorney, Simeon Sampson, on a single count of manslaughter not murder. Due to the nature of the offence, they were all remanded to prison until November 20. As we reported, at around 7 p.m., Itza and 24 year-old Marwin Lizama were hanging out on the beach at the eastern end of Sand Piper Street.

Guatemalan Pleads Guilty to Crystal Meth
41 year old Guatemalan Eric Granados will spend his first night in jail tonight after he pleaded guilty to trafficking Crystal Meth today. Granados took the plea in San Ignacio Magistrate's court. He was sentenced to three years in prison and fined one hundred thousand dollars. And if he can't pay the fine, he'll serve another 2 years in prison. He took the plea so that his 22 year old son, Guillermo Granados could go free. Charges against him were dropped and he was released. Police also released the Volvo car to the younger Granados - as it is registered in his name. As we reported, on Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 the ADU and the k-9 Unit set up a checkpoint near the Belize - Guatemala border. They intercepted the car coming into Belize. A search by the K-9 unit inside the door panels turned up four parcels of Crystal Meth - weighing just under 11 pounds with a street value of a quarter million Belize dollars. There is no known market for the highly addictive drug in Belize - so it is believed they were only passing through Belize possibly on their way to Mexico.

Teenager Killed In Traffic Accident
A teenager lost her life in a terrible traffic mishap yesterday in southern Belize. 18 year old Nalleli Canelaas, a third form student of Independence High School was knocked down after she got off a bus in San Juan Village. Reports are that Canelaas got off the bus and was crossing the Southern Highway when she was struck by an oncoming SUV. She received massive head and body injuries and died on the spot. A notice of intended prosecutions has been served.

Luke's Lament
Luke Jones is well known in Belize City. He is a physically challenged messenger for the Belize City Council. And despite his impairment, for the past 12 years you've probably seen him making his way throughout the city streets on his messenger rounds without complaints or procrastination. But that's in the past now since Jones has been ruled as medically unfit and so he had to retire at the age of 33. He is ok with that but he says that City Council is giving him the run around for his gratuity and pension payments. According to the calculation of City Hall which he shared with us, Jones is entitled to sixteen thousand five hundred dollars - but one month after his retirement he has only gotten two thousand dollars. That won't do, because Luke told us he has bills to pay. Monica Bodden "Luke, tell me what brought you to our studios here this afternoon?" Luke Jones "Because I am getting tired. Enough is enough and I need my money. I told the Mayor that I want to see him but when I brought it up the Mayor says that he is in a meeting at the same time."

Freak Accident Leaves Car Suspended Over Drain
During the newscast last night, 7News was called out to the corner of Central American and Jane Usher Boulevard, where a serious accident happened. What we found on the scene was an extensively damaged late model Kia Spectra, suspended over the drain at the side of the road. Police have not released the full details, but according to them, Homer Dakers, the driver of the car, was driving on Central American Boulevard, where he lost control and slammed into the parked truck, seen here. Fortunately, Dakers, or the male minor in the passenger seat managed to avoid a fatality, but reports to 7News are that the minor suffered several injuries. Police arrived shortly after and escorted both men to the hospital.

KHMH Burns Red Bag Waste On Roadside
Red-bag waste - within hospitals all over the world - that means infectious waste - to be handled and disposed of with extreme caution. That's because the contents, as the name states, include infectious material, which has to be incinerated under strict supervision - to make sure everything is burnt and no traces or stray pieces of waste are left behind. But - there are reports that - in what seems that in a cost cutting decision - the KHMH - which usually contracts Belize Waste Control to incinerate its infectious waste - has been burning some of its red bag waster at a site off the Boom - Hattieville Road. Professionals tell us that the practice would seem to be at best questionable because infectious waste is not the kind of thing that one burns on the roadside. The clue came to us form a photo someone leaked to the media which shows infectious waste stuffed inside a road-ready trailer parked in a corner of the KHMH compound. At first, we were told that the trailer is only used to pick up infectious waste within the compound. But today, the Hospital's CEO admitted that when they have what he calls "excess waste" they do burn it themselves:..

Maternity Mishaps at Northern Regional
And while KHMH has that mess to clean up - so does the Ministry of Health - in view of a burgeoning crisis with maternity cases at the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk. Our attention was drawn to irregularities with the case of a 30 year old female - who remains hospitalized tonight two weeks after she delivered a boy via c-section. Her family has asked us to with-hold her name - but there were complications after the mother of two delivered her child and then had to undergo three emergency surgeries in 24 hours - two at the northern regional and one more at the KHMH. During this process, both her womb and her ovaries had to be removed - and worse than that she nearly lost her life. She was in intensive care a the KHMH for a few days, and then after a 13 day recovery during which she only got to see her newborn for a few minutes - she was released last Saturday - only to be hospitalized again this week at the Northern Regional - which is where she remains tonight. The Ministry of Health refused comment because they expect that the family will take legal action against the hospital for malpractice. But, our investigation into the sad case shows that more than malpractice, there is mismanagement of multiple maternal cases at the Northern regional plus what looks like ministerial interference in healthcare management.

SBB: Back To The Drawing Board But At What Cost?
In October of 2007, 7news attended a Social Security Press conference where the then Chairman and CEO were boasting about a Strategic Business Transformation Project that was going to cost $400,000 dollars. So imagine our surprise today - 5 years later - when we heard that the same consultant was here to do the same strategic transformation all over again! Sure, history has a way of repeating itself - but at 400 grand per repeat, and just 5 years later - we wondered if the strategy is about wasting contributors' money! Well, it turns out that the first strategy - which was devised at the end of the PUP's second term was never fully implement - and so now, exactly five years later, it's back to the drawing board. We found out more at Social security Headquarters in Belmopan today:.. Richard Flowers, Chief Executive Officer - SSB "That decision about moving from a culture where people are going in various directions and they have good ideas and good plans but they are not executing these plans, so we need strategy to get everybody aligned to find out where the errors and weaknesses are and make corrective actions." "Actually in 2007 they had already done this exercise but it was never implemented for various reasons, so now we are not trying to re-invent the wheel. What we are going to do is start the process over, dust off and make adjustments where we need to make and move forward."

She Committed Suicide; He's Accused of Attempted Murder
On Tuesday night's newscast we reported about Karina Howard, the 24 year old mother of 3 who was found hanging from a shed on the riverside in Sittee River. She was found by her 21 year old boyfriend Jason McKenzie - who is tonight in police custody after he was arrested and charged today with Attempted Murder. On March 24 of this year, McKenzie allegedly stabbed 26 year old Kenroy Flowers after the two got into a misunderstanding on Kut Avenue. McKenzie went into hiding but his name resurfaced when Howard allegedly committed suicide. Police arrested and charged him with attempted murder, grievous harm, and use of deadly means of harm. He was arraigned before Magistrate Aretha Ford this afternoon. Due to the nature of the offences, no plea was taken and no bail was offered. McKenzie was remanded to prison until December 20, when he will brought back before the Senior Magistrate.

DOE Disregards SATIIM; Continues With EIA Consultations
The Minister of environment Lisel Alamilla may be from the Toledo District and in her previous career as conservaitonist - was chummy with groups such as SATIIM. But tonight they are not happy with her, after the Department of the Environment refused to postpone public hearings for the US capital Energy Environmental Impact Assessment. A release from the DOE says that the consultation will be held on October 25, 2012 at 5:00 pm in Sunday Wood Village, Toledo District. The EIA is for petroleum exploration drilling (inside and outside) of the Sarstoon Temash National Park. The public notice advises that copies of the EIA report may be perused at the Punta Gorda Town Library, and the Chairmen of Sunday Wood Village, Conejo Creek, Barranco, Crique Carco and Midaway. A release from SATIIM says that the EIA comprises over 300 pages in technical English and a challenge for the communities to effectively participate. The statement says SATIIM considers this an act of bad faith on the part of the Government of Belize. The statement concludes, quote, "It is obvious that the Government has decided to engage with Indigenous peoples with their fists clenched."

Turning Rifle Stocks Into Scrap Metal
This morning, the destruction of guns continued at the Eastern Divisions police station. Yesterday they started on a mission to destroy over 700 weapons that had been confiscated or become unserviceable. The hydraulic shears crushed all day - but it wasn't enough and the effort continued today with copious documentation of every gun destroyed - to meet UN standards of reporting. At the end mountains of scrap metal were left behind - cut small enough so that they cannot be used to outfit home0-made weapons. The United Nations Dept. of Peace, Disarmament and Development oversaw the process.

From Free Healthcare To Fee Healthcare
The KHMH is the national referral hospital for Belize - and recently we've documented their successes with open heart and spine surgeries. But it doesn't come cheap - and most of the services at the hospital are heavily subsidized. But the free ride is over; the subsidies will remain, but the hospital is implementing new fees. 7news sat down with CEO Gary Longsworth who explained these minimal flat fees that go into effect November 1st. Dr. Francis Gary Longsworth - CEO, KHMH "Over the last several years we have done a great deal to improve the existing services at the KHMH and it that regard we've invested a lot in staffing, equipment and we have upgraded a lot of the procedures that we do and we've also gone into the expansion of services where we are looking at new areas of service and this includes cardiology; where we have now gone in the area of cardiac surgery and the attendant services of cardiac catheterization, echocardiography and so on." "The same thing has happen in pediatrics; where the demand for pediatric intensive care unit has been on the table for a long time and thanks to help from the special envoy for children Mrs. Kim Slmplis Barrow, we have that project on the board now for full implementation and that will include building a NICU facility on the grounds of the Karl Heusner. When you take into consideration all that we've done so far in improving the existing services and the expansions that we have gone into and what we plan to do. This is setting the stage for Karl Heusner to be the premier institution for tertiary care in Belize."

Teenager Hugo Moreno Still Missing
And before we close of tonight's news, a few public notices. First the Jasmine alert for 17 year old Hugo Moreno remains in effect. The 17 year old Orange Walk Resident has not been seen since he left home Sunday morning at 1:00 am. Orange Walk police have contacted their Mexican counterparts as they now extend their search across the border. In other news, the passport office in Belize City has re-opened after a 17 day closure for review of all operations. They are now only accepting passport applications.

Channel 5

Rhett Fuller fights extradition to U.S.A. in Appeals Court
Rhett Fuller walked up to the Court of Appeal today for the umpteenth time in his protracted fight against extradition to the United States. Fuller was implicated in the murder of U.S. national Larry Miller, which occurred in Dade County, Florida in 1990. While he has been in and out of the courts, today in [...]

4 minors get manslaughter charge for killing a man
Four minors, including a standard six student, were read charges of Manslaughter and not murder by a senior justice of the peace in San Pedro late Thursday evening. Today, the youths who are all students between the ages of thirteen and fifteen, were formally arraigned before a magistrate in the Belize City Family Court. The [...]

Northern Regional Hospital has too many post operation complications
When we last reported on the Northern Regional Hospital, the story was about Michel Gonzalez whose ultra sounds and treatment were for the delivery of twins but when she actually gave birth, she was told there was only one baby.  Tonight there is another most disturbing report involving charges of malpractice against the Northern Regional [...]

Court rejects application to stop S.S.B. investment in B.E.L.
Before news this evening, the Court of Appeal delivered a decision in respect to an application by Fortis, the previous owners of Belize Electricity Limited, to stop an investment totaling fifteen million dollars in shares. The court rejected an application for an injunction to stop the investment by the Social Security Board, which means that [...]

If conch becomes endangered in US, will it affect Belize?
Thousands across the Caribbean depend on the queen conch for a living. There is currently a proposal being promoted by a US NGO to list the conch as an endangered species, which would stop its exportation to the United States. The move was discussed this week by Ministers of the Caribbean, who met in Antigua [...]

Edward Martinez again? More allegations of land scams
A land scam involving a highly connected Belize City resident is growing legs. Allegations against Edward Martinez continue to pour in and more Belizeans in the US have been calling this station claiming that they paid him for land and construction services which he never provided. On Thursday, we spoke to Dorothy Fairweather, who says [...]

Belizean Americans keep calling about Martinez land scam
After seeing Thursday night’s interview with Dorothy Fairweather, Ethlyn Lindsey contacted our newsroom today, alleging that she has also been conned by Martinez. Lindsey says she sent money to him for a parcel of land in Rhaburn Ridge, but never received the land title. She claims that Martinez took her to see the property and [...]

Sittee River resident gets attempted murder charge
Twenty-six year old Kenroy Flowers almost lost his life on March twenty-fourth when he was stabbed to the abdomen while trying to break up a fight between his friend and another man. It took police seven months, but tonight the man accused of inflicting the injury is behind bars. Twenty-one year old Sittee River resident, [...]

Husband allegedly kills wife’s lover, but eager wife barred from testifying
A murder trial that began on Monday came to a sudden halt in the Supreme Court this morning when Justice Troadio Gonzalez discharged the twelve member jury and ordered a retrial. The case involves thirty-four year old Alvaro Rene Gregorio, who is accused of killing forty-three year old Roberto Jimenez Maroquin. Gregorio’s wife, Aura Molina [...]

SATIIM wants postponement of EIA community meeting; DOE says no
The Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, the Coalition to save Our Natural Heritage along with APAMO requested the government to delay consultations on an Environmental Impact Assessment developed by US Capital Energy Belize Limited for oil exploration and drilling in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. The request was made on the grounds that the communities [...]

2 accidents; one student loses life in the south
Just after seven on Thursday night, an extensively damaged white car was seen off the right hand side of Central American Boulevard. The car, driven at the time by Homer Dakers, was allegedly speeding from the direction of Faber’s Road and lost control on a curve. But before coming to an abrupt stop in the [...]

COCABA U-16 Championship Tournament in Tegucigalpa
Twelve basketball players from high schools across the country left this morning en route to Tegucigalpa, Honduras to compete in the five-day COCABA U-sixteen Championship tournament. Over the past month, the national team has been training with Coaches Matthew Smiling, Bernie Tarr and Raymond Sanchez. A silver or gold medal in the tournament will qualify [...]

Punta Kings release CD and DVD
We are inching closer to Garifuna Settlement Day in November which normally sets off a huge cultural explosion. Punta Kings is already taking a lead in that respect, the group is releasing a new CD and accompanying DVD with music videos. According to Raymond Gomez, the band’s manager, the group is showing off versatility because [...]

Butane and dive tanks getting old, U.S. firm says there is a way to prevent disaster
When a veteran diver was killed at Amigos del Mar in San Pedro Town while refueling an oxygen tank, it was an instant tragedy and many wondered if it could have been avoided.  Hector Duran’s death affected the lives of his colleagues and raised concerns about the lifespan of dive tanks as well as butane [...]


O/W Mayor Meets With Head Of O/W Police To Discuss Crime
Crime in the country of Belize is at a high rate and it seems that instead of reducing, the barometer just keeps climbing. Truth of the fact is we all need to do our part in order to safe the country from the constant blood flow. In sight of this Orange Walk Mayor Kevin Bernard along with councilors Neri Ramirez and Ian Cal, met with Superintendant of the Orange Walk Police Station Joseph Myvette today. During the meeting three main points were discussed. Kevin Bernard, Mayor OWT “My letter to the Senior Superintendent requesting a meeting was to be based on three points; one to discuss the criminal activities in Orange Walk and what is being done or what will be done to curve this issues in Orange Walk, two; to discuss the possibility to coming up with a crime forum where we will invite the businesses, the residence and our people from all walks in the town so that they could come and voice their concerns and to also find a way where we could work together and build a coalition committee that meets every once a month but we want see where we can get more activity, we need to look at several things like the neighborhood watch groups, we have to look at all these initiatives that they are working on and so the third point was cooperation between the police and the municipality with the police.”

Local Entrepreneurs Showcase Their Products
As mentioned at the top of the newscast credit unions worldwide celebrated International Credit Union Day and here in the north La Inmaculada Credit Union paid tribute to the day by holding a marketing expo with the aim of promoting the local products produced in Belize by our local businessmen and women. Of course the local producers took advantage of the opportunity offered, after all, who wouldn’t want for their product to be known. So, in this following news piece we pay tribute to our local entrepreneurs, who, with the assistance of LICU, are climbing the ladder of success. Today’s expo featured the work of established and upcoming businessmen and women. There were also sorts of products on display making it difficult for visitors to choose where to start from. Our taste buds; however, led us to this booth belonging to Luis Marin. Marin joined the San Pablo women’s group a year and half ago where he mastered the world of pastry making. With hard work and dedication Marin now owns his pastry business and takes it upon himself to teach others about the trade of cake decorating.

San Pedro Police Investigate Sexual Abuse Of Three Year Old
Tonight there is an extremely disturbing case coming out of San Pedro involving a preschooler and a resident of the island. Police has confirmed that on Thursday October 11th the Grandmother of the three year old boy visited the San Pedro Police Station where she reported that the minor had been sexually molested at the preschool he attended. We understand that the child’s family took him to a private doctor who certified that the he was sexually molested. After the official report was made, police took the 3 year old to the one of the health clinics in San Pedro where a doctor also certified that the child presented signs that he had been sexually molested. CTV3 News understands that yesterday the principal of the pre-school called an emergency meeting with the PTA where the details of the incident were discussed. The principal informed the teachers and parents that she was aware of the incident. According to the principal it is highly unlikely that the incident occurred at the school grounds since preschoolers are never left unattended by the three teachers who take care of them. We understand that the Ministry of Education is aware of the situation but will not intervene since it is now a criminal matter. We understand that San Pedro Police is looking for one person of interest. We will keep following this story and bring to the details as they unfold.

Support A Worthy Cause
The month of October is being observed as Breast Cancer Month and its main purpose is to increase awareness of the deadly disease. During this month, the Orange Walk Cancer Support Group has been offering information and financial assistance to those who are affected by breast cancer. But the money has to come from somewhere and to keep their efforts going, the group is holding a dance at Butchy’s Nite Club tomorrow night. President of the Orange Walk Cancer Support Group, Badra Coleman, told us why you should be a part of the fundraiser. Badra Coleman, President OWCSG “The community has been giving me prizes that we will raffle off every hour we will be having a raffle and all the prizes that I have received worth more than your tickets so come out and support and remember that you are helping someone.”

LICU Holds Marketing Expo
Today credit unions worldwide celebrated International Credit Union Day under the theme “Members Matter Most”. This year’s theme, without a doubt, speaks to the heart of the credit unions’ philosophy, “people helping people.” The day symbolizes a great opportunity for credit unions’ worldwide to raise awareness about the work they do and also gives members the opportunity to get more involved. Here in Orange Walk the La Inmaculada Credit Union celebrated credit union day by holding a marketing expo for various governmental and non-governmental organizations and local entrepreneurs. The activity took place at the institutions parking lot and our news team was present and filed the following report. This morning La Inmacualda Credit Union welcomed its member’s/owners and visitors to its first ever marketing expo with a sign that brought to light the future of the credit union “growing stronger and more vibrant”. Working along the line of their “people helping people” philosophy, LICU decided to hold a marketing expo with the aim of promoting the products produced by local entrepreneurs and the work of governmental and non-governmental organizations.

BTB Holds Consultation For 2013/2015 Tourism Plan Of Action
Today the Belize Tourism Board held a workshop at the BSI Staff Club where their 2013-2015 plan of action for the tourism industry was laid on the table. It was a regional gathering that saw the participation of both the Orange Walk and Corozal Tourism Sector. Our news team dropped by the workshop this morning and here is that report. Hipolito Novelo - Reporting BTB’s 2010/2012 plan of action to promote Belize as a tourism destination was successfully completed. But when it comes to the world of tourism, a country always has to be on its feet in order to compete with other countries. With that in mind the Director of Tourism Laura Frampton met with a number of stakeholders from Orange Walk and Corozal where suggestions were taken for the 2013/2015 national plan of action. Laura Frampton, Director of Tourism “A national sustainable tourism master plan has been created and that will take us to the year 2030, so what we are doing is that we are going out to our various zones meeting with our industry partners, letting them know what we have completed and also giving them a glimpse as to how the master plan says we should complete within the next three to five years and we are getting their input on how the BTB can write programs and projects and implement these projects that will be beneficial to the industry while looking at the overall goal of meeting the master plan.”

N.T.G.A. to train Future Tour Guides
Back in July tourist arrivals saw an increase of 7.2% adding up to 1,736 more foreign visitors to the country. In August, Belize hosted 1,793 more tourists, a 10.1% increase. With the end of the Maya Calendar, this year the National Institute of Culture and History is expected to host hundreds of thousands of tourists. But there is one problem, Belize is lacking tour guides. By law a tour guide can only chaperone 12 tourists at a time. Going above that number is illegal and can lead to serious repercussions. Tonight; however, there is some good news for those who want to venture into the tourism industry. Professional tour guide Antonio Novelo, shared with us this morning that with funding granted by the European Union, the Northern Tour Guide Association, will start training future tour guides. Antonio Novelo, Tour Guide “There is much need for guides and to learn for guides comes in. We want effective tour guides in Northern Belize so we will be inviting applications later on for tour guides and that is why we are here today.” Hipolito Novelo – Reporter “Now when it comes to the funding, how much exactly did they give you?” Antonio Novelo, Tour Guide “In Euros it would be like BZ$25000.00 which will be good for at least 33 guys.” Hipolito Novelo – Reporter “And if a person is thinking to apply and being part of the program, what would be the requirements?”


From the Crime Beat: suspected meth bust in Cayo
Two Guatemalan nationals are in police detention in Cayo pending charges of drug trafficking. [VO STARTS] The two men, a father and son duo, were detained on Wednesday afternoon at a police checkpoint on the George Price Highway near the Western Border in Benque Viejo del Carmen. According to police reports, a car with Guatemalan license plates was intercepted at the checkpoint and a search of the vehicles resulted in the discovery of four parcels of suspected Methamphetamine. The suspected drugs weighed in at 4.9 Kilograms. One person is in police custody and authorities are looking for another following an armed robbery on Wednesday morning. The incident happened at Laker’s Mini Mart in Belize City around eleven forty yesterday morning. According to police reports, the cashier at the establishment Malcolm Mortis was accosted by two male persons, one of whom placed a knife to his neck and demanded his properties. The man with the knife described as being of Indian descent, reportedly searched Mortis’ and took away his cell phone and wallet. Mortis was then taken to the cash register and ordered to open it. The thief helped himself to an unknown amount of money. After the robbery, both persons fled the scene on separate bicycles. Police say that shortly after, the Indian descent person was caught on McKay Boulevard by Mortis and his uncle; but the other robber managed to escape. The person in custody is a minor and a resident of Alta Vista, Belize district. Authorities say they have recovered the stolen cell phone and wallet belonging to Malcolm Mortis, in addition to a silver-colored knife and a pair of scissors. These have all been labeled as exhibits as police investigations continue. A Belize City woman claims she was threatened with death by the father of her child. Twenty one year old Layla Fuentes reported to police that on Tuesday afternoon she went to the home of twenty year old Patrick Jones to collect money for her daughter. Fuentes says that when she got to Jones’ Banak Street house, the young man pointed a black revolver at her and threatened to kill her. Fuentes says that Jones then punched her on her face and knocked her on her head with a stone causing a cut wound. Police have since detained Patrick Jones pending the outcome of their ongoing investigation. A burglary has been reported in Belize City. A thirty year old Belize City woman reported to police that sometime between September twenty second and yesterday morning, her house on Queen Charlotte Street was burglarized. The woman says that an assortment of items, including clothes, was stolen. Another burglary, this time in the Cayo district is also being investigated by the police. Santa Elena town businessman, thirty three year old Jonathan Lohr has reported a burglary of his house. According to Lohr, the burglary happened sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Lohr says that the thief or thieves made off with an assortment of tools and cement with an estimated value of two thousand dollars. Preliminary investigations indicate that the robbers gained entrance to the building by breaking the lock on the door of the unfinished house. In another crime of dishonesty, a woman lost her cell phone when it was grabbed from her hands on Tuesday evening. Twenty year old Elia Lanza told police that she was at the corner of Youth for the Future Drive and Vernon Street around five forty five on Tuesday evening when the incident happened. Lanza says she had her head down about to text, when a man grabbed her phone, valued at one thousand four hundred dollars and rode off on a bicycle. Lanza describes her assailant as being of dark complexion, fat and has afro hair. Police investigations continue.

Police destroy hundreds of guns
A number of firearms were destroyed this morning. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo were at the Queen Street Police Station for the event and bring you the following report.

Visiting group helps with reading in Cayo
Primary School students in Cayo are this week getting some help to boost their reading skills. But as we hear in this report from correspondent Elaine Berry, parents are also brushing up on their reading skills.

Toledo volunteers celebrate upgraded street
A group of volunteers has completed repairs to a section of Front Street in Punta Gorda town. Our Toledo Bureau Chief Paul Mahung reports.

Disaster preparedness training for the Red Cross
Disaster preparedness, as it is coined, is always a top priority on the to-do list for the Belize Red Cross Society. Today, the Society completed another of its training for that eventuality and it teamed up this time with the Ministry of Health and the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO. Director General of the Belize Red Cross, says this course is for people who manage emergency operation centres in times of disasters. PAHO, in this instance, is offering technical assistance, says Ivan Cabb of that organization. Maritta Vauri is the Emergency Health Coordinator for the International Federation of red Cross and Red Crescent. She told Love News that while disasters vary from continent to continent, the needs are the same and coordination is one key element wherever that need arises. The participants hailed from the National Emergency Management Organization, the Ministry of Health, the Public Health Department and the local Red Cross Society.

Refurbished computer lab for Women’s Department
The Women’s Department in Belize City is the beneficiary of a refurbished computer lab. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo and video journalist Myles Gillett were present for the handing over and bring you the following report.

Hattieville man acquitted of firearm charge
Thirty year old Francis Benitez, a resident of Windmill area, Hattieville, charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license, was acquitted of both charges today. The incident occurred on June 28, 2012. The police was conducting a roadblock at mile 4 on the Western Highway when they stopped a pick-up truck coming from Hattieville and heading to Belize City. A woman who was in the driver’s seat identified herself as the owner of the truck and there were four persons in the pan of the truck and Benitez was one of them. The police noticed that Benitez was acting in a suspicious manner so they searched him. The search resulted in the discovery of a .38 special pistol with 2 rounds of ammunition in Benitez pants pocket. As a result, Benitez was arrested and charged. Benitez, who was not represented by any attorney, testified and said that he found the firearm and ammunition by the football field in Hattieville and his intention was to take it to the police station and hand it in. Under cross examination, the prosecutor suggested to Benitez that he should have taken the firearm and ammunition to the police station in Hattieville which is near to the football field. In giving his decision Magistrate Adolph Lucas Jr. said that he believed Benitez that he found the firearm and intended to take it to the police station and so he found Benitez not guilty. The prosecutor gave verbal notice to the court that he is going to appeal.

Cayo taxi cooperative holds AGM
New members have been elected to serve on the executive of the Savannah Taxi Cooperative in San Ignacio town. The election was of the new executive headed by Medardo Rodriguez took place during the cooperative’s fifteenth annual general meeting which was held this past weekend at the ITVETT resource centre in San Ignacio town. Joining Rodriguez on the executive of the Savannah Taxi Cooperative are Rene Young, Manuel Garcia, Luis Estrada, Miguel Aguilar, Martin Velasquez and Carlos Cifuentes. The executive will serve for one year and the election was supervised by senior officers of the Cooperatives Department.

Hair braiders undergo training in Belize City
When we think of hair braiding our minds might venture into the latest styles and tight corn rows, but the Belize Tourism Board is taking hair braiding to another level by providing a special two day training session for women of the Fort Street Tourism Village Zone at the ITVET in Belize City. The training comes as part of an effort the BTB is embarking on to enhance the visitor experience of cruise tourists. The training which began today, has as facilitator, cosmetologist Mapye Smith from Belize City. Perry Bodden Jr. works in Capacity building in the Quality Assurance Department of the BTB told us why the organization decided to target hair braiders. At the end of tomorrow’s session, the participants will not only receive a Certificate of Completion, but they will also take home a braiding kit with hair products and sanitizers courtesy of the BTB. To allow the proper organization of Hair Braiders of the Fort Street Tourism Village and the rest of the country, a review and update of minimum standards is scheduled to take place soon. Once these are legislated by law, Hair Braiders will have to go through a licensing process every year in order to conduct business.


Hostile take-over of Citrus Industry at Boiling Point!
When it comes to Belize's industries, all eyes have been on the sugar industry up north in recent months with the n...

Minister Elrington off to Guatemala
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, is off to Guatemala. He leaves on Sunday to hold meetings with his ...

Belmopan CitCo considers launching Municipal Bond
The Belize Municipal Development Project is targeting seven municipalities and has an attached cost of $30 million ...

Payroll irregularities found at UB
Reports reaching plus news is that Belize's National University; the University of Belize have some problems at han...

SIF approves Multipurpose centre for Guinea Grass
A project for the construction of a new multipurpose centre for the village of Guinea Grass in the Orange Walk Dist...

Xunantunich Archaeological Reserve is closed while Succotz Ferry is replaced
A contract for the construction of the new ferry was signed in June of this year. According to Christy Mastre of th...

Police believe Katrina Howard was murdered
Last night we reported on the death of 24 year-old Karina Howard in Sittee River in Stann Creek District. It was in...

Couple arraigned on counterfeit currency charges out on bail
At the beginning of last month Police conducted a search on the premises of Denvoy Domingo situated on Lake View St...

Laptop stolen during car break-in in Belize City
Another vehicle break in deprives a man of his belongings. PAUL WADE JR, a resident of Bella Vista Area, in Belize ...

Police update - Arrest made for murder of Kenroy Flowers
Reference the Jasmine Alert for Hugo Moreno, Orange Walk police have contacted their Mexican counterparts as they e...


A newly launched coalition—Belize Coalition for Justice (BCJ)—today ramped up the pressure on the Government of Belize, as they resurrected a public call for the resignation or removal of Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, after the minister appeared on national television declaring that the Government of Belize had decided to pay a grant to the family of Francisco Quim Cab, 35, a Guatemalan gold panner who was shot and killed after allegedly threatening to harm a Belize Defence Force soldier with a machete 7 miles inside Belizean territory. At a press conference held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City today, Geovanni Brackett, president of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), one of thirty organization members of the BCJ, read the coalition’s position statement on the Belize-Guatemalan differendum, in which he said Elrington “must be made to resign from the ministry and be replaced with someone who is more competent and someone that the Belizean people can respect.” He went on to condemn “all past and present actions of Elrington…” Amandala readers will recall that the last wave of demands for Elrington’s removal came in December 2009, when, in an international statement, he described Belize’s border with Guatemala as “artificial”—which many understood to give the connotation that it is “not real.”

The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) issued a late evening statement reacting to a decision by the Government to proceed with the public consultation scheduled for next Thursday, October 25, 2012, to discuss a 300-page Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) submitted earlier this month by US Capital Energy, as they prepare to drill for oil in at least 6 Maya communities in Toledo and inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park (STNP), which SATIIM co-manages. Executive Director of SATIIM Greg Ch’oc told Amandala that it is obvious that the Government of Belize wants to proceed with drilling “by any means necessary.” Last week, both SATIIM, and leaders of three Maya communities – Crique Sarco, Midway and Conejo, and one Garifuna community – Barranco, wrote Chief Environment Officer Martin Alegria, to request the extension of the scheduled consultation date to Thursday, November 22 or thereafter. Ch’oc told us that the DOE responded today, saying that the one-month extension won’t be granted.

Lawlessness and disrespect by criminals for any institution have sunk to a new level. A preschool with around 10 toddlers, ages 3 and 4, was held up by two thieves, one of whom was armed with a gun. The thieves robbed the teacher at gunpoint in front of the babies, and got away with $5 — her lunch money, jewelry and a cell phone. The babies were traumatized, and ran onto a bed in the classroom, and some ran under the bed to get away from the robbers. The incident occurred around 9:30 a.m. yesterday, Wednesday, at the Little Cadet and Academy Preschool located on Louise Bevans Street in the Jane Usher Boulevard area. The teacher, 23, told Amandala that a man came up to the class door and asked for one of the kids, but as soon as she opened the door for him to come in, another man who was at the side of the building, whose face was covered with a stocking and who had a gun, rushed in and immediately grabbed her. The gunman cocked the gun and put it at the side of her head. He then demanded money and everything that she had.

A woman, 25, a domestic, escaped from certain sexual assault, and maybe with her life, after a fake policeman kicked open her door and at gunpoint, ordered her to take off her clothes. As the intruder was about to rape the woman, however, her husband, 32, a laborer, come home and the intruder ran out of the house. The incident occurred in the city around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 14. The woman told police that she was at home sleeping alone when someone awoke her by knocking on her door. She got out of her bed and peeped to see what was happening, and that was when a man identified himself as a police officer and said he wanted to get into her house. The woman told police that the man was dark-skinned was wearing a white undershirt and black 3/4 pants. She immediately became alarmed and refused to open the door, and that was when the imposter kicked open the door and entered her house.

The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) has released inflation rates for September 2012, indicating that, “At the end of September 2012, the average national year-to-date inflation rate was 1.5%, down from 1.7% the previous month.” Health, recreation and culture, and miscellaneous goods and services continue to drive the upward trend, with increases of 6.8%, 5% and 4.1%, respectively. Food and non-alcoholic beverages saw a slight overall price increase of 0.8%; however, meat prices have spiked by 3.8% and poultry prices by 9.5%. “Nationally, the average price for a pound of whole chicken went up 9.5% from $2.53 to $2.77,” said the SIB report. “This was as a direct result of higher feed grain prices, as drought conditions in the Midwestern and Western United States have led to global grain shortages.” Gas prices increased as much as poultry prices: 9.5% overall, with the price of premium gasoline leading with a 13% increase. Reporting on the September data, the SIB said that, “In Belize City, for example, the average price of a gallon of premium gasoline jumped from $11.48 to $12.97, while the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline rose from $11.05 to $11.95.” Again, Orange Walk has recorded the highest inflation rate, 2.1% this month as compared to 2.8% last month. The overall inflation rate in Belmopan has again dipped, this time by 0.8% as compared to 0.6% last month. The SIB said, “There was virtually no change in the price level in Belize City and Punta Gorda Town…”

Bandits (North) and Assassins (South) remain Zone leaders at PLB Week 8
With the completion of Week 8 and only 1 more out-of-zone weekend of games remaining in the Premier League of Belize Opening Tournament 2012-2013, defending champions Placencia Assassins remain at the top of the South Zone, [...]

BDFA reports on San Pedro 1st Division and “W” Cup tournaments
In the first week of the San Pedro First Division Tournament 2012, four games were played, three on Sunday, October 14, and one on Monday, October 15. In game 1 on Sunday, Club United FC played [...]

Those of us who live in the hurricane belt of the Caribbean and Central America know that the most powerful of hurricanes can begin with what meteorologists call, “an area of disturbed weather.” We mean no disrespect when we say that this is what we thought of when we saw Wednesday evening television news footage covering a Belize City press conference organized by a new Belize Coalition for Justice (BCJ). BCJ, which describes itself as a coming together of many different Belizean organizations, represents an area of disturbed weather. The Dean Barrow administration would do well to pay heed. There were several speakers from the BCJ head table at the press conference, but BCJ has not yet chosen a specific leadership. On principle, this newspaper supports such attempts by concerned Belizean citizens to inform and mobilize the Belizean people. At least three of the head table speakers had been prominent in the demonstration/rally held in San Ignacio Town last week Thursday, which, among other things, called for the removal of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) – Cheryl-Lynn Branker Vidal, on the grounds of incompetence in the prosecution of crime. On Wednesday, BCJ speakers were focused on the personality of Belize’s Foreign Minister, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, whom they wanted Prime Minister Dean Barrow to replace, because BCJ was of the opinion that Elrington’s position on the Guatemalan claim and Guatemalan incursions into Belize had been consistently soft and appeasing.

by Evan X Hyde A wealthy, inter-connected core of Belizeans and transnational foreign investors have made Belize’s political campaigns into what they are today – electronic, entertainment exercises wherein the disenchanted masses of our people, especially in the urban areas, view the campaign as more of an opportunity for handouts than a chance to make important decisions about their lives and the future of their children. Before I was born, the political system of British Honduras only allowed citizens with certain property qualifications to vote, and for a long time women were not allowed to vote. All this changed permanently in 1954, when universal adult suffrage came into effect. From 1954 onwards, all Belizeans 21 years and older became eligible to register, and to vote in municipal and national elections. In 1978, the right to vote was moved downwards to include all citizens 18 years of age and older. Theoretically then, since the vast majority of our people are not rich people, universal adult suffrage gives poor Belizeans and Belizeans of modest means the right and opportunity to organize themselves and present candidates for election who would use the public finances and public resources of Belize for the benefit of poor Belizeans and Belizeans of modest means.


Belize and Guatemala officials due to meet Monday in Guat City
Despite flared border tensions between the parties, high-ranking officials from Belize and Guatemala are due to meet next week to launch a major fundraising effort to amass the millions of dollars programmed to finance public education [...]

Belize to defend $10 mil queen conch industry as US prepares to review petition for trade ban
The Belize Fisheries Department this morning met in a two-hour session with fishers from across the country, as they unveiled the results of the 2012 national conch survey, decided on this year’s catch quotas and discussed a pending petition before the US Congress that could see a ban on conch trade with the US, which purchases 95% of Belize’s queen conch harvest. Acting Fisheries Administrator James Azueta, Fisheries Officer at the Belize Fisheries Department, told journalists after this morning’s meeting that although Belize can currently trade conch, it has been mandated under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the Washington Convention) since 2006 to report on conch production. The Queen Conch (Strombus gigas), which is prevalent in the Caribbean, Mexico and parts of Central America, such as Honduras, is listed under appendix II of CITES, which means that all trade has to be documented. In March of this year, the NGO, WildEarth Guardians, of Denver, Colorado, submitted a petition to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, acting through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Marine Fisheries Service, to have the species listed as threatened or endangered. If the petition is granted and the Queen Conch status is downgraded from appendix II to I (prohibited trade), no country will be able to export conch to the USA or any other country, said Azueta.

Ideas and Opinions – Crime and punishment
Our penal system in Belize consists of two punishments: incarceration and fines. Primarily incarceration. Starting with life imprisonment for murder, continuing downward depending upon the descending order of comparative heinousness to a few months for misdemeanors as an alternative to paying a fine. This is the system in the European countries, who are our friends, models and benefactors. It was not always so. Britain, for example, up to some years ago had capital and corporal punishment for specific crimes in addition to incarceration and fines. They have seen fit to abolish capital and corporal punishment. Before that they had little or no juvenile delinquency and no gangs. Now, they have them both. They have also embraced homosexuality, which they now consider as normal behavior. Are these signs of approaching decline in the once mighty British Empire? Islamic countries and non-European countries alike have the same penal system which existed from the time of Moses, acknowledged as the Great Law giver, which employed capital and corporal punishment to preserve Peace and Order in their societies. You will observe that in those countries which retain the traditional forms of punishment, there are no gangs, a low level of violent crime and little or no juvenile delinquency. Recently the citizens of the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena came together as a body to protest against the increasing level of violent crime in their communities: specifically, three rape/murders and one infanticide, within what they considered to be a short period. They held public meetings to express their dissatisfaction with the Administration of Justice System. Out of these meetings came a letter to the Prime Minister listing their demands for effective action by the Government. The Prime Minister responded by meeting two of their demands and, delegating the Honorable Attorney General to meet with the citizens of the Twin Towns to dismiss their other demands.

FFB Interdistrict results, schedule, standings; 2 weeks to quarterfinal playoffs
In its original incarnation back in the 1970’s, the Interdistrict Champion of Champions competition featured the best players representing their respective district selections in a battle to determine the best in the country of Belize. Today’s [...]

CPBL holds AGM, reports modest profit after two years of losses
Citrus producers Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL) held their annual general meeting at their compound on the Stann Creek Valley Road this past Friday afternoon, October 12. A copy of the company’s annual report shown [...]

Villanuevas lose appeal – $400,000 plus interest
“This in my mind is not justice,” Villanueva, Sr., told Amandala Veteran broadcaster Rene Villanueva, Sr., his son Rene, Jr., and their company Cahal Pech Limited have been ordered by Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall to [...]


Off the menu like list
Sometimes people fall under the impression that bloggers always like everything and give only rave reviews. Any thoughts on that from those who currently blog? Last night I was on my way home from afternoon meetings and decided that picking up dinner at our neighborhood tostada stand was a much better option than cooking – imagine that There no shortage of local food options with tasty well priced meals around San Pedro. In my almost 7 years of living here, I can honestly say I have had very few mediocre food shack or street meat experiences. At $8 bzd a plate, the price was right and although the food looked good, it was a reminder smaller local food places can be a crap shoot. Sometimes you get what you pay for, and that turned out to be cheap cut of meat making the pork on the chewy side, the rice was really good and the coleslaw passed, although it was a but creamy for my taste. We both agreed that their stewed pork is off the like list and we will stick with their stewed chicken and tostadas. There was only one order of chicken left which is why I did not go with my preferred choice. As I watched them putting our to go plates together, I noticed the woman serving me was about to put the styrofoam containers in the microwave but I caught her and said no thanks. One thing about fast food places you have to watch out for things like that and or a large half full jar of mayo being taken off the shelf instead of from the refrigerator. I had that experience in Boca Del Rio once and they also tried to heat my styro The endearing side of food stands is watching one of the women who works there coming out of the hot pink tienda [store] across the road with 2 cabbages and a carrot so she can make your coleslaw. I keep thinking I need to find a couple of 3 portion Rubbermaid containers that match the size of styro take out containers. Anyone seen anything comparable? Note to self: check ebay.

Around Town: Geo's Hideaway, The Post Office, Wild Mango's and More
Yesterday I decided to try a new spot for lunch. You might think that would be a tough task in such a small town. San Pedro's population is under 30,000. But there is a new bar or restaurant springing up constantly. CONSTANTLY. And, the scuttlebutt around town is that Geo's Hideaway Cafe and Meat Market (interesting combo, right?) not only sells a mean Angus steak but also makes great coffee drinks and paninis. (Angus steak is relatively new to Belize. Hump-backed Brahman cows are made for tropical climates but let's just say that their meat is a bit...tough.) Geo's has been open since April. Time to check it out. This, as you can imagine, is Geo. He has lived on the island for quite a few years and worked at Searious Adventures (that's where I first met him), for a para sailing company, he opened a Butterfly Farm by the Belize Yacht Club and now he has opened this bar and restaurant. He even worked at Chaa Creek for years before he moved to San Pedro. Lots of good experience. And here is the entrance. They are right across from the San Pedro Police Station just north of town proper. In the back of the large space is the meat market. Quite an extensive list of products. I'll admit...I don't even know what a few are. Picana? Butt bacon? All the meat is from Running-W (who also run what is supposed to be an amazing steak house in the Cayo District of Belize). I am a big fan of this brand. The bacon? The best I've ever had. At the Belmopan Agriculture Fair last spring, I was parked by their booth of grilling meats for at least 2 hours.

Belize’s Winter Wonderland Welcome
The Lodge at Chaa Creek is kicking off its “Belize, a Winter Wonderland” promotion with a list of six reasons to visit Belize this winter. Larry Waight, Chaa Creek’s marketing administrator, said that in the rush to escape colder northern weather, people from North America sometimes overlook Belize, which he describes as “the little quiet, affordable, stunningly beautiful tropical getaway in their own back yard.” “The more well-known winter destinations such as Mexico, Jamaica and Costa Rica may be more established and have bigger marketing budgets, which means that their smaller, quiet cousin, Belize sometimes gets overlooked in the rush to get away from the cold,” he said. “But there are many reasons to come to Belize, and to kick off our “Belize, a Winter Wonderland” initiative, we’re making it easy for people to make an informed decision by giving a half-dozen very good reasons to visit Belize this year,” he said. Mr Waight listed the reasons as: “First, we have what is as close to a perfect climate as it gets. Temperatures hover around 80°F (27°C) all year long, and with an average of between 75°F (24°C) for December, Belize is never too cold and never too hot, making it the perfect tropical winter vacation destination,” he said.

Belize’s Debt Payment

International Sources

Venture in chocolate
A new business venture wants to help raise Maya farming families out of poverty by exporting their cacao from south Belize to the United States. Through a start-up company called Chocolate House LLC, Joel Alexander, a University of North Texas applied anthropology student and a winner of the Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship’s New Venture Creation Contest, is working with the farming families to import and sell their one-of-a-kind natural organic, raw ground cacao from Central America to markets nationwide. “Help us sell our cacao in the U.S., so [that] our children can go to school,” said Alexander, 66, about the request offered by Mayan farmers five years ago. Alexander began traveling regularly to Belize and meeting with the farmers who speak English, Spanish and their native Mayan. Alexander said after staying with the farmers and learning about their environment, each found they could help each other. He wanted to find a way to help the community in Belize by selling their world-class “hybrid-criollo” cacao beans to chocolate makers, confectioners, coffee houses, natural food stores and convenience outlets. And they wanted to improve their standards of living. From there, Alexander developed his business plan to start what is known as a for-profit social entrepreneurship. Now, the farmers sell their cacao beans to wholesalers in Europe. In 2009, Alexander, at their request, not only helped the farmers set their own growers group called BEGAT (Belizean Ecological Growers Association of Toledo) but also agreed through Chocolate House to become their main distributor in the United States.

Lionfish hunting in Belize
Sinking slowly through Belize’s turquoise sea, Giovanni Gonzalez has murder on his mind. The dive guide scans the reef, his dreadlocks moving like a sea creature. I see only the usual confetti of tropical fish, but I can tell that Gio has spotted a lionfish tucked into the coral. He readies his spear, takes aim and fires. The impaled fish materializes in a cloud of silt, thrashing to free itself — or at least sink a poison-barbed fin into someone’s skin. No fool, Gio pulls out a pair of scissors and disarms the fish by snipping off its spiky fins. A squeamish vegetarian, I turn away and watch the fins drift like feathers toward the ocean floor. Gio is clearly having a lot of fun, but he’s also ridding the reef of a dangerous invader. Native to the Indian and Pacific oceans, lionfish were released into the Atlantic in the 1980s — most likely by Florida aquarium owners who tired of feeding the voracious creatures. Since then, these orange-and red-striped devils have colonized coastal waters from Rhode Island to South America, devastating local fish populations wherever they go.

A culinary 'Little Belize' in South L.A. area
The last undiscovered ethnic culinary enclave in L.A. might be a dozen-plus Belizean restaurants in the South Los Angeles area, a "Little Belize" offering the multi-culti flavors of the tiny country formerly known as British Honduras. Drive south from the 10 Freeway down Western Avenue to the limits of South L.A. and into Gardena you'll encounter a cache of Caribbean culture, where food is ordered in Belizean Kriol, an English-based Creole language that teases but evades comprehension. The Belizean restaurants are inconspicuous among Mexican, soul food and other Central American diners in a neighborhood full of no-tell motels and possibly the largest collection of Latino storefront Pentecostal churches imaginable. On their tables you'll encounter the food of two distinct Belizean cultures: Maya and Kriol. Most of L.A.'s Belizean restaurants draw from both the Yucatan's Maya heritage and the British and West African mix known as Kriol. You can start with a Maya appetizer such as panades, tuna stuffed in a folded, paprika-stained, fried tortilla. A Kriol main like boil-up is a Saturday indulgence of pig tail, fish, hard-boiled eggs, yams, plantains, boil cakes made from flour, sweet potato, yucca and taro (called cocoa in Belize) covered in a stew of tomatoes, onions and peppers. The only Central American country that was ruled by the British, Belize's dishes are a mix of multiethnic influences, more so than the cuisines of neighboring countries that fuse along an indigenous-to-Iberian continuum, though there are rice and beans — every day. The three restaurants that stand out here are Ella's Belizean Restaurant, Joan and Sisters and Mar's Caribbean Gardens. Ella's is a Belizean snack-shack, Joan and Sisters boasts Kriol home cooking and extended hours (most Belizean restaurants seem to close by 7 p.m., or when the food runs out), and Mar's is a fancy island lounge serving solid Kriol cooking to go with cold Belikin beers.

Credit Card Numbers Are Not Random: How To Read & Understand Them Yourself
You may have heard before that credit card numbers follow a certain pattern and structure so that they can be validated before a transaction is accepted. However, it’s one thing to know that the structure is there and another thing entirely to understand how credit card numbers work. Why would this knowledge be useful? Well, if you run a small business that doesn’t process credit card payments immediately, you could save yourself money by ensuring the card details are valid. If you don’t, well it could still be fun to show off your skills at parties. Here’s how you do it. Learning Where The Numbers Come From Credit card numbers are not random. There’s a special set of numbers to show information about the card issuer and another set to show information about the card holder. One other number is also important, but we’ll come to that later. The very first number is the Major Industry Identifier (MII) and it tells you what sort of institution issued the card. 1 and 2 are issued by airlines. 3 is issued by travel and entertainment. 4 and 5 are issued by banking and financial institutions. 6 is issued by merchandising and banking. 7 is issued by petroleum companies. 8 is issued by telecommunications companies. 9 is issued by national assignment. The first six digits are the Issuer Identification Number (IIN). These can be used to look up where the card originated from. If you have access to a list that details who owns each IIN, such as this list of popular IINs on Wikipedia, you can see who issued the card just by reading the card number. The seventh digit to the second-to-last digit is the customer account number. Most companies use just 9 digits for the account numbers, but it’s possible to use up to 12. This means that using the current algorithm for credit cards, the world can issue about a trillion cards before needing to change the system. We often see 16-digit credit card numbers today, but it’s possible for a card issuer to issue a card with up to 19 digits using the current system. In the future, we may see longer numbers becoming more common.

88 Best iOS Apps For Mobile Learning
Do you ever stop to think about how you gathered information before the Internet? If you needed to find an answer about anything, what did you do to find it? I don’t really remember, but I think we called people on the phone, asked our parents or looked it up in an encyclopedia. No wonder learning was kind of boring back then. One of the best parts of having access to all the technology we have today is the opportunity for so much learning. I’m not just talking about at-home learning either, now we can educate ourselves about anything anywhere via mobile learning too. Unlike our computers, the human brain has an unlimited amount of storage space to hold everything we put in it (thank goodness). If you are like me, you are constantly looking things up. I think I access Google around 80 – 100 times each day. How many times do you go there? Since I delete my web history, I can only guesstimate, but I think my number is close to accurate.

October 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

The San Pedro Sun

Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage called on Government to ensure Free, Prior and Informed Consent for the Communities of the Toledo District
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage supports the communities of the Toledo District and the Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM)with their call on Government to reschedule the planned public consultation for the US Capital Exploratory Drilling Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on October 25, 2012 for November 22 or at a later date. The Coalition has been informed that the EIA was deposited in the advertised communities on Sunday, October 6, 2012, which is only 2 ½ weeks to review a highly technical document.

Fire Drill exercise carried out at Holy Cross
Students at Holy Cross and residents of San Mateo were ruffled by the sound of emergency sirens and the scampering of children from the school compound on Wednesday, October 17th in the mid-morning. The commotion was the result of a routine fire drill carried out by the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) – San Pedro, along with the Ministry of Education to monitor and evaluate the school’s preparedness in responding to the threat of a fire.

Four detained for the Murder of Emerito Itza
San Pedro police have detained four minors of San Pedro addresses pending charges of Murder for the death of Emerito Itza. Sometime around 8PM on Wednesday, October 10, 2012, San Pedro Police and PolyClinic Doctors were summoned to an area just off the beach south of the San Juan Roundabout where they discovered two injured males. The doctor on duty noticed that they were suffering abrasions to the head, and asked that they be taken to the clinic for further treatment. 24-year-old

SPRCS Students elect representatives to ACFSC.
Over 900 students at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS) will have a chance to practice their right to vote for the first time on October 17, 2012. The students are voting to choose two student body representatives that will sit on the Quality Child Friendly School Committee QCFSC. Principal of SPRCS, Roxani Kay spoke on the elections. “Today the students are electing the students that will form part of the QCFSC. This committee will be working directly with all stakeholders to assure a high quality school; working hand in hand with the school to pin point our strengths and weaknesses and identifying ways in which we can improve in those areas where we identify weaknesses.” The committee will be made up of two student body representatives, a teacher, a member of the Parent-Teacher Association, a member from the school’s management, and the businesses community among other stakeholders. On the committee, the student body representatives will be directly responsible of voicing the student body’s concerns as well as suggestions on how to improve their educational experience through an improved quality of school.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Police Rounds Up Loafers off Public Places
The San Pedro Town Council is working arduously in making our Isla Bonita a cleaner and better community to live in. When the Mayor and Councilors were elected into office, they pledged on working in tackling a complete clean up of the island which would include getting a tighter grip on liquor licenses and bar establishments, lower the noise level at bars, crack down on houses of prostitution, fix the streets, drunkards freeloading at cemetery and football fields, drug trafficking, tax payments and much more. Most of the above, if not all, have been tackled and on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, Councilor Wally Nuñez, whose portfolio includes Community Protection & Safety and Drug Awareness, along with Freddie Gonzalez and Rafael Torres of The San Pedro Alcohol & Drug Institute (SPADI) teamed up with the San Pedro Police Department to conduct the first ever round-up of loafers off public places.

Señor Marlins Sports Bar is Island’s Newest Hot Spot
One new hot spot in town that just opened this past weekend and is ready for the upcoming season is Señor Marlin’s Sports Bar. It’s a great hang out spot that has a very inviting atmosphere and is situated right next to the beach, can’t beat that! With beach sand running into the open bar and a very casual setting to enjoy sports events on their multiple flat screen televisions and large wall projection, the lounge has very good appeal to both tourists and locals. Señor Marlin’s is located on the beach in front of Daddy Rock Night Club, next to the municipal pier in downtown Central Park.

Black and White Reggae Bar Cleaning Up Bad Reputation
n a letter sent out to the local community of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, proprietor of Black and White Reggae Bar, Julia Martinez acknowledged the fact that the establishment had obtained a bad reputation on the island, but that she is in the process of transforming it once again into the reputable business it once was. “For me at this time and age, I strongly believe that bringing the bar back to a Cultural Entertainment place will be more beneficial to my family, my place of business, the community I served and most of all promoting the Belizean Garifuna Culture in a very unique manner to our tourists, visitors and friends,” commented Ms. Martinez. Black and White Reggae Bar had become a place for the bad element in town, creating an unhealthy environment on the island. Ms. Martinez has realized that this is not what she intended for her business to become. She is now promising the community of San Pedro that her establishment will once again be known as a Garifuna Cultural Entertainment Bar where they display and promote Belize’s Garifuna culture to visitors.

Miss Belize Enjoying Okinawa, Japan at Miss International Events
Destinee Dominque Arnold is enjoying Okinawa, Japan to the fullest! The Miss International Pageant final is set for Saturday, October 20, 2012, and for the past few weeks Miss Belize - Destinee Arnold along with 68 participants have been busy attending many events. Miss Belize seems to be a favorite for the photographers as she is being photographed a whole lot and appears in most if not all the post made of the pageant. Some events that Miss Belize has been a part of include The Naha Great Tug of War Festival, The Yukata Experience, Introduction to History & Culture Program (Ryukyumura), Marine Activities and Shopping, Okinawa City Visit, Visit & ...

Misc Belizean Sources

At the movies
Last week’s closedown and demonstration in El Cayo might very well be, as one former politician put it, “previews of coming attraction.” Belizeans all over are very fed up with the high rate of crime and the low rate of conviction. Over the past five years we have had well over five hundred murders. Barely into the middle of October and we are already way past a hundred for this year alone; with no sign of the violence letting up anytime soon. While the Police have been quick to make arrests in most cases, very few of those suspects ever get convicted. In most cases, Police are sure that they have the right person but more than 90% of the time, they are unable to secure a conviction. The reasons given for the dismissals run the gamut from incredulous to ludicrous. As Tom Greenwood once said, “we have replaced “sub umbra florae” with “nolle prosequi”. Of course, murder is only one of the serious crimes currently plaguing our once peaceful haven of democracy. Attempted Murder, home invasions, robberies, rape and burglaries are common place and even when someone is caught, the chances of getting off are far better than average. Many of these crimes are committed in broad daylight since most folks are terrified of going to court to testify. And with good reason for if statistics were available we’d be horrified at the number of witnesses that have come up murdered just for even thinking about giving testimony. While eyewitness testimony is still assumed to be the more reliable form of evidence, modern technology provides us with other means of solving crimes.

Coalition supports SATIIM and Toledo Communities
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage supports the communities of the Toledo District and the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM)with their call on Government to reschedule the planned public consultation for the US Capital Exploratory Drilling Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on October 25, 2012 for November 22 or at a later date. The Coalition has been informed that the EIA was deposited in the advertised communities on Sunday, October 6, 2012, which is only 2 ½ weeks to review a highly technical document. If the communities are to be meaningfully consulted, and their free, prior and informed consent gained, then sufficient time must be given to review the Environmental Impact Assessment. It is noted that the EIA is in the English Language which is not the first language of the primarily affected communities and therefore translation into appropriate languages will be required to ensure meaningful, effective consultation.

Foreign ministers of Belize and Guatemala to meet on Monday
Ambassador Hugo de Zela, chief of staff of the secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, announced on Thursday, in response to press inquiries, that “the coordination with authorities from Belize and Guatemala has been completed for a meeting of the foreign ministers of the two countries, in the presence of the chief representative of the OAS.” De Zela confirmed that, on Monday, Insulza will take part in the meeting between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize, Wilfred Elrington, and Guatemala, Harold Caballeros, in Guatemala City. Regarding reports about the postponement of the meeting between Belize and Guatemala, De Zela said that Insulza’s agenda “has never been an obstacle for the realization of the bilateral meeting, as he has been constantly willing to postpone other commitments to go where the governments of Belize and Guatemala deem convenient and on the date on which they agree.”

Saint Martin's Credit Union Celebration
Everyone should join a credit union! Saint Martin's Credit Union celebrated International Credit Union Day today with a mini-fair. They had music, food, games, and prizes. They also had plenty of information on all of the services they offer. Thanks, Saint Martin's Credit Union!

"Mrs. Robinson" Screening at GPC
Tonight at the George Price Centre, they'll be showing a screening of "Mrs. Robinson," which won at the Belize Film Festival. It will be followed by a pot luck social. ""Mrs Robinson" is a short documentary (15 minutes) about one woman's return to her country of birth after living abroad in Belize, Central America for 56 years. The main and only character is Mrs. Patricia Robinson, Director Thomas Hines's grandmother, well known and loved Belmopan resident and Friend of the Centre. She made a very big change at the age of 83 when she decided to return to England. In returning to the country of her birth and youth, she had to say good-bye to the country of her husband's birth, where she lived with him for many years until he sadly passed away when she was 60; her many friends who she became very close with over the years she spent there; and the lifestyle that she had become accustomed to for so many years."

VIDEO: Traveller's Liquors' New Ad
Traveller's Liquors has a new advertisement. Melanie Gillett is in there too. The quality of commercials is definitely going up lately. "Traveller's Liquors 2nd Always There television Advert!! Check us out at,!!! It was shot at Black Orchid Resort in Burrell Boom!!"

Semana Regional Pyme Sur Sureste
Beltraide, along with Marie Sharp, Bel-Car, Cuello's, and the BTB, are representing Belize in Chetumal. Looks like they are enjoying their time up there. "Three companies: Marie Sharp, Bel-Car, Cuello's, and The Belize Tourism Board is accompanying BELTRAIDE at the Semana Regional Pyme Sur Sureste from October 17-19, 2012!! Here a summary of day 1!"

Belizean Powder/Poda Buns
Oh I love watching you make breads and these powder buns. Yummo. Can I make them just using butter cause I don't ever cook or use margarine for my family in cooking. Jada has the right idea with the chocolate chips lol yum that's something I'd add :) awesome video! Thank you.

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (17 October 2012)
Mega BingoStraight Line 100.00 Each (7 Balls) 71 ­28 ­41 ­68 ­40 ­11 ­51­ Y 125.00 Each (13 Balls) 71 ­28 ­41 ­68 ­40 ­11 ­51 ­46 ­6 ­70 ­34 ­13 ­20­ Letter X 750.00 Each (26 Balls) 71 ­28 ­41 ­68 ­40 ­11 ­51 ­46 ­6 ­70 ­34 ­13 ­20 ­7 ­56 ­53 ­60 ­50 ­55 ­25 ­12 ­61 ­44 ­8 ­54 ­17­

Channel 7

Guat's Had A Quarter Mil In "Meth"
In last night's news - we told you about the pair of Guatemalan males who were intercepted by police coming into Belize near the western border. The father and son were driving in a grey Volvo car with Guatemalan plates when they were stopped at a checkpoint on the border road, just a few hundred feet into Belizean territory. The Police Anti Drug Unit had launched a special operation with the K-9 unit and the dogs sniffed out four parcels of suspected crystal - meth - which is an illegal, highly addictive drug popular in the United States. The parcels weighed in at just under five kilos or about 11 pounds - which has a street value of about 125 thousand US dollars - that's a quarter million Belize. Police believe the drugs were destined for Mexico since there is no market for them in Belize.

Elrington Heads To Guatemala; Bze Will Pay Quin Yat Fam 10 K USD
Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington is going to Guatemala on Sunday. Though border relations are believed to be tense at this time - this meeting has nothing to do with that; it's a previously scheduled meeting between both countries with the OAS and the international community. Belize and Guatemala hope to raise funds for the education campaign - which must precede the referendum, planned for October of next year. Now, it may seem odd that a regular meeting would go ahead - when just a week ago Foreign Minister Elrington said that relations were at a crisis level after a BDF Sergeant shot and killed a Guatemalan civilian in the Chiquibul forest two weeks ago. But, things may not be all that bad after all. CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alexis Rosado told us that after Elrington's interview with 7news aired on Friday, Guatemala's Foreign Minister Harold Caballeros called Elrington personally to basically disclaim everything: There is no threat to close the border, no threat to send home our Ambassador and no ultimatum to provide an answer on the death of Francisco Quinn Yat.

Fortis Tries To Block SSB Investment in BEL
Last week, we told you about Social Security's plans to invest 15 million dollars in BEL debentures and preference shares. Well, the former owners of the power company, Fortis, filed an application at the Court of Appeal for injunction to restrain the current board of BEL from issuing these shares, and today, that application was heard. The matter was heard today in another highly technical hearing. After, we spoke to the attorneys for both sides about the points they made in the application. Here's what they had to say: Eamon Courtenay - Attorney for Fortis "There are purporting to issue preference shares to the Social Security Board to finance operations of the company. We've ask the court to intervene and to stop them from doing that because if FORTIS wins the case and gets back the company we would then have a set of shareholders who are preferential treated as compared to the ordinary shareholders like FORTIS and the court heard our arguments and have adjourned to give us a decision."

Scrutiny For San Pedro Pre School
The Three Angels Pre School in San Pedro is under scrutiny tonight after a police report was made that a 3 and a 1/2 year old boy was molested at the school. The boy's grandmother took him to the police station last Friday to make the report. The San Pedro Sun reports that the child has been checked by two doctors who certified the child presented signs that he has been sexually molested. The Sun reports that "the school's principal called an emergency meeting with the Parents Teachers Association on Wednesday evening where she discussed the situation. She told the parents that she was surprised when "she learnt from unofficial sources that the incident had allegedly occurred on the school grounds." The Sun reports that she explained to the parents that it is highly unlikely that the alleged sexual molestation occurred on campus since there are three teachers at the school and generally the children are not left unattended. At this point it is just an allegation and the investigation is ongoing. Police have not detained anyone - and the Ministry of Education says it is in the hands of the police.

"Tonz A Gunz" Destroyed
Today the police started a process to destroy over 700 guns. Some of them are firearms that the police have taken off the street - but most are weapons assigned to law enforcement that aren't good anymore. But, as we found out today authorities want to make sure no part is ever used again:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This morning, the hydraulic shears at the Queen Street Police Station were busy - the violent sound of the blades crushing barrels and stocks with mechanical precision. The weapons slated for destruction came by the truckful - and the sacksful - 470 from police and 260 from the BDF. It is part of an effort by the UN Office for Peace, Disarmament and Development - which also donated the hydraulic shears.

Robbery Victim Chases Down Assailant
Just before midday on yesterday, Lakers Mini Mart on Lawrence Avenue was targeted by armed robbers. According to the cashier - 21 year old Malcolm Mortis- the two armed, masked men walked in; one of them held a knife to his neck and took away his cell phone and other personal effects including his wallet. Mortis was then taken to the cash register and forced to open it where the robbers snatched up an unknown amount of money in coins and cash. Both then fled on bicycles. But they weren't so lucky to get away. Mortis and his uncle set chase and caught up with one of the robbers on McKay Boulevard. The other robber managed to escape. Police have detained a minor of Alta Vista area in the Belize District and have recovered the stolen cell phone, and the wallet. Additionally one silver colored knife with a black plastic handle and a pair of scissors were recovered as exhibits.

Hair Braider Etiquette
Tourism product managers may cringe when they think that hair braiders are the frontline representatives for Belize's Tourism product. But, like them or don't, they are often get the first taste of the Belizean experience that cruise tourists get. Make no mistake they're hard working ladies and an essential part of the tourism picture, but the BTB is concerned that they can be a little rough around the edges when making that sales pitch. That's why the Belize Tourism Board is holding a 2 day training session for 23 hair braiders from the Fort Street Tourism Village. The session covers professionalism, etiquette, health and safety and, organization. One of the coordinators explained:... Perry Bodden Jr. - Coordinator, BTB "BTB is embarking on a 2 day training program for the hair braiders at the Fort George Tourism Village area. The areas that we are going to cover in the training are professionalism, etiquette, customer service and the health aspect of cosmetology and we are going to touch on some marketing strategies as well." "The quality and assurance department main goal is to overall enhance the visitors experience on tourist on a whole, so the ladies could take the knowledge from this training and use it. Day two of this training we are going to have like a hand-on training of some different styles they could use at the village and as well we are going to teach them more or less how to use a computer and go out and YouTube it on different styles and just keep up to standards."

Caught With Counterfeit
Tonight, 29 year-old Denvoy Domingo, a laborer of Lakeview Street, and 29 year-old Christine Neal, teacher of Lord's Bank Village are out on bail after they were taken to court for possession of counterfeit currency. According to Police, at around 6:30 p.m. on September 1, they searched his home, and they found 22 counterfeit 20-dollar bills all with similar serial numbers. Police say that 29 year-old Christine Neal claimed the money as hers and as result, she was charged with 2 counts of possession of counterfeit notes. She was arraigned before Magistrate Aretha Ford on Tuesday. She was given bail of $5,000 which she was able to meet, and she is expected back at court on November 23. Well, police believe that Denvoy Domingo is also connected to these counterfeit notes because they charged him with one count of possession of counterfeit currency, and he was arraigned this evening before Magistrate Ford.

Two Recovering Cops Named August
On Monday we told you about ASP Amin August - the off duty police officer who stood up to a trio of robbers in Esperanza village and wrestled with a gunman. He got shot in the process - but was spared the full impact because the bullet hit his belt buckle. Still, he had to have surgery and the officer commanding Cayo Aaron Guzamn tells us ASP August is recovering well and is up and walking. Police are still looking for the gunman - who is a person known to them. And another policeman named August, Sergeant Mark August who lost both his legs in a motorcycle accident is also recovering. Today the police minister John Saldivar visited him at his residence in the Camalote. According to a press release, Saldivar assured him of the full support of the Ministry of National Security in assisting him and his family throughout the challenges associated with his accident.

Big Bucks For Burnt Oil
In Belize City there are very many hustles - but we met one man whose game is buying up all the burnt cooking oil he can find. He buys big from Chinese eateries and we found out why. Jules Vasquez reporting In the cantaloupe coloured evening light most people are winding down - but we found this 73 year old winding up. We met Julio Florian in front of Chon Saan Palace fastening these buckets of burnt cooking oil unto his bicycle. Now, who wants burnt cooking oil?: Julio Florian, "El Pajarito" - Buys burnt oil "This is for making gasoline for the gas station my sister has. I buy for $15 a gallon; this is for diesel and gasoline. From this I can get 4 gallons of gasoline and diesel."

Spanking New Succotz Ferry On The Way
IT'S A Belizean landmark - and a fairly ancient one - but the Succotz Ferry is on its way out - and will be replaced with a new ferry. And that's why the Xunantunich Archaeological Reserve will be closed to the Public from October 29th to November first. According to a press release sent out by NICH, the closure has become necessary in order to facilitate the removal of the old ferry and the installation of a new one.

They Remember Rosita
If you don't have any plans for Saturday night, the artist community in Belize wants you to support a concert to raise money to assist one of their own. As we've reported, Rosita Balthazar, a well-known dancer and teacher who has worked with NICH numerous times, has been diagnosed with cancer, and her colleagues are holding a benefit concert at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday night. Joseph Stamp Romero, the concert's organizer told us this evening why the public should attend: Joseph Stamp Romero, Organizer - Benefit Concert "The message of this concert is that an artist community is that we acre about our own. We care about our country and we care about making a statement. On Saturday at the Bliss at 7pm Belizean artists are going to come together and make a statement saying that we are in support of our own Rosita Balthazar who have been diagnosed with cancer. We have to start taking care of our own people, even as artists and as a wider community, so when we see people coming up performing and giving their best to the audience we can understand that they are there for free for one and also to say that as a wider community in Belize its time that we started to share each other experience."

Channel 5

3 year old boy sexually abused in San Pedro

On Wednesday, a pre-school in Belize City was attacked by armed robbers. The teacher was held at gunpoint in front of the classroom of four year old children. If that was not enough to shock everyone there is a report coming out of San Pedro Town tonight of a despicable incident. The family of a [...]

Foreign Minister Elrington headed to meeting in Guatemala

A meeting will be held in Guatemala City this coming Monday between Foreign Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington and Harold Caballeros, the Guatemalan Foreign Minister. The announcement was made today by the office of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington. According to a release, “the coordination with authorities from Belize and Guatemala has been [...]

Canada’s Fortis tries to block sale of B.E.L. shares

There were two weighty cases before the courts today. Submissions were heard before the Court of Appeal in a case against the government, brought by the former owners of Belize Electricity Limited, Fortis is requesting an injunction to restrict the issuance of preference shares to the Social Security Board. Prior to this afternoon’s hearing, attorneys [...]

Government Attorney says share sale would increase value of company

While S.S.B. has cash flow to sink in B.E.L., government’s attorney, Senior Counsel Denys Barrow, argues that the multimillion dollar investment would actually increase the value of the existing shares.   Denys Barrow, Attorney for Government “The question really is whether preference shares would be a good or a bad thing for the company and, [...]

Former Telemedia Executive Chairman, Dean Boyce, to take the stand?

In the other case this morning, a request was made to have former Telemedia executive chairman Dean Boyce cross examined in the Court of Appeal. Boyce submitted an affidavit refuting a sworn statement by financial secretary Joseph Waight regarding government’s ability to pay damages if the B.T.L. Employees Trust wins litigation over the company’s re-nationalization. [...]

Guatemalan father and son busted with Meth

A Guatemalan father and son team was busted attempting to bring meth into Belize. At around two-fifteen on Wednesday afternoon, personnel from the anti-drug and canine units of the Police Department intercepted a Volvo car with Guatemalan license plates at western border check point in Benque Viejo. During a search of the vehicle, the police [...]

26 arrests for 100 murders defines low conviction rate

Serious crimes are up according to the statistics from the Belize Police Department joint intelligence coordinating center. While the overall number of reported crimes in the nine month period from January to September has dropped by twenty-three, it is still high at two thousand and seventy. Murders notably went up in the first nine months [...]

More robberies in 2012

Attorney Dickie Bradley also spoke about the amount of robberies. There were fifty-five more robberies in the nine month period this year totaling three hundred and eighty-one. That statistic, a part of two thousand plus crimes is complicated by the fact that cases take years to be heard by the courts which leaves witnesses either [...]

Woman says Edward Martinez swindled her in land deal

Earlier this month Sylvia Baptist, a Belizean living in Los Angeles came to News Five’s studio, claiming that she had been swindled out of over twenty thousand dollars in a land deal with Edward Martinez. Baptist said she either wanted her money back or Martinez behind bars and it turns out she’s not the only [...]

…and even more allegedly swindled by Edward Martinez

Fairweather says that during her last visit to Belize in September, she realized she needed to take legal action against Martinez. After a visit to Belmopan and an attorney, Martinez reportedly found out about her efforts and asked her to back off. But at that time, Fairweather was in the country for a memorial marking [...]

Written Judgment on Appeal Court’s Justice Awich

The Belize Court of Appeal on Wednesday handed down a judgment that makes for interesting reading. Last week, Dean Boyce and the British Caribbean Bank had asked that Justice Samuel Awich recuse himself from hearing their appeal on the nationalization of their assets. Dean Boyce and Lord Ashcroft who have significant interest in the Bank [...]

Crimes of dishonesty are on the rise

Crimes of dishonesty are on the rise; in the first nine months of this year there were three hundred and eighty-one robberies, eight hundred and seventeen burglaries and seven hundred and six thefts. In today’s police blotter, there were two burglaries, a robbery and a theft reported. The robbery occurred on Wednesday morning at Laker’s [...]

Patrick Jones, 20, pulls gun on mother of his child

A Belize City woman is reportedly the victim of a violent attack by her baby’s father. According to twenty-one year old Layla Fuentes, she went to the home of twenty year old Patrick Jones on Tuesday to get money for their daughter. But Fuentes says that when she arrived at the Banak Street house, Jones [...]

Woman won’t face murder charge for death of husband

A domestic dispute three years ago ended fatally for twenty-six year old security guard, Albert Maverick Morgan, who was stabbed to death by his wife, Audrey Morgan. Since July sixteenth, Audrey has been the subject of a coroner’s inquest in the Magistrate’s Court to determine whether she will face charges for Albert’s murder. Today, a [...]

K.H.M.H. explains fee for service

Beginning November first, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital will be imposing consultation fees for non-emergency services and a new administration fee at the pharmacy in addition to the regular charge for medication. The K.H.M.H says it has expanded and improved services and that it needs to cover costs. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.   Duane [...]

4 minors from San Pedro charged for manslaughter of Emerito Itza

At the top of the news we reported on the allegations of the sexual abuse of a three and a half year old boy in San Pedro. Well, there is more dire news coming out of the island. Minutes ago, four minors—all students—were charged with Manslaughter in connection with the death of Emerito Itza, who [...]

B.T.B. sponsors hair braiders training

Hair braiding is a budding business in the tourism industry. At the ITVET Compound in Belize City today, a two day interactive training session for twenty-three hair braiders from the Fort Street Tourism Village Zone was held. The Belize Tourism Board organized the training session, in which the hair braiders are learning about etiquette, health [...]

Healthy Living warms up with some stretches

It is accepted that exercise is important and necessary but what about stretching? There are many do’s and don’ts as well as when to and when not to. This week in Healthy Living, we get firsthand advice from a fitness instructor on stretching before exercising.   Marleni Cuellar “Laces tied; music ready; perfect day for [...]


Two Guatemalans Detained for Drug Trafficking
Two Guatemalan nationals are in police detention in Cayo pending charges of drug trafficking. The two men, a father and son duo, were detained on Wednesday afternoon at a police checkpoint on the George Price Highway near the Western Border in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Accor...

Belize Tourism Board Provides Training for Women
The Belize Tourism Board is providing a special two day hair braiding training session for women of the Fort Street Tourism Village Zone at the ITVET in Belize City. The training comes as part of an effort the BTB is embarking on to enhance the visitor experience of cruise touris...

Woman Wounded by Baby's Father
A Belize City woman claims she was threatened with death by the father of her child. Twenty one year old Layla Fuentes reported to police that on Tuesday afternoon she went to the home of twenty year old Patrick Jones to collect money for her daughter. Fuentes says that whe...

Thursday, October 18 ----- Police News
One person is in police custody and authorities are looking for another following an armed robbery on Wednesday morning. The incident happened at Laker’s Mini Mart in Belize City around eleven forty yesterday morning. According to police reports, the cashier at the establis...

Another Acquittal Handed Down in Court for Burglary
Thirty-one year old Germin Bustillos, a laborer of Guinea Grass charged with the burglary of Quan’s warehouse in which over $8,000.00 worth of items were stolen, was acquitted of the charge today. After the prosecution closed its case, Bustillos’ attorney, Phillip Palacio, ...

Villager Acquitted of Firearm Charges
Thirty year old Francis Benitez, a resident of Windmill area, Hattieville, charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license, was acquitted of both charges today. The incident occurred on June 28, 2012. The police was conducting a roadblock at mile 4 on the Western Highway...


Family of murdered man demands justice
San Pedro police have detained four minors in connection with the death of 45-year-old San Jose Succotz resident, Emerito Itza. As we reported yesterday Itza died on Monday morning at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Itza was reportedly hit to the head during an altercation last Wednesday night in San Pedro Town. Today, the brother of the murdered man told Love News the family is disappointed by the slow response of the police. No charges have bee levied against any of the persons detained.

Entrepreneurial skills training for young people
This week the Department of Youth is conducting training for youths who want to become their own business owners and branch out into their individual fields of service or specialty. The entrepreneurial training, according to the Director of the Department of Youth Services, Christine Smith, is to expose the youths about the concepts of creating their own opportunities and becoming their own business owners. The Department has teamed up with CARICOM to hold this current training. Heather Johnson from CARICOM is in Belize to oversee the training. She told Love News that what is being applied is taken from a manual developed from throughout the region, Belize included. There are twenty six youths from across the city with food and service industry, graphic designs and pastry making.

Teacher accused of counterfeit currency
A teacher has been charged with possession of counterfeit currency notes. Police say on September 1st they conducted a search for illegal firearm and ammunition at a house on Lakeview Street. During the search police reportedly found twenty two counterfeit twenty Belize dollar notes with eleven of the notes bearing serial number DH998839 and the other eleven notes bearing serial numbers DJ468872 inside a chest drawer. Police say twenty nine year old Christine Neal, a teacher of Lord’s Bank Village claimed the counterfeit currency was hers as a result she was arrested and charged.

Robbers on the loose in Ladyville
The other robbery was reported in Ladyville. Yesterday around 8:29 pm, two armed masked men are alleged to have stormed into Lo’s Supermarket located on the Philip Goldson Highway in Ladyville. The men were armed with what appeared to be nine millimeter pistols. They disarmed the security guard and the proprietor and then escaped in a vehicle with an undisclosed amount of money and two nine millimeter firearms toward Belize City. Police are following some leads in this incident and an investigation is in progress for all three robbery incidents.

Robberies reported in Belize City
A series of robberies have been reported in Belize City and Ladyville. Christopher Lanza reported to police that sometime around 7:42 this morning he was at the corner of Faber’s Road and the George Price Highway, when he was approached by two armed men who attempted to take his vehicle. The men were unsuccessful in taking the vehicle but they did get away with his cell phone. Meanwhile, a teacher reported another robbery which occurred around 9:25 this morning. The teacher from Little Cadet Preschool in the Jane Usher Boulevard area, told police that two men entered the school compound under the pretense of enquiring about a student. When the teacher approached, they held her up and stole her cell phone.

Man accused of sex with 14 year old girl
Punta Gorda police are looking for an eighteen year old man in connection with an incident of carnal knowledge. A fourteen year old female accompanied by her mother reported to police that last Friday night 8:00 o’clock, the 18 year old male had sexual intercourse with her by the sea side in Punta Gorda. A doctor certified that the girl was carnally known. Police are now searching for the teenager who resides in the Magoon area of Punta Gorda.

Man accused or murderer walks free of charge
In February 2009, 44-year-old Enrique Castillo was murdered at his home on Belize Corozal Road in Orange Walk Town. Today, the man accused of the gruesome murder was found not guilty of the crime. In the Northern session of the Supreme Court in Orange Walk Town, Justice Herbert Lord directed the jury to return a verdict of not guilty. Love News spoke with Castillo’s sister Pastor Antonette Young. Tillett was represented by attorney Leo Bradley Jr. while Kristoff Rodriguez represented the prosecution. Castillo’s body was found inside his home in mid February 2009. A post mortem certified that Castillo died of a slit throat.

Supreme Court ruling hands partial victory to Rene Villanueva
Supreme Court judge, Justice Oswell Legall has handed down his decision on the case of the Development Finance Corporation versus Rene Villanueva, Senior and his son, Rene Junior. It was a stunning judgment, ordering the Villanuevas to pay four hundred thousand dollars to the Development Finance Corporation. The case involved a claim by the DFC of over eight hundred thousand dollars from the Villanueva father and son duo, who are proprietors of RSV Limited, the company which owns this television station. The claim stems from a loan facility originally extended to the Villanuevas to purchase the Cahal Pech property in San Ignacio town. It is business transaction stretching back to 2003 and over the course of several transactions, including the takeover of the nightclub by another businessman, with the concurrence of the DFC, the Villanuevas believed that they had settled the matter. But in November of last year, DFC initiated the lawsuit claiming outstanding balances against the owners of Love Television and Love FM. The judgment handed down on Tuesday awards four hundred thousand dollars to the Development Finance Corporation, a figure well below that the government institution was claiming. But the judgment has left the Villanuevas hopping mad, and today Rene Villanuva Senior told Love News that while the judgment can be seen as a partial success, it is still leaves a lot to be desired. But the Justice Legall saw differently and said so in his twenty six page ruling. Aside from the four hundred thousand dollars debt the judge ordered the Villanueva’s to pay DFC, he also ordered the defendants to pay interest on that four hundred thousand dollars to the rate of six percent per annum retroactice to March sisteenth of 2010 and continuing until the full debt is honored. A counter claim by the Villanuevas was dismissed, and they were ordered to pay DFC’s attorney’s fees to the tune of ten thousand dollars. Villanueva says that based on his cursory reading of the decision, he finds that the judge made some key errors and he plans to appeal the ruling. Rene Villanueva Senior and Junior were represented in court by attorney Michael Young and Melissa Balderamos Mahler.

New pressure group formed
Today a vociferous group that calls itself Belize Coalition for Justice, steadfast in its commitment to defend the Constitution of Belize and, as its name implies, advocate for justice, called a press conference. Its purpose was to launch an aggressive campaign against what it deems as quote……the national crisis facing Belize and its people……end quote. Its campaign followed a forceful meeting in San Ignacio on Sunday at which the leadership of some of the country’s most active organizations and unions were represented. BCJ’s aim, as its speakers amplified today, is to get Belizeans keenly abreast of the issues that are having and can have future effects on Belize as a country. At its core is the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute, and the proposal by the Organization of American States to take the claim to the International Court of Justice for a definitive determination. Paco Smith was unyielding in his stance on the matter and called on the removal of the current Attorney General, Wilfred Elrington, from that office. Another member, Geovanni Brackett, found displeasure in comments made recent by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington. The Coalition’s National Coordinator, Nancy Marin, said that the group is an alliance of people from both political parties with one common cause who have made an oath. Patrick Menzies said that the Coalition will endeavour to uphold the Constitution of Belize. Other speakers at the conference included former politician, Hector Silva and Micah Gooding, who is the Founder of Nation Builders.

Court of Appeal affirms murder conviction
An appeal by 34 year old Orlando Wade, convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, was dismissed today by Belize Court of Appeal. Wade, a resident of Sandhill, was found guilty of the murder of 45 year old Dorla Pitterson, a mentally challenged woman whose nude body was found in an old septic hole behind Sylvia’s Cool Spot in Sandhill on June 24, 2008. Dr. Mario Estradabran, who performed the autopsy, said she died between 4 pm and 7 pm on June 23, 2008 and the cause of death was manual strangulation. Wade’s attorney, Simeon Sampson, had appealed on the ground that there was a miscarriage of justice because the learned trial judge deliberately misled the jury about Dr. Estradabran’s opinion of the time of death and it was unfair and prejudicial to the appellant. He said that the main witness, Barry Rosales, testified that he awoke around midnight and saw the appellant on top of the deceased beating her. He said that at that point the judge should have alerted the jury to the doctor’s evidence regarding to the time of death. The DPP, Cheryl Lynn Vidal, who represented the respondent, responded by saying that the judge did not err nor mislead the jury because Dr. Estradabran was not able to fix a precise time of death and the direction by the judge did not in any way misrepresent the testimony of the doctor.

Man killed in road traffic accident in Toledo
A fatal traffic incident on the Southern Highway has claimed the life of one person. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the story.


BCJ says "Remove Minister of Foreign Affairs now!"
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General, Wilfred Elrington has come under public pressure for comments...

Belize Coalition for Justice is officially launched
This morning's press briefing was also the Belize coalition for Justice's official launch. . The movement says that...

Hostile take-over of Citrus Industry at Boiling Point!
When it comes to Belize's industries, all eyes have been on the sugar industry up north in recent months with the n...

Businessmen attacked at US/Mexico border
Rumors have been spreading that popular Belmopan resident Gary Gentle had been missing in action and possibly thoug...

Two Guatemalan men detained at Benque with crystal-meth
Police in Benque Viejo detained two Guatemalan men last night after they were intercepted at a checkpoint. The poli...

Police in Belize City recover three stolen motorcycles
This morning (OCT 18) around 11:00am CIB personnel visited an abandoned lot on Neal’s Pen Road where they found thr...

One man caught and one escaped following store robbery
Another store is targeted by Belize City thieves. 21 year old MALCOLM MORTIS, an employee of Laker's Mini Mart, loc...

Home burglarized in Belize City
Thieves invade the home of a Belize City woman. CATHERINE MICHAEL, a resident of Queen Charlotte Street reported th...

Tools and cement stolen from construction site in San Igancio
Ambitious thieves make off with equipment and materials from a construction site. Business Jonathan Lohr of Stanton...

The Guardian

Two charged for Separate Attempted Murder Charges
On Tuesday, October 16th, two Belize City men were before the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to answer to separate charges of attempted murder in connection with two shooting incidents over the week. Ellis Meighan, Jr., and Jeon Peebles, both of Belize City were charged in Magistrate's Court. The first to be arraigned was 21-year-old Jeon Peebles, a laborer of #6892 Electric Avenue Belize City. Peebles is accused of pulling the trigger twice as he tried to kill 17-year-old Malik Dixon. He appeared before Magistrate Aretha Ford in Court #7 where he was additionally charged with the use of deadly means as well as dangerous harm and grievous harm upon Dixon. Due to the nature of the offenses, no plea was taken and Peebles was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until December 6th. In court, Peebles was unrepresented. He was informed of his rights to apply to the Supreme Court with the assistance of an attorney to seek Supreme Court bail in the matter since the magistrate cannot offer it to him.

Edward Arthurs acquitted of rape
In 2004, a 17-year-old female, claimed that Edward Wilfred Arthurs, then 26, a Belize City resident and friend of her brother, raped her then robbed her of her money. The alleged rape had occurred in the Lord's Ridge Cemetery. After 6 years on remand for the rape and robbery, Arthurs was acquitted of the incident on Friday, October 12th. A jury of 9 people deliberated for a little over three hours and found him not guilty of both counts. The trial concluded at 2:12 p.m., before Justice Troadio Gonzalez after a week of trial. Although he was set free of this offense, Arthurs was not free to go home as he is presently on remand at the Belize Central Prison on a murder charge so he was escorted back to the Belize Central Prison. Prosecutor in the case, Thalia Megan Francis called as many as 6 witnesses to testify in the case against Edwards including the a 23-year-old woman. The woman took the stand at the commencement of the trial on Friday, October 5th where she told the court that on the night of July 13th, 2004, the accused was speaking with her brother near the Cumberbatch Field. When he left, she went to speak with her brother and then she left. That’s when Arthurs allegedly followed her as she walked by the cemetery.

Massage Therapist remanded for Pulling Pellet Gun
Jordana Frutos hides her face as she is escorted to prison On Friday, October 12th, a massage therapist was remanded to the Belize Central Prison for 4 days after she pulled a pellet gun on another woman. 31-year-old Jordana Frutos, a resident of Ambergris Lake Villas on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye was remanded after she was accused by resident, Brendalee Henkis, who owns a Fitness Center on the island. Frutos who was represented by Attorney Andrew Bennett, was arraigned in Belize City Magistrate's Court and as that took place, she broke down in tears. Henkis, alleged that on October 9th, Frutos assaulted her with a pellet gun. After 4 nights behind bars, Frutos was brought from prison and when she appeared again in court, she received good news that Henkis told the court that she wanted no further court action. The court prosecutor however, requested an adjournment in the matter stating that since the crimeis said to have occurred with the use of a pellet gun, he wanted to get the DPP’s guidance before disposing of the matter based on the request of the virtual complainant. The Magistrate denied him an adjournment, however, and dismissed the charge against Frutos and she was free to go home. Frutos had pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to her on Friday. Her attorney, at the time, told the court that this was his client's first allegation for an offense of this nature and that she has been cooperating with the police. He added that she has a good defense and that she had handed in herself to police after the alleged incident had occurred.

Remanded for Gun and Ammo Possession
An employee at the Ex-Service Men’s League, 21-year-old Ludrick McKay is behind bars after police claim they found him in possession of a 9 mm pistol loaded with 8 live rounds. McKay, who was unrepresented, appeared before Magistrate Aretha Ford in Court #7 on Tuesday, October 16th where he was read two criminal charges - a count of keeping unlicensed firearm without a gun license and a count of keeping ammunition without a gun license. Allegations are that on October 14th, 2012, whilst at Belize Ex-Service Men’s League, he was found in possession of a 9 mm pistol loaded with 8 live rounds of Luger brand ammunitions. In court, McKay pleaded not guilty to the charges but due to the nature of the offenses, he was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until December 5th, 2012.

Man walks from Murder Charge
The gruesome and brutal murder of Enrique Castillo on February 13th, 2009, inside his home in Orange Walk Town shocked many especially, his loved ones. While they admitted that his sexual preference contributed to his death back in 2009, the verdict on Wednesday, October 17th shocked them even more as the man accused of his murder was acquitted in the Corozal Supreme Court. 23-year-old Nimrod Tillett, who had been charged for the murder, was acquitted before Justice Denis S. Hanomansingh. During the trial the judge ruled during a voir dire that a confession by Tillett in which he admitted to killing Castillo was inadmissible as evidence. This was the only piece of evidence that the prosecutor, Christopher Rodriguez of the DPP’s office was relying on to seal a conviction against Tilllett. After the ruling, Rodriguez closed his case with no other evidence to present to the jurors. With that, Tillett’s attorney, Leo Bradley made a no case submission asking the judge to direct the jurors to return a not guilty verdict, which they did.

Bailed after being shot by Special Constable
Cotton Tree resident, Owen Parham was allegedly shot twice in the leg on Friday, October 12th. As a result, he had to be taken to the KHMH for treatment. The man, who shot him, is a special constable whom Parham claimed he had gone to sell weed to but he ended up being robbed. He was additionally charged with 5 criminal offences. On Tuesday, October 16th, Parham appeared in Court #7 before Magistrate Aretha Ford where he was charged with a count of attempted robbery upon Special Constable James Stuart. He was also charged with harm, aggravated assault, going equipped and resisting lawful arrest. In court, the prosecutor objected to bail submitting that Parham gave the court an address of Cotton Tree and that he is a vendor, who sells clothes, yet one of the charges against him is that of going equipped to commit the crime of burglary. He was allegedly found with a crowbar, which is not a tool of his trade. There was also the objection based on the fact that attempted robbery is a very serious offense, which carries a jail term of up to 20 years on summary conviction. In his defense, Parham told the court that he had gone to sell weed to the special constable in the Ladyville area and when he got there, the man told him to go meet him in a back road. Whilst on the back road, the man pulled out a gun and shot him twice in the leg at close range. He claims that the man then robbed him after which police came and he was the one charged.

New Executives in Cayo North East, Lake I and Freetown
The United Democratic Party held meetings on Wednesday, October 10th, 13th, and 16th to name executive committees in the Cayo North East, Lake Independence and the Freetown divisions respectively. On Wednesday, a meeting was held at the UDP Cayo North East constituency office at 26 Sixth Street San Ignacio Town where Fermin Magana was selected to be the chairman of the constituency committee. He will be assisted by members: Doreen Nunez, Anthony Rosado, Melissa Parham, Daniel Waight, Abimael Herrera, Alfonso Cruz Aury Quintanilla, Shern Robateau, Teodola Witz, David Gallardo, Wayne Casey, Shelan Humes, Norman Dueck, and George Plett. Alternates selected were Jose Antonio Cardoza, Enrique Arrollo, Wilmer Monroy, Jose Perez, and Elisandro Padilla. Hon. Elvin Penner heads this committee as the current Area Representative.

Extreme Advocates of Doing Absolutely Nothing – Belize Coalition for Justice says “Can’t Trust the ICJ”.
Geovani Brackett, Nancy Marin-Juan and Pack Smith The Belize Coalition for Justice, in its first few days in existence has turned the single unifying issue in Belize into the most divisive. The Guatemalan claim of Belize’s territory has been an issue of concern throughout several generations. Politicians, in both countries, have used the issue to gain political mileage. That practice made a complicated situation even more unstable. Through the support of the Organization of the American States, both countries were able to agree on a path forward - one that could finally bring the dispute to an end, that is the decision to take the case to the International Court of Justice.

New Attorney for Police Prosecutions
Recognizing that one of the greatest problems facing the country's crime-fighting capacity is the lack of proper evidence gathering and case file compilation, Cabinet has agreed to bolster the prosecution arm of the Police Department.

PM - Peaceful Protest in Cayo
The Prime Minister of Belize, the Hon. Dean Barrow, has offered his congratulations and thanks to the thousands of Belizeans from the Cayo District and across the country who participated in the San Ignacio/Santa Elena peaceful protest against crime. The Prime Minister views this latest mass action against the greatest scourge in our country, as a continuation of the same Cayo spirit and resolve that he highlighted in his Independence Day Address.

Hon. Joy Grant represents Belize in Seoul on Climate Change
Senator, the Hon. Audrey Joy Grant, travelled to Seoul, South Korea to attend the Forum on the Future of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Minister Grant was invited by the Korean Government and the Korea Development Institute to chair a session entitled “How could the Green Climate Fund support The Developing World to shift towards Green and Climate-Resilient Economic Development." Attendees to the forum included high-level government officials, civil society and private sector stakeholders from both developed and developing countries. The President of Korea, Hyun Oh-Seok, and Prime Minister of Korea, Kim Hwang-sik, delivered remarks at the opening ceremonies.

New Multipurpose Centre for Guinea Grass Village
On Friday, October 12th, the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Gaspar Vega launched a project for the construction of a new multipurpose centre for the village of Guinea Grass in the Orange Walk District that will address the training needs of the women of the village and, empower the existing groups to collectively engage in income-generating activities.

Forensic Lab now has Ballistic Identification Capacity
On Friday, October 12th, Hon. Diane Ablonczy, CanadianForensic Lab now has Ballistic Identification Capacity. Minister of State of Foreign Affairs handed over a state of the art Integrated Ballistic Identification System (IBIS) to Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security. The donation was made in April 2012 and it took 6 months for the delivery to be made.

Information Communication and Technology Road Show goes to San Ignacio
The Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology, and Public Utilities, in partnership with the Caribbean Telecommunication Union recently held a successful road show in San Ignacio Town. Under the theme, “Harnessing the Power of Innovation - the engine for ICT - enabled Caribbean Development”, the road show brought together many stakeholders in the local Information Technology Sector such as the Belize Linux User Group (, a group of Belizeans, who are now gaining an audience for their "Open Source Movement" in the rest of Central America.

New Addition to Tourism Attraction: Medical Tourism
Dr. Adrian Coye, Director of Medical Services at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital performed the first open heart surgery in Belize on Monday, July 16th, of this year. He performed a cervical revascularization on a 73-year-old man. Luckily for the patient, he did not have to seek medical attention abroad. Coye said that such a surgery would cost around US$100,000 in the United States. The patient, like the majority of Belizeans, would find such a surgery impossible to afford. Drafters of Belize’s medical tourism policy are hoping that the new industry will eventually end the practice of Belizeans going abroad and significantly increase the number of foreigners coming to Belize for medical care because, according to Coye, “that same heart surgery would cost a little more than $10,000 in Belize”.

Government Rehabilitates Punta Gorda Municipal Building
The rehabilitated Administration Building and adjacent Town Hall in the municipality of Punta Gorda was officially inaugurated on October 11th.

New Police Vehicle for San Ignacio
In an effort to better equip the San Ignacio Police Formation, the Ministry of National Security handed over a new pickup truck to that formation. The vehicle was handed over on Thursday, October 11th to the formation commander. The vehicle is part of the Ministry's response by the citizens of the Cayo District, who are asking that the Police Department be better equipped.

Remarks by Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar at Handing-over Ceremonies for Integrated Ballistic Identification System (IBIS) donated By Canadian Government
Hon. Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs Canada; Mr. Hugues Rousseau, Canadian High Commissioner and other members of the Canadian Delegation; Carlos Perodomo, Cabinet Secretary; Colonel George Lovell, CEO Ministry of National Security and other members of the Ministry of National Security; Alexis Rosado, CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Patrick Andrews, Honorary Canadian Consul; we are also blessed with the presence of Mr. Douglas Singh, previous Minister with the responsibility for the Ministry of Police and Public Safety; Mrs. Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, Director of Public Prosecution; Ms. Ann-Marie Smith, Chief Magistrate; Mr. David Henderson, Commissioner of Police and other members of the Police Department; Brigadier General Dario Tapia, Commander BDF and other members of the BDF; Captain John Borland, Commandant Belize Coast Guard; Ms. Genoveva Marin and members of the National Forensic Science Service; Members of the various media houses represented here today; other distinguished guests; Ladies and Gentlemen; a good morning to one and all.

Teaching Teachers the Development Reader Assessment Technique
A group of twenty-four volunteers from the United States of America have fanned out to several primary schools in the Cayo District this week to teach teachers about the Development Readers Assessment (DRA). This technique uses sound and word games, and other tools to measure students’ status in reading to differentiate instructions based on that assessment. The missionaries are part of a group of instructors, from the Belize Education Project, now headquartered in Colorado, and are on their sixth mission to Belize. They will be here for one week to continue their solidarity with Belizean teachers to improve the literacy rates of students, say organizers. Their objectives are to improve reading among students; teach teachers to read; provide scholarships, provide the tools for reading and improve general family literacy.

Germany upgrades Computer Lab of Women’s Department
The computer lab of the Women’s Department Office on Albert Street was extensively damaged by Hurricane Richard in 2010. The downpour from Richard caused the computer lab to be flooded and water flowed into the power sockets, which damaged the electrical infrastructure of the building. Furthermore, the water caused one of the walls to deteriorate beyond the possibility of repair.

Belize City Youths to Launch 4 New Businesses
The children of Belize are not allowed around the table when the financial affairs of the family is being discussed. In most cases, it is not until the individual finds a job and is expected to contribute that they learn of the family expenses. The practice of not involving young people in the economic affairs of the household has contributed greatly to the rise of a generation of economically stunted individuals. This is also the case for the rest of the Caribbean and, it extends from the home to the very society where we live and learn. Experts have pointed to this practice as the reason for the low sense of entrepreneurship in youths of the region.

Airport and BWSL leads in Basketball Firms’ Competition
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms, and U-23 Competitions continued at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City with a number of games over the last weekend. On Saturday, October 14th, in the first of two U-23 games played, Tigersharks edged Cellular World by the score of 59-58. The top scorers for the Tigersharks were Winston Pratt with 16 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, and Ryan Zuniga with 14 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals. For Cellular World, the top scorers were Marvin Skeet with 23 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 steals; and Justin Wade with 11 points. In the second game played, Tuff E Nuff won over Belize Bank by the score of 58-51. The top scorers for Tuff E Nuff were Jamal Kelly with 28 points, 6 rebounds; and Luis Pitterson and Jarrell Velasquez with 8 points each. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Belize Bank were Lincey Lopez with 17 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals; and Brian White with 8 points. In the first Firms’ Competition game of the evening, Bowen N’ Bowen defeated Atlantic Bank by the score of 62-58. The top scorers for Bowen N’ Bowen were Steve Bonnell with 26 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals; and Darren Neal with 9 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. For Atlantic Bank, the top scorers were Jermaine Tillett with 18 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal; and Ervin Orosco with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 6 steals.

Belmopan Bandits and Placencia Assassins At top Of Football Standings
The Premier League of Belize Football Competition continued over the last weekend with a number of games across the country. On Saturday, October 13th, at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Verdes handed FC Belize its second defeat in this year’s competition by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Julian Maldonado in the 35th minute of play. Out at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, the Belize Defence Force won over the Paradise Freedom/Fighters by the score of 3-2. The Paradise/Freedom Fighters got on the scoreboard first when Leonard Valdez scored the 1st goal of the game in the 16th minute of play to give his team the lead. However, the lead was short-lived as the Belize Defence Force was able to get on the scoreboard when Harrison Tasher scored his team’s 1st goal in the 20th minute of play. Once again the Paradise/Freedom Fighters took the lead in the closing minutes of the 1st half of the game when Alexander Peters scored his goal in the 45+ minutes of play for a 2-1 lead. In the second half of the game, the offence for the Belize Defence Force came alive when it was able to score 2 more times. The Belize Defence Force’s equalizing goal was scored by Luis Mendez in the 64th minute of play while the winning goal was scored by Richard Jimenez in the 82nd minute of play.

Smart Mundalito at the MCC Grounds
The Smart Mundalito 13 & U Competition continued on Saturday, October 13th at the MCC Grounds with four games on the schedule. In the first game of the day, Third World won over United Rangers by the score of 2-0. The goals for Third World were scored by Marquis Conorquie. In the game two, City Boys Junior defeated Ladyville Jaguars by the score of 1-0. The goal for City Boys was scored by Keron Patnett. In the third game of the day, Hattieville won over Young Stars by the score of 1-0. Kenyon Lewis scored the only goal of the game. In game four, Brown Bombers and Ladyville Japan played to a 0-0 draw. And in the final game of the day St. John Vianney won over Jane Usher by the score of 1-0. Kenroy Linarez scored the only goal of the game to give St. John Vianney the win.

Primary Schools Football Competition begins Countrywide
The 2012-2013 National Primary Schools Football Competition commenced on Tuesday, October 16th countrywide with the respective district urban and zones competitions. In this year’s Belize City competition, some twenty-four teams are competiting in both the girls and boys competitions. The teams in the Girls’ competition are Buttonwood Bay Nazarene, St. John Vianney, St. Luke Methodist, Wesley Upper, St. Ignatius, Holy Redeemer, Belize Elementary, St. Martin De Porres, Muslim Community and Queen Square Anglican. Meanwhile, the teams in the Boys’ competition are Buttonwood Bay Nazarene, St. John Vianney, St. Luke Methodist, Wesley Upper, St. Ignatius, Unity Presbyterian, Calvary Temple, New Horizon Academy, Holy Redeemer, Belize Elementary, St. Martin De Porres, Muslim Community, Queen Square Anglican, Ebenezer Methodist, Salvation Army and St. Mary’s Anglican. On Tuesday, October 16th, at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, in the only girls’ game played, Belize Elementary School blanked St. Martin De Porres School by the score of 3-0. The goal scorers for Belize Elementary School were Juliana Ramos with two goals and Chelsea Williams. In the first of three games in the boys’ competition, St. Martin De Porres edged Belize Elementary School by the score of 2-1. The goal scorers for St. Martin De Porres were Marquis Conorque and Alex Estell and the goal scorer for Belize Elementary was Cousion Wong.

Interoffice Softball Planning Meeting This Thursday
The Belize Softball Federation informs all Interoffice Softball teams that the 2012 Planning Meeting is scheduled for this Thursday, October 18th, 2012, at the Softball Office commencing at 6:30 pm. The 2012 Belize City Interoffice Softball Competition is scheduled to commence on Sunday, November 1th1, 2012, at Rogers Stadium. Teams that are interested in participating in this year’s competition are invited to attend the Planning Meeting.

The New Faces of the PUP
A friend of mine enquired of me last week how I managed to submit an article each week to The Guardian, considering that every submission involves identifying and developing a different subject. I had to admit that recently, I have not been very consistent with my articles for the simple reason that while I totally favor commenting on political issues, the PUP is presently so dormant that there is very little for me to confute them on! Seriously, I envy the Amandala’s editor and publisher, who are able to come out week after week with diverse and interesting topics for readers to appreciate, and they never complain like I do. The reality is, though, that the attempted humor in my introduction actually bears some truth: the PUP has really neglected, for the most part, their responsibility to be an active Opposition and seem contented to let others paddle their canoe. Even at the last House meeting, they were eager to walk out as if there were other more important business for them to attend to, other than represent their constituencies. The issue with the walk-out (I was there and I saw), was that it was impromptu; initiated by the former, and highly unpopular, PUP Prime Minister. He literally snatched the reins of the Party from Fonseca and ran with it. They did not walk out on the buffet, though, and they all later came out of the House looking smug and stuffed. The face of the Opposition has, with this lack of leadership, taken the shape of a scattering of organizations that either have a personal grudge against the present Prime Minister or are slugging for their master (or dislike the PM on behalf of their master). The official organ of the PUP, the Belize Times, is only being published on-line, and I do glance at it from time to time to see what their new gripe is, but always it’s stale news. In this new era of continuous political engagement, it is Channel Fox who leads the fight against the UDP, deep in mire for its boss; the latter being the same chap, who has just been appointed to the Privy Council. Luckily, we got out of there in time! Channel Fox, which is managed by a past editor of the Belize Times, has the unique knack to twist and turn an innocent news item into a blistering UDP shortfall.

Peaceful Shutdown of Business District in Western Belize
There was a shutdown of the main business section, with the exception of the banks, in San Ignacio on Thursday, October 11th, 2012. Citizens from around the country, in a sea of purple, came to breathe the fresh air of democracy, voicing their concerns on crime. These joint citizen actions had been catapulted by the recent murder of University College of Belize student, Suzenne 'Purple' Martinez, bringing to fruition with it, 'The Purple Movement.'

First ever Annual “Sugar City Rum Festival!”
Monica Chabel is Best Bartender... On Saturday, October, 13th, Belize celebrated its first-ever Rum Festival at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town. The event featured the three major rum companies of Belize in conjunction with cultural presentations.

Work for New Santa Elena Bridge kicks off
Work to construct a new bridge that will connect Santa Elena and San Ignacio has commenced. Minister of Works, and Area Representative for Cayo Central, Hon. Rene Montero told The Guardian on Wednesday ,October 17th that work started two weeks ago. The project, which will cost some 58 million dollars, got under way with the signing of a contract between the Ministry of Works and CISCO Construction in April of this year. It has taken up until a couple weeks ago for the physical work to commence but, so far, it is well underway. In this phase of the project, the Loma Luz Boulevard will be paved leading up to the river. This is one of 4 components of the project. The other component will also see the paving of Joseph Andrews Drive from Sacred Heart College to the intersection with the Benque Viejo Road. Another component is the filling of Joseph Andrews Drive up to the Macal River. And the last component is for the actual construction of the bridge. Minister Montero says that while the work has commenced on the first lot, the bidding process is still open for the other three components. The contracts will be awarded by the Caribbean Development Bank, the financing agency, along with the Ministry of Works.

DFC gets judgment against Rene Villanueva and Son - Ordered to pay $400,000 to DFC
On Tuesday, October 16th, Rene Villanueva, Sr., and his son Rene Villanueva, Jr., were ordered by the Supreme Court of Belize to pay 400 thousand dollars, which they owe to the Development Finance Corporation (DFC). That money is to be paid at an interest rate of 6% per annum from 16th March, 2010 up to the time when the debt is settled. They are also to pay $10,000 cost to the DFC. The ruling came after the DFC took the Villanuevas to court back on July 25th. Since then, there were three other hearings, which concluded on Tuesday. DFC had originally claimed $898,408.39, which was the balance on a loan of $1,423.562.90, which was given to the Villanuevas on January 31st, 2003. That amount was what was paid for Cahal Pech Tavern, which contained a night club and bar along with nine cabanas. At the time, the Villanuevas made a payment of $40 thousand dollars bringing the balance on the purchase price to $1,310,000. Additional fees brought that balance to $1,423,592.90.

From Bad to Worse at the Orange Walk Town Council - Employees can’t be paid
It appears that not a single week can go by without bad news coming out of the Orange Walk Town Council. In the first week of October, the Orange Walk Town Council reported that a number of traffic Stickers had been stolen from the town board's offices. At the time, the Mayor admitted that the traffic Stickers had been placed in an unsecure filing cabinet that was accessible to anyone. That allowed for anywhere between $11,250 and $20,000 worth of license stickers to be stolen. Since that incident took place, there are multiple complaints coming from the residents of Orange Walk Town, who claim that the council's incompetence is now beginning to become chronic with no maintenance taking place on any of the streets. The problem has become so disastrous that most, if not all, of the streets in Orange Walk have been left to develop potholes. When the town board finally decides to fix these streets, they would be unsalvageable. The same can be said about drains in the municipality; there is little or no maintenance on them. The traffic lights too cannot be repaired going for months without them functioning. And the neglect by the Orange Walk Mayor is reflected in the financials, which the town council posted on its website. When it was available, (since we last reported on it, the financials have become unavailable on the website) the financials showed severe underperformance in the council's revenue streams with trade license and liquor license collections hitting an all-time low, not even coming close to what was projected to be collected. The financials also showed that there was next to nothing spent on maintenance of streets, drains, the cemetery or garbage dump yet salaries and wages more than doubled. Also increasing exponentially were expenses for contracts given to cronies, including computer repairs which saw over 6 thousand dollars spent on a single month when all that was allocated was 34 dollars.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence 2012
As everyone knows Trip Advisor has a huge influence when it comes to businesses and their reviews but nevertheless Trip Advisor does its best in helping businesses grow by providing tips and hints on how to better the business in regards to reviews given by the travelers. For the past few weeks businesses on Caye Caulker have been receiving their CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE FOR THE YEAR 2012 and we would like to congratulate them for a job well done. According to Trip Advisor, to qualify for the Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months. Few businesses who have come to our attention are Carlos Tours, Raggamuffin Tours, Frenchie’s Diving Services, Belize Diving Services, Caye Reef Condo, Seaside Cabanas, De Real Macaw, French Angel Expedition, Healing Touch Day Spa, Scuba Sensation, Oasi Apartments, Maxhapan Cabanas and others. Some of these businesses mentioned also got the 5 star rating which is the highest. Here is a certificate, if some of you are wondering what it looks like and once again congratulations to all the businesses and keep up the excellent work!!!

Halloween at The Lazy Lizard Bar and Grill
Halloween is right around the corner and The Lazy Lizard Bar and Grill is at it again with another ghoulish party. Come dressed in your best costumes and join the competition for the scariest, most original, funniest and other categories!! Then join us on Sunday for the after party!!

The Reporter

Managing without the trust of the delegators
It would be safe to assume that each and every Belizean understands that in one way or the other the government of Belize has to expand our economy. It is also fair to suggest that people are not ignorant to fact that the tenets of globalization have augmented the degree to which countries need to maintain sound diplomatic ties and trade arrangements with foreign countries.

In the Supreme Court, man acquitted of 2004 rape
Edward Arthurs, 34, a Belize City man who was arrested on June 13, 2006, was acquitted of charges of rape and theft before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in the Belize Supreme Court on Friday, October 12.

Government will appoint lawyer to help Police Dept. with criminal investigations
The Government of Belize has announced its intention to beef up public prosecutions by seeking the services of a trained attorney to head the Prosecution Branch of the Police Department. The move is believed to be a direct result of citizens’ protests in the twin towns of San Ignacio / Santa Elena last week.

Extra sleep may improve kids’ conduct
Letting kids sleep a little longer may help improve their behavior and make them less restless in school, according to a new study. On the flip side, cutting back on kids’ time asleep seems to make them more likely to cry, lose their temper and become frustrated, according to the researchers, who published their findings in the journal Pediatrics on Monday. “You can think about it from a lot of different angles. What we are showing here is that it can go both ways in terms of behavior and academic performance,” said Reut Gruber, of Montreal’s McGill University and Douglas Research Center, who led the study.

10 ways to improve your quality of sleep
The great King Solomon said, “that there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to reap, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to rejoice, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time of peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). There is also a time to toil and a time to rest. But why do we need to rest? It is important to note that we can go without food for weeks, but we cannot go without sleep for more than a few days. Our bodies depend on the sleep cycle in order to rest and repair. Even during the day, the heart rests after each beat, and the lungs after each breath of air.

Donizetti Vasquez wins O. Walk Bypass Criterium
Mexican cyclist Donizetti Vasquez of the Depredadores team from Chetumal Quintana Roo won the annual Orange Walk Bypass Criterium organized by the Orange Walk Central Sports Committee and the Belize Cycling Association on Monday, October 15.

Ladyville Japan & Brown Bombers lead Smart Mundialito football
The Brown Bombers and Ladyville “Japan” are leading the Smart Mundialito Under-15 football competition. Both are undefeated because Ladyville Japan held the Bombers to a scoreless draw in the third week of competition at the MCC Grounds on Saturday, October 13. The Bombers now lead the tournament with 7pts. Sherwin Requeña led the Bombers to triumph 2-0 over Hattieville United Youth Sports Club the week before, scoring the first winning goal in the first half, and adding a second goal in the second half. Requeña was also the author of the Bombers’ first winning goal in their 2-0 victory over Ladyville Jaguars in their Smart Mundialito debut. Cameron Diego added a second goal for the 2-0 win. The Ladyville “Japan” is ranked second with 5pts as Angel Gutierrez had scored the winning goal for their 1-0 victory over the City Boys Juniors in their mundialito debut, but Jane Usher Boulevard team held them to a scoreless draw in the second week of the tournament. Third World of the St Martin de Porres area is tied for second also with 5pts; they enjoyed their first victory when Marquis Conorquie scored both goals to lead the team to a 2-0 victory over Unity Rangers. It was the Unity Rangers’ first loss. They had held the Ladyville Jaguars to a scoreless stalemate the week before, and had also held the Hattieville United Youth Sports Club to a scoreless draw in their mundialito debut. Third World has similarly drawn 0-0 with St John Vianney in its second outing and 0-0 with Jane Usher Blvd. in their first outing.

U.S. may ban conch imports
The United States’ Secretary of Commerce has been asked to place the queen conch (Strombus gigas) on the list of threatened or endangered, under the Endangered Species Act, which would then prompt the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (C.I.T.E.S.) to move the queen conch from Appendix II to Appendix I, which would ban all trade in conch. A C.I.TE.S. ban would affect not only the U.S., which is Belize’s major market for conch exports, but all other countries which are signatories to CITES. This would effectively kill Belize’s conch fishing industry, Chief Executive Officer Dr. Wendell Parham of the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development warned representatives of the five fishing cooperatives at a consultation held the Coastal Zone Management Authority Institute on Friday, October 12. WildEarth Guardians, a U.S. conservation non-governmental organization made the petition to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to also request that the National Marine Fisheries Service designate critical habitat for the species in U.S. waters, but Belize and other countries which export conch to the U.S. have a window of opportunity, until October 26, 2012, to submit information and comments to the Secretary of Commerce. Belize and other conch exporting countries are naturally lobbying to oppose the listing, because of the profound economic impact it would have on their fisheries industry.

History making harvest in Banana Bank
Belize Camping Experience (BCE) has made a historic undertaking by uniting more than 20 farmers and 11 combines for the Harvest for Kids project. The event took place on the farm of John Carr, in Banana Bank in the Cayo district on Saturday, October 6. Twenty acres of crop land were harvested by eleven combines working in tandem, yielding 100,000 pounds of corn in only 26 minutes. According to Alexander Perez, director of BCE, “We harvested 117, 000lb wet, 99,261 lb dry. That is 5850 wet per acre and 4963 dry per acre or 50 sacks of corn per acre.” Perez indicted that the corn will be sold locally, mostly for chicken feed, but he anticipates that the corn will one day be sold on the international market. He went on to say: “We will not know how much profit we will get for BCE until the corn is sold.” Proceeds from the sale of the corn will fund the various summer camps and other community work BCE does. However, overhead expenses must be cleared first, then BCE gets to keep the net value. Harvest for Kids began in April, an effort by BCE to reach out to at risk south-side children. The children were taken out to the farm and were taught the various practices of farm work, viewed the planting process and were also introduced to some of the machinery used in crop growing.

US welcomes Cuba decision to end foreign travel permits
The United States has welcomed the decision by the Cuban government to abolish the requirement for exit permits. The U.S. State Department said the move was consistent with the universal right to leave or enter any country. Under the reform, highly-qualified professionals such as doctors will still continue to face travel controls. Cuban exile groups in the U.S. said the move by Havana was insufficient and “plagued with restrictions”. Cuban state media said the reform would come into effect on 14 January. Cubans currently have to go through a lengthy and expensive process to obtain a permit and dissidents are often denied one. Those who have permanent residency on the island will also be allowed to stay abroad for up to 24 months, instead of the current 11, without having to return to renew paperwork. “This is consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides that everybody ought to have the right to leave any country,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. “So we are analysing, obviously, all of the details and any implications it may have for our processing [of Cubans].”

Belize welcomes medical tourism
Belize may soon become popular as the place for well-off North Americans to come to have elective surgery, dental work or other quality medical care at an affordable cost, if BELTRAIDE, Belize Tourism Board and the Ministry of Health have their way. Medical tourism is a billion-dollar global industry, and some southeast countries, Thailand for example, receive a million medical tourism patients per year. Other Central American countries such as Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama are also well-established in the medical tourism market, but Belize has a tremendous advantage in that it is the only English-speaking country in Central America and is positioned only a short flight away from gateway cities like Miami, Houston and New Orleans. Mike Singh, the chief executive officer of the Ministry of Trade Investment Promotion and Private Sector Development, sees it as a tremendous opportunity for Belize. The industry would offer increased employment, not just for Belizean doctors and nurses, but also laboratory technicians, medical assistants, the staff of private clinics, hotels and spas, as well as tour operators and taxi drivers. There would also be a transfer of technology as foreign specialists who would set up shop in Belize would also help to train local doctors in new procedures, techniques and treatments. The result would also be improved health care made available to Belizeans hear at home so they would no longer need to travel to Merida or Guatemala City for specialist treatment or surgery.

GOB denies Toledo Alcaldes’ request to delay consultation
The Government of Belize has refused a request from several Toledo village Alcades to postpone a consultation on an Environmental Impact Assessment prepared and submitted by U.S. Capital Energy to explore for oil in an area that encompasses their villages. The Department of the Environment invited them to the consultation scheduled for October 25, but the alcaldes want to reschcedule to November 22 or later. Their rationale, as explained in their letter to Chief Environmental Officer Martin Alegria on October 12, is that they need to properly understand the EIA, a 300-page document that is written entirely in English, which is not the Alcaldes’ first language. The report is also at a level of English that even the English speakers in their communities would have difficulty understanding.


What a difference a year makes & a new restaurant opening
Last year was the first time we'd ever been in Belize in the month of October. It was not our favorite month. I remember it as being gray and rainy and still, with not nearly enough breeze to keep the mosquitoes and sand flies away. I remember plowing through deep pond-sized puddles on the road north of the bridge as we traveled from our condo to town and back again, time after time. I remember washing our bicycles over and over since the puddles were deeper than our bottom brackets. About the only thing positive I can recall about last October was that it was cooler than the summer months. October, we were not sorry when you melted away into November. What a difference a year makes. This October has been much drier, sunnier, and the breezes a bit more constant. There have been a few mosquitoes and sand flies, but nothing like last year. It has been, really, gorgeous and bright, with only a few days that tourists wouldn't love. Those folks who got cheap low-season rates for October vacations here are no doubt feeling a bit smug. Hurricanes? Nope. Tropical storms? Not even close. The biggest difference in the October of 2012 and the October of 2011, though, is the roads. Sure, less rain has helped, but thanks to a big effort by the new town council, the road north of the bridge (at least as far as Grand Caribe), was graded and filled with load after load of gravel this summer. And it's holding up well. There are a few areas where potholes and "moguls" are developing, but this is nothing even close to the "great lakes" of October '11. And in a few of the larger holes, more heavy-duty gravel was dumped just in the past week or so, after a few wet days made a bit of a muddy mess in a couple of lower-lying spots. This rocky gravel isn't the most bike-friendly stuff I've ever seen or ridden on (thank goodness for wide beach cruiser tires), but it certainly beats putting one's legs up and going "wheeeeeee!" through deep, silty puddles you can't see the bottom of.

Sunrise at Victoria House, Ambergris Caye, Belize
This past week has delivered us some stunning weather. Incredibly hot, bright blue with crazy sunrises and sunsets. Yesterday we had a high of 92. That is sweltering hot for San Pedro. There is little relief from the breeze. The wind is blowing every so slightly (we could use a bit more, please) and the sea has been perfectly flat. I don't take very good pictures of sunsets. They just never turn out right. So today I got outside early (sunrise was at about 5:45am) to take some pictures of the sunrise on the way to Victoria House Resort. Here's what I got as the sun rose.

Belize Awaits 2012 Winter Solstice Celebration With Excitement
I want to experience the 2012 Maya Winter Solstice at Belize’s Chaa Creek because it would really make me feel in touch with a culture that has interested me for years. I first read about the Mayan culture in high school. What really struck me back then was the brutality of the Spanish towards the Aztecs, the Mayans, and other natives. The more you read about it the more you discover how much was lost, burned, and destroyed. Try to research the Mayan culture and you’re stuck with a lot of speculation, considering there are only 3 existing documents. Their breadth of knowledge of math and astronomy and who knows what else that was lost; it really haunts you. The best way I’ve found to experience Mayan culture is to go to the ruins. I was particularly fortunate, on a side trip to Ek Balam, to meet a native working as a guide there who also worked on the excavation team. No one else was there, and I got a personal tour of everything. Climbing to the top of the largest building – there’s still color on the murals! You look out over the jungle and see trees and, occasionally, stone. You can get lost wondering what’s out there and what we’ll never know about.

International Sources

Land dispute ruffles palm fronds on Mexico's Isla Holbox
Developers seek to build a high-end resort after longtime residents — who say they were cheated — sell their rights to communal lands known as ejidos. Separated from the Yucatan Peninsula by a lagoon, this pristine island has streets of sand, iguanas that roam among humans, and a police presence best described as casual. In the tiny town on its western tip, golf carts are the primary mode of transportation. "It's like out of movie, isn't it?" said a chuckling Ramon Chan, a 41-year-old vendor who on a recent day was hacking away at fresh coconuts from a cart on the beach. In recent years, however, Isla Holbox (pronounced "holl-bosch") has sat at the center of a complex legal dispute pitting powerful developers seeking to build a high-end resort against a group of longtime residents who say they were cheated out of their rights as holders of revolutionary-era communal lands, known as ejidos. The fight illuminates the growing practice of transferring communal ejidos — which make up slightly more than half of the national territory — to private hands, a practice that was authorized in 1992 but remains a legal twilight zone. In separate cases, nine islanders allege that Peninsula Maya Developments offered to buy their individualized ejido parcels in a 2008 deal to which they agreed. But in the process, the ejidatarios allege, the developers also persuaded them to unwittingly sell their permanent, constitutionally guarded titles to the Holbox ejido at large. Because Mexico's agrarian law refers to "inalienable" titles to ejidos, the islanders are asking courts to nullify the dual sale of their parcels and titles. In response, the company said the sales were legal and clear and suggested in a statement that the ejidatarios are trying to shake them down for more money than the original price of about $388,000.

Belize: New World Oil and Gas provides Belize drilling update
The Blue Creek #2 well commenced drilling operations on 27 September 2012, and to date all operations are on schedule and under budget. As at 06.00 CST in Belize on 15 October 2012, the Well had drilled to a depth of 3,150ft. The Company expects to reach the target depth ('TD') of 7,000ft on or before 15 November 2012. At this depth the Well will have reached the base of the mid Cretaceous Y2 interval. Should an oil discovery be made at B Crest, field operations will likely continue through year-end and into next year to determine the total potential of any find. Drilling operations have proceeded without any reported accidents and incidents, and the Company's on-going efforts are directed to ensure a safe and successful drilling campaign. RPS Energy reports the B Crest Prospect to contain a P50 un-risked prospective resource of 92.1MMbo (Y1 and Y2 intervals) and a P50 un-risked NPV10 of US$2.4 billion. The drilling of the B Crest prospect is the first of a three well programme at Blue Creek. The table below outlines the volumetrics and the expected timetable for the programme:

1994: Story with Colette in it! Helpers of the hounded: Mark Handscomb on a roving, alternative clinic that treats homeless people's pets
'If you've no home and you've lost your ties with your family, your dog is often your only lifeline,' says Colette Kase, a dog trainer and pet counsellor who was herself once homeless and now co-ordinates Hope in her spare time. 'Since these owners are never going to be able to afford conventional veterinary care, we hope the vaccination service we offer will keep their pets healthy and happy.' I met Colette on one of Hope's regular Sunday afternoon clinics in London. Previous clinics have been held underneath railway arches; this week it was Claremont Road, a street in suburban Leyton where opponents of the M11 motorway extension have been squatting. The vet for the day is April Jones, who has her own private practice in London. Today, she has spurned the traditional white coat for leggings and a baggy T-shirt.

Photo of the Week – Flying High In Ambergris Caye
It was my first time flying on a ‘puddle jumper’ (a very small airplane) and I was a nervous wreck! However, I still managed to turn on the camera and snap some shots while we flew above the paradise island, Ambergris Caye off the coast of Belize. And what a beautiful sight it was.. As you can see in the picture, we’re passing over the end of the island, covered in lush green plants and large mansions hugging the shoreline.

October 18, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

We are pleased to attach the new edition of the Toledo Howler. The paper will now be published twice a year in October and February. It has been expanded to twenty pages and is in tabloid format for those of you who are able to get hold of a hard copy. This issue features new accommodation and new cultural tourism experiences (The Living Maya and Warasa Drum School). We also have regular features on herbal medicine by Arzu Mountain Spirit and Lee Jones contributes his regular birding article focusing this time on backyard birding in Belize.

The October 2012 issue of The TOLEDO HOWLER is online HERE

This Issue's Stories:

  • Boost to Cultural Tourism
  • Toledo wins Whitley Award again!
  • Coleman’s Café in Big Falls
  • Welcome to… Bienvenido a... TOLEDO!
  • The Farm Inn, at San Antonio
  • Bug corner - orchid bees
  • Southern Voices: Wil Maheia
  • Warasa Drum School - paint, plywood, and vision!
  • Battle of the Drums
  • Slow travel - how to get around by bus
  • Backyard Birding for Science and Recreation
  • Wat dat smell? Wat’s Cookin? I hungry... : Lionfish Ceviche
  • The Living Maya Experience
  • Big Falls Extreme Adventures
  • Arzu Mountain Spirit on Medicinal Plants: Piss-a-Bed
  • BTIA Toledo, and the Toledo Howler
  • Port Honduras Marine Reserve
  • Paynes Creek National Park and the ancient Maya
  • Restaurant Guide
  • Calendar of Events
  • Toledo District map
  • BTIA member directory
  • Transportation schedules, including new village bus schedule
  • PG Town map

The Toledo Howler

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

SPRCS Students elect representatives to ACFSC
Over 900 students at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS) will have a chance to practice their right to vote for the first time on October 17, 2012. The students are voting to choose two student body representatives that will sit on the Quality Child Friendly School Committee QCFSC. Principal of SPRCS, Roxani Kay spoke on the elections. “Today the students are electing the students that will form part of the QCFSC. This committee will be working directly with all stakeholders to assure a high quality school; working hand in hand with the school to pin point our strengths and weaknesses and identifying ways in which we can improve in those areas where we identify weaknesses.” The committee will be made up of two student body representatives, a teacher, a member of the Parent-Teacher Association, a member from the school’s management, and the businesses community among other stakeholders. On the committee, the student body representatives will be directly responsible of voicing the student body’s concerns as well as suggestions on how to improve their educational experience through an improved quality of school.

Global Giving is working to raise US$57,655 to assist Holy Cross
In September of 2011, Holy Cross Anglican School, through the hard work of the Holy Cross Education Foundation HCEF began its journey to becoming completely self-sufficient. The first step was in providing its own electricity using solar energy. Holy Cross Anglican School serves the less fortunate kids of Ambergris Caye and has surfaced as a beacon in an era when unemployment is at an all time high in an area where residents are already burdened with poverty. The fundraising efforts of the HCEF through the program, Global Giving, saw the purchase and installation of some 24 solar panels which was promised to have offset about 30-35% of Holy Cross’s annual consumption. The panels produced some 5800 – 6000 kilo watt hours of electricity per year. At an approximate cost of US$33,000 these panels should have saved the school over Bz$12,000 per year with an expected life span of at least 25 years, functioning at 80% capacity throughout their lifespan. According to representative from Holy Cross, “The system is working wonderfully.”

Coastal clean-up may yield unexpected result
Ricardo Alcoser is mildly hopeful that Belize may have crossed a tipping point this year. The Field Executive Officer of the Scout Association of Belize, Alcoser is also the coordinator of the nation’s annual coastal (and now inland waterways) clean-up effort. And he is hoping that despite a huge increase in the number of groups, persons, and miles of coastline and banks cleaned, when the final tally is arrived at, the effort would have yielded less garbage in quantum. If that should indeed prove to be the case, then it could signal that in terms of Belize’s environmental conservation efforts we may have turned a corner, or a bend in the river of our consciousness. For the last 21 years the Scouts Association has spearheaded the annual exercise to clean-up a relatively speaking small portion of Belize’s hundreds of miles of coastlines and the banks of its waterways. At times it must have felt futile and even discouraging. It is only Alcoser’s third year at the helm of what is truly a gigantic task, but there’s that small glimmer of hope and perhaps reason for optimism.

USA considers listing Queen Conch as threatened or endangered
CARIBBEAN REGIONAL FISHERIES MECHANISM SECRETARIAT – A United States petition submitted this March to list the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) as a threatened or endangered species, the status of the implementation of a common fisheries policy for CARICOM, and the joint action plan and Belize Declaration signed this September in the historic joint meeting of Central American and Caribbean fisheries Ministers will be priority items on the agenda of the upcoming 3rd Special Meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM). The special forum, to be chaired by The Bahamas, is being held to coincide with the Caribbean Week of Agriculture, which will be observed from October 14 to 20, under the theme: “Celebrating Youth and Gender in Caribbean Agriculture – Each Endeavoring, All Achieving.”

Ambergris Today

Palapa at Boca del Rio Park Burns Down
The San Pedro Police and Fire Departments were called to the scene of a fire at the Boca del Rio Park last night at 12a.m. on Wednesday, October 16, 2012, where they came across one of the beach palapas engulfed in flames. Firefighters immediately extinguished the blaze that almost completely destroyed the structure. The fire did not pose any threat to other structures as it was in an open area of the park by the beach. Police suspect arson as the palapa has no running electrical wires that can spark a fire and investigations into the matter continue.

San Pedro Post Office Relocates to Four Sisters Plaza
The San Pedro Post Office has relocated from the Alijua Building on Barrier Reef Drive and is now situated on Pescador Drive at the Four Sisters Plaza next to the world famous Elvi’s Kitchen Restaurant. The change came about this past weekend and on October 16, 2012, the Post Office opened its doors on middle street. The postmen informed Ambergris Today that all P.O. boxes are currently not being used and that all mail is to be picked up at the office. They are in the process of having all the P.O. Boxes moved to the new location over the weekend. Due to the move, the process of receiving mail and packages is being somewhat hindered as adjustments are being set in place at the new office. The San Pedro Post Office is expected to be back to normal by the coming week.

25 Years Ago: Always a United San Pedro
During the last telethon that Mel Paz and I were conducting for Baby Elijah Eiley, we complimented the people of San Pedro for their ever generosity, cooperation and very caring spirit for each other. It was then that I remembered that this spirit of unity goes way back to old days or twenty five years ago. “Anda a prestart su escabador de Don Nando Trejo”, my father would say. (Go borrow the posthole digger from Mr. Nando Trejo) It so happened that Mr. Nando had the only post hole digger on the Island and when someone needed to use one they barrowed it. He never denied anyone the use of it. I remember him telling me, “Sure, with much pleasure, but just tell your dad to oil it up properly after he has finished his job.”

Community Bulletin: Isla Bonita Halloween Fair
Isla Bonita Elementary School Halloween Fair Place: Lions Den When: October 20th, 2012 Time: 6pm Price: $1 Children, $2 Adults Lots Of Foods and Drinks!

Listen To My New Single Featuring Julianie Ferguson
Hello Followers, I have been a busy body these days and exploring into the music world again. This summer my great friend and I got together to create a fun track for us and for everybody who cares to listen and loves music. Together with a great Belizean producer friend of mine we dedicated hours and days in the recording studio and I believe we have come up with a great hit. Julianie and I are huge fans of music that makes us dance and sing. Every time we hit the club, there is no way...

Misc Belizean Sources

Sometimes It Take a Bit of Rain to Appreciate the Gorgeous Weather We've Been Having
Last week, for the most part, was drizzly, grey and overcast. Weather that can, but doesn't always, strike in October when the Caribbean is swirling with all sorts of storms. But Sunday, the clouds disappeared, a morning cool breeze started from the north and the weather has been picture perfect. October hot but very pretty. I've been getting over a cold...but had some time to take some pictures. Just a few. And, well, here they are. All the cool water birds are here or passing by on their way south for the winter. And a few late afternoon pictures. So I leave you from my office right now at Mata Rocks. The water is like a pancake. Perfection for snorkeling or diving. Or for the osprey that I'm watching pick off fish left and right. Yeah this guy. He just flew away with a long needle fish..

Am I good enough?
I was watching the Oprah Winfrey Network two-hour special about the First Graduating Class: Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. As they were interviewing the 72 young girls to see which ones would get in, one of them asked Oprah straight out "Am I good enough?" She had a hard time spitting the words out, you could tell she was hesitant to hear the answer. Of course Oprah told her she was and you co ...

Why I Want To Experience the 2012 Maya Winter Solstice
All my life I’ve been interested in the Maya world, their culture, and why is 2012 so called “The End.” I have found not just the Winter Solstice but all major predicted astronomical events to be significant to me, I would sit in the darkest of nights camping outside my house trying to get my view of an eclipse whether it be full or partial, or I would try and borrow telescopes to view astrological based stars or meteor showers but the winter solstice, as it marks the Sun’s lowest top point in the daytime sky each year as seen from Earth is just one example of the mystical astrological and astronomical events in which we can spiritually use to think and enlighten us, just as how the Maya would perceive this culturally. Can you just imagine how they did it? They had none of our technology but through means I cannot fathom, they studied the skies and predicted, tested then formed the calendar we now focus our attention to especially in this year 2012, the year of The Maya’s, based just upon the movement of the galaxy. I’ve heard of the solstices and always wanted to see and experience that mystical thrill of it all. So long I’ve wanted to, but never had the means to actually carry out with this plan. To celebrate with the Maya people our beautiful Belize has nurtured and cared for, for several hundred years. They left behind palaces, homes, beautiful priceless gems and a memory before now that was beginning to fade. But now as a country, as a community we celebrate. It would mean so much to me if you chose me for this great honor of being there to see, to learn and observe this truly great event. If in the case I am not chosen I still want to thank you! Thank you for making this event what it is, to bringing the Maya people to the forefront, teaching us and informing us of great cultural events in which most of the youths of today don’t even care for.

When Is the Best Time To Visit Belize?
The question: when is the best time to visit Belize has no fixed answer. The reason being that it’s always a great time to visit Belize, but everyone searches for different opportunities when choosing an ideal vacation time. For example, there is no best time of the year to visit Belize for scuba diving (although some people prefer the calmer waters during summertime) but if you seek to go diving with Whale Sharks, this can only be done from March to June. There are a few major factors that contribute to having a more enjoyable vacation in Belize. Of course good weather is one, fun activities such as festivals and events, and either choosing to mingle with the crowds during high season or taking advantage of off peak rates during low season. High Season and Low Season Belize’s High Season for tourism is from November to May. This time period runs simultaneously with the dry season, which is the best time for weather in Belize. Coincidently, this point in time also matches with the great white north’s winter which means lots of Americans and Canadians escape the cold searching for warmer climate. The Low Season runs from June to October. Many travelers strategically visit Belize during this time to take advantage of lower rates. Most tourism businesses drop their room and tour rates from 30 to 50 percent in order to accommodate the plunge in tourist arrivals. The Weather The weather can make or break your vacation. In Belize there are two seasons, the Dry Season and the Rainy Season; each has its own pros and cons. The Dry Season is somewhat Belize’s winter minus the snow and freezing cold. During the months of November, December and January, the temperature in Belize drops a bit leading to cool windy days with lots of sunshine. And starting February, March and May, it tends to be hotter days with almost no clouds. The good weather permits for scheduling lots of fun activities including numerous aquatic sports and jungle adventures. After all, Belize is indeed an active destination. The Dry Season is also Belize’s High Tourism Season, certain towns and archaeological sites can be a bit crowded with tourists. Although, do remember that Belize is still relatively unknown and doesn’t really attract a lot of tourists as compared to other countries. The Rainy Season runs equivalent with the Belize’s Low Season for tourism (June to October). Being in Belize during this time can mean that your sunny days can be unexpectedly ruined by rain showers. The good news is that unless there is a tropical storm, showers usually only last an hour or two. Also keep in mind that Belize’s hurricane season is during this time and a potential hurricane can make your vacation run short. Another negative is that with lots of rain certain tours such as snorkeling or diving and caving adventures like Barton Creek or Actun Tunichil Muknal get cancelled for a couple days until it’s once again safe. Although, Belize’s rainy season has several issues to consider, many people think it’s a fair trade for avoiding the crowds and saving money. Festivals and Events Belizeans are lively, energetic people who enjoy any opportunity to have a good time dancing, drinking and being merry. And with some of the most festive events in Central America, many travelers who visit to Belize ensure to their time coincides with certain celebrations. The most popular tourist event is without a doubt Lobster Festival. Lobster fest takes place in Caye Caulker, Placencia and San Pedro; each respective location conducts their festivals immediately after the opening of the Lobster season which takes place mid June every year. The International Costa Maya festival is another event that brings huge crowds from everywhere to Ambergris Caye, where the lively town of San Pedro hosts a week of parties and beauty pageants. Visiting in September is a great time to witness national pride as Belizeans celebrate St George’s Caye Day, Carnival and Independence Day. A few more interesting Belize events and festivals are the Battle of the Drums, La Ruta Maya River Challenge, Toledo Cacao Festival and Garifuna Settlement Day.

VIDEO: Whaleshark scuba encounter - Gladden Spit - Belize
This was filmed during a whaleshark dive trip in Placencia Belize. Open water diving in Gladden Spit can be tricky, but worthwhile when we finally see whalesharks. The Whalesharks follow the spawning Cubera Snapper as a source of food. Guided by Seahorse Dive shop in Placencia.

VIDEO: Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve

SMCU Celebration
Saint Martin's Credit Union celebrates International Credit Union Day on October 18th. They'll have food, prizes, entertainment, and information booths set up in their parking lot.

Cayo Welcome Center Nearing Completion
The Cayo Welcome Center is almost finished. They've started planting in the flower beds, and are setting up the electric meters. The sidewalk arches are mostly in place now too. It should be done just in time to welcome all the visitors and tourists in high season. Great job renovationg downtown!

Hurricane Hattie @ 51 Exhibition Launch
The Benque House of Culture is having their Hurricane Hattie @ 51 Exhibition Launch this evening at 7:00pm. They'll have survivors there relating their stories of Hurricane Hattie. The exhibit will run through November 23rd. "You are invited to join us as we unveil the Hurricane Hattie Exhibition at its 51 years Anniversary, this Thursday. Special invited guests will make presence and share an intimate conversation and reflections, based on this experience and hardships in October 1961."

Moon Guidebook Author Offers the Best Reasons to Move to Belize
Berkeley, CA (PRWEB) October 16, 2012 Moving to another country can be overwhelming, especially when there are visas involved, a currency to adjust to, and a new language to learn. Its because of these reasons tha...

Catwalk Fashions - Super Hero Fashion Show coming on Saturday, November 17th in Belize
Catwalk Fashions: capturing the element of their Superhero themed Fashion show that will be held at the Princess Hotel and Casino on November 17th. Here we are showcasing some of beautiful models of Catwalk Fashions standing tall in a doomsday scenario.

Channel 7

Lawless!: Armed Robbery At Pre School
We all know that crime is out of hand - and that criminals have crossed the threshold of all reason. But today, we reached a new low as masked gunmen barged into a pre-school - A PRE-SCHOOL to steal a cell phone from a teacher. Crazy beyond belief, right?... But that's what it is tonight...and Monica Bodden found out more: Monica Bodden Reporting It is one of the most disturbing events imaginable - a teacher held at gunpoint, in front of her preschool students. That was what happened here at Little Cadet Preschool on Jane Usher Boulevard. Just after 9 this morning as class was getting started, a man approached the classroom door and asked for one of the students who was in the classroom by name. Just seconds after another man barged inside the classroom - with a mask over his head and armed with a gun. Voice of Teacher "A little bit after 9, a dark fellow - he came in, and he asked for one of the babies. And immediately I - he was acting very suspicious, and as soon as he asked for the baby, the other guy came in with his face covered. He cranked his gun, held it to my head, and he told me to give them everything. And immediately after, the other guy who came in first, he came. While the other guy had the gun held to my head, he started to take off my chain, ring - he was searching around the desk area. After they took off whatever they needed to take off, they wanted money. We don't collect money here. We have our Atlantic Bank ATM, or the parents go and deposit at the bank. So, I just told them that my bag was over there. They took my bag; they didn't find anything, so they threw the bag on me and told me to take the money from out of the bag. So, I took my wallet out, and luckily, I didn't have any money in there. I opened it - I think it was $5 in there - they took that. He was demanding that he wanted money, but the other guy with gun said that's all she has - and between all this, they were saying, 'hurry, hurry!' and that's when they left."

Owner Of Anchor Security Robbed in Mexico
For the past 2 days, we've heard persistent rumours that Gary Gentle, the co-owner of Anchor Security, was fatally injured in an armed robbery in Mexico on Monday night. Well, tonight 7News has confirmed that Gentle is alive and well, if only a bit shaken up by a scary situation. We contacted Gentle's wife and business partner who told us that her information is very sketchy, but she knows that he left for Houston and spent a week there, where he purchased a vehicle which he planned to use to drive back down to Belize. But things didn't go according to plan because when he, along with a caravan of 8 other businessmen, arrived at the US/Mexico border they were attacked on the Mexican side. It happened at around 10:30 p.m. where several armed gunmen ambushed them in the Matamores area and opened fire on the caravan. Gentle's wife told us that she doesn't know if he was injured in the attack because she has only had very brief contact with him, and he didn't want to get into the details over the phone.

Guates in Bze With Crystal Meth?
Benque Viejo police have two Guatemalan males detained tonight after they were intercepted at a checkpoint two hours ago. The checkpoint was set up near the western border and the car was entering Belize. The adult male and minor are suspected of transporting the drug known as crystal-meth - which is a virtual epidemic in the United States but virtually unknown in Belize. The package was found in their vehicle - which carries Guatemalan plates. It was searched with the help of the K-9 unit and police found a suspicious package with 4.9 kilos of a suspected illicit substance. The substance will have to be sent for testing before any determination can be made. We'll let you know when that testing is complete.

Popular Ladyville Supermarket Robbed
Last night gunmen robbed the popular Ladyville Supermarket, Low's. It happened at about 8:30 when two armed and masked men stormed into the supermarket brandishing 9 millimeter pistols. They got two thousand dollars in cash and Police report that they snatched the weapons from the security guard and the storeowner. They then jumped in a waiting car and headed towards Belize City. Police have reviewed surveillance video - and say they are following a few leads. The store remained open after the robbery - even after 9:00 pm. And while this is a robbery, Ladyville has seen a major spike in burglaries this year -reports have almost doubled.

New Coalition Says Foreign Minister Has To Go
If you've been watching 7News recently - you should know all about the state of diplomatic affairs between Belize and Guatemala, as well as the compassionate payment Government plans to make to the family of Guatemalan Francisco Quinn Yat. It has generated a good deal of public comment - and much of it is angry, because of the Guatemalan hardline and because Belize will pay - form public funds - the family of a Guatemalan trespasser who could have killed a BDF soldier. Now, a new group says they intend to do more than just talk. The Belize Coalition For Justice, formed from the collective of - they say - 30 activist groups held a press conference today at the Radisson. As we found out, there was plenty of fire unleashed on Elrington and his government in general. Here's more: Micah Goodin - Spokesperson, Nation Builders "Give me your ears, or deliver to me, my death, as I welcome to you, the second Belizean revolution, being led by the Belize Coalition for Justice."

Life Sentence for Murder Upheld
34 year-old Orlando Wade will continue to spend a life sentence in prison after his conviction was upheld in the Court of Appeal this afternoon. Wade was convicted on January 26, 2011 of the murder of 45 year-old Dorla Pitterson-Slusher, a mentally ill woman. On June 24, 2008, the nude body of Pitterson-Slusher was found in an abandoned latrine behind Sylvia's Cool Spot in the Sandhill village; the post mortem revealed that she was raped and then strangled to death. Wade's attorney, Simeon Sampson, presented one main ground for the appeal in which he pointed out that doctor's post mortem gave an estimated time of death which did not coincide with the time given by the witness who testified that he saw Wade on top of Pitterson's body. Sampson submitted that the trial judge should have directed the jury better on this discrepancy.

Toledo Villagers Oppose US Capital Energy, Again
US Capital Energy is looking for oil in the Toledo District - in an area that includes Mayan Communal lands and the Sarstoon Temash National Park. We haven't heard anything about them in a while - and that's because they've been preparing an Environmental Impact Assessment or EIA. That EIA is now under review by the Department of the Environment - known as the DOE - and a public consultation will be a week from tomorrow. But SATIIM, the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management has written to the DOE saying that their communities were not consulted during the EIA so SATIIM is requesting that the public hearing be postponed until November. They say the indigenous communities need time to understand the content of the nearly 300 page document which first has to be translated into Que'chi. A letter voicing those same concerns was sent to the DOE from the Chairman and Alcaldes of 7 villages in the area.

Parham shot By Police, Now To Prison
34 year-old Owen Parham, a resident of Cotton Tree Village, is spending his second night in prison, after he was taken to Magistrate's Court for attempting to rob a lawman of his gun. As we reported, Special Constable James Stuart told police that on Friday, September 12 he was on patrol when he caught Parham attempting to break into a house in the Lake Garden area. The officer said that he caught Parham peeping inside the window, and when he was questioned, he said that he was looking for a nearby house. The officer searched Parham and allegedly found a crowbar on him; as a result, he was detained, and when he was being escorted to the police station, a struggle ensued. The officer said that Parham attempted to take his service weapon, and as a result, he was forced to shoot Parham in the leg 3 times to subdue him. As a result, Parham was taken to the KHMH where he received treatment, and as soon as he was released, they charged him with attempted robbery, harm, aggravated assault, resisting lawful arrest and going equipped to commit a crime. He was arraigned yesterday before Magistrate Aretha Ford, where he pleaded not guilty to the offences.

CEMO Reviews The Lessons of Hurricane Ernesto
Viewers may remember that in August, Hurricane Ernesto threatened Belize, and as a part of its projected path, Belize City was also an expected target. It never hit, but according to Belize City's Emergency Management Organization, there were some SNAFU'S that they encountered, which they would like to eliminate before another natural disaster threat. A major issue that they encountered was that there were mass phone calls made to the CEMO emergency operating center for evacuations, which proved difficult because majority of the persons had disabilities. Well, CEMO wants to know exactly where these disabled citizens located that so that they can effect a better evacuation plan. And the way they will find out is by doing a survey, in which they want to utilize high school children across the city to go out and record the data. Today, they continued meetings with several of the high school principals to finalize the plans. Phillip Willoughby, the councilor in charge of CEMO explained how the program is expected to work: Phillip Willoughby - Councilor in Charge of CEMO "Because they have centralized human resources in a particular structure, we're saying that they can utilize and implement their theoretical learning in a practical environment, which will show community service, goodwill, and build capacity for the recognition of these secondary schools by virtue of executing and engaging in such a survey. With regards to the budget, we will be kicking off a pilot project, sometime within the third week of November. It is from within that, we will then start to build up a budget for that particular initial exercise, see the costs, and then, as we look forward into what we will consider now, that the city will be zoned off in various sections, and the schools will be assigned to a particular zone, and based on the size of that zone, we will attach a cost. So, we will run a pilot, and from that, we will derive a budget." There has been no timeline announced as to when this program will start.

Cayo Calls Compol to Converse
Tomorrow Cayo residents will be able to question the commissioner of police about those cases. Commissioner David Henderson will be having a community meeting in Santa Elena tomorrow night at the Santa Elena Roman Catholic Primary School at 7:00 PM. A similar meeting will be held in San Ignacio at the Center for Employment Training the week after.

Who Killed Emerito?
Last night, 7News told you about 46 year-old Emerito Itza, a resident of San Pedro, formerly of Succutz who died of injuries he sustained in a brawl last week Wednesday. Well, tonight police say that they have 4 suspects detained for this attack. As we reported, at around 7 p.m., Itza and 24 year-old Marwin Lizama were hanging out on the beach at the eastern end of Sand Piper Street. They were attacked by a group of young men, one of whom grabbed piece of wood and hit both men in the head. Itza was taken to the KHMH, where he succumbed to his injuries on Monday. According to police they have 4 minors detained for this incident, and charges are pending.

Channel 5

Coalition wants Minister of Foreign Affairs removed
Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington must go, or else. That’s the message given by the newest advocacy group called Belize Coalition for Justice. At their launch today, they had a laundry list of issues that they wanted cleaned and ironed. But the strongest message came from Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) which demanded that the [...]

Evolution of Advocacy Groups; New NGO for Revolution
Belize does not have a lack of advocacy groups or non-governmental organizations. The Belize Coalition for Justice is a consortium of NGO’s who have reorganized under the umbrella organization much like the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage. The advocacy group includes Belize Can, Commoners and Nationbuilders. Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of [...]

Is Foreign Minister properly representing Belize?
A large number of persons believe that the death penalty will deter crime. In our online poll, eighty-four percent who voted, answered yes to the question: Do you believe the death penalty will deter crime? Only a small sixteen percent said that the death penalty is not the solution. But many persons believe that it [...]

Armed robbery of teacher in front of preschool students
Robberies are becoming more frequent and brazen by the day and everyone is under threat. This morning, a preschool was attacked leaving a classroom of four year old children traumatized. Just after nine, the preschool located at the corner of Louise Bevans Street and Jane Usher Boulevard was targeted by armed robbers. Ten students of [...]

Economic Indicators and how Consumer Price Index affects Retailers
Tonight in Economic Indicators we look at the question of inflation and how the Consumer Price Index affects Retailers. The Statistical Institute has released figures that show a relative high rate of inflation. The Consumer Price Index, a key measure of inflation released in October 2012, shows a one point seven percent increase for the [...]

Conch, the endangered species may face protection by US
About one million pounds of conch are exported to the United States market per season. Combined, the conch and lobster represent as much as ninety percent of the total value of seafood exports. Aside from cuisine, the conch shell is used to produce exquisite jewelry. But there is currently a move to list the conch [...]

Nimrod Tillett acquitted of the brutal murder of his lover
The brutal murder of forty-four year old Enrique Castillo in February, 2009 shocked the residents of Orange Walk. Twenty-three year old Nimrod Tillett, who was reportedly Castillo’s lover, turned himself in and was charged for his murder. But after three years on remand, Tillett is a free man. He was acquitted when his confession statement [...]

Cleophus Williams pleads guilty to stealing from his mother
Also in court today, a forty-seven year old man was convicted of Theft for stealing from his household items from his mother. Cleophus Williams was living with his mother, seventy-two year old Olophia Williams at the corner of Periwinkle and Hibiscus Streets, but disappeared along with jewelry, picture frames and small appliances valued at one [...]

Appeal by convicted murderer, Orlando Wade, dismissed
The Court of Appeal this morning dismissed an appeal by Orlando Wade, who was convicted in January 2011 for the murder of Dorla Pitterson and sentenced to life in prison. Pitterson, a mental patient, was strangled and then dumped in a well in Sandhill in June of 2008. Her body was found by a neighbor, [...]

2 men arraigned for foiled robbery of E’s Cool Spot
Two men have been charged for the foiled robbery last Friday at E’s Cool Spot, a bar in Esperanza Village in the Cayo District. On Tuesday afternoon, twenty-three year old Jake Anthony Cadle and Alvaro Aldana, both of San Ignacio Town, were arraigned inside the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court for Attempted Robbery. The botched robbery [...]

4 minors arrested for murder of Emerito Itza
Four minors have detained by San Pedro police in connection with the murder of forty-five year old Emerito Itza. Itza died just before four on Tuesday morning at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was brutally beaten last Wednesday night in San Pedro. The Succotz resident was working at Coco Beach Resort on the [...]

Belize Bank and group build house for suffering family
Months ago, an Orange Walk family was devastated when their house collapsed and fell on top of a family member. The Cordova’s are hard working and humble, but they have been having a difficult time to make ends meet especially since medical costs and care for Brighton are eating away their income. The family, however, [...]

US Capital Energy concludes prospecting activities in the South; is there potential controversy?
There is potential controversy in the south where prospecting activities conducted by U.S. Capital Energy within the Sarstoon Temash National Park concluded earlier this year. The results of an environmental impact assessment will be discussed openly during consultations scheduled for later this month. But while plans are underway to meet with residents of various communities [...]


Belize Coalition for Justice Calls Press Conference on The Guatemala Issue
Today a vociferous group that calls itself Belize Coalition for Justice, steadfast in its commitment to defend the Constitution of Belize and, as its name implies, advocate for justice, called a press conference. Its purpose was to launch an aggressive campaign against what it de...

Four Minors Detained Regarding Death of A Man In San Pedro
San Pedro police have detained four minors in connection with the death of 45-year-old San Jose Succotz resident, Emerito Itza. As we reported yesterday Itza died on Monday morning at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Itza was reportedly hit to the head during an altercat...

Ladyville Teacher Charged for Possession of Counterfeit Currency
A teacher has been charged with possession of counterfeit currency notes. Police say on September 1 they conducted a search for illegal firearm and ammunition at a house on Lakeview Street. During the search police reportedly found twenty two counterfeit twenty Belize dollar note...

Fatal Hit and Run In Punta Gorda
A fatal traffic incident on the Southern Highway has claimed the life of one person. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the story. PAUL MAHUNG Toledo Correspondent RSV Media Centre “According to Police report here, it is believed that the hit and run incident on ...

Supreme Court Judge Hands Down Decision on DFC vs Rene Villanueva Sr. and Jr.
Supreme Court judge, Justice Oswell Legall has handed down his decision on the case of the Development Finance Corporation versus Rene Villanueva, Senior and his son, Rene Junior. It was a stunning judgment, ordering the Villanuevas to pay four hundred thousand dollars to the Development Fi...

Police News
Twenty year old Ellis Meighan Jr., who allegedly shot 30 year old Delone Vernon, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in court on Tuesday. Meighan was also charged with conspiracy to commit murder, grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm. No plea was taken from him ...

Police Seeks Teenager For Carnal Knowledge
Punta Gorda police are looking for an eighteen year old male in connection with an incident of carnal knowledge. A fourteen year old female accompanied by her mother reported to police that last Friday night 8:00 o’clock, the 18 year old male had sexual intercourse with...

Police Investigates Series of Armed Robberies
A series of robberies have been reported in Belize City and Ladyville. Christopher Lanza reported to police that sometime around 7:42 this morning he was at the corner of Faber’s Road and the George Price Highway, when he was approached by two armed men who attempted to tak...

Court Finds Accused Not Guilty of Murder
In February 2009, 44-year-old Enrique Castillo was murdered at his home on Belize Corozal Road in Orange Walk Town. Today, the man accused of the gruesome murder was found not guilty of the crime. In the northern session of the Supreme Court in Orange Walk Town, Justic...


Call for removal of Wilfred Elrington
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General, Wilfred Elrington has come under public pressure for comments...

Belize coalition for Justice is officially launched
This morning's press briefing was also the Belize coalition for Justice's official launch. . The movement says that...

Police seek Mark Conorqui.for shooting ASP Amin August
The Western Poultry Bar/ Grocery Store was the scene of an attempted robbery/ murder last week Friday night. But th...

Belize called a "failed pariah state"
*Some small Caribbean countries are in danger of acquiring the reputation as failed pariah states, according to an ...

Family believe mother of 3 was murdered
A 24 year old woman and mother of 3 was found dead on the Riverside in Sittee River Village. Karina Howard was disc...

Masked men disarm security guard in supermarket robbery
It is reported that at approximately 8:29 pm on Tuesday 16. 10.12 two armed masked men stormed into Lo’s supermarke...

Teacher arrested with counterfeit currency
On 1st September 2012 about 6:30pm Police conducted a search on the premises of Denvor Domingo situated on Lake Vie...

More Tomorrow residents upset over unresolved land acquisition process
The More Tomorrow Village Council and its residents are very upset over the unresolved land acquisition process whi...

Prayer patrol Thursday night in Belmopan
*Tomorrow (Thursday) night there will be a prayer patrol in Belmopan, the effort of churches in the Belmopan area, ...


International Sources

CARICOM Provides Entrepreneurship Training For Regional Youth
Job creation is one of the most challenging tasks facing Caribbean Governments today as the unemployment rate continues to climb steadily, especially among young people who make up roughly 64% of the Region’s population. Youth unemployment is a global problem. The International Labour Organization says 70 million young people are actively - but unsuccessfully - looking for employment. They represent nearly 40% of the world’s total unemployed. Unemployment levels for the age cohort 18-29 are generally two to three times higher than for the more senior population. In some Latin American and Caribbean countries, the unemployment rate is as high as five times the rate for adults over age 45. Caribbean-wide data indicate that Saint Lucia, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Jamaica, have the highest youth unemployment rates. And many of those young who are employed are occupying low-paying temporary positions with little or no job security. The CARICOM Secretariat, while formulating appropriate regional policies to address the former, is also creating the necessary enabling environment for the latter. The secretariat has embarked on a series of Creativity for Employment and Business Opportunity (CEBO) entrepreneurship training for young people across the Caribbean region, starting with targeted Member States, including, Jamaica, Belize, Dominica, The Bahamas and St Kitts and Nevis.

Danny Michel & The Benque Players - Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me
Canadian songwriter Danny Michel has long been in love with Belize. He wrote the songs for 2010’s Sunset Sea there and recently set up a scholarship fund for a high school there. For his 10th album and Six Shooter debut, Michel deepened his connection, living in Benque Viejo del Carmen and working with musicians from the Garifuna Collective and producer Ivan Duran, who’s helped popularize music from Belize. It’s a fun and uplifting listen, bursting with acoustic and electric guitar, saxophones, organic, rich backup vocals and tons of Garifuna percussion. The obvious comparison is Paul Simon’s Graceland, but there are also moments of heavier Talking Heads-like funk. A Cold Road is a mellow love song, Survivor’s Guilt touches on Garifuna history, and Into The Light is busy and sax-driven.

Concerns in Belize: Why the U.S. and Mexico Should Pay Attention
In the fight against organized crime, Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras grab the headlines—but politicos and analysts neglect to mention Belize. This Central American country of 330,000 bordering Mexico and Guatemala is fast becoming fertile ground for organized crime, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and piracy. At 39 murders per 100,000 persons Belize is the fifth most dangerous country in the world, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Honduras is the most dangerous with 86 homicides per 100,000, and Venezuela registers fourth at 67 per 100,000. UNODC also adds that “intentional homicides” have doubled in Belize City, the country’s coastal commercial capital, since 2004. Gangs working for Mexican cartels are to blame: according to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), 43 percent of youth aged 14-24 are unemployed, while 46 percent of the total labor force is illiterate. Moreover, only 12 percent of the total labor force has completed high school. Poor education quality and lack of economic opportunity are variables that push youth into environments of crime. Initiation into a local gang could lead to contract work for Mexican cartels that promise anything a young man could ever want: money; drugs; status; and power. Aside from routine murders and robberies, these same gangs are also responsible for the 2011 raid of the Belize Defense Force (BDF) armory in Ladyville, taking M-16 and M4 military issue riffles, 9 millimeter handguns, and grenades.

Summary Judgments for October 17
Belize and Guatemala have been embroiled in disputes over land and maritime boundaries since the 19th century, when Belize, a former UK colony, was incorporated as British Honduras, and Guatemala was under Spanish rule. But now it looks like the two countries might be on the path to settle things properly, since both have agreed to referendums next October to decide whether to take the fight to the International Court of Justice at the Hague, reports the Costa Rica Star. The dispute has its origins in the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, which divvied up the New World. Under the treaty Spain got Belize, but the British later took control of the territory and granted it independence in 1981. Enter Guatemala, a former Spanish colony, which says it should get control of Belize and doesn't recognize it as an independent state. In spite of many United Nations resolutions calling for Belize's territorial integrity to be respected, Guatemala has refused to back down.

October 17, 2012

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The San Pedro Sun

Emerito Itza succumbs to injuries at the KHMH
San Pedro Police has initiated a murder investigation following the death of a man who was receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). The man, 46 year old Emerito Itza who lived on Ambergris Caye, is originally from Soccutz Village in the Cayo District and was one of two men who were attacked, beaten and left along the beach in San Pedro Town. Police confirmed to the San Pedro Sun that Itza succumbed to his injuries Monday on the morning, October 15th. Initial investigation indicate that both Itza and 24 year old Marwin Lizama were socializing along the beach at about 7PM on Wednesday October 10th at the eastern end of Sandpiper Street when they were attacked by a group of young men. It is alleged that the group of men then hit Itza and Lizama several times in the head with a piece of wood. When police officials responded with a doctor, they observed Itza in an unconscious state.

Las Terrazas Resort – Belize’s Leading Resort for 2012
Las Terrazas Resort is pleased to announce that for the second year in a row, we have been named Belize’s Leading Resort at the 2012 World Travel Awards. More than 5,000 companies, destinations and organizations are nominated for these prestigious annual awards, voted on by more than 213,000 industry professionals worldwide. “We are so honored to receive this momentous award from our peers,” says David Hesse, General Manager of Las Terrazas Resort. “We are grateful to our colleagues that they have again honored us for our hard work and effort in making Las Terrazas Belize’s top resort destination.” The World Travel Awards were started in 1994 to encourage the international travel and tourism community to embrace the pursuit of excellence in everything it does – from customer relations to creativity, product innovation and business acumen. The awards and judging are strictly controlled to ensure total fairness. An awards ceremony took place on September 14 at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages and Spa where World Travel Awards founder Graham E. Cooke underlined the depth and quality of the travel and tourism sector across the Caribbean and the Americas. He said “Our winners are also drawn from the breadth of the Caribbean and the Americas, reflecting the strength and depth of the travel and lodging sector in the region. Belize, the only English speaking country in Central America, has quickly become one of the premiere tropical vacation destinations for North American vacationers. Each year, tens of thousands of vacationers head south to the popular island of Ambergris Caye in Belize to scuba dive, honeymoon, hike, or just get away for a little while. The nation’s warm water oceans, tropical inland forests and ancient Mayan ruins are enough to keep even the most adventurous travelers occupied.

San Pedro / Belize District Football Competition commences
The Football Federation of Belize’s Inter District Football competition is underway and each district is in the process of choosing representatives. As such the San Pedro Football Club, playing under the Belize District Football Association, has started official competition to choose two teams which will travel to Belize to compete against other champions from the Belize District to determine who will represent the District in the Inter-District at the national level. The San Pedro competition started on Sunday, October 14th and saw eight energetic, enthusiastic teams signing up for the competition. Present at each games are officials from the FFB Inter District competition as well as the president of the Belize District Football Association. Competing are: Los Catrachos, San Pedro Veterans, Club United FC, Naivis FC, Club Belizean Shores, DFC Passy, Suga Boyz Juventus and Lebanese FC. The teams will see seven weeks of competition after which the two top teams will be chosen to move onto the Belize District competition. On the 14th, Club United FC tied with Naivis FC in a score of 2-2. Game two saw Belizean Shores winning over DFC in a game of 4-2 while Suga Boyz Juventus saw a challenging game against Lebanese FC, a game at the end of which neither team managed a goal. This game ended in a nil – nil game.

Ambergris Today

Officials Consider Listing Queen Conch as Threatened or Endangered
Will the conch season in Belize have to be shortened? Might we need to control the amount of conch that we eat year per year? These are a couple of questions that Belize, including other Caribbean nations, might have to consider as Caribbean ministers will come together to discuss a conch petition for CARICOM during Caribbean Week of Agriculture 2012 in Antigua and Barbuda. A United States petition submitted this March to list the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) as a threatened or endangered species will be a priority item on the agenda of the upcoming 3rd Special Meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM). Over fishing of the Queen Conch might be posing a problem to the survival of the species and such petition could limit our consumption of conch if the animal becomes labeled as threatened and endangered.

San Pedro High Returns With Smiles
The Belize National Champs in softball hailing from San Pedro High participated this past week in the Central American championship known as Codicader. The team is to be admired for picking up the courage to switch from softball to baseball because softball is not played in Codicader. Incidentally in Belize the high schools do not play baseball, only softball. San Pedro travelled to Panama City and confronted and lost to Panama and then defeated Costa Rica. The next two against Nicaragua and Honduras were losses but Belize soundly defeated Guatemala 6 to 2 with outstanding pitching by Gerardo Cardona who struck out 12 of the Guatemalan players. This final match brought San Pedro High School/Belize to 2 wins and 3 losses, placing the team in fourth place.

Pic of the Week: Sunsets in Belize like Artists Paintings
You never know what color palette the sunsets in Belize will bring you. It is ever-changing, ever so beautiful and nothing short of spectacular each and every day.

How to Deal with Bullies
Bullies are pretty much everywhere. Millions of people around the world are suffering from these bullies almost every minute of the day. Bullying has led to some teens committing suicide because they cannot take the teasing anymore. Now with something so cruel that leads to so many problems why is it that no one has put a stop to it? The Answer is Simple. Whenever you try to explain to bullies that what they are doing is wrong, they don’t even try to listen to what you’re saying. Now to all those teens who want to end their lives because of bulling, please DON’T! Do you know why? These bullies are the ones that need your attention to make them seem cool.

Flashback: Father Robert Raszkowski's Dream
We have always been encouraged to dream big and we will achieve good things. And so was the case of the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church which you see today. It was a dream of Father Robert Raszkowski S.J. back in the 1960’s and he lived to see its inauguration in the late 1970’s about ten years later. Why did it take so long to complete this dream? Well, Father Raz wanted this church to be constructed with Sanpedrano’s money alone. He wanted us to be very proud of our accomplishment. It took many years of Sunday collections, fund raisers, carnival dance donations, and fairs. Besides this Father Raz refused to charge for wedding, funeral, graduation, and daily masses.

Saga 9th Annual Halloween Party
Saga Humane Society’s 9th Annual Halloween Party Sunday, October 28, 2012 from 11am - 5pm at the Central Park Dog Costume Contest -Scariest -Best Couple (Dog and Owner) -Most Original and more! -Silent Auction -Lots of Raffles -Games for the Kids and Pets -Food and Drinks -Cakes, Cookies, Candy and more!

Jasmine Alerts Missing Person
If you have information about HUGO HENRY MORENO contact the nearest police station. CIRCUMSTANCE Last seen at 1:00 am by both parents whilst at home and was wearing a blue long sleeve shirt with long jeans pants and white tennis with blue lace. AGE: 17 years old OCC: 2nd Form Bishop Martin High School HEIGHT: 6 ft. WIEIGHT: Between 145-150lbs EYES: Brown HAIR: Mohawk style, black hair BUILD: Slim

Misc Belizean Sources

Press Conference Of Belize Coalition For Justice (BCJ) Guardians of the constitution-Advocates for Justice On The National Crisis Facing Belize and it’s People
On Sunday, October 14th, 2012, The Greatest most powerful meeting in the History of Belize was help at the Maya Walk Restaurant in San Ignacio Town, the new birthplace of the Second Belizean revolution For Peace and Justice for all Belizeans. The leadership of some of the strongest most active organizations and unions were present; together they represent over 19,500 Belizeans. BCJ will be holding a Press Conference this coming Wednesday October 17th 2012, At the Radisson Fort George at 10 AM. The purpose of the Press Conference is to Launch the new powerful organization and inform the Media and general public of actions we plan to take concerning the absence of political leadership, crime issues and the remnant disrespect of the constitution of Belize and its people. The Press Conference will be addressed by: Mrs. Nancy Marin, National Coordinator of the Coalition – speaking on the declaration · Mr. Geovannie Brackett, President of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA)/Coalition Member – speaking on the Belize-Guatemala Differendum · Mr. Patrick Menzies, President of Belize Can /Coalition Member – speaking on illegal access to nationality by Guatemalan citizens and changing the voters’ list to purge illegal Guatemalans from voting in elections The details are as follows: DATE: Wednesday October 17th, 2012 TIME: 10:00am VENUE: Radisson Fort George, Belize City, Belize Members of the media are hereby invited to attend and report. Contact: Nancy Marin : National Coordinator of Belize Coalition for Justice 628-4498 Mr. Geovannie Brackett, : (COLA)/Coalition Member 664-3771 Mr. Patrick Menzies, President of Belize Can 629-0189

Regional fisheries workshop concludes in Belize
Fourteen Caribbean fisheries professionals from Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Suriname, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines last Friday concluded the first Fisheries Law and Management Training Workshop, developed jointly for them by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Secretariat and the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), a leading institution based at the University of Wollongong in Australia. The five-week training workshop, which began on September 10, 2012, covered several subjects including, sustainable fisheries management, law of the sea, international fisheries, trade, marine environmental law, and monitoring, control and surveillance to eradicate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, among other things. Just prior to the conclusion of the training last week, representatives of the CRFM and ANCORS inked a five-year memorandum of understanding (MoU), geared at fostering research collaboration and strengthening capacity development in the Caribbean region.

Miss Earth Belize 2012
Jessel Lauriano, Miss Earth Belize 2012, is representing Belize in the Miss Earth Pageant. Her video, which was shot mostly in Cayo at Monkey Falls, has some amazing shots from all around Belize. You can vote for her right now at Good luck, Jessel, and thanks for all you've done educating, cleaning up, and getting the word out on sustainability.

San Antonio Garden Project
ProWorld Belize is doing a garden project in San Antonio. It will provide some of the food for school lunches at the primary school. "ProWorld Belize is working with a primary school in San Antonio, Belize to create a school garden. ProWorld is working with teachers, cooking staff and community leaders to develop a curriculum that teaches the benefits of healthy eating and nutrition to the students. The garden will provide fruits and vegetables for the school lunch program. In a community which is already made up of 90% farmers, this school garden will serve as a model of sustainable organic farming."

Galen's Maya Prophecy Class
Galen University is offering a 2 week Antropology course from December 10th through the 21st. The class is appropriately called 'Exploring the Mystery of the Mayan Prophecy of 2012,' and it focuses on the end of the Mayan calendar. It will be led by Dr. Jaime Awe and Dr. John Morris, so it's surely going to be great. Truly a once in a lifetime class.

Belizean Chicken Soup
Chicken Soup is very comforting when you are ill or on rainy days. This recipe is simple and does not include too many ingredients. This soup is savory and delicious and goes well with white rice.

Sunny days, cool breeze and sleepy streets – Paradise!
So Columbus bank holiday weekend was perfectly uneventful. Perfect because as enjoyable the hustle and bustle of high season can be for color and hype, the sleepy streets of October twinned with glorious weather, can be equally as memorable. The island was far from empty, but there was a more local/ family vibe about the weekend. Not like Easter as this is about the party, but this holiday was about families getting together and enjoying the long weekend weather and having a break together. Most of the groups of main-landers spent their time at the Split – enjoying the water and probably a Belikin beer or two. Some ventured out at night to enjoy I&I and the Oceanside but all enjoying Caye Caulker!! The newest change on the island is the weather … winter is on its way. Tropical winter, which is unlike what most people think of winter .. no snow, no long sleeves or jackets (well sometimes) but just the cool breeze that when combined with sunshine feels like heaven! So roll on November and December – all we need now is for the island to be sprinkled with tourists and our Xmas will truly be here!

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (13 October 2012)
Straight Line 100.00 Each (6 Balls) 17 ­25 ­20 ­70 ­2 ­54­ Y 125.00 Each (17 Balls) 17 ­25 ­20 ­70 ­2 ­54 ­61 ­46 ­68 ­27 ­24 ­71 ­69 ­37 ­73 ­57 ­35­ Inside World 1000.00 Each (22 Balls) 17 ­25 ­20 ­70 ­2 ­54 ­61 ­46 ­68 ­27 ­24 ­71 ­69 ­37 ­73 ­57 ­35 ­56 ­9 ­19 ­75 ­38­ Letter X 750.00 Each (23 Balls) 17 ­25 ­20 ­70 ­2 ­54 ­61 ­46 ­68 ­27 ­24 ­71 ­69 ­37 ­73 ­57 ­35 ­56 ­9 ­19 ­75 ­38 ­63­ H 200.00 Each (35 Balls) 17 ­25 ­20 ­70 ­2 ­54 ­61 ­46 ­68 ­27 ­24 ­71 ­69 ­37 ­73 ­57 ­35 ­56 ­9 ­19 ­75 ­38 ­63 ­53 ­15 ­72 ­64 ­59 ­50 ­21 ­30 ­55 ­67 ­13 ­11­

Belize Consumer Price Index - September 2012
According to the Statistical Institute of Belize, between September 2011 and September 2012, the National Consumer Price Index for Belize increased from 101.5% to 102.0% yielding a point to point inflation rate of 0.5%. This change was mainly because of the high prices in the categories of “Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages” (+0.8%), "Health" (+6.8%), "Recreation and Culture" (+5.0%) and “ Miscellaneous Goods and Service” (+4.1%) as noted in the infographic above. Categories like “Education” (-2.2%) and “Furnishing, Household Equip. and Routine Household Maintenance” (-1.9%) saw a decrease in price making them both more affordable than the other items and services in the consumer’s list. The highest inflation rate was experienced in Orange Walk Town (+2.1%), followed by Dangriga Town (+1.3%) and San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town (+0.9%). The lowest rate was experienced in Belmopan City (-0.8%).

Introducing the "Practical Yoga Workshop" in Belize
Introducing the "Practical Yoga Workshop" Get a TOTAL BODY WORKOUT (about 1.5 HOURS) that allows you to tap into your concentration and meditation skills and provides you with a complete state of relaxation and positive feelings/emotions in the end, allowing your mind, body and spirit to be BALANCED and function as a complete whole!

Channel 7

COLA Lashes out At Guatemala; Elrington Derides "Extremists"
On Friday night you heard Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington speak about a "diplomatic crisis" Belize is facing after a BDF soldier shot and killed Guatemalan Francisco Quinn Yat 10 days ago. He explained that the Guatemalans have issued a 21 day ultimatum to Belize to come up with an explanation of the circumstances surrounding his death. They have also threatened to close the border with Belize and send home Belize's Ambassador, Fred Martinez. As a goodwill gesture, the Government of Belize has offered the family of Quinn Yat what is called a compassionate payment - the sum not yet determined. Quinn-Yat was shot 7 miles within Belizean territory within the Chiquibul Forest by a BDF Sergeant who says he fired multiple warning shots with his M-16 rifle but Quinn Yat kept advancing on him, machete in hand. On Friday, we discussed with Elrington the complex rules of engagement for the BDF in the Chiquibul where danger lurks around every corner. Here's part two of our interview with him:..

Succotz Man Killed In San Pedro
Tonight, the family of 46 year-old Emerito Itza, a resident of Ambergris Caye - formerly of Succutz Village in Cayo, is getting ready to bury him after he succumbed to injuries he sustained in brawl last week Wednesday. The San Pedro sun reports that according to police, Itza and 24 year-old Marwin Lizama were socializing along the beach at the eastern end of Sand Piper Street - shown here in these images from the San Pedro Sun. At around 7p.m., they were attacked by a group of young men, and one of them struck both men in the head with a piece of wood. They ran off before police could respond, and both men were transported to the San Pedro Poly Clinic II for treatment. Itza was later transported to the KHMH because his injuries were more severe. Yesterday, Itza succumbed to those injuries, but no official cause of death has been given. Also, no one has been arrested but Police have questioned several persons. The Sun reports that the other victim, Lizama was released from the San Pedro Polyclinic last week.

Off-duty ASP Foils Armed Robbery In Esperanza, Villagers Have Their Way With Robber
An off duty Assistant Superintendent of Police foiled an armed robbery in Esperanza on Friday night but he got shot in the midsection for it. The officer, ASP Amin August is in a stable condition while one of the culprits is held pending charges after Esperanza Villagers followed the Attorney General's advice and took matters into their own hands. The incident occurred on Friday night just after 10:00 at the Western Poultry Bar and Grocery. A number of patrons were socializing inside when masked and armed men pulled up. The police press officer explained what happened next:.. Raphael Martinez - Police Press Officer "Three persons; one of dark complexion and two clear complexion males all wearing dark clothing and cloth tied over their faces. One was armed with appeared to be a 9mm pistol and one with a machete and the other with a knife. They arrive at the Western Poultry Bar through the back door area and fired a shot above the persons gathered there ordering everybody to the ground. The person who was armed with a knife then held up a 17 year old employee of that establishment and escorted him inside the shop and demanded money. At the same time ASP Amin August was engaged in a struggle with the person who had the firearm and he consequently receives that injury in the abdominal area but not before having extracted the magazine from the firearm."

Well Known Figure Accused Of Shooting Delone
ON Friday, we told you about 30 year-old Delone Vernon, an employee of Youth for the Future, who was shot early that morning. As we reported, Vernon was walking on Ebony Street on his way to work, and when he arrived at the Magazine Road extension, he was approached by 2 men who he recognized. Vernon told police that one of the men took out a gun and handed over to the next man, who then immediately fired a barrage of shots in his direction, hitting him in the lower abdomen, the left lower back and right upper leg. Both men escaped, and Vernon managed to get help from a taxi driver who drove him to the hospital, where he continues to receive treatment. Well, one of the men who police believe were his assailants was 20 year-old Ellis Meighan, a resident of Banak Street. Viewers may recognize Ellis Meighan who - along with his brother, Tyrone - is a regular person of interest to police. Meighan was charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, grievous harm, and use of deadly means of harm, and he was arraigned before Magistrate Aretha Ford today.

And then Who Shot At Meighan?
And while he is accused of being the culprit on Friday, two days earlier, on Wednesday Ellis Meighan was the target. As we reported, Meighan and 17 year old Malik Dixon were in Meighan's vehicle, but when they arrived at the Mopan Street intersection, 2 men, who were standing on the corner, opened fire on the vehicle. Dixon was shot in the right lower back, and was rushed to the KHMH, where he received treatment. Well, police believe that 21 year-old Jeon Peebles was one of the assailants, and as a result, they arrested and charged him with 2 counts of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, dangerous harm, and grievous harm. He was arraigned before Magistrate Aretha Ford today, and remanded to prison until December 6, his next court date.

Horse And Buggy Operators Slam City Hall
This morning, 7News was called out to the Belize Tourism Village where the owner and employees of 4 of the horse and carriage companies were gathered in solidarity to speak to the media about a grievance that they have with the Belize City Council. According to the owners and employees, City Hall issued a stop order against them because they don't have valid trade licenses. The city council refused to accept payment for new licenses because they are not in compliance with several regulations. It's an issue where the owners and operator saying that the council is being unduly harsh with them, stopping them from earning their living. Here's how they explained it: Keith Jones, Owner - Sunset Horse & Buggy "Last Wednesday we received a stop order that all the horse and carriage owners should stop operating out at the tourist village. There are 4 companies that probably have about 40-50 workers working with us."

Mayor: City Bond Not Moribund
And while we had a chance to speak to Mayor Bradley, we asked him about the Municipal Bond. It's been 3 weeks since the bill for the bond was passed by the senate, but the prospectus has still not been launched. So what's the delay? Bradley said that although he can't give a timeline when the bond will be released, it is still very much a viable project with one strategic investor already in negotiations. Mayor Darrell Bradley "It's difficulty to give timeline particularly because at this present moment we are negotiating with one particular institution/investor and that institution/investor has given their requirements as to their own due diligence process and we are trying to satisfy that. If that works successfully that would be a neat process because it means that we would be dealing with one entity - they residents of Belize City get their money - we can forward with the works in terms of our infrastructure project and then they will deal with whatever they have to do in terms of any kind of further resale of the bond to other potential investors.

Ammo Stash In Seine Byte Cemetery
Placencia police found a stash of high powered ammunition stashed in a most unlikely place: the cemetery! The police press officer told us more:.. Raphael Martinez - Police Press Officer "The Placencia police visited Seine Bight cemetery where they got a tip and they search one of the tombs that lead to the discovery of a black plastic container containing 4 empty m-16 magazines and a further search lead to the discovery in a Malher Consume package a total of 110 - 5.56 rounds of ammunition." No one was found nearby so it was labeled as found property.

Mother Of Three Death A Mystery
A 24 year old woman and mother of 3 was found dead on the Riverside in Sittee River Village. Karina Howard was discovered by her boyfriend between 4:30 and 5 on Sunday morning. Information reveals that Howard and her boyfriend had a dispute at a party in the village. Howard left the function but her boyfriend stayed. Later that morning she was found by her boyfriend hanging from a shed located on the riverside in the village. And while police believe that her death was most likely a suicide, her family is thinking differently. They believe that their loved one was murdered. Elizabeth Howard -Grandmother "I got the information from my daughter. My daughter calls me and told me that Karina is dead; they found her hang up in a house. One spell I couldn't believe it, so I went to my son work and I told his boss to please let him come home so that I can talk to him while we were waiting for more news to find out if this is true or not. I told him that the best thing we could do is to call the police station in Dangriga and find out if it's true and they confirm it and they say that they wants someone to come and identify the body."

No-Cha-Ching At Chica's
Tonight Chica's Bar on Mosul Street is 5 dollars short - that's after they were held up by an armed robber on Friday night. According to the owner of the establishment - 38 year old Sandra Mejia - the robber entered the bar around 10:20 Friday night wearing a stocking mask over his head and carrying a small chrome in color handgun. The man money and according to police, Mejia handed the robber five dollars in cash which she had in her possession. The robber then left the bar.

A Judgment "The Chief" Surely Won't LOVE
Tonight, Rene Villanueva Sr. the owner of RSV Media - more well-known as Love FM - is $400,000 in debt because Justice Oswell Legall has ruled that he and his son owe the Development Finance Corporation this money. Viewers may remember that the DFC took out a lawsuit in November 2011, against Rene Sr. and Jr. for over $800,000 over a loan they acted as guarantors for when they took over ownership of a nightclub in San Ignacio. It is a complex chain of events which led the Villanueva's to be put in this position, so tonight; we spoke to Michael Young, one of their attorneys, who represented them in this case. Here's how he explained the issues in the trial, as well as the judgment: Michael Young, Attorney "DFC lent the Villanueva's and their company some years back and the purpose of that was so that they could buy over the Cahal Pech property and that property was in the hands of Rick The Ruler before that and so Villanueva's bought it over with financing from DFC. After sometime Richard Hoare agreed to buy over the property. At that time the Villanueva's were using that premises for business for dances and so they were making money from it. Richard Hoare came in and agreed to buy it over, took possession of the place - all of this done with the agreement of DFC and then as far as the Villanueva's were concern the loan had been taken over by Richard Hoare. But Richard Hoare changed his mind and then left the place and then DFC put the loan back on the Villanueva's and that's where the controversy started."

Family Homeless After House Collapses
Tonight a family of 7 is homeless after their house collapsed with them inside. It happened on Saturday morning just before 7 o'clock on Neal's Penn Road. Home owner, Helen Waller was at home with her children and common-law husband when the cement flooring in the kitchen area of her wooden structure home suddenly collapsed. Voice of: Helen Waller, home owner "This morning I was eating my breakfast and then I just heard a crack and then after that my boyfriend and I just slide down the cement post. My children were sleeping." Monica Bodden "You were just having breakfast when the flooring of your home collapse?" Voice of: Helen Waller, home owner "Yes ma'am." Monica Bodden "So you came tumbling down?" Voice of: Helen Waller, home owner "Rolling down. Five of us, my boyfriend, my brother and my two children were inside at the time."

Channel 5

Succotz resident dies after being beaten on San Pedro
Last Wednesday, Emerito Itza, a former teacher and B.D.F. soldier from Succotz was attacked on the beach in San Pedro where he had moved to earn a living. The paper trail shows that Itza was checked by a doctor in the island and released. It was not until fifteen hours later that he was brought [...]

Police officer shot while averting a robbery in Esperanza
A police officer was wounded in Esperanza, Cayo District, over the weekend. He was trying to avert a robbery when he was shot by one of three robbers. His belt buckle fortunately blocked the full impact of the gunshot and Assistant Superintendent Amin August, is tonight recuperating from the injury. Still, August is the sixth [...]

Cooler heads prevail; tensions with Guatemala die down
Foreign Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington left the country today; we caught up with him at the airport just before he boarded his flight. Going into the weekend, it was reported that tensions were high with Guatemala which was threatening to close the borders and to oust from post, Ambassador Fred Martinez. In short, there was [...]

“Sedi” Elrington says OAS always monitoring situation
Belize will have to complete a report on the incident in a twenty-one day period and as far as we know, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, is yet to receive the file on the shooting that happened well within Belize in the Ceibo Chico area of the Chiquibul. According to Elrington, the [...]

The State of Preparedness for the Referendum
The long-standing territorial dispute between Belize and Guatemala will be the subject of simultaneous referenda to be held on October sixth, 2013. The question of whether or not the matter should be resolved in the International Court of Justice will be posed to the citizenries of both countries, following an education campaign on the purpose [...]

Ellis Meighan charged for Attempted Murder of Y.F.F. Employee
A Youth For the Future employee, thirty year old Delone Vernon was shot just before six a.m. last Friday while on his way to work. According to reports, as Vernon reached the corner of Ebony Street and Magazine Road, two men—one known to him as Ellis Meighan—approached and fired several shots at him; hitting him [...]

Another Aggravated Burglary; guise now a police officer?
Last week we reported on a suspicious aggravated burglary at the home of Central Bank Governor, Glen Ysaguirre on Coney Drive. That has been followed by another similar incident. Silbia Salam reported that she was alone at her Belize City home when a man, who identified himself as a policeman, knocked at the door. She [...]

Over $15,000 stolen from Caye Caulker Water Taxi
There’s more news on the crime blotter. A security guard at the Caye Caulker Water Taxi Terminal is tonight in custody following the robbery of over fifteen thousand dollars worth of items from various stores inside the terminal. According to owner, Jose Marin, sometime between six p.m. on Sunday and five-thirty Monday morning, the terminal [...]

Cotton Tree Resident charged with Attempted Robbery and more…
Thirty-four year old Owen Parham, a resident of Cotton Tree Village, appeared before Magistrate Aretha Ford today in excruciating pain following an incident involving a police officer on Friday when an alleged drug deal went wrong. Parham claims that he was shot when an alleged drug deal with Special Constable James Stuart went sour. Parham [...]

Over $26 Million lost in Guatemalan Excursions; FCD makes recommendations
Three Guatemalans have been killed this year in Belizean territory. The most recent was on October fifth when Francisco Quim Cab was killed in the Chiquibul. After a two year study in the Chiquibul National Park, Friends for Conservation and Development, which co-manages the park, released the dismal reports on the incursions that have been [...]

Belize in danger of being a Failed Pariah State
Some small Caribbean countries are in danger of acquiring the reputation as failed pariah states, according to an editorial in Sunday’s Jamaican Observer. Belize and Grenada are being placed in that category. The article says that there are three reasons for this dubious distinction: the small states have shown to be incapable of successfully performing [...]

Superstar! Who will win the $10,000 Cash Prize?
After the long weekend, it’s time to get back in the groove and head to the Bliss as the semi finals of the Next Superstar, gets going. Tonight the top performers in the both Group A and Group B will be appearing on stage as both divisions merge for the first time. The winner of [...]

Sports Tuesday: Football and Basketball across the Jewel
Week 8 of the PLB Football Competition saw Police united play host to FC San Felipe Barcelona inside the Isidorio Beaton Stadium Saturday night as teams intensify their bid to make the post season – now just 6 outings away. Showing much more urgency, the Police looks to open the scoreboard in the 2nd minute [...]


Police News
Twenty year old Ellis Meighan Jr., who allegedly shot 30 year old Delone Vernon, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in court today. Meighan was also charged with conspiracy to commit murder, grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm. No plea was taken from him becau...

Young Mother Dies: Police Say Suicide - Family Says Foul Play
The family of a young mother of three children strongly suspects that foul play was involved in her death over the long weekend. According to her family, twenty-four year old Karina Howard left Belize City earlier this year to start a new life with her boyfriend, in southern Beli...

Jasmine Alert Program Sends Out First Text Message For Missing Teen
The first text dispatched on Sunday as part of the Jasmine Alert program has to do with a seventeen year old youth who went missing at around one on Sunday morning from his home. Sergeant Dehanne Augustine National Coordinator Jasmine Alert Program “Hugo Mor...

COLA Expresses Concerns Over Belize and Guatemala Relationship
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA has issued a statement regarding their position on three areas regarding Belize-Guatemala Issues. Love News spoke with President of COLA, Giovannie Brackett, who told us about their position on the issue which they refer to as t...

Cabinet Agrees to Hire Trained Attorney In The Prosecution Branch
The government of Belize has announced another step towards addressing strengthening the police’s prosecution of criminal cases. According to a government statement, Cabinet at its regular meeting today approved a proposal to hire a trained attorney to head the police&rsquo...

Former Radio Broadcaster Dies In Road Accident
The RSV Media Center has received news of the passing of former Estereo Amor radio announcer and football commentator, Cesar Emilio Gonzalez. A friend of Gonzalez called the News Center this morning to inform us that Gonzalez was involved in a motorcycle accident in Peten and was...

Canadian Minister of State Presents Belize With Ballistic Equipment
On Friday we reported about Belize benefiting from over two million dollars worth of ballistic equipment donated by Canada. Canadian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Diane Ablonczy was present to deliver the equipment to the Ministry of National Security. According to...

Police News
Thirty year old Office Assistant, Delone Vernon, a resident of Flamboyant Street was hospitalized following a shooting incident on Friday morning. Police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Friday and saw Vernon with apparent gunshot wounds to the lower abdomen, left lo...

Child Almost Shot In Her Bed During A Shoot Out in Orange Walk
The R.S.V News Centre has received reports of a shooting incident in the Village of San Jose Nuevo Palmar in the Orange Walk District. A resident of the village told Love News that various shots rang out around 11:30 last night in an area in the village. It is reported that...

Man Shot In Struggle With A Special Constable
A Belize City man is hospitalized under police guard following a shooting incident yesterday in Ladyville village. According to sources, the thirty three year old man was caught red-handed attempting to break into a house in the Lake Garden area of Ladyville around ten o’cl...

Senior Policeman Critically Injured Following Shoot Out In Cayo
A shooting incident in Esperanza Village in the Cayo District has left a police officer injured. Love News understands that the incident occurred sometime after ten pm last night at a Chinese Store in Esperanza Village. The police officer whom we understand is a high rankin...


San Jose Succotz man succumbs to injuries; family seeks answers
A man from the village of San Jose Zuccotz in the Cayo district has succumbed to injuries he sustained in San Pedro town last week. Emerito Itza, died on Monday at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, five days after he was injured. But the grief-stricken family is raising some serious concerns about the way the [...]

Tour guide publishes novel
A certified Belize Tour Guide has ventured into the area of writing and is now introducing a new book. Manuel Novelo, from Orange Walk Town is the author of the Novel entitled The Sacred Maya, Smoking Shell. The book was published in Florida and printed by BRC Printing in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Novelo told [...]

Benefit concert in aid of cancer stricken dancer planned
The National Institute of Culture and history is hosting a Benefit Dance concert in support of Assistant Artistic Director, Dancer, Choreographer and Board Member of the Belize National Dance Company, Rosita Baltazar who was diagnosed with breast cancer last month. The Dance Concert comes under a new initiative by NICH called Arts Alive and will [...]

Ellis Meighan brought up on charges
Twenty year old Ellis Meighan Jr., who allegedly shot 30 year old Delone Vernon, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in court today. Meighan was also charged with conspiracy to commit murder, grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm. No plea was taken from him because the offences are indictable. Neither [...]

Laborer charged with attempted murder
Twenty-one year old Jeon Peebles, a laborer of Electric Avenue, was charged with two counts of attempted murder when he appeared in court today. Peebles was also charged with dangerous harm, use of deadly harm and grievous harm. No plea was taken because the offences are indictable neither could the court offer him bail because [...]

Youth charged with firearm offences
Twenty-one year old Ludrick Mckay, a laborer of Dean Street was charged with kept firearm and kept ammunition without a gun license when he appeared in court today. Mckay pleaded not guilty to the charges. Magistrate Aretha Ford explained that the court cannot offer him bail because of the nature of the offences. She remanded [...]

Woman’s body found; family wants answers
The family of a young mother of three children strongly suspects that foul play was involved in her death over the long weekend. According to her family, twenty-four year old Karina Howard left Belize City earlier this year to start a new life with her boyfriend, Jason McKenzie, in southern Belize. She last returned three [...]

Belize City house buckles, family now homeless
A mother of four is asking for your help after the structure she called home at 129 Neal Penn Road caved in and came crashing to the ground. The incident happened when the owner, thirty-three year old Helen Waller, was having breakfast sometime after seven that morning. Today Love News visited with her and found [...]

Harvest for children a success
Outreach programs targeting so-called at risk youths have come and gone; but one ground breaking initiative has just completed a successful twin harvest that has organizers brimming with confidence. Organized by Belize Camping Experience, the program takes children and young people from crime-ridden parts of Belize City and introduces them to a new way of [...]


Assistant Superintendent of Police shot duing a late night robbery in Esperanza
A courageous police officer disrupts a late night robbery in Esperanza. On Friday night just after 10pm, Police res... Young Salvadorans celebrate their heritage with dance

Young Salvadorans celebrate their heritage with dance
The Salvadoran Embassy on Saturday celebrated their country and culture for the benefit of Salvadorans living in Be...

Several persons detained following 2 separate shooting in Orange Walk
A number of persons have been detained for questioning following two separate shootings over the weekend in Orange ...

Belize City man hospitalized following attempted murder
A man was hospitalized following an attempt on his life. At 5:50am on Friday, 30 year old Belize City resident Delo...

Potential rape averted by husband's arrival
Police in Belize City investigate an aggravated burglary. Silbia Salam, a domestic worker, reported that on Sunday,...

26 years old shot in buttocks early Saturday morning
A Belize City resident takes a bullet to the butt. Early Saturday morning police visited the KHMH where 26 year old...

Security Guard detained following water taxi terminal burglary
Mr. Jose Marin, Belizean Businessman of Belize City and owner of Caye Caulker Water Taxi Association terminal locat...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Interview with Healing Touch Day Spa in Caye Caulker
As the Spa Owner and Operations Manager of Healing Touch Day Spa, Eva Mcfarlane loves that she can keep up with all of her valued customers and her accomplishments. Eva Mcfarlane Started this business 13 years ago. Eva is from Corozal Town, the north side of Belize where she grew up and then moved to Belize city at the age 17th where she ventured into various professions but soon settle to become a Radio Broadcaster at our then first radio station called Radio Belize in the early 90s. Eva moved to Caye Caulker in 1996, pregnant with her only daughter Anisa Martinez who is now 16 years. During that time she ventured in the restaurant business for 5 years. She had also developed other interests in wellness, aiming at a state of health featuring the harmony of the body, mind and spirit along with beauty care. When I asked Eva what made the big changed from Radio Broadcasting to running a spa, she answered. “My ancestors have a history in Mayan healing, holistic medicine and I grew up around this environment so the transition came naturally. It just happened that way and so was my call for relaxation and meditation and so far I love it.” ” Was a great decision” She jokes. “Happy living in paradise!”

Assistance for the Budget Man
For those who have been to Caye Caulker must have met Charles Coote known as The Budget Man or Charles Tamales. Charles was in the hospital for 2 weeks at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and was diagnosed with Unstable Angina. Unstable angina is a condition in which your heart doesn’t get enough blood flow and oxygen and it may lead to a heart attack. Angina is a type of chest discomfort caused by poor blood flow through the blood vessels (coronary vessels) of the heart muscle. He needs to do 2 test which is a treadmill stress test and most importantly a Coronary Angiography Test. If the tests suggests surgery will be needed then a surgery will be necessary. A team of heart specialists will be coming down from the University of North Carolina for two days who will be doing open heart surgery for children at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital which will be done on October 22nd and October 23rd.


How I spent my Columbus day
Yesterday was Columbus Day also known as Pan American Day and a Belize bank holiday. I decided a half day at work and Estel’s was a good way to celebrate the holiday so I texted Cowboy Doug and Leisa to come out and play and Paul did same for Cindy and Andy. Paul and I had a cart from Pedro’s and went pick up Cindy, Andy, Molly and Kilo at the bridge. Doug and Leisa also busy with work said they would meet us there as soon as they could. We got t Estel’s and found out they too were out enjoying the holiday. We stood there thinking of all the places we could go that would be dog friendly and settled on Wet Willy’s Cantina, texted and Leisa and told them to meet us there. When we got to Wet Willy’s the bartender said sorry drinks only today and I was so ready for their baked mac and cheese and a hamburger :( I could have titled this post always have a plan b, c or d :) We started thinking about where else we could go to eat and Paul even went as far as to call Exotic Caye office only to be told there was no food at Crazy Canucks right now – the lunch gods were not smiling on us. We decided on Wayo’s Beernet, it was close and has a great beach view. They do not serve food there but by the time Doug and Leisa showed up we had worked out a plan and got the bartenders ok to eat panini sandwiches there. Paul ended up getting elected to go from a shady number picking deal between him Andy and Cindy and Cowboy said he would drive. They called us a few minutes later from Geo’s to read the menu and take our orders.

The Best Bars in San Pedro, Belize: 2012 Edition
Just over a year ago, I posted the 2011 edition. Since then I've tested even more bars to make sure I have an opinion about each and every one. From Zaak Bajo (now closed and for rent) to Coco Beach, I've left few stones unturned - even expanding my reach to the north side of Ambergris Caye. See the suffering I endure for my readers? Now, I've been all the way north to Tranquility Bay and Sueno del Mar, I've been all the way south to Rastafarian Bar (is it still open?) and bars in between, from Black & White Bar to Bernie's Sports Lounge. You can read all about many of my visits in previous posts. Here is my definitive list of 2012's Best Bars in San Pedro. Best Place to Drink In The Morning - Estel's By the Sea Great Bloody Mary's, great micheladas, sangrias and a delicious Belizean (or American style) breakfast right on the beach. Open at 6am each day but Tuesday. Here is the menu. Careful not the brush up against it! Best Bar To Feel Like A Local - Barrel Bar Looking for a bar a bit off the beaten path? One where you can hang with local fisherman, tour guides and just folks relaxing? Barrel Bar is your spot. Just north of town and on the lagoon, this bar is one cool spot. Beers are $4bzd all day ($5-6 is the town average), they have a giant iguana mascot eyeballing you from the nearby mangroves and a killer view of the lagoon and the setting sun. You'll love this bar. Hidden Gem Beach Bar - The Squirrels Nest at Mata Rocks Not so much hidden as small and tucked away, the Squirrels Nest is one of my favorite beach bars. One you might just pass by on your way down the beach. Don't. The atmosphere and the view are well worth stopping for.

International Sources

U.S. Rethinks a Drug War After Deaths in Honduras
All joint operations in Honduras are now suspended. Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, expressing the concerns of several Democrats in Congress, is holding up tens of millions of dollars in security assistance, not just because of the planes, but also over suspected human rights abuses by the Honduran police and three shootings in which commandos with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration effectively led raids when they were only supposed to act as advisers. DEA's FAST program began under George W Bush. (Obama has extended it.) FAST stands for Foreign-deployed Advisory Support Team. In plain English, squads of commandos. It operates in Haiti, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Belize. Here's a powerpoint about it.

Belize as a loopholes in Iran Shipping Sanctions
The U.S. and the European Union are looking to close loopholes in sanctions designed to impede Iran's oil exports after it emerged that Tehran is secretly using offshore tax havens to help ship its crude. The National Iranian Tanker Co., the largest oil-vessel operator in Iran, is hiding some of the ownership of tankers it controls right under the nose of the U.S. in Central American tax havens, concealing their real nationality from flag registries. The NITC, which says it was privatized 12 years ago, is considered a government entity by the U.S. Tehran increasingly relies on tankers controlled by NITC to export its oil, which is the lifeline of its embattled economy. An EU ban on insuring Iranian oil shipments—effective since July 1—has forced the vast majority of shippers to stop carrying the country's crude. Earlier this year, the nominal ownership of at least seven NITC tankers was transferred to entities incorporated in the Caribbean tax havens of Belize and the British Virgin Islands—a U.K. dependency—according to the database of the International Maritime Organization and tax-haven and shipping officials. The IMO and other shipping databases, along with the U.S. government and NITC's website, say the ships are still ultimately controlled by the Iranian company. Jocelyn Acosta, who manages the Tanzanian shipping registry where the ships were flagged, confirmed that the seven ships were registered by Belize and BVI companies but said nothing in their application suggested an Iranian connection. "Who the previous owner was, I am not allowed to know," she said.

The following information was released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (Canada): The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), completed her official visit to Central America today following a series of key events that reinforced Canadian efforts to improve security and stability throughout the region. Today, Minister Ablonczy toured the Guatemala-Belize Adjacency Zone, the buffer region established to help reconcile the two countries long-standing territorial dispute. The Minister was accompanied by the Chief Executive Officer of Belizes Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Alexis Rosado, Guatemalas Vice-Minister of External Relations, Carlos Ral Morales, and the OAS Secretary Generals Special Representative for Belize and Guatemala, Ambassador Ral Lago. Our government is committed to working alongside our neighbours throughout the region to improve safety and security for the people who call the Americas home, said Minister Ablonczy. Canada is pleased that Guatemala and Belize are working closely together to resolve the issue of the Adjacency Zone between their two countries. We are confident that a resolution will improve the stability and security of both nations and are pleased to be helping to achieve a peaceful result.

Better bet on Privy Council
Belize's Prime Minister Dean Barrow has made another call for the Caribbean Court of Justice to be fully adopted as the final appellate court by all CARICOM countries. It was not so long ago that Jamaican attorney, Hugh Wildman, took some flak for stating that he believed that judgments coming from the Judicial Committee of Privy Council were far superior to those issued in the Caribbean. Whether we like it or not, there is some truth to what Mr Wildman said; that is if we are to accept what was printed in The Sunday Gleaner dated September 23, 2012. Queen's Counsel Walter Scott is reported to have said that a measure of the quality of the judgments of our Court of Appeal is whether a majority of the decisions are overturned by the Privy Council. Is Mr Scott suggesting as acceptable the Privy Council overturning just under 40 per cent - Scott cited 87 cases between 2001 and 2011 - of the cases brought to it by us? Put another way, our local judges got it wrong 38.89 per cent of the time. The thought that the chances of my getting justice in our local courts is less than two-thirds certain makes me very uncomfortable.

Moon Guidebook Author Offers the Best Reasons to Move to Belize
Moving to another country can be overwhelming, especially when there are visas involved, a currency to adjust to, and a new language to learn. Its because of these reasons that many North Americans find themselves drawn to Belize, a country that boasts more than a tropical climate, beautiful scenery, and multiculturalismit also offers many similarities to daily life in North America. Primarily English-speaking and roughly the size of Massachusetts, Belize has much to offer retirees, students, teachers, and those just looking for a change of pace. Moon Living Abroad in Belize author Victoria Day-Wilson has lived in both Kenya and the UK, but she fell in love with life in Belize and discovered the transition was smoother than she expected when she made the move. Here she offers her top reasons why Belize is one of the easiest countries to relocate to:

Maya Sustainable Farming Highlighted in 2012 Celebrations
How did the ancient Maya feed huge cities with populations of over 150,000 without using the wheel or even having reliable sources of water? These and other questions will be explored during Belize’s Maya 2012 Winter Solstice celebrations to be held at Chaa Creek this December, owner Mick Fleming said today. Mr Fleming, who with his wife Lucy began Chaa Creek as a small farm in the late 1970s and still manages the eco resort’s Maya Organic Farm, which uses traditional Maya agricultural techniques to supply vegetables to the Chaa Creek restaurant and local families, said people are often amazed to learn how productive the ancient Maya were as farmers. “Many people think of the Maya as forest dwelling subsistence farmers, but in actual fact they were astute urban planners who successfully fed huge cities and armies for hundreds of years. When you think of the logistics involved, especially for people who did not have the wheel or draught animals, it’s pretty astounding. “Not far from Chaa Creek, the city of Caracol had some 180,000 people at its peak, and they had no rivers or real water sources other than what they could capture from rain,” Mr Fleming said. Researchers have long wondered how the Maya of Belize successfully farmed on such a large scale for such a long period of time. Paradoxically, while the reasons for the sudden, dramatic collapse of the huge Maya Empire after the ninth century AD are still debated, a disruption in the food chain is now considered to be a likely cause.

American Sugar Now Majority Shareholder of Belize Sugar Industries
American Sugar Refining became the majority shareholder of Belize Sugar Industries (BSI), the chief supplier of Fair Trade-certified sugar globally, the company announced. BSI's previous shareholders, including BSI Employee Holdings Limited, continue to hold the remaining shares, American Sugar said. "The BSI acquisition presented an opportunity to expand our sugar business by acquiring a majority interest in a key supplier of raw and direct consumption sugars to our refineries," said Luis Fernandez, co-president, American Sugar. "We plan to invest in the company and utilize our employees' depth of sugar expertise to expand BSI's operations and efficiencies to increase suppliers of raw sugar and value-added Fair Trade and specialty sugars to our operations to meet consumer demand." BSI owns the only sugar mill in the country of Belize, and the company directly employes nearly 500 people and farms 4,000 acres of cane. The company processes the cane of 6,000 independent growers who farm roughly 55,000 acres, American Sugar said. BSI produces raw sugar, demerara specialty sugars and white sugar. While the white sugar is sold within the domestic market, more than 85 percent of the company's total production is exported as raw sugar to the EU and US markets or as demerara to the UK and Canadian markets.

Caracol Makes 'Less Crowded' List
Cayo's Caracol, the biggest Mayan site in Belize, made it on the top 10 less crowded Mayan sites list. Lamanai is the other Belizean Mayan site that made it. Ca'ana is still the tallest man made structure in Belize. "Once you turn off the main road, it will take you over 2 hours by 4-wheel drive to arrive at Caracol, but VirtualTourist members promise it is worth the trip! Despite being located along the Guatemalan border and about 80 km (50 miles) from the nearest town of San Ignacio, there are 11 causeways into Caracol, signifying the importance of transportation routes throughout the site. Additionally, the excavation data collected in Caracol suggests that the social organization of the settlement included not only elites and specialists living in the urban centres with peasants living on the peripheral, but also a sizable "middle class." There is also evidence of artesian specialization, similar to the guilds found in the European Middle Ages...

October 16, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

The San Pedro Sun

Las Terrazas Resort – Belize’s Leading Resort for 2012
Las Terrazas Resort is pleased to announce that for the second year in a row, we have been named Belize’s Leading Resort at the 2012 World Travel Awards. More than 5,000 companies, destinations and organizations are nominated for these prestigious annual awards, voted on by more than 213,000 industry professionals worldwide. “We are so honored to receive this momentous award from our peers,” says David Hesse, General Manager of Las Terrazas Resort. “We are grateful to our colleagues that they have again honored us for our hard work and effort in making Las Terrazas Belize’s top resort destination.” The World Travel Awards were started in 1994 to encourage the international travel and tourism community to embrace the pursuit of excellence in everything it does – from customer relations to creativity, product innovation and business acumen. The awards and judging are strictly controlled to ensure total fairness. An awards ceremony took place on September 14 at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages and Spa where World Travel Awards founder Graham E. Cooke underlined the depth and quality of the travel and tourism sector across the Caribbean and the Americas. He said “Our winners are also drawn from the breadth of the Caribbean and the Americas, reflecting the strength and depth of the travel and lodging sector in the region.

Emerito Itza succumbs to injuries at the KHMH
San Pedro Police has initiated a murder investigation following the death of a man who was receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). The man, 46 year old Emerito Itza who lived on Ambergris Caye, is originally from Soccutz Village in the Cayo District and was one of two men who were attacked, beaten and left along the beach in San Pedro Town. Police confirmed to the San Pedro Sun that Itza succumbed to his injuries Monday on the morning, October 15th. Initial investigation indicate that both Itza and 24 year old Marwin Lizama were socializing along the beach at about 7PM on Wednesday October 10th at the eastern end of Sandpiper Street when they were attacked by a group of young men. It is alleged that the group of men then hit Itza and Lizama several times in the head with a piece of wood. When police officials responded with a doctor, they observed Itza in an unconscious state.

Misc Belizean Sources

Early1800s Merchant flags of Belize
Private signals of the merchants of Belize

CARICOM's Barrow calls for haste on CCJ adoption
Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow has called for all CARICOM countries to hasten efforts to fully adopt the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as their final appellate court. Prime Minister Barrow, who was guest speaker at the 2012 graduation ceremony of the Norman Law School at the University of the West Indies yesterday evening, says the integrity of the court and its judges cannot be questioned. According to the Belizean head of Government, although the CCJ remains undersubscribed, the regional court has, over its 11 years of existence, handed down judgements of the highest quality. He maintains that the process for appointing judges to the court is robust and impartial and that it would be spurious to believe that politicians could influence the decisions of the court. The Barrow administration fully adopted the CCJ in 2010, becoming the third CARICOM nation to have the court entrenched as its final court of appeal. The other two are Guyana and Barbados. Jamaica has established the CCJ in its original jurisdiction to deal with trade matters. The current Portia Simpson Miller administration has placed legislation before Parliament to have the court established in the island’s appellate jurisdiction.

Road Construction in Santa Elena
The are repaving the double lane road in Santa Elena in preparation for the George Price Highway movement, and the new bridge. It'll sure be easier to get to the Aguada.


Traffic Accident Nearly Turns Deadly, One Man Injured
A traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway almost turned deadly last night when the driver of silver Ford Pickup Truck lost control of the vehicle and overturned several times. When we arrived at the scene of the incident, just before entering the Village of San Pablo, the driver of the vehicle, later identified as Farid Pook, a laborer of San Joaquin Village, had already been transported to the Northern Regional Hospital. CTV3 News understands that Pook was traveling from Orange Walk to Corozal when his rear right tire experienced a blowout causing him to loose control of the vehicle which overturned several times before landing on the right hand side of the highway. We understand that Pook, who sustained several bodily injuries, was flung out of the vehicle. Police are investigating.

Culture Comes Alive At Muffles College
Culture came alive at the Muffles College campus today as the school held their annual Cultural Day. The purpose of the event was to share the importance of preserving our culture. The day saw performances from various cultural groups as well as booths from the National Institute of Cultural and History and the Orange Walk Banquitas House of Culture. In addition, many cultural foods were on display and for sale. Our news team stopped by the school this afternoon and here some highlights. Hipolito Novelo - Reporting In Belize there are 11 cultures making us a country of diverse identities. But every year as the world evolves it becomes more difficult to preserve ones heritage. According to Cesar Ross, the Head of the History Department at the University of Belize and today’s guest speaker at Muffles College annual Cultural Day, technology is affecting the preservation of culture. Cesar Ross, UB Lecturer “We do have the forces of technology and foreign information kind of affecting the culture is develop and that is important for a day like today to revisit and reconnect with the traditions of these culture as such, keep it revive, keep it active in the eyes of our youth and our young.”

Time For the 8th Annual Bi-Pass Criterion
The 8th Annual Bi-Pass Cycling Criterion is taking place this Monday October 15th here in Orange Walk. The event, organized by the Orange Walk Central Sporting Committee in conjunction with the cycling association, will feature four categories. The first one is the tiny mites category which features children ages 10-12 who are not registered cyclists. They will be racing one lap. Next is the Master’s Category which will require riders to race three laps. For the Elite Under-23 Category, participants will need to ride six laps making it the longest race of the event. Over the years the cycling race has attracted hundreds of spectators and according to one of its organizers, Councilor Neri Ramirez, this year is no exception. Councilor Neri Ramirez- Organizer Bi-Pass Cycling Criterion “We have rider riding from all over the country, people are coming from Chetumal Quintana Roo, and this eyar I understand that Mr Manuel Yapor from Merida is coming to be part of this thing, so this cycling is attracting riders from all over the place not only in the country of Belize.”

Harvest For Kids Making A Difference
We are sure that by now you are familiarized with Harvest for Kids- an unorthodox fundraising initiative headed by the Belize Camping Experience. BCE is looking to rescue at risk children from the grasp of gangs and violence in Belize City. Established back in 2006, the organization now has over 1,000 children under their care. In order to keep working with the children, BCE initiated “Harvest for Kids back in February of this year. Twenty Acres of corn were planted in Banana Bank, Cayo, while 21 acres were planted in San Carlos here in Orange Walk. Last weekend the fields at Banana Bank were harvested in 26 minutes using 11 combines and yesterday the fields in San Carlos were harvested. It took 11 combines and ..... well, it’s best we share the remarkable story with you. Her name is 12 year old Maria Alejandra and she is one of the many children who live in the most violent neighbourhoods of Belize City. These 21 acres of corn fields located in the Village of San Carlos were planted for the benefit of the 12 year old and the over 1000 children who are under the care of Belize Camping Experience. The non-governmental organization seeks to make a difference in the lives of these bright young minds and in order to do so, initiated the Harvest for Kids Project. Back in the month of June rows and rows of corn seeds were planted on 21 acres of prime land owned by Henry Fehr and Corny Thiessen. Yesterday, after months of waiting, the corn was ready for harvest and in order to get the job done in a quick and efficient manner, 11 combines were brought in with the assistance of members of the Mennonite community.

P.M Barrow Heads To Jamaica
Prime Minister of Belize, the Honorable Dean Barrow, flew to Jamaica to participate as the guest speaker at Norman Manley Law School’s graduation exercise in Jamaica. Barrow attended Norman Manley Law School and was given a Certificate of Legal Education in 1975. The Prime Minister will return to the country on Monday, 15th October, 2012. During the Prime Minister’s absence, the DPM, Hon. Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Come support Blayd’s Bargain Barn, with many deals $1 – $5.
Come one, come all to Blayd’s Bargain Barn located at Granny Ills house across from Cayeboard Connection on Main Street, Caye Caulker. Everything $1 – $5. Come look for your bargain of the century. Your humble servant, Blayd Vernon Auxillou, will be there to serve you. Use the beachside entrance. We have clothing, linens, shoes, hats, etc. Location – Miss Ilna’s porch. (Proceeds to be used towards the purchase of a new bike, as the old bike has conked out and the boy needs a ride to get to school.) Come support last year’s Spelling Bee champ and buy something. The Bargain Barn will be open all week long, during daylight hours. Hurry before eager Beavers cart all the bargains off.


The Scratch, Win and Donate Game
Wade the Gringo has done it again. Not only has he created with a delicious line of burgers, fries, nuggets, and is helping protect the environment with styrofoam free packaging, he has devised a great way to help raise money for local charities. Its here!!!!!!! WadeTheGringo Burgers and the RoadKill bar are introducing a new, fun way to give back to the community in San Pedro. “The Scratch, Win and Donate Game.” For every specially marked purchase of french Fries, you will receive a Scratch off game piece. Simply scratch off and reveal a cash amount, up to $5. All game pieces are winners. Collect game pieces and turn them in to you favorite participating charity. The charity can then redeem them for CASH. So far Charities include San Pedro Sailing Club and San Pedro Chapter of the Belize Red Cross If you are a charity and would like to participate in this fund raiser contact WadeTheGringo – [email protected]

Super Fun or Super Frenzy? Part Two: Shopping in Chetumal, Mexico
In my last post, I flew to Corozal, hopped the border to Chetumal, checked into the Hotel Noor and visited Walmart, the mall and the (blech) Free Zone. To enter the Free Zone (or the area between the two borders) from the Mexico side, you need to go through Mexican immigration. While there, we decided to check out the Casinos. Negativity alert: I had already been thoroughly depressed by the junk wasteland that is the Corozal Free Zone. Casinos, to me, are some of the most depressing places on earth. The fake party atmosphere, the darkness, the monotonous clinking, shrieking and dinging of slot machines, the smell of cigarettes smoked 25 years ago, the serious "I'm having no fun" expression pasted on everyone's face, the cocktail waitresses in nude stockings...depressing. Where are the fun, hip, young people they show in the ads? we went. I am here to experience the Free Zone for what it is and what it has to offer. We tried the new Princess Casino (above) and the old Princess Casino. I'll pick my favorite: the New Casino. But only because it was Ladies' Night (see what I mean by fake frivolity?)...and they were serving free birthday cake and punch for the ladies. In all, I lost $28USD in the stupid slot machines. And I'm still mad about it. Do you know how much Halloween candy I could have purchased with that money? We headed back through Mexican immigration (stamps, stamps, stamps!) to the hotel. The restaurant at the Hotel Noor was seriously tasty. We had tons of food...both Mexican and more international and it was all delicious. Expensive for Mexico but delicious. We then popped over to Sam's Club to case the joint. We were planning to go back the next day but I'd never been to a Sam's...or Costco for that matter. Another clown! Krista loves Mexican clowns!

Banana Chocolate Cake Empanadas
Now I want to talk about the Banana for a quick second. We all know the Banana, it's a very common fruit; but do we really know the banana? what it's good for, where it came from? Is there any weird cool facts to know about the Banana? Maybe, I looked online for a couple hours and this is what I've found. 1. The Banana Tree isn't actually a tree. Instead it is a Herb and the Banana is the berry, yes that's right you heard's a berry. 2. Alexander the Great came across the Banana first in India around 327 B.C 3. In 2001 Britain recorded 300 injuries related to people slipping on banana peels. 4. Very low in saturated fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It's a good source of Dietery Fiber, Potasium, Vitamin C, Manganese, and Vitamin B6. But, has high sugars.

Belize’s Chaa Creek Announces Maya 2012 Speakers
The Lodge at Chaa Creek, which is hosting Belize’s 2012 Maya Winter Solstice Celebrations in the heartland of the Maya, has released the first line-up of speakers for the series of workshops and lectures that will be part of the weeklong activities centred on December 21 2012. “We are pleased to be able to offer a vibrant and educational round of lectures, seminars and hands-on workshops as part of the Maya 2012 Winter Solstice observances, and have just confirmed some very exciting speakers,” Lucy Fleming, Chaa Creek’s owner and general manager said today. Ms Fleming said that while the entire list of speakers had yet to be finalised, the popular Belizean eco resort has secured some of the world’s leading experts in Maya culture, history, healing, archaeology and cosmology. “We’ve just confirmed that noted Belizean author David Ruiz will be giving a talk on Maya myths, which I’m personally looking forward to. Combined with lectures by Rosita Arvigo, Joe Awe and several other expert speakers we’re more confident than ever that the Chaa Creek Maya Winter Solstice ceremonies will be the world’s most definitive Maya 2012 experience,” she said.

International Sources

New World Oil & Gas making good progress in Belize
New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) said it is making good progress on its first well - the B Crest target in the productive Petén Basin, Northwest Belize. In less than three weeks contractors have drilled down to 3,150 feet and expect to hit the target depth of 7,000 feet “on or before” November 15. The well is targeting what’s called the Cretaceous Y2 interval. And if a discovery is made, field operations are expected to continue through to the year-end and into next year to determine the total potential of any find. An independent report compiled by RPS Energy assigns an un-risked P50 resource (ie a 50 per cent chance of oil or gas being produced) of 92 million barrels of oil to B Crest. It is the smallest of three prospects with a total P50 resource of 329 million barrels and a net present value of US$8.2 billion. New World chief executive William Kelleher said: "Having reduced the geologic risk of our Belizean prospects by 60 per cent through a successful multi stage seismic programme and now commenced drilling, we will be in a position to judge whether we have made an oil discovery by mid November 2012.

Central American, Caribbean performance groups to visit Taiwan
Performance groups from Taiwan's Central American and Caribbean diplomatic allies will soon visit Taiwan on a mission to boost bilateral cultural exchanges, a foreign affairs official said Tuesday. A xylophone group from Guatemala, a dance troupe from St. Lucia and a steel drum band from Belize, among others, will visit Taiwan from Oct. 17 to 28 to perform around Taiwan, said Florencia Hsie, deputy director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs. Invited to increase the Taiwanese people's appreciation for the cultures of the country's diplomatic allies, the groups will perform in Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung and Kaohsiung, Hsie said at a news briefing.

Why Moving to Belize Isn’t as Hard as You’d Think
There’s no doubt that a move abroad is a big step and a life-changing decision, but it can also be a fun adventure full of exciting new possibilities. I’ve lived in many places, including Kenya and the United Kingdom, but when I made the move to Belize in 2006, I discovered there’s no place quite like it. Magnificent tropical fauna, a laid-back lifestyle, and endless outdoor opportunities are just a few reasons why this Central American country is a destination that shouldn’t be overlooked. Living abroad in Belize is not as hard as it may seem. In fact, it’s one of the easiest countries for European and American citizens to relocate to. Here are the top reasons why: 1. No language barriers You won’t need to learn a new language. English is the official language and most of the population speaks it, as it’s compulsory for all children to learn English in school. Spanish is also spoken, but you can definitely get by without it. 2. Familiar laws and government The legal system is based on British Common law, which is the foundation of American law. The government is a democratic parliamentary model. 3. Simple immigration Getting in and out of Belize is easy; there are no hard and fast commitments required and no visa is needed. You only need to renew a “tourist visa” once a month for $25 (USD). After a year, you have the option to become a resident. This gives you the chance to give Belize a test drive without too much red tape or financial commitment.

Belize: Call For Expertise - Campaign Against Oil Drilling On Maya Lands In Southern Belize
Over the years you have supported the work of the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes Association in the areas of land rights security, strengthening of Maya form of governance – Alcaldes and community education. Land rights security is fundamental because it is in our relationship with the land and the environment that we live our identity as Maya people. Our Maya form of governance is the mechanism that facilitates our identity into practical realities on a daily basis as a community and the medium with which we engage with the wider community. Through the Alcaldes, the community is recognized as the fundamental authority for decision making. The success of our partnership over the years has been the result of a dynamic and vibrant alcalde system. The community education strategy has focused on human rights, indigenous rights, constitutional rights and protection under international law and environmental law. This has empowered community members with knowledge on contemporary mechanisms of protection and a result that compliments and adds confidence to the work of the alcaldes. The community education has also focused on transforming the educational institutions where young Maya students are with the vision of building more responsible and accountable leaders and community members.

October 15, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

The October 14th, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Cayo Demonstrates Peacefully, Government Responds Positively
  • Bail Denial For Repeat Offenders Is Nothing New In San Igancio
  • Santa Elena Businessman Robbed And Shot
  • Credit Unions: Founded on Community Service
  • The First Lady of Belize’s Cancer struggle featured in American Way Magazine
  • “The war on crime will not slacken” Prime Minister Dean Barrow
  • Hugo Chávez Wins 4th Term As President of Venuzuela
  • Message From The University Of Belize
  • STAR Humor
  • 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

Doctor Love: Changing Jobs
Loyalty to one's job doesn't mean having to stay if you get better opportunities. According to the Doctor, current bosses may even find a way to keep you!

Editorial: Since when is upholding the law a bad thing?
Last week it was brought to the attention of The San Pedro Sun that a young man who was a visitor to the island had overstayed his tourist visa by more than eight weeks. Apparently the individual went to the San Pedro Immigration office and declared his oversight, claiming that he did not know the immigration laws of Belize and did not realize he needed to renew his visa after the 30-day allotted time. Most of us have heard the old expression “ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law,” and thus Immigration officers promptly detained the person under the said violation. In accordance of due process a judge issued a fine for the violation and after the fine was paid the individual was released. This should be the end of the story…but unfortunately it is just the beginning. Unbelievably there are some people on the island who believe this person was treated unjustly, claiming that the San Pedro Immigration officers have better things to do like rounding up undesirables on the island who are most likely here illegally rather than enforcing immigration laws that are mandated by the country of Belize. And although yes we do have illegal immigrants residing on the island, and yes you do have to give the individual credit for turning himself in, the REAL news story here has been overlooked…the REAL story is that these Immigration officers refused to be persuaded to ignore the violation and acted in accordance of the law, despite being coerced into doing otherwise.

Woofer: Lost Dog
Melody's new dog gets lost, so she puts an ad in the paper. Only, it wasn't quite as effective as she'd like...


Mexico hosts small business expo
In connection with the Regional Small and Medium Enterprise Week 2012 South-Southeast, the Government of Quintana Roo through the Economic Development Secretary and the Economic Secretary will be hosting an event for the entrepreneurial community, micro, small and medium businesses, south-southeast of Mexico next week. As a result, a delegation from Quintana Roo is visiting Belize. Hugo Esquinca is the Director of External Affairs at the University of Quintana Roo and he told us more about the delegation.

Esquinca gave us more detail about the regional fair. Esquinca and the Head of Trade, Tourism and Investment for the Mexican Embassy, Marco Antonio Lopez, explained how Belizean businesses will benefit from participating in the Regional event. The Regional Small and Medium Enterprise week will e held on the 17th, 18th and 19th of October, at the International Business and Convention Center in Chetumal Quintana Roo from 12:00 midday up until 8:00 pm.

Chamber of Commerce hands out Expo awards
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry this morning presented awards to the booth and gate prize winners from this year’s Expo. During this morning’s ceremony, Expo 2012 Coordinator, Vanessa Peyrefitte spoke of the criteria under which the booths were judged to see which one would come out on top. Brand Manager in the Beverage Division at Karl H. Menzies, Marleni Avilez told Love News that the first place award was unexpected for the company. She told us what Karl H. Menzie’s displayed this year at the Expo. Director of Belize Camping Experience, Alexander Perez, told Love News what the organization did this year to grab that second place award. Gate prize winners included third place winner Monica Leal who recieved a Sony HiFi Surround System with accessories from Unicomer Belize Limited, Jennifer Gillet in second place with a night for two at the Radisson Hotel and Marina and first place was won by Ian Pollard who received a roundtrip ticket to anywhere in the U.S.A.

Anglicans gather for annual synod
The Anglican Diocese of Belize is convening in a session of Synod which began today at the ITVET on Freetown Road in Belize City. Love News met with Bishop for the Anglican Diocese of Belize, Bishop Phillip Wright, who enlightened us about the occasion.

Fire guts police substation in Silk Grass village
An early Thursday morning fire in the Stann Creek district caused damages to the Silk Grass police station. Twenty five year old constable Emmerson Castillo who is assigned to the Silk Grass Sub Station reported that around four thirty on Thursday morning while he was in George Town Village, Stann Creek District he received a call informing him that the station was on fire. Upon his arrival at the station Castillo says that he noticed all house hold items and personal belongings were damaged by the fire all to a total value of three thousand, one hundred and twenty dollars. Constable Castillo also reported that someone broke into the lower flat of the station by removing three glass louvers from a window facing south and his black Nankon brand beach cruiser bicycle was stolen. Police investigation continues.

Emergency responders hold open day
We often times only think about the Belize Emergency Response Team when we have a medical emergency or we have to pull aside in traffic to allow them to rush a patient to the hospital. So the work that the small team of Emergency Medical Technicians do each day to save lives often go unnoticed. Today, however, BERT held an open day to educate the public on what its roles and responsibilities are. The team has recently acquired a 24-hour Medical Director in the person of Dr Rigo Montejo, who told Love News that since his commissioning, the performance of the Unit has increased drastically from emergency technicians not administering life-saving medication from the road to the hospital for conditions ranging from fever to heart attacks. Now, however, with his presence, the service can now render those kinds of medications on the scene with his instructions until the patient reaches the hospital. Dr Montejo also told us that while ambulatory services are available throughout the country, BERT services, which is different, has also extended to the Belmopan and Spanish Lookout areas. He said that while the regular government ambulance is outfitted with a driver and a nurse onboard, BERT ambulance have trained drivers and Emergency Medical Technicians who can make contact with him as their Medical Advisor and administer on-the-spot medicine to stabilize patients until they reach the hospital. Today, students who visited the BERT headquarters off Coney Drive observed technicians preparing patients from accidents scenes for transport to the hospital and CPR techniques. BERT is also now preparing to further its services to more areas throughout the country.

Orange Walk credit union celebrates local entreprenuer
Earlier this week the La Inmaculada Credit Union in Orange Walk Town held a short award ceremony and reception to celebrate the success of two micro entrepreneurs in northern Belize who excelled in the first ever CITI Micro entrepreneurship Awards for the Caribbean. The awards were presented in two categories: the Excellence in Microfinance Award which received a cash prize of ten thousand US dollars which was won by Access Financial Services of Jamaica and the Excellence in Micro-entrepreneurship Award which received a cash prize of three thousand US dollars which was presented to Javier Basto of Guinea Grass Village in the Orange Walk District. The awards were presented in Barbados at the end of last month. We find out more about Javier Basto and his business in this feature courtesy of La Inmaculada Credit Union. The CITI Micro entrepreneurship Awards is organized by the CITI Foundation, the Caribbean Microfinance Alliance and the Multilateral Investment Fund.

Cayo demonstration produces quick results
The people’s demonstration in San Ignacio on Thursday has begun to yield positive results. [FS STARTS] Late yesterday afternoon, a promised new vehicle for the San Ignacio police was delivered at the station and received by officer Commanding Superintendent Ralph Moody. A second vehicle to be added to the fleet for the San Ignacio police is expected to be delivered shortly. Vehicles for the police is one of the demands put forward by the people of Cayo as they agitated for something to be done immediately to arrest the growing crime situation in the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. Massive demonstration in front of the administration building on Thursday brought out over a thousand people from all over the country and different walks of life. Following the demonstration, a press release was sent out by the office of the Prime Minister in with Mr. Barrow congratulated and thanks the people of Cayo and across the country who participated in the demonstration. The Prime Minister acknowledged that it remains Government’s primary responsibility to safeguard citizens in Belize. The release goes on to list a number of actions that the Government has immediately undertaken including providing an additional vehicle to the Cayo Police, implementing a sexual offenders registering and monitoring system, putting into use the integrated ballistics identification system, ensure the proper enforcement of the laws governing denial of bail in cases of sexual and other serious offences, fast track efforts to finalize arrangements for an expert in DNA science to be attached to Belize’s national forensics science service to mentor our local analysts and strengthen the police prosecution branch.

Ballistics equipment for Belize from Canada
The conviction rate in Belize, particularly the murder rate, has received major flack for its impotence, but with a handsome and timely donation from the Canadian Government, Belize just might be about to make some inroads on those numbers. Of late, the Cayo community has implored for more stringent penalties for offenders and for a more rigid justice system. Today Canada handed over ballistics equipment worth over two million dollars that can boost the prosecution of cases at the court level pertaining to gun-related offences. Canadian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Diane Ablonczy, was in Belize to deliver the equipment to our Ministry of National Security and she said that the equipment is geared toward just that. Meanwhile, Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, said that to compliment the use of the equipment, the Belize Government will not slacken in its drive to improve the numbers of convictions at the court level. Belizean analysts will who work at the National Forensic Lab in Ladyville will also receive training to operate the equipment through the Canadian Government.

Alleged burglar caught red-handed; shot by Special Constable
A Belize City man is hospitalized under police guard following a shooting incident this morning in Ladyville village. According to sources, the thirty three year old man was caught red-handed attempting to break into a house in the Lake Garden area of Ladyville around ten o’clock this morning. Information to the RSV Media centre indicates that the man, who name we cannot release because he has not yet been charged, was seen by a Special Constable peeping into the window of a home and hiding in the nearby bushes. When the Special Constable approached the man who is of East Indian descent, the suspect reportedly told the officer that he was looking for another place. The Special Constable did not buy the man’s story and proceeded to conduct a search of the man, where he discovered a crow bar in a bag the man was carrying. When the officer told the man that he has to take him to the police station, a struggle ensued, during which time the suspect physically assaulted the Special Constable. The Special Constable managed to pull his licensed firearm and told the suspect to stop the assault; but he continued to assault the officer. That was when the Special Constable fired a shot, hitting the suspect in the leg. That shot did not stop the suspect and he kept on advancing on the officer, who fired a second shot, hitting him again in the leg. When the suspect still did not stop and kept advancing on the Special Constable, a third shot was fired into his leg, which gave the officer the opportunity to subdue the would-be burglar. He was transported via ambulance to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where is remains under police guard, pending charges of attempted burglary and assaulting a Special Constable. The irony of the case is that the same house that the would-be burglar was stalking was not as empty as he though. A twenty year old woman was inside, and when she became aware of the struggle going on outside her window between the Special Constable and the criminal, she called her parents who called the police to respond to the incident. Police investigations continue.

Toledo woman sexually assaulted
A woman from rural Toledo was sexually assaulted – not raped – after she was allegedly drugged. The disturbing incident happened on Wednesday night in San Pedro Columbia village. To protect her identity, the name of the woman cannot be disclosed; but she told police that she was accosted and sexually assaulted by a group of about 4 men. One of the men reportedly accosted the woman inside her house and took her outside where three other men awaited. According to police reports, the woman was gagged and the men proceeded to tie a strap around her and then stripped her naked. They group of men then reportedly touched the woman over her body. The woman says she lost consciousness when one of her attackers sprayed a liquid substance in her mouth. She says when she regained consciousness, her husband was waking her up outside in the drain, where she was still nude. Police say that a medical doctor has certified that the woman was not raped and the authorities say they have one person detained regarding this disturbing incident.

Teacher charged for carnal knowledge
Earlier this week we reported on the disturbing case of another teacher allegedly sexually abusing a school girl. Today, the police announced they have formally arrested and charged thirty two year old Denny Cabanas, a resident of the Salvapan area of Belmopan. Cabanas was charged with two counts of unlawful carnal knowledge. The fourteen year old girl reported to police this week, that in July of this year and on October first, Cabanas had sexual intercourse with her on the school compound in Valley of Peace village.

PM Barrow gets a speaking engagement in Jamaica
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country today to participate as the guest speaker for the graduation exercise at the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica. The Prime Minister is scheduled to return on Monday. During his absence Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development.


The Great 2012 Winter Solstice Celebration
My wife and I don’t travel much these days due to many of our life’s related reasons. To experience winning this contest together would put this on top of any planned event we’ve ever experienced. We’re from Upstate New York and live in the town of Webster. It is a northeast of Rochester and is surrounded on two sides by water. Unlike the names in your area ours of are of Native-American. Irondiquoit Bay is west and Lake Ontario is to the north. Just South of us the area is called The Finger Lakes region with its many fresh water lakes and tributaries. We love to be around water and have love living in these parts of the US, especially the summer months. I have been termed Disabled with arthritis since 1995. My major work prior to that was for six years in the US Navy and twenty years in corporate life as a technician. I met my wife, also a technician, at work and we married in 1979. We have two grown children that we adopted from Korea at four months of age.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there lived a spider named Anansi. Anansi's wife was a very good cook. But always, Anansi loved to taste the food that others in the village made for themselves and for their families. One day, he stopped by Rabbit's house. Rabbit was his good friend. "There are greens in your pot," cried Anansi excitedly. Anansi loved greens. "They are not quite done," said Rabbit. "But they will be soon. Stay and eat with me." "I would love to, Rabbit, but I have some things to do," Anansi said hurriedly. If he waited at Rabbit's house, Rabbit would certainly give him jobs to do. "I know," said Anansi. "I'll spin a web. I'll tie one end around my leg and one end to your pot. When the greens are done, tug on the web, and I'll come running!" Rabbit thought that was a great idea. And so it was done.

International Sources

Small Caribbean States Can't Afford to Follow Greece
SOME small Caribbean countries are in danger of acquiring the reputation as failed pariah states. States are regarded as failed for three reasons: First, they have shown themselves to be incapable of successfully performing the first task of a state, which is to keep law and order within the national borders of their territories. Second, they are incapable of protecting their populations from external aggression and invasion, as is evident in the uncontrolled penetration of transnational crime and drug trafficking. Third, they are not able to achieve self-reliant sustainable economic development. Their foreign policy is usually to seek external assistance from Taiwan to Venezuela, dependent on foreign aid, lobbying for special trade arrangements and pleading for debt cancellation.

Under the Radar: The Territorial Dispute between Guatemala and Belize
The late twentieth century saw a wave of democratic transitions in Latin America and Eastern Europe. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the former Soviet republics became independent states in their own right, while countries in Latin America began to break away from their colonial pasts, as well as from the dictatorships and civil wars that followed independence in the 19th century. While Huntington’s famous ‘third wave’ of democracy saw the emergence of democratic structures in previously autocratic regimes, unresolved territorial claims, border disputes and questions surrounding the relationship between self-determination and sovereignty continue to affect regional security in Latin America today. Guatemala and Belize are two countries that have been embroiled in a territorial dispute over land and maritime boundaries since the 19th century. Guatemala once claimed all of modern-day Belize (which it borders to the Northeast) as its territory, but today restricts its claims to the southern half of the country and its islands. After decades of negotiations between the countries had failed to resolve the dispute, the Organization of American States (OAS) (under whose auspices the negotiations had been held) suggested in 2008 that the case be referred to the International Court of Justice in The Hague for independent arbitration.

October 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

Mayor says there will be public parking included in the Saca Chispas project
Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero has gone on the record to state that the island will have public parking, even if it is not a part of the Saca Chispas project. Mayor Guerrero made the public statement in response to several concerns as a result of a story published in the October 4th issue of The San Pedro Sun. In the story entitled, “Will there be parking space at the Sunset Boardwalk Project?” it was revealed that there was a human error as it relates to a portion of the land that was once the old Saca Chispas football field. The eastern portion of old football field registered as land Parcel 963 originally designated as parking area in the San Pedro Sunset Board Walk and Water Taxi Terminal Project, locally referred to as the Saca Chispas Project, was erroneously registered at the Lands Department in the name of Jeffery Kahn. Appearing on a local radio show on October 5th, Mayor Guerrero and his advisor Claudio Azueta Sr. reiterated precisely what our story reported. It was human error at the Lands Department, which was actually confirmed by our source at the Lands Department. However, Mayor Guerrero reassured residents that works are underway to resolving the issue, which should be a simple matter of assigning a different parcel number to the 0.6 acre parcel in question. The original Parcel 963 measuring 50 feet by 75 feet, will also be assigned to its rightful owner Jeffery Kahn, who bought the parcel via Club Caribbean located on northern Ambergris Caye.

Tropic Air extends service locally and abroad
Tropic Air has announced that they are expanding their services both locally and abroad. In two separate press releases, Tropic Air revealed the newest flight services being offered. Locally, the airline will now offer flights to San Ignacio/Benque Viejo del Carmen while internationally, Tropic Air is introducing direct flights to Cancun, Mexico! Starting December 10th, Tropic Air said that they will be offering daily non-stop passenger as well as cargo services from San Pedro and Belize City and will use the Maya Flats Airstrip, which is conveniently located between San Ignacio and Benque Viejo, and near to many of the major hotels in the area. The release further states that the expansion of the service in Belize “will allow for the growth of tourism in both regions, facilitating easy and quick transfers for visitors and for increased trade between Cayo and the rest of the country.”

Rabies Vaccination campaign in San Pedro
The Ministry of Health is working along with the SAGA Humane Society are on a mass Rabies campaign for San Pedro. Spearheaded by San Pedro Health Inspector Miss Lisa Tillett, the initiative hopes to issue rabies vaccination to some 900 dogs throughout the month of October. The activity comes after a notable increase in reported dog bites through the past months. In addition to the increase in dog bites, Lisa stated that the venturing by developments into unchartered mangrove wetlands, exposing animals such as raccoons, only adds to the threat of rabies infections to both dogs and consequently human beings. The house to house visits started during the first week of October and will continue through the end of the month on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In order to facilitate for pet owners that are not at home during the day but would want their dogs to be vaccinated, Miss Tillett, along with volunteers chose two Saturdays during the month to offer the service at the Central Park.

Misc Belizean Sources

1881 Belizean population: A salad bowl
The census-returns taken this year are probably tolerably near the mark....

...a proprietary proposal from linkedin Belize has the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere – a marine area rich in biodiversity, and a strong attraction for tourists from around the world. Belize’s rainforests also support amazing creatures and are an exciting destination for Belizeans and visitors. For fifty years Belize has been establishing protected areas. The designation of these protected areas has made Belize one of the most environmentally advanced countries in the world, with extensive areas of the national territory now designated as protected areas. A conservation fee of BZ $7.50 paid by visitors to Belize upon their departure and a 20% commission from cruise ship passenger fees are administered by the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT.) PACT has grant money available for Environmental Education and Awareness of these protected areas. In Australia there is the Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium which functions as the National Education Centre for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

VIDEO: Lionfish Hunt, Sponsored Dive
You can assist with our efforts to create awareness of Lionfish reef habitiat destruction by sponsoring a dive.

Torch Run and Ignite the Peace March
The University of Belize, one of the three schools that participated in the Ignite the Peace Initiative, got some pictures of their events. There are some nice ones from the Eternal Flame of Peace Torch Run.

Model Casting Call at SIRH
Rebecca Stirm is having modeling auditions today at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. She is looking for 16 to 30 year olds, that are 5' 7" or taller. More fashion shows are coming soon.

National Sports Fest in Benque
This weekend is the National Sports Fest in Benque. Today they are playing basketball and volleyball. Tomorrow, they are playing football. These are the Cayo elimination tournaments. Good luck!

Ignite the Peace Initiative pictures
The Capital newspaper has some great pictures from the Ignite the Peace Initiative in Columbus Park. "When people are afraid of the government, there is tyranny...when a government is afraid of the people, there is liberty!"


Jalacte resident wants justice for home invasion
A home invasion last month in the rural Toledo village of Jalacte has slipped from the headlines; but the family continues to suffer the effects of the traumatic incident. Our Toledo Correspondent Paul Mahung spoke with the family recently and files this report.

San Pedro man dies in tank explosion
A man from San Pedro town was killed in an explosion on Monday afternoon. The victim has been identified as thirty nine year old Hector Duran. Duran who worked at the Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop in San Pedro town was killed around four forty five yesterday afternoon, when a dive tank he was refilling [...]

Belize observes Postal Day
Today the world is observing World Postal Day and it coincides with World Wellness Day. In Belize, the Postal Service has teamed up with various government departments to hold an open day and a week of activities, which started on Sunday. Belizeans in all six districts can receive free blood pressure, HIV and glucose tests. [...]

Cayo agitation getting results
Residents of San Ignacio and Santa Elena who say they are fed up with crime and violence in their municipalities demonstrated on Monday in Cayo. Hundreds of residents gathered inside the Columbus Park carrying placards and banners expressing their frustration and calling on government to do something to address their concerns. Juliana Guerra was one [...]

Turmoil at Orange Walk high school settles
On Monday Love News reported on a walk-out of teachers and students of Orange Walk Technical High School in that northern municipality. The matter, however heated and ominous it appeared then, seems to have quailed quite a bit over the past twenty-four hours. And it happened when the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, visited the [...]

The Jackpot winners
The numbers two – three – six – eight and twenty three may not have any significance to most people; but for a Belmopan man, it meant a visit from lady luck. Retiree Eduard Wade Sr., won the big lotto jackpot on Saturday and today traveled to Belize City to claim his big payday of [...]

Charges brought against Haitian nationals
Three Haitian nationals have been charged with immigration offences. [VO STARTS] They are Wilner Celeson, Dieuleils Florent and Sillon Oriental. Celeson was charged with the unlawful possession of 6 Haitian passports while Florent was charged with the unlawful possession of four Haitian passports. Oriental was charged with failure to produce a visitor’s permit. Oriental pleaded [...]

Toledo UDP prepares for next elections
General elections are a ways off yet; but one political party has already started the preparations. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Central Bank Governor’s home robbed
The home of the Central Bank Governor Glenford Ysaguirre was robbed on Tuesday afternoon. The Governor was not at home at the time of the incident. Reports are the the maid was accosted and tied up and the house ransacked. Police have not released by official information on the incident.

Charges brought against Haitian nationals
Three Haitian nationals have been charged with immigration offences. [VO STARTS] They are Wilner Celeson, Dieuleils Florent and Sillon Oriental. Celeson was charged with the unlawful possession of 6 Haitian passports while Florent was charged with the unlawful possession of four Haitian passports. Oriental was charged with failure to produce a visitor’s permit. Oriental pleaded [...]

Guatemalan shot dead in the Chiquibul identified
On Monday, police press officer Rafael Martinez gave some basic details about the death of a Guatemalan man inside the Chiquibul National Reserve on Thursday of last week. While the details were basic and did not include the man’s name, the Guatemalan press has been providing more details and putting their own spin on the [...]

Turmoil at Orange Walk high school settles
On Monday Love News reported on a walk-out of teachers and students of Orange Walk Technical High School in that northern municipality. The matter, however heated and ominous it appeared then, seems to have quailed quite a bit over the past twenty-four hours. And it happened when the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, visited the [...]

Government and Unions reach partial agreement on benefits package
After four years of ironing out the rough edges, this afternoon, a partial bargaining agreement was reached between the Government of Belize and the unions that represent the teachers and public officers over allowances. Lead Minister at the Head Table, Patrick Faber, explained what the benefits include. These increases in allowances also include for police [...]

Toledo residents repair broken street
Repairs to a bad section of Front Street in Punta Gorda town are currently being undertaken by a team of volunteers. Our Toledo Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

ICT Road Show starts in Belize City
A forum known as an ICT Roadshow opened today in Belize City. Over the course of the next four days, people from four Districts in Belize will gather to discuss using the latest technological advances in communication. Love News spoke with Dr. Colin Young, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Energy, Science and [...]

Coastal Zone Forum in Belize City
Experts from around the Caribbean and Central America which include Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala, Canada, the United States and Belize are convening at the Princess Hotel and Casino where a three day regional conference to discuss climate change is being hosted by the Belize Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute in partnership with [...]


Belize University students make Anticrime demands
The point of the mass people movement and solidarity stand is to bring the needs of a hurting and frustrated society to bare directly on the back of government. A list of ten demands have been presented and today those demands were very aggressively re-iterated before the throngs assembled in the park. SPEAKER ONE: We are the heart of Belize. We are the youths of the future. We are the future and the change starts with each and every one of us. Do you want peace? Do you want unity? Do you want justice? Well today October 11, 2012, marks that day. Today we move forward. There's no turning back. Today the change has to happen in each and every one of you. The current situation The current situation is Belize is instilling fear and a feeling of insecurity within our society. It is affecting us emotionally, educational achievemants, and with leasure and recreation. We the students of the Western tercery institutions have gathered today in San Ignacio, Cayo, to ignite the peace, to proclaim the eternal flame of peace declaration.

Harvest for kids makes second historic reaping
Harvest for Kids held a second crop reaping, this time in the remote location of San Carlos Lamanai in Orange Walk District. A festive atmosphere pervaded the countryside, as farmers and their families gathered for this monumental occasion. Mayor of Blue Creek, Abe Dyke, opened up in prayer, and children from San Carlos Government School sang the National Anthem. Founder of Harvest for Kids, Alexander Perez, said it was historis as 5 of the eleven combines had steel wheels. Founder of Harvest for Kids, ALEXANDER PEREZ: The steel wheels are combines. There from Shipyard. They're traditional Mennonites where they don't believe in using rubbers, and so that's why you see the steel wheel tyres. That's a big thing to see that these people are responding to the call. When I sat down with them they said to me that they know that these kids need help, and because of that they're going to bring their machines today. Those machines came from an hour away. They're very heavy duty. You don't want to ride on one of those, because your back hurts at the end of the day. I have high expectations. There were lots of prayers asking the Lord for that rain to hold up, because I know last night we had one inch and a half of rain. When we came here it was raining left and right, and I was saying 'Lord, just hold the rain.' To see that the rain was held down, I praise God for that. But to see that the machines are responding from different areas. We have from Shipyard, Indian Church, from Blue Creek, and San Carlos. It makes me excited to see that people care for our children in Belize.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Finga Licking Barbecue
If you are looking for delicious barbecue any time of the week, you don’t need to look further as Otis & Paula are out every day from 10:00 a.m. in front of the Tropics Hotel. Their delicious barbecue are to die for. From Jerked Chicken to grilled pork chops and let me tell you, the pork chops are big. Everything is made fresh and seasoned a day before. So if you are craving for some barbecue, come and check with Otis & Paula!


Quiet Saturday morning
After an early morning trip to the store for brown sugar, I just reconfirmed something, I like ham Johny cakes much better than chicken, which is now almost off my list. Of course hands down the winner is bacon and egg johnny cakes from Ruby’s cafe. Those set off my craving meter so much so that I will usually order 2 and make sure I get my fill even though one is usually enough.You have to get there early for those [usually before 8:00am] or you will be SOL :) El Fogon another great place in town to put on your Ambergris Caye restaurants to do list. They cook all kinds of delicious Belizean recipes over an open fire. Hence the name Fogon meaning hearth, which is used in old fashioned country fire-wood cooking. I have had their conch fritters, pork, stewed beef, stewed chicken, fried chicken, fish and fresh made lime juice.

Shopping in Chetumal, Mexico and the "Free Zone": Super Fun or Super Frenzy?
I am not a great shopper. Perhaps my attention span is too short. But I know people that travel from San Pedro to Chetumal, Mexico with huge empty suitcases and return packed to the gills with groceries and merchandise after a marathon day of shopping all over town. I can usually last about one hour tops. I know things are cheaper but what are they buying? How do they bring it all back? Do they get charged duty? Where exactly are they going? Time to find out. A group of ladies I know had a trip planned. I'm in. There are two basic ways to get to Chetumal from San Pedro. You can hop on the water taxi which takes about an hour and a half (longer if the water is choppy...which it generally is on the way back). Pretty easy and reasonably priced...I do this one quite a bit. (Here is my last trip about a month ago.) Or you can fly from San Pedro to Corozal. More expensive, great views and faster. AND in October, Tropic Air is offering a special on the flight. Only $49bzd each way (with fees it actually works out to about $62bzd). A deal. Let's do it. The flight takes about 20 minutes and the views are pretty cool to me. A few minutes over the sea, you see Cayo Espanto and Blackadore Caye, the island owned by Leonardo DiCaprio and crew. And then you fly over the mainland, most of which is hardly land at all...more very pretty marshland.

International Sources

Why I Love Columbus Day
I love Columbus Day. Each year, I recall the simple song I learned as a child about the man who "discovered" America. I still recall the innocent boy whose imagination was taken by the story of adventure and discovery. In fourteen hundred and ninety two Columbus sailed the ocean blue. On Columbus Day, I reflect on the facts of that fateful discovery. Hispaniola at the time of Columbus' arrival was home to as many as 300,000 people. On seeing the Arawak people Columbus wrote in his journal, "At daybreak great multitudes of men came to the shore, all young and of fine shapes, and very handsome. Their eyes are large and very beautiful." In the same entry he wrote, "It appears to me, that the people are ingenious, and would be good servants and I am of opinion that they would very readily become Christians, as they appear to have no religion." Columbus kidnapped up to 25 people, although only seven or eight survived the journey back to Spain. By 1496, it is estimated that one third of the population had been killed or taken as slaves. In 1592, fewer than 200 Indigenous people remained. By 1555, none survived. I realize every lie and distortion I hold of my country began in that classroom all those years ago.

IMFC Statement by James Michael Flaherty, Minister of Finance, Canada
Tokyo, Japan, October 13, 2012 Statement Prepared for the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance for Canada, on behalf of Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Ireland, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Since the last time we met, the global economic recovery is showing further signs of stress. Economic and financial risks remain very elevated and thus of serious concern to all members of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). We look to the IMF to provide a candid assessment of these risks, and for their guidance in navigating these challenging times. The IMF has identified a number of key risks in its latest global economic and financial outlook. Declines in economic growth and slippage on policy actions are the most pressing risks. Their prescription is clear. At the individual level, more urgent action is needed by European partners to overwhelm the sovereign debt crisis and move steadfastly towards greater integration. Almost as important is the need for the United States to avoid a fiscal cliff. At the global level, medium-term fiscal consolidation and growth-enhancing structural reforms must be pursued in advanced economies, and policy flexibility and efforts to boost domestic demand in emerging markets must be consistent with global rebalancing. The sum of our efforts will be greater than its parts if we are to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced global growth.

Le Belize, paradis touristique et plaque-tournante du trafic de drogue
Au Belize, joyau touristique d'Amérique centrale, vedettes rapides et pistes d'atterrissages clandestines viennent confirmer la transformation progressive de ce petit pays en nouvelle plaque tournante du trafic de drogue vers les Etats-Unis. Cet Etat caribéen rural de 330.000 habitants, frontalier du Mexique et du Guatemala, pâtit de sa situation stratégique et de la faiblesse de ses institutions face à la technologie et aux narco-dollars des trafiquants, selon experts et autorités. "Si (le Belize) n'est pas un pays producteur, nous faisons face à un problème de trafic. C'est un défi, nous entretenons une bonne collaboration avec le Mexique et le Guatemala pour éviter que les cartels s'installent", explique à l'AFP David Henderson, chef de la police du Belize.

Minister Ablonczy Supports Central American Security and Stability During Visit to Belize
The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), completed her official visit to Central America today following a series of key events that reinforced Canadian efforts to improve security and stability throughout the region. Today, Minister Ablonczy toured the Guatemala-Belize Adjacency Zone, the buffer region established to help reconcile the two countries’ long-standing territorial dispute. The Minister was accompanied by the Chief Executive Officer of Belize’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Alexis Rosado, Guatemala’s Vice-Minister of External Relations, Carlos Raúl Morales, and the OAS Secretary General’s Special Representative for Belize and Guatemala, Ambassador Raúl Lago. “Our government is committed to working alongside our neighbours throughout the region to improve safety and security for the people who call the Americas home,” said Minister Ablonczy. “Canada is pleased that Guatemala and Belize are working closely together to resolve the issue of the Adjacency Zone between their two countries. We are confident that a resolution will improve the stability and security of both nations and are pleased to be helping to achieve a peaceful result.” The work of the Organization of American States (OAS) Office in the Adjacency Zone is crucial as it contributes to reducing violence and insecurity, while improving prospects and conditions for effective conflict resolution. Canada recently announced $1 million in additional support for the Organization of American States (OAS) Office in the Adjacency Zone to help it in its work to bring Guatemala and Belize toward a permanent solution.

October 13, 2012

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The San Pedro Sun

Hon. Dean Barrow outlines response to outraged residents of Santa Elena and San Ignacio
The Prime Minister of Belize, the Hon. Dean Barrow, has offered his congratulations and thanks to the thousands of Belizeans from the Cayo District and across the country who participated in the San Ignacio/Santa Elena peaceful protest against crime. The Prime Minister views this latest mass action against the greatest scourge in our country, as a continuation of the same Cayo spirit and resolve that he highlighted in his Independence Day Address. The Prime Minister also acknowledges that it remains Government’s primary responsibility to safeguard citizens in Cayo and all of Belize. He therefore reiterates the commitments he made in his meeting with the leaders of the Solidarity Movement for Justice and Peace. Accordingly, the Government of Belize will:

Follow your Dreams and Anything is Possible – Ronise Rosel Caliz – Belize’s second Female Pilot
What will I be when I grow up? This is a question that as children, many of us spend countless hours pondering. Our role models are often fire fighters, police officers, soldiers, doctors, lawyers and pilots, to name a few. In many cases, we find that children’s gender can influence their career aspirations. More often than not, you would find that a little girl would aspire to become a nurse while boys would aspire to become doctors, and so forth. Many career barriers have been crossed in the country of Belize, and while the world over, the ‘glass ceiling’ has been smashed in this particular field, Belize seems to have just started chipping away. We speak of course, about the flight industry. For years, all of the pilots in our country were men, but then in 1998, 19-year-old Florita Ancona became the first female licensed pilot to hit the Belizean skies. Fourteen years later, we take much pleasure in presenting a bright, dedicated, and motivated young lady who has joined her in a field where only men dared to venture in the past. 27 year old Ronise Rosel Caliz of Punta Gorda Town in the Toledo District is presently the only female pilot in the country and she is employed by Tropic Air. Her love of airplanes drove her to the career of her dreams. She spoke to The San Pedro Sun of her challenging journey to achieve one of her life’s goals.

Ambergris Today

Belize Prime Minister Addresses Demonstrations in Cayo
Message from University of Belize President – Eternal Flame of Peace March Dear Colleagues, Students, Members of the Board of Trustees, and Alumni of the University of Belize The University of Belize recognizes the participation of students, faculty and staff in the “Eternal Flame of Peace March” in honor of the memory of their classmates and friends - Norval Belisle Jr. and Suzenne Martinez. The University of Belize remains concerned about the rise of crime and social breakdown in our society. It will continue to explore ways of addressing these issues as part of its mission to address national development issues and to educate our students to become the leaders of the future. The murders of our students should encourage us all to explore ways to make our communities safer places. We hope that this traumatic period will open new and wide-ranging efforts among members of the University and the wider community to establish avenues of civil debate and discussion about the many challenges posed by the rise of crime and violence. We must also remember the advice offered by Martin Luther King, Jr. - The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.

Tourist Arrivals Continue To Increase in Belize
The year 2012 has continued to exceed expectations for tourist arrivals in Belize. For the month of September, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is proud to announce that the number of tourist arrivals at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) is up by a whopping 30.2% compared to 2011. In comparison to the last ten years, the graph below shows that this is the first time PGIA September arrivals have broken the seven thousand mark. In addition, from the image below, it shows that eight of the last nine months have been record breaking at the PGIA. We can only expect to see this trend continue to grow. Note that the figures below do not reflect the overall overnight arrivals. As soon as the border numbers are in, a follow up press release will be issued. It must be noted that the figures from January to August 2012 show that overnight arrivals continue to increase, exponentially. While the second and third quarters are generally slower for cruise arrivals, it is expected that these numbers will pick up as the slow season winds down.

Misc Belizean Sources

1826: A Bayman by Birth
To the Editor of the Honduras Gazette... also, "Response to a Bayman by Birth"

Street Justice in Belize
Today about 5:00pm I aided and abetted in the administration of some serious street justice on Captain Eiley Street which links the Phillip Goldson Highway with Coney Drive in front of the Flour Mill. While I was talking with my mechanic we saw a dark skinned guy walk up to a clear skinned guy who was walking with a female companion and punch him in the face - the victim fell and we could hear the "Plap" as the victim's head made contact with the recently cemented street

Shyne is shining!
The inability to travel to the U.S. is quickly taking it's toll on his career restart and you can tell he's getting desperate. He's really delusional about his influence, saying that Obama's girls listen to his music and he is the only hope for peace in Chicago and other absurd claims. His endorsement of Romney is purely petty because of his predicament for which he now blames Obama.

A Floral Cocktail from Belize’s Matachica Resort and Spa
This week’s Rum Journal travels to Belize and the Matachica Resort and Spa, for a decidedly floral rum drink. The local abundance in Belize is the inspiration behind this cocktail, as all of the ingredients — hibiscus, watermelon, mango, coconut and rum — are available in the tropical country. The plentiful fresh fruit and flowers of Belize come to life with bright flavors and an even brighter look. One sip, and you’ll feel the white-sand beaches at Matachica calling your name… “MAMBISCUS”

VIDEO: Shark Dive at Tuffy
Featuring guest divers Tamara and Scott with Island Divers Team. Guest divers are advised to "not" touch or handle the sharks unless under the guidance of the divemaster. You can help with our efforts to create awareness of reef conservation and preservation.

VIDEO: Diving With Spotted Eagle Rays
Island Divers Belize, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye

Ignite the Peace Initiative pictures
The Capital newspaper has some great pictures from the Ignite the Peace Initiative in Columbus Park. "When people are afraid of the government, there is tyranny...when a government is afraid of the people, there is liberty!"

Ignite the Peace Coverage
Patrick Jones has been in Cayo all week covering the peaceful demonstrations, a silly attorney general address with group walk out, the Cayo Shutdown, the Eternal Flame of Peace March, the Torch Run, the Ignite the Peace Initiative, and the Purple Movement. Thank you, Patrick Jones, for your outstanding effort to keep the country informed. Here's his video from yesterday: “Thousands of people from virtually all over the nation converged on the Columbus Park in San Ignacio Town for a massive demonstration. Simultaneous with the demonstration was a voluntary twelve hour business shut down of the twin towns starting at 7am. The majority of establishments closed their doors as a show of support for the people of San Ignacio and Santa Elena who are clamoring for justice for murder victims and for something to be done to address the growing crime situation.”

Cayo Shutdown in Solidarity
Pictures from yesterday's shutdown, from a different perspective. You can see all the downtown businesses that shut down in solidarity with the community. Read the comments to see which places didn't. Lets hope the Purple Movement keeps on growing. "CAYO BELIZE SHUT DOWN! Peaceful SOLADARITY in Purple we are!"

Igniting the Peace with the Purple Movement
The Purple Movement kicked off yesterday at the event, and it looks like it will be the impetus for change here in Cayo. It was amazing to see the youth - our future! - taking a stand, and having their voices heard. Around 3000 people gathered around Columbus Park yesterday to 'Ignite the Peace.' It was a peaceful and productive demonstration.

SHJC Ignites the Peace
Sacred Heart Junior College was out in force at the Ignite the Peace Initiative at Columbus Park. Some great signs out there. "We need judicial reform now...start with the incompetent attorney general." Agreed!

Channel 7

Bze-Guat Diplomatic Standoff, Hon. Elrington: "It Is a Crisis"
This week, the news has been dominated by the community outrage in Cayo - culminating in yesterday's shutdown and peaceful demonstration in the San Ignacio Town Center. But, what's gone under the radar is the fact that Belize is facing a diplomatic crisis with its neighbor Guatemala. It stems from the incident a week ago when a BDF Soldier shot a Guatemalan Citizen in the Ceibo Chico area of the Chiquibul. Francisco Quin Yat, a 37 year old Guatemalan farmer from a border village called Monte Los Olivos was killed by a BDF soldier last week Friday. The Soldier's account is that he saw Quin Yat with a machete and a box in his hand and ordered him to stop. Instead he started to advance towards the soldier - who fired 6 warning shots and then retreated. He says Quin Yat continued to advance. Eventually he shot him from a defensive position when the Guatemalan had raised the machete over his head. A Post mortem examination confirmed that he was shot to the neck - and it was an act of self-defence. But it is the third Guatemalan civilian to be killed by the BDF in Belizean territory within a year, and anti-Belize sentiment in that country is high. So much so that at the official level - the Guatemalans have threatened to send home our Ambassador and shut down the border! Today we spoke to foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington about what he agrees is a diplomatic crisis:...

Delone Got Shot
A man was shot in Belize City early this morning. At around six this morning, Delone Vernon was reportedly at the corner of Vernon and Sarstoon streets when a gunman opened fire releasing as many as ten shots. Vernon - who is an employee of Youth For The Future - survived and was taken to the KHMH for emergency surgery. When we checked on him, he was recovering from that surgery. You may remember Vernon because he appeared on an I am Belize Profile in August of last year. He explained that he grew up in a gang environment and turned his life around. He was shot up just one block from that troubled area today - where he explained the gang dynamics:... Delone Vernon "I grew up at the back of WASA where everybody call - most people know the area as PIV from I was like 2 years old. At that time when I was younger that was the whole feel and centre of the gang bang world you would called "Bloods" between PIV and Bakatown. Bakatown was on the side of the civic centre and PIV was behind WASA. Most people from Bakatown would come to hang out at PIV and everybody would meet up at the bridge right where my family resides. We live around the bridge area where all the gang bangers hang out. It's not like something where you didn't want fit in - it's just something where you grew up around - in front it. You go to school and come back and you meet everything the same way."

Special Constable Shoots Robber In Ladyville
Email Print Tonight a 33 year old man is hospitalized at the KHMH with a gunshot wound. But he is also under police guard after allegedly assaulting a police constable. The man was caught red-handed attempting to break into a house in the Lake Garden area in Ladyville. He was seen by a police constable peeping through the window of the house. When the police constable approached the man, he told him that he was looking for a house. After they searched him, the found a crowbar. The special constable says that in an attempt to take the man to the police station, a struggle ensued. That's when the police constable shot him 3 times in the leg. The man was taken to the KHMH pending charges for attempted burglary and assaulting a police officer. At the time of the incident, a 20 year old woman was at home inside the house.

(Former) Teacher Charged After Alleged Sex With Student
Two nights ago, we told you about the 14 year old student from Valley of Peace who reported that a teacher had intercourse with her in the high school sweing room. Well, that teacher - now a former teacher - has been charged. He is Denny Cabanas, a 32 year old of Salvapan Area. He was charged for two counts of Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. He resigned a week before the criminal complaint was made. That is after the school administration cautioned him for breaking the rules by being seen with the minor after school hours.

Remanded For Over 6 Years, Man Gets Off Rape
34 year-old Edward Arthurs, a man who has been on remand for almost 6 years and 4 months, is free tonight, after he was acquitted of rape and theft in the courtroom of Justice Troadio Gonzales today. The complainant, who was 17 year-old at the time, testified in court that in July of 2004, she was walking on Kraal Road, by the Cumberbatch field, and saw Arthurs following her. She said she felt someone grab her from behind, and covered her face with a rag, which caused her to pass out. When she regained consciousness, she realized that she was lying naked on a grave in the Lord Ridge Cemetery, and the accused was also naked on top of her having intercourse with her against her will. She said that struggled with him, and he put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her if she told anyone. After the prosecution represented by Crown Counsel Thalia Meagan Francis, closed their case, Arthurs gave a dock statement in which he said that at the time of the incident, he was in front of a Chinese shop on Queen Charlotte Street.

Canadians Donate High Tech Ballistics Equipment
Today the Canadian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Diane Ablonczy visited Belize to hand over an Integrated Ballistic Identification System - known as IBIS. The handover was made at the National Forensic Science Facility in Ladyville and National Security Minister John Saldivar commented on the value of the IBIS system:.. Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Police "Canada donated this integrated ballistic identification system which is valued at over 2 million dollars which is said to be the most advance ballistic imaging solution in the world today. This will now significantly increase the ability of our law enforcement agencies to make ballistic matches across crime scenes and jurisdictions. We now have the most talked about imaging solution added to our inventory. It is important to underscore the fact that this IBIS system was delivered to us in less than 6 months from the time a commitment was made by the Canadian government. Those of us who know how difficult it is to walked through the bureaucracy and red tape of government will appreciate the short space of time that this donation has taken to arrive at our shores. You have demonstrated by your swift action that not only are you a true partner in the fight against national and transnational crime but that you are serious about playing your role."

Hon. Wilfred On The Fiasco In Cayo
And before going to Ladyville - Ablonczy visited with Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington. That was an important meeting at this juncture - because Guatemala is trying to make an international diplomatic incident over the killing of one of its citizens in Belizean territory. Letting her hear the Belize story first hand was important because Canada is a part of the "Friends of Belize" - nations that are trying to move along the differendum process. But while Elrington seems to have gotten on well with Ablonczy, he made a major gaffe in Cayo on Wednesday night. That's when he hosted a town meeting and incensed the townspeople with his candid remarks. He told them that Cayo parents were not raising their children properly, and that Government did not have money for a forensic lab, and that they, the citizens, had to do their own fundraising - among other things. That prompted a mass walkout - but Elrington says the walkout that most of us saw on LOVE TV didn't happen. Here's his interpretation of the situation:.. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Attorney General "No, that was not what happened. But the reporter who obviously had his own agenda there reported that the people left. I heard him saying that this is the straw that broke the camel's back. It was only one young man who seems to have carried a group people there. When you listen to that whole meeting I was so depressed to tell you the truth."

BERT Does Every Kind Of Emergency
When we hear those ambulances screeching down the road - we don't give much thought to the training and preparation that the crew inside the ambulance must have. But, if you ever have to be ferried in an ambulance, you'll know that every decision that they make can mean the difference between life and death. And that's why BERT- the Belize Emergency Rescue Team held an open day today - to showcase their training and service. Monica Bodden visited and seems to have been impressed:.. Monica Bodden reporting Inside the parking lot at the Belize Emergency Response Team's office was their Open Day - where paramedics held huge displays to showcase what they do on a daily basis. There was a wealth of information offered to the public - and even live demonstrations on how they respond to emergencies of all types.

Police Will Get Their "Whappy" In Triple
Allowances for public officers that had been frozen in September will be paid at the end of this month. Minister of Public Service Charles Gibson called it a "whappy" - a two in one payment. But the police officers of the patrol branch who have been working twelve hour shifts since August are expecting a three in one payment. And if they don't get it, the grumbling that we've been hearing for months could increase to bitter protestation. So we asked the Ministry's CEO and he said they will get what they are owed:.. George Lovell - CEO - Ministry of National Security "The Minister of National Security made the commitment that he will give those at patrol branch an allowance of $100 per month starting with effect August. That allowance is a commitment that will be upheld and so they will receive their $100 per month. In terms of the housing allowance that was mention - there are terms and conditions under which each police officer is employed and if they are entitled to their housing allowance they will get their housing allowance. I am the type of person who believe that whatever you are entitled to you will receive but if you have been receiving something that you are not entitled too likewise I will take it away from you." The housing allowance - for those entitled to it - is another $145.00 dollars.

Looking For The Family Of
Email Print Tonight the KHMH is asking for your help in locating the family of a patient. Emmanuel Espinosa is currently admitted to ward. He was admitted on Thursday and so far no relatives have shown up to the hospital. If any relatives or friends of Espinosa is seeing this, they are asked to call the KHMH at telephone numbers 223-1548 or 2-2-3-5-6-4-8.

It Was A Bountiful Harvest
Last night, we showed you the Harvest for Kids, which the farmers and the Belize Camping Experience held in San Carlos. Now, The Belize Camping Experience has gotten international attention. Today, we spoke to the Director, and he explained the significance: Alexander Perez, Director, Belize Camping Experience "It has been a success. We are so glad that the two harvests are finish. It was lot of work working for a few months already and we are finish and we are very excited because a lot of farmers and people are excited with us that we were able to accomplish such a great harvest. It something that Belize has never seen before and because of that it really gives a lot of encouragement to continue. I just want to say to the people especially the farmers - the agriculture department that helps us out - to the business community that are involve in farming in some way partnered with us. We never had any supporters except for Circle R as a farming company that was supporting us. We would love to invite them to partake with us as Harvest for Kids is coming to a development and it can be done next year. We are looking forward to plant more acres of sugarcane or corn or beans or something. We are looking forward to keep this program going."

The IndigeNOW Belize festival has been in the news because the Football Federation of Belize demanded that they move the venue from the MCC Grounds to protect the football pitch. So, It was moved from the MCC to the ITVET Compound, and now to the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts because of the bad weather. Although there have been issues with the venue, 7News caught up with several of the artists who are slated to perform in Belize's first music festival geared towards music from the indigenous peoples of Belize. Here's what they told us: Gordon Bronitsky, International Consultant - IndigeNOW Belize "I worked with indigenous artist and performers from around the world traditional and contemporary and I am working with NICH to co-produce IndigeNOW Belize - a world indigenous music festival." "It's exciting to be here. Belize is an incredible diverse country and I work with people around the world and this is a chance to create a space where all these people can be heard and seen in one place and I am delighted that it's Belize."

Channel 5

Police Department goes “ballistic” with equipment from Canada
The Canadian government has stepped up to the plate to assist the jewel to solve crime, specifically gun violence, which is presenting a huge challenge to law enforcement. A sophisticated piece of equipment, worth in the range of two million dollars was handed over to the Ministry of National Security today. It is called IBIS, [...]

Youth For the Future employee shot on his way to work
When IBIS becomes operational it will be critical in assisting the police in the solving the following types of crime. An office assistant from Youth For the Future was shot as he made his way to work. Delone Vernon was targeted at about six this morning; his relatives believe they know who shot him. Luckily, [...]

Consumer Price Index shows inflation on the rise
Price inflation is a rise in prices for goods and services. Even though, inflation may seem at first like an invisible cost, it is not; and like an invisible thief, it deprives its victims of purchasing power. The entire nation is a victim of inflation and low income persons are the most affected. The recent [...]

PM Barrow heads to Jamaica to address Norman Manley graduates
Prime Minister Dean Barrow departed earlier today for Jamaica where he will be guest speaker at his alma mater, the Norman Manley Law School. Barrow will be addressing the graduating class of 2012 and will return to Belize on Monday.

Crimestoppers Belize PSA wins international award
A public service announcement that got mixed reviews locally has landed an international award. Commissioned by Crimestoppers Belize, the PSA seeks to highlight the ripple effect of gun violence. The ad won the Best Television Public Service Announcement award at the annual Crimestoppers International training conference in Las Vegas. This station has, over the years, [...]

Belmopan teacher charged with carnal knowledge and resigns
On the heels of the sex scandal that resulted in Pastor Norman Willacey being fired from his post as Principal of Belmopan Baptist High School, another teacher has been arrested in the Capital City. According to police, thirty-two year old Denny Cabanas of the Salvapan Area was arrested and charged with two counts of Unlawful [...]

Rape and robbery charges dropped after 6 years on remand
Not Guilty! That’s the verdict handed down just after two this afternoon in the 2004 case of the rape of a seventeen year old female in Belize City. The victim, now twenty-three years old, claimed that Edward Wilfred Arthurs, a Belize City resident and friend of her brother, who is now twenty-six years old, had [...]

Accused vehicle battery thief faces the courts
Nineteen year old Stephen Flowers, a well known resident of Pinks Alley, avoided prison this evening by meeting bail for theft and damage to property. Flowers, an employee of the Conscious Youth Development Program, is accused of breaking into two vehicles and stealing their batteries. On Wednesday, he allegedly stole a pair of car batteries [...]

Guinea Grass man’s small business gets big recognition
A resident from Guinea Grass Village has received regional recognition for uplifting himself and his family by starting a business. In 2008, Javier Basto started selling plantain chips to his friends and neighbors; he now owns the Basto & Sons product line, which includes cassava chips and churros. The small business made a hundred and [...]

Bert Open Day shows they’re more than just ambulance drivers
With gun violence and other crimes so prevalent on the streets, chances are you may have seen or heard BERT. That’s the Belize Emergency Response Team that responds instantly to victims of violence or patients who need to get to the medical facilities at a flash. BERT hosted an open day at its headquarters today [...]

18,000 visited the Expo, but which business had the best booth?
Expo Belize marketplace is a traditional feature in the September calendar. This year the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry reports that eighteen thousand visitors filed into the ITVET compound for the two day event. While consumers were looking for deals, the BCCI was judging the most impressive booths. The top award went to Karl [...]

Harvest for Kids; 40 Acres of Success for Belize Camping Experience
It was a big week for the Belize Camping Experience. Aside from the recognition for having second best booth at the expo, its Harvest for Kids Project turned out to be a huge success. With the help of generous farmers, the organization harvested a total of forty acres of corn; twenty in Banana Bank on [...]

K.H.M.H. looking for a patient’s family
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is asking the public to assist in locating the family of Emmanuel Espinosa, the patient seen in this picture. Espinosa was admitted to ward this past Thursday. Relatives are asked to call KHMH at 501-223-1548 or 223-5648 as soon as possible.

Belize promoted at the Central American Travel Market 2012
The Central America Travel Market is the largest tourism trade show in this region. It provides the opportunity for tourism service providers from the seven countries in Central America, including Belize, to market themselves to hundreds of wholesalers from across the globe. The event is held annually and is hosted in a different Central American [...]


Rotarian Speaks On The Club Fundraiser and His Participation in Iron Man
Iron Cause for Iron Kids is a fundraiser that the Rotary Club of Belize is carrying out this year for the Dorothy Menzies Childcare Center which is located on the corner of St. Thomas and 19th Street in Belize City. Rotarian Jim Scott, told Love News more about the plans for the ...

Training for Customs and Police Officers Concludes Today
A number of police and custom officers have concluded a training session in Belmopan. Correspondent Fem Cruz spoke with Acting Commandant of the Police Academy, Assistant Superintendent of Police Richard Rosado and filed this report. FEM CRUZ Belmopan Correspondent RS...

World Indigenous Music Festival Set For The Weekend
A first of its kind in Belize world indigenous music festival is set to take place this weekend in Belize City. The IndigeNOWBelize-World Indigenous Music Festival is an initiative of the Belize National Institute of Culture and History, with the active participation of the Beliz...

Prime Minister To Address Graduates of Jamaica Law School
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country today to participate as the guest speaker for the graduation exercise at the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica. The Prime Minister is scheduled to return on Monday. During his absence Deputy Prime Minister Gspar Vega will act as P...

Government Begins Works On Addressing Concerns of Demonstrators
Yesterday a release from the Prime Minister’s office said the Prime Minister congratulates and thanks the people of Cayo and across the country who participated in the demonstration in San Ignacio. The Prime Minister acknowledged that it remains Government’s prima...

Elderly Man Found Dead in Belize City
The body of an elderly man was retrieved from Cairo Street this morning. The man, seventy-four year old Lindon Gillett, also known to his neighbours as “Shaky”, was discovered on Wednesday inside his small wooden shack in an overgrown lot that his relatives say be...

Demonstration Against Unsolved Crimes Takes Place In Cayo
A peaceful demonstration was held today in San Ignacio. Reporter Patrick Jones has the story. PATRICK JONES Senior News Reporter RSV Media Centre “Thousands of people from virtually all over the nation converged on the Columbus Park in San Ignacio Town for ...


Caucus advances empowerment of women in society.
The Belize Women’s Political Caucus is taking a meaningful step toward the greater empowerment of women in society.... Bus operator and drivers physically threatened

Bus operator and drivers physically threatened
Belize City shuttle operator Carlos Lopez of Lopez Shuttle Bus has been operating runs within city limits for the l... Youth of Salvadoran decent celebrate their culture with dance

Youth of Salvadoran decent celebrate their culture with dance
The Embassy of El Salvador is hosting an afternoon of culture and entertainment at the George Price Center. The eve... PG government offices rehabilitated

PG government offices rehabilitated
Government offices in Punta Gorda get a facelift. The rehabilitated Administration building and adjacent Town Hall ...

Home invader enters room through ceiling
A bizarre case of home invasion takes place in San Pedro Columbia. A village resident reported to Punta Gorda polic...

Arson suspected as police station is damaged by fire
Silk Grass Police Station suffers severe burn damage and the caused may be linked to arson. Early Thursday morning ...

PM is Guest Speaker at Jamaican law school.graduation
Prime Minister Dean Barrow departed the country today to participate as the Guest Speaker for this year’s commencem...

Change of venue for Indigenous Music Festival
The National Institute of Culture and History and partners today (Friday) issued a release informing the public tha... Thousands demonstrate against crime and violence

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Electricity on Caye Caulker
Every term we are promised that electricity will be placed on the north side of the island as well as other parts where residential areas are being built. Residents who build where there is no connectivity to electricity have to create their own form of electricity therefore resulting in more expenses. BEL claims to lose money on Caye Caulker because they don’t make enough from the customers to subsidize the cost of the plant. Should the Government of Belize intervene? Some residents think that if the Government would intervene and help the islanders expand the island, it will definitely make a difference with the progress of the island. We have to accept the fact that more tourists are coming to Caye Caulker and if these issues don’t get attended to, we will remain “stuck” and the island will never expand for the betterment of everyone as tourism is what we depend on. A resident who lives at the South Point near the airstrip was hoping to get neighbors to get power to their residential area but BEL had given them a quote of $401,000.00 Belize Dollars for lines to run along the airstrip. If quotations are given at this rate, the island will never develop. Isn’t this the job of the Village Council to push this issue to the Government especially to the Area Representative, for electricity to be placed in areas where it is needed? Yes they might have transferred underwater cables to the other side but is that it?? A plan needs to be done and push this issue so that it can be done and get the progress of the island moving instead of the topic being conversed and publicized around election time, sitting and waiting for something to start.


Child, 10, accomplice to armed robbery…what is Belize coming to??
As citizens in Cayo are taking a stand against violence, the lack of convictions, the removal of the DPP, and crime on a whole, a robbery in Belize City took crime to another higher, jaw-dropping level when a ten-year-old boy assisted an accomplice in robbing a woman at gunpoint on the north side of the city. Elia Juanita Avilez, 34, a Belizean public officer, reported to police that on Tuesday night, at 7:30, she was riding her bicycle on St. Peter Street. As she approached St. Joseph Street, she was approached by a dark-skinned boy of about 10, who was also on a bicycle. She stopped her bicycle, and as she did so, a man came up to her from the opposite direction and showed her a black-colored handgun. The boy then searched Avilez’ pants pocket and stole her cell-phone and $225 in cash. Both the man and the boy then escaped.

Sedi, George, fail to stop Cayo demonstration!
Maximum respect, citizens of Cayo! Citizens of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, and supporters across Belize, have gotten enough of savage murders and the rapes of their young women. They are tired of empty words from politicians, and are prepared to fight for a safer Belize. As they threatened on Monday, October 8, despite the intervention of the Attorney General, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington and National Security CEO, Colonel George Lovell, the businesspeople of the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, firmly supported by citizens who have suffered terribly from the high crime rate and lack of court convictions, closed down businesses today. Not only were businesses closed, but students and teachers of high schools, primary schools and universities closed down their schools in protest of the murdering and raping of female students, especially because they believe that the criminals responsible for such heinous crimes have gone free due to inept police work and the inefficiency of the Director of Public Prosecutions, whose conviction rate, the records show, is abysmally low.

Teacher, 22, molests female student, 14
A male teacher, 22, is presently detained by police pending investigations of carnal knowledge and rape after he allegedly had sex with a girl student, 14, at a school in Valley of Peace Village. The girl told police that the teacher had sex with her twice, and that it happened on July 29 and October 1. Police took the girl to the doctor for an examination, and the doctor found that she had been carnally known. Fellow students told police that the girl and her classmates were doing homework at the Valley of Peace High School when, around 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 1, she told them she was coming back, and they saw their teacher going into a room. Around 6:30 p.m., after she did not return, they began to get worried and went to look for her, and when they went into the sewing room, they found the teacher engaging the girl in sexual intercourse.

Elderly man was decomposing in his hut
Yesterday after 5 p.m., police were called to a residence on Cairo Street after neighbours began suffering the stench of a decomposing body. Police came and found an elderly man dead in a small shack, but reportedly told his neigbours that they could not do anything about the matter, and that the “right people” would come the following morning to remove the body. So, the neighbours suffered through the night, locking their windows and doors against the horrible stench, and at about 10:30 this morning, Thursday, police and the “right people” came, and the decomposing body was removed. Residents say that the man is 73, and they knew him as Louis Longsworth. They said that Longsworth was not a drug addict or a violent person, and that they, the neighbours, gave him food every day.

Smart 13 & Under Mundialito Week 2 results
Sponsor needed for U10 and U12 The MCC Grounds has been very busy on Saturdays lately, as the Smart 13 & Under Mundialito football tournament has completed its second week of games, with all 10 teams [...]

BDFA “W” Cup Week 7 stats, Week 8 goes to Hattieville
The Belize District Football Association (BDFA) “W” Cup featured two games on Sunday, October 7, at the MCC Grounds. In the first game, Belize Bank Ladyville Jaguars and Caye Caulker Island Starz played to a nil-nil [...]

FFB reports on Copa Centroamericana draw and National Team tryouts
The Copa Centroamericana De UNCAF 2013 draw was held last night in Costa Rica. The draw went as follows: Group A – Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Belize; Group B – Honduras, El Salvador, Panama. Belize will [...]

Editorial: Dangerous Game
The ruling faction of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) is playing a propaganda game which is dangerous for Kremandala. Every weekday morning, the PUP leadership has their attack dogs repeating a specific lie which is intended to provoke those volatile elements which surround Kremandala on the Southside of Belize City. That specific lie is that the ruling UDP is paying Kremandala large amounts of money in order for us to support the UDP government. In depressed areas like the Southside, when people think that a specific entity is accumulating large amounts of money, that specific entity becomes a target. At first, the targeting involves requests, but then those requests become demands. Demands involve threats, both implicit and explicit. Kremandala experienced a similar situation in the summer of 2003. The alliance which had been formed between the PUP and Kremandala in late 1993/early1994 ended up damaging Kremandala. The PUP was the much larger, much wealthier partner, there is simply no comparison. When the PUP regained power in August of 1998, there were key Kremandala personalities who openly shifted their loyalty from Partridge Street to the PUP leadership. Belize is a free country: this was their right, and it was their privilege. The problem for Kremandala really began when the PUP won a second term of office in March of 2003. The ruling faction of the PUP included a specific element which then decided that the time had come to break Kremandala, so to speak. The first part of the attack took place immediately after the 2003 general elections. It was against the University of Belize, where the Kremandala chairman had been board chairman from UB’s founding in August of 2000. The second part of the attack took place in the streets around Kremandala. Street elements were told by those Kremandala personalities who had shifted their loyalty to the PUP, that Kremandala was making a lot of money and that they needed to get some of that for themselves.

From The Publisher
The United States presidential elections are less than a month away, and because Belize cable television is dominated by American stations, we Belizeans have been and are being bombarded by all the American political discussions and commentaries. The election of Barack Obama four years ago was an aberration, because of the fact that Barack’s father was an African student from Kenya who married his American white mother while they were both attending university in Hawaii. The United States is the leader of the international system of white supremacy, and for the U.S. to elect a man who is visibly black to their highest office, was an astounding event. The chances are, however, that Obama will not be re-elected to office. The main reason is not because he is black, although there has been a growing backlash of white racism against him during his presidential term. The biggest reason why Barack is in trouble is this: the United States is a militaristic nation, and their war machine, sometimes referred to as their “military-industrial complex,” has major political clout. There are observers who think that America normally has to be making war in order for their economy to be robust, and Obama, a Democrat, has been reducing America’s war-making. Barack has taken the United States out of Iraq, and he is scaling down their war efforts in Afghanistan.

Dear Editor: I read with much gusto your editorial concerning “Please Said Go.” I fully agree with you it’s time Mr. Musa takes a back seat in politics, and not only him, some from this government [...]

Solid thoughts from a young patriotic Belizean
The Editor, Amandala Sir, I refer to the article “From the Publisher” in the October 7, 2012 Amandala issue. He requested the opinion of his readers regarding a statement made by his late uncle who stated that he does not know why the British “noh come tek bak dehn country.” My opinion on what the publisher’s late uncle was saying was that he was very much disappointed with the lack of progress in the country and, by extension, the lack of vision by the leaders of the two major political parties since we became an independent nation (in theory). I am of the opinion that the publisher’s late uncle, and so many of his peers, did not enjoy a lot of the condition under British rule but I opine to say that they could not overlook the fact that under such rule there was order in the way things were done in the colony.

Orange Walk Technical students and teachers in one-day walkout; Ministry intervenes
Students and teachers at Orange Walk Technical High School (OWTHS) staged a walkout from classes earlier this week, charging incompetence and various misbehaviors by the Government-managed school’s principal Elizabeth Muschamp, which resulted in the direct intervention of Minister of Education, Patrick Faber. Before classes began on Monday morning, October 8, a majority of the school’s students and many of its teachers walked out of their classrooms, demanding Principal Muschamp’s immediate removal. The protesting students and teachers told reporters on scene that the principal has been overbearing with them on several issues, including not allowing students living in Orange Walk Town to go home to eat but keeping them on the compound where sufficient space has not been established; acting hostilely and using obscene language around students; unlawfully forcing a student whom she accused of consuming alcohol on Carnival Day, October 8, to withdraw from school (she has been out for a month); failing to keep the schoolyard clean, and most seriously, being unwilling to work with her teaching staff as regards the setting of workloads and class subjects and failing to properly account for the school’s finances.

Belize closer to refinements in Immigration policy and law
Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse told Amandala today that he is awaiting feedback from Solicitor General Cheryl Krusen on proposed amendments to Belize’s immigration policy and laws, which should tighten visa and passport procedures. The move comes in the wake of the report that a wanted Lebanese-American, an alleged Hezbollah terrorist, was able to get a Belize passport after stealing the identity of Mennonite, dead since the 70s. According to Hulse, the amendments are needed to ensure that a person carrying a Belize passport is who they profess to be, and to ensure that persons who obtain Belize visas are “desirable” and not “undesirable.” Hulse had previously signaled that changes would be proposed in the identification requirements for persons seeking Belizean passports.

Fortis moves to block $15 mil SSB investment in BEL
The Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) is facing stern opposition from Fortis Energy International (Belize) Inc., subsidiary of Fortis Inc. of Canada, in its latest attempt to raise an urgent $15 million in financing from the Belize Social Security Board (SSB), which has agreed to invest $10 million in preference shares redeemable in three years at a rate of 5% and $5 million in debentures which would earn 7% annually—much better than what SSB said the earmarked funds are now earning in the commercial banks. Last Thursday, two days before SSB’s investment committee voted on the proposal, Fortis, represented by Eamon Courtenay, SC, had already filed a motion in the Court of Appeal seeking to block BEL’s attempt to raise any new debt and issue any new shares. As a part of its case to challenge the June 2011 nationalization of the BEL, filed against the Government of Belize, Fortis is now seeking an injunction from the Court of Appeal to stop BEL from acquiring the new debentures and issuing the preference shares. The case is slated for hearing sometime next week. Meanwhile, BEL still hopes to proceed with the debenture offering: “We want to release the prospectus and begin the offering before the end of the month,” Rodwell Williams, chairman of BEL, told Amandala today.

Ideas and Opinions – Marijuana V
Let me be clear, I don’t support smoking marijuana because it is against the law and, it is the duty of a citizen to obey the law, even if it has no moral justification. I wouldn’t drink liquor, which I find enjoyable, if it was still against the law. But, I think it is the duty of the citizen to be well-informed on the issue of harmful drugs, in general, and marijuana, in particular because of its prevalent use. I don’t think that you will be well-informed if you rely on Plus TV and local newspaper articles for information. The issue on this subject, which has been before the public these past few weeks, has been decriminalization. There has been strong objection to this proposal in certain quarters but, all the cogent arguments I have seen and heard are against legalization, rather than decriminalization of marijuana use. The proposal is to make marijuana use a lesser offence than a crime punishable by a jail term. How can anyone who understands that habits are formed by young people based on those they associate with, not support decriminalization. The reason you don’t smoke marijuana is because your friends didn’t. It could have been otherwise. You should say, “There but for the grace of God go I.” I am confident that when all the facts are in, the Government of Belize will decriminalize marijuana because, it is the reasonable, the sensible and the right thing to do. But that will not be the end. Then, the real battle, which those who are against decriminalization, might have been fighting before it was joined, will begin. They will have to advance some better arguments than the horror tales they have been telling and saying that marijuana is a “gateway” to harder drugs.

The Reporter

Teachers, students of OW Technical Walk Out
Classes at Orange Walk Technical High School, a government-owned and aided secondary institution in that municipality, were temporarily disrupted this week when a large portion of student body and more than half the teachers walked out of classes at the start of the day on Monday. Things at the school had been brewing for a while between the teachers and students, who have a list of concerns, and Elizabeth Muschamp, the school’s principal who had suspended a student after she claimed that she saw the girl drink the contents from a cup in which a teacher had poured something on Carnival Day in Belize City.

Public Accounts Committee activated
The Belizean people, via the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), will be able to officially scrutinize how well the Government of Belize (GOB) is spending the public funds, PAC Chairman Julius Espat said Tuesday. The P.A.C., the only committee in the House of Representatives that is chaired by the Opposition, is tasked with overseeing how efficiently the government manages its accounts. It also works in conjunction with the Auditor General’s Office. Espat underscored the fact that PAC is also the only House Committee that can have meetings that are open to the public. He explained that according to the government’s legal advisor, Mr. Gian Ghandi, not only can citizens attend meetings but they will also be able to raise relevant questions and concerns that could trigger an audit investigation into how monies are being spent. Espat said, for example, an active Public Accounts Committee could order an investigation to verify whether or not the government is being entirely accurate when it says it can’t afford a certain initiative. Referencing the 2010/2011 Auditor General’s Report, he also noted that the report looked at how money is wasted even on fuel for government vehicles that are often mismanaged or kept for private use. He also discussed the need to look more closely at the amount of monies spent on political contract officers.

Crime protest shuts down twin towns
The effective protest against crime and the closing down of the twin towns of San Ignacio/Santa Elena have caught government’s attention. Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow acceded to protesters’ demands with a six-point action plan to address the scourge of crime and violence, in a press release late on Thursday evening, October 11.. Read More

SSB invests $15 M in BEL
The Belize Social Security Board (SSB) has agreed to take up an offer by the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) to invest $15 million in the company. The Social Security Investment Fund already has substantial investments in Belize Electricity Limited. The investment became official after the SSB directors approved the measure with one abstaining vote on Monday.

CCJ will rule on Justice Awich status in BTL/BEL appeal case
The Belize Court of Appeal will not make any judgements in the BTL/BEL appeal case, until the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) decides if Appeal Justice Samuel Awich should recuse himself from the case.

COLA says No to ICJ referendum
Belize should not allow the resolution of the Belize-Guatemalan territorial dispute to go to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Geovanni Brackett, the president of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), declared at their “State of the Nation” press conference, held at the Belize Institute of Management on Wednesday, October 10. Guatemala’s claim is unfounded and illegal, and Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington has publicly espoused the idea of going to the ICJ, saying Belize stands a very good chance of winning the dispute, but Bracket remains unconvinced. He said COLA is against going to the ICJ, because he believes Belize is in a vulnerable state and has far more to lose as a nation than Guatemala, if the court were not rule in our favor. Bracket cited the “overwhelming number of Guatemalans claiming Belizean citizenship”, saying we have reacted “spinelessly to numerous insults to our territorial integrity by a country that has never been clear on its intentions.”


The Israelis dominate September and October!
Back in November 2009 a visa waiver was signed between Israel and Belize and to this day I am sure that nobody expected the positive effect that it would have for us here in Caye Caulker – and most likely the rest of the tourism areas here in Belize. Since 2009 the numbers of Israeli tourists have increased beyond our wildest dreams. Israelis are excellent travelers, September is their traditional ‘holiday’ month for Israelis but for us it is particularly those that have finished their required military service that pack their bags and want to explore the world, falling for the charm of Caye Caulker!!! Belize has long been seen as ‘too expensive and or difficult to get to’ and therefore Mexico, Guatemala etc have been benefiting from their presence. But, slowly but surely, each year more and more have discovered our island and now their highly efficient communication system that runs through those that travel through Central America, have firmly put Caye Caulker on the map! Israelis seem exceedingly open to the new cultures that they are exploring whilst still traveling in groups together. They love the laid back vibe and of course the beauty of our island and they have been very much supportive of us at Raggamuffin so we must also believe that they love quality snorkeling too!! To be truthful, the Israeli’s have saved the day – without them it must be unanimous in saying that September and indeed October would be a desert with regard to tourists and, on the back of the fact that the Italian traffic this August was sadly much less than expected, we welcome them with open arms!!

Settling in the City of Belmopan
Belmopan is one of the most exclusive areas in the Cayo district real estate area of Belize. This city sits at approximately the center of the country and is well known for its highland areas. Around Belmopan, you find other small friendly communities like Las Flores, Maya Mopan, Salvapan, San Martin just to name a few. Belmopan was originally a development idea of the father of the nation -- George Cadle Price. His main intention was to make Belmopan the city of Belize; the main reasons being because of the highland areas found in this specific location -- he was successful in his vision. Belmopan is made up of a commercial and residential community. The commercial area is strategically located to provide its people with access to food products and convenient products essential to survival. The residential area is where everyone else resides to build their homes. Belmopan has had no major development in its time of existence but in time it has slowly developed and has been accepted as the capital of this nation because of its high potential for business. And it continues to develop slowly. Today, Belmopan City is home to almost 20,000+ people and it is nicknamed the "Garden City". What a perfect name to be tagged with especially when this city is blessed with a healthy and prosperous green environment. If you are looking to buy a home in Belmopan City or its surrounding areas, you surely need to know a little of what is available here. Single family homes in this city start as low as $60,000 and go well into the hundred thousands. You might find a few condominium developments in the city or surrounding areas that offer low cost of housing with prices starting at $500 for each apartment and going well into the thousands; these opportunities are numerous. Life in the city is all about living good and knowing how to invest wisely. Renting is one of the most seek-out services in the city and its high demand has made it an opportunity for entrepreneurs to go into the renting business.

International Sources

VIDEO: Cayman Islands Dolphin Named 'Stinky' Engaging In 'High-Risk Behavior'
Stinky the dolphin is lonely, and he's getting way too frisky with humans. The lone male bottlenose dolphin has been cavorting for months in waters off the Cayman Islands, a rare case of a solo dolphin far from a pod of his fellows. The sight of the dolphin has delighted many boaters, swimmers and divers, but his antics dismay scientists who traveled to the archipelago to study him. They say Stinky is a danger to humans, and they also worry the dolphin could hurt himself. "He spent a fair amount of time engaging in very high-risk behavior," said Laura Engleby, a marine mammal branch chief with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "There is concern for his safety." She noted the dolphin has a fondness for boat propellers in motion, and that he also likes to rub against anchors, channel markers and mooring buoys, cutting himself in the process. Scientists estimate he is roughly 20 years old given his worn-down teeth and aging scars.

Former Bad Boy Rapper Shyne Supports Romney
Former Bad Boy rapper Shyne has made his way back into the news, offering his view on this year’s election, despite having been deported from the country three years ago. He expressed support of GOP candidate Mitt Romney during an interview with MTV but offered even harsher criticism for President Obama, believing that the president could have helped with his struggle to remain in the United States. Shyne was convicted of attempted murder, assault and reckless endangerment as a part of the now infamous Club New York shooting involving P.Diddy and other members of the Bad Boy entourage in 1999. The Belize-born rapper was deported in October 2009 after serving eight years in prison. In exile, Shyne converted to Judaism while in Israel.

CRFM and ANCORS, Australia sign 5-year MoU
Fourteen (14) Caribbean fisheries professionals from Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Suriname, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent & the Grenadines today concluded the first Fisheries Law and Management Training Workshop, developed jointly for them by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Secretariat and the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources & Security (ANCORS), a leading institution based at the University of Wollongong in Australia. The 5-week training workshop, which began on September 10, 2012, covered several subjects including, sustainable fisheries management, law of the sea, international fisheries, trade, marine environmental law, and monitoring, control and surveillance to eradicate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, among other things.

USA considers listing Queen Conch as threatened or endangered
A United States petition submitted this March to list the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) as a threatened or endangered species, the status of the implementation of a common fisheries policy for CARICOM, and the joint action plan and Belize Declaration signed this September in the historic joint meeting of Central American and Caribbean fisheries Ministers will be priority items on the agenda of the upcoming 3rd Special Meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM). The special forum, to be chaired by The Bahamas, is being held to coincide with the Caribbean Week of Agriculture, which will be observed from October 14 to 20, under the theme: “Celebrating Youth and Gender in Caribbean Agriculture – Each Endeavoring, All Achieving.”

2 sugar companies expand into Belize
Two Palm Beach County sugar companies have expanded into Belize in Central America, making it the sixth country outside the U.S. where they own mills and refineries. In a deal that closed last week for a reported $65 million, Florida Crystals Corp., of West Palm Beach, and the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, of Belle Glade, acquired Belize Sugar Industries Ltd. Florida Crystals and the Cooperative jointly own American Sugar Refining Inc., which is the entity that acquired the Belize sugar firm. American Sugar is the world's largest cane sugar refining company, producing 6.5 million tons of sugar a year. Florida Crystals, which owns 64 percent of American Sugar, farms and owns and operates three sugar mills and two refineries in western Palm Beach County and the Dominican Republic.

CARICOM mainland territories key to regional food security
With approximately 16 million inhabitants in its 15 member states, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has an annual food import bill of more than US$4 billion. And with the exception of Guyana, Belize, and St Kitts and Nevis in the English-speaking Caribbean, no country has the required land mass to achieve 100 percent food security, according to a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization study. Against this backdrop, Executive Director of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) Dr Arlington Chesney has highlighted the opportunities the Caribbean's mainland territories such as Guyana, Suriname and Belize offer in the matter of food security. "The region has set itself a target of 25 percent food and nutrition security by 2015. But we can't do that as individual countries," the leading Caribbean agriculturalist said. Dr Chesney’s comments followed a partnership arrangement between Guyana and Trinidad for the creation of a food-security facility with hopes of stimulating agricultural and livestock production, reducing dependence on foreign food imports, and stimulating, regionally, the drive for food security in CARICOM.

Learn about the Maya civilisation at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (Quebec)
The Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau (Quebec) is currently offering varied activities, such as conferences, workshops and film screenings: Anabel Ford, director of the MesoAmerican Research Center, is to give a conference about her latest pioneer work in Belize and Guatemala, regarding durability standards, on 18 October 2012 7pm at the theatre. Conferences about the Maya calendar will be held on 25 October. Workshops about Maya mathematics and the study of the Maya time measuring system will take place on 27 October, from 11 am to 3 pm. The children’s museum also offers activities to help discover the Maya civilization, through paper workshops, held every Thursday through 31 Octobre (from 9:30 am to 4 pm, and until 7pm at the Studio on Thursdays). The programming of the museum’s theatre, accessible to all, features videos Flight of the Butterflies, To the Arctic 3D and Mystery of the Maya.

Cost of Living in Belize
The cost of living in Belize is lower than back home in the States or Canada Though Belize isn’t the cheapest country in the Western Hemisphere, it takes less to live well in Belize than in most places in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. Here’s a sample monthly budget for two people: Rent (an unfurnished house): $400 Utilities: · Electric (without air conditioning): $80 · Water: $25 · Butane gas (for cooking and bathing): $25 · Cable TV (100 Channels): $20 · Internet with landline ($500 deposit plus installation): $80 Groceries: $150 to $300 Entertainment (dining out and other activities): $200 to $400 Household help: · Maid (about 50 hours a month): $130 · Gardener (about 50 hours a month): $130 Incidentals: $175 Monthly total: $1,415 to $1,765

Top 10 less-crowded Mayan ruins and sites
Heard about the end of the world in December 2012 as predicted by the Mayans? The members and editors of online travel consultants VirtualTourist ( have compiled a list of the "Top Ten Less Crowded Mayan Ruins and Sites" to help you explore the Mayan culture, but keep you off the heavily beaten path to Chichen Itza and Tikal before the impending doom. Reuters has not endorsed this list: 8. Lamanai, Orange Walk, Belize Lamanai, the Mayan word for "submerged crocodile," was aptly named. Not only do crocodiles appear in the site's effigies and decorations, but you are likely to see crocodiles while trying to get there. In order to reach the site, you must take a small boat up the winding New River through the tropical rainforest of central Belize. Lamanai was one of the longest continuously occupied cities, starting in 500 B.C. to 1675 A.D. or even later, probably due to its strategic location on the trade route of the New River. The most notable among this site's ruins is the Mask Temple at the northern end of the complex. 9. Caracol, Cayo District, Belize Once you turn off the main road, it will take you over 2 hours by 4-wheel drive to arrive at Caracol, but VirtualTourist members promise it is worth the trip! Despite being located along the Guatemalan border and about 80 km (50 miles) from the nearest town of San Ignacio, there are 11 causeways into Caracol, signifying the importance of transportation routes throughout the site. Additionally, the excavation data collected in Caracol suggests that the social organization of the settlement included not only elites and specialists living in the urban centres with peasants living on the peripheral, but also a sizable "middle class." There is also evidence of artesian specialization, similar to the guilds found in the European Middle Ages, making this site a very unique find and of great anthropological significance.

October 12, 2012

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

The San Pedro Sun

Prime Minister Dean Barrow speaks on Cayo’s peaceful protest against crime
The Prime Minister of Belize, the Hon. Dean Barrow, has offered his congratulations and thanks to the thousands of Belizeans from the Cayo District and across the country who participated in the San Ignacio/Santa Elena peaceful protest against crime. The Prime Minister views this latest mass action against the greatest scourge in our country, as a continuation of the same Cayo spirit and resolve that he highlighted in his Independence Day Address. The Prime Minister also acknowledges that it remains Government’s primary responsibility to safeguard citizens in Cayo and all of Belize. He therefore reiterates the commitments he made in his meeting with the leaders of the Solidarity Movement for Justice and Peace. Accordingly, the Government of Belize will:

Assault of 2 men on the beach leaves 1 critically injured
Sometime around 8PM on Wednesday, October 10, 2012, San Pedro Police and PolyClinic Doctors were summoned to an area just off the beach south of the San Juan Roundabout where they discovered two injured males. The doctor on duty noticed that they were suffering abrasions to the head, and asked that they be taken to the clinic for further treatment. 24-year-old Marwin Lizama and a 46-year-old (whose name is being withheld until family members are notified) were treated and released after no open wounds were observed. The 46-year-old had a swollen right eye along with his other injuries, and seemed to be the most seriously wounded. However, he was released into the care of a friend, with the doctor making frequent checks on him throughout the night.

SPTC meets with San Mateo residents about future infrastructure plans
In a meeting with San Mateo residents on Saturday October 6th, Mayor of San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), Mayor Daniel Guerrero along with representatives from the Public Utilities Commission discussed the plans for proper infrastructure within the San Mateo subdivision. In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, Mayor Guerrero assured that San Mateo will have proper infrastructure prior to the ending of his administration’s term in office. “The council has a very aggressive campaign on roads and streets and we have not abandoned San Mateo. We have San Mateo at heart, just like all the other sub-divisions. And we are committed to bringing its residents proper streets – and infrastructure. The main thing for the council right now is to open the streets with hardcore and that, we are doing. Once we’ve finished the streets, Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) will come in and put electricity and once we have the poles, it’s easy to put cable and telephone in. The next one is the water – water isn’t that fast but we are looking into that. We committed to having water and electricity installed prior to the ending of our term in office. However, sewer is another issue. While we would certainly love to have the sewer system extended to San Mateo and all other parts of the island – we must be realistic. We are working with our resources to get all that we can for San Mateo.”

2 Belizeans and 1 Mexican arrested and charged for Drug Trafficking
On October 7, 2012 at about 6:00PM, acting on information received, Police visited C & B’s Bar on Baeza’s Layout, Corozal Town, where searches were conducted on a Silver 2005 Ford Eco Sport SUV L/P UUA 79-54 in the presence of the driver of the said vehicle along with two other passengers. The search resulted in the discovery of a black plastic bag which contained six small transparent bags suspected to contain cocaine. As a result, all three persons were detained and escorted to the Corozal Police Station where further searches were conducted on the vehicle, leading to the discovery of another black plastic bag under the passenger seat containing twelve small transparent plastic bags containing suspected cocaine. Both bags were weighed in the presence of the three persons namely Pedro Alfonso Betancourt Reed, age 52, Mexican of Chetumal City, Alfonso Iglesias Jr, age 51, Belizean tailor of Consejo Road, Corozal Town, and Jose Nuñez, age 51, Belizean Businessman of San Pedro Town, Belize District. One bag amounted to 159 grams and the other to 136 grams. Both bags were sealed in their presence and labeled as exhibit.

Ambergris Today

Cancer Struggle of Belize's First Lady Featured in American Way Magazine
Belize City, October 4th 2012-The first lady of our nation, Kim Simplis Barrow, is once again featured in the October issue of American way, American Airlines’ popular inflight magazine. The piece chronicles Barrow’s battle with stage three breast cancer, in an article dubbed, “The Fighter”. Click here to learn more about this article. Across the world, October is celebrated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and as a tribute to millions who have fought the disease, the magazine highlights Mrs. Barrow’s resiliency. Editor of the magazine, Adam Pitluk, writes, “Kim Simplis Barrow is our friend.” Undoubtedly, it is a description that every Belizean can attest to. Whilst she has been a champion for the Belizean people, Kim’s truest test came when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Iron Man Takes the Challenge for Iron Kids
When does 2+2=8? When the Rotary Club of Belize matches all funds donated to the Iron Cause for Iron Kids Program. Rotarian Jim Scott has been in serious training for the 2012 Iron Man Triathlon in Cozumel, Mexico, held on his 50th birthday, November 25, 2012. Together with Rotary Belize, Jim is raising donations for the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center. Please help Jim raise the funds to bring urgently needed improvements for the children. Kindly take donations to Scotia Bank, account # 9132885; making non-cash deposits out to the Rotary Club of Belize; Reference: Iron Cause. For more info;

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize's Clown Ozzy off to Mexico for convention
Belize's very own Clown OZZY is planning to go to a Clown Convention in Mexico City from the 19th to the 26 of this month... there are two things he wishes for; One is for your Continued support ...And two is for your Moral support. Last year OZZY represented us proudly under the Belizean Flag. Take a look at the site and you will see him. We ask that you please make this possible by making a small donation. He will always have Belizean Kids and Adults alike laughing through the ages. Contact OZZY at 6287999. "Thanks in Advance" - OZZY

Ignite the Peace Demonstration
The Ignite the Peace demonstration was peaceful, and 1000's showed up in solidarity at Columbus Park.

Cayo Solidarity Shutdown
Most stores are closed downtown. Patrick Jones was in town early to cover today's stories. "The shutdown of San Ignacio and Santa Elena has begun."

Oxtails is definitely a Caribbean dish. Oxtail is exactly what the name says "the tail of the ox or cow." In this video my husband Joe shows us how he cooks this dish. The beef was tender after it was done and the gravy was thick and spicy. We served it over white rice, but it can be served with Belizean Rice and Beans too.

Peace rally against crime in Cayo, Belize [VIDEO]
The peace rally against crime in San Ignacio, Cayo District. We have the live streaming here.

We now offer Cartoonizing Services
I am proud to announce that iBelmopan is now offering a cartoonizing service for all Belizeans. Above is a cartoonized photo of a couple that we did. If you are interested in our cartoonizing services visit our Cartoonize Me section on our blog for more information.

Belize Mega Bingo Result For (10 October 2012)
Y 125.00 Each (12 Balls) 37 ­68 ­52 ­50 ­34 ­65 ­1 ­49 ­2 ­33 ­67 ­24­ Straight Line 100.00 Each (12 Balls) 37 ­68 ­52 ­50 ­34 ­65 ­1 ­49 ­2 ­33 ­67 ­24­ Letter X 750.00 Each (25 Balls) 37 ­68 ­52 ­50 ­34 ­65 ­1 ­49 ­2 ­33 ­67 ­24 ­58 ­6 ­48 ­71 ­18 ­61 ­53 ­69 ­72 ­20 ­44 ­11 ­26­ Inside World 1000.00 Each (25 Balls) 37 ­68 ­52 ­50 ­34 ­65 ­1 ­49 ­2 ­33 ­67 ­24 ­58 ­6 ­48 ­71 ­18 ­61 ­53 ­69 ­72 ­20 ­44 ­11 ­26­

Channel 7

Cayo Community Unites! Will Criminals Take Heed?
Today, businesses and schools in the twin towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio were shut down and hundreds of citizens came out to participate in the Solidarity Peace Movement. It was a peaceful but purposeful protest against crime - because while everyone knew that the strong showing wouldn't magically end crime - it is clear that the community wanted to be somehow engaged in something meaningful and cathartic. Our coverage starts in Belmopan - where students at the University of Belize remembered their fellow students. Jules Vasquez has the story:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This morning at 8:00 UB Students gathered at the main campus in Belmopan to remember their dead, Norval Belisle and Suzenne Martinez. The spirit was strong and there was prayerful reflection and a symbol of justice from Norval Belisle's mother. Norval Belisle's mom "I light this torch for justice and peace because in this country we have none."

GOB To Cayo: Coming As Fast As We Can!
And that pickup truck is part of the official response to the concerns taken to the Prime Minister by the Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association. They submitted a seven-point list of demands to the Prime Minister on Monday. These were taken to Cabinet on Tuesday and last night the CEO in the Ministry of National Security was supposed to present a progress report to the community at a town meeting in San Ignacio. But, things never got that far, the crowd was antsy and impatient with Attorney General Wilfred Elrington who scolded them about kids not brought up right - and told them that in his Pickstock Division he has to deal with many more murders than Cayo does. That was enough for the crowd, which just got up and walked out en masse on the A-G who was left at the microphone talking. It was an embarrassment beyond compare for the government - and more than that - it stopped them from getting the message out that many of those seven points would be dealt with - like - immediately. Today, the CEO in the Ministry of National Security discussed the progress made on the registry of sex offenders with a monitoring system for those who get out on bail.

Kareem Dixon Allegedly Killed By Wife, Now Couple's Son Shot
On Monday we told you about 37 year old Kareem Dixon - the security guard who was stabbed to death by his common-law-wife Melanie Staine. Staine is still being investigated and may face charges. But while that hangs over the family's head they have another misfortune to deal with. The couple's son is hospitalized after he was shot last night on Mopan Street. 17 year old Malik Dixon was travelling in a grey Toyota Corolla driven at the time by 20 year old Ellis Meighan. While Meighan and Dixon were heading towards Ebony Street, two men who were standing on Mopan Street opened fire on the vehicle. Dixon was shot in the right lower back and was rushed to the KHMH. In an interview today with his mother, Melanie Staine, says that her son is stable at this time and is recovering well.

Police Give Briefing About Incident
Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez held a media briefing this morning - in which he spoke about the incident. Raphael Martinez - Police Press Officer "On Wednesday 10th October at approximately 8:45pm police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw a 17 year old Belizean student Malik Dixon with an apparent gunshot wound to the lower back. Initial investigations revealed that at approximately 8:40pm on that same evening Malik and a friend were travelling in a grey Toyota Corolla along Mopan Street when they were fired upon by two male persons standing on the street side. As a result Malik sustained the injuries." "Malik is presently at the Karl Heusner Memoral Hospital in a critical but stable condition. Police are again asking for your assistance to solve these crimes. By bringing these criminals to justice you can call any of the nearest police station or 911 or 922-TIPS/Crime stoppers." "I want to mention as well that retrieve from the scene of this incident were 9 expended 9mm shells."

Man Remanded For Gun That Snapped Three Times
21 year-old Alfred Mahler, a construction worker of Pelican Street, is at prison tonight after he was taken to Magistrate's court for allegedly pulling a firearm on a man. According to 21 year-old Linsford Lord at around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 6, he was riding his bicycle. When he arrived at the corner of Pelican and Curassow Streets, a man, who he identified as Mahler, approached him and pulled out a black handgun. Lord said that Mahler immediately pointed it at his face and pulled the trigger 3 times, but the gun misfired with 3 clicks. Lord sped off on his bicycle and went immediately to the Queen Street Police Station where he made his report. Police investigated and the charged Mahler with aggravated assault. He was taken before Magistrate Adolph Lucas, where he pleaded not guilty. Due to the nature of the offence, he couldn't get bail, and he was remanded to prison until November 14.

The Harvest Moves To Orange Walk
On Monday, we showed you the Harvest for Kids effort, which the members of the Belize Camping Experience made over weekend at Banana Bank. They had 11 combines going all at once - to harvest a 20 acre corn field in 26 minutes. It was organized by the Belize Camping Experience, an innovative outreach program that seeks to take at-risk children from Belize City out of the cycle of violence, and show them a different way of life. Today, another mass mechanized harvest was held in San Carlos. We attended that harvest and found that traditional Mennonite communities who don't use combustion engines also participated. Here's what the Mayor of Blue Creek, and the Director of the program told us: Abe Dyck, Mayor, Blue Creek Village "What happen here is a project for Harvest for Kids where we were invited to join with different farmers and with the Belize Camping Experience to raise funds for the camping program that is going on in Belize City and we were invited to join them and we they were asking how we could raise some funds for that project and as farmers this is one way that we can try to help support that. We decided that all together we will go ahead and plant 21 acres of corn and whatever the proceeds from that will go towards helping send children to camp in Belize City."

Tonight's Profile is about Jorge Pelayo. He's a career educator - and a muscle man who would have given Rigo Vellos a run for his money three decades ago. Tonight he talks about his life's journey as an educator and a sportsman.

Medical Tourism Draft Proposal Ready, All On Board
The consultations on medical tourism have been going on for the last three months. And now the consultant has come up with what's called a draft sector strategy - which means consultation is finished - and now the work comes to crafting the policy document. The various stakeholders held a final consultation followed by a press conference in Belize City today - and here's what they said:.. Mike Singh, CEO - Trade and Investment "As we discussed in the meetings the vision of the government is to develop an industry that will create employment job opportunities, secondly, will afford us technology transfer to create the kind of knowledge jobs that Belize needs and also improve for Belizeans healthcare that right now is being exported. A lot of our Belizeans healthcare recipients actually travel to places like Merida, Guatemala and Miami for medical attention." Massimo Manzie, Consultant "This has been 3 months that we will be in Belize to analyze the competitiveness environment that Belize has. Belize has a lot to offer to medical tourist. This is a renowned retirement destination - a natural tourism destination. This is a place where people really like to come; this is an English speaking country - a country that is not facing the same communication problems that other problems in Latin America that are willing to receive patients are facing."

Channel 5

Sedi no ready; Cayo residents walk out Elrington’s meeting
Attorney General, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, was deployed to San Ignacio on Wednesday night to cool down temperatures of residents, who have been protesting a recent upsurge in crime and violence in the Cayo District. The crowd overflowed the ITVET building where the public meeting was being held. Among the topics covered, were the removal of [...]

Igniting a peaceful demonstration against crime in Cayo
There was a total shutdown today of the business community in San Ignacio. By any measure, it was a monumental success and after Wednesday night’s disastrous public meeting with the attorney general, residents came out in full force to support the anti-crime demonstration. They were joined by UB, Galen and Sacred Heart students. The community’s [...]

National Security says residents will get most of their demands
Within hours that the demonstration fizzled, government was quick to act and with the speed of light, a promised pickup truck was delivered to the San Ignacio police. The new pickup comes as part of a pledge made by the Ministry of National Security to meet the demands of the people. While the vehicle is [...]

From Guangzhou to Belize; visas please!
There’s another situation that is building up. Belizean passports are not the only hot commodities being sought by foreigners seeking a new identity. Years ago, the Government of Belize actually implemented an economic citizen program, which was viewed as the bucket sale of passports. While it legitimized what was once an illegal activity, the recent [...]

Economic Indicators pumps out fuel prices
It would be logical that if oil prices are going down, the price of fuel should follow suit, but that’s not the case. In fact, of late, it is the opposite. Tonight we look at historical data of the world price per barrel of West Texas Crude; fuel acquisition costs and pump prices for the [...]

S.S.B. Chairman says B.E.L. property not needed as security for debenture
As you’ve heard by now, the Investment Committee of the Social Security Board (S.S.B.) has approved a fifteen million dollar investment in the government owned Belize Electricity Limited. As soon as that came to light, attorneys for Fortis, the previous owner who is challenging the nationalization, gave notice that Fortis will be heading to court [...]

Who stole her 2000 Kia Sportage?
An employee of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is tonight up in arms after her green 2000 Kia Sportage, with license plates C-24565 was stolen from inside the parking lot of the institution. Sandra Bradshaw is furious because despite security on the compound as well as surveillance cameras, someone drove off with ease in her [...]

Cops leave decomposing body overnight in house
An area of Cairo Street, off Euphrates Avenue, was cordoned off this morning. The body of an elderly man was found on Wednesday but it was not removed by the authorities until this morning. The overpowering stench caused discomfort to the neighborhood; the police say they could not pin down the pathologist so the body [...]

Teen shot in the back
On Monday, we reported on the death of thirty-seven year old Kareem Dixon, who was killed by his common-law-wife, Melanie Staine during a domestic dispute. Well tonight, their seventeen year old son is hospitalized after being shot on Wednesday night. Malik Dixon, who works in Orange Walk, only returned to Belize City after his father’s [...]

Charged for Aggravated Assault since gun misfired at man’s head
An incident at the corner of Pelican and Curassow Streets on Saturday night has left a Belize City man traumatized while his attacker is behind bars. According to twenty-one year old Linsford Lord, he was riding his bicycle on Pelican Street when a lone gunman walked up to him, pointed a gun at his face [...]

Honduran National to be deported for illegal entry to Belize
A nineteen year old mother of two, who illegally entered Belize five months ago has been caught and is now facing deportation. Honduran national, Yuri Estefanie Dubon, was picked up during routine checks by Immigration Personnel at the Belize City Bus Terminal on Wednesday morning. She appeared in Magistrates Court today where she was deemed [...]

Medical Tourism workshop prepares for the inevitable
The Ministries of Health and Tourism in partnership with BELTRAIDE are one step closer to getting medical tourism in the Belize off the ground. A series of consultations and workshops ended today, with the launching of the medical tourism sector strategy and policy, developed by international consultant, Massimo Manzi. It was a three month job, [...]

Will Medical Tourism benefit Belizean doctors and institutions?
When the idea of developing medical tourism was first announced, members of the Belize Medical and Dental Association were not onboard because they hadn’t been consulted. There were also concerns that foreign doctors would be the only ones benefitting. But after being included in the planning process, BMDA is now behind the initiative. The association [...]

UB and primary school students clean up the coast
Aside from participating in anti-crime initiatives, the University of Belize is involved in other social activities. Over the weekend, the UB students took the lead with primary school students in a cleanup campaign that started in the area of the lighthouse and spread to other areas of the city. And in the process, the younger [...]

Healthy Living gets prenatal care
A part of Millennium Development Goal Number four is to reduce the rate of infant mortality. That is bringing down the number of babies that die before they reach one year of age. Currently, Belize has a rate of twenty-one deaths per thousand live births. As a part of reducing this number, the Central Health [...]


Principal's Attorney Speaks On Her Behalf
On Monday morning 27 teachers and most of the student body of Orange Walk Technical High School walked out of class in protest of Principal Elizabeth Muschamp who has been at the helm of the school for almost a year now. To make a story short, teachers are not in agreement with the way Mushamp manages the school and the fact that she implements changes at the school without consultation, only adds insult to injury. On the day of the walkout teachers also expressed that they have a problem with Muschamp’s husband running the school’s cafeteria and were in disagreement with the expulsion of a 17 year old student who was allegedly accused by Muschamp of consuming alcohol during the September 8th Carnival held in the old capital. Bottom line is, they wanted Muschamp gone no if’s or buts’. So, to appease the situation Minister of Education Youth and Sports Honorable Patrick Faber descended to Orange Walk and held a meeting with the school’s faculty, board of directors and members of the District Education office where it was agreed on that the board, the principal and District Education Manager will meet with the staff to hear their concerns before the end of the week; and this meeting will be preceded by a meeting between the principal and heads of department. But as they say there are two sides to a story. Now, we’ve definitely heard the teacher’s side and yesterday Mushamp’s attorney Arthur Saldivar gave us his client’s side of the events.

Conmen Captured In Corozal
They posed as employees of an oil company looking for a cook and even took money from two possible candidates and that action caused that the two men from the Corozal District be charged for obtaining property by deception. Reports are that on two separate occasions Darrington Williams and George Vega, who also goes by the name of Jesus Amaya or Jorge Amaya, visited the home of two women and fed them with a story that they were looking for someone to cook for the employees of an oil company which they also worked for. The men then took money from the women with the promise that a bank account will be opened in their name and soon the first payment from the oil company would be deposited for their cooking services. Upon receiving the money, both men exchanged telephone numbers with the women who also handed over their social security cards. A few hours after the encounter, the women dialed the numbers given to them only to find out that they had been conned. The women immediately reported the matter to police and the men were detained while boarding a bus.

Four Men Charged For Circle K Robbery
Four men have been charged for the October 2nd robbery of Circle K Supermarket in Corozal Town. Brothers Paul Massam and Mark Massam, Anthony Roaches and Giovanni Young were picked up by Corozal Police on Monday and charged for robbing the proprietors of Circle K Supermarket located on College Road. Since the crime was committed with a firearm, all four men were denied bail when they appeared before the Corozal Magistrates Court yesterday and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until there next court date scheduled for December 6th. Viewers might recall that on October 2nd just before closing time, four masked men entered Circle K Supermarket brandishing a firearm. During the robbery the proprietors of the establishment were severely beaten by the assailants who managed to escape with an undisclosed amount of cash.

C.C.C. Awarded For Best Marching Band
On September 21st Belize celebrated its 31st anniversary. Country wide Belizeans celebrated their freedom by participating in several activities including the 21st of September parade which was one of the highlights here in Orange Walk. To put an extra oomph to the 21st parade, the Orange Walk Town Council organized a competition for the best float, best marching band and the best carnival group. The first prize for each category was $500.00 and today the winners of the competition received their checks. The title of the best marching band went to Corozal Community College who captured the attention of young and old. Jasmine Canul- Student Director C.C.C Marching Band “It is like talking in general, well, we are always here to serve our community and also to expose the potential that our members have and our passion is music and we try to encourage other students, maybe other kids with talent and we also do this to show what Belize has and also to expose our talent to the world and also for other children to know maybe they don’t know if they have certain talents but through music they can express themselves and discover themselves.”

Unions And GOB Sign Partial Bargaining Agreement
Since September 2008, the Belize National Teacher’s Union, the Public Service Union and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers have been negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with a 23 point proposal. For years now the unions have been attempting to get GOB around the table for negotiations to progress. Yesterday afternoon Representatives from the three unions along with government negotiators including a subcommittee of cabinet ministers comprising of Minister of Education Patrick Faber, Senator Godwin Hulse and Senator Charles Gibson, gathered at the Radisson Fort George in Belize City where a partial collective bargaining agreement was signed. The agreement didn’t include a raise of salary but rather a long list on allowances set to be increased. The list includes increase of allowances for cashiers, increase allowances in housing and rent for public officers and teachers among others. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education there is an increase in daily subsistence; that’s travelling allowances for general workers as well as established workers, there is an increase in hazardous allowances, there is an increase in the allowance—entertainment allowance as it relates to heads of departments—there is an increase in travelling allowance for public officers who travel abroad, there is an increase in motor vehicle allowance, there is an agreement for public sector modernization to include a performance appraisal system or meritocracy system, a position classification plan, review of the public service regulations, review of the government workers regulations, and an institutional audit of the public service; all of these form a part of that public sector modernization plan that we’re agreeing to today. There is an increase in the responsibility allowance for principals and vice principals depending on the size of their schools. There is career path remuneration, there is an increase in commuting allowances, there is I believe increase in hardship allowances for teachers who are in rural areas who have to commute. There is an increase in the—the establishment of a teacher training subsidy.

Belize Celebrates World Mental Health Day
Today Belize joins the international community in celebration of World Mental Health Day under the theme “Depression: A Global Crisis”. The observation of World Mental Health Day seeks to raise public awareness about mental health issues, promote open discussions to reduce stigma and discrimination and also to advocate for investment in prevention and treatment services. This afternoon a forum was held at the Multi Purpose Complex which saw the participation of five secondary educational institutions namely Muffles College, Orange Walk Technical High School, New Hope High School, Bishop Martin High School, and Orange Walk ITVET. Each school was represented by two students who made a presentation on depression and its affects on adolescence.


A man detained in Cayo
One man has been detained in connection to a report of maim in the Cayo District. The police press officer provided details this morning.

Stabbing in the City of Belize
Criminals were hard at work over the weekend in Belize City where on Friday, a Businessman was hospitalized after being stabbed. Police press officer Raphael Martinez has more on this incident.

Demonstration in San Ignacio and Santa Elena
Out west, the people of San Ignacio and Santa Elena turned out in the hundreds to demonstrate against crime. But what culminated in the mass gathering at the Columbus Park started with a Sunday afternoon meeting not far from ground zero. Love TV’s Patrick Jones and video journalist Brian Castillo were in Cayo for the event and bring you the following report. The demonstrators got the requisite permit from the police department, and from early began to gather inside the town’s main park for their protest. Although the demonstration was held in San Ignacio town, the message was aimed squarely at Belmopan. The people of San Ignacio and Santa Elena are hoping for a response to their petitions by Wednesday. Failing a favorable response, they intend to stage an even bigger demonstration on Thursday, which should include a simultaneous shutdown of businesses. We’ll keep you posted on developments out west

Shooting in Santa Elena
In Santa Elena Town in the Cayo District, a man was hospitalized following a robbery, which could have a fatal incident.


Torch run ends with Peace Rally in San Ignacio
The morning air was palpable with the wind of change as students, teachers, parents, concerned citizens and childr...

No decision yet on BTL case in Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal of Belize, after three days of oral argument, has not given a decision on Civil Appeals 18, 19,...

Alfred Mahler remanded after Saturday's shooting in Belize City
21-year-old Linsford Lord is fortunate to be alive today after a lone gunman walked up to him and pulled the trigge...

Another Belize City youth is shot and injured
Another Belize City youth is shot and injured. Around 8:45pm last night (OCT 10) police visited K. H. M. H where th...

Canada donates Integrated Ballistic Identification System
The Government and People of Belize, not a second too soon, are receiving much-needed assistance from governments a...

Belize City construction worker robbed at gunpoint
Edwin Ruben Erazo, a Honduran construction worker of Mahogany Street, Belize City reported to police that he was ro...

A government worker held up by a 10 years old
A government worker is held up by a 10 year old child. 34 year old Elia Juanita Avilez, a Public Officer of Belize ...

43 years old Belize City fisherman missing
Shanname Banner, of 5th Avenue, Corozal Town yesterday file a missing person report with police. She says that arou...

The Guardian

SSB’s Solid $15M Investment in BEL
On Wednesday, October 10th, the Chairman of the Social Security Board, Douglas Singh and the Chairman of SSB's Investment Committee, Nestor Vasquez, met with the media to appraise them of a proposed 15- million-dollar investment, which the Social Security Board will be making in Belize Electricity Limited. According to Singh, the investment committee has made the recommendation to make the investment and the Board has accepted the recommendation. It is now a matter of a legal process where the decision has to be published twice in the Gazette and in two consecutive publications of two newspapers before the disbursement is made. The 15-million-dollar investment, according to Vasquez, is a solid one and at this time. it is a golden opportunity to secure the SSB's funds. BEL invited the SSB to purchase debentures, which are being expanded from 17 million dollars to 25 million dollars. As a result of this, there was an offer for the Board to purchase 5 million preferred shares with a guaranteed rate of return of 5% per year for a lifespan of 3 years. According to Singh, the debentures will be purchased for 5 million dollars ,while the preferential shares will be purchased at 2 dollars each amounting to 10 million dollars bringing the investment to a total of 15 million dollars. According to both Vasquez and Singh, there is an excess liquidity in the SSB with the most recent figures showing that it has 150 million dollars that is earning very little and over the last two years, the returns are consistently being reduced to below 4 percent. Vasquez noted that currently BEL has some 26 million dollars that is available for investment. These monies, he noted, is earning between 1 and 1/4 percent to 2 percent when 15 million can be invested in BEL to receive 7 percent on debentures and 5 percent on shares.

Government reaches Agreement with Unions
“The collective bargaining agreement journey began in September of 2008. Little did we know at its inception that it would be such an extensive and trying journey,” said Marvin Blades, President of the Public Service Union. The Government of Belize signed a Partial Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Public Service Union (PSU), Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM) on Tuesday, October 9th, four years after the process started. Both sides were relieved after the agreement was signed. Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, signed on behalf of the Government. He chairs the Cabinet sub-committee appointed to negotiate with the Unions. Faber said, “We join our union counterparts to celebrate this partial agreement, which represents a realistic picture of what it is we are able to do as a Government given the economic situation we are facing now.” “What it is we are able to do” excludes a 30% salary adjustment which was one of the union’s main proposals. Faber said the Government could not agree to the salary adjustment at this time because it would be unmanageable. Representatives from both sides agreed to an extent. One senior government officially simply said, “It is unrealistic and unreasonable.” To the question if it is unreasonable at this time, a union representative said, “It is not etched in stone.” The 30% salary adjustment is one of 23 proposals, however, it was not featured in the partial agreement. That and a few others remain on the negotiating table and will be the focus of a final agreement.

Cayo Community bands Together against Crime
On Wednesday, October 10th, Attorney General, Hon. Wilfred Elrington was at the ITVET building in San Ignacio where he met with residents of the Cayo area to discuss the crime situation in that district. Accompanying the AG was the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, Col. George Lovell. Minister Elrington's visit was as a result of an earlier meeting which was held between the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow and a newly formed group, the Solidarity Movement for Justice and Peace, on Monday October 8th. In that meeting which lasted an hour, the Prime Minister expressed his great concern over the growing crime problem and decided on asking the Attorney General to attend the meeting since he was the one responsible for the justice system. The overarching sentiment by the gathering, which packed the room, was that the Director of Public Prosecutions be replaced and that a forensic laboratory be put in place as soon as possible. On the question of the DPP, Elrington explained that she was one of the best prosecutors and legal minds in the country and she can only work with what evidence is given to her. People cannot be convicted unless there is evidence, he noted, and added that the entire community can contribute much for that to take place.

UDP Executive Committees for the South
On Saturday, October 6th, elections and endorsements took place for the New UDP Executive Committee for the Toledo West Division. The meeting was held in Columbia Village, Toledo. Present for the selection of officers were Party Chairman Hon. Patrick Faber; Roosevelt Blades, Vice-Chairman and National Party Coordinator, Ruben Campos. Also present was the Divisional Caretaker Juan Coy. Elected to serve in the constituency were Chairperson: Nicasio Sanchez and members: Richard Peck, Andres Coh, Adrian Cus, Lindley Ramclam, Enero Bol, Nelson Teck, Anna Muschamp, Domingo Cal, Santiago Sam, Eduardo Pou, Galo Mejangre, Alberto Choco, Rufino Choc and Andres Canti. Selected as alternates were: Irideo Bolon, Emilio Makin, Gustavo Bul, Francisco Chub and Juan Cus. At the gathering, Hon. Patrick Faber addressed them and explained that it was important to be united as a Party and continue to work together to return Toledo West with a UDP Representative. He encouraged the newly elected executive committee to be vocal, to participate in the political affairs of the division and work together with the caretaker to unite the party. After the address, the Hon. Patrick Faber, then swore in the new executive members.

Re-enlisted Policemen get Salary Adjustment
On Thursday, October 4th, Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar handed out letters to some 20 police officers effectively adjusting their salaries. According to Minister Saldivar, it has long been the practice at the Police Department that when police officers leave the department and re-enlist, they are brought it at a salary far below where they were before. Now, the Ministry has sought to correct that situation. Over 200 officers across the country find themselves in the position and the situation has been corrected. The officers, who have re-enlisted will now be receiving the salary equivalent to what it was when they left. That is also being implemented retroactive to when the officers re-enlisted. After handing out the letters of salary adjustments, Minister Saldivar took time out to take questions and concerns from the policemen and women present. Concerns presented by officers included instances where officers leave the department at a certain rank and when they are re-enlisted they are taken in as police constables. That, said Minister Saldivar, will be a thing of the past where officers, who leave the department and are re-enlisted will be done at the rank where they left at.

UDP Executive Committees for the South
On Saturday, October 6th, elections and endorsements took place for the New UDP Executive Committee for the Toledo West Division. The meeting was held in Columbia Village, Toledo. Present for the selection of officers were Party Chairman Hon. Patrick Faber; Roosevelt Blades, Vice-Chairman and National Party Coordinator, Ruben Campos. Also present was the Divisional Caretaker Juan Coy.

Re-enlisted Policemen get Salary Adjustment
Minister John Saldivar addresses police officers. On Thursday, October 4th, Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar handed out letters to some 20 police officers effectively adjusting their salaries. According to Minister Saldivar, it has long been the practice at the Police Department that when police officers leave the department and re-enlist, they are brought it at a salary far below where they were before. Now, the Ministry has sought to correct that situation. Over 200 officers across the country find themselves in the position and the situation has been corrected. The officers, who have re-enlisted will now be receiving the salary equivalent to what it was when they left. That is also being implemented retroactive to when the officers re-enlisted.

Joe Coye fails in Application to strike out case
Former Area Representative for the Caribbean Shores Constituency, Joe Coye was in court on Tuesday, October 9th where he had applied to have a case against him struck out. The matter was one where the Government of Belize is taking Coye before the court on charges of misfeasance in public office. Government is claiming that Coye along with former Minister of Lands Florencio Marin, Sr., transferred 56 parcels of Government land to a company owned and or controlled by Coye and underpaid for it.

EU underlines Commitment to universal abolition of the Death Penalty
The following is a statement from Catherine Ashton, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on the European and World Day against the Death Penalty, 10 October 2012. Today is World and European Day against the Death Penalty. The European Union is opposed to the use of capital punishment in all cases and under any circumstances. Its universal abolition is one of the key objectives of EU human rights policy. Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, said: "Capital punishment is a cruel, inhumane and irreversible action that violates the basic human right to life and dignity. In the case of any miscarriage of justice, from which no legal system is immune, it represents a terrible and irreversible loss of human life. The death penalty can neither reverse the crime it seeks to punish nor mitigate a victim's loss. It should be a relic of the past." The European Union regularly reaffirms its opposition to the death penalty and uses the various diplomatic tools at its disposal – including statements, demarches and Human Rights Dialogues with its partners – to advance the cause of worldwide abolition. The movement towards abolition is one of the top priorities in its recently adopted Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy, as well as under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).

Teachers and High School Students protest for Removal of school Principal
On Monday, October 8th, teachers, students and parents of Orange Walk Technical High School (OWTHS) staged a protest against the principal, Elizabeth Muschamp, in front of the institution’s premises. The protest was for her removal following numerous allegations in respect to her attitude and manner of dealing with issues pertaining to the school.

Information and Communication Technology for All Belizeans
“The purpose of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Road Show is to go to the unconverted-people who don’t know about ICT-show them the benefits and teach them how it can be used to make their business more profitable,” said Dr. Colin Young, C.E.O. in the Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities.

Government to recruit Country’s Top Science Students
In the 2012 Global Competitiveness Index Report Belize is ranked 123 out of 142 countries in terms of competitive economies of the world. In this region, only Haiti is ranked lower. Dr. Colin Young, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities, said that one of the factors contributing to the low rating is our inability to innovate. “Innovation is key to our national development,” said Young. He continued, “As a country we are primarily users of technology. We have very few of our people inventing and we know that our people are as bright as anybody else.” Young said the Ministry is well aware that “we need to provide the environment through which our people can innovate.”

New Youth Group in Lake-I
Area Representative for the Lake Independence constituency, Hon. Mark King has set up a new youth group in that constituency. Hon. King says the group was set up as a direct response to crime in the area. The group seeks to involve young people between the ages of 12 and 18 years of age in productive activities to steer them away from negative past times and crime. The group has been in existence for two weeks and so far, it has a membership of 20 young people. The group is now seeking to increase the numbers and anyone, who is interested in joining or contributing to the efforts can call the chairlady of the youth committee, Tameca Baizar or Shawna Gillett at telephone number 223-0059. Young people from the Lake-I constituency are encouraged to join.

Three Years for Sexual Molestation of a 16-year-old
On Friday, October 5th, Wood Pecker Street resident, 43-year-old Patrick Payne was found guilty of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 16-year-old girl.

Guatemalan Shot in Chiquibul
A man believed to be a Guatemalan national was shot and killed in the Chiquibul forest reserve by a BDF Soldier. Police report that on Friday, October 5th, they visited the Ceibo Chico Area in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve where they found the lifeless body of a man, who is believed to be a Guatemalan national. The body was clad in a greet shirt and blue jeans and a pair of rubber boots and has a tattoo with the marking 'Foy' on the right arm. The man was found about 175 feet into a feeder road in the area. Investigations by police indicate that at around 11:30 on Thursday, October 4th a BDF Soldier and Forestry Officer were in the area doing spot checks when the soldier saw the man in the bushes. He followed the man, who was carrying a wooden box on his shoulder and had a machete in his right hand. Reports say the soldier ordered the man to stop however, he threw the box down and turned around. Again, the man was ordered to stop and throw down the machete however, he did not comply and advanced towards the soldier. This forced the soldier to fire at least 6 warning shots and took cover but the man continued to advance forcing the soldier to shoot him when he had reached about two feet from him.

Acquitted of Murder

On Friday, October 5th, 32-year-old Ealsine Gentle, who was on trial for the September 13th, 2008 stabbing death of Orlando Myers, walked out of Supreme Court a free man. A jury of 12 stepped into the deliberating room at 2:38 p.m. and when they emerged from the deliberating room 6 hours later, they found Gentle not guilty of murder. The case was heard before Justice Dennis S. Hanomansingh where Gentle had been accused of stabbing Orlando Myers, 3 times during a misunderstanding on a basketball court in the Village of Georgeville. According to the prosecution, Gentle had an altercation with a few boys on the basketball court during which he pulled out an 11-inch knife and stabbed Myers three times to the body. According to the crown’s main witness, who was a good friend of the deceased, he was the intended victim of the knife attack however, Myers intervened and was stabbed instead. Myers was rushed to the San Ignacio hospital that night and later died at about 2:20 a.m.

Melanie Staine claims Self Defense in Slaying of Common-Law-Husband
35-year-old Melanie Staine was released by police on Monday after she was questioned for the killing of Kareem Dixon. Dixon was Staine’s common-law husband and at about 11 p.m. on Saturday, October 6th, the couple got into a heated argument. According to a report by the couple’s son, shortly after the argument started, Staine walked into the house and informed him that his father had slapped her across the face. The son grabbed a pint bottle, the mother grabbed a knife from the kitchen and, the two proceeded outside. When Dixon noticed the two coming, he started to move up the stairs of the house towards them. The son said that Dixon reached for his side like he was about to pull something from his pants and that's when Staine went forward and stabbed him to the left side of his chest. Dixon was rushed to the hospital by someone in the area at the time. He succumbed to the injury at 1:45 a.m. while receiving treatment. Melanie Staine, who is claiming a case of self defense, was arrested by police and released after instructions were handed down from the office of the Director of Public Prosecution. Police investigation into the incident continues and a decision will be made on Staine’s fate at the conclusion.

Vega Cup Tournament continues in Orange Walk North
The 2012 Vega Cup Tournament continued on Sunday, October 7th in the Orange Walk North Constituency. In Group A games played, Old Skool defeated San Roman FC by the score of 9-0. The goals for Old Skool were scored by Jose Carlos Puerto, Marlon Miranda (2), Oliver Hendricks (4), Richard Gillett and Dedron Baptist. In game two, San Pablo FC and Barrio Boyz played to a 2-2 draw. The goal scorers for San Pablo FC were Jacobo Cosme and Edgar Itza, while the goal scorers for Barrio Boyz were Wilmer Padilla and Francis Coyoc. In the third game of the day, San Luis FC blanked New River Dynamite by the score of 2-0. The goal scorers for San Luis FC were Jose Marin and Henry Orellano. In the fourth and final game of the day, Santa Cruz FC also blanked Untouchables by the score of 5-0. The goal scorers for Santa Cruz FC were Josue Diaz, Enrique Castillo, Ernesto Chi and Luis Herrador, who scored twice. In Group B, San Jose Pumas defeated Douglas Galaxy by the score of 5-1. The goal scorers for San Jose Pumas were Osmar Uk, who scored two, Leonel Gongora, Aurelio Gongora, and Martin Francisco, while the goal scorer for Douglas Galaxy was Marco Correa.

Belize District Basketball rolls on at Bird’s Isle
The Belize District Basketball competition in both the Firms and U-23 categories continued at Bird’s Isle over the last weekend with a number of games. On Friday, October 5th, 2012, in the U-23 game Tuff E Nuff defeated Truckers by the score of 81-73. The top scorers for Tuff E Nuff were Jamal Kelly with 23 points and Luis Pitterson with 15 points. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Truckers were Carlston Barrera with 20 points and Winston Reynolds with 21 points. In the first game in the firms competition, Atlantic Bank won over BEL by the score of 58-51. The top scorers for Atlantic Bank were Ervin Orosco with 19 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals; and Marcel Orosco with 18 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals. For the BEL squad, the top scorers were Lloyd Leslie with 26 points and 10 rebounds and; Brandon Cadle with 8 points and 5 rebounds. In game two, BTL won over the Belize Bank by the score of 54-48. The top scorers for BTL were Lennox Cayetano with 20 points and 18 rebounds and; Lupito Acosta with 10 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Belize Bank were Troy Gabb with 20 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals; and Chris McGann with 10 points and 5 rebounds.

Placencia Assassins and Belmopan Bandits at Top of the PLB standings
The Premier League of Belize Football Competition continued over the last weekend with 6 games across the country. On Saturday, October 6th, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, the host team Paradise/Freedom Fighters edged the visiting San Pedro Seadogs by the score of 3-1. The Paradise/Freedom Fighters got on the scoreboard first when Alexander Peters scored his team’s 1st goal of the game in the 41st minute of play for a 1-0 lead. The lead was further increased when Victor Franco scored his team’s 2nd goal in the 43rd minute of play. The first half of the game ended 2-0 in favour of the Paradise/Freedom Fighters. In the second half of the game, the Paradise/Freedom Fighters were able to score once more when Onest Martinez scored his team’s 3rd and final goal of the game in the 87th minute of play. Meanwhile, the visiting San Pedro Seadogs was able to get on the scoreboard when Mario Chimal scored his team’s only goal of the game in the 90th minute of play. At the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the Police United squad handed FC Belize its first defeat of the 2012 campaign when it blanked them by the score of 3-0. The Police United squad got on the scoreboard when Danny Jimenez scored the 1st of 2 goals in the 17th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. In fact, that was the only goal really needed however, Evan Mariano scored his team’s 2nd goal of the game in the 43rd minute of play. The final goal of the game was scored by Danny Jimenez in the 77th minutes of play.

Male team open Try-outs
The Belize Softball Federation announces that an OPEN TRYOUT for ALL Male softball players will be held on THURSDAY, October 11th and FRIDAY, October 12th, 2012 starting at 6:00 in the evening. This OPEN TRYOUT is for the selection of the 36 player pool to represent Belize at the Central American Male Softball Club Championship to be held in Guatemala City, Guatemala from November 22-26, 2012.

Belize District Volleyball comes to An End this Thursday
The Belize District Volleyball Association championships will come to an end on Thursday, October 11th, 2012, at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium. On Saturday, October 6th, 2012, three games were played in the championship series. In the female game, Moen Stars captured this year’s title when it defeated Honey Bees by the score of 25-15 and 25-16. In the Firms Competition, Scotia Bank won over BTL by the score of 18-25, 25-20 and 15-12. In the final game of the evening in the male competition, SQ Devils defeated UK Hitters by the score of 27-25, 21-25 and 15-6.

Best Retirement Ever
60-year-old Eduardo Wade, Sr., is enjoying every minute of retirement. After retiring from 35 years of service as a police officer, Wade uses his time to be with his family, work on his farm and pick up six-digit cheques. The lucky Belmopan resident is the latest Lotto winner and on Monday, October 8th, he went to pick up his cheque for $142,375, which is 85% of Saturday’s $167,500 Jackpot. For most, winning the Lotto would be an ecstatic experience but not for Wade. He was more relieved than excited saying, “After buying for so many years, at last my time had come.” Wade has been buying Lotto ever since the game was introduced in Belize and almost missed his turn to win. He was laying down in a hammock on his farm when he decided to go put up an old rug. After throwing the rug in the farm house, he took a final look at it and saw the numbers 2, 3, 8 and 6. He used the four numbers to purchase one Lotto ticket for Saturday’s drawing minutes before the deadline. It was while listening to the Boledo broadcast on Sunday that Wade heard a repeat of the winning Lotto numbers. They were his: 02, 03, 06, 08 and 23. Wade said after finding out that he had won “there was not much excitement but my wife and kids were happy to hear that I had won.” He would not say what his exact plans for the money are but did say, “It has come at a good time and will serve us well.”

Muscles and figures on display - Mr. Belize selected
The Belize Bodybuilding Federation held the 2012 Bodybuilding Championships in Belize City on October, 5th at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. It was well attended and fans got their money's worth when competitors flexed their toned bodies and muscles in 9 categories in the female and male competition. In the Female Categories, Charlyn Flowers took home first place in the Bikini Fitness while Michelle Gillett took home second place and Lorraine Lino was placed third. In the Body Figure competition, first place was Gina Lovell, second place went to Giselle Diaz and third place was taken by Arlene Welch. In the Women's Bodybuilding category, Lurnette Sankey-Young took home first place while Josel Gault took second place. For the men's competition Leroy Card took first place in the novice category while Eduar Burns placed second and Jose Alvarenga placed third. Dean Hemmans took the first place in the Men's Phisique competition while Robert Howes took second place, and Calbert Castillo took third place. In the Welterweight competition, there were two contestants with Deon Danderson besting Deon Ortiz. The Middleweight saw Guy Neal placing first and Eduar Burns placing second and Chris Carter placing third. The Light Heavyweight was taken by Rigo Vellos and Ernest Broaster taking second place and Deon Banner took third place. The overall winner in the competition was Rigo Vellos.

What about Maritza Santos?
Jasmine Lowe, Suzenne Martinez and Maritza Santos The San Ignacio and Santa Elena communities were once again publicly protesting the death of yet another young woman, 20 year-old, Suzenne Martinez, who was found dead in the morning of October 3rd. The killing has once again sparked the Cayo community to action and had them once again take to the park in front of the San Ignacio Police Station on Thursday, October 4th and again on Monday, October 8th. The residents came out because the man that was the primary suspect in the killing was not charged for the crime. He was instead transferred to the Belmopan Police Formation where he was charged for handling stolen goods and also investigated in the murder of a Belmopan resident, Robert Stephen Lewis. The protest was similar to the one that took place in the case of 13-year-old Jasmine Lowe, whose body was found on June 6th in the outskirts of San Ignacio town. At the time, the killing raised a wave of sentiments including candlelight vigils and a massive demonstration in front of the police station on June 20th when her alleged killer, Bert Vasquez was taken before a Magistrate and charged for murder. And while the nation looked on as protestors were out in force to demonstrate and demand justice for the two deaths, lost among those who organized the protests was Maritza Santos. She was a 19- year-old young lady who was also viciously killed, allegedly by her boyfriend who, after killing her attempted to take his own life and had to be taken out of the country to receive medical attention. The placards at the protest sought justice for Jasmine and Suzenne, but what about Maritza Santos? Have the people of Cayo forgotten about her and her alleged killer?

Message from the President – Tribute to Murdered Students
Norval Belisle, Jr. and Suzenne Martinez Colleagues, Students, Members of the Board of Trustees, and Alumni of the University of Belize Community. It is with deep sadness and profound concern that I am challenged to make sense of the untimely deaths of our two very promising students, Suzenne Martinez of San Ignacio and Norval Belisle, Jr. of Belmopan, who were taken from us within recent days. Our sympathies are with their parents and relatives as they seek, like we do, to ponder the senseless tragedies that have been inflicted upon our communities and the nation. In recent years, the vulnerabilities of our youth have become increasingly evident in the violence that has become a marked feature of our lives. Suzenne and Norval were shining lights, excellent students, and in the full blush of youth. However, they did not escape the dilemma that confronts us all – how to rebuild a sense of the beloved community within which we could nurture ourselves and each other. We must recognize that the violence which took them from us is an expression of the social breakdown that must be overcome if we are to offer our youth a chance of leading lives that provides a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment. As we mourn the loss of Suzenne and Norval and share the grief of their families and friends, we should call to mind the very moving tribute to love and loss penned by the Guyanese poet, Martin Carter: On behalf of the entire UB community, I extend our heartfelt sympathies to their families and friends as we all mourn the departure of two very promising souls. May they rest in peace.

Violence and News - Part 1 News Producers Defend Violent Content
Murdered 16-year-old featured recently on news For the week October 1st to October 5th, there were 42 articles on 7 News and Channel 5 News in which the subject was an individual 25-years-old or younger. In 37 of them, the individual either committed a crime or a crime was committed against them. It is content such as this that caused the Prime Minister’s Chief Executive Officer, Audrey Wallace, to announce, “Increasingly the Belize Broadcasting Association (BBA) has been receiving a lot of complaints about the graphic details featured in news and the impact it has on children watching.” Wallace, who sits on the BBA Board, was engaged in an open discussion with journalists from across the country at a United Nations Children's Fund sponsored media sensitivity workshop. She said that though Government would never attempt to censor the media, there needs to be a level of responsibility in news presentation. Janelle Chanona is one of the most respected journalists in Belize. She too expressed her dissatisfaction at the content featured on daily newscast and weekly publications. She said, “News in Belize has become infotainment.” When asked if the content in their news is a fair microcosm of society, 7 News’ Jules Vasquez said, “News is when there is a deviation from normal behavior.” He continued, “A dog biting a man is normal behavior but a man biting back a dog is news.” Vasquez says he watches news on a daily basis from different parts of the world and news is the same everywhere because “there is no further deviation from the norm than an adherent’s violent behavior”. Channel 5’s news producer, Amalai Mai, responded to the question saying, “We report what is news. We have no control over what happens every day and we are not trying to portray our youths in a negative light but news is news.” Vasquez explained further, “We report these deviations from the norm so that the public could be informed when they are happening in order to protect themselves.”

The Reporter

Tribute to the Father of the Pan
In every generation there are those hand-selected few who do more than inspire their contemporaries. There are those who leave behind a legacy that can forever be seen, felt or admired. And, in the case of Dr. The Honourable Lennox A. Pike, his legacy can be heard and danced to whenever the rhythmic cadence of a steel pan is in the Belizean air. The deserving accolades were bestowed on the musical pioneer, when The National Institute of Culture and History (N.I.C.H.) acknowledged Dr. Pike for his role in introducing steel pan music to the Jewel. The laureate received his honor at the most fitting time: after Belizeans had enjoyed a melodious night of spectacular, feet-stomping renditions that were served up by several of Belize’s top steel bands at the fourth, annual “Pan Yaad” Concert at the House of Culture on Friday, September 14. But for those who do not already know the story of the genesis of steel orchestras in Belize, The Reporter took the time to speak with Dr. Pike, who was more than happy to share the full story of how this unique Eastern Caribbean tradition was carried to our beloved Belizean shores.

Exploding cylinder kills Hector Duran
Hector “Chapin” Duran, a veteran tour guide for the past 20 years, died when a scuba tank exploded as he was filling it on the dock of the Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. The accident occurred around 4:45 Monday afternoon, October 8. The explosion sent a shard of metal into Duran, disemboweling him. He died shortly afterwards. An eyewitness reported seeing the remains of the tank shoot into the sea nearby, still spewing gas, as the loud explosion rocked the dive shop and other buildings nearby. The Amigos Del Mar management has issued a press release lamenting the tragedy and announcing that it is cooperating fully with authorities investigating the incident. Fabrigas Belize Ltd. Plant Manager, Ezekiel Ayala, speculated on what may have happened. The scuba tank was being filled from a distribution manifold supplied by a compressor. The manifold has a pressure gauge and allows several tanks to be filled at the same time. But if the pressure gauge is giving a faulty reading, it may have caused Duran to inadvertently overfill the cylinder or exceed the rated pressure. Ayala cautioned that pressure gauges need to be checked from time to time for accuracy and if necessary, re-calibrated. Some compressors come with an automatic cut-off switch that will turn the compressor off when it reaches the pressure for which it has been set.

True definition of ‘Transparency’ and ‘Accountability’
In almost every election season, the Belizean electorate gets an earful of promises of increased ‘transparency’ and increased ‘accountability’ from the defending incumbent and his opponent. It almost comes across as if the application of these twin concepts are dependent on the measure of their integrity and honesty. However, we should cringe at that thought, because the true application of what these concepts really refer to should never be dependent on the discretion of any political institution or administration. We should have autonomous agencies that are able to objectively scrutinize the administration. Agustín Cartens, the former deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), giving an address at a 2005 regional workshop, said, “Transparency ensures that information is available that can be used to measure the authorities’ performance and to guard against any possible misuse of powers.

Mexican policemen invade Chunox home and rob family
Two Mexican Judicial State police officers, Francisco Villanueva Gamboa, 24, and Walter Cordova Lopez, 46, were remanded to the Belize Central Prison, after they were arrested last week for allegedly robbing fisherman Julius Foreman, 27, and his family during a home invasion in Chunox, Village last Tuesday night. Corozal Magistrate, Clive Lino denied them bail last Friday morning when they pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated burglary, wounding, and handling stolen goods.

Fiona Mitchell, 32, acquitted of ammunition charge
Fiona Mitchell, 32, a food vendor of #4 Faber’s Road, was acquitted of unlicensed possession of ammunition in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, October 4. She was charged after Police allegedly found a single round of 0.32 calibre ammunition in a pink and black bag with two straps, when they searched a house on Faber’s Road on August 16, 2011.

3 positive cases of Whooping cough identified
The Ministry of Health has recently confirmed three positive cases of Pertusiss (Whooping Cough) in Belize. The Ministry investigated 13 suspected cases of Pertusiss (Whooping cough), and has received preliminary results on five of them, of which two are negative. The suspected cases were sent for analysis at the Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CARDEC) in Trinidad and Tobago. MOH is awaiting final confirmation on the other eight cases.

10 Practical ways to reduce “stress”
Every day, in every aspect of our lives, we encounter the inevitable stressors of life. And while some level of stress (eustress) is needed to motivate us to be productive and successful, when not handled properly with whatever current resources we possess, distress can be very detrimental to our health and well-being. It is critical that we learn and put into practice, different methods and techniques, to help reduce or alleviate these unexpected and sometimes unavoidable stresses of life. Below are 10 practical ways in which this can be accomplished. 1. Organize: A famous writer once said that organization is the law of heaven, and whenever we do not abide by its principles of order, we are bound to experience hell on earth. When one’s life is not organized, the clutter can cause annoying stress even for those without any type of anxiety or stress disorder.

Digicell, Airport, & Atlantic Bank win in firms’ basketball
Telemedia Digicell, Airport, Belize Water Services, Port Belize and Atlantic Bank all enjoyed wins when the Belize City Firms’ Basketball Competition continued at Bird’s Isle over the weekend, while Tuff e’Nuff and Belize Bank enjoyed wins in the under-23 competition. Telemedia Digicell outlasted Belize Bank 54-48 in Friday’s nightcap. Lennox Cayetano led with 20 pts, 18 boards, but Belize Bank’s Troy Gabb matched him with three long 3-pointers for 20 pts and the score was tied 11-11 at the end of the quarter. Lupito Acosta drained in two more 3-pointers to add 10 pts, as Digicell surged ahead 28-13 at intermission. Chris McGann added 10 pts, 5 boards for the bankers with Divaun Williams also hitting a 3-pointer to add eight points and Eugene Courtenay and James Gentle were good for 4 pts each. BTL’s Jason Lamb scored eight points to lead 36-21 in the third quarter and Chaka X and Otis Clother each scored six points for the Digicell win.

Rigo Vellos wins BBBFF’s Mr Belize 2012
Rigo Vellos of Corozal has won the Mr. Belize, and Gina Lovell has won Ms. Belize Body Figure, when the Belize Body Building & Fitness Federation (BBBFF) held its annual Belize Body building and Fitness Championships at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts in Belize City last Friday night, October 5. Rigo Vellos won first prize and the trophy in the light Heavyweight Division, while Ernest Broaster of the Body 2000 gym took second prize. Dion Banner of Downtown Gym claimed the third prize. The contest was divided into weight divisions, and the evening climaxed with an overall contest for the most muscular physique among the winners of the various weight divisions. Rigo Vellos claimed top honors again to win the 2012 National Mr. Belize 2012 title. Guy Neal of Neal & Gordon’s Gym won second prize, and novice champ, Leroy Card who also trains at Neal & Gordon’s, took third.


Changing Directions
Today is dedicated to a few nameless people who are questioning their direction and anyone who sometimes feel like they are running in glue. I had to meet Cheryl at Banana Beach Resort today and hand over the check to Mama Vilma’s Family Home from Cowboy’s pool bar and grill for the Karen Waldrup lounge chair fundraiser. Not wanting to be on Belize time I knew I would ride my bike, I decided to go on my fav back road and hope for the best. I had already surrendered to the fact that pretty much any direction I went in I was going to have to travel through massive puddles. My best heading in that direction turned out to be getting away with a right foot soaker, I knew I was potentially going in a not so good direction but I did it anyways. I was glad to get off easy, I took the same road by foot a few times recently, ended up two major soakers yesterday and and on my @ss due to a slippery board the day before. On my way home I stood in the parking lot beside my bike for a second to think about riding home. I decided rather than potentially forgo the same wet fate, I was going to try another direction and see what happened. My top 2 choices were Los Caminantes road followed by the Mansions road, I decided closer was better.

Chaa Creek’s 2012 Living Link to the Maya
With the approach of the 2012 Winter Solstice, an event earmarked in the Maya Long Count calendar thousands of years ago, the Lodge at Chaa Creek is preparing a series of activities to ensure that their December 21 2012 celebrations act as a “living link” between ancient and contemporary Maya culture, Chaa Creek owner and GM Lucy Fleming said today. “It’s an exciting time here at Chaa Creek as we’re preparing for the week long 2012 Maya Winter Solstice celebrations centred on December 21. It’s our most ambitious project yet, and we want to make sure we get it right, from the educational lectures and workshops through to the grand procession to the ancient Maya temple of Tunichilen on the night of the winter solstice. “With the hand carved stone commemorative stela almost finished, as well as the plans for the Maya cultural village where workshops on Maya arts, crafts and traditional skills such as carving, thatching and cooking will be held, we’re turning our attention to the menu for the elaborate Maya feast, traditional music and other details.

My First Dive in Belize
Learning to dive in Belize is easy and safe. For me, it was also quick; the first day involved an intensive PADI video training and on the second day I was ready to go on my first dive! The same can’t be said for everyone learning to dive as it all depends on how quick you pick it up. The good news is that from my entire class, no one took longer than a week. And take into account that most people choose to take a day off during the course to relax or go on a tour. My first dive in Belize went somewhat like this: The loud motors of the dive boat slowed from their high-pitched whine to a baritone hum as we approached our dive sight near Ambergris Caye. The boat drifted towards a buoy, “I’ve got it!” shouted one of the dive masters. He then proceeded to tie the boat down as we eagerly geared up for our first dive. Diving in Belize is one of the main reasons why tourist visit Ambergris Caye. “Ok students, we’re here,” said our diving instructor. A petite man, no more than five feet tall and nearly forty years old, who had a Belizean accent that always seems to differ from one Belizean to the next, based on their locale. I had a few questions on the tip of my tongue; but, he answered them before I could speak. I looked towards the horizon and saw nothing but ocean stretching out like a rolling mirror until it merged seamlessly with the horizon and the cloudless sky. “Belize is beautiful,” I gasped.

International Sources

Students make 2nd trek to Belize
A group of North Point High School students and teachers traveled out of the country once more to take their dedication to service beyond the walls of the Waldorf high school. In April, three students and two teachers from the school ventured to Belize for five days for a service trip, during which they observed a different culture’s take on education and immersed themselves in a new environment while serving the community. Following the success of the trip and the impact of the experience, drafting teacher Dwight Brown said, the group returned in July, this time with more students and more time. “We had the opportunity to revisit Belize from July 9 to 16 and continue our work,” Brown said. “This time, we took nine students down, and not from just the drafting program but from all over the school. I think the students saw how well it went the first time and wanted to get involved this time.” The nine students and three teachers on the trip participated in service projects in the Central American country, including setting up a computer lab for a school in San Pedro, working with a local basketball team and training students and teachers in technology. Like last time, the group brought school supplies, athletic equipment and money for the community.

Eighth Amendment breaches basic structure
The Belize Constitution (Eighth Amendment) Bill is perhaps the most controversial amendment to the Constitution ever proposed. It was introduced in the House of Representatives on the July 22 2011 and was subject to widespread heated debate. The Belize Bar Association went so far as to procure two opinions from leading international constitutional law scholars. The amendment was introduced against the background of the Court of Appeal's decision that the government's nationalisation of Belize Telemedia Limited, and certain security interests of British Caribbean Bank Limited, was unlawful, null and void. The primary purpose of the amendment was to make the renationalisation beyond legal challenge. The Eighth Amendment was unprecedented in its implications for future challenges to constitutional amendments and to the power relationship between the executive, legislature and judiciary. Many regarded it as a threat to democracy.

How To Taste Wine - Wine Tasting Tips for Everyone
"Learn how to taste wine! With helpful wine tasting tips including how to smell and slurp when tasting. Plus you'll know how to choose wine with confidence." When in Belize City make sure to visit Tinto and Blanco Wine Bar to enjoy wines from around the World. Make sure to "LIKE" their Facebook Page for updates of events and specials.

The Science of the Perfect Nap
According to a growing body of research, napping is a smart thing to do. It can help refresh the mind, make you more creative, boost your intelligence, and even help you live a longer, healthier life.

October 11, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

The San Pedro Sun

Junior Sailors prepare for Next Weekend’s Big Regatta in Corozal Bay
This past weekend (Oct. 6-7), the San Pedro Junior Sailing Team underwent rigorous final preparation for next Sunday’s Corozal Bay Regatta. They studied and practiced crucial starting-line technique on Saturday and raced on Sunday. Two groups raced 2 one-lap races each. The top finishers then competed in the 2-race final. Stephanie Keating sailing Ambergris Lake [...]

Jim Scott prepares for 2012 Iron Man Triathlon in Cozumel, Mexico
When does 2+2=8? When the Rotary Club of Belize matches all funds donated to the Iron Cause for Iron Kids Program. Rotarian Jim Scott has been in serious training for the 2012 Iron Man Triathlon in Cozumel, Mexico, held on his 50th birthday, November 25, 2012. Together with Rotary Belize, Jim is raising donations for the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center. Please help Jim raise the funds to bring urgently needed improvements for the children. Kindly take donations to Scotia Bank, account # 9132885; making non-cash deposits out to the Rotary Club of Belize; Reference: Iron Cause. For more info;

San Pedro welcomes Inspector of Police Reynaldo Pook
Inspector of Police Reynaldo Pook is the newest police officer on Ambergris Caye. Pook is the deputy officer in charge of the Coastal Executive Unit of the Belize Police Department which includes the islands of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. Pook, who just one year ago was promoted from a Sergeant to Inspector, takes over the vacant post left behind by Sergeant Ernel Dominguez who was transferred to the Punta Gorda Police Station and promoted to the post of an Inspector. Known as a disciplinarian within the department, Inspector Pook was transferred from the Corozal Police Station where he also served as the deputy Officer in Charge. While on duty, Pook will be second in command at the San Pedro Town Police Station working directly under Assistant Superintendent of Police Vienne Robinson. “I am here to work with the San Pedro community and foster a better relationship between the public and police in order to better maintain law and order on the island. I am also working to better enhance the discipline amongst the officer at the San Pedro Police formation,” said Inspector Pook. The Orange Walk born officer has been with the Belize Police Department for over 20 years and has held several positions in various parts of the country. The San Pedro Sun joins the San Pedro Police formation and the two islands in welcoming Inspector Reynaldo Pook to Belize Rural South and wishes him the best as he performs his duties in this area.

Hector Duran's Funeral
Hundreds of islanders turned out to show support to the Duran family and say a final farewell to Hector “Chapin” Duran. Amongst the mourners were members of the Duran family, the staff of Amigos del Mar, other tour companies from the island , tour guides, diver masters, the students, faculty and staff of San Pedro High School, students of San Pedro Roman Catholic School and his many, many friends. Duran met an untimely death on Monday September 8th in an accident on Ambergris Caye and was laid to rest at the San Pedro cemetery following funeral services. Duran, who was a tour guide, had a love for the sea and the island that saw him grow into a productive, much-loved citizen of La Isla Bonita. The San Pedro Sun joins Duran’s family and friends in mourning the loss of a great friend, father, and loved one.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro High Baseball Team Off to Panama
It has been several years of preparations and the past two years of intense training to bring the San Pedro High School softball team to be national champs. And for the past six months they have been working in baseball since this championship won them the privilege to represent Belize in Panama City to play against other secondary male teams for the CODICADER Central American Championship. Today Wednesday, October 10, 2012, the team of 17 players along with teacher, coaches and manager take off to Panama for their well deserved trip and adventure in the Central American Games. Win or lose gold, silver or bronze, we know they are all winners already by the mere fact of participating. It is in participating and making friends from abroad and holding up their Belizean flag that they are winners.

Junior Sailors Prepare for Big Regatta in Corozal Bay
On Saturday, October 6, and Sunday, October 7, 2012, the San Pedro Junior Sailing Team underwent rigorous final preparation for this Sunday’s Corozal Bay Regatta. They studied and practiced crucial starting-line technique on Saturday and raced on Sunday. Two groups raced 2 one-lap races each. The top finishers then competed in the 2-race final. Stephanie Keating sailing Ambergris Lake Villas whose scores had tied for first in her two preliminary heats, went on to win the day by taking 1st and 2nd in the final races. The next best combined score gave Kevin Velasquez in Caribbean Villas and Jorge Oliveres in Palo Alto a 2nd place tie. The scores of Jerdon Anderson, sailing Catamaran Bar gave him 4rd place.

Misc Belizean Sources

BEL Seeks Financing For its Series 1 Debentures and General Operations
On December 31, 2012, Belize Electricity Limited's (BEL) Series 1 Debentures will mature. Immediately following the change of ownership of BEL in June 2011, the Company prepared its 2012 – 2016 Business Plan. Below is an excerpt from the Business Plan. "Pursuing suitable financing options will be important in order to meet our short-term financial commitments relating to the maturing debentures in 2012, as well as to meet our medium to long-term operational objectives. The Company will be reviewing loan covenants and requesting revisions to reflect a more reasonable Return on Investment, so as not to burden consumers. Once achieved, BEL will then be positioned to obtain financing for its long-term investments. Considering high liquidity in the market, financing should not be difficult to obtain once the loan covenant issues and the Company's profitability are adequately addressed... As a first option, we will be approaching the Social Security Board to purchase preference shares in the Company... The order of preference [of the funding options under consideration] is in line with risk associated with achieving the lowest rate possible."

KHMH bailout soon?
Watch for a KHMH bailout soon - I have been reliably informed that the hospital is more than $4M in the red - this after being taken over in 2008 with a surplus of $1M - i.e. overspending 1M per year for the last 5 years

Marinas Galore?!
If you can believe the press releases and promoters, Belize soon will be literally awash in new marinas: 250-slip marina opening this month at Sanctuary Belize 263-slip marina for "superyachts" at The Placencia, opening by mid-2013 according to developer news releases 60-slip marina planned at Dreamscapes, opening date unstated Mayan Islands on a caye on the back side of Ambergris originally claimed it would open a 400-slip "mega-yacht" marina, but those plans are in limbo ... or is it gumbo-limbo? Punta Alegre (of which Orchid Bay is part) in Corozal District says it plans a marina -- size or future opening date not stated a proposed marina at Cerros Sands on the Cerros peninsula an addition to the marina at Sittee River. I'm not sure where all the boats are going to come from to fill those marinas, but what do I know? And, again if you can believe the developers and friends, sales are going great at these developments

Chaa Creek’s 2012 Living Link to the Maya
With the approach of the 2012 Winter Solstice, an event earmarked in the Maya Long Count calendar thousands of years ago, the Lodge at Chaa Creek is preparing a series of activities to ensure that their December 21 2012 celebrations act as a “living link” between ancient and contemporary Maya culture, Chaa Creek owner and GM Lucy Fleming said today. “It’s an exciting time here at Chaa Creek as we’re preparing for the week long 2012 Maya Winter Solstice celebrations centred on December 21. It’s our most ambitious project yet, and we want to make sure we get it right, from the educational lectures and workshops through to the grand procession to the ancient Maya temple of Tunichilen on the night of the winter solstice. “With the hand carved stone commemorative stela almost finished, as well as the plans for the Maya cultural village where workshops on Maya arts, crafts and traditional skills such as carving, thatching and cooking will be held, we’re turning our attention to the menu for the elaborate Maya feast, traditional music and other details.

Ignite the Peace Today
Sacred Heart Junior College, The University of Belize, and Galen University are all joining forces for the Ignite the Peace Initiative this morning and early afternoon. Everyone is invited to raise their voices and attend the Eternal Flame of Peace events. There will be a peace march in Belmopan starting at 8:00am. From 9 through 11:30, there will be a peace torch run from Belmopan to Cayo. From 11:00 to noon, Sacred Heart Junior College will have a peace rally.

The Purple Movement
The Purple Movement has a FB page you can like. Everyone can show their solidarity with the family and friends of Suzenne Purple Martinez. Come out to the peacefull demonstration tomorrow in Columbus Park. Cayo will be shut down tomorrow, and the Ignite the Peace Initiative will be happening from 8:00am until 1:00pm, with an all day peace rally.

Peaceful Demonstration Video
Patrick Jones has been in Cayo covering the ongoing peaceful demonstration at Columbus Park. He has interviewed many of the protestors, and Hector Silva and Elvin Penner. Tomorrow is the Ignite the Peace Initiative. Here's another video from the demonstration:

And finally we have our well needed rain!
For tourists the forecast for the next few days is not ideal, although you can always find something fun to do on the island whatever the weather. For us this rain is well overdue and the earth and the plants are rejoicing in its arrival, plus we are very much enjoying the slightly cooler temperatures the weather brings!! We were expecting this – the law of averages would have to dictate that rain was on its way as August and September were so unusually dry. Not that we were complaining, it is great for business for the island and us locals appreciate good weather too! But the rainy season is the rainy season and it looks like October will go out as being one of the wettest months of the season – thankfully we are closed at Raggamuffin!!! The downside of the rain must be the pot holes in the roads and the flooded and very slippery streets. First and foremost let me say that I would not change a thing – the streets are this way because it is the small price we pay to keep them beautifully sandy, if we pave/ tarmac these streets Caye Caulker would instantly lose its charm – don’t you agree? I have faith that Tiger and his Village Council crew will be around shortly, after this big rain, to fill and smooth down the roads – it is a never ending job but for the most part of the year the roads have been excellent and for that we are grateful. So, let us enjoy our rain – time to bring out the rain coats and rubber boots and layer up (although it truthfully is still warm) and perhaps, just perhaps, it is time to enjoy a good glass of red wine??

Walk out on Attorney General
It was painful tonight to watch the people of San Ignacio and Santa Elena disappointingly walk out of the public meeting with the Honorable the Attorney General after two hours of listening to him and getting no answers they were hoping for. Residents of San Ignacio got enough of hearing, as they said, "nothing" from the Attorney General and walked out on him as he spoke at the public meeting on Wednesday night.

Channel 7

SSB Says 15M in BEL is "A Golden Opportunity"
Last night we told you about the 15 million dollars investment that the Social Security Board plans to make in BEL. On Monday, by a majority vote, the board approved an investment of 5 million dollars in BEL debentures at 7% and 10 million dollars in preference shares at 5%. The investment has the appearance of unseemly haste in a power company that is facing prohibitive power purchase costs. In other words, the 9investment seems like a bailout, for a cash strapped company. And while that's what critics or outsiders may conclude, today the Chairmen of The Social Security Board of Directors and its investment committee held a press conference to say that it is a sound investment - more than that, it is a golden opportunity! Here's how they explained it: Doug Singh - Chairman, Social Security Board of Director "BEL is offering 5 million shares of preferred shares. It's a class of hears that has a guaranteed return of 5%, and it is for a life of 3 years, after which time, BEL will re-purchase those debentures. So, to a great extent, it is a debt instrument. BEL is offering as security for those preferred shares, real estate that it currently holds. It is not unusual for BEL to use its assets as security; in fact, it has used the very assets that it is currently pledging as security for some of the instruments that it's offering, it has used such in the past."

"Gaps" In Maids Story of Home Invasion At Central Bank Governor's Home
Today, more details are known about the robbery and home invasion at the home of the Governor of the Central Bank, Glenford Ysaguirre. As we told you last night, only the maid was at his Coney Drive home when an intruder got in and stole a number of items. Today, police have disclosed that the Honduran House Cleaner, Maria Portillo, told police that she was working when a dark skinned man came to the window saying that he had a delivery to make and needed a signature. She says she opened the door, and the man forced himself inside, grabbed her from behind and placed a knife to her throat. He then took her to a room on the second floor and tied her up. He then helped himself to various high value electronic items including two computers, an Ipad, a cell phone and two ipods.

Arguments Conclude In Epic Ashcroft Alliance vs. GOB Appeal Case
Tonight, the matter of the BEL/BTL acquisitions has been fully argued at the Court of Appeal, which finished just before news time. It is one of the biggest cases of national importance, because the former owners of the companies are not only pressing for the Appeal Court to strike out the nationalizations and the 8th amendment, but should the court rule in their favor, they want the acquisitions to be reversed completely. So, the weighty case is now in the hands of the Court of Appeal, to determine whether or not the Government of Belize acted lawfully when they acquired the companies for a public purpose. For the past 2 days of the trial, we've been only able to get comments from the GOB's side, but tonight, Eamon Courtenay, attorney for BCB and FORTIS spoke to us about a few of their arguments. Here's what he had to say about their submissions to the court: Eamon Courtenay - Attorney for BCB/Fortis "I think that the case, as you know, is a very important case because, essentially what the Government has been arguing, is that with the 8th amendment to the constitution, they're able now to pass any constitutional amendment, and the Court doesn't have jurisdiction to determine whether or not that amendment to the constitution is valid. We, of course, strongly object to that, and we submitted to the Court that in a democracy, where the rule of law is paramount, everyone has to have the right of access to the court, and be able to challenge any type of legislation, including a constitutional amendment. What is, of course, of particular interest in this case is that the constitutional amendment sought directly to appeal, in a way, the judgment of the Court of Appeal, because - as you know - Telemedia won the appeal, and they passed the 8th amendment wiping away the judgment.

Man Who Jacked Blue Marlin's Pleads Guilty
24-year-old Russell James, a resident of Belize City, is spending his second night of a 5 year prison sentence after he was convicted of attempted robbery in Magistrate's Court yesterday. Viewers may remember Douglas Young, the owner of the Blue Marlin Restaurant, who spoke to us in April explaining that his establishment was targeted by 2 armed masked men. According to him, these men rushed in, but his son was alert to what was happening. Young said that his son wrestled with one of the men, while he pulled his licensed weapon. This caused the men to try to flee on bicycle, but Young jumped in his vehicle and knocked one of the assailants down before he could get away. Police detained that man, who was identified as Russell James, and after he recovered from the injuries he sustained from that accident, they charged him with attempted robbery.

Teacher Accused Of Sex With 14 Year Old Student In Sewing Room
There is disturbing news tonight of a school teacher having sexual intercourse with a student. The 14 year old female minor who is a resident of Valley of Peace in the Cayo District - went with her father to the police station yesterday. She reported that on the 29th of July and the first of October she had sex in the HIGH school's sewing room with a male teacher. The teacher is from the same village, and police detained him this afternoon. The ministry of education sent a team to the school to investigate today. An initial assessment shows that the teacher in question resigned last week when the school found that he had broken a school rule by being seen with the 14 year old at a late hour. At that time, the allegation of unlawful carnal knowledge had not surfaced.

Jireh Used Clothing Store Targeted By Robbers
Jireh Used Clothing Store on Euphrates Avenue was targeted by armed robbers yesterday. The proprietor of the clothing store - Myra Rash- told police that 3 men entered her establishment, one armed with a handgun and demanded money. Rash handed over three hundred dollars from the cash register and forty dollars from her purse. One of her employees was also robbed of a gold chain and a cell phone. The men then rode away on bicycles.

COLA Opposes Referendum on ICJ
The activist group COLA is striking up again. IT today held a press conference boldly called a State of the Nation Address. You can't fault them for ambition, but we wondered what about follow through? President Giovanni Brackett said he'll do just that when it comes to the referendum to go to the International Court of Justice: Geovanni Brackett - President, COLA "We at COLA are outraged at the OAS that with the rampant illegal actions Guatemalans who continue to rape our forests, illegally settling our territory, illegally hunt our wild life, illegally fish and pollute our waters. The OAS has yet to condemn these actions. Well, COLA will make it very clear that we will campaign, starting now, to a complete no to ICJ. We don't just talk, and the OAS is one of the examples of that, and we will have actions, yes, as it relates to implementing, and advocating for better policies within our country. In terms of specifics as to what those actions will be, those will be discussed further at our executive level, and with our brother membership, about this International Court of Justice, that there will be volatile actions, to stop this issue of Belize to be taken to the ICJ."

Crime is Down?
Major Crime is down. Now you might shake your head when we say that, and we did too when we saw the totals on the statistics sent to us today from the Police Department Joint Intelligence Joint Coordinating Center. The figures show that major crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, burglary, theft, and carnal knowledge went down between January to September of 2012 when compared to the same period in 2011. There were 2093 major crimes reported in 2011 and 2070 reported for the same period in 2012. But, taken in aggregate, the figures can be deceiving - because when we broke them down, we found that the number of more serious crimes went up. There were two more murders, two more rapes, 55 more robberies and two more burglaries, but that is offset by 81 fewer cases of theft and 2 fewer cases of carnal knowledge.

Mental Health Day Observed
Today was observed as World Mental Health Day and in Belize it was highlighted with awareness campaigns at all public health clinics throughout the country. This year's theme focuses on depression - which affects more people than any other mental disorder. And although depression is a treatable disease, it is said that six out of every ten people who have depression in Latin America and the Caribbean do not seek or do not receive the treatment they need. Opening ceremonies for World Mental Health Day in Belize City was held at the BTL Park - where clinical psychiatrist, Dr. Claudina Cayetano - spoke about the importance of awareness about this disorder that affects more that 350 million people around the world.

Hot Meals, Special Delivery By Post Office
Every year the Belize Postal Service observes World Post Day on October 9, along with every other postal service around the world. This year there is a week of observances, and today, they decided to give back to the community by handing out food to the needy. We caught up to them at the Battlefield Park, where they spoke to us on the significance of the old reliable postal service in the age of the electronic everything... James Gabourel - Deputy Post Master General "Today the Post Office is out here distributing food to the homeless, and this is all in connection with World Post day. World Post Day is celebrated annually on October 9, however, in connection with that day, the Post Office would have a complete week's activities." Daniel Ortiz "So is this something that you guys do every year?"

Who's Got The Buffest Body in Belize
The 2012 Body Building and Body Fitness Championships was held at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts on Friday night. The event is held every 2 years, and this year, the competition was as fierce as it was in 2010. But the highlight of the show was when Rigo Vellos won the overall competition, in which the members of the lower weight classes challenged him for the title of the best athlete of the championships. Today, 7News was able to contact Vellos via phone, and we asked him about the experience. Here's what he had to say: Rigo Vellos - Winner, 2012 Body Building Championships (Via Telephone) " I know that the guys prepared themselves just like I did. The last time there was a Mr. Belize, that was in 2010, and I prepared myself for 2 years. And I know that they did also, and I know that they worked hard; that's why they were on that stage. The competition - there was competition for me. There wasn't a single second that night that I felt too comfortable saying in my mind that I have won this competition. I went there - from day one, I had in mind that I had to be competitive until the last second. Until I heard that they called my name winning, that was when I got more relaxed and more comfortable. The guys did go to compete; they were ready for competition, and they did give me competition. Bodybuilding does require a lot of discipline, a lot of time spent at the gym. See as though I have won the Mr. Belize, I try my best to keep it in my head that I carry a name not just like the one I carry every day. I keep in mind that actually now, people look up to me."

Ms. Hispanidad y Mestizaje
We've told you many times about the annual Ms Garifuna pageant…well now the Hispanic culture has crowned their own ethnic queen. The Ms. Hispanidad y Mestizaje Pageant was held over the weekend in Corozal. And the winner is Florllarima Wiltshire, 2nd Place went to Tiffany Rosado and 3rd Place: Karen Glori. And everyone was a winner because there were only three contestants. According the organizers from a group called COLCHA, quote, aim "COLCHA believes that by promoting and developing the appreciation of one's cultural heritage, we can revive the sense of pride, values and identity of our people."

Channel 5

S.S.B. injects $15 Million in B.E.L.
The Social Security Investment Committee, last Friday, approved a substantial investment to Belize Electricity Limited. The investment of fifteen million dollars got the nod to rescue the government owned utility company which experienced a two million dollar loss in the first quarter of this year. When the government took over the company from Fortis, it [...]

S.S.B. Chairman says B.E.L. is a safe investment
According to S.S.B. executives, B.E.L. is need of operating capital and the S.S.B. has excess liquidity in reserves.   Jose Sanchez “How fast would we see those funds being transferred for the debentures?”   Doug Singh, Chainman, S.S.B. “There is a legal process that Social Security has to undertake. Once the investment committee has made [...]

Remembering 2 slain Cayo females
There are parallels to be drawn between the murders of Jasmine Lowe and Suzenne Martinez. Both young women, residents of the Cayo district, were attacked, murdered and their bodies discarded. And like in the case of Jasmine, the suspect in the murder of Suzenne was found with her personal belongings. News Five’s Isani Cayetano takes [...]

PM on separation of powers amidst Cayo citizens’ demands
This coming Thursday, businesses in Cayo will be closing down in protest of recent murders and other violence in the district. The B.N.T.U. Cayo branch late this afternoon said it will be cancelling classes in solidarity with organizers of the shutdown. Twenty-two primary and high schools will be getting time of to participate in Thursday’s [...]

Arguments conclude for Telemedia and B.E.L. Appeals Court case
Arguments concluded today in the court of appeal in the nationalization of B.T.L. and B.E.L. British Barrister Nigel Pleming representing the British Caribbean Bank’s arguments focused on why the 2011 nationalization act was invalid since it seeks to revive the 2009 nationalization act which was declared null and void by the court. On the government [...]

Embassy warning for U.S. Citizens
Due to increased violent crime in the country, the United States Embassy of Belize has issued a security warning to its citizens who are either on holiday or living in Belize. The note specifically addresses an increase in sexual assaults and robberies. It says quote “The crime threat in Belize is high. Random and organized [...]

COLA’s “State of the Nation” Address
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, under the presidency of Giovanni Brackett, held press conference this morning to discuss a range of current social and political issues affecting the country. While the head table presented a number of concerns, including crime and violence, as well as land ownership and internet penetration, it failed to [...]

2 Belizeans and 1 Mexican walk in a bar; 3 walk out with cocaine charges
Two Belizeans and a Mexican national were busted with cocaine on Sunday after police searched their vehicle at a bar in Corozal. The cops were tipped off about the drugs at around six o’clock p.m. and headed to C&B’s bar in Baezas Layout, Corozal Town. They searched a 2005 Ford Eco Sport SUV in the [...]

1 man’s shove strong enough for 3 assault charges on cops
A part time boxer and construction worker, twenty-nine year old Harrison Smith is in trouble with the courts after he allegedly assaulted not one, but three police officers over the weekend. Reports are that on Sunday, Police Constables Steve Ferguson, Jefferson Dawson and Luis Cobarruvias approached Smith at the Commercial Center and he pushed Ferguson [...]

“Horse” free of marijuana possession
A police foul up has resulted in a drug trafficking case against the well known street figure, Jermaine “Horse” Garnett being thrown out. On May twenty-second, 2011, Garnett was accused of trafficking a half pound of weed after police claimed they saw him throw two plastic bags of cannabis out of his Kia Sportage vehicle. [...]

Canada donates forensic ballistic system to Belize
A forensic ballistic system donated by the Canadian government will be inaugurated this Friday. Coinciding with that event will be a visit by Canada’s minister of state of Foreign Affairs, Diane Ablonczy. Between today and Sunday, Ablonczy will be in Guatemala and Belize to strengthen relationships with both countries and to reinforce the Canadian commitment [...]

Depression: A Global Crisis
World Mental Health Day was first celebrated internationally twenty years ago and locally, this year activities were held throughout the country in observance of the day. The World Health Organization estimates that by 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of world disability and by 2030 it is expected to be the largest contributor [...]

Belize plays baseball at CODICADER Games in Panama
For the first time, Belize is competing in baseball at the CODICADER Games in Panama. Softball National Champs, San Pedro High School, along with several skilled athletes from across the country make up the team of sixteen players that will compete from the twelfth to the fifteenth of October. The team will play against other [...]


Police News
An armed hold up was reported at a used-clothing store in Belize City on Tuesday. The proprietor of Jireh Used Clothing Myra Patricia Rash told police that she was accosted by three men, one of whom carried a handgun. Rash says that the men demanded money. Fearing for...

Belize Represented In Taiwan for Its Independence
Today 10th October marks the 101st anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China. The Republic of China was formed on the Chinese mainland after the Qing Empire was overthrown in 1912 by Chinese revolutionaries. In 1949 the Republic of China government under the le...

Police Raid Uncovers Passports Unaccounted For; Three Haitians Arrested
Three Haitian nationals have been charged with immigration offences. They are Wilner Celeson, Dieuleils Florent and Sillon Oriental. Celeson was charged with the unlawful possession of 6 Haitian passports while Florent was charged with the unlawful possession of four Haitian passpo...

Home Invasion At Central Bank's Governor Residence
Police in Belize City are investigating an aggravated burglary that occurred on Tuesday afternoon. It happened at the home of Central Bank of Belize governor Glenford Ysaguirre, who was not at home at the time of the incident. According to police reports, Ysaguirre&rsqu...

Prime Minister Comments on Social Security Investment in Debentures
The Belize Social Security Board has begun the process of investing in debentures offered by the Belize Electricity Limited. The prospectus for offer of debentures by the government-owned electricity company has not yet been made public; but Love News understands that SSB’s Inves...


San Pedro man dies in tank explosion
A man from San Pedro town was killed in an explosion on Monday afternoon. The victim has been identified as thirty nine year old Hector Duran. Duran who worked at the Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop in San Pedro town was killed around four forty five yesterday afternoon, when a dive tank he was refilling exploded. According to police reports, the impact of the explosion caused a large cut wound to Duran’s abdominal area, the right side of his chest and a large cut wound to the palm of his right hand. Duran’s body has since been transported to the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City for a post mortem examination. In a letter sent out by his employer today, the management of Amigos del Mar Limited said that the company is facilitating the relevant authorities to carry out the necessary investigation into the very unfortunate tragedy. The statement said, quote: The incident is very unfortunate and has affected his co-workers and the management of the dive shop since he has been an extended family to this establishment. We continue to offer all the necessary support to the family and staff during their time of bereavement,” end of quote.

Central Bank Governor’s home robbed
The home of the Central Bank Governor Glenford Ysaguirre was robbed on Tuesday afternoon. The Governor was not at home at the time of the incident. Reports are the the maid was accosted and tied up and the house ransacked. Police have not released by official information on the incident.

Charges brought against Haitian nationals
Three Haitian nationals have been charged with immigration offences. [VO STARTS] They are Wilner Celeson, Dieuleils Florent and Sillon Oriental. Celeson was charged with the unlawful possession of 6 Haitian passports while Florent was charged with the unlawful possession of four Haitian passports. Oriental was charged with failure to produce a visitor’s permit. Oriental pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared in court today. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser fined him $1,000.00 and ordered him to pay forthwith. If he defaults on payment he will serve six months. Celeson and Florent were brought to court but they will not be arraigned on the charges until tomorrow because the court books have to adjusted so that the can be made out separately. The incident occurred on Monday, October 8. The police raided a house on Tibruce Street and found the three Haitians there. The police also found 10 passports with the names of Haitians nationals on them who Celeson and Florent could not give account of. Both Celeson and Florent have permanent resident status in Belize. Oriental arrived in Belize on September 27, 2012 via Phillip Goldson International Airport. He was given a visitor’s permit to stay in Belize until February 26, 2013. but he did not have his passport with the permit in it when the police found him at the house.

Three arrested in Corozal drug bust
Three persons including a Mexican national have been arrested and charged for the crime of drug trafficking. The men, fifty one year old Alfonso Iglesias Junior of Corozal town, fifty one year old Jose Nunez of San Pedro town, and fifty two year old Pedro Alfonso Betancourt Reed of Chetumal, were busted last night during a police operation in Corozal. According to the police, acting upon information received, they visited C & B’s Bar on Baeza’s Layout in Corozal town where a search of an SUV was conducted. That search led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing six small transparent bags of suspected cocaine. After the vehicle and the three occupants were transported to the Corozal Police Station, investigators carried out a further search which led to the discovery of another black plastic bag under the passenger seat containing twelve small transparent plastic bags containing suspected cocaine. Betancourt, Iglesias and Nunez were jointly charged with two counts of the offence of Drug Trafficking.

Hopkins man charged for drug trafficking
Police in the Stann Creek district have arrested and charged a resident of Hopkins village for the crime of drug trafficking and possession of controlled drugs. He is Ashton Victor Nunez Vicente. Police say that around eight thirty on Friday morning, they visited Vicente’s residence where they saw him throwing several pieces of white looking substance through a window of his house. Police say that as they entered the building, Vicente handed over a small black plastic bag containing suspected cannabis to them. He was then taken to the area outside of the building where he was seen disposing of the white looking substance which revealed to be suspected crack cocaine. Vicente and the suspected drugs were escorted to the Hopkins Police Station where the drugs were weighed and amounted to 2.2 grams of crack cocaine and 5.5grams of cannabis. Vicente was arrested and charged for the offences of Drug Trafficking and Possession of Controlled drugs.

Guatemalan shot dead in the Chiquibul identified
On Monday, police press officer Rafael Martinez gave some basic details about the death of a Guatemalan man inside the Chiquibul National Reserve on Thursday of last week. While the details were basic and did not include the man’s name, the Guatemalan press has been providing more details and putting their own spin on the sequence of events that unfolded in the jungles of western Belize. Sifting through the Guatemalan rhetoric, we gather that the man shot dead by the BDF soldier is twenty five year old Francisco Quim. According to Belizean officials, Quim was shot under the chin and the right upper part of his back. The official Belize account of the incident is that on October 4th., BDF soldiers and Forestry Officers were conducting a spot check when they encountered Quim inside Belizean territory. Quim is reported to have been carrying a wooden box and a machete. When he was ordered to stop, Quim discarded the wooden box and advanced on the soldier in a threatening manner with his machete. The BDF solider fired four ‘warning shots’ which did nothing to stop the advancing Guatemalan and it was at that point that a final, fatal shot was fired, stopping Quim dead in his tracks. The Guatemalan spin doctors are claiming that Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Harold Caballeros is on record as saying that the Government of Belize said it regrets the death of Quim and that Belize has offered to compensate the victim’s family. Furthermore, according to the media reports, Caballaros told reporters that Belize has undertaken to carry out an investigation of the incident, and assign criminal penalties against the soldiers involved in the incident. It’s an incredible claim as reported by the Guatemalan media; but as we said, the Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been tight-lipped about the incident.

Turmoil at Orange Walk high school settles
On Monday Love News reported on a walk-out of teachers and students of Orange Walk Technical High School in that northern municipality. The matter, however heated and ominous it appeared then, seems to have quailed quite a bit over the past twenty-four hours. And it happened when the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, visited the school and intervened. Today Minister Faber told Love News that he discovered upon listening to the two sides that there were people acting more on emotions than allowing a process to take place. Today, however, he said, things were pretty much back to normal. Minister Faber says while having to travel to Orange Walk to try and quell what could have ended up in a far worse situation took much out of his schedule, he prefers to get involved in order to try and prevent a scenario that would have ended up with time lost at school.

Government and Unions reach partial agreement on benefits package
After four years of ironing out the rough edges, this afternoon, a partial bargaining agreement was reached between the Government of Belize and the unions that represent the teachers and public officers over allowances. Lead Minister at the Head Table, Patrick Faber, explained what the benefits include. These increases in allowances also include for police officers who are public officers. But while many public officers will be happy for the increases, a few will not be. This is because along with the increases came a process to streamline the performance appraisal system. In overhauling the system it was discovered that some public officers were collecting allowance that they did not legitimately deserved, and some of these allowances extended for five years in some cases. Minister Gibson explained that aspect. Meanwhile, President of the Public Service Union, Marvin Blades, said that he was hopeful that the rest of the issues still being worked on will be finalized shortly. Those have to do with salary increases. On the Government negotiating team are Ministers Patrick Faber, Charles Gibson and Godwin Hulse and on the Unions’ side are the President of the Public Service Union, Marvin Blades, President of the Belize National Teachers’ Union, Luke Palacio, and the representative of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, Dr. Michael Pitts.

Toledo residents repair broken street
Repairs to a bad section of Front Street in Punta Gorda town are currently being undertaken by a team of volunteers. Our Toledo Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

ICT Road Show starts in Belize City
A forum known as an ICT Roadshow opened today in Belize City. Over the course of the next four days, people from four Districts in Belize will gather to discuss using the latest technological advances in communication. Love News spoke with Dr. Colin Young, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology about the scope of what’s being shared. The four districts that will take part this week in the discussions are Stann Creek, Orange Walk, Cayo and Belize Districts.

Belize observes Postal Day
Today the world is observing World Postal Day and it coincides with World Wellness Day. In Belize, the Postal Service has teamed up with various government departments to hold an open day and a week of activities, which started on Sunday. Belizeans in all six districts can receive free blood pressure, HIV and glucose tests. We spoke with Deputy Post Master General, James Gabourel, who explained what the collaborative effort will include over the next few days. Gabourel says that throughout the week the activities will be a joint effort on the part of a number of relevant government agencies to coincide with World Postal and World Wellness Day today.

Coastal Zone Forum in Belize City
Experts from around the Caribbean and Central America which include Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala, Canada, the United States and Belize are convening at the Princess Hotel and Casino where a three day regional conference to discuss climate change is being hosted by the Belize Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute in partnership with the Natural Capital Project, World Wildlife Fund, Inter-American Development Bank, Caribbean Community Climate Change Center and Nature Conservancy. The Conference is entitled Integrating Climate Change Adaptation Planning into Coastal Zone Management Using Ecosystem Services and Managing Director of the Natural Capital Project at Standford University says who says her group works closely with CZMAI to provide scientific information, told us about what the meeting aims to do. Ruckelshaus says everyone is hoping to hold similar workshops on a regular basis in the area of climate change since people are becoming more and more aware of climate change and how nature can help people adapt. Among today’s presenters were CEO in the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Dr. Wendel Parham, Director General of Jamaica’s Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Ronald Jackson and CZMAI’s very own CEO Vincent Gillett.

Toledo UDP prepares for next elections
General elections are a ways off yet; but one political party has already started the preparations. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Raise Your Flag competition hands out prizes
Less than a month after the conclusion of the annual Raise Your Flag competition today, the big prizes were officially handed over. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo reports.

Cayo agitation getting results
Residents of San Ignacio and Santa Elena who say they are fed up with crime and violence in their municipalities demonstrated on Monday in Cayo. Hundreds of residents gathered inside the Columbus Park carrying placards and banners expressing their frustration and calling on government to do something to address their concerns. Juliana Guerra was one of the more vocal of the demonstrators on Monday. A group of San Ignacio and Santa Elena residents met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow in his Belmopan office on Monday afternoon to present a list of demands from the people. According reports received, the meeting was cordial and the Prime Minister gave an undertaking to take the list of ten demands to cabinet today and give a formal response to the people of Cayo by Wednesday morning. But one positive outcome of the people’s agitation over the weekend and on Monday is the decision to send Attorney General Wilfred Elrington to San Ignacio to address the people’s concerns. A public meeting will take place tomorrow night at the ITVETT compound on Buena Vista Street, where Elrington will hear firsthand about the people’s concerns regarding bail for sex offenders, capital punishment and other issues relating to crime fighting. Under the Banner of Solidarity Movement for Peace, tomorrow’s public meeting is scheduled tos tart at seven o’clock. The people’s agitation action to address the growing crime problem in the twin towns continues on Thursday with a voluntary shutdown of businesses in Santa Elena and San Igncaio. The voluntary shutdown is scheduled to begin at seven o’clock on Thursday morning and continuing until seven o’clock on Thursday night.

Jalacte resident wants justice for home invasion
A home invasion last month in the rural Toledo village of Jalacte has slipped from the headlines; but the family continues to suffer the effects of the traumatic incident. Our Toledo Correspondent Paul Mahung spoke with the family recently and files this report.


Text Messages to Rise and Shine Morning Show
We have posted the unread text messages to PlusTV's Rise and Shine Show which discussed the isue of Crime in light ...

Denys Barrow explained his interpretation of the Ashcroft Alliance position in Appeal Court
The October sitting of the Appeal Court began Monday morning (Oct 8) with 2 weighty matters to hear; those are the ...

Harvest for Kids has a successful reaping
Our journalist Jesse Mendoza invested his Saturday at the Banana Bank corn field to share in a unique harvesting ex...

Plus TV's Louis Wade interviews Minister Penner
Director of Plus TV, Louis Wade, discusses the crime concerns in San Ignacio and Santa Elena with Area Representati...

Mother appeals for clues to Suzenne's death
Suzenne Martinez’ mom called into Rise and Shine this morning. The family is understandably very upset by the slow ...

Parking problems as Belmopan bus terminal is upgraded.
On Monday we celebrated the commencement of road works on Nim Li Punit St. Another major operation is the Belmopan ...

Governor of Central Bank is victim of home invasion
Governor of Central Bank home is one of the latest targets of home invasion. Maria Mirtala Portillo Ramirez, Hondur...

Farm buildings destroyed by fire in Stan Creek District
Businessman of Dangriga Town, Emilio Zabaneh, has suffered major fire damage to his farm. Zabaneh reported that Fri...

Clothing store manager robbed at gunpoint.
Clothing store manager robbed at gunpoint. Myra Patricia Rash, owner of Jireh Used Clothing reported to police that...

14 year old accuses teacher of carnal knowledge
A 14yr. old resident of Valley of Peace Village visited the police station along with her. She reported that on Jul...

NICH plans weekend Indigenous Music Festival
The National Institute of Culture and History and its partners can now breathe easier as a site has been identified...


Belizean Style Trick or Treating
As Cowboy Doug, Leisa and I drove past Caye supplies and we saw their display of Christmas tress in the window it made me think I better bust a move on the Halloween party announcement. They had some errands to run in town and I was stopping off at the Travelers store on Middle street to pick up some of their One Barrel, Travelers Gold and a 3 bottle party pack for a costume prize – thanks Luis. It was the first time I had been in their store, worth stopping by they have a large selection of rum and other assorted products. This will be my first ever Halloween pool party and I can’t wait, I even ordered a Kenneth Cole bikini on eBay [and a few other surprising items] for my costume. Between the pool bar and grill, the annual Saturday night Holiday Hotel Party and hanging out on front street, Halloween is going to be super fun this year. Here are the details on the Trick or Treat Pool party: Come do some Belizean style trick or treating for One Barrel Rum and Travelers Gold. Anyone that comes in costume will receive a free rum drink, kids will get a soda. Party will be on Sunday Oct 28th 12:00pm – 8:00pm

The Tuesday Morning Fruit Boats & Becoming a Dolla Taco Connoisseur
Fruits and vegetables in Belize tend to be expensive. Particularly if they are imported from outside the country. And selection can seems a bit limited at times...especially to someone who has just moved here and is used to the huge choice at American (or Canadian) supermarkets. Dreaming of a bit of fall acorn squash? You might be paying $8-10bzd a pound and you are only finding it at a specialty shop (the Green House) on the island. Brussel sprouts your thing around Thanksgiving time? $12-14bzd for about a half pound. Maybe a pumpkin to carve with the kids? Get your credit card out...THIS is going to cost you. Maybe just best to carve a watermelon or pineapple. How cool is that? I wrote a post about fruits and vegetables in Belize and what you can expect to find a few months ago. You can read it here. For the cheapest prices in San Pedro, you are going to have to go to the source. Each Tuesday morning for years, the boats come over from the mainland to sell fruits and vegetables.

Lighthouse Reef – A Popular Dive Spot in Belize
The most easterly of Belize’s three atolls, Lighthouse Reef lies 50 miles southeast of Belize City. The 30-mile-long, 8-mile-wide lagoon is the location of the Blue Hole, a dive spot that was made famous by Jacques Cousteau and is a favorite destination for dive boats from Belize City, Ambergris Caye, and Caye Caulker.

International Sources

Keep Your Guard Up: Secondary Hurricane Season Begins
Even though the peak of hurricane season has passed, there is sometimes a second pulse of tropical storms and hurricanes during October. While it may seem the door has shut in the Atlantic Basin for this season, there are still some reasons to keep up the guard. There have been 15 named tropical systems this year in the Atlantic and there has recently been one of the longest-lived tropical systems on record, Nadine. meteorologists do not expect a big new crop of tropical storms and hurricanes for the remainder of the season, but they are monitoring a couple of areas in the Atlantic during week two of October.

Belize company at NYC's Harvard Club
Belize based Dreamscapes International Properties will be a featured company at NYC's Harvard Club on October 11th. "the owner and developer of 563 contiguous acres in the Stann Creek District of Belize, Central America (1.4 miles from the Ocean), which have been subdivided into 1,043 acre and 1/3 acre lots." Cliff Goodrich, CEO of Dreamscapes International Properties, who will be attending the conference with other of its board members and advisors, stated, "We look forward to the exposure the UE Conference gives to Dreamscapes. As we continue the Dreamscapes plan and expand farther into the Caribbean Basin, we will be looking to the financial community as a source for expansion capital, the exposure the Conference provides will be invaluable going forward. Our Belize project is well underway with more than 300 sales to date. The Dreamscapes' plan is being executed as I speak and Dreamscapes continues to expand its horizons within the Caribbean basin."

New World Oil and Gas raises US$14m for Blue Creek project in Belize
New World Oil and Gas has raised £8.6m to finance the drilling of a third well at the company's Blue Creek project in the Petén Basin in north-west Belize. The company issued 95,555,556 new ordinary shares at a price of nine pence per share. The well will target prospect A, which RPS Energy has given P50 volumetrics of 124 million barrels of oil, on a 100% working interest basis. Proceeds will also be used to fund the planned 3D seismic programme on the company's Danica Jutland project in Denmark, and for general working capital purposes. New World Oil and Gas chairman and chief executive, William Kelleher, said the company has received support from both new and existing shareholders, resulting in the placing being oversubscribed. "We are now fully funded to complete our on-going, three well drilling programme in Belize and, in the process, acquire a 100% working interest in Blue Creek, which has current estimated gross P50 volumetrics of 329 million barrels of oil and a net present value ('NPV10') of $8.1bn," said Kelleher.

Lord Ashcroft unveils a sparkling ambition
The Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft has unveiled plans to become one of the largest producers of English sparkling wine. He wants to buy up 150 acres of prime English vineyards in West Sussex with the aim of producing 400,000 bottles a year. Shellproof, an Aim-listed cash shell registered in Belize, is merging with a new company, Shellproof plc, which will be registered in the UK. Lord Ashcroft owns 76 per cent of the company, which is currently run by three members of his Belize Bank Holdings. Shellproof has already bought its first vineyard for just under the recent asking price of £385,000, and has another £4m-plus of cash to spend on further vineyards and constructing its own winery. The Halnaker vineyard comprises 13 acres, with 10 acres already planted with mature vines. The company has also agreed to take grapes from a further 27 acres of tenanted vineyards and wants to add another 110 acres of vines. Shellproof said that about 1.4 million bottles of English sparkling wine were sold in the UK last year, so 400,000 bottles would place it among the largest producers.

Shyne Calls Obama 'Corny,' Supports Mitt Romney Instead
'Obama is playing games, he frontin',' Belize-born MC explains to MTV News of why he would vote for Romney. Shyne won't be allowed to vote during this year's presidential elections, but if he was the exiled rapper wouldn't be backing Barack Obama. "I'd vote for Romney," Shyne told MTV News during a phone interview on Monday before rapping Kanye West's now infamous line from "To the World." "Even though Mitt Romney don't pay no tax, Mitt Romney don't pay no tax." The Belize-born Shyne has been working tirelessly to get back into the United States since he was deported once he was released from prison in 2009...

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