Recent Belize News
11/1/2012 to 11/10/2012
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Today's Belize News

November 10, 2012

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

John Greif II San Pedro Airstrip officially renamed and inaugurated
The John Greif II San Pedro Airstrip was officially renamed, unveiled and inaugurated after being in renovation for the past two years. The event took place on Thursday November 8th and present for the occasion were members of parliament as well as members of the Greif family and other high profile dignitaries and local airline representatives. The event was twofold: to officially inaugurate the airstrip and to officially unveil the renamed airstrip that proudly boasts a bronze bust of the late John Greif II. Officially welcoming the dignitaries to the event was Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero who said that project is welcome and will enhance and compliment the evolving tourism industry and the fast-growing municipality of San Pedro. Following Mayor Guerrero’s welcome remarks, Louis Ake, the Regional Manager of Central American Corporation for Air Navigation Services (COCESNA) in Belize, explained the magnitude of investment that was pumped into the renovation of airstrip facility in San Pedro. “More than US $2.3 million has been invested. This project was comprised of the following: the construction of 2175 meters of perimeter fencing, the rehabilitation and resurfacing of the runway and the taxiway, the construction of a new airport parking area, the installation of the runway and taxiway lights and the installation of a precision approach pathway indication lighting system which will provide visual aid for landing aircraft. The project was financed and managed by COCESNA,” said Ake.

Announcing the Grand Opening of GAÏA Riverlodge
The newly renamed and redesigned GAÏA Riverlodge is set to open its doors this Saturday, November 10th. Formerly the Five Sisters Lodge, this scenic property which has been closed for renovation since August, will officially relaunch as GAÏA Riverlodge with a fresh aesthetic and wonderful amenities. “We are thrilled to welcome our first guests,” says Daniel Lighter, owner of both GAÏA Riverlodge and its sister property Matachica Resort and Spa, located in Ambergris Caye. “This is such an exciting time for us and we look forward to further developing our services and relations within the Belizean community.” Tucked away inside the lush Mountain Pine Ridge Forest, GAÏA Riverlodge has been redesigned with major upgrades to the signature cabanas as well as the main lodge building. The sixteen cabanas now boast hardwood floors, bathrooms with hand-painted Mexican tiles, panorama windows or private verandas with relaxing hammocks. Handmade Mahogany furnishings and luxurious Matouk and Frette linens also add to the comfort to the revamped lodge.

Concerns at public meeting on crime yields positive results
Hardly a week after the public meeting on crime at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium there are positive results coming out of the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), who over the past week, held several emergency meetings with various business people and stakeholders. Five new police officers have been assigned to the San Pedro Police Formation and housing, along with transportation, has also been secured. In addition two very substantial donations were received by the SPTC, which was handed over to police on Thursday, November 8th. When speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Mayor Daniel Guerrero explained that after the public meeting on Tuesday October 30th, many people expressed willingness to assist both the SPTC and the Police Department on the island to address the crime situation that has spiked out of control. One of the first persons to reach out was John McAfee, renowned businessman and part-time resident of northern Ambergris Caye. “Due to concerns of the people in the last meeting we promised to go into first gear. Mr. John McAfee called me immediately after hearing about the concerns as it related to crime…he came very generously and said he will equip the police force in San Pedro with anything that he could at the time and is willing to give even more. He has promised the Council that his boat is available anytime for the Police Department if they need it. He is also willing to host all five police officers in five air-conditioned rooms at his establishment and transportation for them will be free of cost via Coastal Express,” said the Mayor.

Ambergris Today

Inauguration of The John Greif II San Pedro Airport
The number one tourist destination in the country of Belize now boasts a newly renovated and safety enhanced airport, the John Greif II Airport. The official inauguration took place on Thursday, November 8, 2012, where officials of the Belize Airports Authority, COCESNA, distinguished guests and media gathered at the airport to witness such important event.

Donation Arms San Pedro Police to Help Combat Crime
Mr. John McAfee was more than pleased to help out the community of La Isla Bonita which he calls home. His donation included equipment for the police officers, housing for five police officers and a boat for transportation. Equipment donation included tasers, handcuffs, hydration packs, flashing lights, metal detectors, pistol belts, pepper spray and batons, to name a few. On behalf of Minister Heredia, Mr. Kevin Gonzalez, presented a short speech to those in attendance and also presented six of twelve Motorola hand-held radios for the department. Assistant Superintendent Vienie Robinson delivered the vote of thanks after the official presentation of equipment which was carried out by Mr. John McAfee, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Mr. Keving Gonzalez.

Celebrity Spotting - Arlett Teran Dining in San Pedro, Belize
Mexican telenovela actress Arlett Teran was spotted at two different restaurants in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize this week as she vacationed in La Isla Bonita. Known mostly for her villain roles in Mexican telenovalas (soap operas) one of Arlett’s first roles was in the Tu y Yo (1996) soap opera, where she appeared as a villain. She soon starred in more soaps such as Mi pequeña traviesa (1998) Tres mujeres (1999), Rafaela, Zacatillo Un Lugar en tu Corazon, Mañana es para Siempre, Yo Amo a Juan Guerendón and in the movie Amor Inesperado (2000).

Join the Diabetes Awareness Walk
Everyone is invited to join the San Pedro Diabetes Association in their first Diabetes Awareness Walk-A-Ton on Sunday, November 11, 2012. The walk will commence at the Central Park at 6:00 a.m. heading to Victoria House and back. Please join in the walk! *Breakfast will be served for those who participate.

Misc Belizean Sources

Fodor’s, the leading name in travel guides for over 75 years, today announced that TABLE ROCK JUNGLE LODGE has been recognized as a 2012 Fodor’s Choice selection. This distinction designates TABLE ROCK as a leader in its field for service, quality, and value in the 2012 year. The editors and experts of Fodor’s have been selecting only the top fifteen percent of their listed properties and activities as Fodor’s Choice award recipients since 1988. Every year, Fodor’s writers experience, examine and evaluate thousands of hotels, restaurants and attractions in their travels across the globe. While every business included in a Fodor’s guide is deemed worth a traveler’s time, only those offering a truly remarkable experience are given the Fodor’s Choice designation. For more than 75 years Fodor’s has presented travelers with the very top recommendations from hidden-away restaurants to can't-miss museums, to make sure they’re making the most of their travels. The 2012 Fodor’s Choice recipients are the best of the best, providing a remarkable experience in their price range or category.

The Aguada Hotel
The Aguada Hotel has a nice looking website. There's been some confusion since the old one has been taken down. The newer site address is: and it suits the Aguada perfectly. Their new road is coming along nicely too. "This bucolic setting is attractively landscaped with blooming trees, orchids, iguanas, over 63 species of birds, and a lovely array of foliage and flowering plants. Combined with a charming atmosphere, attractive hardwood interiors, an excellent restaurant and bar, swimming pool complete with a patio, and all located in the best valued hotel in Belize; The Aguada is hard to beat. This quiet getaway is a welcome change from the hectic pace of downtown San Ignacio."

ATLIB Volleyball Nationals at SHJC
The ATLIB volleyball nationals are today at Sacred Heart Junior College. The UB Black Jaguars will be defending their number 1 position. The festivities start at 9:00am. There will be food and drinks available.

Archaeology Department Hosts Training in Placencia
Training sessions will be held on November 16 and 17 at the Placencia Community Center from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Nov. 16 Session: · Focuses on the general Maya Nov. 17 Session: · Focuses on the sites of Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun and Serpon. Tour guides, as well as students and the interested general public are encouraged to attend. Institute of Archaeology

Where did the water go in 5 Blues Lake
The Five Blues Lake national park in the Cayo district is a ten-acre natural wonder neatly situated in the tropical rain forest of southern Belize. But a phenomenon which was first observed about six years ago is back. Virtually all the water from the lake has disappeared. According to the president of Friends of 5 Blues Lake, Mario Perez, he started to notice the water disappearing from the lake in the middle of October and now it is almost all gone. Perez says that the last time that the lake dried up, it took three hundred and forty four days for the water to return. Unlike the incident in 2006, Perez says that this time around, much more water has been left on the bed of the lake than the last incident.

Channel 7

3+ Days Later: Baptist Church Denies Pastor
On Wednesday's Newscast, 7News showed you 46 year-old Julio Cesar Garcia, the purported pastor from Franks Eddy Baptist Church who is in prison for allegedly having sexual intercourse with an 11 year-old female, a member of the church. The 11 year-old alleged that Garcia had intercourse with her once in the church house and on another occasion at his home. As a result, police arrested and charged him with 2 counts of unlawful carnal knowledge and he was arraigned and remanded to prison on Wednesday. It is a heinous case of abuse of authority and trust, and the community is trying to recover from this betrayal. But if you noticed, we used the word, "purported", because the Baptist Association of Belize says that Garcia is not the pastor of the church, in fact, they don't even know if he is a pastor at all. In a press release sent out from the Association - ALMOST FOUR DAYS AFTER THE STORY BROKE, they refuted any claim that Garcia is associated with the Franks Eddy Baptist Church.

Some Stolen Steel Returned
Last night we showed you an 18-wheeler with thousands of lengths of fraudulently obtained lengths of steel parked outside a hardware store in Corozal - without any police guard. And our expose seems to have forced the hand of higher-up's in the police department - who originally didn't want the steel moved from Corozal - even though it was the subject of a criminal investigation in the Cayo district. This morning, they let the truck return to Midwest Steel in Spanish Lookout with three thousand lengths of steel. But that's only part of the fraudulent transaction. The suspect bought five thousand lengths of steel for sixty-one thousand dollars on Saturday with a bogus check. Three thousand of those have been returned, but two thousand are reportedly still in the warehouse of the Corozal hardware store. And again, it seems the owner is getting special treatment from Corozal police - who appear reluctant to move in and confiscate everything - even as the items are believed to be the proceeds of fraud.

Six Years For Boyfriend Killer
It is an interesting study in contrasts that yesterday Lavern Longsworth was sent to prison for life for killing her common law - while today a man who killed his ex-wife's new boyfriend got six years in jail. The circumstances are clearly different, but the contrast in sentences is also stark. 38 year-old Alvaro Gregorio, the man who was convicted of killing his estranged wife's lover, 37 year-old Roberto Jimenez Juarez Marroquin, will serve 6 years more in jail. Gregorio was convicted last week Thursday, after a jury of 12 convicted him of a lesser charge of manslaughter after 5 hours of deliberation. In the trial, evidence came out that on October 8, 2008, Gregorio allegedly went to his wife's home and was talking to her when Marroquin arrived 15 minutes later. The men argued, and Gregorio stabbed Marroquin in the chest with a kitchen knife, causing him to bleed to death. In his mitigation hearing today before Justice Troadio Gonzalez, both Gregorio and his attorney, Simeon Sampson addressed the court. Sampson reminded the court that this was Gregorio's first conviction. He also told the court that under the circumstances, as described by Gregorio in his dock statement, the fatal wound was inflicted due to a fight and in self-defence.

And the Crime Ridden Areas Are ...
The five Crime-Ridden areas designated for Belize City have been gazetted. They are all in the Lake Independence and Pickstock areas. Special area 1 encompasses all that area north of Garbutt Street, west of Giles Street, south of Camberbatch Street and east of MY Street, north of M and M Street and west of Garbutt Street. Special area 2 encompasses all that area south of Police Street extension, east of the junction of Linda Vista Street and the Western Highway, and west of Lacroix Boulevard. Special area 3 encompasses all that area south of Holy Emmanuel Street, west of Lacroix Boulevard, north of Police Street extension and east of Emma Street. Special area 4 encompasses all that area to include south of Lavender Street, east of Jasmine Street, north of Croton Lane, east of Flamboyant Street and West of Oleander Street. Special area 5 encompasses all that area north of Poinsetta Street, east of Black Orchid Street, west of Causarina Street and south of Mahogany Street.

Police Descend On Mayflower Street
A gang area which has not been designated as crime-ridden is Mayflower Street. But it was subjected to an extensive police operation this afternoon. Over the years, the Mayflower area has developed a reputation as being the base for one of the most feared gangs in Belize City, the Ghost Town Crips. But, there are also non gang affiliated residents of the area. So today, 7News was called out there because some of the residents were upset by the actions of some of the officers. We were surprised to find a resident who had absolutely no problem with police doing their job. She says it's because she has nothing to hide: Resident of Mayflower "The police already came to my house. They entered my house, and they asked if I had drugs or weapons. I told them no, only my son and I live here. I just came from work, after I washed and cleaned up. I don't know what happens outside. I just stay inside with my son. We only go to work or school, and then back home."

ACP Whylie's Wife Upbraids GSU
Five officers of the GSU are in hot water after they came up against the wife of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie. Today's Amandala reports that the five officers - two corporals and three constables - are on interdiction for allegedly assaulting Whylie's wife. The paper reports that Mrs. Whylie saw the GSU arresting a male, and thought they were bring too rough. She cautioned them for what she thought was unnecessary roughness. That's when one of them allegedly injured her finger and another reportedly backed up a vehicle into her. She made a complaint - and all five officers on the patrol were placed on interdiction. They remain on interdiction tonight even though only one or two officers were implicated in wrongdoing. The official position - as we understand it - from the police top brass is that all five had other complaints against them as well. We should note that it is irregular that officers are placed under interdiction for a complaint of excessive force. Typically, such matters investigated, internal charges are brought and a fine assessed.

Fuel Prices Come Down, Finally
The pump price of premium fuel has finally tumbled from its record high of twelve dollars and ninety-seven cents per gallon. On Wednesday at midnight, the price of a gallon of premium fuel dropped by one dollar and thirty cents, and regular dropped by eighty cents per gallon. So, premium fuel is now eleven dollars and sixty seven cents, and regular is now eleven dollars and twenty seven cents - per gallon. The change in price is due in part to a sharp decrease in the world price for crude oil. The next shipment of regular fuel only is scheduled to arrive on Monday. But under the new arrangement with Venezuela - the change in price for this fuel will not be reflected at the pump until the current inventory at the PUMA depot is depleted. It's worth noting that the octane rating of the regular and premium fuel from Venezuela currently available in Belize is slightly exceeds the ratings of the "Magna" and Premium fuel available in Mexico.

Rancharan Runs Away From UNO
And while octane is up and prices are down - one family of local gas station owners is moving out! The Rancharan's who have been running the Bel-China Texaco for eight years are leaving the gas station. This is after they could not reach an agreement with the successor to the Texaco Franchise, UNO. As we've been reporting, UNO changed things up on the dealers - taking over the gas sales at all the stations that used to be Texaco. That's how the Central American company does business but today the Rancharan's told Monica Bodden that's not how they do it, so they had to part ways and do their own thing:.. Nolberto Rancharan - CP Gas Representative "We are in preparation of relocating the Rancharan family gas station to one and a half miles on the Northern Highway where the A&R service station formerly was and effective on Sunday we will be relocating to that location continuing business and serving the people of Belize City." Monica Bodden "Can you guys tell us why you guys chose not to work along with UNO?"

Haylock's Bus Nor Re-instated
Last week Friday it was announced that Haylock's bus line had been suspended for a week. That's after 9-year-old student Martin Noble fell from a moving bus that was Ladyville bound. The suspension should have ended today, but the news tonight is that it continues. That's because as we understand it, the bus line only presented six of its nine busses for inspection. The terms of the suspension were that the Department of Transport would conduct a comprehensive inspection of all the buses in that fleet to determine their road-worthiness. And so, the suspension stands at least until that is completed. In the meantime Martin Noble has been making a remarkable discovery. He's back at home and his father expects to be back in school on Monday.

Castro Says Standees Will Be A Thing Of the Past
And while Martin Noble is recovering, the issue with overcrowded buses still hasn't changed. In an interview with the media last week, Minister of state with responsibility for Transport Edmund Castro that there are policies in place to stop overcrowded buses - but the Ministry cannot police every bus that moves. Well, we caught up with the Minister of Transport in San Pedro yesterday and he told us that overloaded busses will soon be a thing of the pass:... Hon. Edmund Castro "We have some of the bus company now selling tickets; Shaw Bus Company, I think Westline is now selling tickets, so they are coming around and some of the ones that are not selling tickets as yet, they are working on their ticket books and how to fit it in. We still have and we would like to eliminate the rushing on busses both in Belmopan and the Belize City terminal, but as soon as all this be cleared and stop when each and every bus company start to sell tickets because then you will be able to go to the terminal purchase your ticket and come back and catch your bus 5 minutes before the bus take off." Monica Bodden "Minister explain to us ticket system."

Medical Union Meets
In every field of expertise, there are regular updates to procedures and practices, and as a result, the professionals also need to update and change accordingly. That was just what the Belize Medical and Dental Association did on the first day of their 31st International Congress. 7News stopped by and asked the President what were the topics of focus. Dr. Andrew Cervantes, President - Belize Medical and Dental Association "We are having our 31st international medical congress and this is for doctors and dentists and it is whereby we have invited national experts and international experts to come and to help us upgrade our knowledge and current concepts on medicine and dentistry." Daniel Ortiz "Can you tell us a little bit about topics were spoken on today and the ones you will focus on tomorrow?" Dr. Andrew Cervantes "We have had very important talks this morning. Both national presenters and international presenters, we've had one doctor for example come to talk to us about how to improve the quality of healthcare that we give both for public institutions and for private institutions. Something very necessary because many times - once we belong to a system its kind a hard to want to implement change. It has been am eye opener because this doctor brings experience from visiting many countries in Russia, Africa, South America, Central America and the Caribbean and he has now come to share this knowledge here in Belize for us to be able to improve that standard."

McAfee, the Generous, Pray For Us
You may remember John McAfee - he's the American who was in the news in May when the GSU raided his compound in Orange Walk and found lots of guns. Since then, he's made enormous claims in the local and international media. These include various threats supposedly made against him by police and other nefarious forces. So imagine our surprise today when we saw in the San Pedro sun that Mcafee made a lavish donation to police in that island town yesterday. The Sun reports that McAfee donated 40 Stun guns, 7 SWAT batons, Professional SWAT batons, 2 Security Pro batons, 60 assorted brands and types of pepper spray, 46 assorted heavy duty metal handcuffs, 12 Premium Led flashlights, 7 streetwise metal detectors, 5 High Sierra brand hydration backpacks and a battery charger amongst an arsenal of equipment. He also handed over a small vessel with engine to the San Pedro Police. The donation comes out of a public meeting on crime held last week in San Pedro. Mayor Daniel Guerrero explained that after the meeting McAfee reached out with an offer of equipment as well as use of his boat, and apartments on northern Ambergris Caye.

The Value Of A Shoe-Shine Man
Even in the world of informal everything where spit-shined shoes have been replaced by scruffy tennis shoes - there's always a place for the shoe-shine man. And that's the role Herman Welch plays. As far as we know, he's the only shoe shine man with a semi-permanent instillations in Belize City. He told us how business has been up and down lately:.. Jules Vasquez reporting The last time we met Herman Welch a year ago, he was at the Commercial Center - but now he's moved to the Radisson. The commercial center location was the city center - but it also made him a target to young troublemakers: Herman Welch, Shoe-Shine Man "There is a little problem with the kids there throwing stones, so Mr. Scott was nice to bring me over here and I came with Mr. Scott." And now he's at the front of the Radisson - the city's biggest busiest hotel: Herman Welch, Shoe-Shine Man "The business is the same as over at the Commercial Center because the same clients I have come here. The only difference is there is a change in the price."

Salvation Army Gets In The Swing
When you hear the Salvation Army bell jingling that means Christmas is around the corner. It started today as it customarily does in early November. Monica Bodden was out there to hear the first strains of Christmas music:... Monica Bodden reporting It was a festive atmosphere this morning in front of the First Caribbean Bank -as the Salvation Army band ushered in the Christmas spirit with their trumpets and saxophones blowing some of the most sweet-sounding Christmas melodies. It was the launch of the Annual Salvation Army Red Kettle appeal. Major Joliker Leandre - Regional Commander "This is an annual event and the motivation behind it is to help those who are less fortunate than we are throughout Belize and throughout the world no matter how far you will see the Christmas Kettle of the Salvation Army. The public will always donate, will always give something. We have a number of Christmas activities but they are all ongoing programs, so the gifts given to the Salvation Army are not only for the Christmas period but it's for the year." The Kettle Appeal initiative had a jump start this morning - when the First Caribbean International Bank handed over a cheque of 15 thousand dollars. It is the bank's second year of contributing towards the worthy cause.

Channel 5

Statutory Instrument signed for Crime Ridden Areas
Sections of Belize City are bracing tonight for the joint operations that will take place in designated Crime Ridden Areas. Officers will have no need for warrants for searches. Entire neighborhoods can be cordoned-off and passage in and out of those neighborhoods will be restricted for duration of the searches. The statutory instrument called the [...]

Mayflower residents get searched; one person claims abuse
But even before patrols begin in the crime ridden areas, there are serious allegations being made following a search of a house on Mayflower Street as police crackdown on crime in the south side hotspots. At about two this afternoon, uniformed police, the anti-crime unit and the B.D.F. were in the neighborhood of Mayflower Street. [...]

Mayflower resident wants police to work in crime area
Sandra Uter says she is not against the search of the area and supports the police’s fight against crime. According to Uter, the situation on mayflower is worsened by criminals who seek refuge in the area to avoid apprehension.   Voice of: Sandra Uter “The only thing I noh do, I noh tell lie pan [...]

Teenagers in custody for murder of Dennis Williams
A trio of teenagers remains in police custody tonight, following the brazen midday murder of fifty-four year old Dennis Williams on Thursday.  Williams, an employee of Three Star Quality Chicken, was fatally shot during a botched robbery of the establishment which is located on Vernon Street.  According to Belize City police, two male persons entered [...]

Baptist Church says man accused of sex crime not a pastor
The Baptist Association is distancing itself from Julio Cesar Garcia. Garcia is the man who has been named in the sexual abuse of an eleven year old school girl from Frank’s Eddy. That story broke on Monday and on Wednesday Garcia was charged with carnal knowledge in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court. The residents of Franks [...]

4 GSU cops in trouble for incident involving top cop’s wife
Four police officers attached to the Gang Suppression Unit are tonight on interdiction, following an incident in October during which the wife of Assistant Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie was reportedly assaulted by the team.  It is alleged that Sandra Whylie and her daughter bore witness to the physical abuse of a young man, who [...]

Early childhood development will be focus of ministries
To make a cohesive plan will take the concerted effort and planning from the Ministries of Human Development, Health, Education and non-governmental organizations. Criminal activities, including murders, have been carried out by the hands of youths. Perhaps that is why Judith Alpuche, C.E.O., Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation says that joint [...]

How many carnal knowledge cases this week?
This week alone, we reported on four suspected cases of carnal knowledge. One alleged perpetrator was taken to court this morning and is on remand tonight.  Twenty-three year old Adam Choco, who is a salesman from the Northern Highway, was charged for sexually abusing a fifteen year old girl this past Monday.  Choco was unrepresented [...]

Murder to manslaughter; wife couldn’t testify against him
Thirty-four year old Alvaro Rene Gregorio, of the San Mateo Area of San Pedro, who was accused of killing Roberto Jimenez Marroguin on October eighth, 2008, was sentenced today to ten years in prison by Supreme Court judge, Troadio John Gonzalez. The sentence is retroactive to the day he was remanded for the stabbing death [...]

B.D.F. wants his job back; he said he didn’t cheat
On Thursday night, we reported that a Belize Defense Force Lieutenant is fighting his termination. Leslie Roberts claims his woes started in January 2010 when he and another Lieutenant took a Junior Command and Staff course in Jamaica. Roberts was sent home because it was alleged that he cheated on an assignment. Roberts told News [...]

Trouble for the P.U.P. and its northern caucus
In news of a political nature, there is trouble tonight in the usually united Northern Caucus of the P.U.P. According to reports, Florencio Marin, Deputy Party Leader and Corozal South East Representative Florencio Marin Jr. is trying to flex his muscle in the caucus by endorsing a New Executive in the Corozal Bay. At the [...]

Northern Regional allegations discussed at Medical Congress
There have been persistent reports of allegations of malpractice at the Northern Regional where at least fifteen persons reportedly developed life-threatening complications after surgery. But that’s not an issue that is being discussed at the thirty-first Congress of the Medical and Dental Association which is ongoing at the Bliss Institute. The conference is being attended [...]

Help the Salvation Army Kettle Drive
Across the globe and in Belize, the chiming of the Salvation Army bells fills the air. The organization today kicked off its annual Kettle Appeal in downtown Belize City. This year, the money raised will be used to provide baskets for four hundred needy families. The Red Kettle will be seen at many locations throughout [...]

World Bank wraps up session to start Social Policy
Earlier in the week, Representatives of the World Bank had the opportunity to support the government via a technical workshop where the policy and planning units of the Ministry of Health, Education, and Human Development came together along with technical staff from NGO’s, civil staff, organizations to reach a common understanding of what social protection [...]

Primary School students are All Saints at the Battlefield Park
If you were in the downtown area today, you would have seen young primary school children cleaning up the Battlefield Park.  The students who attend the All Saints Primary School say the initiative is their contribution to the problem of homelessness and is in line with the Anglican Diocese theme to promote a healthy environment. [...]


79 year old Grandfather Charged For Aggravated Assault
Yesterday Orange Walk Police detained the grandfather of a two year old baby girl after the child’s mother accused him of exposing his private parts to the 2 year old. The mother of the child told police that on Tuesday at around 8:30am she was at home preparing to go visit her mother-in-law who lives next door, when she noticed that her two year old daughter ran ahead of her into the house. When the mother followed the child into the house, the 2 year old was already seated on her grandfather’s lap. At that instance the mother noticed that the 79 year old man had his private parts exposed. As mentioned last night, the individual, whose name we will not reveal in order to protect the child’s identity, was detained pending investigations and today when he appeared before the Orange Walk Magistrates Court, he was charged for the crime of aggravated assault. Bail was offered to him to the sum of $2,500 plus one surety which he met. As for the two year old CTV3 News understands she was examined by a doctor who confirmed that she was not sexually abused.

One Man Found Guilty Of Carnal Knowledge While A Second Is Charged For Two Counts Of Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Back in July of 2010, Romero Jimenez, who is a naturalized Belizean originally from Guatemala, was convicted of carnal knowledge after a female minor from Corozal, who was 12 years old at the time, came forward and reported to police that Jimenez had sexual intercourse with her against her will. The judge sentenced Jimenez to 17 years in prison, but 3 months later, on October 13th 2010, an appeal was allowed in the Belize Court of Appeal where Jimenez’s conviction was squashed, set aside and a retrial was ordered. Jimenez was offered bail to the sum of $10,000 which he was unable to meet and as a result was shipped back to the Belize Central Prison. Jimenez’s retrial commenced on November 5th of this year and concluded today at the Northern Session of the Supreme Court here in Orange Walk where he was found guilty of carnal knowledge by seven of the 9 jurors that heard the case before Judge Herbert Lord. Defending Jimenez was Senior Counsel Simeon Sampson while the prosecution was represented by Crown Counsel Cristophe Rodriguez. Sentencing is set for November 29th.

Steel Purchased With Fraudulent Cheques Ends Up In Corozal
Police in the west are tonight investigating a case of obtaining property by deception that tails all the way to the Corozal District. CTV3 News understands that on Saturday November 3rd, a male individual visited Midwest Steel in Spanish Lookout. While at the establishment the individual identified himself as an employees of Belize Water Services Limited and purchased 5,000 lengths of steel, two thousand 3/8 steels, one thousand half inch steels and two thousand ¼ inch steels all to a total value of $68,388.75 which he paid for with what resulted to be a fraudulent check. Now what does that have to do with Corozal Town? Well, according to our sources, the individual sold the 5,000 lengths of steel to a hardware store in Corozal. CTV3 News understands that the person contacted the owner of the hardware store after which a cash transaction was made. The businessman paid the individual a total of $20,000: $8,000 in check and the rest in cash. The check, we understand, was cashed on November 5th by one Rivera Moir who police are looking for. But the story does not end there. Police reports indicate that on Friday November 2nd, at around 3:45pm, a male individual of dark complexion visited one of the branches of Caribbean Tires and purchased 100 sheets of plywood valued at $6,024.38 and paid with a Scotia Bank cheque number 053. The following morning, the same individual purchased 150 sheets of plywood valued at $9,466.88 and paid with a Scotia Bank cheque number 060. When the cheque’s were deposited to Scotia Bank, the manager of Caribbean Tires, Judy Perez, was informed that the cheque’s were fraudulent since account number 94868 does not exist. Police are looking for Keith Harris in connection to this incident.

Belize Medical Council Investigates Alleged Cases Of Malpractice At The NRH
This station has been closely monitoring the serious allegations of malpractice brought against the Northern Regional Hospital by numerous women. As we reported, the Belize Medical Council was set to meet yesterday in order to discuss how the cases of alleged malpractice will be handled. Reports to CTV3 News are that the meeting did take place in Belize City. Reliable reports indicate that the Medical Council recommended that one of the female doctor’s who performs surgery at the Northern Regional Hospital be placed on administrative leave effective immediately until further investigations into the cases are conducted. However; we have been informed that the recommendation of the Belize Medical Council did not sit too well with Minister of Health Pablo Marin who is now blocking the council’s decision. We tried extensively to get in contact with the President of the Belize Medical Council, George Gough for comment, but our efforts proved futile.

1st Phase Of BMDP Soon To Be Completed In O/W
By now you might have heard about the Belize Municipal Development Project. But if you haven’t then let me tell you that it’s a municipal infrastructural venture aimed at developing municipalities across the country. Here in Orange Walk, phase one of the project is already half completed. Tangerine Street and Avilez Lane were two of the four streets on the list to be upgraded with funds from the BMDP. Tonight the Orange Walk Town Council is pleased to announce that work on the streets has been completed and they will soon be opened to traffic. Kevin Bernard, Mayor OW Town “They have finally laid the hot mix which we refer to as the asphalt cement on that street and so the street will have to be closed for a 24 hour period to give it a healing time and so that street will be open to vehicular traffic on Friday. In phase one with all Santa Familia, San Ignacio, Aviles Lane and the Tangerine street is about 1.2 million dollars that was allocated in those funds where the council had to put contribution as well as you know initially it was only $824,000 where the council had paid $24,000 and the world bank provide with the $800,000 now they took that up to an additional month so we had to find an additional thousands of dollars to ensuring that these street were fully completed.”

BSCFA Says It's Not Broke
Over the last few days the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association has come under attack. Allegations are that the organization is broke and has had to rely on the 2012/2013 Fair Trade Funds in order to pay employees. But that budget is yet to be presented and approved by cane famers during a meeting scheduled for November 25th. So, is there something to hide? We went looking for answers and today when we questioned the Chairman of the BSCFA Committee of Management, Alfredo Ortega, he told us there is nothing out of the norm with the 2012/2013 budget. Alfredo Ortega- Chairman BSCFA, COM “El ano pasado tuvimos nuestra junta el 29 de Noviembre este ano lo vamos hacer el 25, claro teníamos programado para el 11 de Noviembre, sin embargo se aplicó un nuevo sistema este ano de como se desarrolla el Budget porque anteriormente se sentaban los técnicos acá desarrollaban los Budget y solo los presentan a los caneros, una queja grandísimo que a sucedido y los auditores nos han dicho que haiga mayor participación de los caneros. Este ano el C.E.O. implemento un sistema adonde dimos una primera ronda en todos los branches, los 18 branches, adonde los caneros se sentaron en grupo y decidieron cual es su prioridad, cual es la necesidad como un need assessment de branch, cuando se dio esa ronda de junta con los branches vinieron los técnicos y se sentaron entonces allí ellos aplicaron basado a lo que necesitaba cada branch en su prioridad entonces ellos les pusieron números financieros, esto entonces se dio para una segunda ronda a los branches para que los caneros de los diferentes branches ahora decidan como modifican. Cosa que hasta en esos momentos no hemos terminados porque por uno u otra razón habido problemas con algunos branches y hay tres a cuatro branches que todavía van a ir a juntas en estas fines de semana para culminar esto y eso entonces nos a traído atrasos para que se alargue mas la junta que se cambio para el 25 de Noviembre.” Based on the delay of the meeting the Committee of Management wrote to FLOCERT requesting permission to use some of the Fair Trade Funds in order to continue with the everyday activities.

BMHS Annual Food Extravaganza To Be Held On Saturday
Bishop Martin High School’s annual Taste of Orange Walk Food and Extravaganza has been gaining momentum over the years. The food fest is considered as one of the institutions biggest fundraisers whereby the money is used for the maintenance of the school. This year the activity is scheduled to take place on Saturday at the Fort Cairns Market Plaza and according to teacher Roselle Carballo you won’t be disappointed. Roselle Carballo, BMHS “Each class is responsible for different dish we have arroz poblano, tamales colados, bar b que, pib, escabeche and turkey dinner and all this and the program is a whole day program it starts from nine o’clock with a short parade from shell one stop to the market center where the classes will be performing cultural presentations, we have East Indian, African, Mayan and so forth and the we will have ten set up where each class will have their cultural food on sale and the tickets are selling for ten dollars it comes with the meal a dessert and juice.”

You Decide What Projects Will Fall Under The Second Phase Of BMDP
Earlier in the newscast you heard Mayor Kevin Bernard speaking about the Belize Municipal Development Project which is funded by the World Bank. Even though phase 1 of the $5 million project for Orange Walk is yet to be completed, the planning for phase 2 is scheduled to commence by the end of this week. This time; however, the Social Investment Fund and the Orange Walk Town Council will consult with residents before deciding on how the $1.6 million allocated for phase 2 will be utilize. Kevin Bernard, Mayor OW Town “The purpose of this meeting is to start in the consultation phase for the phase two of the Belize Municipal Development Project and what we want to do is to highlight; one we will have members of SIF and the Ministry of Local Government to be here and it will be a short agenda because at the end of the day we just want to ensure we hear what are the priority areas the residence would like to see develop in the phase two allocation. I understand from the representative of SIF that this time around phase two we can see an investment or about 1.6 million dollars thereof infrastructure project we would want to implement. In phase one as you there were four street that were addressed and there were several other areas that were propose but this council has met as well in terms of identifying some other areas that we would want to propose to the residence at the same time while may have our proposals the residence they may also have their own ideas as to what they would want to see and this is the purpose of this meeting so that that phase could go through and we could highlight the priority areas and from there the world bank and SIF, the representatives can put together the project and see which project we can afford to use within those ranges.” The meeting is set for tomorrow at the Orange Walk Central Park Central commencing at 7:00pm.


Family say murdered man was hard-working
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Fuel prices have fallen
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Man charged for firearm offences after early morning search
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A twelve year old boy is missing
A twelve year old boy goes missing from his home. Ms. Keisha COYE a resident of Neals Pen Road, in Belize City repo...

Boat and engine stolen from Dangriga
A boat and engine was stolen from a Dangriga pier. Eldon Garbutt, a mechanic and boat captain of Dangriga Town repo...

One person dead in attempted armed robbery
One person is confirmed dead in an attempted armed robbery on Vernon Street. 54 year old Dennis Anthony Williams al...

Public Accounts Committee Chairman Calls for Cooperation of Ministers
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Belmopan Police Station desperately needs renovation
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BNTU wants Government action to resolve school dispute
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New World Oil drilling at Blue Creek under budget
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Crime Control Council Agrees With New Crime Measure
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Canada assists development of local business enterprises
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New Taxi regulations for Belmopan appear to be working well
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Man purchases building supplies with false cheque
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Belize City man is charged with Drug Trafficking
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Two Police Officers appear in Court on murder charge
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Hattieville sweeps Chetumal in Friendlies at MCC
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Belize Bank Bulldogs U-23 improve to 3-1 with 66-59 win over Cellular World
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Smart 13 & Under Mundialito Week 6 results
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In June 2010, Prime Minister Dean Barrow conceded that Belize had been facing a crime crisis and he announced the launch of the RESTORE Belize program (RESTORE being the acronym for Re-Establish Security Through Outreach Rehabilitation and Education), operating under the Office of the Prime Minister, with the stated aim of steering the process of taking back Belize, and particularly lawless Belize City. Asked what his favorite part of the crime plan was, Barrow said that the “showpiece” was the establishment of “safe zones” in the city, and Government announced that two pilot safe zones on the Southside would have been established within the coming months. Today, only one such safe zone exists, and it spans the area bordered by Central American Boulevard, Neal Pen Road, Fabers Road, and the Caribbean Sea in the Yarborough area, adjacent to the Cumberbatch Field. That area was declared a “safe zone” in August/ September 2010—more than two years ago. The government lacked the resources needed to establish the second “safe zone” in the Mayflower Street/Ghost Town area. The socio-economic interventions in that zone have been limited, due to shortage of funds, and the security interventions have been even more limited and nowhere near enough to truly stem the tide of violent crimes in that area. Sadly, reports of violent crimes, and particularly brazen murders, have not been quelled, and in fact, that stretch of the Central American Boulevard between Fabers Road and Neal Pen Road has continued to be the slaying ground of criminals among whose victims was a boy only 11 years young. Daniel Matura was shot to death in broad daylight in May 2012.

“Former Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel and MP Dean Barrow toured the country with sitting Prime Minister George Price in support of the Maritime Areas Act.” “The Patriotic Alliance for Belizean Integrity (PATI) was formed in December 1991 to respond to the Maritime Areas Act formulated to solve the Guatemalan claim to Belizean territory. The PATI dissolved into the National Alliance for Belizean Rights (NABR) on January 27, 1992.” This is a difficult situation in which the Maya of the Sarstoon-Temash find themselves, and, as we pointed out last week, the situation is so similar to that in which the Native Americans found themselves in what is now the United States of America, that it is almost frightening. It is almost frightening because a lot of very bad things happened to the Native American tribes of North America, and these very bad things came as if out of nowhere and they came without warning. The Native Americans must have asked themselves: what have we done to deserve this? You live on land for generations, and you practice your way of life from time immemorial, and then a stranger comes from outside and that stranger sees something valuable in your land, something for which that stranger conceives a great desire, and what he sees is more valuable to him than who you are as a human being. So then, you must move off that land, or they will find a way to move you. This is what happened to the Native Americans, and this is what will happen to the Maya of the Sarstoon-Temash. There are other human beings in Belize who are struggling to make a better life for themselves, and these other human beings include the Creoles, the Mestizos, the Garinagu, and the East Indians, many of whom also live in the Toledo District, and, of course, in the rest of Belize. It was quite predictable, and actually classic, that the oil company and its propagandists would seek to show the other Belizean ethnicities that their interests are different from those of the Maya, and that they should support the oil company against the Maya of the Sarstoon-Temash. Indeed, the oil company is so rich and powerful that it has even succeeded in turning Maya against Maya in southern Toledo.

“A man once said: ‘A race which does not know its history is condemned to repeat it.’ AMANDALA will be publishing extracts of African and Indian history so that we can gain greater knowledge of self and kind.” “It is impossible to return to the past. But we believe that a knowledge of the past, a knowledge of self and kind, will give us a mandate to revolutionize this corrupt, white-washed society in which we live.” - pg. 1, AMANDALA No. 1, Wednesday, 13th August, 1969 “The ancient Maya civilization was one of the greatest the world ever saw. From about 250 to 900 A.D. they lived in the Golden Era, the ‘Classic Period’ of their wonderful yet mysterious civilization. By 900 A.D. and beyond, for reasons not yet clear to Maya scholars and laymen alike, they abandoned their great cities, some buildings still under construction, only to be shrouded in jungle.” - pg. vii, THE SACRED MAYA SMOKING SHELL, Manuel M. Novelo, Belize, 2012 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where dust and moth consume, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither dust or moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break in nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” - MATTHEW, Chapter 6, verses 19 to 21 There are many people who say that they believe in God, but they live their lives in such a way as to show that what they really believe in, is man, and in material things. In Belize, the God most people believe in is the God Who originated, in specific description, from Rome and Canterbury, who, in turn, had followed basic prescriptions which came from Judaism. There are scholars who have argued and scholars who continue to argue that many of the precepts of Judaism were derived from the Egyptians, under whose rule the Jews were confined for more than four hundred years. As you go further back in time, things become more hazy.

Dear Editor, I fail to understand the reluctance of our government to ease the marijuana laws when it is plain for all to see that “crack cocaine” and alcohol are by far bigger problems. We are not calling for legalization, only decriminalization; a stiff fine will do, jail time is not needed unless people are trafficking with it. Most people who smoke do it to “chill out,” for it operates mostly as a tranquilizer. A few do fly off the bat, but very few. On the other hand, “crack cocaine” becomes the master with the first touch. Everyone who has a friend or relative on this stuff can testify to how horrible that addiction is. That problem needs to be criminally addressed. Alcohol is legal, but needs to be highly regulated. I am noticing that in our country, most Chinese shops are more of a bar than a store. Bars have to be equipped with bathrooms; alcohol makes you urinate regularly. Shops or stores do not, so imagine where the relieving takes place. Public drinking should be strictly regulated since people who are high on alcohol are easily agitated. The end product of alcohol and crack cocaine can easily be seen on our streets. I know quite a few persons who are treating their crack addiction and/or alcoholism with marijuana. Just a few puffs to change the mood (no need for a whole joint), put some sense into your head, and get to work, problem solved one day at a time.

US Capital spokesperson to the Mayas: “You can cry all you want, but the oil development is coming.” Representatives of the Toledo Alcalde’s Association (TAA) and the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) began a public campaign today to firmly declare their position on oil exploration down south, in the resource-rich district of Toledo. Cristina Coc, spokesperson of the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA), said that no conversation about petroleum exploration can even begin until the Maya’s ancestral and customary land rights are acknowledged, because under law, their “free, prior and informed consent” is required, as owners of much of the lands upon which US Capital intends to explore for oil in Block 19. Alfonso Cal, TAA president, said that many of their village leaders are asking about what jobs will be available. The alcaldes of 38 villages were called to a meeting last Friday, and they were asking questions about what is going on, because they have not been hearing anything from the government regarding the status of their lands, which are included in the US Capital petroleum concession, Cal added. According to Antoinette Moore, SC, attorney for the Maya, both they and the government are awaiting the decision of the Court of Appeal, following the government’s challenge of the judgment by former Chief Justice Dr. Abdulai Conteh acknowledging that Maya people of Toledo own the lands in and around their villages which they had customarily used and occupied.

The San Francisco attorneys are from one of the best US firms The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) has, through its United States affiliates, been able to secure a commitment for pro bono representation from a major international law firm with 600 attorneys across the US, Beijing and London, to help with a land rights challenge they may be mounting against the Government of Belize, as the dispute between the Maya of Toledo and the government over petroleum exploration in the south deepens. Greg Ch’oc, SATIIM’s executive director, told Amandala today that they want to take things one step at a time. He said that the mandate to seek legal representation was given to SATIIM by the four buffer communities of the Sarstoon-Temash National Park which have chosen SATIIM to represent them on the issue. Those villages are Graham Creek, Crique Sarco, Conejo and Midway. “All four communities unanimously decided that the need for legal counsel is urgent,” SATIIM said in a press release issued today. It said that the NGO had retained a legal team of local and international lawyers “to advise on violations to their rights committed during recent oil exploration activities and the prospect of future drilling on their territories.”

Which is better for Belize? We have had a parliamentary democracy, as decreed by our Constitution, for the past thirty years. After that experience we should be properly able to evaluate and compare it with the republican system of government. All our fellow members of Caricom, except Trinidad and Tobago, are parliamentary democracies. Trinidad and Tobago was originally a parliamentary democracy, but adopted the republican system, many years ago. So. They were in a good position to compare the two systems and, we can find out the reasons why they decided to change, in the event that we were contemplating the same step. I always thought that we have a wonderful Constitution, the spirit of which is in the Preamble and, in our commitment to being a nation of faith expressed in the first words of that great document, thus: “We affirm the supremacy of God.” The Constitution would have served us well if our elected representatives were all nationalistic with a vocation for public service. If they were, they would put the national interest above their party, and public service above self-service. We have not been so blessed. The majority parties in government, putting expediency above the public interest, have weakened our democracy by appointing almost all their colleagues to the Executive. That is the first weakness in our democratic system. The second weakness is worse.

Operations expected to take full effect on Friday, Nov. 9 By the time this weekend begins, Belize security forces—the police and Belize Defence Force—are expected to have full legal authority to carry out special operations across 5 square miles of Belize City which have been designated by the Ministry of National Security as “special areas” with “crime-ridden” status. This will give cops, aided by soldiers, expanded powers to execute warrantless searches, as well as wider powers of seizure of property and arrest of suspects, as a part of a plan announced last week to stem a new wave of violent crimes which have citizens worried that the crime situation in the Old Capital has spiraled too far out of control. Acting Minister of National Security, Erwin Contreras, signed the order today, November 8, and they were subsequently sent over to Print Belize to be published in the Government Gazette, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, Ret’d Col. George Lovell has indicated to Amandala, adding that the order, declaring the special areas, will last for up to 30 days. The declaration is in accordance with Section 12(1) of the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act. “We intend to not just go with a heavy hand on criminals, but take back control of these communities from the hands of criminal elements,” said Lovell. “It is hoped that this will also help to strengthen the overall partnership and cooperation between the public and the law enforcement agencies as we continue working together towards restoring safety and security throughout our communities,” said a statement from the Ministry of National Security.

The cold-blooded, bold-faced execution of a construction foreman as he was steel-floating the cement street being built by Maheia’s Construction on Electric Avenue in the “Complex” area of Lake Independence in Southside Belize City this morning, clearly brings home the fact that there are some individuals whose power to terrorize and kill has superseded the effective ability of the state, with its Legislature, Judiciary and Executive, to demand respect for the law. As a result, the defenceless citizenry are more and more vulnerable and fearful for their lives. This is a situation fraught with problems down the road, problems that might be even worse than those we now face and lament. What is amazing in this present instance, and the same has occurred in more and more frequent situations, is that the executioners were reportedly not masked; and they were apparently well known to a number of the workmen on the work site, who, as they saw the two men riding up, immediately dropped everything and ran for their lives. The work foreman, who is from Sandhill Village, has had, to the best of our knowledge, no interactions, except for the young men on his work site, with any members of the rival gangs in Belize City. With no cause to fear anyone, he continued his work, the necessary steel floating of recently poured cement, before it became “set”. According to reports, the foreman never even saw who killed him, as the gunman (men) came from behind and shot him about 12 times in the back of his head and back. Belize police, and BDF soldiers, since the latter have been deployed to support the police on the streets, have had approximately zero effectiveness in stopping the sniper-style murders in Belize City. The statistics prove that. (Perhaps the BDF should go back to guarding the Western border.)

Gunmen held up his workplace, and Dennis Williams, 54, got fatally involved Innocent blood was again spilled in the city as the sens.eless gun violence claimed yet another life. Dennis Williams, 54, of Supaul Street, better known as “Bo,” was killed in his workplace at the Three Stars Quality Chicken on Vernon Street at about 11:00 this morning. Witnesses said that two men went into the store to rob the business of the proceeds brought in by the delivery truck, which had just pulled up after the delivery and sale of chicken. One of the robbers aimed a gun at the salesman, and demanded the money, but Williams intervened and one of the men punched him in his face and he fell. Williams got up and struggled with the thief to try and take away the gun. The gun fell from the robber, and the other thief picked up the gun and shot Williams in his neck. The two men then ran out of the store, into the hands of policemen on patrol who were going up Vernon Street, having been alerted about the robbery in progress. Shortly after the two gunmen were captured, and while the men were being taken away to the Queen Street Police Station, a third person was captured when he came for his car, which was the suspected getaway vehicle. Police also recovered a black Taurus 9mm pistol, which was thrown away by one of the two thieves when they ran into police while escaping from the store.

Longsworth was convicted of killing her common-law husband, David White Today, one week after being convicted of the murder of her common-law husband, David White, 31, Lavern “Anti-Christ” Longsworth, 38, was sentenced by Justice Adolph Lucas to life in prison, effective December 14, 2010, the day she was remanded for the crime. White, on July 15, 2010, was doused with kerosene by Longsworth. After throwing the kerosene on him, she then set him on fire, causing second degree burns to his body, eventually leading to his death on August 2, 2010. In a plea for mitigation, Longsworth’s daughter, Kyla Reynolds, 18, gave a statement to the court. In that statement, she recounted to the court that she loves her mother, no matter what she had done. “I know she has made many cry, and sad…but when you do bad, you must suffer the consequence. And that is what my mother is doing.” She continued by telling the court that when her mother and White used to fight, she would tell her to go to the police station, and she never went. She, instead, told her that she needed to understand the situation.

Amandala has confirmed that five officers attached to the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) are currently on interdiction for allegedly assaulting the wife of Assistant Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie. We were unable to confirm the names of the officers, and the date of the incident. However, we were reliably informed that Mrs. Whylie witnessed the officers abusing a youth who was already handcuffed. She allegedly told the officers that there was no reason to “chance” the youth, since he was already restrained, but the officers became indignant and turned their negative attention on her. Amandala was told that one of the officers then pulled Mrs. Whylie out of her vehicle and pushed her up against it. She told them that she was the Assistant Commissioner’s wife, to which one responded “Ah noh care who the f*#% you are. We dah GSU, we da boss!” We were able to confirm that following the incident 2 corporals, 2 constables and a woman police constable were placed on interdiction and have been for at least two weeks now.

The pastor allegedly had sex with the child in the church Today, Julio Cesar Garcia, 46, a Honduran Baptist Church pastor in Franks Eddy Village, was taken to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court, where two counts of carnal knowledge were read to him. According to a police report, the victim, 11, told them that at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 28, Garcia had sex with her inside the church. It was also reported that he had sex with her again, at 6:00 p.m., but this time, it was in his house, also located in Franks Eddy Village. The child was taken to a doctor, who confirmed that she was indeed carnally known. In speaking with the media, the mother of the child recounted how she found out about the assaults on her child. According to her, the child was getting ready for school when she was told of it. When she inquired from the child why she didn’t tell her father or her (the mother), the response was that she was ashamed of what had happened. But the mother, probably not wanting to start making accusations without proof, decided to question her daughter further, and each time, the answer was the same. That was when she decided to go to the police and report the incident.

The Reporter

DPP discusses crime control measures
Last week’s announcement of GOB’s stepped-up crime-fighting measures has caused many to worry if individual’s constitutional rights could be tossed aside, but the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) says that even when the 1994 amendment to the Criminal Justice Act is activated, no one’s rights can be arbitrarily ignored. On Tuesday, DPP Cheryl-Lynn Vidal said that while the Act gives police officers wide-ranging powers to conduct searches without a warrant, “they must still have probable cause and reasonable suspicion that an offence is being committed.” She also said that the law, which she agrees is useful, should be revisited, because having to publish it in the Gazette what areas will be declared as “crime ridden”, takes away form the element of surprise. She further explained that her office is in dialogue with the Ministry of National Security in respect to strengthening the Prosecution Branch of the Police Department. “But nothing has been finalized,” she said. Minister of National Security John Saldivar also announced last Thursday that his ministry would appeal to the DPP to object to bail for repeat offenders. To this, Vidal explained that when a bail application comes to the DPP’s office and the person is an individual who is already on bail for a similar offence and they don’t see any reason on his petition why he should be granted bail, the DPP’s office would object to bail.

New $10 garbage fee for Belize City residents. Funds will be used to pay Municipal Bond, Mayor says
With effect from January next year, every Belize City household will have to pay a fee of $10 a month for garbage disposal. The announcement came from Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley, who said the Belize City Council (CITCO) estimates that the new fixed charge will generate $1.09 million. The funds will be used to help defray the cost of the municipal bond, Bradley explained. Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) will serve as the collection agent, and as of mid-December, the garbage fee will be listed as a separate charge on the resident’s BWSL utility bills. The charge is proportionate, Bradley said, to the cost of upgrading the city’s streets and the expenses incurred for CITCO’s social outreach program. “We have to charge this fee to ensure that, while we’re providing these services, the Council doesn’t go broke,” he said. Bradley also pointed out that the new charge is not unusual. It is a common practice in most towns across Belize. He said that such fees are usually proportionate to the amount of public services provided. Bradley explained that it is important for Belize City residents to realize that they need to take an active role in the city’s development. This is one way in which they can participate, he said. In some communities the system is so advanced that the government does not even function as intermediary. The residents themselves make direct arrangements with the sanitation companies.

Lavern “Anti-Christ” Longsworth sentenced to life in prison
Supreme Court Justice Adolph Lucas handed down the mandatory life in prison sentence to convicted murderer Lavern “Anti-Christ” Longsworth, after a mitigation hearing on Thursday, November 8.

15 year old Surie Baeza stabbed to death by stepdad
Reports from Rockwall, Texas, say 41-year-old Juan Enrique Torres, a Belizean, has confessed to killing his step-daughter, 15-year old Surie Baeza, during a knife attack.

Homeland security upgrade at key locations
The Ministry of National Security has received more than US$150,000 worth of equipment from the United States Government to improve national security at key government locations.

Practical ways to prevent Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, aside from lung cancer. One in every eight women are estimated to develop breast cancer in their lifetime according to the American Cancer Society.

The right fit – Give your running shoes some attention!
A knowledgeable shoe store staff person can usually notice how your foot functions, by watching you walk and run. This is a skill gained through the experience of fitting thousands of feet, and from comparing notes with other staff members who are even more experienced.

St Catherine’s Academy girls win High Schools Volleyball Championship
The undefeated girls of St Catherine’s Academy repeated as Belize City High School Volleyball Champions, dominating the hitherto undefeated girls of Wesley College in the finals of the competition organized by the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium on Friday, November 2.

St. John’s College boys win high schools volleyball championship
The undefeated boys of St John’s College repeated as Belize City high schools volleyball champions, dominating the boys of Wesley College in the finals of the competition organized by the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association at the Belize Elementary School auditorium on Friday, November 2.

Pedophile Preacher? Pastor at Frank’s Eddy Village charged with carnal knowledge
Frank’s Eddy Baptist preacher, Julio Cesar Garcia, 46, has been charged with two counts of unlawful carnal knowledge and has been remanded to prison. He was arrested after an 11-year-old girl reported that he had sex with her twice: once inside the church and a second time at his home. The child, who attends the church and is a student at the Frank’s Eddy Government School, told police, in the company of her mother, that the pastor first had sexual intercourse with her on Sunday afternoon, October 28, 2012. The Reporter understands that the incident happened after a youth event at the church. The child did not report the first incident and on Thursday, November 1, when her mother sent her to deliver something to the Pastor at his house, he allegedly invited the girl into his home and had sexual intercourse with her the second time. Medical examinations revealed that the girl was carnally known, and that she might have contracted a sexually transmitted infection that has her suffering from a high fever. More tests are being taken to determine what is causing the fever.

Brave security guard killed by robbers
Belize City Police have detained two men for Thursday morning’s robbery that proved fatal for Three Star Quality Chicken’s 54-year-old security guard, Dennis Anthony Williams. Shortly before noon, at least four men attempted to rob the establishment, located on Vernon Street. Williams was shot in the neck, as he struggled with one of the armed robbers, whose gun fell to the floor. According to reports, the robber’s accomplice picked up the gun and shot Williams, who died inside the store. After Williams was shot, the would-be robbers tried to escape to their maroon coloured Mazda getaway car that was parked on Woods Street, but that attempt failed, because a policeman in the area fired a shot at them, causing them to run past the car and into a bushy open lot. According to an eyewitness, one of the robbers threw his gun away, and it landed on the verandah of a house near the corner of Vernon Street and Woods Streets. He said that he saw the men circle the area at least two times in their getaway car, before they attempted to rob the business. Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez said that the robbers did not get any money. Enid Williams, Dennis Williams’ sister, told reporters that her brother did not deserve to die like that. “Desho,” as his family calls him, “was a very nice and caring person who did not trouble anyone. We want justice done for his killing”, she said.

Crime Control measures endorsed
The Crime Control Council (CCC), which has not met for sometime, voted Wednesday in favor of the Minister of National Security’s proposal to declare five areas of Belize City “Crime Ridden.” The declaration comes on the strength of the 1994 Amendment to the Criminal Justice Act, which gives the police wide-ranging powers to combat crime. The Opposition, People’s United Party (PUP) representative on the council, Senator Lisa Shoman, told The Reporter that the PUP agreed to the proposal, after they reviewed both the proposed areas, and had seen a presentation from the Ministry of National Security. Shoman said, “After having had an intense, serious discussion about the very strong need for fighting crime and balancing citizen’s rights, we expect that citizen’s rights will be upheld and they will stick to the law.” CCC Chairman Michael Young told reporters that the Council only met because of the Minister’s proposed declaration. However, he said that in 2010 the government was given a special memorandum, which explained that once RESTORE Belize was established, it was a better organization to do the very same thing that the Council had been established to do. “And that is the reason why the CCC has not been meeting.” “But the law was not changed, and the CCC still exists as an entity and the concurrence of the CCC is required for the declaration … to be valid,” Young said.


Enjoying Warm Laundry and Pirate’s Treasure
It is very breezy in San Pedro today and I was sure glad to have laundry on my chore list, nothing better than playing with warm sheets on a cold day. My Helena Montana weatherman sent me the picture below to remind me that it is not really cold here and compared to what I see in his office view, that I have to agree. I will say it is cold enough for me to have broken out get my jeans out and be thinking of wearing long sleeves or a jacket to the party tonight. James Janmohamed is doing a Poppy Drive to raise money and Pedro’s Sports Bar is donating 25% of the bar take. Come on out, support a great cause, and enjoy some great live music with Gino and the Shack Shakers

A Few Things When I Was Up WAY Too Early This Morning
I got up way too early and headed into town. Not to take pictures (though I always end up doing that) but for another reason. But more on that in a few days. Heading into town checking my watch and wearing a jacket. Thanks so much Doug who is staying at Mata Rocks for "donating" his golf cart to me. And you guys say that I never put pictures of myself... Here is my apparently very hairy arm. I didn't know bleach was produced on the island...anyone know where I saw this? For some reason I thought a big chemical plant was required for making bleach. I probably don't want to know the details. An interesting bar. I've been once and I definitely don't remember seeing a piano. Maybe its removal is indicated by that red line.

International Sources

Belize’s GAIA Riverlodge Set to Open
The newly-renamed and redesigned GAIA Riverlodge eco-resort in Belize will open Saturday, the project announced. Formerly known as the Five Sisters Lodge, the property is opening after a renovation that began in August. “We are thrilled to welcome our first guests,” said Daniel Lighter, owner of GAIA Riverlodge and its sister property, the Matachica Resort and Spa in Belize’s Ambergris Caye. The eco-resort property has seen upgrades to its 16 cabanas, which now have hardwood floors, bathrooms with hand-painted Mexican tiles and panoramic windows or private verandas.

POPULATION: 1,300 SIZE: Five square miles TAGS: Manta rays, reggae bars, permit fishing “Go Slow” is Caye Caulker’s official motto for a reason. A long, narrow scythe of land in the Caribbean, it has just three streets—Back, Middle, and Front—all of them unpaved. Fishermen and local shop owners join visitors to wade and swim at the Split, a channel where decades ago storms bisected the island. Several boats make the trip to Shark Ray Alley—where you can snorkel with rays and nurse sharks—but none with more adventurous spirit than Raggamuffin Tours ($50). The ecotourism pioneer Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia, now in his eighties, still poles clients around the Swallow Caye marine reserve to observe manatees without spooking them. All year round, there’s unparalleled fly-fishing for bonefish, tarpon, and permit; go with the guides at Anglers Abroad ($330 per day). Front Street has punta and reggae bars and lodgings—like Colinda Cabanas (from $50), where you should request a beachfront room, and the Iguana Reef Inn (from $140). One block over, the Little Kitchen cooks up traditional Belizean salbutes (small, spicy tostadas) and garnache (fried tortillas with refried beans, cabbage, and the ubiquitous Marie Sharp’s hot sauces). Afterward, follow the locals to the Lazy Lizard for a cold Belikin beer.

Top 10 Maya Secrets
The Maya haven’t disappeared. Just as the fall of Rome didn’t meant the end of Romans, the decline of great Maya metropolises, such as Guatemala’s Tikal, which reached its apex in the ninth century, doesn’t mean the indigenous people have vanished. About 40 percent of Guatemala’s 14 million people are Maya, and southern Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula are home to many more predominantly Maya regions. Not only are the Maya enduring almost five centuries after the Spanish conquest, but their cultural traditions, agrarian lifestyle, and celebratory festivals continue on. There are more than 20 distinct Maya peoples within Guatemala, each with their own culture, style of dress, and language, and hundreds of thousands more Maya live beyond the borders. The Maya don’t believe the end of the world is coming. Apocalyptic movies may suggest the Maya believe the end of the 5,000-plus-year calendar—December 21, 2012—is an end-times moment, but that’s just not true. Many Maya may celebrate the beginning of the next 5,125-year cycle of the Long Count calendar just as we celebrated the new millennium. But they don’t believe the end of the world is on the horizon. If anything, they’re hopeful that a new era will usher in an age of higher consciousness, greater peace, and enhanced understanding among the diverse peoples on the planet. The ancient Maya developed the concept of zero. The Maya’s remarkable Long Count calendar relies on zero as a placeholder. While the idea of zero may have originated in Babylonia, it was independently conjured by the Maya, likely in the fourth century. Zero in the Maya written language was often represented by a shell-shaped glyph. The Maya numerical system is based on factors of 20. So Maya numbers are composed of units of 1, 20, 400, and so on. To write the number 403, for example, a Maya would use a symbol for one unit of 400, zero units of 20, and three units of 1. That’s how they derived the concept of zero.

Caye Caulker rated as one of the best Winter island escapes in the World!!
We have to agree, and many of you would too … Caye Caulker has been rated amongst one of the 12 best winter island destinations in the world. Caye Caulker is one of the smallest island getaways the magazine showcases but what we lack in size we make up for in charm!! The article has the island nicely summed up not only mentioning the snorkeling (of course Raggamuffin is their choice!!) but fishing, mantee watching with Lionel Heredia and not forgetting perfectly delicious Belizean food from the ‘Little Kitchen’ – finishing off at the Lazy Lizard!! The only disappointment would that the lead photo for the article could have given a little more to our island beauty – just having a look at the Raggamuffin Facebook page could have given a better visual on our little paradise??

I couldn’t ‘Belize’ it?
AFTER several worldly, erudite barmen, waiters and stewardesses on the 160 000-tonne luxury cruise-liner Independence of the Seas announced they wouldn’t disembark at Belize City, the major port and former capital of Belize (nee British Honduras) as it was “the most boring place in the world”, I’m glad I ignored them. How much do you know about the tiny statelette, which was Britain’s last colony on the American mainland, her only one in Central America? Most, if not all, of the Americans I met on board an immediate post-New Year week-long cruise through the Gulf of Mexico and Western Caribbean, skirting the Yucatan Peninsula with its iconic Mayan pyramid ruins in the jungle, sailing down the sinister-sounding Mosquito Coast, knew totally squat and didn’t seem to mind! Nor had they heard of its former name: British Honduras, or neighbouring long-independent Honduras. They weren’t aware Guatemala had avaricious eyes on the place, nor that it was almost totally razed (in 1961) by a hurricane. Odd people, Yanks, especially when travelling! Within 10 minutes of saying “hello”, you have their complete family history, religious leanings, politics, medical, dental and academic records and aspirations.

Travel letters: The wonder of Tikal
The magic and music of Tikal I read David Kelly's article "Tikal's Lost World" [Nov. 4] while gazing at the extraordinary embroidered Maya calendar hanging on my walI. I purchased it in Flores during a trip with my husband in December and January. Tikal was an absolutely magical place and the highlight of our seven-day trip to Belize and Guatemala. Instead of flying in and out of Guatemala City, we flew into Belize City and spent several days exploring the ruins, caves and jungle of Belize (all fantastic) before driving with a guide about three hours to Tikal. After spending one night at the Jungle Lodge inside Tikal National Park, we went to Flores, which is a mecca for buying beautiful Guatemalan textiles and embroidered art. We arrived in Flores on Dec. 31 and spent a New Year's I will never forget. We danced to bands all night in the plaza in front of the church while the sky was filled with fireworks in every direction. Thank you for bringing back the memories.

In Guatemala, the lost world of Tikal
The woman in the shorts shrieked, grabbed her ankle and crumpled to the ground as though she'd been shot. And in a sense she had. "A bullet ant," surmised José Elias, our unflappable guide. "If they sting you, the pain will last 24 hours. Take care." We left the stricken woman to her friends and plunged deeper into Guatemala's steamy jungle. Birds sang madly, chaotically. Emerald billed toucans alighted in the treetops. The spooky cry of a howler monkey echoed through the forest. Elias plucked a fragrant leaf, crushed it and slipped it under my nose. "Wild allspice," he said. I skittered around a watermelon-sized termite nest, then caught a glimpse of something enormous looming through the canopy. We were approaching the heart of Tikal, a sprawling metropolis of temples, palaces and pyramids deep in the misty rain forests of northern Guatemala. Once a vibrant city-state of 100,000, Tikal now lies empty, partly buried beneath moss, ferns and vines. "You are coming to the cradle of Mayan civilization," Elias said. "The city has collapsed, but the Mayan race has never disappeared."

November 9, 2012

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The San Pedro Sun

Crime Control Council Concurs With New Anti-Crime Measure
The Crime Control Council met yesterday, November 7, 2012, in Belize City and, after intensive discussion, has given its concurrence with the Minister of National Security’s decision to declare ‘special areas’ in accordance with Section 12(1) of the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act. The meeting was attended by all members of the Crime Control Council as listed or appointed under Section 25(1) of the Act, except for a Justice of the Supreme Court and a Representative from the Ministry of Human Development. Members present included the Chairman of the Crime Control Council, a representative of the Opposition, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, the Commissioner of Police, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), the Chief Magistrate, representatives from the Solicitor General’s Office, the Council of Churches, the Bar Association, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) and the Women’s Issues Network of Belize (WIN Belize). The first set of ‘special areas’ to be declared by the Minister of National Security will soon be published in the Belize Gazette, as required by the Law. This order will now afford the residents of these particular areas, in conjunction with law enforcement agencies, to take back control of their communities from the hands of the criminal elements. It is hoped that this will also help to strengthen the overall partnership and cooperation between the public and the law enforcement agencies as we continue working together towards restoring safety and security throughout our communities.

Kind visitors bring smiles to the island
Belize Mission Dental Project for the past 20 years has been brightening smiles of Belizeans across the country. Added to the voluntary dental services that the project offers yearly, for the past 15 years have been bringing smiles to the faces of needy families on Ambergris Caye through their kind donation of food baskets. This year, the group will spend some Bze$6,000 on food items to be given out the communities they feel are most in need. Last Friday, November 2nd the group visited the San Mateo sub division where they handed out some 300 gift bags containing rice, beans, oranges, powdered milk, salt potatoes and plantains to families. The team will return this Friday, November 9th once again, to San Mateo where they hope to reach the remainder of the families and bless them with grocery baskets as well. Assisting in making the food baskets possible, are Maria and Jose from Maria’s Vegetable Stand. The team offers special thanks to them both for travelling to the city and purchasing all items to be donated.

San Pedro AIDS Commission gears up for World AIDS Day 2013
On Saturday, November 10th the team is hosting a fundraiser to hopefully raise some much-needed funds to continue with their mission to assist persons living with HIV. On sale for $10 a plate will be a delicious Belizean Turkey Lunch , complete with rice & beans, potato salad and turkey. Tickets are available with any member of the SP AIDS Commission or may be bought by calling 663-9922. On Friday, November 30th the group will be visiting the San Pedro High School grounds to share a Red Ribbon for ALL students to wear. They will also provide an HIV/AIDS fact sheet and explanation on the significance of the Red Ribbon. On Saturday, December 1st, the actual date set aside to observe World AIDS Day – the group is spearheading the annual Solidarity Walk. The general public is invited to join us in this annual event. The walk is scheduled to begin from the Central Park at 6:00PM. On Sunday, December 2nd be sure to swing by for the annual World AIDS Day Fair at the Central Park. On offer will be free confidential rapid HIV testing. There will also be an HIV/AIDS Information Booth. Food and drinks will be on sale, with proceeds going to assist those living with HIV/AIDS. There will be live music – so be sure to come by and show your support!

Black & White Bar revamps and infuses culture into establishment
The old Black and White Bar is back to what it once was as a cultural, family friendly establishment. The official opening took place on Friday October 26th where members of the local press and other local dignitaries had the opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy Garifuna cultural presentations and even sample the traditional food. Speaking to the gathering, proprietor of the establishment, teacher Julia Martinez explained that she had to leave her establishment and concentrate her efforts to her teaching profession. Now that she has retired from teaching, teacher Julia, as she is commonly known on the island, has decided to take over the management of her establishment and make it into what it was originally envisioned as, a family friendly cultural establishment. On the day of the opening, live drumming, Garifuna songs and Garifuna skits filled the venue which had the crowd entertained and laughing as well. Following the presentations that were translated [...]

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Mayor Puts a Ban on Sagging Pants
Mayor Daniel Guerrero announced this morning on the Reef Radio’s Good Morning San Pedro Talk Show that he has instructed Police Officers to “Pull Up” anybody’s pants that are sagging and exposing underwear. He wants to put a ban on people sagging their pants and made it clear that he has instructed the police to warn those who are sagging and force them to pull up their pants; failure to comply will lead to penalties.

Investments to Improve Bacalar Chico World Heritage Site
As construction projects under the Sustainable Tourism Program (STP) are rolling out around the country, the last on the list of STP investment projects was initiated on November 2, 2012, with contract signature for a tourism assessment and architectural designs for tourism infrastructure at Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve (BCNPMR). The winning bid for the $210,300Bze contract was awarded to Belmopan based firm, Architecture and Project Management Limited headed by lead architect Mr. Alex Laasner who acquired qualification as a LEED Green Associate (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in October. Mr. Laasner is excited for this opportunity to “walk the talk” in terms of sustainable design and put the principles of “Green Design” into practice within this fragile ecosystem. The STP is working closely with the management bodies for the area, the Fisheries and Forestry Departments, and will finance investments in visitor facilities as recommended by the tourism assessment to include overnight accommodations.

Medical Safety Growing Strong in Belize
The Belize Red Cross is pleased to announce the beginning of the Belize Red Cross Medical Safety website button initiative. San Pedro and Punta Gorda branches are the first districts in Belize to launch this ongoing effort. Bandage International will be coming to Belize to teach the first official Certified First Aid training course in the Red Cross Belize Medical Safety program. Businesses country-wide are stepping up to make Belize a safer place to visit by sending staff to the upcoming Certified First Aid / CPR Courses being held at the Parish Hall, Punta Gorda on November 12 and 13 and Nov 14 and 15 upstairs at El Divino Restaurant at Banana Beach Resort, San Pedro.

Misc Belizean Sources

Fall Fashion Show Makeup
More behind the scenes pictures of the Fall Fashion Show at the Bedran Hall. They had their makeup done at The Dollhouse, which has a brand new location on West Street. Great job by all, and photographer Pablo Cambranes. "All our beautiful models getting ready at 'The Dollhouse' makeup done by: Emma Habet, Ileany Ileani Tragedii Sansores and Alexandra Bedran Photographer: PabLo Cambranes Amazing makeup work and photography as well Thank you very much."

VIDEO: Naguya Nei - Paul Nabor
Nati nuguya merumayatina Wanwa nuguya merumayatina Balabada naru tura nigabana nay Lau nuragu le hadan hara familia Ayanuhayatina hama namulenu (x2) Dame le gia nowen wanwa Lauba la banda habunana Hawagu namulenu naritagua Hawagu nisanigu naritagua Brother, I am ill Dear Brother, I am ill I have tossed and turned in my bed With this ailment in the presence of my family I have spoken with my children Dear Brother when I pass away They must have a band at my funeral It is my little ones I'm worried about It is my children I'm worried about

Artisan Fair in Belmopan
Today in Belmopan, in front of the U.S. Embassy, they'll be having their 5th annual Artisan fair. It'll start at 10:00am, and finish at 2:00pm. "5th U.S. Embassy Artisan Fair will be held on Friday, November 9, 2012. It will take place in front of the U.S. Embassy main gate from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Vendors from all over Belize will offer their beautiful crafts, jewelry, and art for sale. Perfect for you, your home, or Holiday gifts. Please see flyer for more information."

Purple Movement Parade and Rally
The Purple Movement will be collaborating with Youth for the Future, and they'll be having a youth rally and parade to celebrate the end of Youth Week. Saturday, starting at 10:00am at Macal River Park, they'll have the parade through the streets of Cayo, and then the rally afterwards. Go Purple! "Join us in the Parade and at our Rally this Saturday , November 10th, 2012! Ceremonies start at 9 am at the Macal River Park followed by parade the Youth Rally! Remember to wear Purple :)"

Mexico Embassy Talks Scholarships at UB
All those thousands of scholarships to universities in Mexico we've been hyping up. Today the Embassy of Mexico wil be at the University of Belize to explain them, as will past recipients of the scholarships.

Miss Earth Belize Wins Gold in Greenbag Challenge
Miss Earth Belize, Jessel Lauriano, won gold in the Miss Earth preliminary challenge! She won gold with Belgium and Australia. Congratulations, Jessel! Here are the winners for the Greenbag Challenge (group activity): Bronze - Slovak Republic, Singapore, South Africa. Silver - Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Austria. Gold - Belgium, BELIZE, Australia.

Recipes: Cracker Jacks
I've always loved Cracker Jacks while growing up in Belize, but never knew how to make them. This recipe is very simple and the end result is amazing. The caramel is sweet and intoxicating and very easy to make. You will not be able to get enough of this.

Best Golf Courses in Belize
As an avid golfer, there is nothing more that I like to do then set out on a bright, fresh morning, set up my tee and begin swinging away. Well, there might be one more thing that I like to do better and that would be setting up my tee on a bright, fresh morning on a course caressed with tropical trade winds and the heady scent of salty surf. So a Caribbean destination that encompasses both my love of golfing with a little equatorial climate might be a win-win on both accounts. Where to go to do both? Belize! But before we hit the courses, let’s find out why this little hotspot destination appeals to so many tourists, ex pats and retirees alike. Belize is not a wealthy country, but what is lacks in capital wealth it more than makes up for in its beauty and charm. Like many Caribbean nations, Belize has its history in the indigenous tribes that inhabited these coastal isles before European explorers came and not only enslaved these primitive islanders but pillaged the land and natural resources. Many peaceful farmers and fishermen, the Arawaks and the Caribs are now just ghosts, even their neighbors, The Mayan have long since disappeared. But their cultural an

Channel 7

Midday Murder On Busy Street
There was a midday murder on a busy Belize city street today. It happened on Vernon Street at a chicken store where four men went to pull off an armed robbery. But, a long standing employee put up a fight - and it proved to be a fatal decision. 7news arrived on the scene shortly after - and here's what we saw:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting The family of 54 year-old Dennis Williams, a resident of Supal Street, is grieving tonight, after he was shot to death while at his workplace at Three Star Quality Chicken establishment. Indications are that he was shot in a robbery where 4 men targeted the establishment just before the lunch hour. Raphael Martinez - Police Press officer "At approximately 11:57 on the 8th November 2012, police responded to a 911 call of a robbery at the Three Star Quality Chicken establishment at #46 Vernon Street here in Belize City. Reportedly during the robbery a struggle ensued between one of the robbers carrying a firearm and an employee of that establishment. Allegedly during this struggle the firearm fell to the floor which was pick up by the accomplice and unfortunately he fired a shot and fatally wounded the employee of that establishment." "Quick police response has led to the pursuits and detention of two Belize City men and the recovery of one 9mm pistol." The police response to this crime in progress is admirable indeed, but to the family of Dennis Williams, it is no comfort. To them, it makes no difference because their loved one is dead.

Crime Ridden Zones "Da Gazette"
And while broad daylight robberies and killing remain a prominent feature of the city's crime landscape, police have officially declared certain areas of the city as crime ridden. These zones include at least five areas within Lake Independence and Queen Square division. The Extraordinary Gazette listing the specific boundaries is being printed tonight - and we will be able to list them specifically tomorrow. As we told you last night, The Crime Control Council has approved the Minister of National Security's proposal to declare these as 'special areas.' Members of the council who attended include the Chairman of the Crime Control Council, Michael Young, a representative of the Opposition, Lisa Shoman, the CEO from the Ministry of National Security, George Lovell the Commissioner of Police, David Henderson, The DPP Cheryl Vidal, Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith as well as representatives from the Solicitor General's Office, The Council of Churches, the Bar Association, the Chamber of Commerce the BTIA and the Women's Issues Network.

Hot Steel In Coro!
Tonight this 18-wheeler with Cayo plates strapped with five thousand lengths of steel is parked in front of a hardware store in Corozal town. The store - reportedly bought it, but Midwest Steel in Spanish lookout says the steel was fraudulently purchased from their company using a bogus check. It was a big check, 68,388 dollars and 75 cents received from an individual who says he was working for BWS and who had a Belize Bank checque. We have his name but cannot release it - as he is only a suspect. He bought it on Saturday, November third in two thousand lengths of 3/8 inch steel, one thousand lengths of half inch steel, and two thousand lengths of quarter inch steel. Corozal Police have spoken to the truck driver who took them to Old College Road in Corozal where he parked the steel. He claims he was hired by the person who bought the items with the bad checques. And then this same person - who is being sought by police - bought 250 sheets of plywood from Caribbean Tyre. He did this on Friday November second and when he bought 100 sheets with a Scotiabank Checque for six thousand and twenty four dollars. And then on Saturday, he was back at Caribbean Tyre with another Scotia Bank checque, this one for nine thousand four hundred and sixty six dollars with which he purchased another 150 sheets of plywood.

Laverne Longsworth Gets "Life In Prison"
Today, one week after being convicted of murder her 32 year-old common-law husband, 38 year-old Lavern "Anti-Christ" Longsworth is at prison tonight, where she will serve a life sentence. In the mitigation hearing today, Longsworth's 18 year-old daughter, Kyla Reynolds, spoke on her behalf to the court. In that statement, she recounted to the court that she loves her mother, no matter what she had done. She also apologized publicly to White's family, and asked the court, to quote: "please find it in your heart to forgive her." Justice Lucas then handed her a life sentence and Longsworth was then escorted from court. The sentence will be recorded as taking effect from December 2010 when she was first arrested. Longsworth's trial has now set a precedent because it was the first time that electronic evidence was used to secure a conviction for murder. She becomes the 3rd woman in 18 months to be convicted and sentenced to life.

Man Gets Convicted of Carnal Knowledge, For A Second Time
Today in Orange Walk, Romero Jimenez was convicted of the carnal knowledge of a female child. The child was 12 years at the time of the incident. Sentencing was adjourned. Christophe Rodriguez appeared for the Crown and Simeon Sampson appeared for the accused. It is the second time he has been convicted for this but the first conviction was set aside by the court of appeal. In that first case he was sentenced to serve 17 years for going to the home of the 12 year old, as she was exiting the bathroom with a towel wrapped around her. The allegation is that he followed her to her room, tied her hands, pushed her on the bed and raped her.

A Social Service Summit
Two days ago, we told you all about the Ministry of Human Development's Social Protection Programmes, BOOST and the Food Pantry. Those and other initiatives are under the microscope all this week as the ministry engages in what's called a Social Policy Dialogue. It's a major effort with local and international stakeholders giving their input on suitable models for social protection. At the opening this morning, Education Minister Patrick Faber says a practical approach to problem solving is best:.. Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "We have been critically ill for a very long time when it comes to our social policy. We have been critically ill for a long time when it comes to social justice in this country - when the poor and the vulnerable do not have access to basic services and opportunities to help them break the cycle of poverty and vulnerability then it is not only their quality of life that is affected by the quality of life for all of us. We must be practical in our approach to social policy. We must know where we are. We must set achievable goals for more desirable state of affairs and we must plan how we are going to do this more desirable state of affairs. In short these are situations where we truly problem solved and think outside the box. As we deliberate over the next couple of days remember that we need to begin with our reality, decide what is worth wanting and achievable and then consider what is the best way to get there, especially in those unfamiliar unique situations." Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez "I always believe that yes policies are always good to guidelines and so but practical information and practical doing of things is very important especially to poor people, like having people standing in lines for a long time not knowing where they are going, not knowing what the processes are; how easy it is - the easy access to poor people is always important to me."

Mayor Darrell And "The Cliff"
If you saw the news last night, you probably remember our interview with Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley. He staunchly defended himself against criticism that - in his haste to pave so many streets - he had over-extended the council - and put it in a cash flow crisis - or in more trendy terms, put it at the edge of a fiscal cliff. Here's how the Mayor explained the difference between being at the edge and going over it:.. Mayor Darrell Bradley "The council had been stretch because many of the infrastructure works we had expected now to be paying for out of bond proceeds. Whereas we are trying to pay for it out of internal funds that is unsustainable. These are works that we are investing in. It's unbudgeted and of course that causes a problem on our cash flow because we didn't expect to spend them." Jules Vasquez "You have put the council through your own doing in an adverse position where recently it was behind on its obligations for example to the sanitation companies." Mayor Darrell Bradley "I entirely reject everything that you are saying; I make no apologies for everything that you are saying because at the end of the day the city is meeting its obligations. If we have to be a little bit on the edge I wouldn't characterized it as irresponsible."

OW Mayor Forced To Make Layoffs
Another municipal leader who probably wishes he could float a bond is Kevin Bernard, the PUP mayor of Orange Walk. Like many municipalities, Bernard's council is strapped for cash. It got so bad last month that they had to lay off 11 employees. Yesterday, we asked the mayor about his money woes - and here's what he said:.. Kevin Bernard, PUP Mayor - Orange Walk "We've been trying to hold on to the employees that we have but we have reach that point that we had to make the tough decision and I know it's not always the best decision but sometimes we have to make those tough ones and in this economic hard times that people live in - it was a hard thought out decision that yes we had to relieve 11 individuals from the council to save us some payroll expenses. The council has a very heavy weekly payroll for workers, staff and administrative staff and so we had to cut down where we know we had to cut down. We cut down some from administration and we had to lay off 11 from the other area. Why we have come to this point; we still have some huge debts that we encountered when we came in, we have been paying those. Our Social Security debt that we had to paying and keeping current and trying also to maintain the arrears that were left there." Jules Vasquez "I understand that you want to implement a residential garbage fee." Kevin Bernard, PUP Mayor - Orange Walk "The council has been looking at the cost of sanitation; maintaining the sanitation department. It cost us almost $37,000 - $38,000 a week because all we collect in a month on garbage collection is about $4,500 and so when you look at that it's a huge disparity. We are saying to the residents let's see where you can help us to alleviate some of these costs."

GSU Gets Two Guns
Tonight, 27 year-old Kenroy Tyrone Gillett, is detained and awaiting an arraignment tonight after the Gang Suppression Unit busted him with a firearm. According to the GSU, this morning, they conducted a 4-hour long search at #3413 Central American Boulevard. Gillett and a 20 year-old woman were present at the time of the search. Inside the attic bedroom of the house, police found a 9 mm pistol, which was loaded with 6 live rounds of ammunition. They also found 2 grams of cannabis in the pocket of a pair of pants. According the officers, Gillett allegedly admitted that he was the owner of the gun. As a result, he was arrested and charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm, keeping unlicensed ammunition, and possession of a controlled drug.

SATIIM Gets High Powered Legal Team
SATIIM and the Indigenous communities in the Sarstoon Temash National Park in Southern Belize have gotten some high powered lawyers to challenge US Capital Energy's oil exploration activities in Mayan communal lands. According to a release from SATIIM, "a team of Belizean and international human rights and environmental lawyers will support the communities." It includes Lisa Shoman, along with the US law firm Sheppard Mullin Richter Hampton LLP. SATIIM says it must retain legal counsel because at they were denied a voice at the "community consultation" two weeks ago.

San Pedro Airstrip Gets Major Upgrade
You might not know that the San Pedro airstrip is regarded as the busiest in all of Central America. And since mid year, it has been getting an upgrade worthy of the level of traffic that it gets. Today it was officially opened and Monica Bodden was there:.. Monica Bodden reporting Inauguration ceremonies of the new San Pedro airport were held this afternoon on the island. Construction began in January of 2011 and after 20 months of work; the new airport will be providing both locals and tourists with a much safer and more efficient air navigation service. More than 2.3 million dollars have been invested in the project with the Central American Cooperation for air navigation services being one of the main contributors. Louis Ake - Regional Manager "In honor of our commitment towards providing a safer and a more efficient air navigation service the Central American Cooperation for Air Navigation Services (COCESNA) is honored to be able to contribute towards the betterment of civil aviation, tourism and the economics of our region specifically Belize, our beautiful country. After 20 months of constant work we now can see that teh project is a reality. With the firm commitment and support from COCESNA and the constant cooperation from the Belize Airport Authority more than 2.3 million US dollars have been invested. This project is comprise of the following; construction of 2,175 meters of perimeter fencing, the rehabilitation and resurfacing of the runway and taxiway, the construction of a new airport parking apron, the installation of a runway and taxiway lights and the installation of a precision approach pathway indicator lighting system which will provide visual aid for landing aircrafts."

PROFILE: Matthew Martinez
When you hear the term nurse, you probably think of a woman, but Matthew Martinez has been battling and breaking that stereotype since the mid-80's. He's a pioneer in male nursing - and in tonight's I am Belize profile, he explains how he had to endure many insults for choosing his career path. Here's his story.

Channel 5

Daylight robbery and murder of security guard
The Crime Control Council has agreed to support an anti-crime measure which will allow for police to designate crime ridden areas in the Old Capital; most of the hot spots are in the Lake Independence constituency. The Government is going full speed ahead and it is expected that by Friday going into the weekend, the [...]

Medical Council investigating Northern Regional baby deliveries
The Medical Council has met to discuss the allegations of malpractice at the Northern Regional Hospital. From what is reported, the council is asking the Ministry of Health to suspend a doctor who performed surgeries on the affected victims. There are now at least fifteen cases involving allegations of medical malpractice in the maternity unit [...]

Lavern “Antichrist” Longsworth gets life in prison for murder
Last Thursday, a jury of twelve persons found Lavern Longsworth, also known as Anti-Christ, guilty of the murder of her common-law-husband, David White. Longsworth was back in court this morning for sentencing before Justice Adolph Lucas. Her family, as well as White’s family, was both in court where it got emotional.  In her mitigation plea, [...]

The harsh economic indicators of life in the jewel
In tonight’s economic indicators we look at the staggering external debt and what it says about the health of the economy. The government is engaged in the restructuring of the super bond and its inability to meet its debt obligations has brought the International Monetary Fund to Belize. In this analysis, we look at the [...]

Upgrading the airstrip on La Isla Bonita
The overhaul of the San Pedro airport is complete; the multimillion dollar project was launched this afternoon just in time for the beginning of the high tourism season. The event pulled out numerous ministers and key players in the tourism and aviation industries. The expanded and modernized facility was named after John Greif the second, [...]

John McAfee donates to San Pedro police
Millionaire businessman John McAfee’s Orange Walk estate was raided by GSU personnel in early May during an operation in which it was believed that drugs and illegal firearms were being housed on the premises.  In the wake of the search, McAfee and the Belize Police Department became embroiled in a highly publicized tiff which eventually [...]

Dental Mission at St. Martin De Porres leaves big smiles
The Belize Mission Project is back in Belize. In the past two weeks a team from the US comprising dentists, physicians, dental technicians and others in the profession, have been providing free medical dental care across the country to school children to ensure bright smiles. News Five’s Jose Sanchez was at St Martin’s Primary School [...]

Chamber pleads for committee to address Auditor General’s Report
The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives is Cayo South Area Rep, Julius Espat. Espat recently wrote to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Eddie Webster, to inform members of the committee of a scheduled meeting on Monday, November twelfth. To achieve quorum, a majority of members must be present, [...]

Man convicted for carnal knowledge for a second time
In the Orange Walk court today, a man was convicted for the second time for the crime of carnal knowledge. Romero Jimenez was found guilty of sexually abusing a girl who was twelve year old at the time of the incident. Sentencing is expected to follow soon. Christopher Rodriguez appeared for the crown and Simeon [...]

Magistrate says no bail for second drug trafficking charge
Thirty-one year old Dwight Mariano who has a conviction for drug trafficking, was before the court today for another drug trafficking charge.  He appeared without legal counsel before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith and pleaded not guilty to the offense.  The allegations are that on Wednesday, November seventh, Mariano was found in possession of [...]

Police department’s additional stop and search; more areas are crime ridden
There are five zones to be designated as Crime Ridden Areas.  Initially the zones would all fall inside the Lake Independence constituency in Belize City. However, News Five understands that it will include other areas and it will possibly include Queen Square going down to the Swing Bridge Area and coming back around the Vernon [...]

GSU snoops out marijuana
A reputed Ghost Town Gang arrested and charged today for firearm related offences. Early this morning, the GSU searched a house on Central American Boulevard which was occupied by Kenroy Tyrone Gillett. In the attic, the GSU found a nine mm pistol and six rounds of ammo. According to the GSU admitted under caution that [...]

St. Luke gets donation from BelAms
Saint Luke Primary School is nestled in the heart of the South Side along Mahogany Street. The school and students ended the workday with a visit from three Belizean American women. The leader of the Miss Belize America group, Glenda Flowers said that for the fifth year they have returned to the school to give [...]

Peace Walk for St. Martin De Porres on Saturday
Belize City Resident Deon Flowers is well known in the St. Martin De Porres neighborhood.  He regularly hosts football camps for the neighborhood kids in an effort to keep the occupied, involved in positive activities and far from influences that would lead them astray. Flowers has decided to organize a peace march on Saturday at [...]

Whoa! Healthy Living’s early signs of depression
Often times we face difficult times in our lives that may make us sad, but when the feeling persists for a bit too long; it may be a sign of one of the most common mental disorders. Depression is said to affect up to three hundred and fifty million people worldwide. It has become so [...]


Chairman of Public Accounts Committee Calls for Commitment of Members
The president of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kay Menzies has written a letter to the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, urging participation by the appointed members in the upcoming meeting of the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives.&...

Diabetes Conference to be Hosted By University Students
Nursing students of the University of Belize will host the first health promotion Diabetes Conference in connection with World Diabetes Day. Nurse Isabel Bennett is a lecturer at the University. Nurse Isabel Bennett Lecturer University of Bel...

Police News
Thirty-two year old Dwight Mariano, a resident of Curl Thompson Street, who the police reported they busted with over two pounds of cannabis, was charged with drug trafficking when he appeared in court today. Mariano pled not guilty to the charge. The prosecution did not object to bail...

Belizean Woman Sentenced to Life Imprisonment After Killing Spouse
Thirty-eight year old Laverne Longsworth, a.k.a. “Anti Christ”, who was convicted last week of the murder of her common-law husband 33year old David White, was sentenced to life imprisonment today by Justice Adolph Lucas. Justice Lucas stipulated that the sentence is to...


Murder on Vernon Street
There was a shooting just before noon today on Vernon Street in Belize City. Police sources have confirmed that one man is dead. Two suspects are is custody. Police have cordoned off a section of the Vernon Street area just after the bridge. Tune in to the Love FM midday news for a report on the incident.

The Roads in the Toledo District are completed
Major report works have been completed on the Barranco Road and others in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports

A student did well in CAPE/CSEC
On Tuesday we reported on the results of the 2012 CAPE/CSEC examinations results which were published this week. Dorien Villafranco, a graduate of the Saint John’s College Junior College topped the CAPE section of the exams earning a total of six grade one. In the high school segment of the exam, Juana Meza of the Stann Creek Ecumenical College was the most outstanding candidate, scoring thirteen grade one. As a result of his outstanding performance, Dorein Villafranco was awarded the Belize Scholarship, which he can use to pursue undergraduate studies. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering at St. Louis University under a Jesuit Scholarship which he obtained from SJC. Today, Villafranco told Love News that he is honored to have won the Belize Scholarship. Villafranco told Love News that he is yet to decide which course of studies he will take up under the Belize Scholarship. The soft-spoken young man says that good study ethics and the loving support of his parents propelled him to excel and he plans to continue to pursue his education. Villafranco obtained 6 grade 1 in Caribbean Studies; Communication Studies; Pure Mathematics Units one and two and Physics Units 1 and 2. As an accomplished performer in the field of mathematics, Love News asked Villafranco for his advice on solving the challenges that Belizean students face in math. The annual national CXC awards ceremony is scheduled to take place on Thursday, November twenty second at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts in Belize City.

Belize and CARILED teams up for the CARILED program
Belize is among seven Caribbean countries that will benefit from an investment of monies in specific projects from the Government of Canada and the Federation of Canada Municipalities. The twenty-three million dollars will be shared among the countries in projects that the Canadian Government sees potential for development and growth, particularly in the eco-agro-tourism industries. Today, Belize and CARILED signed a Memorandum of Understanding, making the project official in Belize. Executive Director of CARILED, Naresh Singh, told reporters that within the next few months, the funds should be disbursed, and that there will be close monitoring of the progress of its use. Minister of the Public Service, Godwin Hulse, explained that people should be able to benefit from the program through local government agencies. Minister Hulse says that there will be measures in place to discourage against quote… “vagaries of human misconduct”…unquote.

On Garifuna Settlement Day they will be having the Reef Ride in the country
The last segment of the Reef Ride which takes paraplegic Cyclists around the country will take place just in time for Garifuna Settlement Day. Burrel Boom resident Jerome Flores alongside his newly trained companion from Hattieville, Shaphan Domingo, will be taking the ride on their hand trikes in the south of the country. Love News spoke with Flores about the venture. Meanwhile Jerome and his team are also preparing for another race which is scheduled to take them to South America. He told us more on that.

The Minister of education give update on the walk out
About a month ago the teachers and students at Orange Walk Technical walked out of class on grounds that their principal was not following proper protocol. On Tuesday of this week, there were similar situations at the same school and another at the Belmopan Baptist High School. This morning the media met Minister of Education, Patrick Faber and engaged him on the incidents.

The C.C. Council meets to consider the proposed declaration
After years of dormancy, the Crime Control Council has been resuscitated. The Council met today to consider the proposed declaration made by the ministry of National Security under the Crime Justice Act to declare certain parts of Belize City in which the police should exercise special powers, which are conferred upon them by the act once the declaration is made. Minister of National Security John Saldivar announced the move to make the declarations last week during the Prime Minister’s business forum. But one member of the Crime Control Council, the representative of the opposition People’s United Party, Senator Lisa Shoman told Love News earlier today and before the meeting was carried out, that the Minister may have jumped the gun by going public with the announcement before the legally required procedures had been adhered to. Around 11:00 o’clock this morning, the Crime Control Council involving all members which include representatives of the government, the opposition, private sector and non-government partners conferred at Young’s Law Firm on Regent Street to discuss the matter. Love News caught up with the Chairman of the Council, Attorney At law, Senior Counsel Michael Young shortly after the meeting and he told Love News what had been holding the council back from meeting. CEO in the Ministry of National Security, George Lovell says the names of the designated crime areas will be released once they undergo the proper process. Although allegations exist that police have already been exercising extra-judicial powers in searching areas for over five hours, Lovell explained what conditions falls under the three hour area cordoning law which comes hand in hand with the new operations. And in terms of the constitutional rights of residents being violated in the communities where the operation will be put into effect, Young explained that the operation aims in working with the communities. But no operation can be launched without the proper funding, in this case as proposed by the Minister of National Security, that of one hundred thousand dollars a week. Lovell explained how the government will be able to sustain the program, especially in these crucial economic times. George Lovell, CEO in the Ministry of National Security.

Minister Faber reenforce the rule of education
At the end of October the Belize National Teachers’ Union sent out a press release expressing its disappointment and dissatisfaction with the way Minister Faber signed into law Statutory Instrument number 87 of the Education Rules. According to the BNTU, the Ministry of Education held initial consultations and committed to a final review of the document. But that last meeting was not done and that made the union irate. Today Minister Faber defended his position.

The Guardian

Dorien Villafranco Top Belize Student Again
The Ministry of Education, Youth & Sports and the CXC National Committee of Belize have announced that Dorien Osric Villafranco of St. John’s College Junior College is the Most Outstanding Candidate for the May-June 2012 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) and is therefore the recipient of the Belize Scholarship for 2012. Villafranco obtained six (6) Grade I’s in the following subjects: Caribbean Studies, Communication Studies, Physics Unit 1, Physics Unit 2, Pure Mathematics Unit 1 and Pure Mathematics Unit 2. Villafranco also achieved first place in Belize for each of the six subjects.

Carlene Martinez is Garifuna Settlement Day Queen
Carlene Martinez representing, Hopkins Village, won the annual National Miss Garifuna Belize pageant, organized by the National Garifuna Council, at the Bliss Institute for the Performing Arts in Belize City last Saturday, November 3rd, 2012.

Book Publisher represents Belize Abroad
A major book publisher has recently represented Belize at a renowned book fair abroad. Ms. Montse Casademun, Publisher and Director of Cubola Productions from Benque Viejo Town, took the opportunity, during a period of ten days, to promote Belizean books in Frankfurt, Germany. The October 5th to the 15th fair brings together professionals of the book and media industry from around the globe in an attempt to make them competitive in the marketplace. The Frankfurt Book Fair is one where publishers go to sell and buy rights from other publishers. According to Casademun, the first three days of the fair was dedicated to workshops on Rights Trading, Book Marketing and Book Design. The remaining days were spent in setting up and attending to the Belize booth as well as meeting with other publishers.

Marlon Brighton Cordova, 10, laid to rest
On Saturday, November 3rd, Marlon Brighton Cordova, 10, was laid to rest in Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk District. Brighton died on Thursday, at around 5:30 a.m., at the family’s new home.

Rememberance for Miss Cherry Mae Pascascio
And God saw it fit to lend us a special light for He knew that that light would shine bright and illuminate with its brilliance and warmth the lives of many of His children here on earth.

Caribbean fishers to benefit from Euro 117,956 project
Thousands of fisherfolk from across the Caribbean are poised to benefit greatly from a unique and timely Euro 117,956 (US$150,000) project which will help them develop a more sustainable and professional industry, and improve their quality of life as well as the nutrition they obtain from seafood.

What Belizean Women think a Real Man Is
On Friday, November 2nd, the Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO) presented the results of a qualitative study done in Belize. The research focuses on "What women think a 'real man' is." The study is a follow up to one done in 2008 in which men were asked the same question. The latest study took place from October 2011 to March 2012 and focused on women ages 18-40 in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Panama.

Business Community applauds Government’s Internet Cost Reduction Efforts
Opponents of the Barrow administration did an excellent job of painting the last Government as anti-business. They based such propaganda on episodes of Government’s public battle with the Ashcroft Alliance and the subsequent takeover of two utility companies. It also didn’t help the administration that businesses locally began to feel the full impact of the global economic crisis during Prime Minister Barrow’s first term. However, non-politically affiliated businessmen will concede that considering the amount of tax breaks introduced by the administration, and the impact of the infrastructural stimulus, this administration has been the most business - friendly in Belize’s history. The administration now plans to continue building on a much improved direct relationship with the private sector by immediately implementing policies that will foster an environment for businesses to succeed. That means looking beyond tax breaks and policy reform and towards the environment in which the businesses exist.

Campaign launched in Cayo
Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow assisted parents on Tuesday, November 6th, to register their children at the main office of the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council. The momentous occasion forms part of an initiative spearheaded by the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and its many partners, which begun in the Toledo District in February of last year, to give every child in Belize an identity.

Belize taps into $23.2M CARILED funds
On Wednesday, November 7th, Minister of Rural Development, Immigration and NEMO, Hon. Godwin Hulse signed on to an agreement which will see Belize tapping into $23.2 million dollars to stimulate economic growth, create jobs and develop the business sector. The program, Caribbean Local Economic Development (CARILED) is financed by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Seven Caribbean countries will be beneficiaries to the program and Dr. Naresh Singh, Executive Director of CARILED, explained that finances have not been specifically earmarked for any particular recipient.

What’s the Agenda, Channel 5?
Many who looked at Channel 5's newscast on Tuesday, November 6th were left wondering exactly what the agenda of the television station is. We write specifically about the news item in which the television station claims that money that is being spent on Government's BOOST Program and the Food Pantry program is "going into the wrong hands."

Crackdown of Quality of Life Crimes
Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar announced last Thursday that the Police Department will be cracking down on quality of life crimes, and indeed they have.

Corozal Bay has New Executive committee
On Sunday, November 4th, the Corozal Bay constituency held elections to select a New Executive Committee. The meeting was held in Santa Rita during which Narciso Flores was elected as the Chairperson. Members of the committee also include the following Estevan Cruz, Rocio Vasquez, Melhelm Williams, Jorge Perez, Reydel Cobb, Carol Williams, Idalicia Zetina, Paulita Manzanilla, Ronaldo Babb, Benjamin Cal, Richard Quan, Maria Villanueva, Alba Nunez and Armando Ramirez. Alternates are: Alma Rochester, Ada Romero, Martha Lima, Eli Leslie, Nancy Chable.

New School Building for Corozal Methodist
The Government’s initiative to address the ever- growing educational needs of the country took another step forward today with the official inauguration of a two-storey, ferro-concrete school building, which was held this afternoon at the Methodist School in Corozal Town.

Congratulations to Hon. Dean Lindo
By any measure, Dean Lindo is an accomplished Attorney, Statesman, Politician, Ambassador and Lecturer, heck he's even published legal papers; to prove this all one needs to do is look at the good gentleman's resume which spans decades of service in all the above-mentioned areas. His career is studded with accomplishments as he's held positions as a Minister of Government, Ambassador, lecturer and many others too numerous to mention. Now the United Democratic Party's First Leader, Dean Lindo, will hold the position of Doctor of Philosophy, honoris causa ad gradum. He received the distinction from Trinity College in the Seychelles. To Hon. Dean Lindo, we say, Congratulations!

Youth Worker killed in Belize City
“Fun loving and determined- a solid advocate for Belizean youths.” That is how 27-year-old Youth for the Future employee Gayle Escarpeta’s friend and coworker, Crystal Dacoff, described Belize City’s most recent female to fall victim to gun violence. Family and friends of Gayle are left with more questions than answers after they found out that she had been killed a little after 2:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, November 3rd. Police say that at approximately 2:30 a.m. Gayle was traveling with a male friend in a white Mazda on West Canal and their vehicle was being pursued by a green car with 4 male occupants inside. There is no official statement released as to when and where the pursuit began but, it ended at the corner of West Canal and South Street where occupants of the green car pulled up and opened fire on the white Mazda. While her friend escaped unharmed, Gayle was struck by at least three bullets: two to the right arm and one to the right arm pit. She succumbed to her injuries shortly after.

New Stimulus: $35 Million for First Time Home Owners
The Prime Minister of Belize has earmarked an initial $3.5 million to assist aspiring home owners. The initiative is Government’s latest effort to galvanize an economy made stagnant by local financial institution’s inability to attract clients. According to the Hon. Dean O. Barrow, “There is currently $131 million in excess liquidity in the banking system.” That is $131 million that could have been invested in education, entrepreneurship, small business expansion, home improvement and social development. Instead, it is locked up in vaults somewhere. Government’s first- time home owner’s program could see $35 million of that $131 million invested in new home construction.

Hon. Hugo Patt attends His Constituency
On Monday, November 5th, the Hon. Hugo Patt, Minister of State in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture and Area Representative for the Corozal North Division, went on a working tour of his division.

Land Management upgrades
The Government of Belize signed a loan agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on November 16, 2009, in the amount of US$2,500,000 to finance the execution of the Land Management Program Phase III (LMP III). The Project is for a period of three (3) years and is in its final stage of development.

Ministry of Health highlights Statistics on the occasion
The Ministry of Health joins the international community on the occasion of World Malaria Day 2012. Countries in the region observe Malaria Day in the Americas annually on November 6th. This year, it is being celebrated under the theme - “Test. Treat. Track. - Scaling up Diagnostic Testing, Treatment, and Surveillance for Malaria.” The World Health Organization estimates that Malaria transmission still occurs in 99 countries – killing an estimated 655,000 people every year – mainly children under five years of age. Belize has made significant progress in the control of Malaria over the past years, having reduced the incidence from 540 cases in 2008 to 79 cases in 2011. This year, the Ministry is on track for another successful year, having reduced the number of cases to 33 in 9 communities, a drastic reduction from 2011 in which 27 communities were producing cases. Migrant populations, case detection, and treatment compliance are among the greatest challenges that not only affect control efforts, but threaten re-emergence in many communities across Belize. The Ministry continues to take an integrated approach to Malaria control in order to reduce cases. Health education remains at the forefront while complementing other efforts such as indoor residual spraying, distribution of long lasting insecticide treated bed nets, and engaging in community based efforts to control and eliminate mosquito breeding sites. World Malaria Day is an effort by the global malaria community to highlight the reported successes and the remaining challenges in malaria control today, and to maximize the impact of substantial investments for this preventable and treatable disease. We encourage the community to work with the Ministry to continue the hard works towards the elimination of this potentially deadly disease.

Minister Montero and BWS Team visit Work Site in Santa Elena
Minister of Works and Transport, Hon. Rene Montero and Belize Water Services Limited officials visited the work site of the Santa Elena/San Ignacio Bypass Project on Thursday, November 1st.

P.M. Barrow in Honduras
PM Dean Barrow and President Porfirio Lobo Sosa Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow arrived in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on Wednesday afternoon accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow and a delegation including Minister of Foreign affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington and CEO Alexis Rosado; Minister of Tourism, Hon. Manuel Heredia; CEO in the Prime Minister's Office, Audrey Wallace and ambassador Alfredo Martinez.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s Address Business Forum “Partnering for Growth” at Old Belize Pavilion
Mr. Master of Ceremonies, Rev. David Goff, Distinguished Members of the Business Community, Ministers of Government and Members of Cabinet, Chief Executive Officers and other Members of the Public Service, Other Invited Guests, Representatives of the Media, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Minister of National Security Remarks – Prime Minister Forum on November 1st, 2012
Prime Minister, Members of the Cabinet, Members of the business community, CEOs, other distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen:

New Master Plan for Tourism Sector
Minister of Tourism Hon. Manuel Heredia and Dr. Jaime Awe A new Master Plan for the Tourism Sector has been approved for Belize. The plan, named the National Sustainable Master Plan has a timeline to 2030 and was approved by Belize’s leading officials on October 30th, 2012. The expertly made Xunantunich Ferry, delivered to the people of Succotz on November 1st was just one of the ‘deliverables’under that Master Plan. Speaking to those gathered last Thursday in the Village of Sucotz, Dianne Haylock of the National Institute of Culture and History NICH thanked the Inter -American Development Bank IDB for providing the funds for this Master plan.

U.S Government donates A State-of-the Art Detection System
The Ministry of National Security has received a new donation from the United States Government to help upgrade security at key locations.

Bar owners charged for employing persons without employment permit!
The Immigration Department has embarked on operations at local bars and within the last few days, there have been three businesswomen who have been caught hiring foreigners at their establishment, without employment permits.

Boat Captain charged for carnal knowledge of 10-year-old girl
Honduran Boat Captain, Candido Alamilla of Boca-del-Rio area on Ambergris Caye was charged by police for a count of unlawful carnal and three counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. Alamilla was charged after a 10-year-old student of Ambergris Caye visited the police station accompanied by her mother. The girl told polcie that at around 1:30p.m. on October 7th, she had gone swimming when she met Alamilla, who touched her in an inappropriate manner. She also reported that sometime between October 8th and 12th she and her younger brother were picked up around midday by Alamilla and taken to his house. There, he left her brother outside of the house and took the 10-year-old girl into a room and had sexual intercourse with her after which he took them back to school. The perpetrator continued molesting the child as she told police that on a third occasion, between October 15th and 16th he again picked her up from school at around midday and took her to his house where he touched her inappropriately after which he took her back to school.

18-year-old female pleads guilty to drug trafficking
On Monday, November 5th, 18-year-old Jaslyn Cadle appeared in Magistrate's Court before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where she was charged for drug trafficking. Cadle pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $10,000. She was ordered to pay $2,000 forthwith in default 2 years imprisonment. She is to pay the balance by December 31st, 2013 in default 3 years imprisonment. Cadle was arrested on Saturday, November 3rd in front of MCC Grounds, where she was found in possession of 159 grams of marijuana inside a school knapsack. Police say that at about 6:05 p.m., PC#1051, Shol of the Gang Suppression Unit was on mobile patrol on Barrack Road when they saw a female who was seen in front of the MCC gate with a blue knapsack on her back. She was acting suspiciously and was approached and searched. During the search, police found a plastic bag inside the knapsack. When it was opened in her presence, they found several other packages containing suspected marijuana. Police also found $100.

Man pleads Guilty to stealing Police Commissioner’s plantains
On Monday, November 5th, Lincoln Kent Crawford appeared in Magistrate’s Court before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was charged with theft after he was accused of stealing 79 plantains belonging to Commissioner of Police, David Henderson. Crawford wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $200, $100 to be paid forthwith and the balance by February 28th, 2013. If he defaults, he is to spend 6 months in prison. According to the police, on Saturday, November 3rd, 2012, at about 9:00 a.m., COMPOL David Henderson visited the station and reported to police that on that same day, 79 plantains were stolen from his farm. Police investigation led to of Crawford’s detention. In court Crawford told the Chief Magistrate that the plantains were hanging out on the street and not on the farm and anybody could have taken them. When asked why he took them since it did not belong to him, Crawford said that he is an honest worker and has no need to steal.

Five charged for Possession of Police Radio
Raquel Baptist, Emmeth Baptist, Linval Baptist and Geovanni Smith On Monday, November 5th, 50-year-old Raquel Baptist, of #628 Lavender Street, along with her two sons, Emmeth Baptist, aka “DaDa”, 25, and Linval Baptist, 27; and with 27-year-old construction worker, Geovanni Smith, a resident of Belize City and a 17-year-old minor appeared in Magistrate's Court to answer to charges of possession of a communication apparatus without a license. In court, Emmeth Baptist, the home owner’s son pleaded guilty with an explanation. He told the Magistrate that he found the device on Mahogany Street in front of the complex building and that he was going to sell it to the owner of a security company. He further told the Magistrate that he had placed the device on his television stand and was not hiding it since he did not know what kind of radio it was. With his explanation, the magistrate entered an equivocal plea of not guilty on his behalf. The others pleaded not guilty to the charge and they were all offered bail in the sum of $300 plus one surety of the same amount. Their case was adjourned for December 4, 2012. Over the weekend, police officers were on mobile patrol in the Saint Martin De Pores area when they conducted a search at #628 Lavender Street in Belize City where they found the police hand held radio in Baptist's home on a television stand. Present at the time of the discovery were the five above-mentioned people who were all detained and escorted to the Queen Street Police Station since they did not have a license for the device.

Remanded to Prison on Charge of Carnal Knowledge of 13-year-old
On Thursday, November 1st, 36-year-old Herman Williams, a construction worker of #9522 Faber’s Road in Belize City appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where, he was read a single charge of unlawful carnal knowledge of a child age 13 years 9 months old. No plea was taken since the matter is an indictable offense and he was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Allegations being made against Williams are that sometime in the month of July 2012, he had sexual intercourse with the child. The incident occurred at a home where Williams was working as a construction worker. The child visited the police on October 31st in the company of her grandmother. She told police that sometime in July, Williams approached her and asked her to have sex with him. The child agreed and claimed that’s when Williams had sexual intercourse with her. A medical examination was conducted on the minor and a doctor has certified that she was carnally known. Herman Williams is due back in Court #1 on December 6th.

Leon Yorke charged for Murder of David Myvette
On Wednesday, October 31st, 43-year-old David Myvette, a supervisor with Maheia’s Construction was shot and killed whilst he was working on Electric Avenue. Since the murder, police arrested and charged 27-year-old Leon Yorke, a resident of #40 B Berry Street. Yorke appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith in where he was charged with murder and escape. No plea was taken from Yorke and the Chief Magistrate explained to him that since the police are alleging that the escape occurred as a result of the murder, she would not take a plea from him for that offense either. Due to the nature of the original offence, Yorke was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until December 11th. Before leaving the court, Yorke told the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith that the only reason why he escaped from police was because he needed to inform his relatives and loved ones that he was detained for murder. 43-year-old David Myvette was gunned down on Wednesday, October 31st, whilst on Electric Avenue at around 10:00 a.m. Myvette was supervising workmen on the site when two men emerged and open fire. A hail of bullets went his direction and he was shot as many as 10 times to the body.

Airport and Port of Belize lead in Firms Basketball Competition
The 2012 Belize District Basketball Firms Competition continued over the last week with a number of games over the weekend. On Saturday, November 3rd, in the first of two U - 23 competition games played, Belize Bank defeated Cellular World by the score of 66-59. The top scorers for the Belize Bank were Terique Gabb with 25 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal; and Brian White with 19 points, 18 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Celluar World include Marvin Skeet with 16 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist and a steal. In the second U-23 game, Tigersharks defeated Tuff E Nuff by the score of 77-72. The top scorers for Tigersharks were Jarett Jones with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 assists; and Tyron Anthony with 14 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal. For Tuff E Nuff, the top scorers were Jarrell Velasquez with 26 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals; and Vinnie Garbutt with 24 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. In the Firms competition game, Port of Belize defeated Belize Bank by the score of 53-46. The top scorers for Port of Belize were Angus Cherrington with 12 points, 21 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal; and Jason Wade with 11 points, 2 rebounds and a steal. For Belize Bank, the top scorers for the Belize Bank were Troy Gabb with 19 points, 3 rebounds, an assist and 3 steals; and Dominique Guzman with 11 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. In the second game, BEL edged Smart by the score of 45-43 to pick up its first win of the competition. The top scorers for Herschell Armstrong with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 assists; and Brandon Cadle and Jason Bennett with 10 points each. For Smart, the top scorers were Kurt Budd with 17 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal; and Jason Gentle with 12 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. The Firms Competition continued on Friday, November 2nd with three games on the schedule. In game one, BTL defeated Bowen n Bowen by the score of 68-46. The top scorers for BTL were Lennox Cayetano with 19 points, 20 rebounds and an assist; and Lupito Acosta with 16 points, 1 rebound, 8 assists and a steal.

Police United and Belmopan Bandits at top of PLB standings
The Premier League of Belize 2012 Football Competition continued over the weekend with a number of games across the country. On Saturday, November 3rd at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the National Sub-Champions edged the defending National Football Champions the Placencia Assassins by the score of 2-1 to hand them its 3rd losses of the season making it 2 defeats in a row. The visiting Placencia Assassins got on the scoreboard first when Garry Young scored his team’s only goal of the game to give them a 1-0 lead. The defending champions, Placencia Assassins took that lead into the second half of the game before it was relinquished. The home team, Police United got on the scoreboard when Orlando Jimenez scored the equalising goal in the 51st minute of play via a penalty kick. The Police United squad was then given a lead when Evan Mariano scored the go-ahead goal in the 83rd minute of play. At the end of the long whistle, it was a 2-1 victory for the Police United team and a place at the top of the standings. In the game played out at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, RG City Boys United also edged the Paradise Freedom/Fighters by the score of 3-2. The goal scorers for the RG City Boys United were Jason Young in the 29th minute of play; Deon McCaulay in the 33rd minute of play; and Dalton Cayetano in the 37th minute of play. Meanwhile, the goal scorers for the Paradise Freedom/Fighters were Leonard Valdez in the 58th minute of play via a penalty kick and Wilmer Garcia in the 89th minute of play.

Holy Redeemer Girls and Boys win in Primary schools Football
BES and Muslim Community played to a 0 - 0 draw The Belize City Primary Schools Football Competition continues at the MCC Grounds. On Tuesday, November 6th, in the girls’ game played, Holy Redeemer School defeated Belize Elementary School by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Jada Myvette. In the first of two games in the boys’ category, Holy Redeemer also won over Belize Elementary School by the score of 2-1. The scorers for Holy Redeemer were Herman Card and Clayshaun Lewis. Meanwhile, the goal scorer for Belize Elementary School was Kim Chee. In the second boys’ game, Salvation Army won over St. Mary’s via the default route. On Friday, November 2nd, in the first of two girls’ games played, Belize Elementary School and Muslim Community played to a 0-0 draw. In the second game, Queen Square Anglican School edged St. Martin De Porres by the score of 1-0. The lone goal of the game was scored by Jada Davis. In the first boys’ game played, Muslim Community blanked Belize Elementary School by the score of 1-0. Tirique Ceigo scored the goal for Muslim Community. And in game two, Queen Square Anglican School also blanked St. Martin De Porres by the score of 1-0. The goal for Queen Square Anglican was scored by Rayne Gentle.

St. Catherine Academy and Toledo Community College to defend National Volleyball Title
The National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) will be holding its National Secondary schools Volleyball Championship on Friday and Saturday, November 9th and 10th, 2012 respectively at the University of Belize Gymnasium in the City of Belmopan. This year’s National Volleyball Championship is being hosted by the Belmopan Baptist High School and will see the return of St. Catherine Academy (Central Region) and Toledo Community College (Southern Region) as the defending champions in the female and male categories. The other schools that have earned the right to represent its respective regions are from the North female ,Muffles College and male, Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico, from the Western Region female, Belmopan Comprehensive High School and male ,Mopan Technical High School. From the Southern Region female, Stann Creek Ecumenical College and male, Toledo Community College, the three-time back-to-back champions, and from Central Region female, St. Catherine Academy and male, St. John’s College.

Toledo Community College to defend National Volleyball Title
The Southern Region Secondary Schools Volleyball championships took place on Saturday, November 2nd at the Punta Gorda Sports Complex in Punta Gorda Town and it was hosted by Julian Cho Technical High School. The schools that participated in the female championship were Georgetown Technical High School, Stann Creek Ecumenical College, and the host school Julian Cho Technical High School, while the schools that competed in the male championship were defending champions, Toledo Community College, Stann Creek Ecumenical College, and Independence High School. In the championship game in the female competition, Stann Creek Ecumenical College defeated Georgetown Technical High School by the score of 25-20 and 25-23 to capture the Southern Region volleyball Title. In the third place game, Georgetown Technical High School defeated Julian Cho Technical High School by the score of 24-26, 25-12 and 15-8.

St. Catherine Academy and St. John’s College are Central Region Volleyball Champions
The 2012-2013 Central Region Secondary Schools Volleyball Championships came to an end on Friday, November 2nd at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium with the championship game in both the female and male categories. In the female championship game, St. Catherine Academy won its 15th Central Region Secondary Schools Volleyball Title when it defeated Wesley College in three sets by the score of 25-9, 25-5, and 25-5. St. Catherine Academy’s dominance in the discipline of Volleyball started back in the mid 1980’s and only on few occasion they have failed to capture the Central Region Title. In the male championship game, St. John’s College won yet another Central Region when it defeated Anglican Cathedral College in four sets by the score of 25-16, 23-25, 25-17 and 25-10. In the male category, St. John’s College has won more but Central titles than any other male school in the city but it has not been dominant as St. Catherine since there were other champions that include Wesley College, Nazarene High and Edward P. Yorke High School that quickly come to mind.

Belize has the Best Pro-Poor Program in the Hemisphere
Hon. Dean Oliver Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize: “The government repeats, with no apology and indeed much pride, that our pro-poor programmes are the centerpiece of our social campaign, our mandate of egalitarianism.” Prime Minister Barrow is one of many Heads of State that have based their public service career on pro-poor initiatives. He is also one of the few to put the money where his mouth and heart is. Judith Alpuche, Chief Executive Officer in Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, said, “when we came in 2008, the social assistance program was about half a million per year and now it's at 5.2 million.” That $5.2 million dollars covers the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, also known as Building Opportunities for Our Social Transformation initiative (BOOST). The World Bank praises Belize’s social protection programme, in particular the BOOST initiative, as the best in the hemisphere. Sara Berger, Social Protection Specialist from the World Bank, said, “Belize is far beyond many of the countries in Latin America in moving the dialogue from programmatic perspective to systematic perspective.” BOOST has been effective because it provides financial support to the country’s most vulnerable population in an attempt to help them escape from what the World Bank refers to as “intergenerational transmission of poverty”. BOOST offers small cash assistance to poor and vulnerable households. A piece in the World Bank’s “News and Views” from June 28 of this year explained the program best: “The deal is simple: vaccinate your children, send them to school; and, if you are pregnant, visit your public health center, regularly starting with the first 12 weeks. In exchange, the BOOST Program will give you a monthly allowance between BZ$44 and BZ$82 (US$22 - US$41) per person, up to a maximum of six per household.” Since its inception in January 2011, more than 4,500 applicants for the program have been assessed and there are currently 3,224 households benefiting. Hon. Anthony Boots Martinez is extremely proud of the program’s early success. The Ministry points out that some of BOOST’s current features already match or surpass best practices in the world. Recorded school attendance for children included in the program was at 97.3% in May of this year and that number is expected to be just as strong by the end of the year.

More Taxes, Retrenchment and Mismanagement by O.W. Mayor
It seems that the hallmarks of the Orange Walk Town Mayor are overtaxing residents, retrenchment and mismanagement. In the 8 months that Kevin Bernard has been in office, he has proven that the Orange Walk Town Council is in the worst hands that it has ever been. Immediately after taking office, he fired workers, broke up the existing equipment at the Council and began overtaxing the residents. Now the mini-mayor is looking to impose even more taxes on the people of Orange Walk. By his own admission, the Mayor says that the Council is broke and they need to find ways through which they can bleed more money from the residents of the town. As it is, the Council is unable to collect finances that were projected including trade licenses, liquor licenses and property taxes. Adding insult to injury for the residents of Orange Walk is the fact that at least one official of the Council is know to have soirees in neighboring Chetumal with young men. Now the Mayor is looking to add a $5.00 garbage tax on the residents. And the feedback from the town is that the residents simply will not have it. They claim that already the Council is unable to do simple maintenance work on streets and drains yet it is asking for residents to pay a garbage tax. They clearly recall that the Council is overspending money on salaries for friends and cronies of the Mayor and the councilors yet the people of Orange Walk Town cannot get services from the Council. The bright idea to impose a tax when there is nothing that can be shown for the money that the council is spending will definitely not be taken lightly.

Preacher Man charged with Carnal Knowledge
Police arrested and charged a pastor of Franks Eddy Village in the Cayo district after an 11-year-old girl made allegations that he had sexual intercourse with her. Julio Cesar Garcia was arraigned in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Aretha Ford. Due to the nature of the offences, bail was denied and he was remanded to prison until January 25th, 2013. The girl, accompanied by her mother, visited the Belmopan Police Station where she reported to police that Julio Cesar Garcia, who is a Pastor of the Baptist Church in Frank’s Eddy Village, had sexual intercourse with her on two occasions. The first occasion allegedly happened on Sunday, October 28th at the church in the village. On the second occasion, the pastor allegedly had sex with the girl on Thursday, November 1st, this time, she told police, that it was inside his house. Suspicions arose after the child reportedly got a fever and she was taken to seek medical attention and the crime was detected. Police have since arrested and charged the pastor with two counts of unlawful carnal knowledge.

Business Community applauds Government’s Internet Cost Reduction Efforts
Opponents of the Barrow administration did an excellent job of painting the last Government as anti-business. They based such propaganda on episodes of Government’s public battle with the Ashcroft Alliance and the subsequent takeover of two utility companies. It also didn’t help the administration that businesses locally began to feel the full impact of the global economic crisis during Prime Minister Barrow’s first term. However, non-politically affiliated businessmen will concede that considering the amount of tax breaks introduced by the administration, and the impact of the infrastructural stimulus, this administration has been the most business - friendly in Belize’s history. The administration now plans to continue building on a much improved direct relationship with the private sector by immediately implementing policies that will foster an environment for businesses to succeed. That means looking beyond tax breaks and policy reform and towards the environment in which the businesses exist. The success of the business community is dependent on the social advancement of the society in which it dwells. Belize is ranked 123 out of 142 countries on the 2012 Global Competitiveness Index Report. This is an extremely poor position to be in however, considering the fact that Belize didn’t even rank in previous surveys, the country is definitely on the right track. The poor rating is due in large part to our technology readiness. Belize’s Internet penetration of 10% is lowest in the region and the cost of technology is highest. Improving these statistics is of paramount importance to the 2012-2017 Barrow Administration. That is the reason Prime Minister Barrow appointed the country’s first Minister of Science and Technology, Senator Joy Grant. Improved accessible technology will immediately improve the business climate of Belize. Since October 2010, Internet costs in Belize have been reduced significantly. At its lowest speed, 128 kb, cost of internet was above $100 per month. Today, it is below $50 and on December 1st, it will be at $25. The reduction is even more incredible at faster speeds. The cost of 1 MB speed internet was $500 in 2010. Today, it is $300 and on December 1st, it will be $140. Prime Minister Barrow announced the price changes at the second annual business forum between the private and public sectors. Private sector representatives greeted the news with a huge round of applause.

Campaign launched in Cayo
Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow assisted parents on Tuesday, November 6th, to register their children at the main office of the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council. The momentous occasion forms part of an initiative spearheaded by the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and its many partners, which begun in the Toledo District in February of last year, to give every child in Belize an identity. In her presentation to the gathering, Mrs. Barrow expressed that she was pleased to be back home in the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. “This place is where I first received my first right as a child”, she said. “We can’t stress enough the importance of registering your children.” “One of the most important things we will ever apply for is a birth certificate…it lays the foundation for other documents later in life”, she reminded. Ms. Christine Norton, Representative for UNICEF in Belize told The Guardian that there are many advantages to getting a child registered, immediately after birth and with the Ministry of Health. These include having access to a Social Security card, being able to enter school and having a Belizean identity.


National Regatta
The Belize Sailing Association has invited 17 young Optimist Class Dinghy Sailors from San Pedro to compete in the 2012 Belize National Regatta. The 2-day regatta will be held here in downtown San Pedro, off Central Park, the weekend of November 17 – 18. Listed alphabetically, the San Pedro Junior sailors are: Jerdon Andeson Davin Puc Zulema Ayala Alexander Rh ...

Top 10 Foods Of The Maya World
We may not realize it, but many of our favorite foods—from guacamole to tamales to chocolate—were discovered, developed, and refined centuries ago in the Maya world. Here are a few of our favorites.—By Michael Shapiro Baking tortillas in Chichicastenango, Guatemala Photograph by Aldo Pavan, Grand Tour/Corbis 1.Chocolate Cacao is endemic to the lands of the Maya, who were the first to take the seeds of the fruit and roast them to make hot chocolate. The ancient Maya didn’t make candy bars, nor did they add sugar and milk to the cacao. Instead they took their chocolate as a ceremonial elixir and a savory mood enhancer. For the Maya, cacao was a sacred gift of the gods, and cacao beans were used as currency. Ek Chuah, the Maya god of merchants and trade, was also the patron of the cacao crop. When the Spanish invaded Maya lands in the 1500s, they adopted the beverage, adding sugar and milk to make it sweet and creamy. To learn more about cacao and taste chocolate, visit the Ecomuseo del Cacao in the Puuc region of Yucatán,

International Sources

Transnational Organized Crime Continues to Plague Central America
On September 27, 2012, combating transnational organized crime more effectively was the subject of a meeting of the foreign affairs ministers of Central America and the U.S. On the margins of the U.N. General Assembly in New York. n1 U.S. Department of State, Western Hemisphere: Remarks at her Meeting with Central American Foreign Ministers, Sept. 27, 2012. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton observed that since the Groups of Friends at the Third Central American Citizen Security met in June, homicide rates were lower than the first six months of 2011: homicide rates are down 10 percent in Guatemala, 25 percent in Honduras, and 26 percent in El Salvador. Nevertheless, she said governments must make police more responsive and more effective. For instance, the U.S. has funded model police precinct programs in El Salvador and Guatemala. The program provides training and equipment to get local police more involved in their communities, to build trust between citizens and law enforcement, and to target the zones of impunity where criminals operate. In these three precincts, homicide rates have declined even more than the national average -- 35 percent, 40 percent, 50 percent. Clinton said that the successful program should be expanded and law enforcement should be strengthened, making it both more professional and more connected and sensitive to the needs of the people in the communities. Second, Clinton said governments should build on the success of violence prevention programs that target those who are the most vulnerable to being recruited by criminal gangs, namely young people and marginalized populations. USAID is working in twelve high crime areas in El Salvador, partnering with civil society, municipal leaders, and businesses to provide education and vocational training for these at-risk groups, Third, governments hope to keep strengthening partnership and collaboration. Donor countries must continue to coordinate to focus resources where they are needed most without duplicating their efforts. Regional governments must share effective practices and start joint efforts, because crime, of course, does not stop at borders.

Deadbeat nation can't discriminate among creditors
A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled that the government of Argentina must not discriminate among its creditors. Let's hope that principle also applies in America the next time the government decides to bail out the auto industry. In a unanimous October 26 decision, the court affirmed a district court ruling in favor of a group of Argentina's bondholders. Ever since Argentina's 2001 default on roughly $100 billion of its sovereign debt, these bondholders have held the reasonable position that Argentina ought to pay its bills. Holding more than $4 billion of Argentina's debt, these creditors declined restructuring deals in 2005 and 2010 that offered bondholders as little as 25 cents on the dollar. Argentina has refused to pay a nickel of the more than $1.3 billion in principal and interest due so far to the holdouts. At the same time, Buenos Aires has been making regular payments to bondholders who accepted a restructuring and took big write-downs. This practice of treating some bondholders better than others is specifically prohibited by the contracts with investors that Argentina's government freely accepted.

Jamaica Bond Yields Jump to Nine-Month High After Belize Default
Jamaica’s borrowing costs are surging to the highest level in nine months after defaults by two Caribbean neighbors combine with the region’s slowest economic growth prospects to undermine investor confidence. Yields on dollar bonds due in 2019 from the island nation, which restructured $7.8 billion of bonds almost three years ago, reached 8.31 percent on Oct. 31, the highest since February, and traded at 8.25 percent yesterday. Jamaican notes lost 0.9 percent in October, the worst performance among 15 Central American and Caribbean nations, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Bonds sold by Pakistan that carry the same B- rating from Standard & Poor’s returned 6.3 percent. While Jamaican yields are below the 13 percent level reached before its 2010 restructuring, some investors are concerned that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller’s government will struggle with debt payments following Belize and Grenada’s defaults this year, said Stuart Culverhouse, the chief economist at Exotix Ltd. in London. Jamaica’s economy is forecast to expand 0.9 percent this year and 1.5 percent in 2017, the slowest pace in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the International Monetary Fund. Central bank reserves fell by more than half since April 2011 to $1.1 billion in October.

All the Reasons Pot Is Good for You
Colorado and Washington both passed legislation that legalizes the recreational use of marijuana on Tuesday. While recreational marijuana is controversial, many people believe that the drug should be legal, especially for medical uses. Psychiatrist Tod H. Mikuriya, who helped develop Proposition 215, the state ballot that allowed doctors to recommend marijuana for patients in California, began researching marijuana's therapeutic possibilities in the 1960s. He believed the symptoms of over 200 ailments could be treated with marijuana including stuttering, insomnia, premenstrual syndrome, and writer’s cramp. Even the National Cancer Institute agrees with Mikuriya — specifically the use of marijuana for treatment of side effects of chemotherapy, preventing nausea and vomiting, increasing appetite, relieving pain, and improving sleep. While the benefits and risks of smoking pot may be overstated by advocates and opponents of marijuana legalization, the new legalization will help researchers study the drugs' medicinal uses, and better understand how it impacts the body.

Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center in Belize
The Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center will be hosting an information session in Belmopan during the second week of December as part of our “Global Campaign to Empower Americans Abused Abroad.” A member of AODVC will present on the barriers faced by victims of domestic violence as well as the services the organization has available to Americans experiencing domestic violence overseas. Also, a consular officer from the American Embassy will present on what the Embassy can do to help Americans experiencing domestic violence in Belmopan. For all event-related questions, please contact Rachel Petersen at [email protected] To find out more about the Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center, please visit our website at Read about us in the March 2012 issue of Reader’s Digest:

Climate Change May Have Doomed Ancient Maya, Study Finds
The mystery of the ancient Maya downfall might be solved by a rock formation that suggests climate change could have led to the civilization’s demise. Researchers from Pennsylvania State University traced a climate trail recorded in a 2,000-year-old stalagmite found in a cave in Belize, concluding that prolonged periods of drought corresponded with the disintegration of the Maya political system. The findings are published today in the journal Science. The Maya, who originated around 2600 B.C. in current day Southeastern Mexico, grew to prominence and size during the next three millennia, building temple step-pyramids and developing highly accurate astronomical and calendar systems. Why some of their larger cities were abandoned a thousand years ago is largely a mystery. Though weather shifts have been proposed previously, the stalagmite findings may offer the data that was lacking, said Douglas Kennett, the lead study author. “We lucked into very good material to work with, to develop a very detailed climate record that is anchored chronologically in a way that other records haven’t been able to,” Kennett, a professor of anthropology at Penn State in State College, Pennsylvania, said in a phone interview. Previous climate records, taken from lake bed samples, would have provided a picture of rainfall levels in 10 year to 30 year increments, with potential errors as much as a century off.

New World Belize well on schedule, under budget and set to test additional formations
AIM-listed New World Oil and Gas (NEW) on Thursday revealed that its latest well on its Blue Creek prospect in northwest Belize was ahead of schedule and under budget. Because the current programme is $750,000 (£469,000) under budget, New World has decided to use this opportunity to drill into the Y3 formation and the Hillbank intervals. The company will test this area where it said there remains "considerable potential" for the existence of multiple productive horizons. The company expects to reach the revised total depth for the Blue Creek 2 well of 10,450 feet, on or before 15 November. Following completion of the drilling, New World will then evaluate the intervals which have oil shows on both the mud logs recorded while drilling, and the electric logs which will be recorded after drilling has been completed, to ascertain amongst other factors the oil and gas saturation levels, porosity and thickness of the reservoirs.

12-foot crocodile stands up as villagers feed it in West Africa
Using a long stick to dangle a live birds in front of the crocodiles, locals encourage a few of the most acrobatic, clever and hungry crocodiles to stand up on two legs to snap up their food

November 8, 2012

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The San Pedro Sun

PM Barrow in Honduras along with Belize Contingency on working visit
The Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow arrived in Tegucigalpa City in Honduras with his wife Kim Simplis Barrow, where he will be signing various bilateral agreements focused in the areas of tourism, health and cooperation. Accompanying PM Barrow are a few members of Parliament, Belizean Foreign Diplomats and some of his office staff. The Belize delegation consists of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred P. Elrington, CEO in the Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexis Rosado, Minister of Tourism and Culture Manuel Heredia, CEO in the Office of the Prime Minister Audrey Wallace, Ambassador of Belize to Honduras Alfredo Martinez, Margaret John of the Embassy of Belize in Guatemala and the Honorary Consul in Honduras Richard Vinelli. The Prime Minister was greeted at the Hernan Acosta Mejia Air Base, by Presidential Appointee Victor Hugo and Vice Chancellor Berrnica Mireya Agüero de Corrales. Prime Minister Barrow addressed the press and expressed a few word of courtesy. “It is a great pleasure to be in Honduras to further strengthen our bonds of friendship that have traditionally existed between our two peoples. In Belize, our fellow Hondurans are gladly welcomed in our country, “expressed Barrow to the press.

NEMO teams up with MOH and PAHO to offer Psychological First Aid training
First responders to disasters are generally trained in the skill of First Aid. As such, it is not often that the mental wellbeing of disaster survivors is taken into consideration. However, this is an aspect that many times is neglected and may lead to post traumatic disorder. National Emergency Management Organization NEMO San Pedro, in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization PAHO and the Ministry of Health MOH, on Tuesday November 6th held the first of its kind to equip emergency first responders with the tools necessary to deal with the mental wellbeing of disaster survivors. The training was held at the Fido’s Court yard and saw the participation of individuals from various organizations on the island including; the San Pedro Town Council, Belize Coast Guard, Ministry of Education, San Pedro Roman Catholic School, Dr. Otto Rodriguez PolyClinic II, GST Office, Red Cross and the Ministry of Health among others.

Lavern Longsworth found guilty of murder
A jury of seven women and five men this afternoon in Supreme Court No. 2 returned from three hours of deliberations and declared that they unanimously agreed that Lavern Longsworth, more popularly known as “Antichrist”, was guilty of causing the August 2010 death of her common law husband David White. Crown Counsel Sheiniza Smith, who called 15 witnesses, convinced the jury that not only had Longsworth doused White with kerosene at their Castle Street home on the night of July 15, 2010 and set him ablaze with a candle, but that she intended to kill him. White died on August 2, 2010 from his injuries. Two doctors, the physician who treated White at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital and Police medical examiner Doctor Mario Estradabran who conducted the post mortem examination on his body, testified that in their opinion White died from first and second degree burns to over 55 percent of his body.

Ambergris Today

No Wake Zone Markers Erected in San Pedro Lagoon
The markers were put in place by the Belize Port Authority, San Pedro Town Council and the San Pedro Tour Guide Association with the assistance of Tuff-E-Nuff. The markers are there so that boaters can know which areas “Go Slow/No Wake Zones”. Town authorities urge marine commuters to take note of these signs and designated areas and to slow down in order to protect nearby mangroves and be weary of people who live in the area and others who use the lagoon passageway.

Paraplegic Cyclist Rides Through Belize for a Cause
“I am excited about completing the last segment of the Reef Ride, from Dangriga to Punta Gorda Town later this month to coincide with the celebration of Garifuna Settlement Day,” says paraplegic cyclist Jerome Flores. Reef Ride 2012 starts from Dangriga on the morning of November 18th and stops over in Independence, before continuing on to Punta Gorda Town on November 19th, which is a national holiday commemorating the 1802 arrival of the Garinagu to Belizean shores. As in previous years, Jerome says the Ride seeks to bring awareness to the plights of people living with diverse abilities. The Reef Ride also brings attention to Oceana in Belize’s campaign for a ban on offshore oil drilling due to its threat to Belize’s marine resource. Additionally, as explained by Oceana Vice President Mrs. Audrey Matura-Shepherd, “Sponsoring the Reef Ride is one way Oceana participates in celebrations for Garifuna Settlement Day while giving positive support to our Belizeans living with diverse abilities. Jerome is an inspiration and it’s good to see Shaphan has been inspired to join.”

San Pedro Sailing Club to Compete at National Championship Regatta
Seventeen young junior sailors of the San Pedro Sailing Club have been invited by the Belize Sailing Association to compete at the second National Championship Regatta to be held in San Pedro, Ambergris on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18, November 2012, to select the National Champion for the Optimist Class. The National Authority cordially invites all members, sailing enthusiasts, the general public and all Optimist sailors to attend. Sailors from the Placencia Sailing Club, Belize Sea Scouts, Liberty Sailing Club, Buttonwood Bay, Belize City, Corozal Bay Sailing Club and the San Pedro Sailing Club will be participating in the Regatta. Come support all the sailing clubs and see how they have contributed to develop the children of Belize to be better citizens of the world. Race Dates and Time: Saturday 17th November: 1100hrs Race Brief. 1200hrs First race. 1500hrs No race started after. Sunday 18th November: 0800 Race brief 0900hrs First Race 1200hrs No race started after. 1300hrs Prize Giving. BZSA Optimist Sailing Program provides opportunities to young girls and boys of Belize to aspire to become world champions too. For more information on sailing activities and our organization, contact the Belize sailing Association at [email protected]

Pet of The Week
Hello!!! My name is Saphira. I'm a 3 month old girl and I was brought to Saga a few weeks ago with my sister. My sister found a wonderful home and I'm here waiting for you to come and adopt me too! I'm very sweet and love everybody. Please come see me and all of my friends at the Saga Humane Society today! 226-3266 or Email: [email protected]

Misc Belizean Sources

Purple Movement General Meeting videos
The Purple Movement videos from their general meeting at the Red Cross building a few weeks back. The Belizean Minds website, which is hosting the videos, is a thought provoking website too. "To be honest, my perception is that the group is still in the process of taking shape and identifying it's most strategic goal. But one thing is certain, they want to do their best to make a positive change. I am of the opinion that the community is strongly discontented with the prevalent crime and that we as young people need to be that voice for the masses, and reinforce the idea that we deserve better."

UB and Rotary Blood Drive
Today, the Rotary Club of Belmopan and the University of Belize will be having a blood drive at the UB Wellness Center from 9:00am until 3:00pm. Give the gift of life. "The Rotary Club of Belize in conjunction with UB's Wellness Center is a having a blood drive on November 8, 2012 at the Wellness Center on central campus."

Queen returns from her renovations!
We breath a sigh of relief when our the largest member of our fleet, Ragga Queen, returns after over a month long refurbishment and looks better than ever. She has been repaired, re-newed and re-painted and she now shines in the sunlight like she was brand new!! Her renovations are an annual and extremely costly event but due to the enormous amount of work she undertakes up and down the Caye Caulker reef, incredibly necessary!!! The transformation from her mid- renovations some three weeks ago to her appearance now, almost seems like two different boats!! Aside from her sister boat Ragga King with her striking gaff rig set up, Ragga Queen is by far the most impressive of the sailboats within this region and perfect for our three day sailing and snorkeling adventure as her size makes those aboard her extremely comfortable!!

Channel 7

A Predator Amongst The Flock
The Baptist Church is immersed in scandal this evening. Just months after the pastor and principal from Belmopan Baptist High was dismissed for having a sexual relationship with an under-aged student, tonight, one of its pastors from Frank's Eddy village is in prison, accused of having sex with an 11 year old girl, inside the church building! And, there's more: allegations that he had inappropriate contact with 2 more girls - and had two others on a list. It is a story about abuse of trust, but it is also a ground shaking event in a small western village where they trusted their community pastor - and now he's accused of being a pedophile, a predator amongst the flock, preying on their children. We found out more when we went to Frank's Eddy near Jaguar Paw today: Daniel Ortiz Reporting The Community of Franks Eddy is trying to recover from the betrayal of trust by their spiritual leader, Pastor Julio Cesar Garcia.

More Disturbing Molestations
There are two more disturbing cases of sexual assault to report: A 20 year old housewife from Orange Walk said that on Tuesday morning she saw her 79 year old father in law exposing himself as his two year old grand-daughter sat on his lap. He has not been charged - while police await the result of a medical examination on the child. And in San Pedro, a 10 year old is accusing a 48 year old family friend of molesting her. The child claims she met Candido Alamilla 3 years ago and recently he started touching her inappropriately. But more than that, in early October, he picked her up from school at lunch-time along with her little brother. From there, he took her to his apartment, left her little brother outside and had sex with her. He repeated it in mid-October, except on those occasions he is only accused of fondling her. Candido Allamilla better known as Candi, has been charged with one count of Unlawful carnal Knowledge and three counts of Aggravated Assault of an Indecent Nature. Alamilla is a Honduran Boat Captain of the Boca-del-Rio Area in San Pedro.

Crime Ridden Areas Declared
The Crime Control council met today and designated five areas in Belize City as Crime Ridden. The specific boundaries have not been announced - but we can confirm that they are all within the Lake Independence area. The zones each span about two blocks and reportedly extend from the Linda Vista area to the area known as Gungulung to the area closer to Central American Boulevard. We stress that not all the streets within this wide space will be declared crime ridden - just 5 different areas of one or two blocks each. And what does it mean to be a "crime ridden" area? Well, it gives the police special powers - as explained by the police minister when the plan was unveiled last week: Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security "... as crime ridden areas which will give his police and BDF the power to search any and all houses in the area without the need for a warrant.This declaration will also allow the police and the BDF to restrict movement in and out of these areas. These areas will be cordon off and every person entering and exiting the area will be stopped and searched and a systematic house by house search of these areas will be done with immediate effect." The five areas within Lake I that are being declared crime ridden have seen an alarming number of shootings and homicides since April of this year.

PM Travels To Honduras To Meet President Lobos
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is in Honduras tonight. He arrived around noon for a one-day visit to meet with Honduran President, Porfirio Lobo. After a working lunch, the two leaders signed agreements in the areas of tourism, health and cooperation. They will also discuss a broad range of issues including migration, and transfer of Honduran prisoners who are serving time in Belize. According to news reports from Honduras, the Prime Minister along with his wife and Ambassador Fred Martinez at the Hernan Acosta Mejia air base in Tegucigalpa this morning where he spoke about the further strengthening of ties of friendship between the two nations. Barrow also commented on the population of Hondurans who he said quote, "we welcome with pleasure into our country." President Lobo visited Belize in 2010, and this is reciprocal visit. This afternoon, Prime Minister Barrow visited , CABEI, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration where he met with Executive Vice President Alejandro Rodriguez Zamora.

Kaylee's Mom Cries Out For Someone To Be Charged
Monday made exactly 2 months since 2 year old Kaylee Burgess was murdered. Her tiny body was discovered behind her maternal grandmother's house -face down in a bucket of water. At the time, the child had been left in the care of her 19 year old aunt - who reported to police that the 2 year old went missing from her care while she was watching the evening news. And even though it was made to seem like little Kaylee accidentally drowned herself in a bucket of water, her postmortem that Kaylee did not drown, instead, someone had suffocated her. Since then, police have been treating the child's death as a homicide but no one has been charged. Multiple family members on the mother's side of the family have been detained - but they have all been released. The child's 19 year old aunt and her boyfriend were briefly the main suspects in the case. At a police press briefing on Monday, Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez commented on the hours of investigation police have put into the case and how nothing tangible has come out of it.

Conditional Canadian Cash For Small/Medium Enterprise Projects
CARILED, it's short for the Caribbean Local Economic Development - a project funded by the Canadian government - which puts up 23 million dollars for funding micro, small and medium enterprises in the Caribbean through local government authorities. Today, they held a signing ceremony for the Memorandum of Understanding with Belize. 7news was there and we found out more about how this project will help to grow the economy: Dr. Naresh Singh - Executive Director, CARILED "This project must deliver concrete results. And I want to say publicly what those results might be that this project may be held accountable by the people of Belize, the stakeholders, and the Government over time, so that you know what we are trying to deliver and hold us accountable. So, they hard things, the things that you can measure the success of this project by, will be the number of small, micro and medium businesses that emerge, either as new ones, or as existing ones that grow over the life of our project, and its influence on them; the number of jobs that have been created; the capacity that Local Government will have in engaging with the private sector; and Soft target - which is not easy to measure - is the trust, the confidence, and the partnership that will result between local governments, municipalities across the country, and the private sector. That is what we are promising to deliver on this project. We take this very seriously. We do not treat Canadian tax-payers' dollars, and the investment of your energy and your time lightly. We hope that this project will be successful, and that it will deliver those things. They will approach it is if you're making more progress, we will invest more, simply as that, incentive-based - performance based. So, you deliver more, and we'll work with you more because we want to demonstrate what works. It is not one of the traditional that says that Belize gets $200,000 or a million dollars, Jamaica gets 5 million dollars, and then the Government says, 'Well, this is our money anyway, we don't have to perform. They're going to give us anyhow.' We don't do it like that."

Educ Minister Urges Patience At OW Tech
And today at the CARILED event, we got a chance to speak to the Minister of Educaiton. He's in the news because yesterday there were two high school strikes - one in Orange Walk and the other in Belmopan. There's not much the ministry can do about the one in Belmopan since the Baptist School Management first has to deal with it - but Orange Walk Tehcnical is a government High School - so it falls directly in the Ministry's hands. Faber urged all parties to be patient: Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education "We continue to try to ask the persons who are involved - the stakeholders - to allow the process to work, and I think that this is still happening. Those whoever did whatever was done yesterday, in terms of the walkout, are clearly not looking at that and giving the process a chance to work. But, by and large, that's the position of the Ministry. We asked the teachers, on my visit the last time, to be patient, to have us properly constitute the Board that would deal with the issues, and I believe that this is being done. You saw yesterday that our local ministry officials on ground in Orange Walk were there, meeting the teachers, and it's simply a matter of allowing the process to work. I'll tell you now that there were requests coming from the Board, after that Board was properly constituted, for us to us to send in auditors from the Ministry. And the Ministry did send in an audit team. We're waiting the results of that. I think that the concluded their business at the end of last week. I'm told that they were finishing up yesterday. I have not seen the results of that audit report. This is what we've been saying, if it is, because those are some of allegations that parents and students are make. And if it is the case, then we will find out. But people have to give us a chance to look into what is going on, to give an honest assessment, and if it is that this what we find, then we will say so. But until then, we can't make such allegations; we won't act in haste just to satisfy emotions. We want to make sure that things are done properly. No one can accuse - in fact the Board met, I believe last week, up until midnight on one night. So, no one can accuse the managing authority of not working. And in the meantime, we appeal to all the stakeholders - the students, parents, and the teachers - to try to keep as normal an environment as possible so that this kind of learning that you are talking about can continue."

Chamber Calls On PM to Send His Ministers To Public Accounts Cmte
And while Faber has sent in the auditors to that school - the Chamber of Commerce wants him to help account for Government's finances. Faber is one of four government representatives on the Public Accounts Committee - a committee of the house of Representatives. The Public Accounts Committee is considered to be an important feature in ensuring proper management of public funds. But it is inactive, and that's why the Chamber has written to both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Oppositions to ask them to ensure that their members attend the next meeting which is scheduled for Novmeber 12th. The request is necessary because the Public Accounts Committee is the only one chaired by opposition members - in this case Julius Espat - but has a majority of members from the government side. And perhaps not so strangely, there's never enough of those members from the government side to achieve quorum, so meetings are very rarely held. We today sent text messages to three UDP members of the Committee who are in the country to ask if they will attend. Only one of them, Michael Finnegan called us back. He said that once he is alive and healthy he will attend the meeting but added that the Chamber is behaving quote, "like this committee is a miracle committee where we will just go there and perform miracles - but that's not how it works," end quote. The committee's UDP members are Finnegan, Faber, John Saldivar and Erwin Contreras. The opposition members are Rodwell Ferguson and Julius Espat.

Major Quake In Guatemala, Felt In Belize
Tonight, the residents of Guatemala are recovering from a major earthquake, which was felt in Belize this morning. It registered 7.5 on the Richter scale. Experts are reporting that at around 10:35 a.m. Guatemalan time, the quake struck off Guatemala's Pacific coast, 15 miles south of Champerico and 101 miles west-southwest of the capital. Authorities from Guatemala noted that landslides are blocking roads in some areas, and about 40 houses in the area most affected are damaged. President Otto Perez is quoted in the media as saying there were as many as 100 people who are unaccounted for, based on reports from relatives. The international media reports that there are 39 casualties which have been attributed to the quake. It is one of the strongest quakes to hit Guatemala since 7.5 magnitude quake in 1976 which claimed more than 20,000 lives.

Infrastructure For A Marine Reserve
To date, the Sustainable Tourism Program has worked on 4 major projects since February of this year, and tonight we note one more. And this project is important due to its intricate nature because how do you build infrastructure on a Marine Reserve? Well, Alex Laasner, the lead architect from the Belmopan firm, Architecture and Project Management, will have to set the precedent because his firm won the contract to the architectural designs for tourism infrastructure at the Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve. He comes qualified for the job because he recently acquired qualification as a Green Associate in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The signing of the contract was held last week Friday.

Did The Magic-Wand Mayor Drive City Hall To A "Fiscal Cliff"?
After the presidential election in the US, the term "fiscal-cliff" has taken center stage in the new cycle. It refers to $600 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect at year's end - if President Obama can't reach a compromise with a Republican Congress. But it's a little known fact that the City Council was facing its own fiscal cliff a few weeks ago. Now, it wasn't billions of dollars, but the Council was way behind on its payments to the Sanitation companies. And that's because City Hall is throwing everything it has into street paving. It's a massive effort - and 31 streets have been concrete paved in six months - which is completely unprecedented. But, we wondered, has the mayor - in his mono-maniacal pursuit to pave-more-streets - put the city council, and the city itself in a bad position? We put that to him today in a feisty, extended interview. It is long, but it is also revealing. Here's how the back and forth went: Jules Vasquez "So, we have North Front Street, which is being done under the STP. Then you have Freetown Road, which is now receiving major surgery. So, I'm saying that these are 2 of the major arteries on the Northside. Is it too much, Mayor?"

Channel 5

Another Baptist Pastor accused of sexually molesting minors
There may be more than one victim in a sexual abuse case in Franks Eddy in the Cayo District. The details began to unravel on Monday when an eleven year old reported that on two occasions, the pastor of the Baptist Church in the village had abused her. The physical contact occurred in the church [...]

A grandfather and a boat captain accused of crimes against underage girls
There are two other cases of alleged carnal knowledge. A twenty-year old mother of Indian Hill Estate in Orange Walk Town claims that she surprised her seventy nine year old father-in-law in a compromising position with her two year old daughter. The reported incident happened on Tuesday morning when she found her daughter sitting on [...]

Minister of Education addressing problems at Orange Walk & Belmopan High School
At another Baptist school, the faculty, as well as the enrolment of Baptist High School in Belmopan held an on-campus protest, during which they demanded the termination of acting Principal Delvorine Hamilton, who took over following the resignation of former principal Norman Willacey. Willacey is another pastor who fell from grace after confessing to having [...]

Crime Ridden Areas demarcated in Lake Independence
The Minister of National Security announced last Thursday that with immediate effect, several areas in the Old Capital and elsewhere would be demarcated as Crime Ridden Areas. It is a designation assigned under the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act that would expedite the work of security personnel in neighborhoods that criminals call home. The [...]

Crime Control Council to be replaced by Restore Belize
The Crime Control Council has been inactive for a couple years. The Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act clearly defines that the fourteen member group that was appointed by the Prime Minister would plan, develop and coordinate crime prevention programs and strategies and also locate jobs for unemployed youth. But the Chairman of the Council, [...]

P.M. attends high level meetings in Honduras
Earlier today, the Prime Minister and delegation travelled to Honduras in a private plane on an official visit where he is being toasted by President Porfirio Lobo Sosa and is expected to sign a cooperation agreement with Honduras.  P.M. Barrow returns to Belize on Thursday and will head out again on Friday for Miami where [...]

People with Anti-social behavior to be targeted in crime strategy
The five areas that the Ministry of National Security intends to be demarcated as Crime Ridden will not be confirmed until Thursday when it is expected that the initiative will go through its final procedural stage of being gazetted. But at the Business Forum on November first, Prime Minister Dean Barrow also hinted that there [...]

Bringing policy together to help youths who fall through the cracks
Representatives from the World Bank are in the country working with the Ministry of Human Development and other related institutions such as the Ministry of Education to improve and enhance policies that improve social conditions across the population. Vulnerable age groups were a consistent topic of the discussion the group held with the media on [...]

CARILED multimillion dollar MOU to fund economic growth
Representatives from the Caribbean Local Economic Development Program (CARILED), and the Ministry of Local Government signed a memorandum of understanding this morning at the Radisson.  CARILED is a six-year multimillion dollar project in which local governments will take advantage of available resources to fuel economic growth, as well as job creation.  As part of the [...]

Education Minister says Unions drag out process; consultation not mandatory
The Belize National Teachers’ Union has been up in arms recently, following the ratification of a statutory instrument to amend the Education Rules.  According to the union’s executive, the Ministry of Education fell short of its commitment to allow final criticism of the legal document prior to its approval.  This was to have been done, [...]

Drinking beer in public leads to police assault and escape charge
Twenty year old Latifah Augustus, a vocational student of Belize City, appeared in the Magistrates’ Court twice today, following an incident involving public drinking on Friday night.  Augustus, who was caught drinking a Belikin beer in public, was arrested and escorted to the Queen Street Police Station where she was charged for the offense.  While [...]

Ascenthium is the local Superstar group with $10,000 Prize!
After a red carpet of glamour and glitz, the grand finale of the Next Superstar got underway at the Bliss on Tuesday night. There was a line-up of favorite artists, but the occasion was all about who would be the first Superstar in season one of the show. The three worthy groups treated the audience [...]


Teenage Girl Found; Man Reported Missing In Dangriga
A thirteen year old girl reported missing at the weekend has been located and reunited with her parents. Police in Orange Walk say that the parents of the primary school girl went to the station to report that she had been found. According to the parents, th...

Tremors Felt In Belize As Guatemala Experiences Earthquake
A powerful earthquake shook Guatemala today and there are reports of dozens of deaths. The quake struck around nine thirty Belize time this morning and measured seven point four on the Richter scale. Shortly after the temblor was felt, Guatemalan president Otto Perez Molina...

Prime Minister Leaves on Three Nation Working Visit
Prime Minister Dean Barrow today embarks on a three nation working visit over the course of the next six days. According to an official release, Prime Minister Barrow, accompanied by his wife Kim, this morning traveled to Honduras for an official visit at the invitation of presid...

Boat Captain Charged for Having Relations with Minor
Another disturbing case of a similar nature was reported in San Pedro. 48-year-old Honduran boat captain Candido Alamilla has been charged with one count of unlawful carnal knowledge and three counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. A ten year old student accomp...

Belize Benefits from Canadian Investment
Belize is among seven Caribbean countries that will benefit from an investment of monies in specific projects from the Government of Canada and the Federation of Canada Municipalities. The twenty-three million dollars will be shared among the countries in projects that the Canadi...

Belize Scholarship Awarded
On Tuesday we reported on the results of the 2012 CAPE/CSEC examinations results which were published this week. Dorien Villafranco, a graduate of the Saint John’s College Junior College topped the CAPE section of the exams earning a total of six grade one. In the hig...

Cancer Awareness Month Celebrated in Toledo
The Toledo Branch of the Belize Cancer Society held a month of activities for the October Cancer Awareness Month. There were weekly radio educational shows with several medical practitioners as guests on the local Wamalali radio station. First and second places for the poetry contest w...

Pastor To Be Charged for Sexual Intercourse with Minor
Reports to Love News Center are that a pastor will be charged later today or tomorrow in Belmopan for carnal knowledge. This follows reports by an 11-year-old girl. The girl accompanied by her mother reported to police that the 46-year-old pastor had sexual intercourse ...


Is The Ministry Of Health Investigating Alleged Cases Of Malpractice At The NRH
To date four women have come forward making serious allegations of malpractice against the Northern Regional Hospital and so far the Ministry of Health has been tight-lipped about the allegations. The stories related by the women are nothing less than excruciating and so far two of the babies born at the hospital have been diagnosed with brain damage but yet there are no indications if the cases are being investigated by the Ministry. What we can tell you; though, is that the cases of 31 year old Alicia Patt, 41 year old Maria Chable and 17 year old Sally Coh have been referred to the Belize Medical and Dental Association and the Medical Council. So far only the Belize Medical and Dental Association have responded to the allegations. In a letter addressed to Orange Walk East Area Representative, Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez, the BMDA expresses great concern for the reported cases. The BMDP states and we quote “To this end BMDA will do everything in its power to bring to the attention of the appropriate authorities a call for an independent or external inquiry into your reported cases and seeks your cooperation in encouraging those persons affected to come forward and lodge complaints to the Medical Council copied to us for follow up.” But an independent or external inquiry is all that the BMDP can call for since their hands are basically tied. Here is what President of the BMDP Joel Cervantes told Channel Five news last night.

More Chaos At O/W Technical High School
On October 8th, teachers and students of Orange Walk Technical High School walked out of class in protest of Principal Elizabeth Muschamp. Most of the students and teachers were dissatisfied with the way Muschamp managed the school and the lack of financial reports only added insult to injury. On the day of the walkout, Minister of Education Honorable Patrick Faber, met with teachers and the Board of Management where it was agreed that Muschamp and the District Education Manager would meet with the staff and head of departments so as to find a solution to the problem. That was three weeks ago and today all indications are that the sun is yet to shine upon Technical High School as the problems continue. This morning, the plan was for teachers and students to walkout of class, but before that happened, District Education Manager Carla Alvarez arrived at the school and pulled teachers and other interested parties into an emergency meeting. Nevertheless, classes were interrupted and a number of parents arrived at the school to take their children home at the same time they voiced out their concerns. Here is what reporter Hipolito Novelo found out. Today was supposed to be a normal school day for the students of Orange Walk Technical High School, but that scenario changed quickly. On a normal day the buzzer would ring three times and students would be in class. Today; however, the buzzer rang four times and while some students roamed around campus, others walked up and down the corridors and some even relaxed under the shade.

Store Robbed In San Jose Nuevo Palmar
There was an armed robbery in the peaceful community of San Jose Nuevo Palmar which luckily did not turn deadly last night. The incident played out at around 8:15pm and the target was “D Corner Store” located on Balam Street in the centre of the village. Three men wearing red handkerchiefs over their faces barged into the store and held up the proprietor and a customer at gunpoint. Voice of Eye Witness “The three of them come in pointing with a gun, two of them were short and the other was a tall guy, one stayed by the door and the other stayed by one of my customers and the other approach me by the cashier so he asked me for the money and I gave him the money and then he was asking for the purse. The next person who was with the customer said let shoot her so that she can give the purse but the next guy was busy putting in the money so he grabbed e took off my chain and ring and so he got vexed and he hold me on my back and then he drop me and turned me around.” Residents, who live next to the store, heard the commotion and came to the aid of the victims. But little did Eduardo Oliva know that he would come face to face with one of the gunmen.

Emergency Meeting Called By Residents Of San Jose Nuevo Palmar
As a result of the armed robbery and other crimes reported in the area, residents of San Jose Palmar have called for an emergency meeting. The meeting is scheduled to take place tomorrow at 6:00 in the evening at the community centre. Hon. Marco Tulio Mendez, Area Rep OW East “Well, that is what we have to do, we need to organize ourselves and we need to do that and we have to get our voices heard because too many things are happening. Estos incidentes que están ocurriendo y sabemos de que el crimen esta en estos momentos esta alto y cada uno vamos a estar afectados continuamente y por eso como ocurrió esto anoche en el centro de Palmar pues todos realmente están preocupados, pues se va hacer una reunión para poder ver cuales son las soluciones en la cuales los de el aldea, vecinos y todo puedan ayudarse y puedan asistirse y puedan estar alertas de cualquier señal en la que puedan poner peligro su vida. Se le esta invitando, va a estar el alcalde de la aldea y grupos no gubernamentales como el neighbourhood watch y personal encargadas de eso y definitivamente esta invitado todo aquellos que quieran ayudar en como vamos a podernos mantener lo mas seguro posible.” Again, the meeting is scheduled to commence at 6:00pm.

Elections In The U.S
Today thousands of Belizean Americans living in the U.S and some even here at home exercised their rights to vote for the next U.S President. Of note is that more than 80,000 Belizean Americans live in the Chicago Area alone. Fifty one year old President Barack Obama, elected four years ago on a message of hope and change, is vying for a second term while 65 year old Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger, says the president has failed miserably to deliver on his heady promises of 2008, assailing him in particular for his handling of America’s enduring economic woes. The race for the White House has been a dead heat, with polls showing Obama and Romney tied nationally for weeks. The president, however, had pulled ahead nationally in a pair of polls released this week. Obama has also had narrow leads in several of the key battleground states that will determine the election; he’s also reportedly got the edge in early voting. Obama’s improved showing in a slew of recent surveys suggests his response to mega-storm Sandy last week has won him crucial support in swing states. At 2:00 this afternoon more than 45 million Americans had already cast their ballots. In poll averages calculated by the Real Clear Politics website, Obama led in Iowa (by 2.4%), Ohio (2.9%), Wisconsin (4.2%), Virginia (0.3%), New Hampshire (2.0%), and Colorado (1.5%). Romney led by 1.5% in the biggest swing state, Florida, and in North Carolina, which Obama won by just three percent, or 14,000 votes, in 2008.

Water Restored In The Village Of Santa Martha
The last time we made a report on the Village of Santa Martha was when more than 1,200 villagers were out of adequate portable water for more than 50 days. The problem arose after the water pump experienced mechanical problems and repairs were hard to come by despite the fact that resident’s lodged their complaints to the village’s water board and the Ministry of Rural Development. But Orange Walk East Area Representative, Honorable Marco Tulio Mendez, has been hard at work to solve the problem and today he shared the good news that water in the village has been restored. Hon. Marco Tulio Mendez, Area Rep OW East “El chairman del Water Board me dijo que ya la maquina esta trabajando mas sin embargo no pueden estar sacando dinero para poder abasteciendo con diesel y pudimos llegar a un de acuerdo en la cuales estoy ayudando durante la semana para proveer el agua al aldea y fueron voluntarios a limpiar todo el tanque para que este bien higiénico y s le esté dando agua a la aldea pero el Domingo vamos a tener una reunión publica de toda la aldea para que haiga transparencia el las cuentas y van a estar contentos y van a empezar a pagar, también están pidiendo que haiga un cambio del Water Board y vamos a ver como hay sugerencia en como hacerlo y podamos ver como un problema se a resuelto y buscar la mejor solución para Santa Martha.” The meeting will be held at the village’s community centre on Sunday.


Marijuana charges and acquittals in Magistrate’s Court
Thirty-one year old Tanise Smith, a resident of Taylor’s Alley was charged with drug trafficking when she appeared in court today. She pled not guilty to the charge. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith offered her a bail of $1,000.00 which she met. She is to return to court on December 21. The incident occurred around 9:15 a.m. yesterday. The police, members of the GSU, reported that they were on mobile patrol on Mckay Boulevard when they saw Smith with a bag on her arm. They said when they searched the bag they found 1,981 grams of cannabis. As a result, Smith was detained and charged and the cannabis was labeled as exhibit. Smith was represented by attorney Dickie Bradley. Forty-eight year old Lawrence Noralez, of Caesar Ridge Road, who the police alleged they found with about 26 pounds of cannabis was charged with drug trafficking when he appeared in court today. Noralez pled not guilty to the charge. He told Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser that the cannabis was not his. He also said that he was mentally challenged but he takes his medication every day. Senior Magistrate Fraser offered him a bail of $8,000.00 with two sureties of $4,000.00 each. His case was adjourned until January 3, 2013. The bust occurred around 9 a.m. yesterday. The police, members of Special Branch, reported that when they searched Noralez’ residence they found a crocus sack containing 10,033 grams of cannabis under his bed. As a result, Noralez was taken into custody and charged. A common-law couple, 24 year old Carlton Pakeman and 24 year old Ashanti Scott were acquitted of a charge of drug trafficking for 441 grams of cannabis today. The magistrate, Adolph Lucas Jr. ruled that there were inconsistencies in the testimony given by the prosecution witnesses which created doubt and the benefit of that doubt must go to the accused persons. The incident occurred around 2:15 p.m. on July 10, 2012. According to the evidence, the police, members of the GSU were in Lindo’s Alley when they saw the couple in a Honda Passport vehicle, they approached the vehicle and ordered the couple to get out for a search to be conducted on them and the vehicle. When they searched a black bag that Scott had the police testified that they found two separate bags that contained cannabis. The police said that they also found two pampers which they believed were for the baby Scott had in her arms. Scott said that that she and Pakeman were not shown what was inside the bag and that they had no knowledge of the cannabis that the police said they found in the bag. Pakeman and Scott were not represented by any attorney.

CAPE/CSEC results announced
In news of a more upbeat nature regarding young people and education … the results for the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations CAPE and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate CSEC were released in August of this year. Since that time students had an opportunity to launch queries if any or to bring up their dissatisfaction if any with their results. The query period is now closed and CXC will begin awarding merits to the candidates who performed well. Juan Vargas is the CXC local registrar. The certification received from the CAPE and CSEC Examinations have regional and international currency.

Teachers and students protest; want Belmopan Baptist High school principal removed
The Belmopan Baptist High School is in the news again … and again it is not in a positive way. Teachers and students of the institution today held a demonstration to vent their dissatisfaction with what they say are the many issues affecting the school since the beginning of the school year. Viewers will recall that the current school year started under a new leadership after the former principal was ousted for an inappropriate behavior with a former student of the school. The staff and students today aimed their anger and frustration squarely at the acting principal Delvorine Hamilton accusing her of being the chief architect of the many discrepancies plaguing the high school. This morning Love News spoke with teacher and BNTU School Representative at the Belmopan Baptist High School, Pedro Cal who told us why they decided to walk out of the classroom today. Cal told Love News that they are also concerned that some of the teachers at the school are teaching without the proper qualifications. But that is not the only problem on the list of problems. And to make matters worse, Cal says there exists no kind of teacher-principal communication which is necessary to make the institution run smoothly. Love News tried to contact the principal but we were told she was not available at the moment. We contacted the Ministry of Education who told us they are aware of the situation however it is being dealt with by the school board. Attempts to get a response from the School board today were unsuccessful.

Frank’s Eddy pastor accused of sex with 11 year old girl
The reports of grown men sexually abusing children continues to get more sickening each time an incident makes it to the daily news. Tonight, there is another to report, this time from the Cayo district. It happened in the quiet village of Frank’s Eddy and the victim is an eleven year old child who attends the government school in the community. According to reports, the alleged perpetrator of the sickening crime is a well respected member of the community, he pastor of a church no less. Love News understands that on two separate occasions, the pastor had sexual intercourse with the little girl in the last week. The first incident allegedly happened inside the church building in the village on the afternoon of Sunday, October twenty eight. Four days later on November first, the little girl says, the pastor repeated the sickening act, this time inside of the pastor’s home. The pastor was taken into police custody and tonight remains in detention pending charges on Wednesday. The incident has left the entire community in shock and tonight, some women we spoke with say they are concerned for their own safety knowing that such an evil act could have been committed by such a trusted individual. Love News understands that counseling is being provided for the child.

New entrant to the cacao industry market in Toledo
A new buyer, Maya Mountain Cacao, has entered into and now fully operational in the Cacao Market in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details.

Belize continues to target malaria for eradication
Malaria continues to exist in the Americas, though in Belize at a less prevalent rate than it was a decade ago. But there are still locations within the country where we need to focus in order to keep the number of cases at a minimum. So today being World Malaria Day is a timely occasion for the Ministry of Health to do just that. Chief of Operations in the Ministry’s Vector Control Unit, Kim Bautista, told Love News that the Stann Creek District is of primary focus. The 79 cases of Malaria reported in 2011were detected 29 communities, while this year, there are 33 cases hailing from nine communities.

Recapping Cancer awareness month in Toledo
The Toledo Branch of the Belize Cancer Society held a month of activities for the October Cancer Awareness Month. There were weekly radio educational shows with several medical practitioners as guests on the local Wamalali radio station. First and second places for the poetry contest were awarded to Toledo Community College, and the Roman Catholic School in Barranco received first place for the poster competition. The cancer awareness concluded with a three day activity which included a Cancer Awareness Day held at the Central Park, an eight mile health walk against Cancer, and an ecumenical service and prayer vigil held at the Parish Hall. The message of hope at the Ecumenical service was delivered by lay minister of the Big Falls R.C. church, Mrs. Marie Aleman, and the message of faith was delivered by Rev. Tessica Hackshaw from the Methodist church. Choirs in attendance included River of Life, Big Falls Quiche Choir and St. Peter Claver Parish Choir. The events for the month were coordinated by the President, Guillerminia Mendez and the coordinator and pioneer, Dr. Elizabeth Cardenas. The Toledo Branch of the Cancer Society will continue its awareness with a monthly health walk to be held on the last Saturday of each month.

Streamlining Belize’s social protection system
The government, through the relevant Ministries responsible for addressing poverty and the social challenges that accompany it is in the process of streamlining itself to better address the problem. The social protection system as it is called involves the types of projects under the initiative, the scope of those projects and the budgets allocated for them. Most of that funding comes from the World Bank and Sarah Berger, who is a Social Protection Specialist with the World Bank, says that the idea is not for the World Bank to dictate what is done, but just to help improve what is already there. Meanwhile, Social Planner in the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, John Flowers, said that the system has already been in place, and that a lot of it can be kept. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Education, David Leacock, said that there has already been some adjustments in the public schools for more equity as far as financial coverage is concerned. Through a conditional cash transfer programs, poorer families will be able to educate their children. This is something, according to CEO in the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, Judith Alpuche, that was carefully schemed in order for it to succeed. Sarah Berger says that the government’s BOOST program is one that has proven to be successful among the poor and should be adopted in more countries. Meanwhile, CEO in the Ministry of Education, David Leacock, says that about 95 percent of primary school children are in school and that the target is for the government to now focus on the five percent that is still not in a school system.

Birth registration exercise goes to Cayo
Today the Government of Belize’s Vital Statistics Unit, UNICEF and the office of the Special Envoy for women and children joined hands to register children who have not been registered since birth. The initiative started in the Cayo District and Kim Simplis, who is the Special Envoy for Women and children, was a key player in the drive. UNICEF’s Country Representative, Christine Norton and Registrar of Births, Lovinia Daniels, were also a part of the registration process.

Primary School girl reported missing
No Jasmine Alert has been issued; but tonight the police department is reporting that a fifteen year old girl is missing. Angelita Elvira Hernandez, a student of Unity Presbyterian School in Belize City, was reported missing by her father on Monday. According to the parent, the missing girl’s sister last saw her around seven thirty yesterday morning on Antelope Street as she headed to classes. Angelita Elvira Hernandez was last seen wearing her school uniform which is a red blouse and blue with red striped jumper. She wore a pink and black tennis and carried a sky blue knapsack. Angelita Elvira Hernandez is of Hispanic decent, medium built and stands about five feet, three inches tall. She has shoulder length black hair with brown streaks. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Angelita Elvira Hernandez is a asked to call the nearest police station.


Police identify Pastor accused of sexual offences
Police have officially charged the pastor accused of sexual offences with a minor. In yesterday’s newscast, we told...

Walk out at Orange Walk Technical High School over alleged mismanagement of finances
We gave a full account on yesterday’s industrial action by teachers at the Belmopan Baptist High. But even as that ...

Agriculture CEO sets record straight about citrus industry.
The Citrus Growers Association (CGA) has been at odds with the CPBL over shareholder authority, citrus quotas and p...

17 year-old without driver's licence in two vehicle collission
It was more than a fender bender today when two vehicles collided on the San Martin Road. What we understand of the...

Police response vehicle is inadequate
While our news ream was at the accident scene a white pick truck with a camper pulled up. It is the Police mobile c...

PM in Honduras to discuss bilateral issues
Prime Minister Dean Barrow arrived in Tegucigalpa, Honduras with his wife and a diplomatic entourage today. The PM ...

Morality Matters Seminar empowers parents and youth
Amy Bowden is a speaker on sex and family education and a trained crisis counsellor. She is in Belize facilitating ...

Earthquake hits Guatemala and Belizeans feel tremors
A 7.4-magnitude earthquake has struck off Guatemala's Pacific coast, reportedly killing at least eight persons. Gua...

Man remanded for over ten kilos of marijuana
A man looking to make an illegal buck is in jail tonight. 48 year-old Lawrence Noralez, of Caesar Ridge Road, was a...

Honduran charged for carnal knowledge
Another Honduran national has been charged for carnal knowledge. A 10yr old Honduran Student of North Ambergris Cay...

Arrest made for attempted murder of Leron Audinette
An arrest has been made for the attempted murder of Leron Audinette. Yesterday Police arrested and charged a 17year...

Grandfather accused of sexually molesting two year old grand daughter
Orange Walk police have detained a grandfather for sexually molesting his two year old grand daughter. The child’s ...

Punta Gorda Police discover drugs in open lots
Punta Gorda Police have discovered drugs in open lots. First, on Friday morning, Police conducted a search in an op...


Totally Bloggable: Guest Bloggers Needed!
Good morning guys (and it is a GORGEOUS one in Belize), In a few weeks, I am travelling back to the land of my birth for the first time in over a year and a half. And while I've loved being the YucatanScoop, HondurasScoop, Panama, Costa Rica and ColombiaScoops over the past year or so, NewJerseyScoop just won't have the same flair. I fully intend to take pictures and write about some things...maybe a trip to Manhattan or being overwhelmed by the traffic, shopping options and THE COLD, but I also know that many readers will want their tropical fixes. And so...I ask for some guest blogging help! I would love to hear from people who live a different life than I do. Maybe retiring in San Pedro or budgeting to retire in Belize or attending High School in San Pedro or opening your business in San Pedro. Or a Belizean who has moved out of Belize and the transition (would LOVE that). Or I'd love to have a blogger from the mainland let me know about her life there. Or something simple that I rarely do, like a walk up north or going diving. Or a day in your life. Or pictures of your neighborhood. Trust me I KNOW, you don't need to be a great writer. Or something lots of people could write about: why I moved to Belize or why I want to move to Belize or my wedding in Belize or my first trip to Belize or how I bought a house in Belize & what I would have done differently get the picture. Your favorite bar? Your favorite restaurant? Your trip to Orange Walk? How you chose schools for your kids on the island? Now I am rambling. But I would also love someone who just wants to go out and take pictures of a party or a new restaurant opening or a family BBQ. It's super fun playing Scooperazzi.

Belize’s Chaa Creek Congratulates President Obama
The Lodge at Chaa Creek, Belize’s premier eco resort and one of the country’s largest employers is reflecting a nationwide sentiment in congratulating President Obama on winning the US Presidential election, marketing administrator Larry Waight said today. “We have very close ties to the US on many levels, with over 300,000 Belizeans living in the US, a large expat community here and strong cooperation in areas such as trade and investment, border security and, of course, as a tourism destination. It’s no wonder that the US elections have been followed very closely and debated with almost as much vigour as up north,’ Mr Waight said. “Both candidates had their supporters among our large staff, but in the end I think I can speak for the entire Chaa Creek family in congratulating President Obama, and wishing him all the best for the next four years,” he added.

Exploring ATM
Another great article about Actun Tunichil Muknal. The lack of cameras isn't stopping anyone from visiting Cayo's number 1 site. There's a list in this article of cool things that one sees at ATM. While Mayan artifactes aren't on the list, they're mentioned throughout the article. Bats, stuck into holes in the ceiling made by guano destroying the limestone. An albino crawfish. Spiders! Like a big, nasty-looking female grey wolf spider. A rock that looked like a croc. “Rockadile.” Calcite crystals that made many some of the wall sparkle and glitter. Stalactites. Stalagmites. Layers of rock that dripped or flowed like curtains.

International Sources

Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow to Make Visits to Honduras, Mexico
Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s agenda for the next week includes official visits to Honduras and Mexico. Barrow departs Wednesday for an official visit to Honduras, at the invitation of President Porfirio Lobo. After a trip to Miami to meet with the legal advisors working with Belize’s government on the negotiations on the Superbond, Barrow will then travel to Mexico City to join the presidents of Central America for an official meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon. He will return to Belize on Nov. 12. Gaspar Vega will serve as Acting Prime Minister during Barrow’s absence.

The high cost of preventing employees from unionising
In October 2000 the Trade Unions and Employers' Organisations (Registration, Recognition and Status) Act came into force in Belize. The act is intended to provide protection to both employers and employees to freely associate and form employees' and employers' organisations to protect their respective rights. While the act is designed to protect these rights, in a society such as Belize, where employers' organisations are uncommon, little if any benefit is derived by employers from the act. On the contrary, an employee's constitutional right to freely associate is entrenched in the act, thereby creating a new cause of action against an employer that violates an employee's right to unionise. The Supreme Court is given extensive powers to redress the violation of an employee's rights under the act by making such orders as it considers just and equitable. Redress may include an order for reinstatement of an employee, restoration of benefits and other advantages and payment of compensation. The list is by no means exhaustive; but unlike similar laws in other jurisdictions, the act provides no guidance as to how the Supreme Court should exercise its discretion in awarding compensation. The first claim made under the act was filed by six former employees of Mayan King Limited. The claimants were banana workers on Mayan King's banana farms. According to them, they were spearheading the movement to unionise the workers at Mayan King and were dismissed as a result of their union activities.

Belize Electricity Limited - Power Plants and SWOT Analysis, 2012 Update
The report contains a detailed description of the power generation company’s business operations, history, corporate strategy, and business structure. This report contains a detailed SWOT analysis, information on key employees (executives), and major products and services. Scope - Major Power Plants (assets) - summarized and detailed information about the power plants (assets). - Operational Metrics (capacity, generation, revenue, sales, number of consumers). - Business description - A detailed description of the company’s operations and business divisions. - Corporate strategy - GlobalData’s summarization of the company’s business strategy. - SWOT analysis - A detailed analysis of the company’s strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats. - Company history - Progression of key events associated with the company. - Major products and services - A list of major products, services and brands - Key employees - A list of the key executives and personnel heading key departments/functions. - Executive biographies - A brief summary of the executives’ employment history. - Financial deals - Coverage of key financial deals from 2006 onwards, depending upon information availability - Important locations and subsidiaries - A list of key locations and subsidiaries of the company, including contact details.

Danny Michel builds new album from scratch in Belize
FOR his new album Toronto rocker Danny Michel decided to do something completely different from anything he’d done before. His new eight-song disc, Black Birds are Dancing Over Me, recorded last winter in Belize, features Michel performing with musicians from the Garifuna Collective. The recording sessions took place over several months but the actual concept for the album started percolating in Michel’s subconscious many years before. “I first went to Belize over 10 years ago on a trip, loved it, and I’ve gone back every year since,” he says. I got more and more involved in the community and started working with a school there and always kept thinking it would be great to make a record there. The music and the vibe has been slowly sneaking into my music over the last few records and this time I thought ‘let’s do it right’ and do the whole album there.” Hanging out on Caye Caulker, a small island off the north coast of Belize, Michel listened to a lot of local Garifuna punta music including records by Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective produced at Ivan Duran’s Stonetree Studios. “They do all these records and I thought why don’t I just ask these people if they’d be interested in doing a record with me,” says Michel.

Belize, we’ve got your back
Durango-based team goes to Central America to offer spine operations. An organization founded four years ago to promote medical education in La Plata County is now performing on an international stage. Enlarge photo Courtesy of Resources for Medical Education and Collaboration The Durango team performed three operations during its August stay in Belize, including one to correct a 90-degree spinal curvature in a 13-year-old girl. Dr. John Williams, right front, operates on the girl at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. Enlarge photo Courtesy of Resources for Medical Education and Collaboration Sister Alicia Moody, left, the lead operating room nurse at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City, and Keri George, a registered nurse from Calgary, Alberta, prepare instrumentation for an operation in August. Enlarge photo Courtesy of Resources for Medical Education and Collaboration In a previous visit in May 2011, Durango spine surgeons Dr. Jim Youssef, from Durango, and Dr. John Williams, from Indiana, evaluated a patient at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. A team from Resources for Medical Education and Collaboration made its fourth trip to Belize this summer to provide life-altering spinal care at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in the capital, Belize City. The weeklong trip produced numerous conferences with Belizians in the medical field, 14 in-clinic patient visits and surgery on three people with spinal abnormalities – a 13-year-old girl, a 54-year-old woman and a 72-year-old man. The correction of the 13-year-old’s 90-degree spinal curvature was the first scoliosis surgery ever in Belize. It was performed by Dr. Andrew Moulton and Dr. John Williams, with support services from other team members. Jarrett Self, an operating-room technician at Mercy Regional Medical Center; Caitlyn McCullough, Durango-based executive director of the organization; Mary Dietz, a spinal neuromonitor from Pennsylvania; and Keri George, a registered nurse from Calgary, Alberta, accompanied Moulton and Williams, orthopedic surgeons from New York and Indiana, respectively. George, working through contacts in Belize, has been the Resources for Medical Education and Collaboration liaison since the beginning and has been on all four trips by the team.

Visiting the Mayan Ruins of Belize
With the Maya Calendar coming to an end this year, speculation on the fate of the world is rampant. What better time to visit Belize and learn about this ancient culture? I decided that a good place to start was with a visit to a Mayan ruins site. Belize has many sites to explore, but I chose to travel to the far southern reaches of the country to a site often overlooked by tourists. Lubaantun (“Place of the Fallen Stones”) sits atop a hill surrounded by streams and dense rainforest. This spectacular site dates back to the late classic period (700AD -900AD). Believed to have been the ceremonial center for the Mayans of Southern Belize, Lubaantun has three ball courts and spectators stands. There are also secret ceremonial sections with altars…for sacrifices! The site exhibits some of the finest masonry of the Mayan world. Hand-cut black and slate limestone blocks fit together so tightly that the buildings don’t need mortar. It’s truly remarkable considering the primitive tools these builders had to work with. The mysterious Crystal Skull was allegedly discovered at Lubaantun. History tells us that Mitchell Hedges, a British explorer and amateur archaeologist, visited Belize and explored the site of Lubaantun in 1924. He returned with his step daughter, Anna Mitchell Hedges, in 1926 and she found the Crystal Skull on her 16th birthday. Some Mayans believe the story to be a hoax but the speculation and the mystery provides for a bit of entertainment—albeit a bit creepy. Wandering through Lubaantun, the reality of the tragic collapse of the Maya Ancient Society comes to life. Mayans consider the ruins sacred and Shamans still visit the sites for ceremonies at special times during the Maya Calendar.

November 7, 2012

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

Belize Dance Company provides phenomenal performance at Baltazar Benefit
Over 500 residents flocked to the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium in a show of love and solidarity on Saturday November 3rd for the Rosita Baltazar benefit concert. The concert was one of the best that the island has seen in quite some time and the people’s support was equally amazing. The event was organized by the San Pedro Cultural Committee with the support of many organizations including the San Pedro Cancer Society and the San Pedro Dance Academy. Hosts for the night were David Marin of Reef Radio and Mary Gonzalez of The San Pedro Sun who did an excellent job of introducing the performers on stage. First on stage was the Trisha Davidee Strokes that did her rendition of the Belize National Anthem as well as a prayer. San Pedro Dance Academy then took center stage with five performances, including one of the most loved dances by the colorfully dressed Senior Group entitled “Arrow”. After the spectacular performances by the San Pedro Dance Academy, it was time for the Belize Dance Company. They commanded the stage with dance presentations from three of Belize’s main ethnic groups: the Maya, the Creole and the Garifuna under the theme “Belize – Diverse Cultures and Rhythms.” With a thrilling Maya performance that featured the goddess Ix-Chel and her worshippers, gorgeous costumes and pure talent, the Belize Dance Company took over the stage in style. Combined with modern day drumming, their follow-up Creole dances depicted many aspects of the Creole lifestyle with a brukdong soundtrack that paid homage to one of Belize’s three kings: Mista Peetaz.

SP Sailing Club invited to compete in the 2012 Belize National Regatta
The Belize Sailing Association has invited 17 young Optimist Class Dinghy Sailors from San Pedro to compete in the 2012 Belize National Regatta. The 2-day regatta will be held here in San Pedro, off Central Park, the weekend of November 17 – 18. The San Pedro Junior sailors are: Jerdon Andeson,Davin Puc, Zulema Ayala, Alexander Rhaburn * , Luis Blanco, Cade Segura, Cllifton Everett Cain, Mitchell Sersland, Lily Heyden, Christian Trejo, Morgain Jones, Blanca Velasquez, Stephanie Keating, Kevin Velasquez, Faith Noel, Samantha Velasquez and Jorge Oliveres.

Ambergris Today

All Saints Fair a Success at San Pedro RC School
San Pedro RC School held its annual All Saints Day Fair this past Friday, November 2, 2012, and the school grounds was teeming with people enjoying the games and Saints Costume competition. This year’s fair was organized by the newly formed Parents-Teacher Association and with the help of all the teachers the fair was a total success. There was plenty to eat and drink; fun games such as tombola, saints ring toss, walls of Jericho and much more that had the entire family entertained. There was a well supervised and fun disco for primary school students who danced the night away in the company of friends; plus the great music of Rompe Raja that had every one dancing and enjoying their fun songs.

US Government Donates over US$150K of Equipment to Belize National Security Ministry
The Ministry of National Security has received a new donation from the United States Government to help upgrade security at key locations. The donation includes three (3) Smith Detection X-Ray Inspection Systems (HI-SCAN 6040i, 6030di, 7555i) and two (2) Walk-Through Detectors (METOR 200/MELS 1812, at a total value of US $156,000. The handover took place on Monday, November 05, 2012, at the Sir Edney Cain Administration Building in Belmopan, which houses the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance and other Government offices. Handing over the equipment on behalf of the US Government was Deputy Chief of Mission, Margaret Hawthorne, and receiving them on behalf of the Ministry of National Security was Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security.

Tranquility Bay Resort Staff Rescues Lost Tourist
The man was identified as 56-year-old Mr. Hal Wulff, an American national of San Bruno, California and his story was that he arrived in San Pedro on October 31 and stayed at the Conch Shell Inn. The next morning, he rented a golf cart and drove north of the island with the intention to meet Greg, the Turtleman, but having reached his house just north of Tranquility Bay he was not there. At about 1:30 pm, Wulff decided to walk a bit in the bush while waiting for the Turtleman. He then got lost and could not find his way back to the beach; he spent the night in the wilderness. Kudos to the management and staff of Tranquility Bay Resort for handling the situation as a caring team and rendering help to Mr. Wulff.

Earning Students' Respect
Teaching, whether in public or private schools, without having students’ respect is never successful – not for teacher nor student. Disrespectful students cannot and do not learn; disrespected teachers cannot teach. Yet, respect cannot be taught like a class subject to students, nor can it be forced out of or into them. In today’s advanced and super technical world, the best way to obtain students’ respect is by earning it. It’s the first, and most important, lesson that anyone who wants to be a successful teacher should learn. Many first-time teachers make the mistake of trying to teach while demanding respect from students. Sadly, they end up having very miserable experiences in the classroom. That is because respect cannot be screamed at students, nor can it be pounded into them by teachers who give hysterical and impassioned speeches everyday. Respect may be required or it may be demanded; but it comes easiest when it is earned – one class and one day at a time. Teachers who lead students in class each day, are passionate about what they teach, and show students compassion and integrity will easily earn their respect and trust.

Letters to the Editor: Guatemalan Incursions Continue into Belize Sovereign Territory
The rapid incursion of Guatemalans into Belizean territory has been escalating and continues to be a huge problem to the Belizean people and to our security forces. The Belizean people especially the rural villagers have been affected by this because these Guatemalans are entering our territory armed. Villagers feared for their lives and property and feel threaten by the growing problematic crisis. I asked myself when will this all come to an end? When will Guatemalans start respecting our territory and our natural resources? If my memory serves me well I recalled two incidents occurred late July and early August of 2012. The first incident that occurred in late July was that of Guatemalans panning and stealing Belize’s gold in the Chiquibul Forest Area. According to the Amandala Newspaper dated Sunday, July 29, 2012 stated that about 300 Guatemalans including young girls were caught red handed extracting gold from the Chiquibul national park. The other incident in August founded bales of Xate which is estimated to have worth a significant sum of monies in Guatemala. However, one must not forget the constant illegal logging and disregard for our sovereign borders that also continues to be an eye sore for us Belizeans.

Misc Belizean Sources

Fall Fashion Show Backstage
The Fall Fashion Show by Add!ction and Davina went superbly, and the pictures are coming in. The setting was the Bedran Hall at the SIRH. "First album from the Fall Fashion show 2012 have been released.."

NBHA Barrel Horse Race at BEA
The NBHA Belize had another barrel race at the Belize Equestrian Academy, and they got some great pictures. Check out their page for point standings. 2 more events.

Kontiki Neighborhood Watch Family Fun Day
Kontiki Neighborhood Watch is having a Family Fun Fest this Sunday from 9:00am until 6:00pm. They'll have food, pastries, games, raffles, and sports competitions, along with Digicell specials. This free event will be on Figeroa street. Proceeds will go towards making the roads safer for everyone, so go support a great cause.

Benque HoC's Dia de los Muertos
The Benque House of Culture also did a display for Dia de los Muertos. "Our roots, our history, our culture, our traditions, Benque Viejo's Finados is one of the best livig traditions. Images thanks to our friend, Mr. Basu."

Is Cupid responsible for all the Scorpion birthdays in Belize?
Is there a corrolation between unusual amount of Belizean November birthdays and Valentines Day??? It’s a thought, I mean, Feb 14th is give or take a day 9 months before this Scorpion burst?? From Raggamuffin alone there is Lee Shane, Jimmy, Ellis and Keith (or Dice) to name but a few … not to mention the enormous number of November birthdays on Caye Caulker. So when Cupid fires his bow in February it creates this unusual spike in births for November – interesting fact hey!! For now we will be celebrating the birthdays of two of our favorite crew members – Shane Sho (Lee Shane) and the originator, Captain Jimmy. Shane will be celebrating his birthday today and Jimmy will celebrate his tomorrow (I gather with a party on the North side with a bonfire etc etc – you coming??). So for now we want to wish Shane a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY from all his fellow crew members and extended family – we will surely be having a few drinks tomorrow to celebrate with you!!

How to get rid of ants (The illustrated guide)
Step 1, Locate the ants and their trails

Channel 7

Walkout At Belmopan Baptist High
Belmopan Baptist High School has had more than its share of worries over the past few months - after its former principal, Norman Willacey was dismissed for an inappropriate relationship with a female student. Willacey wasn't any old principal: he had been there from the school opened - so replacing him would inevitably cause some transitional tremors. And so, tonight, the heat is on Willacey's replacement Delvorine Hamilton, the former vice principal who was thrust into the job a week before school opened in August. It hasn't been easy going - as the staff had issues going back to Willacey's time. It culminated in a mass student and teacher walkout this morning - and 7news was there when it happened. Daniel Ortiz reports:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting At 8:30 this morning, the entire student body at the Belmopan Baptist High School attended classes as per normal. 10 minutes later, however, they all walked out as part of an industrial action in solidarity with teaching staff. It's a situation that has slowly been brewing since the departure of the former principal, Pastor Norman Willacey.

The Other Side Of The Walkout
After the students were sent home by the Administration, members of the BNTU arrived on the campus and met with the faculty of the Belmopan Baptist High School. While those meetings were being conducted, the members of the Ministry of Education and the General Manager of the school met with the principal and vice-principal in a separate room. After both sides held their separate meetings, the faculty sat down and had a 4-hour discussion on all of those problems. After they came out, we spoke to both sides what this discussion yielded. Here's what they told us: Luke Palacio "The meeting like you rightly indicated took quite a bit of time and we were there dealing with a number of issues. Basically what has stood out in this discussion is that the entire management of this institution does have a number of problems that needs to be address including the manner in which they have appointed their board members. We find that to be very disturbing. There is the whole issue of communication; miscommunication, bad communication at the institution. Our teachers and members here at this institution have become very frustrated. We were here earlier in the month of October trying to resolve some of these issues and we are like back to square one. At the end of this evening's meeting though we have agreed that the teachers will come back to school tomorrow and so classes should resume on the condition that; we are going to meet with the board of management of this institution either on Monday or Tuesday of next week to address these issues and secondly, that none of our teachers will be reprimanded for the action they took today."

OW Tech Students/Teachers Walk Out, Again
And while students and teachers were walking out in Belmopan, the same was happening in Orange Walk at the Technical High School. Yes, they also walked out a month ago - and the Education Minister came in to smooth things over. But what was made smooth is rough again - and this morning as school was about to start, the teachers walked out again. This time they are alleging mismanagement of the school's finances and blaming the principal for it. But today's walkout did not end up like the last one where students were free to walk on the street. The gates were kept closed and the teachers were quickly corralled into a meeting. The district education officer responded immediately and set up that meeting - which was still ongoing until 4:00 this afternoon. According to reports from CTV-3, the students milled around on the compound for much of the day while some parents came to pick up their kids and take them home. Whatever the case, it was a school day wasted - and there's no word on what will happen tomorrow.

Frank's Eddy Pastor Under Suspicion
Tonight, a pastor from the village of Frank's Eddy is at the Belmopan Police station facing an ID Parade - after an 11 year old girl accused him of having sex with her inside the Church building! The child told police that the pastor has sex with her on October 28th and again on the first November. A Doctor has certified that the child was carnally known. The pastor from Frank's Eddy Baptist Church - whose name we can only release if he is charged - is going through an ID parade at this hour. If he is positively identified, police expect to charge him tomorrow.

Is Vidal Leaving The GSU?
ASP Mark Vidal - he's led the GSU since it was formed in October of 2010 - but, tonight, official reports says he's on the way out. Press Officer for the Ministry of National Security Delroy Cuthkelvin today told us via text message that Vidal should be going to Special Branch as the second in command. Cuthkelvin tells us that Superintendent Dennis Arnold will be taking over the GSU. Arnold is presently the second in command at Special Branch, so they will be trading places. Sounds straightforward enough, but Vidal says he knows nothing about it. He told us that he has not received any letter of transfer - and added that he will probably be the last to know. If it goes through, it would be a dramatic change because Vidal designed the GSU himself, based on gang interdiction training he received from the US. It is a unit unlike any other in the police department: it is self-contained, housed separately from the police department, and staffed with a handpicked cadre of police officers. To a great extent, the unit has also taken on Vidal's personality, no nonsense and uncompromising which has simultaneously earned it high praise, mass condemnation and scoldings from politicians. But while Cuthkelvin is the Ministry's PR and he says the transfer is going through - late this evening, Vidal told us quote, "there is no move afoot to remove me as Commander of the GSU. I am sure of this." End quote.

Woman Bailed For 4.4 Pounds Of Product
Yesterday, we told you about the woman who was busted with 4.4 pounds of marijuana. Well, tonight, she is out on bail after she was taken to court today. As we reported, at around 9:15 a.m. yesterday, they the GSU were on McKay Boulevard and they conducted a search on 31 year-old Tanise Smith, a vendor of Taylor's alley. Inside a sling bag, the officers discovered 1.97 kilos - or 4.4 pounds - of marijuana which was packaged off in 5 parcels. As a result, Police arrested and charged her with drug trafficking. She was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, where she pleaded not guilty to the charge. She was granted bail of $1,000, which she was able to meet. She is expected to return to court on December 21, her next court date. She is represented by Dickie Bradley.

22 Pounds Of Weed On Caesar Ridge
48 year-old Lawrence Noralez, an unemployed of Caesar Ridge Road, is at prison tonight, after police busted him with over ten kilos - or 22.1 pounds - of marijuana. According to police, the Special Branch searched Noralez's home at around 9 a.m. yesterday. They found a crocus sack filled with marijuana under his bed, and as a result, he was arrested and charged with drug trafficking. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today, where he pleaded not guilty. He said that he was mentally challenged, and that the drugs don't belong to him. He was granted bail of $8,000, which he could not meet. As a result, he was taken to prison, and he is to return to court on January 3, 2013, his next court date.

World Bank Praises BOOST Programme As Best In Hemisphere
When international notice is taken of some formal programme in Belize - it's usually not good news. But tonight the news is that the Boost Social assistance programme is considered the best in this hemisphere! The World Bank has stated this in previous formal documents, but this morning, the Bank's Social Protection Specialist Sarah Berger told us herself at a media breakfast with the Ministry of Human Development. She said as far as conditional cash transfer programmes go, BOOST is excellent:.. Sarah Berger "I've seen a lot of substitute programs in my days. Brazil and Mexico are the largest in the world. Brazil covers 23 million individuals and it's been around for 15 years. In Belize we have seen the results that BOOST has produce in 2 years that it's been in implementation, 2 years and not 15 years. There is nothing comparable; 94% of the beneficiaries are receiving their transfers through credit unions. I have not seen this anywhere else in the world. In fact the World bank right is starting to talk about how do we use Belize as an example."

Fifteen Year Old Missing
A 15 year old from Ladyville has gone missing. Angelita Elvira Hernandez, a student of Unity Presbyterian School was last seen by her sister on Monday morning, dressed in her uniform and headed for school. Her father 34 year old Freddie Hernandez reported her missing that night. The teenager is five feet three inches tall and has shoulder length black hair with brown streaks. Anyone seeing her is asked to contact Ladyville police AT 205-2357 or call 0-800-922 TIPS.

Fake Fifty's Floating
Fake fifty dollar notes are floating around Cayo. Police say that they have received a number of complaints that counterfeit notes with the serial number DE388723 have turned up at businesses in San Ignacio and Santa Elena. These have appeared between April and October of this year. So if you get a fifty dollar note, you are advised to check for the sleeping giant watermark or for the serial number: DE388723.

Psychological First Aid?
We all know about First-Aid, but have you ever heard of psychological first aid? Well that's what they were teaching today in San Pedro. It's training for disaster first responders who have to treat the mental and physical trauma of those who have been involved in a disaster. As we found out, it even included some post disaster play acting:.. Dr. Claudina Cayetano - Psychiatrist in the Ministry of Health "Actually this is number 7 training of this kind and I am very excited that we are doing it in San Pedro because we have done it in all the other districts. The difference with the districts is that we do it with the community health workers but in San Pedro as you notice we have different background of people in the room which is great because in providing psychological first aid, anyone who has the skill can do that."

Salima Y Las Limas
On Friday - we showed you the Prime Minister's daughter Salima Barrow and her friends squeezing limes to make Lemonade for a charity sale. Well, on Sunday she went ahead with her Lemonade stall at the BTL Park - and with a little help from her friends and Bowen and Bowen, it appears to have been a smashing success. Today, they counted their pennies - and some larger contributions, and she told Monica Bodden how much they raised:.. Monica Bodden "What was the experience like being out there selling limeades?" Salima Barrow "Well you know how we do it; Hayley then me, Abigail, then Gianna." Hayley Thurton "A lot of people out there came to buy." Monica Bodden "What was your job on Sunday? What did you do?"

Best Brains Recognized
The names of Belize's top students in this year's C-SEC and CAPE Exams have been released. Dorien Villafranco from Saint John's Juniour College did the best on CAPE and so he wins the Belize Scholarship for 2012. Villafranco - who was also the top CSEC candidate two years ago - earned six Grade I's in Caribbean Studies, Communication Studies, Physics Units 1 and 2, and Pure Mathematics Units 1 and 2. In the high school's CSEC exam, Juana Meza of Stann Creek Ecumenical College received the most outstanding candidate. She earned thirteen Grade one's at the General Proficiency in: Biology, Chemistry, English A and B), Information Technology, Mathematics, Physics, Religious Education, Social Studies, Spanish, Physical Education and Sport, Human and Social Biology and Electrical and Electronic Technology and two Grade three's in Caribbean History and Economics. Meza also achieved first place in the Sciences Subject Group and first in Spanish in Belize. Kaylyn Habet of St Catherine Academy obtained second place in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate. She had twelve Grade ones at the General Proficiency in Biology, English A and B, Information Technology, Integrated Science, Mathematics, Office Administration, Physics, Social Studies, Spanish, Physical Education and Sport and Human and Social Biology and one Grade two in Chemistry.

Channel 5

Did another pastor sexually molest a minor?
There is a most disturbing allegation that involves the heinous crime of carnal knowledge to report tonight. At this hour, police have in custody and are carrying out an ID parade of a man who is accused of sexually violating an eleven year old school girl. The report is all the more alarming because at [...]

Teachers and students protest Baptist High School in Belmopan
While Pastor Norman Willacy stepped down from the Belmopan Baptist High School after he admitted culpability, the school is still facing a myriad of problems. This morning, a protest was held by teachers and students who were calling for the firing of Willacey’s replacement. The Belize National Teachers Union as well as the Ministry of [...]

Women, also victims of senseless murders
The Crimes Commission has not yet approved of the Ministry of National Security’s intention to have some areas of Belize City demarcated as Crime Ridden Areas. The designation would allow security forces to cordon-off areas and search houses and people without the need of a warrant. The tough initiative is within the purview of the [...]

Do you support anti-crime measures such as searches without warrants?
And our question for tonight is: Do you support the anti-crime measure that provides for searches of houses without warrants? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at You can also send an email with your comments to [email protected]

World Bank note shows some pro-poor initiatives work and some don’t
Government has spent five point two million dollars on a BOOST program as part of its pro-poor policies. Another two point five million was spent on a food pantry program in the Belize and Cayo Districts. But is there value for the millions spent? That is what a team from the World Bank has been [...]

BOOST Program, supported and successful in the region
One of the initiatives that came up at the breakfast session attended by the World Bank Representatives, the Ministry of Human Development and the media, was the Food Pantry Program. Judith Alpuche, C.E.O., Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation & Poverty Alleviation said the program is being run in Belize and Cayo Districts. It targets [...]

Mayas meet with attorney to consider legal action against G.O.B.
Since an unsuccessful public consultation exercise, held in Sundaywood Village on October twenty-fifth, to discuss the results of an environmental impact assessment conducted by U.S. Capital Energy Ltd., Maya leaders across all thirty-eight communities in Toledo have been meeting to discuss a legal way forward.  Today, representatives from the Sarstoon and Temash Institute for Indigenous [...]

Mayas concerned about G.O.B.’s production sharing agreement with Oil Company
According to Alfonso Cal, President of the Toledo Alcaldes Association, concerns have been raised by fellow community leaders regarding the terms of agreement between the Government of Belize and U.S. Capital Energy pertaining to a production sharing agreement.  That concern prompted a letter, written by the association to government, asking for disclosure of that contract.  [...]

GST team busts 2 businessmen without proper cash registers
Two Chinese grocers were hauled before the courts today following a crackdown by the General Sales Tax Department. Forty-three year old Yue Ling Huang Wong, owner of Julie’s Supermarket located in the Belama Phase Two area of Belize City and fifty-two year old Hong Ging Huang of Seashore Store located at Mile Two on the [...]

Bar votes to support the extension of Appeals Court Judge
The Bar Association met on Monday night at the Radisson Hotel. One of the issues discussed was the extension of the term of Justice Manuel Sosa as the President of the Court of Appeal for another eight years.  As News Five understands, the leader of the opposition, who is being consulted on the extension, sought [...]

Top CXC and CAPE students revealed; SJCJC has top 3
The Ministry of Education has released a list of top performers for external exams. Dorien Villafranco of St. John’s College Junior College is the Most Outstanding Candidate for the May/June 2012 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) and is therefore the recipient of the Belize Scholarship for 2012.  The CXC National Committee of Belize announced that [...]

Dorien Villafranco, Most Outstanding Cape Student
Dorien Villafranco, the Most Outstanding Candidate for the May/June 2012 CAPE is the recipient of the Belize Scholarship for 2012. Villafranco, a resident of Belmopan, is studying in the United States at Saint Louis University. News Five spoke to him via phone about how he achieved his academic success.   Via Phone: Dorien Villafranco, Most [...]

The Next Superstar winner to be revealed
The competition is over and tonight the name of the Next Superstar will be revealed at an all star studded event at the Bliss Institute. From a lineup of twenty-six only three groups survived the voting and the judges’ evaluation of performances during fourteen weeks of competition. Colin, Kristen and Ashanti, the two Jeremy’s and [...]


Belizean youths unite against violence
A new initiative designed to help combat youth violence in Belize was launched over the weekend. During a press conference on Saturday morning, the Belize chapter of the Central American Youth Movement against violence was launched. The movement began back in 2009 as a response to the growing crime problem in the region. Since then the organization has grown to include all the countries of Central America with the exception of Guatemala. For Belize, the local chapter of the movement includes the participation of different organizations working primarily with youths who want to make a difference, particularly in reducing the prevalence of crime. Leaders of the Belize chapter of the Central American Youth Movement against Violence say they will now consolidate their efforts and let the public know what the organization is all about, with a view to getting everyone on board the initiative. During Saturday’s press conference, some the youths heard some staggering statistics, indicating that this year Belize became the fifth dangerous country in Central America with a homicide rate of thirty nine murders per every one hundred thousand inhabitants. That means that every two days, someone looses their life due to violence.

Department of Youth Services holds open day
The organization formerly known as Youth for the Future today held an open day at its offices at the foot of the Bel-China Bridge in Belize City. The purpose of the forum was to showcase the services that the new Department of Youth Services has to offer and give young people a chance to network. Crystal Dacoff is one of the organizers of the event. Because of the murder of their colleague Gayle Escarpeta, the staff at the Department of Youth Services is doing their best to cope and continue their activities for Youth Week. Among the activities today were hair braiding, face painting and a cooking competition.

Belize Red Cross to help Sandy Victims
The Belize Red Cross Society is turning to you to help in the global appeal to help victims of Hurricane Sandy who got affected in Cuba. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent has estimated that the losses suffered in that country amounts to almost six million US dollars. In order to help them recover quickly, everyone’s help is needed, including yours. Director General of the Belize Red Cross Society, Lily Bowman, says that there is an account where you can deposit money towards that initiative. For the next month, you can make deposits in the Belize Red Cross Disaster Appeal Fund countrywide.

DAVCO Cayo holds annual general meeting
The seventh annual general meeting of the Cayo District Association of Village Councils was held on Saturday in Central Farm. According to an attendee, twelve of thirty two villages in the Cayo district attended the forum, which observers say is a sow of the disinterest in the affairs of their communities by village leaders. At one point during the AGM, rural development officer Hilberto Lopez noted that the national association of village councils appears to be dormant; but NAVCO responded by saying that the Ministry of Local Government has not released funds to the association since August and that financial assistance is crucial to the carrying on of the functions of NAVCO at both the district and national levels. Reports from the meeting say that consensus was reached that if there is a problem with the National Association it is because of a lack of effective leadership. It is understood that meetings to report on the status of the National Association have not been held recently, even though the NAVCO executive is being paid to administer the affairs of the organization. In the discussion segment, Mr. Hilberto Lopez chastised National Association with the point that the association seems to be non-functional, this was rebutted by NAVCO stating that the Ministry is not releasing funds approved as of August this year which is allocated to carry on the general functions of the Associations at national and District Level. During the meeting, there was a presentation by the director of Destination Planning for the Belize Tourism Board Kevin Gonzalez who noted that a Village Web page will soon be launched along with a new Dive map known as the Village Dive map. This new resource will include, apart from the Diving Destination, a map of Belize with the names of all villages of the country. One of the guest speakers at the NAVCO general meeting was Anthony Mai from Galen University, who spoke on the promotion of sustainable Management of the Environment. The other guest speaker, the Regional coordinator for NEMO, Keith Emmanuel, stressed that village leaders need to lead by the will of the people and to be held accountable and transparent, since the greatest threat that affects institutions is corruption. Village council elections across Belize are scheduled for March and April of 2013.

Students visit physical border marker in south-western Belize
A group of five students of the University of Belize have ventured deep into the jungles of southwestern Belize over the weekend. According to Wil Maheia, the five female students made the journey by on Saturday to see for themselves Belize’s border marker at Gracias Adios. The women journeyed by boat on the Sarstoon River and then trekked into the forest to reach the cement marker which separates Belize and Guatemala. The expedition followed a lecture given by Toledo resident Wil Maheia of the People’s National Party on Guatemala’s unfounded territorial claim to Belize.

Metal detectors donated to the government of Belize
Walk-through metal detectors are being installed at the Belize Central Prison managed by the Kolbe Foundation in Hattieville village and at the Charles Bartlett Hyde Administration building in Belize City. The metal detectors are a donation from the government of the United States. The donated metal detectors, according to a government press release, will assist the Ministry of National Security in upgrading security at key locations. One of those locations is at the Sir Edney Cain Administration Building in Belmopan, which houses the office of the Prime Minister. Valued at one hundred and fifty six thousand US dollars, the donation of metal detectors was handed over this morning in Belmopan by the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US embassy in Belize Margaret Harthorne. On hand to receive the donation was the Minister of National Security John Saldivar.

St. Luke Methodist primary school gets help from former student
The St. Luke Methodist primary school in Belize City is this week benefitting from the generosity of a former student. Glenda Flowers who migrated to the United States four decades ago has been giving back to her alma mater for the last five years. Her generosity is channeled through an organization called Miss America-Belize. Flowers stopped by our studios this morning to talk about her latest venture. Flowers and her team, which includes two other beauty queens will be at the St. Luke Methodist school on Wednesday afternoon to distribute the supplies to the institution’s over eight hundred students. Flowers say her organization will also be assisting other needy persons during this year’s outreach. Two of her assistants Sharema Tillett and Lechille Dixon say they are honored to be a part of this philanthropic effort. That was assistants Sharemah Tillett and Lechille Dixon. Tillett is Miss American-Belize, 2012, while Dixon is Miss American-Belize Popularity.

Woman seeks help for brain tumor surgery
A Belize City woman is asking for the public’s assistance to get surgery that will rid her of a never ending headache. Thirty one year old Nicholee Ramirez was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year and has been in constant pain as tests show that it continues to grow, despite treatment with medication. Today, Ramirez stopped by our studios to appeal for financial assistance to get the surgery which will be done in Merida, Mexico. Anyone wishing to assist Nicolee Ramirez can do so at Holy Redeemer Credit Union, account number 9847. She can also be reached at telephone number 668-4242.

Woman charged after being found with bag full of drugs
Eighteen year old Jaslyn Cadle, an unemployed of Supal Street charged with drug trafficking for 159 grams of cannabis, was fined 10 thousand dollars today by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith after she pled guilty to the charge. Chief Magistrate Smith ordered her to pay $2,000.00 forthwith and the balance by December 31, 2013. If she defaults on payment she will serve two years. If she defaults on payment of the eight thousand dollars, she will serve three years. The bust occurred around 6:25 p.m. on Saturday, November 3. The police, members of the GSU, reported that they were on patrol on Newtown Barracks when they saw Cadle with a bulky knapsack on her back, standing in front the gate of MCC Grounds. They approached Cadle and when they searched the knapsack they found several parcels of transparent plastic bags which contained cannabis, which amounted to 195 grams. They also found $195.00 on her person.

Man charged in murder of David Myvette
Twenty-seven year old Leon Yorke, a resident of Berry Street, was charged with the murder of David Myvett when he appeared in Court today. Yorke was also charged with escape. According to the allegation, Yorke shot and killed Myvett on Electric Avenue on November 1. Yorke reportedly escaped from Sergeant Alejandro Cowo on Friday, November 2 when Cowo went to arrest him.

Police special operation continues
Belize City police are currently on the fourth day of a special operation to rid the streets of crime and violence. In this regard, the hot zones within the city are the subjects of frequent and random searches and raids where necessary. Martinez says that in order to make the operation a success, the cooperation of both police elements and the residents is required.

Woman shot dead in Belize City
Gayle Escarpeta A Belize City woman is dead following a shooting incident in the early morning hours of this past Saturday. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports.

Family charged after police radio found in their home
Five persons were charged with possession of a police hand held radio for which they did not have a license, when they appeared in court today. They are 50 year old Raquel Baptist, her sons 25 year old Emmet Baptist and 27 year old Linval Baptist, 27 year old Giovanni Smith and a 17 year old boy. Emmet Baptist wanted to plead guilty to the charge but Magistrate Dale Cayetano entered an equivocal plea of not guilty after he said that he found the radio in front of the Complex Building on Mahogany Street. The others pled not guilty to the charge. They were each offered a bail of $3,000.00 and their case was adjourned until December 4. The incident occurred on Saturday, November 3. The police reported that when they searched a house on Lavender Street they found the radio on the television stand. As a result, all those who were in the house at the time were charged.

Man jailed for stealing cheese
Fifty-eight year old Henry Hulse, a salesman of 78 Barrack Road who stole three packs of Cracker Barrel cheese from Save-U supermarket, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment today after he pled guilty to the charge. Hulse will have to serve an additional two years because he owes court fines for which the total sentence is two years and Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser, who imposed the sentence, stipulated that it is to run consecutively to any other sentence. The theft occurred around 10:20 a.m. yesterday. A security guard at Save-U reported to the police that he saw Hulse putting items in the pocket of his pants and Hulse exited the supermarket without paying for them. As a result, Hulse was detained and a search of his person led to the discovery of the cheese in the pockets of his pants. The value of the cheese was $27.21. When asked by Senior Magistrate Fraser why he stole the cheese, Hulse said that he was hungry. She told Hulse that where he was going he would not have to worry about being hungry because he will be fed every day. Hulse had previous convictions for crimes of dishonesty.


Baptist High School teachers walk off campus
Belmopan Baptist High school was recently in the news when its former principal was accused of having an inappropri...

GST crack down on supermarkets not issuing tax receipts
General Sales tax Department is cracking down on Chinese nationals who refuse to use their programmable cash regist...

Fisherman charged with two counts of robbery
Two women were the victims of a robbery on Saturday and today and a Fisherman of Cannon Dale Drive was slapped with...

Mass registration for children aged 0 -18 years
The Make Your Child Count Birth Registration Campaign continued today in San Ignacio. UNICEF and its partners have ...

A 15 years-old girl from Ladyville is missing
AA 15 years-old girl from Ladyville is missing. Angelita Elvira Hernandez was last seen by her 10 year-old sister y...

World Malaria Day 2012 is being observed today in the America
World Malaria Day 2012 is being observed today in the Americas. Belize is joining in to commemorate the day under t...

Belize going up against US NGO to defend right to harvest
Belize's conch industry is valued at $10 million Belize dollars annually. But what would happen if the United states placed a ban on importing the seafood delicacy? Currently, estimates are that 95% of Belize’s exported conch head to the US. According to an article by Caribbean 360, in March of this year, the WildEarth Guardians, a non-governmental organisation in Denver, Colorado petitioned the US Secretary of Commerce, to have the conch species listed as threatened or endangered. If that petition is granted, under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, no country would be able to export conch to the USA.

Pastor accused of sexual crime
A pastor of Frank’s Eddy village is being accused of having sex with an 11 year old girl. Police have not made an o...

Most Outstanding Candidate for CAPE receives scholarship
The Ministry of Education and the CXC National Committee have announced the most outstanding CXC candidates for th...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

The Girl Effect Project – Ocean Academy
Do you know about The Girl Effect Project? A $10 donation in November to Ocean Academy’s FLC (Female Leadership Community) will help the girls earn one of twelve spots in this fundraising initiative. If we win, Nike/Global Giving will help fundraise one full year for the girls’ needs. Projects with the MOST DONORS (not the most money raised) will earn a spot so if you want to give more than $10 please sponsor a friend’s donation so we can show a large base of supporters. Check out the club blog to read the girls’ writings and thoughts. Thanks, as always, for your support. For more information on this project contact Joni Miller at Ocean Academy at 226-0321. To get more information about The Girl Effect Project in Belize, here is the link:

Grand Reopening of Magandon

Halloween on Caye Caulker
Although Halloween is not a Belizean tradition, children look forward for this day as they dress to come out and trick or treat and get all the candies they can get. Here are a few pictures of the kids trick or treating.


Residents of Rockwall Texas, USA, and friends of 15-year-old Surie Baeza, who attended her Friday night memorial, have been in shock over her killing last Tuesday, allegedly by Juan Enrique Torres, 41, her estranged stepfather and father of her seven-year-old brother, who attacked her in “a fit of rage” after she threatened to call the police on him. Multiple international news reports, including reports carried on CBS and NBC, recount the tragedy described by the written confession of Torres, a Belizean, reportedly made to police two days after the incident. Torres is said to have confessed to stabbing the girl, originally of Orange Walk, to death following an argument over money and a possible transaction with a pawnshop. Torres was wearing Baeza’s jewelry, police said. Torres allegedly beat Baeza in the head with a wooden closet rod and stabbed her before leaving her locked insider her bedroom, where she later died. Based on accounts of when the girl was last seen, police indicate that the killing happened between 2:00 and 4:00 that afternoon. Surie’s mother found her dead inside her bedroom at around 7:30 p.m.

Usually, commercial banks require that customers who want to borrow for a housing mortgage put down 10% of the total cost of the home. For persons without savings or assets, this is often an obstacle to home ownership. However, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced on Thursday, November 1, at the Second Business Forum aimed to solidify private-public sector partnership, that the government has earmarked $3.5 million for a new mortgage guarantee program which would enable 350 first-time home owners to meet their down-payment requirement. Barrow said that the program is intended to help the middle-class, and the mortgage limit is $100,000. “The proposal here is for Government to provide a repayment guarantee of up to 10% of a housing mortgage loan from a commercial bank or DFC (or other approved lender) for first time buyers of residential property to be owner-occupied, provided that the original loan amount does not exceed $100,000,” Barrow announced to a room full of businesspersons, chief executive officers and ministers, who were gathered for the forum at Old Belize.

Maya asserting ancestral land rights; say Gov’t leaders ignoring them Oil continues to be a big front-burner issue in Belize, and Maya leaders from Toledo will tomorrow kick off a public awareness campaign to get their voices heard. They contend that key officials of government have been ignoring their communications and their position paper, calling for the people of the South to be properly consulted so as to ensure that they are not left behind in an impending petroleum exploration project that could span as many as 38 Maya villages in Toledo and several other communities, including the indigenous Garifuna community of Barranco. Spokesperson for the Maya Leaders Alliance, Cristina Coc, told Amandala today that representatives of the Maya villages are looking at court action, and more specifically, judicial review, as one option, because, in their view, the government is violating a court injunction that bars them from proceeding with any petroleum project on Maya ancestral lands without their free and informed consent. She also said that nowhere in the contract with the petroleum company in question, US Capital, does it ever state that the lands upon which the concession has been granted are owned by the Maya. Coc said that because the Maya do own the land, the company cannot explore for oil there without their consent and without giving them proper compensation, in the event that they do consent to drilling.

Gunmen sprayed bullets at the car in which she was travelling Senseless gun violence in the city has again claimed a life, but this time, it is the life of a mother of two children, Gayle Escarpeta, 27, of the Fabers Road Extension area, who was shot to death around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 3, in the Rocky Road Bridge area of the city by unknown gunmen who fired at the vehicle she was travelling in. Escarpeta was employed at Youth for the Future as a computer program assistant. When police went to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), they saw her with three gunshot wounds. She had been shot twice in her right arm and had also been shot in the right armpit. She was declared dead on arrival at the KHMH. Police said that their initial investigation revealed that Escarpeta had been travelling in a white Mazda Tribute on George Street with a male friend, who was the driver, when they were approached by a green car with four male occupants inside.

Police say Yorke murdered David John Myvette, 43 Today, Leon Yorke, 27, a resident of #40B Berry Street, was taken before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith, where he was charged with murder and escape. Police say that Yorke is the man who shot and killed David John Myvette, 43, last week Wednesday, October 31, while on his worksite, Electric Avenue, a street in the Lake Independence area. Myvette, who worked with Meheia’s United Construction Company, was cementing the street on Wednesday morning when at about 9:30, he was approached by a dark-complexioned man who shot him in his head and body. He was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he died shortly after arriving. Police are not sure what the motive was for his killing, but his friends and family believe that it was a case of mistaken identity. No plea was taken from Yorke, as murder is an indictable offense, which will be heard in the Supreme Court.

DNA lab coming soon, minister pledges It has for some time now been public knowledge that the police have not been faring off well in the investigation and prosecution of crimes, particularly major crimes such as murders, with the conviction rate known to be in the single digits. In a public address on Thursday, November 1, National Security Minister John Saldivar acknowledged that the police are weakest in three critical areas: intelligence gathering, prosecution and investigation. The Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal had previously indicated that “…the main factor affecting the conviction rate at this time is not perverse verdicts, but the inability of the prosecution, in most murder and attempted murder cases, to secure the testimony of witnesses to enable a case to be put before the jury.” She had indicated that there were several cases which had collapsed when witnesses were put on the stand, and they simply refused to assist the prosecution. According to Saldivar, there are also other factors: The prosecution fails, as well, because of lack of training, and that arm of police has been weakened because of “routinely transferring the more skilled prosecutors from the department” once these officers are promoted from the rank of sergeant.

Bombers, Benguche, San Antonio and Scorpions win The 16 teams that started the competition are now down to 8, and the home-and-away quarterfinal series began over the weekend in the FFB Champion of Champions Inter-District Tournament with one game on Saturday and three on Sunday. At the MCC on Saturday night, Brown Bombers clipped Progresso FC, 1-0, on a goal from Darrell Myvette, a header in heavy traffic off a swerving corner by Edon “Yellow Man” Rowley at the 4th minute. Progresso came back strong in second half, but Bombers held on for the 1-nil win. On Sunday at the Carl Ramos Stadium, Benguche FC crushed Estrellas FC, 6-2, with goals from Tito Flores (33 min), Darwain “Cayo” Castillo (46 min pk & 73 min), Carlos Lino (66 min) and Raymond Ramos (69 & 84 min). Estrellas got a goal apiece from Darrol Lambey (25 min) and Christopher Burke. Meanwhile, at the Ricalde Stadium it was San Antonio FC, 2-1, over Madrid FC. Russel Cassanova (45 min) and Darnel Mossiah (52 min) shook the net for San Antonio; while Eder Diaz (14 min) tallied for Madrid. And at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium, Independence Scorpions bombed Santa Elena Synergy, 6-1. Sharing in the scoring for the Scorpions were Devaughn Thompson (40 & 50 min), Ever Centeno (45 min), Jose Melendez (69 min), Edwardo Oliva (88 min) and Elmer Godoy (89 min). Santa Elena’s consolation goal was by Calbert Neal (76 min).

Week 10 of the Premier League Opening Season tournament is history, except for one incomplete game whose result is all but academic (BDF leads Juventus, 3-0, at half-time); and, with 4 weeks of games remaining, the battle for the 2 playoff spots in each Zone is still raging hot, with previous standings leaders losing or drawing in last weekend’s games. (See standings below.) Results in so far are: Police United FC, 2-1, over Placencia Assassins at the Isidoro Beaton on Saturday. (Police – Orlando Jimenez 51’ PK, Evan Mariano 83’; Placencia – Garry Young 17’). R.G. City Boys United, 3-2, over Paradise/Freedom Fighters at the Michael Ashcroft on Saturday. (City Boys – Jason Young 29’, Deon McCaulay 33’, Dalton Cayetano 37’; Freedom Fighters – Leonard Valdez 58’ PK, Wilmer Garcia 89’) Verdes FC drew 0-0 with San Ignacio United FC at the Marshalleck on Saturday. San Pedro Sea Dogs FC, 3-1, over FC San Felipe Barcelona at the Ambergris on Sunday. (San Pedro – Mario Chimal 55’, Angel Cantun 82’, Jesse Smith 85’; San Felipe – Oscar Accevedo 25’) BDF vs Juventus was incomplete on Sunday at the Louisiana Field. And F.C. Belize and Belmopan Bandits drew, 0-0, at the MCC on Sunday. It was a “mano-mano” affair at the MCC yesterday, where F.C. Belize, despite losing their captain Christopher Gilharry to a red card in their last outing, still held their ground against highly touted North Zone leaders Belmopan Bandits, who had to settle for a 0-0 draw in their first visit this year to the MCC.

Editorial: Dog Days
If we remember correctly, there is a part of the Bible which says, to those who have much, more will be given, and those who have little, even the little they have will be taken away. These are dog days in our community, because we are in that economic lull between the September celebrations and the Christmas season. Normally, Belize’s tourist industry picks up in November when the United States starts to get colder. Hurricane Sandy’s devastation of the American East Coast, will, however, probably affect our tourism negatively. The thing is, the depressed Southside of Belize City gets very, very little out of the tourist dollar in any case. That is because, it is dangerous to take people into the Southside; because things are so bad, desperation breeds aggression. You can’t attract money into the Southside because of the level of violence, even though this is the area which needs some money to circulate in the worst kind of way. Politicians from Toledo say that their District is the one most affected by poverty, but the level of interpersonal violence is much less in Toledo than in Belize City. There are different ways to measure poverty, you see, and because Toledo is a District with a lot of rural communities, there are ways to eat without having cash money. You can farm or fish. You can’t do much of that in the city. If you are hungry, you have to become a criminal. The poverty on the Southside, it appears, is of a more deadly variety. The level of political awareness in the old capital, partly because of the proliferation of the media, is higher than in the rural areas. The Opposition PUP has been trying to convince Belize City voters that they made a big mistake in going so overwhelmingly for the ruling UDP in March, but their agitation seeds are not falling on fertile ground. This is because of skepticism about the PUP’s Francis Fonseca leadership. Why this is so in the old capital, we could submit a thesis, but we won’t bother. The UDP government has decided that the crime and violence are so bad they have to take draconian measures on the Southside. Certain areas of Belize City will be declared “crime ridden” areas, allowing the police and other security forces “to search any or all houses in the area without the need for a warrant” and “allowing them to restrict movement in and out of” specific areas that will be cordoned off. Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, said, “Every person entering and exiting the area will be searched. A systematic house-by-house search of these areas will be done with immediate effect.” Wow! “The cost of the new measures, said Saldivar, is in excess of $100,000 weekly.” More wow!!

“One of the brutal consequences of the Spanish Conquest was the division of the Guatemalan population into criollos (native-born Spaniards), ladinos (the product of intermarriage between Spaniards and natives), and the native population, called ‘indios’ by the Spanish but who refer to themselves as ‘naturales.’ The distinction between Indian and ladino is still present today but it is cultural rather than racial. Racially, most of the Guatemalan population is some degree of mixture between Indian and early conquerors or later immigrants. Culturally, however, there are differences in dress, language, and customs that set the indigenous population apart from the others. The ethnic boundaries are not always clear, but by most definitions over half of the Guatemalan population still can be defined as ‘Indian,’ in spite of the official census figure of 43 percent (1964).” - pg. 28, GUATEMALA, North American Congress on Latin America, 1974 During the thirteen years I attended schools in Belize, from 1952 to 1965, I can recall just once coming across a reference to the Caste War in one of the many textbooks I was required to read. This reference was in a single sentence, and that reference left me with many questions in my mind. Just when it was that the Rt. Hon. George Price began referring to Belize’s Maya past and the Maya glory in his public speeches and conversations, I am not in a position to say. If I had to guess, I would say it must have been after the PUP won 18 out of 18 seats in March 1961 in the first national elections held here under a new Ministerial constitution. In 1961, Mr. Price was at the zenith of popular power, having survived expulsion from a London conference by the British in 1957 and a sedition arrest/trial by the said British in 1958. Apart from the fact that Mr. Price’s mother was of Maya extraction, exactly how much Mr. Price himself knew of the Maya it is hard to say. He never went beyond generalized references to the ancient Maya civilizations which existed in this territory before the British came. For my generation of “Baby Boomer” Creole students in British Honduras in the 1960s, then, we had no real idea of what Mr. Price was speaking when he spoke of the “Maya.” The only thing we were sure of in the capital city was that we ourselves were not Maya. Remember now, we were ignorant of the differences between Spaniards, Mestizos, and Maya. They were all a hodge-podge of people from the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts, and from San Pedro Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, whom we, in our ignorance, referred to as “Spanish.”

Banks Holdings, the Barbados-based company which bought into the Belize citrus industry in 2006, has confirmed that it is willing to consider an offer from the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) to resell the shares the Caribbean company now holds in the Belizean company, Citrus Products of Belize Limited, based in Pomona in the Stann Creek Valley. Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Banks Holdings, Richard Cozier, told Amandala today that Banks Holdings is a publicly traded company with investments in various parts of the Caribbean, and they would have to listen to what is being offered by CGA to see if it is in the best interest of Banks Holdings and its shareholders before making a decision to sell back the shares. As we reported in the weekend issue of Amandala, CGA sources have indicated that another Caribbean investor, with strong international ties, is interested in buying the CPBL shares. Cozier said that the 2006 investment agreement—under which CGA’s shares in CPBL, amounting to 46.58%, were sold to Banks Holdings despite strong opposition from some growers—had always been a bone of contention between the parties. Asked to describe the current status of relations between the two shareholders, Banks Holdings of Barbados on the one hand, and CGA of Belize on the other, Cozier recounted that there had been no issue between the parties for the first three to four years since the investment agreement was signed in late 2006, but when the leadership of CGA changed, to include persons who were publicly against the sale of shares to Banks Holdings, the entire relationship changed.


Medical Safety growing strong in Belize
The Belize Red Cross is pleased to announce the beginning of the Belize Red Cross Medical Safety website button initiative. We would like to thank Punta Gorda and San Pedro branches for being the first districts in Belize to launch this ongoing effort and Bandage International for coming to Belize to teach the first official Certified First Aid training course in the Red Cross Belize Medical Safety program. Businesses country-wide are stepping up to make Belize a safer place to visit by sending staff to the upcoming Certified First Aid / CPR Courses being held at the Parish Hall, Punta Gorda on November 12th and 13th and Nov 14th and 15th upstairs at El Divino Restaurant at Banana Beach Resort, San Pedro. The course will cover many areas of safety including the following topics: Heart attacks, asthma, stroke, diabetes, seizures, allergic reactions, water emergencies and pregnancy. Participants will also be trained in: Bandaging and splinting & new CPR guidelines. Those who successfully complete the two-day course will be able to recognize and treat the following injuries: Head and Spinal injuries, Chest and Abdominal injuries Extremity injuries and Soft Tissue injuries, Shock and Bleeding, Burns. Attendance is required for both days in order to receive a one year certification.

New Things Around Town: Restaurants, Stores and NEW Micro-Brewed Beer!
Yesterday I took a walk into town. There is usually some new business or a bit of action or exciting gossip to be found. Yesterday, I found all three. This post really is a "mash up" of topics but generally, this is how my days go. After a very rainy morning, things were looking up. Not perfect but not bad at all. All over Facebook there are gorgeous pictures of a full double rainbow and even a full triple rainbow and I missed the whole thing. Perhaps the best one I've seen is by Jose Luis Zapata Photography. Take a look. The Belize Yacht Club continues to put up new signs and get ready for new businesses. And the new creperie/bar on the beach with seating for about 1000. Not yet open for business but very very close. A bit of excitement. A woman was trying to enter the property to (as she said) "go to her home". She was with a small child and videotaping the whole time. Two BYC security guys were quite aggressively trying to keep her at bay. Apparently over the past few weeks, some long term renters have been vacated. From what I hear, owners cannot independently rent their units out anymore. Apparently this has caused some...ahhhh...complications. Not my business...time to move along. It's turkey time in San Pedro. Though Thanksgiving is not widely celebrated by Belizeans, Christmas time is turkey time. You'll see lots of businesses, fundraisers and vendors selling "turkey plates".

Funny Beliefs And Superstitions Of Belize
I should have named this post, funny beliefs and superstitions of OLD Belize since for one reason or the other, the younger generation of Belizeans aren’t as superstitious as the old generation. Actually, when you look at some of the beliefs that old people believed in, you can’t help but laugh at how ridiculous they sound. But mind you, I respect and understand why these superstitions played such a vital part of their lives. These beliefs were passed down from parent to child over several generations, and these stories were used as tools to keep their children at bay from too much mischief and even possible harm. The same goes for Belizean Folklore. Never sharpen your pencil on both sides, bad things will happen

International Sources

BSHS senior plans 5k to benefit children in Belize
Running is a big part of life for T.J. Kimbrough-French. The Bonner Springs High School senior, who just went to the cross country state tournament for his third straight year, wanted to use his love of running for his senior project. A little bit of planning brought it together with another passion, helping children, and morphed into this weekend’s “Keep It Moving, Brough” 5k run and walk, benefiting the Kidz Konnect 4 Jesus organization. Kimbrough-French said running has been a favorite sport since his childhood, so it was a natural choice of focus for his senior project. “When I first started out I was really good at it,” he said. “I always liked running and beating people when I was a kid, so I thought it would be perfect.” Choosing the beneficiary of a 5,000-meter run/walk also was easy: Kimbrough-French’s church is planning a mission trip in early 2013 to Belize through Kidz Konnect 4 Jesus, a nonprofit that provides food and school supplies for poverty-stricken children.

Caribbean fishers to benefit from Euro 117,956 project
November 6, 2012 - Thousands of fisherfolk from across the Caribbean are poised to benefit greatly from a unique and timely Euro 117,956 (US$150,000) project which will help them develop a more sustainable and professional industry, and improve their quality of life as well as the nutrition they obtain from seafood. The project, entitled Implementing the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy: Positioning and Engaging Fisher Folk Organizations, is to be undertaken through Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), which has recently been awarded a 12-month contract by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA). The agreement was signed by Milton Haughton, Executive Director of CRFM and Michael Hailu, CTA Director on 18 October 2012. Through the project, Caribbean fisherfolk will be continuously engaged with decision-makers, as they increase their participation in the formulation of key regional fisheries policies. The partner organizations, CRFM and CTA, have been working together in the support of the dynamic process initiated by fisherfolk groups to create a Caribbean Regional Network of Fisherfolk Organizations (CNFO), which was established in 2009. The direct beneficiaries of this new project will be the national fisherfolk organizations (NFOs).

Activist, social commentator Ron Mudd crosses over at 66
The city lost a unique creative talents nearly two weeks ago. Playwright, social commentator, videographer and filmmaker, Ronald “Ronnie” F. Mudd, departed this life on Saturday, Oct. 25. He was 66. Born on Oct. 19, 1946, Mudd, who spent much of his formative years between Fort Wayne and Ohio, had returned to the city in recent years after having spent time living in places such as Germany after a stint in military service, and in the Central American nation of Belize. Nellems said Mudd’s travels and unique life experiences helped shape his perspectives on the world and gave him deep insight. “He talked a lot about Belize where he learned about life and how to live a life where you didn’t have many resources,” she explained. “He was very resourceful.” Nellems said he also spoke often of how his aunt—the late Corrine Brooks, a noted Fort Wayne civil rights activist—was a primary influence in his life.

Travel Review: Caye Caulker
Formerly known as Cay Corker on early British maps, Caye Caulker is located one mile west of Belize Reef and is a a four mile long island, part of a chain of islands forming the Belize Barrier Reef. This small limestone coral island has a population of only 1,300 and boasts of having a relaxing atmosphere with white sand streets, golf carts for transportation, and a laid back casual dress code with shoes always being optional. Tourism started on the island in the 1970's and though small as the island is, tourism continues to be one of the islands thriving economic builders. Along with tourism the island has survived on fishing as its main income as well as scuba diving. The diving immediately around Caye Caulker is easily accessible where divers will enjoy the shallow dives and get to see a good variety of sea life and coral. Diving around Caye Caulker is spur-and-groove with some deep canyons, swim through, a variety of underwater caves and reef cuts. Visibility is terrific, often 150 feet or more and many of the dive sites are best for intermediate and advanced divers. Caye Caulker is also the shipbuilding and boat racing center of Belize; being famous for its tradition of ship building. This 'building' is a craft and skill that has been passed from generation to generation on the island and continues to be a major hobby for island inhabitants today. Also to be enjoyed are sailing, birding, jungle tours, and windsurfing in the clear azure waters of the Caribbean that surround the island. The local tour guides are happy to arrange jungle trips up the rivers of the mainland, where you will see orchids, bromeliads, cactus, a variety of birds, monkeys, bats and other wildlife. There are over 30 hotels, along with a variety of restaurants and shops, but Caye Caulker remains friendly and easy-going, avoiding the commercialism of other destinations.

Epic Belizean Inland Adventures
Cayo gets some more publicity with 3 extreme inland adventures. Ultralight flights, cave tubing - misspelled as cave tumbling - and jungle horseback riding are the main focus. Xunantunich and Chaa Creek get mentioned in the article too. "One of the most spectacular & accessible Mayan ruins in Belize is Xunantunich. This architectural wonder is set on a leveled hilltop and is reached by crossing the Mopan River on a hand-cranked ferry. The ruins are impressive when viewed from the ground but the sheer size and magnificence is not fully comprehended until seen from the sky. A bird’s eye view from a gliding ultralight is the best way to fully experience the wonder of the ancient Mayan Civilizations. There’s nothing like reaching a height of 3,000 feet when the pilot turns off the engine, and one gently glides over the ruins in absolute silence."

November 6, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Valid: Monday-Monday, Nov. 5- 12, 2012

An unstable northeasterly airflow coupled with a strengthening trough in the westerlies in the upper levels over the central Gulf of Mexico, will continue to induce outbreaks of showers and some moderate thunderstorms over Belize and coastal waters during the next 36 to 48 hours. A cold front will currently along the Gulf coast of the USA will become energized and will move southwards across the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday and Wednesday, reaching the NW Caribbean and Belize by Wednesday night.

The upper level trough will drift eastwards over the next 48 to 72 hours supporting the surface cold front in the Gulf of Mexico that is trailing a deepening low which will move NNE across the US East coast, battering the NE States that are just recovering from the impacts of hurricane Sandy.

No tropical cyclone is expected to form over or move into the Caribbean region during the next seven days.

Rainfall rates over Belize will be in the ranging from 0.75-1.50 inch on Tuesday and Wednesday in the heavier showers and thunderstorms induced by the pre-frontal trough forming over the NW Caribbean and Belize, especially along central and southern coastal waters and coastal areas, and also over the Stann Creek and Toledo districts. The daily rates will be in the range of 0.50-0.75 over other areas on Tuesday and Wednesday. Otherwise daily rainfall rates will be 0.10-0.25 over most districts on Sunday and Monday, reducing to less than 0.10 of-an-inch over most areas later on Thursday through Saturday. Daily rainfall accumulations will once again increase on Sunday and Monday to around 0.50-0.75 of-an-inch, but mostly over central coastal areas.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

The November 4th, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Cracking Down On Repeat Offenders: A San Ignacio man with prior burglary charges, aka “repeat offender” was today remanded to prison as he stands accused of brutally beating a Santa Elena man while burglarizing the man’s house. San Ignacio police reports that on Sunday, October 28, 2012, Moises Flores, 27, Belizean laborer of a Collins Boulevard address in San Ignacio reported that he was at home in bed at around 4:30 pm on the day in question when Anthony Moody, with a piece of cement block in his hand, stormed into his room and stoned him with the cement hitting him to the left side of the face.
  • A Second Repeat Offender: A second repeat offender brought before the court this week is remanded to jail. On Tuesday, October 23, 2012, at about 10:30 am, Rolando Gonzalez, Belizean businessman of Unitedville Village visited the police station in Georgeville where he reported that his business place, R.G Home Builders located in his home village was burglarized. Gonzalez told the police that the thief made off with his grey and black Acer brand lap top computer valued at $1,200.
  • Disappointed by BEL’s Actions: Many are the persons lining up at the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) office in San Ignacio all victims of what BEL calls a re-evaluation exercise. In my case, I received an October 5, letter from one Sherman S. Ferguson, BELCustomer Care Supervisor, informing of my “account not being billed the total monthly consumption for period January 7, 2011 to October 5, 2011. Therefore, your account has now been billed $1,284.40 for this period.” For BEL and probably even for Mr. Ferguson, $1,200 might seem like a small amount but for us poor people, this is a lot of money. I have, for all these months been paying my electricity bill in accordance with the numbers recorded by the BEL meter attached to my house.
  • Minister Montero and BWS Team Visit Work Site In Santa Elena: Minister of Works and Transport, Hon. Rene Montero and Belize Water Services Limited officials today visited the work site of the Santa Elena/San Ignacio Bypass Project. The BWS team included Chairman of the Board of Directors, Alberto August; Chief Executive Officer, Alvan Haynes and Technical Services Manager, Keith Hardwick. The first phase of the project, with an estimated cost of over five million dollars, is being executed by CISCO Construction Company. It includes the construction of a round-about at the junction of George Price Highway and La Loma Luz Boulevard along with the construction of the carriageway encompassing almost all of that section on the Santa Elena side of the new bridge
  • BDF Soldier Remanded: A Belize Defense Force soldier accused of behaving badly against the estranged wife was remanded to prison for over a month It was around mid-day on Sunday, October 28, 2012, when Joanna Pineda, 38, Belizean domestic residing in Santa Familia village visited the station in San Ignacio where she filed a formal report against the ex-husband, BDF soldier, Luis Pineda, 42, residing in Central Farm home of the BDF Camp Beilzario. The wife told the police that she has been separated from the soldier for over a year and that on the day in question he entered her house as a trespasser and threatened to kill her. She told the police that whilst inside her house the soldier snatched a picture frame from the wall, slammed it on the ground, picked up a piece of the shattered glass with which he inflicted several cut wounds to her left arm.
  • Argentina Voting Age Lowered From 18 To 16: Argentina's Congress has approved a law to lower the voting age to 16, in a move that will take effect for key mid-term elections next year. President Cristina Fernandez has courted the youth vote and critics say the change is designed to boost her party's chances in the 2013 polls. Supporters of the move say it will widen political participation. Voting is obligatory in Argentina for people aged 18 to 70, but will be optional for those aged 16 and 17. The long and bitter session saw deputies trade accusations and most of the opposition walk out before the measure was put to the vote.
  • Cristo Rey Villages Captures Burglar Suspect: Continuing with the Cayo spirit to return peace and safety of the residents of the Cayo and Belize.... On Wednesday, October 31, 2012, the residents of Cristo Rey Village came out in force when a burglary suspect was recognized as a suspect in the theft of a bicycle and a bicycle pump the day before and was also thought to be a burglar from Bullet Tree. This man made a mistake for himself by returning to the scene of the crime. The villagers networked by cell phone and set out on foot and in vehicles, including a motor cycle, to search for and capture the suspect. Herman Tut helped to coordinate the search effort. Neighborhood Watch officers notified other Cristo Rey residents to be on the alert for any suspicious person(s). The suspected thief must have sensed that a search for him was going on and attempted the flee the village by cab or foot before he was apprehended by the brave Cristo Rey Village search party.
  • Response to Belize Citrus Mutual: We reproduce below the requests the membership of CGA requested of the Government of Belize. These requests will benefit all growers including those of the Belize Citrus Mutual. We await Government’s response to our request namely to: - Issue a public statement after Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting explaining government’s position on the Alan Slusher email and clarifying once and for all government's policy and intention regarding the Citrus Growers Association, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, the Banana Growers Association, the Rice Growers Association and by extension any such Association like these that exist in our laws. - Until it is amended, ensure that the Citrus Processing and Production Act is adhered to so as to allow for the smooth operation of the industry.
  • St. Ignatius High School Proudly Represented Cayo In TIDE Festival: On Tuesday, October 13, 2012, St. Ignatius High School Participated in the Youth Conservation Competition hosted by TOLEDO INSTITUTE FOR DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENT (TIDE) at the Fr. Ring Parish Hall in Punta Gorda Town, Toledo. Under the theme “ The Value of Belize Barrier Reef.” 17 year old Annayelli Marin was the 4th year student who participated in the competition walking away as the second place winner. We were the only out district school and with just merely a week and a half before the competition. Food and Nutrition Teacher Ms. Flora Pereira received the information about the competition, she quickly identified one of the most talented fourth year students at the St. Ignatius Annayelli Marin and encouraged her to participate.
  • Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s Address Business Forum “Partnering for Growth”: Mr. Master of Ceremonies, Rev David Golf, Distinguished Members of the Business Community, Ministers of Government and Members of Cabinet, Chief Executive Officers and other Members of the Public Service Other Invited Guests, Representatives of the Media, Ladies and Gentlemen It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to this the second Business Forum, the purpose of which is to provide an opportunity for Government and the Private Business Sector in Belize to continue the open dialogue on ways to expand incomes, jobs and the level of business and economic activity generally. All this, of course, with a view to accelerate the social and economic development of our country, and to improve the quality of life of every resident of Belize. There have been changes since we met here last year, some clearly positive, others clearly undesirable.
  • Cuba Leader Raul Castro Says Cuba ‘hard hit’ by Sandy: Eleven people died and more than 188,000 homes were damaged as the storm passed over Cuba last week. President Raul Castro said Cuba’s second largest city, Santiago, looked like it had been bombed. He urged those affected not to lose hope and said that no one would be left destitute, but that the government would have to weigh up each case. “We’ll get over this, you’re fighting people, we’ve known that for more than fifty years,” he told residents of Santiago on a tour of the worst affected areas. “The reality is much worse than what you can see in the pictures or on TV,” President Castro said.
  • Back By Popular Demand “Teen Depression”, A Guide for Parents And Teachers: Teenage depression isn’t just bad moods and occasional melancholy— it’s a serious problem that impacts every aspect of a teen’s life. Teen depression can lead to problems at home and school, drug abuse, self-loathing—even violence or suicide. But as a concerned parent, teacher, or friend, there are many ways you can help. Talking about the problem and offering support can go a long way toward getting your teenager back on track. Understanding ForTeens If you’re a teenager struggling with depression or you’d like to learn how to help a depressed friend. There are as many misconceptions about teen depression as there are about teenagers in general. Yes, the teen years are tough, but most teens balance the requisite angst with good friendships, success in school or outside activities, and the development of a strong sense of self.
  • Guatemala Indigenous Leader ‘Escapes Street Attack’: An indigenous leader in Guatemala who is an outspoken critic of the government says he has escaped an attempted shooting. Mario Itzep of the National Indigenous Observatory said two men on a motorbike opened fire on him in Guatemala City. He said he had recently received anonymous telephone calls telling him that unless he stopped bothering the government he would regret it. Itzep said he was not injured in the incident.
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The San Pedro Sun

Ministry of National Security gets $150K equipment donation from US Government
The Ministry of National Security has received a new donation from the United States Government to help upgrade security at key locations. The donation includes three (3) Smith Detection X-Ray Inspection Systems (HI-SCAN 6040i, 6030di, 7555i) and two (2) Walk-Through Detectors (METOR 200/MELS 1812, at a total value of US $156,000. The handover took place this morning at the Sir Edney Cain Administration Building in Belmopan, which houses the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance and other Government offices. Handing over the equipment on behalf of the US Government was Deputy Chief of Mission, Margaret Hawthorne, and receiving them on behalf of the Ministry of National Security was Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security.

56 year old tourist searches for the “Secret to Humanity” in northern Ambergris Caye
Believe it or not, there are many people who still believe that the Maya civilization holds the secret to the future of humanity; buried beneath the ruins yet to be discovered. Well that is what led a man from San Bruno near San Francisco California, USA to Belize and even more specifically, to San Pedro Ambergris Caye – who consequently got lost for almost 24 hours in the jungle of northern Ambergris Caye following his “Indiana Jones” type story. Harold Joseph Wulff, claims that he has studied the Maya civilization for most part of his life. He claims that he believes that buried somewhere under the remains of the Maya ruins here on Ambergris Caye are the secret to the future of human kind. He supports his theory by stating that documents from historians and archaeologists point the secret place as being Ambergris Caye. He claims that there was once a powerful Maya Queen who documented that the secret to the future of humanity and the world was buried beneath a temple at a location that “is not mountainous, once belonged to mainland but had been cut off by the Maya… is now an island surrounding by beautiful waters and disconnected from the continent…” so then the man claims “that place is Ambergris Caye.” The 56 year old man flew in from USA, in search of clues that would lead him to the secret to “the future of humanity.” The man decided to travel to northern Ambergris Caye, with help of satellite images, to locate a mount that holds the buried secrets. The man further claimed that he saw the remains of the mount, fitting the description given by many historians and archaeologists. He claimed that the ruin is about 25 feet high covered by the overgrown trees but is untouched near a cenote.

ACES introduces new intern
My name is Joshua Pierce and I am the newest addition to the ACES/American Crocodile Education Sanctuary team. Prior to my involvement with ACES, I had spent my life working with and around wildlife. This includes some critters that most people seem to shy away from; large mammalian carnivores and venomous snakes to name a few. Working with ACES has helped to fulfill a lifelong dream – conserving crocodilians in a very direct and effective manner. Experiences thus far have enabled me to learn effective trapping techniques which serve to benefit conservation of these animals by not simply killing, but rather relocating them. At the same time, effective wrangling and handling methods have been taught to me focusing on safety for both myself and the animal; something that is paramount for the success of what we do. Outside of the hands on trapping, wrangling, and adrenaline pumping excitement I have learned something truly equally as exciting: how to successfully operate an NGO (non-government-organization) with a conservation goal.

Ambergris Today

A Stellar Performance by The Belize Dance Company
San Pedro gave the Belize Dance Company the standing ovation it deserved after the group presented their spectacular “Belize – Diverse Cultures and Rhythms” show which it performed in a Europe tour as part of the Festival du Sud this past summer. The presentation on the island took place at the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium on Saturday, November 3, 2012, and was made possible by a number of sponsors that helped the Dance Company to put on the performance which was a benefit concert for Miss Rosita Baltazar who was diagnosed with breast cancer and forced to cut short her participation with the Belize contingent in Europe.

Celebrating Los Finados (Day of the Dead) in San Pedro
On Thursday, November 1 and Friday, November 2, 2012, Island residents commemorated and remembered their deceased loved ones in a religious celebration known as Los Finados; a tradition that has been kept alive and passed on generation after generation honoring our beloved dead relatives. November 1st is celebrated as All Saints Day by Catholics worldwide. In San Pedro, this past Thursday, November 1, 2012, the San Pedro House of Culture, along with the San Pedro RC Church, held a rosary and blessing of the food that is placed on the altar. Children were dressed as little angels and prayers were done in celebration of eternal life of he loved ones who have died. The Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos) or All Souls Day is celebrated on November 2nd. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, flowers, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts.

Pic of the Week: Flying Over Lighthouse Reef Atoll Belize
Here's a look at the northern-most tip of the Lighthouse Reef Atoll off the coast of Belize City. Beautiful mangrove islands and coral formations create this one-of-a-kind marine habitat that make Belize so beautiful and special. Belize has three of four atolls found in the Western Hemispher. - Picture by Dorian Nuñez

How to Deal with Stress
Stress! Everybody, everyday… we all have stress. But not everybody knows how to deal with stress, so here are some ways to deal with stress. 1. Listen to music This is the one that is used the most. Just shut everything out and listen to music and after a while Bam! A lot of the stress is gone. Just don’t listen to hate music because you will get yourself more stressed. 2. Talk about it If you talk about your problems you get less stress. Just make sure to talk about your problems to someone trusted, but like really trusted; not like a friend you just met yesterday. Venting out your stress/frustrations with somebody else really helps you calm down and you never know when that other person can help you out to fix the problem that is stressing you out.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize going up against US NGO to defend right to harvest conch
Belize's conch industry is valued at BZD$10 million (US$5 million) annually but it could virtually be wiped out if the United States Congress institutes a widespread ban against the importation of the seafood delicacy. Currently, the United States purchases 95% of Belize's queen conch harvest, but in March of this year the WildEarth Guardians, a non-governmental organisation in Denver, Colorado petitioned the US 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.

VIDEO: Joshua Berman Travel Writer in Belize
A day in the life of a travel writer in Belize. Author of Moon Belize, Joshua Berman, shows a brief glimpse of what it takes to update a guidebook.

FEIN (Garifuna Bread)
8 cups flour 1/4 cup sugar 1 Tab salt 1/4 cup shortening (optional) 1 1/2 cups coconut milk 2 Tbsp Yeast 1 cup lukewarm water 1 Tbsp sugar Combine yeast, water and sugar. Stir well and let stand until yeast rises. Add sugar, salt, melted shortening and coconut milk to yeast mixture. Place flour in bowl, make a well in the center and add the above liquid. Stir mixture or work with hand until well blended. Turn on lightly floured surface; let rest for 5 minutes. Knead until smooth and elastic.

Chess Club at GPC
Today at the George Price Centre, the Belize National Youth Chess Association, will be starting up their chess club again. Ages 8 and older can sign up for all levels. Sign up is 4:00pm sharp. "The chess club at the George Price Center will be starting up again November 6th at 4:00 pm! Please let everyone know and see further details in the attached flyer."

MSME Information Session at Welcome Center
Tonight, Tuesday, November 6th, Beltraide, the DFC, and the SISE Town Council will be having a Business Support Information Session for MSMEs. It'll be at the new Cayo Welcome Center, and start at 7:30.

Xunantunich Ferry Review
Funny news of the day. It seems like there are some minor design flaws in the new Xunantunich ferry. 4 vehicles can fit on it though. "So as I was crossing the ferry with a 2012 Toyota High Roof Hi Ace van the lip of the van scratched the ferry and as I made my way into it the butt of the van scratched on the pavement of the hill. We, me and the other van merely crossed the river. On the other side is also another matter I directed the other van to move first and he did. As it was moving off the back tires pushed the ferry away form the bank. the ferry man cranked it back to the edge and I was then given the go ahead to cross."

Cayo Birth Registration Campaign
This week, all around Cayo, they will be distributing birth certificates and doing birth registration. Check out the schedule to see when they'll be in your village. The cost is only $3.00. Make every child count!

Youth Week Basketball Tournament
It's Youth Week, and the Department of Youth Services in Benque is having an under 18 basketball tournament for west Cayo youth. They'll be having it each evening this week at Deacon's court. Contact Jimmy Leslie at 633-5050 for more information. Good luck, and happy Youth Week! It's here the long awaited U-18 Basketball Tourney for youths living in Benque Viejo or Cayo West! Starting Monday November 5 to Friday 9, 2012 All games are to take place at Deacon's Basketball Court from 6:00 p.m. onwards. Note: 1. Ten players per team! 2. All players must be able to present proof of age, if requested. 3. The overall winning team receives a trophy! 4. All games are to be played under FIBA rules

Channel 7

Mother of Two Killed In Gang War
Tonight, the city is recovering from another senseless killing - this time the victim is a woman. 27 year old Gayle Escarpeta was a working woman and a mother - but early on Saturday morning, she was caught in the crossfire of a gang war. How did it happen? Monica Bodden found out more:... Monica Bodden reporting 27 year old Gayle Escarpeta - an employee of Youth For the Future -was shot and killed early Saturday morning - It happened a little after 2:30am - while Escarpeta was travelling in a white Mazda Tribute along with her boyfriend. Their vehicle came under attack by 4 gunmen in a green car. Escarpeta was shot three times - two to the right arm and one to the right armpit. She was rushed to the KHMH by her boyfriend but was pronounced dead on arrival. Raphael Martinez - Police Press Officer "On Saturday 3rd November at approximately 3:00 in the afternoon police visited the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital where they say the body of 27 year old Gayle Escarpeta, computer program assistant at Youth for the Future and a resident of 7657 Price Street in the Faber's Road area in Belize City was seen with 3 apparent gunshot wounds; two to the right arm and one to the right arm pit."

Crime-Ridden Area Not Demarcated Yet
The streets where that murder took place on West Canal is a hotbed for gang activity and had seen the fairly constant presence of a round the clock police patrol for years. But, it wasn't there on Saturday morning, - and that could be because police have been implementing their new strategy to re-deploy resources and swarm certain gang infested neighborhoods. It's a new strategy that was announced and implemented on Saturday but today we found out that the so called "Crime-ridden" areas have not been officially demarcated yet. So, right now police are just using their regular powers - but with additional manpower. CEO in the Ministry of National Security George Lovell explained:.. George Lovell - CEO - Ministry of National Security "The police department does have the authority to go into certain areas and do certain searches base on the laws that governs the police department and that is what they are currently using. When we have the areas identify as crime ridden areas - we find out that we have up until 30 days in which for us to be able to enforce the requirement of that act. I do know that we were in the PIV area; we were in the area known as back-a-town which is that area behind Berger Field. We were there yesterday and there are other areas that we will be in today."

Man Charged For Shooting Construction Foreman
Last week, 7News told you about the 43 year-old David Myvette, the employee of Maheia's United who was murdered on Electric Avenue while he was doing construction works on the street. Well tonight, 27 year-old Leon Yorke, a resident of Berry Street, is at prison after he was taken to court on the charge of murder. As we reported, at around 9:50 a.m. on October 31, Myvette was along with his co-workers on the corner of Electric and Lawrence Avenues, and they were laying down concrete on a section of the street. That's when 2 men arrived on separate bicycles, and one of the men pulled out a firearm and fired 12 shots at Myvette. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds, and died shortly after at the hospital. Police say that the man who pulled the trigger was Yorke, and he was charged with murder and escaping from lawful custody. He was arraigned before the Chief Magistrate today, where he explained that police ambushed him with this murder charge, and he had to escape to alert his family that he had been detained and charged.

Police Crackdown Produces Police Radio In Gang Turf
Earlier you heard the CEO in the Ministry of National Security detail that the PIV area was one of those they cracked down on - and that was visible at court today. Tonight, 5 people from the PIV area are facing charges after police found them with a police radio on Saturday. According to police, they conducted a search at the residence of #628 Lavender Street. Present at the time were 25 year-old Emmeth "Dada Dee" Baptist; his 50 year-old Mother, Raquel Baptist; his brother, 27 year-old Linval Baptist; 27 year-old Giovannie Smith; and 17 year-old Minor. The officers found a Motorola brand police radios on the TV stand, and as a result, all 5 persons were charged with possession of a communication apparatus without a license. They were arraigned before Magistrate Dale Cayetano today, where Emmeth Baptist attempted to plea guilty to the charge. He explained that he found the radio in front of the C B Hyde building on Administration Drive. He explained that he intended to sell it to a security firm.

Teenaged Female Sent To Jail For Weed
18 year-old Jaslyn Cadle, a resident of Supal Street is staring down a 3-year sentence after she was convicted of drug trafficking in Magistrate's Court. According the Gang Supression Unit, at around 6:25 p.m. on Saturday, they were on mobile patrol on Newtown Barracks, when they saw Cadle standing in front of the gate that the MCC Grounds with a knapsack. The officers decided to conduct a search on her, and they discovered 159 grams or 5.6 ounces of cannabis in the knapsack, and $195 in cash in her pocket. As a result, the officers charged her with drug trafficking, and she was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. She pleaded guilty to the charge, and she was sentenced to pay the mandatory fine of $10,000. She was ordered to pay $2,000 of that fine forthwith, or she would have to spend 2 years in prison. She must pay the entire fine by December 31, 2013, or she will spend 3 years in prison for it.

Man Gets 3 Years for Stealing Three Cheese Packs
58 year-old Henry Hulse, a resident of Barrack Road, is spending the first night of a 3 ½ year sentence, after he was convicted of stealing three packs of cheese in Magistrate's Court today. According to police, at around 10:20 a.m. yesterday, Hulse was seen inside Save U Supermarket, and he was caught shoplifting 3 packs of Cracker Barrel cheese, which amounted to a total value of $27 dollars. And after he walked out of the store without paying, the security guard detained him, searched him, and found the cheese in his pocket. The security guard called the police, who arrested Hulse, and charged him with theft. He pleaded guilty to the charge when he was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today, and he explained that he stole the cheese because he was hungry. As a result, he was sentenced to spend 18 months in prison, but it was discovered that he owed the court, for which he must now spend 2 years because he defaulted on payment.

Protecting the Principal: X-Ray Machines For Public Bldgs.
Since 9/11 - the US Government has become one of the most security conscious Governments in the world. And now they are bringing a part of that to Belize. The US Government today donated three X-Ray machines to the government. They're the kind you'd usually find at the airport - but one of these will be at the seat of power in the Sir Edney Cain building. Another will be at the CB Hyde building in Belize City and the last at the Kolbe Central Prison in Hattieville. These were handed over today - along with a pair of walk through metal detectors. The US Deputy Chief Of Mission, Nini Hawthorne says security is an increasingly relevant priority: Nini Hawthorne, Deputy Chief of Mission - US Embassy "Protecting our facilities is a key component of the United States Government operations just as it is important to the government of Belize. When we protect our facilities, we protect the people inside them. In fact we have an entire bureau within the State Department that focuses on this critical area. As recent tragic events in Libya have demonstrated protecting government buildings and facilities must remain a top priority in an increasingly unpredictable world. We know that Belize is everybody's concern about protecting the leaders who guide and serves citizens. The security of these leaders starts in places where they work and where they live. To do their effectively they need to know and feel that they are safe and secure from people who may want to harm them.

UNO Unhappy, Sol Gloomy
PUMA Energy took over from Esso Belize in the middle of this year - and now the company is changing the terms under which it does business with fuel wholesalers, UNO and SOL. PUMA presently imports and stores all the fuel that comes into the country - and then sells this to the wholesalers, who in turn sell it to their branded fuel stations. In the past, ESSO would give the wholesalers 15 days of credit. But now PUMA is changing it to ten days. It might not sound like that big a deal, but when you're dealing with thousands of gallons of fuel - that change can consequentially affect a company's cash flow. And that's just what UNO's Local Finance Officer told us 11 days ago. Andrea Eiley, Local Finance Officer "Well it will affect our cash flow and so right now what we are doing is the credit analysis to see how we could negotiate with them and come to a common ground because it hasn't been finalized as yet. But it does affect out cash flow."

More Cases to Court Since Crackdown
On average, every Monday, there are about 10 new matters which are lodged at the Magistrate's Court for defendants facing charges. That number may go up to as much as 15 if there is a spike in crime. Today, after one weekend of the crime crackdown, there were 22 persons who were brought before the court to be arraigned. Along with the cases we reported on earlier in the newscast, there were 3 persons charged with harm, 7 persons for drug possession, one for assaulting a police officer, and another for conspiracy to commit burglary. There was even one person who was charged with a nuisance charge drinking alcohol in public, and worse, one man charged with riding a bicycle without a bell. The spike in cases is attributable to the recent police crackdown in crime hotspots.

Schakron's Businesses in Disarray
2 weeks ago, 7News told you about the execution style killing of the well-known, well established businessman, 51 year-old Alfred Shakron. Well tonight, we note that 2 of his business have temporary closed. According to an advertisement in the November 4, 2012 issue of the Amandala Newspaper, the JEC and Mega Bingo businesses will be closed until further notice. The advertisement notes that the pawn customers will be given a free month, and begs the patience of the public during the family's time of mourning.

Youths Look for A Crime Solution
We've shown you earlier in the newscast what the Government of Belize is trying to do to curb the crime in Belize City. We now turn to a fledgling organization, which decided to make an effort to try to help with the situation. This organization calls itself the Youth Against Violence, and it an has been established in several Central American Countries. The Belizean chapter of the Youth Against Violence was officially introduced to the media on Saturday morning, and 7News stopped by. Here's what we found about their perspective on crime, which mostly affects young people who are in their age range: Cordelia Belizaire, Youth Against Violence - Belize "In 2012 Belize the 5th dangerous country in Central America with a homicide rate of 39 persons per every 100,000 inhabitants. This simply means that every day someone will lose their life due to violence. That person could be a relative, a friend, a brother, a sister, the person at the grocery store, the food vendor you frequently patronize but it could be someone you know." "Belizeans we are not alone in our fight. we are joined by the Central American youth movements and we are all aiming towards creating a safe Central American region."

Channel 5

Gayle Escarpeta, Youth for the Future employee, murdered
Last week the security forces were expected to increase its presence on the streets and to implement a lockdown on crime ridden areas in the city. The move has not been implemented as yet and despite additional police presence in hot zones, a woman in her twenties was murdered. She was an employee of the [...]

Crime Ridden Areas will come into effect after being gazette
Escarpeta was killed on George Street—considered a very hot spot of the City. Most observers would have expected George Street to fall into the Crime Ridden Area designation that the Ministry of National Security said came into effect on Thursday of last week. Well, we can confirm that the designation of crime ridden areas must [...]

Will honest citizens be affected for living in crime zone?
C.E.O. Lovell was keen on not mentioning which areas might fall into the designation of crime ridden areas; but he did mention a few areas where regular police drug searches took place over the weekend. Crime affects the entire city and areas where productive and honest citizens live and they too may fall into the [...]

GSU busts 2 women with illegal drugs
A pair of Belize City women are in the news tonight following charges of drug trafficking.  In separate incidents, personnel from the Gang Suppression Unit conducted stop and search operations on eighteen year old Joslyn Cadle and thirty-one year old Tanise Smith and netted several quantities of cannabis.  On Saturday, whilst on Newtown Barracks, Cadle, [...]

Woman alleges botched delivery at Northern Regional
News Five has been informed of several women who have alleged that they or their newborn developed complications while being treated at the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk. At least one mother has forwarded her case to the Belize Medical and Dental Association hoping that the organization of doctors could help find a solution. [...]

Medical and Dental Association concerned about Northern Regional Hospital
The several women who have alleged malpractice at the Northern regional Hospital wrote to the Belize Medical and Dental Association expressing their discontent and asking for a full investigation into their unfortunate experiences. But the BMDA does not have the power to effect any change; but it is in fact, the Medical Council headed by [...]

U.S. donated x-ray machine to protect office of the P.M. and Kolbe
The Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) has been one outlet through which the United States has assisted Belize’s security forces with equipment worth millions of dollars to protect our borders, whether on land or sea. Today the U.S. Embassy handed over some more equipment to aid in security at the Kolbe Prison, the Charles [...]

Yorke arraigned for Electric Avenue murder
In court today, the murder case of forty-three year old David Myvette was heard.  Myvette was callously murdered on Electric Avenue last Wednesday while working on the job. And today, twenty-seven year old Berry Street resident, Leon Yorke was arraigned for his murder. Yorke appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith and he was charged. [...]

Stealing from the Police Commissioner’s farm
Crime seems to have no bounds and over the weekend, the Commissioner of Police was targeted by a robber. According to reports, sometime around nine a.m. on Saturday, November third, David Henderson reported to police that on that same seventy-nine plantains were stolen from his farm. And today, Santana villager, Lincoln Kent Crawford, appeared before [...]

Youth Week celebrated at Youth for the Future
Youth Week 2012 officially commenced on Sunday with an interdenominational mass held in Belmopan.  Activities in Belize City have been dampened by the untimely death of Gayle Escarpeta, who was instrumental in organizing the weeklong festivities.  Despite the somber mood, an open day was held today at the organization’s headquarters where primary and secondary school [...]

Make your own comic book
There are many ways that youths can keep out of trouble and that includes joining groups such as the YWCA, YMCA and the boys and girls scouts. But arts are also another way in which youths can channel their energy. Last week a team of comic book creators came to Belize to show our youths [...]

2 Orange Walk teens missing
A pair of students, one from Muffles High School and another from Muffles Junior College, has been reported missing by Orange Walk police.  Fifty year old Zacarias Copo reported to police that on Friday his thirteen year old daughter, Ami Lore Copo, left their residence on Burns Street in Orange Walk Town at six-forty a.m. [...]

A workshop to protect cultural heritage
It can be argued that cultures are the psychological DNA of a people. The unique strands of dance, folklore, traditions and even speech bind people within a national framework. That is why the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is attempting to sensitize Belizeans about the UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage Convention which was launched [...]

Red Cross says Cuba battered by Hurricane Sandy
Hurricane Sandy tore through Cuba last week causing severe damage to infrastructure and crops; sixty percent of the population has been affected and over one hundred and thirty thousand families experienced disrepair to their homes. Substantial relief support is needed for Cuba and the Belize Red Cross is launching a relief appeal to assist its [...]

Amazing weekend sporting highlights with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is sports Monday.   Week 10 of the PLB Season saw a monster showdown inside the Isidiro Beaton Stadium on Saturday night as Police United played host to their arch-rivals Placencia Assassins as both teams looked to rebound after both suffered losses on the last schedule. Indeed it [...]


Five Charged for Possession of Police Radio
Five persons were charged with possession of a police hand held radio for which they did not have a license, when they appeared in court today. They are 50 year old Raquel Baptist, her sons 25 year old Emmet Baptist and 27 year old Linval Baptist, 27 year old Giovanni Smith and a 17 ye...

Teenager Fined 10k for Drug Trafficking
Eighteen year old Jaslyn Cadle, an unemployed of Supal Street charged with drug trafficking for 159 grams of cannabis, was fined 10 thousand dollars today by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith after she pled guilty to the charge. Chief Magistrate Smith ordered her to pay $2,000.00 forthw...

Belize City Man Imprisoned for Stealing Cheese
Fifty-eight year old Henry Hulse, a salesman of 78 Barrack Road who stole three packs of Cracker Barrel cheese from Save-U supermarket, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment today after he pled guilty to the charge. Hulse will have to serve an additional two years because he owes cou...

Belize City Man Charged with Murder
Twenty-seven year old Leon Yorke, a resident of Berry Street, was charged with the murder of David Myvett when he appeared in Court today. Yorke was also charged with escape. According to the allegation, Yorke shot and killed Myvett on Electric Avenue on November 1. Yorke reporte...

Estereo Amor DJ Stabbed
A part time radio announcer was reportedly stabbed and robbed. Estereo Amor announcer, Rusel Marin, reported to police that shortly after ten on Saturday night he was walking through the BSI field when three youths riding bicycles attacked him and demanded money. Marin said...

Orange Walk Police Investigate Attempted Rape
Orange Walk police are investigating two incidents that took place over the weekend. A woman from the Petville area in the outskirts of Orange Walk Town reported that a man attacked her allegedly with the intention to rape her. According to the 50 year-old woman, at around ...

DAVCO Holds AGM in Cayo
The seventh annual general meeting of the Cayo District Association of Village Council was held today at the University of Belize Central Farm Campus. The AGM was called by the Chair person of DAVCO Mrs. Idolyn Adolphus and Rural Development officer Orlando Jiminez. Pre...


Miss Garifuna pageant is held at the Bliss
The celebration of Garifuna Settlement Day is still two weeks away; but preparations are already in full swing. Tonight, the Miss Garifuna Belize cultural pageant takes center stage at the Bliss Center for the performing Arts. Fidelis Mejia is the Secretary of the Dangriga Branch of the National Garifuna Council. The theme for this year’s Garifuna Settlement Day is: “We keep going forward with the Power of God and the Ancestors.”

Youth Against Crime was launch at the Radisson
There is a call for young people in Belize to unite against crime. Youths between the ages of thirteen and thirty are being invited to the Radisson Hotel tomorrow for the public launch of what is being called Youths Against Crime Belize. Three of the movers behind the formulation of the group stopped by our studios today to pitch the idea. Tomorrow launch of Youths Against Violence Belize will be held in the Caracol Room at the Radisson Hotel. During a scheduled press conference at eleven o’clock, a short video depicting the work of the group in other Central American countries will be shown.

A donation was made to Children’s Home and YMCA
The Belize Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, BELAIFA, this morning donated food items to the Liberty Children’s Home and the YMCA feeding programs. President of the Association Tessa Usher told us how they came up with the items. Director of Liberty Children’s Home Delfina Mitchell says the donation could not have come at a better time. Ronald Reynolds is the Program Coordinator at the YMCA and he says they are grateful for the contribution. Reynolds says last year’s donation helped not only their feeding program but also their after school program as well as some needy families they helped out.

PG hospital gets renovated
A renovation project on the pediatric ward is completed at the Punta Gorda Hospital. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

The National AIDS Commission released PASMOD
The findings of a survey to determine male sexuality, and particularly, what defines a real man have been revealed. The survey, conducted by the Pan American Social Marketing Organization, PASMO, was released today by the National AIDS Commission. The findings are the views of what women think constitutes a man, not only in Belize, but the Central American region. Isolda Fortin who conducted the research for PASMO, shared those findings with us. The Study provided information on gender relations, concepts of masculinities and HIV prevention.


Marcia Ortega reacts to her sister's murder
27 year old Gayle Escarpeta, a Computer program assistant at Youth for the Future and resident of the Faber’s Road ...

US Donates over US $150 Thousand Worth of Equipment to Ministry of National Security
A new walk through metal detector and x-ray machine has been installed at the Sir Edney Cain building. The equipmen...

PM in US for super-bond negotiations
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left for the US over the weekend . He along with the super-bond negotiating team is sche...

Home invaders wear Halloween masks
A Chinese businessman got a real Halloween scare. 47 year old Kim Lun Chee, a naturalized Belizean Businessman of H...

Cayo businesses report counterfeit 50 dollar bills
A number of businesses within San Ignacio and Santa Elena have found themselves with fake $50 bills. Between the 2n...

Child Development Foundation hosts "Morality Matters" seminar on child abuse
A two nights Morality Matters Seminar starts tonight (NOV 5) at the Step of Faith church. It is being hosted by the...

"Rise and Shine" telethon raises just over 56 thousand dollars.
PlusTV hosted an appreciation day on Saturday November 3rd in the form of a telethon. The purpose was to raise fund...

Christian recording artist Nicole C Mullen ministers in Belmopan
Worshipers who attended a special church event at the Jaguar Auditorium on Sunday morning were in for a really grea...

Orange Walk Police arrest three persons for firearm offences
Orange Walk Police arrest three persons for firearm offences. On Thursday Police executed a Search Warrant at a hou...

Belmopan Police arrest two persons for firearm offences
Belmopan Police arrest two persons for firearm offences. On Friday morning at 4:30am, Police conducted a house sear...

Thieves net items worth $54,500 from Ladyville home.
Ladyville police are investigating an expensive burglary. Gareth Morey, a Program Coordinator for Government of Bel...

Two female students missing from Orange Walk
Orange Walk Police see the public's assistance in locating two missing persons. On Friday at 11:16am, Marleta Jacob...


Beauty of nature right outside our windows
I'm sure our regular readers have noticed that things have been kinda slow here on the blog lately. 'Tis true. With Barry partially out of commission with a pinched nerve in his upper back, he can't even ride his bike without a lot of pain, so we haven't been traveling, going out, or doing many interesting things of late. Hard to believe, but it's been six weeks since his injury. He's improved somewhat, but it's very slow going. I considered putting the blog on hiatus for awhile, but I decided that an occasional post was better than none at all. One thing we have been doing lately is taking photos of the stunningly beautiful scenery right outside our windows, mostly around sunset or moonrise time, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite photographs taken in the past week or so. I hope you enjoy them. Afterglow Afterglow peacefulness Egret at dusk Full moon rising Unfortunately, ugly plastic washes up among the sargassum in certain weather conditions. Ruddy Turnstones on the dock while storms brew beyond the reef Coastal Express water taxi loaded down with passengers Approaching storms

A Little Rain and A Lot of Sand Flies
After a week or more of perfect, GORGEOUS weather, the clouds have moved in bringing with them very heavy night time rains. Pools are back at their rims and cisterns are over flowing. Yesterday afternoon was very pretty but you could see those dark clouds lurking all day. Here is the view this morning...from the other side. I'm still thinking sun later this morning. I have no problem with the weather. In fact, I am loving it. Cool at night, it dipped into the mid-70s last night and I was double wrapped in blankets. "Baby making weather" some Belizeans like to call it. What I am not enjoying is the sand flies. Tiny little insects about the size of a pin head, these miniature flies live to annoy. Mosquitoes, I can respect for a few reasons. 1. They respect my bug repellent. If you don't forget to spritz yourself thoroughly before leaving the house in the evening, you can return bite free. I enjoy a bug that plays by the rules. 2. They are biting you for a reason. A poor mosquito mama is just trying to nurse her mosquitolings on your blood (or something like that). 3. They are pretty easy and satisfying to kill. They warn you that they are coming by buzzing, they linger a bit too long while biting. They give you a shot. Sand flies, no-see-ums, midges, sand fleas don't play by any of these rules. They could care less about my Off! Spray and you can hardly see them. There is a long list of remedies that people swear oil being top of the list. But it doesn't seem to work for me. All you feel is a pinprick little bite on your ankles. Always the ankles... But it is certainly not the end of the world. They only bother me a few days out of the year. Most hotels rake their sand daily and that cuts the number down seriously. And they leave no lasting bump on me. If this is the worst the tropics have to offer bug-wise, it's not that bad at all. A week by the lake in upstate NY leaves me much more itchy. I'm sure many have had different experiences. If you have a great remedy/repellent or even a horror story, definitely let me know. I'm sure many people would like to hear...

Fried Potato Wedges
I love French fries, but could never get them to be crispy. These fried potato wedges are awesome because they are crunchy and crispy, but still thick enough to satisfy.

International Sources

Tourism in Central America Up 7% This Year, Best in Americas
According to the U.N. World Tourism Organization, international tourism in Central America is up 7% this year (through August). That's the biggest increase in the Americas, ahead of the increase in South America (up 6%), the Caribbean (up 5%) and North America (Mexico, the U.S. and Canada, up 3%) International tourist arrivals grew by 4% between January and August 2012 compared to the same period of 2011 according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. The resilience of international tourism in a continuing uncertain economy is further confirmed by the positive data on tourism earnings and expenditure. The number of international tourists worldwide grew by 4% between January and August 2012 compared to the same eight months of 2011 (28 million more). With a record 705 million tourists up to August 2012, UNWTO remains confident that one billion international tourists will have travelled the world by the end of the year. “This growth is a very positive result in view of the global economic situation. We must remain cautious, however, as we have also observed some weaker months during the year, a trend that might return in the remainder of the year,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

Fox News Picks Belize’s Best Eco Resorts
Two Belizean eco resorts highlighted in a recent Fox News feature listing Belize’s most ecofriendly tourism destinations are partners in affordable all-inclusive “Rainforest to Reef” Belize vacation packages and this means that guests are able to experience Belize’s lush inland rainforests and the Caribbean coast with two of “Belize’s very best”, according to Larry Waight, The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s marketing administrator. In a feature titled “Eco-Friendly Stays in Belize” Fox news highlighted Chaa Creek, which is situated in a private 365 acre rainforest nature reserve in inland Belize, and Chabil Mar, which is located on the Belize’s Caribbean Coast. “We were happy to see Chaa Creek picked as one of Fox News’s best ecofriendly resorts, and then, I noticed that our good friends and partners in two all-inclusive Belize vacation packages, Chabil Mar, were also on the list,” Mr Waight said. “What that means for our guests is that when you book one of those packages, you can rest assured that you’re getting the best, most eco-friendly inland and Caribbean beach resorts. “It makes people confident that they are getting the best of the best while doing the right thing for the environment,” he added. The Fox news feature article said that, “Chaa Creek, one of Belize’s first eco-lodges, has evolved from its humble beginnings as a working farm to become a premier luxury retreat. This sophisticated operation includes rustic-luxe, thatched-roof cottages, wonderful service, and modern amenities such as an infinity pool with jungle views and a full-service spa.

November 5, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Valid: Monday-Monday, Nov. 5- 12, 2012

An unstable northeasterly airflow coupled with a strengthening trough in the westerlies in the upper levels over the central Gulf of Mexico, will continue to induce outbreaks of showers and some moderate thunderstorms over Belize and coastal waters during the next 36 to 48 hours. A cold front will currently along the Gulf coast of the USA will become energized and will move southwards across the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday and Wednesday, reaching the NW Caribbean and Belize by Wednesday night.

The upper level trough will drift eastwards over the next 48 to 72 hours supporting the surface cold front in the Gulf of Mexico that is trailing a deepening low which will move NNE across the US East coast, battering the NE States that are just recovering from the impacts of hurricane Sandy.

No tropical cyclone is expected to form over or move into the Caribbean region during the next seven days.

Rainfall rates over Belize will be in the ranging from 0.75-1.50 inch on Tuesday and Wednesday in the heavier showers and thunderstorms induced by the pre-frontal trough forming over the NW Caribbean and Belize, especially along central and southern coastal waters and coastal areas, and also over the Stann Creek and Toledo districts. The daily rates will be in the range of 0.50-0.75 over other areas on Tuesday and Wednesday. Otherwise daily rainfall rates will be 0.10-0.25 over most districts on Sunday and Monday, reducing to less than 0.10 of-an-inch over most areas later on Thursday through Saturday. Daily rainfall accumulations will once again increase on Sunday and Monday to around 0.50-0.75 of-an-inch, but mostly over central coastal areas.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

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

The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: Tattoo of Love
A young woman's boyfriend put a tattoo of her face on his chest. Now he wants her to get a reciprocal tattoo...what does the doctor recommend?

Editorial: Your children will become what you are; so be what you want them to be
Parenting is the most important lifetime responsibility a person will ever have, and mistakes can have lifelong consequences. Sometimes the first parental mistake made is the pregnancy itself. When a young person irresponsibly conceives an unplanned pregnancy, it is hard to say what came first, the chicken or the egg? Where was the parent of this sexually active child when he/she was busy making babies? Was the child taught to be sexually responsible? Was the parent even aware of what was going on? Now, the child is blessed with the responsibility of not only being a parent, but an adult. Maturity plays a huge factor in this life altering role, and often young parents are not emotionally equipped to handle the responsibilities that come with raising a baby. Often, the parent who didn’t notice their child was busy having sex are now tasked with the responsibility of raising a grandbaby while their teenager is trying to grow up….or not. So what does it mean to be a parent? A parent is responsible for supporting his/her child – period. It does not matter that parents are not married, didn’t intend to become pregnant, are underage, are still in school or have other financial obligations. Being a parent is fun yet demanding, rewarding yet expensive, and difficult. As a parent, have you planned ahead for the future of your family? Do you really understand and embrace the consequences of becoming a parent? When it rains in Belize some refer to it as “baby making weather”. Do you really have to make a baby? Why not just practice? There is such a thing as “planned parenthood”.

Wolfe’s Woofer: Accident
Woofer takes a pun-ny turn with Dale, Susannah, Ali Baba '$15 Chiken' and a golf cart accident.

Misc Belizean Sources

SHC Fair pictures
Sacred Heart College has quite a few pictures from their annual pair and business expo. They have pictures from their parade through Cayo too.

Trekstop and Tropical Wings
Pictures of the Trek Stop and their butterfly farm, Tropical Wings. Tino and his family are great, and will take good care of you. It's a great butterfly farm to check out if one is visiting Xunantunich since they are both located in Succotz.


Friday morning Island Style coffee break
We both decided beach time was in order yesterday Friday morning and as luck would have it, Dick ad I had the same errand of getting some important papers printed. So we headed south down our favorite back road and wound our way towards the closest printer option, La Isla Bonita internet and crossed that off our high priority list. I was feeling very TGIF and officially on Belize time, Dick called it that we needed to get sidetracked at El Divino for chicken nachos. I went the extra mile towards kicking back and relaxing with a Cape Codder or two While there we got to check out progress on the new lounge area, an idea that has been long tossed around and is finally coming to fruition. It is situated where Monkey business tours used to be with new entrance from the bar. Dick and I both agreed the Martini lounge addition is definitely going to be a lot of peoples’ new favorite hangout. I will add a picture of the relocated tours area soon which is now in the cute white building with a terracotta roof and a colorful sign on the right side of the front drive, perfect spot. After our snack, we hit the beach for some dock time and boat watching. I could not think of a better way to do chill time, the weather was perfect and the clouds kept us comfortably shaded.

ANOTHER Afternoon Sailing on the Rum Punch II
Perhaps you are a bit sick of hearing about sailing on the Rum Punch II...but I'm never sick of sailing on it. So here are a few pictures of our afternoon sail this week... Conch season is open and the guys found 4 good sized ones. Spear fishing is not my thing at all but some seem to enjoy lancing a poor defenseless fishy. While others like cherry bombs at the Palapa Bar... A gorgeous night. Good times. And Happy Birthday Rob.

Winter Solstice: A Time to Celebrate
I have learned that if we open ourselves to the world around us, we can learn so much about everything. Day to day things, history, geography, people, family, emotions, even ourselves. Unfortunately, too many of us get caught up in a life of running ourselves into the ground, collecting possessions and never stopping to smell the roses. Or enjoy time with our kids. Or make family a priority. Or see our friends often enough. Thankfully, I have learned that there is a different way. I wish I’d have learned it when I was so much younger. We sold our home and all the “things” (possessions, taxes, wasted time due to upkeep) that went with it. In summer, we now camp in a small trailer, enjoying nature, healthy food, walking and catching up with family and friends. In winter, we escape the Canadian snow and cold by heading south, learning as we go, meeting amazingly friendly people and experiencing life, places and people through simplicity and open eyes. For two years, my husband, Paul, and I have gone to Arizona, enjoying the “Old West” history and present day preservation of the “Old West”...

What the Maya calendar really tells us about 2012
This really shouldn't be that hard of an essay to write, considering we are anxiously counting the days until our trip in December to visit Belize including San Ignacio and Xunantunich. The Maya have fascinated me since my first encounter with the movie, Apocalypto (as true or not as it might be). Since then, my family vacationed in Tulum, Mexico and my captivation grew as we explored Chichen Itza in the Yucatan. While my partner vacation in Belize before he met me, I am a first-time visitor. We cannot wait to ride a horse for the first time, get lost in the lush, tropical jungle trails, canoe down the Macal river, visit the butterfly farm and lounge by the pool. As if Maya culture, history and tradition are not reason enough to inspire 300 words of prose regarding our genuine enthusiasm for Chaa Creeks planned activities including interactive workshops, seminars, lessons on Maya farming, arts & crafts, Maya medicine and holistic healing, Ive managed to put off writing this for the better part of three weeks because I was looking for that extra spark to inspire me. Well, I found it. Last week, Tuesday, October 23, out of the blue (no pun intended), my boyfriend of 2 ½ years PROPOSED! Already eager to take in the sights of Belize and experience this once in a lifetime adventure, now, our trip to celebrate the 2012 Maya Winter Solstice has new meaning. As the Mayan calendar turns another cycle, so will our relationship.

International Sources

Belize PM rushes to solve debt crisis, meets US advisors
Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow is scheduled to meet with financial advisors in the United States this week to discuss the restructuring of the country’s multi-million dollar foreign debt. The meeting is scheduled to take place in Miami, starting tomorrow. It comes a week after the country’s main opposition, the People’s United Party, claimed that negotiations had stalled between the government and international creditors on the so-called super bond. Even before the meeting, however, there were reports that a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was in Belize to review the government’s capacity to meet its debt obligations. Last week, Prime Minister Barrow met with members of the private sector to discuss economic issues and the second annual economic forum.

November 4, 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

Belizean students in Winners Circle of the FCCA poster competition
Two Belizean students are among the winners of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association’s regional environmental awareness poster competition. Earlier this year, the BTB collaborated with the FCCA to promote and stimulate environmental awareness among Caribbean students. This year, the competition was conducted in two categories: a junior division for children ages 12 years and under and a senior division for children ages 13 -16 years. We are pleased to announce that Jordanny Williams and Nazeem Segura placed among the top students in the Caribbean. Senior Division: 1st Place – Kerri Bascom – Bahamas 2nd Place – Jordanny Williams – Belize 3rd Place – Emilie van der Waals – St. Maarten Junior Division: 1st Place – Enya Noel – Grenada 2nd Place – Alisha Kee – Cayman Islands 3rd Place – Nazeem Segura – Belize

Ministry of National Security signs MOU with Peninsula 2020 Initiative
A memorandum of understanding was signed on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 between the Ministry of National Security and the Steering Committee of the Peninsula 2020 Initiative outlining the terms which the Police Department will operate a mobile checkpoint at various places on the Placencia Peninsula with the support and cooperation of the residents of the Peninsula. The Peninsula 2020 Initiative is a joint undertaking whose steering committee has broad-based community representation from the Placencia and Seine Bight Village Councils, Placencia BTIA (Belize Tourism Industry Association), Placencia Tour Guides Association, Placencia Tour Operators Association, Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development, Placencia Fishermen’s Cooperative, Southern Environmental Association and Placencia Peninsula Community Crime Watch (PPCCW).

Alvaro Gregorio guilty of manslaughter for death of Roberto Jimenez Juarez Marroquin
A 38 year-old Alvaro Gregorio was found guilty of manslaughter for the death of 37 year old Roberto Jimenez Juarez Marroquin which occurred in the San Mateo area of Ambergris Caye. Gregorio stabbed Salvadoran national Marroquin to death on October 8, 2008 in the San Mateo Area of San Pedro Town. The allegation was that on the said date, Gregorio went to the home of his wife, who he had been separated from, and was speaking with her when Marroquin arrived 15 minutes later. A verbal confrontation took place between both men and Gregorio then stabbed Marroquin in the chest with a kitchen knife, which caused him to bleed to death. In court Gregorio, in his defense, gave a statement from the dock in which he didn’t deny that Marroquin died of a stab wound from a fight between them. He told Justice Gonzalez that he didn’t inflict the wound himself and that in fact it happened in self-defense. Gregorio claimed that when Marroquin attacked him with the knife he had to defend himself. He said that Marroquin stabbed at him, and he grabbed the hand with the knife, after which, a struggle ensued. According to Gregorio, they fell on the ground with Marroquin on top. When he saw blood on his shirt, he ran out of the house fearing for his life.

BDF Receives Three Mahindra Vehicles and a John Deere Tractor
On Wednesday, October 31, 2012, Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar handed over three (3) new Mahindra vehicles and a John Deere Tractor to the Belize Defence Force (BDF). The three all-terrain vehicles and the tractor were purchased by the Government of Belize and will be assigned to the Infantry Battalions of the BDF which are responsible for border patrols. Addressing the local media, Hon John Saldivar stated, “”It came about as the result of some of the needs that were expressed to me very early on when I took over the Ministry of National Security. The BDF is in need of several vehicles so that they can get around the country better, so that they can patrol our borders better; and this is only the beginning. Within another 2 months, we should be getting hopefully another 7 vehicles for them, and after that, I believe we’ll be properly able to mobilize around the country.”

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Lebeha Drummers: Garifuna Music from Belize
Hugu Hugu (Don't Cry) performed by young drummers from Lebeha Drum Center (Hopkins, Belize), recorded at Kumquat Cottage, San Ignacio Belize, by Philip Blackburn.

Ingredients: 6 green bananas – grated 2 teaspoons salt (add more to taste) ½ teaspoons blank pepper ¼ cup coconut cream or ¼ cup of shortening Wrapping:- Use plantain leaves of foil sheets. Set a medium size pot of water to boil. Peel and wash 6 green bananas. Grate bananas; stir in salt, black pepper, coconut cream or shortening until well blended. Divide into 6 equal parts and spoon into plantain leaf and tie or spoon into 12 inch foil squares, fold in thirds and seal edges. Place packages in boiling water and boil abut 30 minutes. Server with fish or meat.

VIDEO: Lamanai Series One, FIrst Stop Bomba - Seaduced
Mayan Ruin Day Trip to Lamanai. Here's a look at the first leg of the trip up The Northern River to the wood carving Village of Bomba.

Cayo Event Calendar: November 2012
Xunantunich Opens UB Halloween Party 2 Benque Finados Dia de los Muertos Expressions Art Exhibit Launch @ GPC 3 Self Defense Class @ Hodes Fall Fashion Show Meluchi's Rave BCA Fundraiser PlusTV Telethon Benque Dance United vs. Verdes Blue Angels Dance

PlusTV Appreciation Day
Plus TV had their appreciation day telethon yesterday. "Saturday November 3, PlusTV is hosting an Appreciation Day! A telethon to raise funds to keep your favorite programmes on air: Rise & Shine, SportsZone, D-Facts, Divaz, and Rinconcito Cristiano. LIVE discussions and entertainment! Keep moving forward- Keep the hope – Make your donation. 822-2536, 802-0097, or 822-2031. Rise & Shine Belize!"

PACT and UB Partner for Training Program
Great news about the University of Belize's Environmentsl Research Institute partnering with the Protected Areas Conservation Trust. "PACT has partnered with ERI via a Medium-Sized Grant of $200,000 to assist in carrying out the project 'National Training Programme for Protected Areas Management in Belize.' The National Training Programme was developed by ERI as part of a larger project entitled 'Strengthening National Capacities for the Operationalization, Consolidation and Sustainability of Belize’s Protected Areas System' which is being implemented by the National Protected Areas Secretariat (NPAS) of the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development. The main goal of the National Training Programme is to develop national capacity for protected areas management to enhance and sustain management of the National Protected Areas System. The Programme will also serve to institutionalize training and capacity building for protected areas managers in a holistic approach (first holistic training programme available to protected areas managers in Belize) instead of the piece-meal approach commonly utilized in Belize."

Caye Caulker enjoys silky smooth streets once again!
I have often mentioned that the price for our perfectly sandy streets here on Caye Caulker is that pot holes are far too easy to come by after any small amount of rain and sufficient usage!! However today Tiger was a sight for sore eyes as he and his big truck along with his friend’s grader, were pounding our streets to ensure that they are silky smooth. For those with bikes, golf carts or even those of us on our two feet will from this weekend onwards feel that movement up and down our island feels a lot more comfortable. No more will those of the fairer sex have to brace themselves on a small trip to the shops on their golf cart and children can care free ride up and down the streets without fear of falling in a hole!! So thank you to the VC Crew and to all concerned as we once again enjoy traveling on our streets again!!

Fake Queen Bettie's...
Cayo residents and business establishments beware ... fake Queen Bettie's are floating around.


15 Year Old Orange Walkena Killed By Her Step-father In Texas
Tonight a death in the U.S has hit home as a 15 year old Orange Walk resident, who relocated to the states with her mother back in December 2000, was murdered by her stepfather on Tuesday evening. The incident occurred in Rockwall Texas in the USA and the victim is 15 year old high school student Surie Baeza. According to international reports, around 7:00pm on Tuesday, Baeza’s mom found here dead in her room with stab wounds to her torso and chest. Newspapers report that the autopsy revealed that Baeza had defensive injuries, indicating that she put up a fight against her attacker. Rockwall police have narrowed Baeza’s untimely death between the hours of 2pm and 4pm on Tuesday. On Thursday, Rockwell Police made a breakthrough in the murder case as Baeza’s attacker, who happens to be her stepfather, confessed to the crime. Forty one year old Juan Enrique Torres, who is also from Orange Walk, no longer lived with Baeza’s mother. Torres confessed to Rockwall investigators that he stabbed Suri multiple times in the chest with a kitchen knife when he flew into a rage after they argued about money and going to a pawn shop. Torres called the police department Thursday afternoon and said he wanted to talk. After several hours at the county jail, Torres came out clean and confessed to Baeza’s murder through a written confession that he handed over to police.

Cruz's Accused Murderer Arraigned To Court
Today fourteen men appeared before the Orange Walk Magistrates Court to answer to charges ranging from murder, rape and burglary. When it comes to the murder charge, 34 year old Fidencio Camara, a laborer of Guinea Grass Village, accused of the October 28th murder of 56 year old cane farmer Manuel Cruz from the Village of Guinea Grass, appeared before the court today. As the charge was read to Camara, Magistrate Dale Cayetano informed him that no plea will be taken since the matter is an indictable one and can only be heard before the Supreme Court. As a result, Camara was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next court date scheduled for November 30th 2012. On October 28th at around 10:00am Cruz along with a group of men including Fidencio Camara was socializing in front of Bai Li Chinese Store in Guinea Grass when a highly intoxicated Camara approached Cruz, took out a knife, and stabbed him on the chest and hand. The deceased walked away from the area and collapsed moments later on the road side. Not satisfied with what he had done, Camara followed Cruz and stabbed him repeatedly. Cruz received eight stab wounds to the left side of the back, once on the centre of the chest and twice on the right hand just behind the elbow. The motive behind Cruz’s murder is believed to be an act of revenge. Thirty years ago, on December 6th 1981, Cruz was accused of murdering two individuals and injuring three more. One of the murdered victims was Leopoldo Camara, the father of Fidencio Camara who was six years old when his father was killed. Cruz was charged for both murders and served 7 years in jail before he was released from prison.

Taxi Driver Charged For Drug Trafficking
A resident from Corozal was charged with drug trafficking after he was caught with cannabis at the Belize Mexico Border. On Wednesday October 31st, at around 4:00 in the evening, Corozal Police visited the Belize Northern Border where they conducted a search on the vehicle of 63 year old taxi driver of Ranchito Village in the Corozal District, Alberto Williams. Williams had just driven into Belizean territory from the Mexican border. During the search, police found a transparent bag suspected to contain cannabis in the back seat cushion. The suspected drugs weighed 1029 grams. As a result, Williams was arrested and charged with drug trafficking. The taxi is being kept as exhibit.

Two Charged For Rape Of Fourteen Year Old Minor
Also appearing in court this morning were 19 year old Belizean construction worker of Burrell Boom Morgan Baptist and 18 year old Belizean construction worker of Double Head Cabbage Tyrick Thompson. Both men are accused of rape and unlawful carnal knowledge against a 14 year old minor from the Orange Walk District. Both men were denied bail this morning and were remanded to prison until November 30th. Baptist and Thompson were informed that after ninety days they can apply for bail at the Magistrates Court or can apply before at the Supreme Court. Both men are accused of raping a 14 year old minor on Friday October 26th while in the Village of Trail Farm in the Orange Walk District. The minor reported to police that at about 1:00pm on Friday, she and four other students visited a house located on Cotton Street where they met four young men. The group began socializing and consuming alcohol. The minor passed out and when she regained consciousness she realised that one of the men was having sexual intercourse with her. The minor was able to push the individual away and at that instance another young man had his way with her. When the individuals finally left, the 14 year old called a friend who picked her up and took her home.

International Sources

Wisconsin-designed trail cameras capturing wilderness across the globe
There's hardly any spot on earth not covered by a camera these days and, increasingly, wilderness has become the domain of Wisconsin-designed trail cameras. Reconyx and Cuddeback, makers of motion-triggered cameras used by hunters and other wildlife enthusiasts, are based in Holmen and De Pere, respectively. Both brands can be found on nearly every continent, with scientists using the equipment to capture images of rare and endangered animals. Company President Beth Lax has a picture of two jaguars in Belize - with one of them looking straight into the lens of a trail camera. She also has a picture of an eagle landing on its kill. Cuddeback says it's the oldest trail camera manufacturer. It was started in 1984 by Mark Cuddeback, a mechanical engineer who lived in Milwaukee and wanted a motion-triggered camera to scout game on his hunting property in northern Wisconsin.

Teaching stint allows time to explore
Nicole Nocera of Butler found her three-month trip to Belize this spring to be ... Nocera, who lived in Belize from March to May, taught in a Belizean school to ...

November 3, 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

“Dias de Los Finados” celebrated in San Pedro Town
The celebration of “Dia de Los Finados” is a long lived tradition in the Maya, Mestizo and the Garifuna cultures. The first and second day of November is traditionally when family members remember and commemorate their deceased loved ones. Over the years, this cultural custom has been forgotten in Belize, and for this reason the San Pedro Cultural Committee has taken the initiative to revive the tradition. The two days of celebration merges religion, cultural and authentic traditional cuisine into one area, all remembering the dead under the theme “Los Finados: A loving encounter between the living and dead.” The HanalPixan (Maya) or Los Finados (Garifuna/Mestizo) is intended to bring families together and remember their loved ones who have died over the years. According to San Pedro Town Councilor Mito Paz, Chairman of the San Pedro Cultural Committee (SPCC), the event is being organized by several stakeholders who want to revive the Los Finados celebration on the island how is used to be many years ago. Paz explained that on November first, it is the day set aside to remember the young souls. It is commonly referred to as “All Saints Day” because the young children are said to have pure, clean souls. The second day, November 2nd is referred to as “All Souls Day,” which is set aside to remember the adults that have died.

Pantempers welcomed home from Taiwan tour de force
It was gratifying for the members of the Pantempers Steel Orchestra, the nation’s premier steel band, to be welcomed home by no less a personage than the nation’s Head of State, His Excellency the Governor General Sir Colville Young, Sr., and the Republic of China on Taiwan ambassador to Belize, His Excellency David C.K. Wu. Following disembarkation at the airport, they had boarded a bus and had been brought straight to their welcome reception at the Chateau Caribbean Hotel, some considering it an inconvenience since they were a day late in returning, having been forced to overnight in Los Angeles, CA after missing their connecting flight due to a luggage snafu. They had been Belize’s representatives to the 2012 Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Exhibition in Taiwan, a two-week, five-gig trip to the other side of the world. They had left the nation and the hemisphere on October 17th, and a few could be excused for thinking that today was already tomorrow. Indeed several members of the group had been forced to rush from the airport to their jobs but for those in attendance, spirits were high despite the jet-lag.

Saga Halloween Party a Howling Success!
For nine years Halloween in San Pedro has been more than the usual kids in costumes trick or treating and grown-ups partying in disguise, it’s been about dogs, cats and all sorts of critters joining in on the fun while raising money for the Saga Humane Society. And this year was no different, with the annual Saga Halloween party taking place at Central Park on Sunday afternoon, October 28th. The party was a zoo of costume clad critters of all sizes, ranging from bumble bee Chihuahuas to sunflower turtles. Many, especially children dressed in matching outfits and competed with their pets in the always entertaining and often impressive costume contest. There was plenty of good food, libations and live DJ music to add to the festivities and the party on the beach was a fun way for folks to come out and support a worthy cause. Congratulations Saga for providing a great party venue for our pets, and yes we people enjoyed it too!

Murder mayhem mystery in Hopkins
Sergeant Wilfredo Ferrufino, the Officer in Charge of the Criminal Investigation Branch for the Southern Formation of the Belize Police Department, is clearly perplexed and deeply concerned. In an interview on Monday, October 29th, while standing in front of the Hopkins Village, Stann Creek District, police station, the officer was clear that while they had detained “several persons” for interrogation regarding the vicious machete assault last Saturday evening that had left one man dead, and a woman and her children severely injured, he was still at a loss to fully understand what had happened. The official police release’s cryptic language belies the horror being visited on this once isolated fishing village: “On Sat 27th October 2012 between 5 and 5:30 pm, 36 year old Olivia Coc and her two children a 13 year old female and a 5 year old male coming back from fishing in Hopkins when they were ambushed by an unknown man wielding a machete. Olivia received injuries to her mouth, right hand and reportedly lost 4 of her fingers on her left hand. While her daughter received a cut wound to the neck and her son a cut wound to the right hand. They were all taken to the Southern Regional Hospital where they are in stable condition. A little later 25 yr old Abelino Barnaby Garcia was reportedly on his way back from work at a local resort in Hopkins where he met an unknown assailant who inflicted several fatal chop wounds to Garcia. Garcia was taken to the Southern Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 6 pm on 27.10.12. Police have detained two men for questioning.” The bottom line for Sergeant Wilfredo Ferrufino is that there’s homicidal maniac on the loose in the village and they have no idea why he lay in wait for a family of three, a mother with her two children and then literally chopped a passerby to death.

Travellers Liquors Ltd – A rum-a-licious tour!
When people think of vacationing, more than likely, tasting and sampling a few of the local rums and liquors is considered top priority. Admit it, for the majority of you, when on vacation, it’s about at least one massive hangover after an epic night of imbibing with friends, spouse or family! I know it’s not just me…!!! Well, one of the ways to immerse in the local rums of Belize is to take a fabulous tour of Travellers Liquors Limited’s facilities. From the aging rooms where the famous 1 Barrel rum (and others) sit to age in oak barrels, to the museum where old equipment and photos are lined for viewing and learning, to the preparation area, to the tasting bar where 23 products are available for your tasting pleasure, and finally, the shop where you can buy your favorite(s), the tour gives you a fantastic look into the process of creating those delicious liquors that make such a great statement in your favorite beach drink! A little bit of history would do well before you begin your taste tour: In 1953, Jaime Omario Perdomo Sr. opened a bar called “Travellers”. It was considered a logical name since most of his clientele were either traveling into or out of Belize City. In those times, sugar was king in Belize, so those who had a plantation of sugar cane were doing quite well for themselves. It is believed that many also worked on their own rum recipes. Don Omario’s bar initially sold imported liquors and beers, but since in those days it was the practice of local bars to make their own rum blends for exclusive sale, Don Omario didn’t hesitate to follow tradition.

Ambergris Today

Over 900 Popsicles for RC School Students!
Who doesn’t enjoy a great delicious treat every now and again? In San Pedro, paletas (popsicles) are the perfect treat for hot days. But the students of San Pedro Roman Catholic School enjoy their paletas even more when they are personally handed out to them by great island friends Debbie and Larry Heimgartner. Debbie and Larry were at San Pedro Roman Catholic School sharing the yummiest joy – delicious strawberry and chocolate paletas on Thursday, November 01, 2012. Mr. Manuel DelValle of Manelly’s Homemade Ice Cream was on hand to help give out a little over 900 paletas. The students were extremely happy to get a break from their school work and enjoy their afternoon treat.

Farewell to George Parham
Ambergris Today has learned of the passing away of Mr. George Parham, the last of four Parham brothers who spent their final years in San Pedro. George is a born Sanpedrano who emigrated to the United States for many years but spent his last 30 years in his natal hometown. He is a member of the Parham Family who was related to the Blake Family through intermarriage. George, a kind hearted person and gentleman will be sadly missed in San Pedro and by all of those whose lives he touched. Ambergris Today extends sincere condolences to the Parham family. May his soul Rest In Peace.

Jackie & Adam Celebrate One Year at Casa Picasso
Casa Picasso is back for the season! Yes, Jackie and Adam invited friends and guests to a social night to introduce their new head chef and celebrate their one year anniversary in San Pedro. Congratulations are in hand to the lovely couple who have come to love San Pedro and made such great friends on the island. It was a fantastic evening with great food samplers and great company; everyone had a super good evening. We totally recommend that you visit Casa Picasso for a great dining experience and while there wish Jackie and Adam a happy anniversary.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Certified Lionfish Diva, Maria makes the team!
Lionfish Awareness and Reef Habitat Conservation, our efforts here in Belize

Cahal Pech Path Upgrade
The Cayo Tour Guide Association has an article on the upgrading of the paths at Cahal Pech. Xunanatunich isn't the only Mayan site getting upgrades. "As the ferry at San Jose comes to completion , so does the path way into the site of Cahal Pech. For the pass few weeks we been seeing those men working hard and tourist zigzagging to make their way through. It was truly needed as the old path was very slick during the rainy days. The path is very wide and can accommodate groups of people leaving and entering the site. It’s also well over 300 feet long made from concrete and high enough so that water does not cover it during heavy rains infact it has proper drainage that goes under in several areas. it’s still unknown, at least to me it is, if the path will have a railing that would be a great addition as a lot of elderly also visit the site."

Free Self Defense Seminar at Hode's
Today, at Hode's, starting at 11:00am, there will be a free self defense seminar. Karma Senge, who's done 3 sessions at Sacred Heart Junior College, will be giving the event. The seminar will look at all aspects of self defense. "Coach Karma is a Reality-Based Self Defence Instructor living in Belize. He has taught in 38 countries to various military, and law enforcement as well as government agencies and civilians as well. And has a wealth of knowledge to share. So Please come and join us as well as pleasetell everyone you know about the event."

The New Ferry at Xunantunich
The Institute of Archaeology has quite a few great pictures up from Xunantunich's new ferry inauguration. "Today history, culture and tourism all came together in the opening of the new ferry. Tourism stakeholders, NICH, The Institute of Archaeology, BTB, STP and the ferry's engineers all came together for the maiden voyage."

Expressions Exhibit Launch at the GPC
Last night, at the George Price Centre, they had the launch of their Expressions Art Exhibition. It started at 7:00pm, and the exhibit will run through November 23rd. See work from Carolyn Carr, Jeanne Seawell, Ernest Garcia, and many more.

Lucky Boy at 3 Months
Lucky Boy is looking so good, isn't he? Just a little more than three months post-rescue, and look at that beautiful jaguar! Feelgood news of the day! Lucky Boy, the rescued black jaguar from down south, has been at the Belize zoo for 3 months now, and looks like he's doing better than ever. Thanks, Sharon Matola, for all your work saving wildlife in Belize!

BTL To Cut Down Internet Prices By Half
Well, isn't this the best news you have heard this entire year. Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), Belize's biggest internet provider, will be cutting their internet prices by half. For 128K internet connection you will be paying a monthly fee of 25$ that is half of what we are currently paying now ($50). The best part is that this applies for all the other speeds. This is excellent news for all Belizeans, especially the business industry. Finally, I will be able to afford my 1 meg line. So cool! This mean I would have to do some changes on my latest infographic of the Story of the Internet in Belize. I totally dig this change and must compliment BTL and its administrators for this bold move, that should take effect sometime this month. This is the official announcement from the PM of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow: "Now comes what I consider to be a seminal new development; icing on the cake, with whip cream and cherry on top. Yesterday the BTL boards of directors agree that the company will once more give its internet customers increased bandwidth at reduce prices. According the 128k internet speed will go from $49 per month to $25 per month. All other DSL internet speeds will double but for less than the current price. As examples: one megabit which currently cost $300 will now sell for $140 per month, and two megabits sold now for $500 will cost only $240. So that going to back to the one megabit example; the customer currently pays $300 per month but that customer can now go up to two megabits for $240 for less than $300 that he currently pays for one megabit he can go up to two megabits. I really think ladies and gentlemen this is something." "These reductions will take place later this month so that our people can make their new arrangements and enjoy the reductions on the December bill. I want to make the point that these developments are happening against the backdrop of the 4G roll out which will be fully operational next month - by the end of December. Ladies and gentlemen, how about that for helping the business climate."

Channel 7

Major Crime Crackdown: "Crime Ridden" Areas To Be Designated
Minister of National security John Saldivar introduced a package of major anti-crime initiatives yesterday at the Prime Minister's business forum. The independent media wasn't permitted to stick around to tape his speech, but we got it from the press office. He speaks first about employing an unused law to declare certain areas as "crime ridden." That is a special legal status which gives police wide powers to conduct searches without warrants, restrict movement within an area and to cordon it off. It is a big law enforcement stick - which also clashes with the personal liberties of citizens. That's why in the past, police ministers have been wary to invoke it. But Saldivar - who's never been afraid to take tough decisions and court controversy - said yesterday that the law will be used this time. And, we'd say it started this morning before six am when police and BDF descended on La Croix Boulevard, Linda Vista streets and adjoining areas. That's been one of the hottest areas in the city and police - including the K-9 unit swarmed it this morning. We couple those images with Saldivar's explanation of the new rules of engagement for areas designated as "Crime-ridden."

Haylock Bus Suspended for One Week; Martin's Dad Wants A Fine
Nine year old Martin Noble is in the KHMH making steady progress after he fell from a moving bus on Wednesday. And the news tonight is that the bus line which caused his fall has been suspended for a week. A release from the Transport Board today says that it is concerned about the safety of the entire Haylock fleet. So, the bus line will be suspended from all its runs for a week effective today. That includes runs in the Belama and Ladyville areas - which will be taken up by Belize Transit Services and the Belize Bus Association. During that week, the Department of Transport will conduct a comprehensive inspection of all Haylock's buses to determine their safety and road-worthiness. And they will only be allowed to resume operations after a follow up inspection determines that all requirements have been met. But is it enough? Martin's father, Fortunato Noble says he's not satisfied. He wants a fine to be levied and expects that the Department of Transport will be doing that. He says he is also following through with a civil lawsuit.

Belizean Teenager Killed In Texas By OW Stepdad
Suri Baeza, a 15 year old Dallas resident who left her home in Orange Walk, Belize as a toddler in 2002 was killed on Tuesday at her home in Rockwall, a suburb of Dallas. Her stepfather, Juan Enrique Torres, also from Orange Walk, confessed to the murder yesterday. The murder has caused quite a stir in the small community and the story has been widely covered by local station there. You can see the following report from NBC in Dallas Forth Worth:... And just to clarify, Juan Enrique Torres is from Belize, not Brazil. According to our reports he had a common law and a wife in Orange Walk and he left them in 2003 to go and live in the states. He reportedly joined Suri Baeza's mom when her husband got deported to Belize. Dallas news reports say Torres is Belizean who has been in the US on a passport since 2003 - which we take to mean that he has been there illegally. The slaying was Rockwall's first in more than eight years. It is a mostly Hispanic community.

Busted For Employing Illegal Immigrant Workers
43 year-old Salvadoran Belizean Maria Enriquez, the owner of La Cabana Bar on East Collet Canal Street; and 34 year-old Guatemalan Belizean Nilda Velasquez, the owner of Lion King Bar on King Street, are both facing charges tonight after they were busted by the Immigration Department for hiring immigrant workers who didn't have valid permits. Yesterday Immigration officers raided both bars and found that Enriquez was employing 6 Honduran women who had come into the country legally, but did not have valid work permits. The officers also discovered that Velasquez was employing 3 women - 2 Guatemalan, and 1 Honduran - who did not have valid working permits. As a result, Enriquez was arrested and charged with 5 counts of employing a foreigner without a valid temporary employment permit. Velasquez was charged with 3 counts of that same charge. Velasquez pleaded guilty when she was arraigned before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart this afternoon. As a result, she was sentenced to pay a fine of $3,000, half of which she was ordered to pay upfront, and she must pay the other half by December 15, or she will spend 2 years in default. As for Enriquez, well, she is denying everything that the Immigration Department is saying, and today when she was arraigned before Magistrate Stuart, she pleaded not guilty to all 5 counts. Magistrate Stuart granted her bail of $4,000 which she was able to meet; she is to return to court on December 5.

Convicted Of Carrying A "Little" Celebration Weed
29 year-old Clarence Grant is spending his second night in prison and staring down the barrel of a possible 6-year sentence after he was convicted of drug trafficking in Magistrate's Court yesterday. On April 2, 2011, he was caught with 138 grams - about 5 ounces - of cannabis on Pigeon Street in Ladyville. The arresting officer saw Grant throw a plastic bag on the ground. The officer retrieved the bag, and found the weed inside. Since it is more than 60 grammes, Grant was charged with drug trafficking. Grant told the court that he did indeed have the weed on him, but he didn't plan on selling it. He said that he was going to the Cayes on Easter vacation, which is when he was going to use it. Because he wasted the court's time with a full trial, and because 4 convictions for drug possession and 2 other drug trafficking cases pending, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith sentenced him to pay a fine of $10,000. He was ordered to pay $6,000 of that fine forthwith, which he could not do, so he will serve 3 years in prison for it. He has to pay the entire fine by February 28, 2013, or he will spend an additional 3 years in prison if he defaults.

Mobile Clinics for Dental Week
Dental Health week finishes tomorrow. As is the custom, throughout the week the Dental Department has been pushing dental awareness - from proper tooth brushing techniques to eating foods that don't cause decay. Dental clinics were also held at different schools assisting students with free fluoride applications. One school was St Joseph Primary. We stopped by today and had a chance to speak with Senior Dental Surgeon from the Ministry of Health, Dr. Raphael Samos. Raphael Samos, Senior Dental Surgeon "This is part of the dental health week that we are providing a little bit of fluoride varnish to the schools. Today we have selected St. Joseph School to do. Dental health week is actually from the 28th October - 3rd November under the theme "Healthy eating daily brushing, brighter smiles for a healthy Belize." Each district has their own sets of activities that they are carrying out from quizzes, poster competition, radio talks etc. This one directly falls perfect for the Halloween; people are really into that sweet." "We start the fluoridation from the beginning of this week Monday 29th and today we are doing St. Joseph School. The main material that we received was donated by a voluntary group from the states; its fluoride varnish and it helps to protect the teeth." Dental Health Week is being celebrated under the theme 'Healthy eating, daily brushing, brighter smiles for a Healthy Belize". According to a release, The Dental Department has seen an increase of patients accessing the dental clinics from approximately 20,000 in 2009 to a record high last year 2011 of 31,430 patients countrywide.

Jailed For Raping A 14 Year-old After Drinks
Tonight, 18 year-old Tyrick Thompson, a resident of Double Head Cabbage, and 19 year-old Morgan Baptist, a resident of Burrell Boom, are at prison tonight, after police said that they raped a 14 year-old girl from Trial Farm in Orange Walk. According to police, the 14 year-old female reported that at around 1 p.m. on last week Friday, she accompanied 4 students to a house on Cotton Street in Trial Farm, where they met 4 young men. While she was socializing with these people, she drank several Smirnoff Ice drinks and lost consciousness. When she woke up, she found one of the young men on top of her having intercourse with her against her will. She said that she shoved this man off of her, but then another man got on top and had his way with her despite her struggle to stop him. She said that when both men finished and left, she called a friend who picked her up, and took her home. As a result of this report, police arrested and charged Thompson and Baptist with rape and unlawful carnal knowledge. They were arraigned today in the Orange Walk Magistrate's Court, and they were remanded to prison until their next court date, which is set for November 30.

PASMO: What's A Real Man?
As a part of the USAID combination prevention program for HIV in Central America, PASMO today presented the results of a qualitative study called "What women think a 'real man' is". The study is a follow up on a research conducted in 2008 by PASMO with Central American men of different ages, socio-economic levels, sexual orientations and marital status. As a part of the ongoing efforts to promote HIV prevention, PASMO is launching today a new phase of the masculinities campaign titles "Not all men are the same… but all are protected from HIV". We found out more:.. Keyron Cacho, Program supervisor - PASMO "PASMO Belize along with its other regional partners develops 6 different profiles that look at the various characteristics of men. We did that specifically because we saw that overall across all countries we see in terms of our BCC interventions and trying to do HIV education with these individuals and promotion of HIV test - that there is a ratio of 4-1; more females than males, actually taking their health seriously especially when it comes to taking HIV test. While we devise these profiles - it was primarily to make sure that we can understand these individuals and what are the drivers of these individuals to make changes especially with what we do on a day to day basis - at PASMO Belize which is behavior change communication. Using these profiles to materialize specific methodologies to promote, using their understanding and their drivers, modes and ways of providing initiatives for HIV testing and also especially the use of condoms."

Salima Barrow's Learning Philanthropy With Lemon
They say when life gives you lemons you make lemonade, and that's just what Salima Barrow is doing. She is the Prime Minister's 7 year old daughter whose mother as you know is fighting breast cancer. And seeing her mother suffering inspired Salima to do something to help children who are caught up in the same struggle. So she is having a one day lemonade sale with a little bit of help from Bowen and Bowen Crystal Juice. On Sunday she and her classmates will set up their lemonade stall in BTL park offering both Crystal juices and a hand-squeezed, homemade variety of good old fashioned lemonade. We found them at home today turning those lemons into lemonade, and staging a press conference that would make her father proud. Salima Barrow "First Haley will say something and then me and Abigale and then Gianna." Hayley Thurton "We are doing the limeade stand to raise money for the kids with cancer." Monica Bodden "Whose idea was it? Was it yours Salima?" Salima Barrow "Yes it was my idea. From when I was little I wanted to do a limeade stand." Monica Bodden "You are actually going to use the money from the stand to do what?"

The Publicity Behind the Plan For Solid Waste
Belize's Solid Waste Management Plan is taking shape with the establishment of the New Regional Sanitary Landfill at mile 24. That landfill will take in the waste from San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Belize City and San Ignacio/Santa Elena. It's good news but it's also a big change and the challenge is, getting word out. That's why the Solid Waste Management Authority along with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture held a half-day Stakeholders workshop on Wednesday. The purpose of the workshop was essentially to listen to the opinions of the participants as to how best the Solid Waste Management Project can be brought to the Belizean population. Tyrone Chimilio explained: Tyrone Chimilio, Social Communications Officer "This is a stakeholder's workshop that we are having in accordance to the solid waste management project. The solid waste management project focuses on 4 components; one being the Belize City dump site at mile 3, we are closing that down - it's still operational but it's being closed down. Secondly, we have our sanitary landfill on mile 24 on the George Price Highway as also our third component focuses on the closing down of the open dump sites in San Pedro, Caye Caulker and San Ignacio. We'll have transferred facilities there for waste disposal. Actually what is going to be taking place is that we are going to have the separation of waste taking place at the transfer facilities."

Channel 5

Crime Declaration: no warrant needed; area access restricted
Belize may not be a police state, but the implementation of some draconian laws may have that effect in certain neighborhoods in Belize City and possibly other parts of the country. The government considers crime has reached crisis levels and on Thursday, the Prime Minister said, there is no way we can give in to [...]

Attorney weighs in on new anti-crime initiative
There is arguably no law-firm that has clocked more hours on crime related litigation in court than that of Defense Attorney, Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley. Bradley, whose social voice is heard on the Dickie Bradley Special which airs on this station, also chimed in on the need for a better crime strategy. He told News Five [...]

Weak areas such as prosecution branch and investigation to be bolstered
The new crime strategy will certainly bring more arrests, but will it bring more convictions? With only twenty-six arrests for the hundred plus murders that occurred last year, even if all suspects were convicted, the conviction rate would still be dismal. But the Ministry intends to strengthen intelligence gathering, investigation and the police prosecution branch. [...]

Haylock Bus Line suspended only for 1 week after child falls out of bus
The Transport Board has taken action against Haylock Bus Service in light of a near fatal accident on Wednesday in which nine year-old Martin Noble was flung from a jam-packed Haylock bus en route to Ladyville. The board’s decision amounts to a slap on the wrist since it is suspending the company’s bus runs for [...]

The P.M.’s Economic Summit with the private sector
Prime Minister Dean Barrow will be holding meetings in the next few days in Miami with financial advisors on the restructuring of the super bond. On the ground here, a team from the International Monetary Fund is conducting a review of government’s capacity to meet debt obligations. And on Thursday, Prime Minister met with the [...]

BelAm kills in Texas
A Belizean is in big trouble in the Dallas, Texas. Juan Enrique Torres is accused of the stabbing death of fifteen year old high school student, Surie Baeza; who is the daughter of his former common-law wife for eight years. Torres, according to an NBC report, has confessed to stabbing Baeza. He reportedly told detectives [...]

Immigration and Nationality Department cracking down on illegal immigrants
The Immigration and Nationality Department is cracking down on illegal immigrants. A weeklong sting operation conducted by the department has led to the arrest of three women, accused of hiring illegal immigrants at their business establishments.  On Wednesday, twenty-two year old Sandra Carballo, proprietor of Blue House Bar in Ladyville, appeared in Belize City Magistrates’ [...]

36 year old jailed for carnally knowing 13 year old girl
Thirty-six year old Herman Williams is tonight on remand at the Belize Central Prison, following a charge of carnal knowledge.  A thirteen year-old girl reported to police on Tuesday that sometime in July, Williams, a construction worker of a Fabers Road address, propositioned her.  The invitation subsequently led to a sexual encounter at a house [...]

Orange Walk girl says at least 2 raped her at a party
There is a disturbing report coming out from the north where a fourteen year old girl claims that she was gang raped. Police are piecing together what actually transpired at a house party in Orange Walk Town during which the minor says she was sexually abused last Friday. Eighteen year old Tyrick Thompson and nineteen [...]

Over $33,000 in valuables stolen from retired accountant
There is other crime news. A substantive amount of household goods, jewelry, liquor and personal items were stolen from the home of a Belize City resident. Retired Belizean accountant, Berta Espat, says that her house situated at mile one and a half on the George Price Highway was burglarized sometime between eight-twenty and nine-fifty on [...]

Getting more at-risk men tested for HIV
All men are not the same; but all are protected from HIV. That’s the theme of a campaign by the Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO), who in collaboration with the National Aids Commission are encouraging at-risk men to get tested and to protect themselves from HIV/Aids. Since 2008, statistics show that to every four [...]

Municipal Bond still floating
City Hall is still grappling with funding for the proposed twenty million-dollar municipal bond. The bond is to be floated by the Belize City Council for infrastructure development involving main thoroughfares in the Old Capital. While the bond has been touted for some time, investors are yet to be identified before the impending launch of [...]

Liberty and YMCA receive welcomed donations
Christmas is a seven weeks away, but two organizations got early presents this morning. The Liberty Children’s Home and the Young Men Christian both received care donations from two benefactors to coincide with Life Insurance Week. The goodies will make life a little easier for about a hundred and fifty children. Duane Moody reports.   [...]

Getting to the root of dental week at St. Joseph Primary
Dental Health Week kicked off last Sunday and will wind down this Saturday with the theme: “Healthy Eating, Daily Brushing; Brighter Smiles for a Healthy Belize.” The dental profession is promoting dental awareness through a fluoride treatment program among primary school children. Since Monday, students from seventeen primary schools in Belize District and the City [...]

B.D.F. Sports Day with marathons and games for the family
The Belize Defense Force is having its annual sports day on Saturday morning. It’s not your typical sports day since it involves our trained soldiers in a fun family event to which the public is invited. On Saturday the day starts off with marathons and half marathons along the nation’s highways at five-thirty in the [...]

Proudly representing Miss Garifuna Belize
November is the traditional culture month and a proud time of year for the Garifuna. Paul Nabor, Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective are all national treasures and their music will be resonating throughout the country this month. This weekend, the Miss Garifuna Belize pageant takes place at the Bliss auditorium in Belize City. Six [...]

3 minors off to court for Lord’s Bank arson
Three minors, the youngest age twelve, were taken to Family Court today for an arson in Lord’s Bank. The two others are fourteen year olds. The fire destroyed a structure belonging Kirk Betancourt on Monday. Betancourt reported the matter to police and three were detained and arraigned before Magistrate, Margaret Nicholas. Tonight, they are spending [...]


PM hosts business forum; addresses national issues
Almost one year ago the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow held a business forum with the private sector to discuss partnering efforts with the government. At the same location at Old Belize, the PM met again today with the same group as furtherance to that discussion on the development of Belize’s economy. One of the itchy topics has been the super bond, which the government has been attempting to re-negotiate with the international lending partners. The Prime Minister said that since last year’s forum, the reduction of electricity and water rates is the most notable development. Electricity rates were cut by six percent and water rates by 7.2 percent. But perhaps even more significant that that now, at least for people whose lives and business depend heavily on the use of the internet, is that we will soon have broader bandwidth access at much cheaper rates than what is currently charged. And crime, being what it is, described by the PM as quote, “the major domestic issue at this time”, Mr Barrow said that his government whatever it will take to wipe the violence off the city’s streets. Focus was also given to corruption in the public service, which has, time and again been brought to the fore on the talk shows and the news. Following his presentation, Prime Minister Barrow spoke with reporters. Regarding the call by some sects for the immediate resignation or removal of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, for his approach to the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute, and specifically since the OAS Secretary General, Jose Insulza’s statement that whatever grant made to the family of the Guatemalan farmer killed by the BDF on Belizean land will not be made by the OAS, Mr Barrow sais that it was not Mr Elrington but he that made that decision. The PM calls the gesture a humanitarian ex-gratia payment. The citrus industry, also in a plight of its own recently, was also addressed in our conversation with the PM. That topic he referred to as a complex web of issues. Today’s Prime Ministerial forum was held at Old Belize on the George Price Highway.

New ferry installed on the Mopan River in Succotz village
A new ferry was today commissioned on the Mopan River in Cayo. The new ferry provides a crucial link to the historical archaeological site, Xunantunich, via the village of San Jose Succotz. The new, modern ferry replaces one that was there for thirty seven years. Constructed by Cayo Steel Works, the ferry was opened by the Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia, Junior. The ferry is part of the national Sustainable Tourism Program, headed by Christy Mastry. Funding for the ferry came from the Inter-American Development Bank through a thirty million-dollar loan to the Ministry of Tourism and Culture for infrastructural improvement across the country.

Halloween observed in Belize City
Staying on the theme of Halloween … on Wednesday night the streets of the old capital were busy with trick or treaters. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo reports on one man’s extraordinary effort to make the celebration special for the children.

BDF soldier charged; remanded to prison
Two persons, 25 year old BDF soldier Brendon Cacho and a 16 year old boy, who allegedly had a stolen car and were involved in a high speed chase with the police were charged with two offences when they appeared today in the number four Magistrate’s Court. They were charged with kept firearm without a gun license and handling stolen goods. They pleaded not guilty to the charges and they were remanded into custody until November 30. The car, a dark blue Toyota Camry, was stolen from the residence of Jose Hernandez on October 22. Hernandez reported to the police that he was at home when he heard the car’s alarm go off and when he looked out his window he saw a person of dark complexion speeding off in his car. Police recovered the car yesterday when they pursued the vehicle that was allegedly involved in a shooting on Lacroix Boulevard. The car crashed into a fence and three persons were seen fleeing from it. Two of them Cacho, and the minor, were caught. The police reported that they found a 9 milimetre pistol with no rounds in its magazine in the waist of the minor’s pants.

Woman found guilty of murder
Thirty eight year old Lavern Longsworth, a mother of three charged with the murder of her common-law husband. 33 year old David White was found guilty of the charge today in the courtroom of Justice Adolph Lucas. The jury of 7 women and 5 men deliberated for about 3 hours before it arrived at its verdict which was unanimous. White was set on fire by Longsworth on July fifteenth of last year. He succumbed to his injuries on August 2, 2010. Dr. Manuel Pañagua, who examined and treated White, testified that he received second degree burns on 85 % of his body and that he died from multiple organ failure. Dr. Mario Estradabran, who did the autopsy, testified and corroborated Dr Pañagua’s testimony of the cause of death. According to the evidence, White and Longsworth were at their home at number twenty one Castle Street when White asked Longsworth for ten dollars to buy drugs. Longsworth gave him the money and when he returned with the drugs and was fixing it with his back turned away from Longsworth, she stoned him in his back twice before she threw gasoline on him and set him on fire. Longsworth then threw water on him and douzed the flames. Longsworth gave a statement from the dock in which she said that she acted in self defence. She claimed that White had a knife and White made a motion as if he was pulling the knife from the waist of his pants and that was why she set him on fire. She said that White used to beat her. Electronic evidence was used at the trial which included interviews Longsworth gave to several reporters. In those interviews Lonsgsworth admitted that she set White on fire and that he had a knife. While he was at KHMH White gave a statement to the police about the incident. Longsworth was represented by attorney Kevin Arthurs while Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith represented the prosecution.

Boy who fell from moving bus continues to recuperate
Nine year old Martin Noble remains hospitalized in the pediatric ward at the Karl Heusner Memorial following Wednesday’s road traffic accident. The Standard Four student of the Holy Redeemer Primary School fell out of a moving passenger bus on the Phillip Goldson Highway just after four o’clock yesterday afternoon. He sustained massive head injuries and abrasions to his body. Today, the Minister of Transport Edmund Castro visited the injured child at the hospital and told reporters that the incident highlighted the need for bus operators to adhere to the law. That parent is Fortunato Noble who told reporters that it was inexcusable that his child was badly injured because of something was clearly preventable. According to Noble, his tests conducted since yesterday show no signs of swelling on his son’s brain and there does not appear to be any bleeding either. When asked if he had been visited by anyone from the bus company, Noble said that the driver of the bus from which his son fell, went to see him last night; but that he could not speak with him because the driver was attempting to explain away what happened. Since the incident, the road worthiness of the busses that transport commuters has been brought into sharp focus, along with the adherence, or lack thereof, to the regulations put forward by the Ministry of Transport. Minister Castro says enforcement will be stepped up. Nine year old Martin Noble remains hospitalized at the KHMH. His father told reporters that he has retained the services of an attorney and will be taking legal action against all who contributed to and are responsible for the incident that left his son badly injured and his family traumatized.

Minister of National Security unveils new crime fighting measures
Minister of National Security John Saldivar today announced a number of new crime fighting measures. The announcement came at the Prime Minister’s second business forum. Saldivar said the three weakest areas in the Police Department are intelligence gathering, investigation and prosecution. The added measures will cost the Department an additional 100 thousand dollars weekly.

Mexican embassy prepares to observe Day of the Dead
Mexicans will embark on their celebrations of the Day of the Dead tomorrow and Press Officer at the Mexican Embassy, Marcelino Miranda enlightened us on the culture, saying that the celebration originates from the indigenous populations in pre-Hispanic times and also of the Christian religion in Europe. To make Belizeans more familiar with how they celebrate, the Mexican Embassy has planned a number of activities at the Mexican Institute on Newton Barracks. As explained by Miranda. The Institute will also be hosting a painting exhibition by Marial del Carmen Vasquez. And to top it off, there will also be a competition with primary schools on Altars of the dead which according to Miranda displays things that our loved ones who have passed used to celebrate. The altars include food, candles, pictures and many other elements. Students were invited to visit the Institute today and it will also be open for visitors tomorrow. The other celebration takes place tomorrow at 7:00 p.m and the embassy suggests that attendees wear white. The exhibit will open on Saturday.


Prime Minister addresses the conflict between CGA and Banks Holdings
At the Business forum yesterday Prime Minister Barrow addressed the deafening issue regarding the Citrus Products o...

Drugs and ammunition found in Roaring Creek
Belmopan Police today made a substantial find on the banks of the Roaring River in the village of Roaring Creek. Po...

Soldier and a minor on remand after gunfire in Belize City
Belize City felt like Iraq on Tuesday, when a group of men sacred the residents of Lake Independence as they let lo...

Economic Development Council reports progress
The Economic Development Council (EDC) was formed subsequent to the first Business Forum last year. It comprises re...

Police discuss crime statistics with Belmopan residents
Here in Belmopan the Police Department held session last night to inform the citizens on the work of the department...

Over thirty-three thousand dollars worth of items stolen form Belize City home
A Belize City woman looses personal and household items when her home is burglarized. Berta Espat, a retired Accoun...

Motorcycle stolen from in front of Belize City residence.
Jose Alfredo Gonzalez, a naturalized Belizean of Pelican Street in Belize City reported that on Oct 31, between 8pm...

17 years-old arrested for robbery
Following investigation into the robbery report made by Yue Di Kuang sent on the 28th of October; Yesterday in the ...

Soldier and minor charged with vehicle theft
Following the theft of motor vehicle report, made by Jose Ricardo Hernandez on the 22nd of October; Yesterday, Poli...

36 years old labourer arrested for Carnal Knowledge
After investigations into a report made by Shanieya Johnson on the 31st of October; Yesterday Police arrested and c...


Amandala sports desk received the sad news on Tuesday of the passing of one time defender on the 1960’s and ‘70’s Landivar senior football team who won a number of championships in the Belize City senior football competition. Ernest was a quiet and easygoing person, a solid defensive player, and always a gentleman on and off the football field. His younger brother Kenrick, now in the U.S., was an outstanding inside-forward on that Landivar champion team of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s in Belize City. A relative/friend gave us the below information on Ernest’s sudden passing: “Ernest Emmanuel Jones, 67 years old, passed away quietly on Saturday, October 27, at his home on Bachelor Avenue, West Landivar, in Belize City. “His death was a shock to his family and friends. He lived alone, so his brother Glenford always visited him daily. However, he did not go on Saturday, thinking he would have gone to play dominoes with friends near Brads at the Farmers Market. “It was really traumatic for him and the family when they received a call from neighbors who hadn’t seen Ernest for two days. Police were called when they discovered his body already in a state of decomposition. “Dr. Mario Estradabran conducted an autopsy on the body on Monday at 10:00 a.m., and the body was blessed by Father Brian Christopher, S.J. “He was laid to rest at Eternal Gardens.” Amandala extends our sincere condolences to his relatives and friends. Rest in peace, brother Ernest Jones. (Editor’s Note: Ernest was also an outstanding cricketer, batting and bowling for Unity Cricket Club and three-peat champions Milport)

A wide cross-section of people from Belize’s private sector met inside the Jungle Pavilion at Old Belize on the George Price Highway this morning for the Second Business Forum hosted by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow under the theme “Partnering for Growth.” In his keynote address, Barrow said “the main focus of this forum is, through ongoing and intensive collaboration and cooperation between the public and private sectors, to identify and implement those approaches, activities and operations that will raise the level of business activity in Belize on a sustainable basis; that will expand jobs, incomes, and business profits; that will improve and expand the efficiency and effectiveness of public sector operations; and all with a view to improving, as rapidly as possible and on a sustained basis, the living levels and quality of life of all residents of our country.” Last year’s forum resulted in the formulation of a steering committee of 8 persons, 4 from the private sector and 4 from the public sector. That body has since evolved into the Economic Development Council (EDC) with a 10-member constitution, also split equally between the private and public sector.

The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things - Alice in Wonderland – The Office of the Ombudsman It has been awhile since that office has been vacant, and there have been murmurings of dissatisfaction over the delay in choosing someone to perform the important functions of that high office. I think the government should take as much time as it needs to find the right person to appoint as Ombudsman. Too much care cannot be taken to find that “right” person because, there are very few citizens who can measure up to the special qualities that the holder of that position should have. There is no greater gift that a democratic government can give to its citizens than the establishment of the Office of Ombudsman, and choosing someone with a distinguished record of public service and, with the necessary attributes of intellect, integrity, and motivation. The Office of the Ombudsman was established by the United Democratic Party government in 1994 but, the position, was not filled until 1998, by a People’s United Party government. Belize’s first Ombudsman had a commendable record of performance during his nine-year tenure of office, which his annual reports, which he never failed to deliver to the Clerk of the National Assembly, attest. It is a fact of life, that there is a tendency for those who exercise power and authority to abuse that power, to the detriment of those they are supposed to serve. In many such cases the individual who is unfairly treated has no means of redress. Where there is no redress, unfair treatment becomes the practice, with disastrous consequences. To discourage such abuses and to create a climate where the citizen can be assured of fair treatment at the hands of public authorities, is the primary reason for the establishment of the Office of the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is there to give protection and assistance to anyone who seeks his intervention when it is needed.

Buckley was shot by police in the head in a case of mistaken identity; if the government can help a Guatemalan, the government can help him, a Belizean, he said. Almost three years after he was shot in his head by police due to mistaken identity, on Kraal Road in Belize City, Steven Buckley has still yet not been compensated for his terrible injuries, and life for him is a day-to-day struggle for existence. Buckley told Amandala today that since he was shot, he has been disabled, and cannot work. He was disappointed to hear that the government will pay BZ$20,000 compensation to the Guatemalan man who was shot and killed on our side of the border, breaking our laws, and when the man charged at, and attempted to kill one of our soldiers, the soldier defended himself. He said that after being shot by police by mistake, nothing has been given to him. He calls on the government to help him and his family, just as they are planning to help the Guatemalan. He needs assistance and financial support. He said that he cried this morning because he, a proud man, has been reduced to begging from people. He said that he has been used to working, and not begging.


There was this incredible statement Rt. Hon. George Price made to a foreign journalist way back when. This would have been maybe around 1958 or 1959, when Mr. Price told the journalist that if independence did not work out, he would give the northern half of the country to Mexico and the southern half to Guatemala. I am sure Mr. Price regretted making this statement. To the best of my knowledge, he had never said anything like it publicly before, and he never said anything like that publicly again. Nevertheless, they say that the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the fact of the matter is that Mr. Price led Belize to independence with all its territory intact. Mr. Price proved his mettle. So, I bring up that controversial statement only to use it as a backdrop for this column’s material. As I understand it, Guatemala is claiming from the Sibun River south to the Sarstoon, which means it is claiming the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts. These two Districts are normally the most peaceful of places, so it was noteworthy this past week when turmoil began to take place in both of them. In Toledo, the issue involved a foreign oil company (US Capital Energy) trying to beat down the opposition of the indigenous Q’eqchi’ Maya (led by SATIIM, which is the Sarstoon –Temash Institute for Indigenous Management), and in Stann Creek’s Pomona Valley the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) was battling against the foreign-controlled Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL). The two matters are not directly related, but in both cases we can identify organizations which are largely Belizean, confronting institutions which have more money, more technology, and a foreign power base. (For all intents and purposes, CPBL is being controlled by Banks Holdings of Barbados.)

For many months now, we have been publishing, in serial form, a book called Bury my heart at Wounded Knee, written by an American by the name of Dee Brown. This is a book that is maybe forty years old or so, and it is a very famous book among people who care about history, injustice, greed, racism, and these sorts of things. We do not have permission from Mr. Dee Brown to reproduce his work, but we figure that a man who could write such a wonderful book would not try to pressure a little old newspaper in little old Belize. We would suppose, moreover, that Mr. Brown made many millions of US dollars off his book, which was a bestseller, and therefore he is not in need of any Belize dollars. (NOTE: Dee Brown passed in 2002. May he rest in peace.) The hundreds of Native American tribes who inhabited what is now the continental United States of America before the white man came, used to live a certain way: they had their own cultures. Fundamental to the lifestyles of the Native Americans was a relationship to the earth wherein the earth was viewed and treated with reverence. The Native Americans also believed in a communal concept of life where the individual was not as important as the tribe. The white people who came from Europe had a different outlook on life. They wanted to use science and technology to bring nature under control so that they could generate wealth and power. The white people worshipped gold; they wanted to build railroads and cut up the open land into private properties for ranches and farms. The story of Wounded Knee is the story of how the Europeans who came from across the ocean deceived and overpowered the Native American tribes, and essentially destroyed their way of life. If you are a Native American, or if you have sympathy for Native Americans, this is a very, very sad story. But if you are a European, or an admirer of Europeans, this is a case of what they describe as “manifest destiny” – it was meant to be. So then, the conquest and domination of Native Americans become, from this perspective, a glorious tale of heroic war, of progress and development, and of modern civilization taking over from savagery, paganism, and primitive ways of life.

The Dangriga Amateur Cycling Association will be hosting the biggest mountain bike cycling classic ever in Dangriga – the Belize Road Way Construction Cycling Classic in honor of T.V. Ramos. It will also be a part of the program of events for Garifuna Settlement Day. This race will start from the Drums of Our Father monument at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 18, and head all the way on the Southern Highway to Placencia junction and back, and finish in front of the Telemedia Princess Royal Park. Once again, riders from all over the country are invited to take part in this big event. Riders must have a mountain bike with size 26 wheel and size 48 spracket. There will be huge cash prizes for the first top 5 finishers. First place will receive $1,000.00. There will be numerous station prizes along the way both going and coming. First, second and third place trophies will be delivered to the top 3 finishers by the National Garifuna Council. Registration per rider is only $10.00. Riders from across the country can contact Moses Lopez at 625-4022, or Mr. T. at 662-3310. Happy Garifuna Settlement Day 2012 to all cyclists in the country of Belize from the Dangriga Amateur Cycling Association!

Fifty-two-year-old retired BDF soldier Anthony Flores says he thinks this weekend’s marathon in conjunction with the annual BDF Sports Day may be his last. The BDF Day was originally scheduled for Saturday, October 20, but was postponed due to the rains and will now be held this Saturday, November 3, according to Flores. Flores, who visited the sports desk last Thursday, said he has been participating in long distance races for over twenty-five years, and had an ongoing rivalry with fellow Masters runner, William Bailey, who passed away a few days after running in the Father’s Day race in June of this year. Bailey had placed 2nd among the Masters in that race, and Flores was 3rd. “I was looking forward to meet him again in the BDF race,” said Flores, who may have lost some of his appetite for the event with the passing of his perennial rival. Anthony has one son, Joseph, who is also a runner, placing 3rd in the 2012 New Year’s Day 13-mile race. With his plans to soon take up employment as a security officer, Flores thinks he will not be able to maintain adequate training for competition. The BDF marathon race (actually it is a half-marathon – 13 miles) will start from Belizean Beach at Mile 4 on the George Price (Western) Highway, pass through Belize City, and then on to the Philip Goldson (Northern) Highway, to end at Price Barracks in Ladyville.

“The unilateral factory opening should not occur again and all parties should be properly consulted…” Just as hundreds of citrus growers were staging a massive protest in Pomona Valley on Tuesday, with one of its aims being to get government’s attention to help them solve an extended standoff between rival factions in the industry, the Government of Belize (GOB) issued a formal press statement in which it pledged to “continue to act as facilitator to help resolve these issues as quickly and amicably as possible.” The Government has reiterated its stance, however, that it will steer clear of the controversy over the ownership of Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL) – the premier processor and exporter of citrus products in Belize. Shareholders of the company—the CGA, majority shareholder, on the one hand; and Banks Holdings of Barbados, minority shareholder, on the other hand—have for years been locked in a dispute over the running of the company. According to the statement, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture met with citrus industry stakeholders—including delegations led by the chairmen of the Citrus Growers Association of Belize (CGA) and Belize Citrus Mutual (BCM), and the Chief Operating Officer of CPBL—on Wednesday, October 25, 2012, and “the discussions were respectful and positive…” In the meeting, attended by Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega as lead government rep, the parties undertook to “dialogue in a spirit of compromise to move the industry forward.”

The jury didn’t believe she was defending herself against an abusive husband Today in the Supreme Court of Justice Adolph Lucas, a jury of 7 women and 5 men found Lavern “Anti-Christ” Longsworth, 38, guilty of the murder of David White, 32. Longsworth was accused of throwing kerosene on White, her common-law husband, and then throwing a candle on him, which set him on fire on July 15, 2010 while they were at home. Although White didn’t die immediately, he did eventually succumb, on August 2, 2010, to the injuries he sustained at her hands. Longsworth was not charged with his murder until December 14, 2010, four months after White died. She was, however, charged with attempted murder on July 19, 2010, four days after the incident. The trial, which started on October 9, was unique, to say the least, when it came to murder trials. For one thing, at trials the jurors are normally told not to pay attention to any account of the incident they see on the television, hear on the radio or read in the newspapers. But this time, television personnel took the stand as witnesses for the prosecution.

Police will search “any and all houses … without the need for a warrant”! – National Security Minister John Saldivar Juvenile offenders “for even misdemeanors and petty crimes” will be isolated at Mountain Pine Ridge, under BDF guard Minister of National Security John Saldivar announced at the Second Business Forum held at Old Belize today that the Commissioner of Police, David Henderson, “will be invoking today the declaration of several crime-infested areas of Belize City as ‘crime-ridden’ areas,” giving power to security forces “to search any or all houses in the area without the need for a warrant” and “allowing them to restrict movement in and out of” specific areas that will be cordoned off. “Every person entering and exiting the area will be searched,” said Saldivar. “A systematic house-by-house search of these areas will be done with immediate effect…” Amandala contacted Commissioner Henderson for further information. He confirmed to our newspaper that the operation has kicked off today, and would cover “quite a number of areas,” but he declined to comment on details and ended the call when we were probing, saying he had a call on another line.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow revealed at the Second Business Forum held at Old Belize this morning that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is presently in town – on a dual mission. The last Article IV Executive Board Consultation with Belize was on October 21, 2011, according to the IMF’s website. The 2012 mission has begun, and the IMF team is due to meet with officials from the Belize Ministry of Finance on Monday, November 5, 2012, an official in the Ministry told us. Barrow also announced this morning that experts from the IMF’s capital markets division are already in-country to execute their mission, simultaneously with the 2012 Article IV review, to provide technical assistance for Belize, at the country’s request. Whereas Barrow said that Belize has sought the assistance of the IMF to review our entire tax system and to make recommendations for its restructuring and improvement, he said that the IMF’s “special technical assistance” is focused on bolstering Belize’s debt management capacity. The debt restructuring scenarios released by the Ministry of Finance in August have formed the basis for negotiations with creditors who have subscribed to the US$544 mil super-bond, Barrow said. He announced this morning that he is travelling to Miami this weekend, ahead of the meeting with the IMF, to meet with Government’s US financial advisors, preparatory to a face-to-face meeting the advisors will have with representatives of the creditor committee.

Why? His friends and fellow workers say he was a family man, a good man and a hard worker The wailing and crying were heart-wrenching at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital this morning as the wife and children of road construction supervisor David Myvette, 43, mourned his death. Myvette, an employee of Mejia United Construction Company and a resident of Sandhill Village, was rushed to the emergency ward after he was shot about twelve times in his head and back by an unknown gunman. He fought for his life for about 15 minutes in the emergency ward while being treated before succumbing to his injuries. His family, who had rushed to be by his side, was overwhelmed with grief when they were told that he had died. The incident occurred around 9:30 this morning, Wednesday, on Electric Avenue, a road in the Lake Independence area. Police said that Myvette was working with his crew, laying concrete on Electric Avenue about 80 feet from the junction of Electric and Lawrence Avenues when suddenly, his workmen ran away. Two men then rode up on bicycles and one of them, without provocation or warning, shot Myvette while he was steel-floating the cement mixture that had been dumped on the steel formwork on the road. Witnesses said that about twelve shots were fired at him, after which the killer rode into a side street and disappeared.

BR>US$10,000 FOR FAMILY OF GUAT INTRUDER< Barrow said grant for Guatemalan family was his idea Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexis Rosado, confirmed to Amandala on Wednesday that the Government of Belize has paid US$10,000 into the OAS Fund for Peace, with specific instructions to the Organization of American States (OAS) to have those funds made available to the pregnant widow and children of Guatemalan Francisco Quinn Yat, who was fatally shot by a Belize Defence Force officer more than 7 miles inside Belize, after the Guatemalan, who allegedly attacked the officer with a machete, refused to yield to six warning shots from the soldier. The OAS Fund for Peace was established, according to the OAS, to help address conflicts that arise out of territorial disputes, particularly in relation to disputes between Honduras and Nicaragua, El Salvador and Nicaragua, and Belize and Guatemala. The decision by the Government of Belize to pay any funds to the Guatemalan family has been the subject of great controversy here, and a newly formed group, the Belize Coalition for Justice, as well as Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), publicly condemned the decision and called for the removal of Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington for the manner in which the incident was handled on the diplomatic front. Today, though, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow told the press that Elrington did not propose that Government pay that grant to the Guatemalan family—he, Barrow, did.

Retired policeman Fortunato “Nato” Noble, the father of a boy, 9, who fell out of a crowded bus while going home to the Lords Bank area in Ladyville, says he will sue the bus company. Martin Noble was going home after school yesterday around 4:15, travelling from the city to Lords Bank in Ladyville. He and others were standing in the back of an overcrowded bus when around Mile 7 on the Philip Goldson Highway, the back door of the bus suddenly swung open, causing him to lose his balance, and he fell out of the bus and landed on the road. Those in the bus said that the bus was overtaking a vehicle and the driver was accelerating. The alarm was raised that Martin had fallen out, but the bus did not come to a stop until about half mile from where the boy fell. The irate father said that the bus company should put more buses on the road rather than jam people into one bus. He called on the authorities to do something. He said that this is in violations of the existing laws and it endangers the lives of people. He has been advocating against overcrowding on buses and had been running ads on the television against the unsafe practice. Nato said that his son is in terrible pain, but he thanks God that the accident was not fatal. Martin suffered no injury to the brain, and has no internal bleeding, but his face is busted up and swollen. He has several abrasions and scratches on his forehead, leg , and his fingertips were damaged. Nato said he was in the room when they were stitching him up, and he couldn’t take it.

A wide cross-section of people from Belize’s private sector met inside the Jungle Pavilion at Old Belize on the George Price Highway this morning for the Second Business Forum hosted by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow under the theme “Partnering for Growth.” In his keynote address, Barrow said “the main focus of this forum is, through ongoing and intensive collaboration and cooperation between the public and private sectors, to identify and implement those approaches, activities and operations that will raise the level of business activity in Belize on a sustainable basis; that will expand jobs, incomes, and business profits; that will improve and expand the efficiency and effectiveness of public sector operations; and all with a view to improving, as rapidly as possible and on a sustained basis, the living levels and quality of life of all residents of our country.” Last year’s forum resulted in the formulation of a steering committee of 8 persons, 4 from the private sector and 4 from the public sector. That body has since evolved into the Economic Development Council (EDC) with a 10-member constitution, also split equally between the private and public sector. Barrow said that “I am particularly pleased with the step-up in responsiveness from both the public sector agencies and the private business sector that has come with the appointment of Mrs. Amparo Masson to the EDC Secretariat, which is located in my office.” EDC chairman, Mike Singh, chief executive officer in the Ministry of Trade, said in his remarks that, “Using the dialogue we started a year ago, we have been actively addressing the issues that affect the business climate in which we operate.

There was this incredible statement Rt. Hon. George Price made to a foreign journalist way back when. This would have been maybe around 1958 or 1959, when Mr. Price told the journalist that if independence did not work out, he would give the northern half of the country to Mexico and the southern half to Guatemala. I am sure Mr. Price regretted making this statement. To the best of my knowledge, he had never said anything like it publicly before, and he never said anything like that publicly again. Nevertheless, they say that the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the fact of the matter is that Mr. Price led Belize to independence with all its territory intact. Mr. Price proved his mettle. So, I bring up that controversial statement only to use it as a backdrop for this column’s material. As I understand it, Guatemala is claiming from the Sibun River south to the Sarstoon, which means it is claiming the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts. These two Districts are normally the most peaceful of places, so it was noteworthy this past week when turmoil began to take place in both of them. In Toledo, the issue involved a foreign oil company (US Capital Energy) trying to beat down the opposition of the indigenous Q’eqchi’ Maya (led by SATIIM, which is the Sarstoon –Temash Institute for Indigenous Management), and in Stann Creek’s Pomona Valley the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) was battling against the foreign-controlled Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL). The two matters are not directly related, but in both cases we can identify organizations which are largely Belizean, confronting institutions which have more money, more technology, and a foreign power base. (For all intents and purposes, CPBL is being controlled by Banks Holdings of Barbados.)

The Reporter

Hopkins Resort Employee dies from machete attack! Mother and children injured but safe.
Abelino Garcia, 25, an employee of Hamanasi Resort in Hopkins, was fatally wounded when he tried to prevent a brutal machete attack against a woman, Olivia Coc, 36, and her two children last Saturday evening, October 27.

Youth, 19, involved in shoot-out with cops now charged with attempted murder
Lloyd Parchue, 19, was remanded to prison Monday, October 29, for allegedly trying to kill two police officers during a police chase that followed last Friday’s robbery at Moon Grocery. Parchue is accused of firing shots at Corporal Renald Bruhier and Police Constable Emilio Ack on Sun Dial Avenue in the West Landivar area. He, along with a 15-year-old boy who has since been remanded to the Belize Youth Hostel, was also charged with armed robbery. Both of them pleaded not guilty to the robbery charge. The owner of Moon Grocery reported to police that around 1:40 last Friday afternoon she and her two daughters were in the store when two dark complexioned men and a light-skinned man entered.

Women hoist kettlebells for strength
Kettlebells, classically a training tool of Russian strongmen, has become a go-to group fitness workout for women in pursuit of strong and sexy bodies, according to fitness experts. Lorna Kleidman, a world champion in kettlebell competition, said a modern kettlebell workout effectively combines cardiovascular, resistance and range-of-motion training, all in one hour. “It’s all in the swing,” said Kleidman, who teaches kettlebell classes at the Fitness Cell Collective in New York City, where women constitute up to 70 percent of her students.

New test to improve HIV diagnosis in poor countries
Scientists have come up with a test for the virus that causes AIDS that is ten times more sensitive and a fraction of the cost of existing methods, offering the promise of better diagnosis and treatment in the developing world. The test uses nanotechnology to give a result that can be seen with the naked eye by turning a sample red or blue, according to research from scientists at Imperial College in London published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. “Our approach affords for improved sensitivity, does not require sophisticated instrumentation and it is ten times cheaper,” said Molly Stevens, who led the research.

St. John’s College boys lead High School Volleyball
The undefeated boys of St John’s College, defending Belize City High School Volleyball Champions, entered as the top-ranked seed with five victories to the playoffs of the competition organized by the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association. The St John’s College boys took on the fourth ranked seed, the boys of Ladyville Technical High School, when the playoffs began at the Belize Elementary School auditorium on Tuesday evening, October 30. The Ladyville boys won the first set 25-23, but the SJC boys won the next three sets 25-10, 25-23, and 25-10. The SJC boys enjoyed their fourth consecutive victory over the Anglican Cathedral College boys at the St John’s College gymnasium on Saturday, October 27. With team captain Harold Nava setting the ball for Zachary Garbutt, Andrew Vasquez and Perry Diaz to hammer kills at the net, and Raymond Gillett and Raheem Flowers receiving and serving. SJC boys won the first set 25-16.

Hattieville Heats & Caye Caulker Girlz win in women’s football
The Hattieville Heats enjoyed their third victory 4-1 over the Caye Caulker Island Stars, while the Caye Caulker Girlz enjoyed their first win 1-0 over the Ladyville Jaguars, when the Belize District Women’s Football Competition continued at the Ladyville Field on Sunday, October 28. Jersha Estrada and Ashlyn Gordon led the Hattieville offensive supported by Deandra Coote and Felicia Gillett on the wings and Lauren Stephens and Doraine Lenarez at midfield. Saira Reyes anchored the Island Stars’ defense with the help of Shehady Chan, Aliny Guzman and Marilyn Reyes, but it was not long before Jersha Estrada broke through the defenders to embarrass goalkeeper Maribel Dominguez with the first winning goal. Deandra Coote soon added a second to lead 2-0.

Is Belize Business Friendly?
A fundamental economic debate was settled in the late 1980s and early 90s, when the Marxist dream of a planned economy failed, leaving its antipode, the free-market alternative, as the conspicuous, optimal choice for any state that wishes to achieve, maintain, or expand economic growth. Since then, the dissenting schools of thought have shifted the discord from whether or not the market economy works to how involved the government should be in the affairs of this private-sector-led system. The important thing to remember is that there is no such thing as a pure market economy; there are mixed economies that have varying blends of government intervention and capitalism. In the mixed economy, almost everyone agrees on two things: we need government to regulate and keep the playing field even, and we need more small businesses because they are the backbone of the economy. There is a direct link between the number of businesses that exist and the number of available jobs, the very thing that almost every politician promises to provide. But, here’s an important fact: government officials don’t necessarily create jobs; they should create the enabling environment that leads to more businesses, which provides more employment. This means that if any administration is serious about what they promise, businesses would be the top priority.

British billionare supports protecting Gladden Spit
British Billionaire Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson, mentioned in his blog of October 25, 2012, that one of the wonders of the ocean is the reef of Southern Belize, Gladden Spit. Sir Richard is in support of protecting the Gladden Split and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve. Gladden Spit and the Silk Cayes cover approximately 25,980 acres, 36 kilometres off the coast of Placencia where millions of Cubera and dogtooth snappers come together to lay trillions of eggs in the reserve. Sir Richard expressed the view that the Marine Reserve could be one of the greatest tourist attractions for Belize, and so it is critical that the species in that reserve be protected. Sir Richard criticized the government for allowing fishing boats to wade in, and said this miracle could get wiped out, leaving Belize and the world poorer for it. By contract, the government of the Cayman Islands has recently voted to ban fishermen from an area of sea where millions of groupers congregate to lay eggs in the winter. Throughout the course of spring full moon, snappers gather by the thousands in Belize to lay their eggs at the Gladden Spit. Whale Sharks are attracted to the spawning event and with their mouths wide open they charge through the school. “It’s a striking performance to observe,” Branson said. Sir Richard Branson is famous for his Virgin Group of more than 400 companies.

Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and DPP Vidal must go, PUP says
The Opposition, People’s United Party (PUP) Chairman, Henry Charles Usher called for the removal of Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington and Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Cheryl-Lynn Vidal. Usher made the remarks, which appears to be a new PUP position, at a press conference at Independence Hall. “We in the PUP state very loud and clear that the attorney general has lost the confidence of the Belizean people and should be replaced. We also declare that there is a crisis of confidence in the Department of Public Prosecution.” Usher added that after four years in office, the DPP has a complete lack of confidence from the Belizean people. “We call on her to step aside and allow for a fresh start in the department”. Usher also lashed out at RESTORE Belize, saying that it got strangled in a web of committees and soon ran out of gas. Party Leader Fonseca, who was the main speaker, opened the press conference describing the state of the nation. “Our country is in crisis. Every objective observer and all the social economic data available points to a Belize that is headed in the wrong direction,” he said.

Ministry of National Security supports Placencia 2020 anti-crime measure
The Ministry of National Security and the Steering Committee of the Placencia 2020 Initiative signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at ceremonies at the Eastern Division Police Station on Wednesday, October 31. Placencia 2020 Initiative is made up of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (B.T.I.A.) and the villages of Placencia and Seine Bight, along businesses with other stakeholders in the area. The MOU outlines a novel approach to fighting crime on the Placencia peninsula with a twenty-four hour mobile checkpoint, which will be managed by police and residents. At the MOU signing ceremony, Mr. Stewart Krohn, Chairman of Placencia B.T.I.A. explained that their checkpoint will be a kind of “mobile institutionalized checkpoint” that will be funded by the private sector. Krohn explained that they will purchase a recreational vehicle, with which they will set up the checkpoint. He said that the vehicle will be an all weather type. “If people have to be detained, they will be detained and questioned within the confines of the vehicle that we will have.” The checkpoint will be tourist friendly. Krohn said that they will be asking the Belize Tourism Board for training resources to train local police on how to use tourist friendly methods. The Minister of National Security John Saldivar said that the fight against crime will take time. “All I can ask is the patience of the Belizean people as we work together as one Belizean people to solve this greatest challenge,” He said.

Most modern renewable energy factory in Caribbean opens in Barbados
On October 20, 2012, Solaris Energy Limited opened the Caribbean’s newest and most modern renewable energy manufacturing facility. With this new 8,000 square-foot factory in St Phillip, Barbados, Solaris Energy enhances its 30-year history of providing solar powered products by increasing its production of solar water heaters, expanding its portfolio of products, and reaching out to new international markets. Solaris Energy’s subsidiary Solaris Global Energy Limited will continue to produce flat plate solar water heaters, including the popular Solaris 500; and add to its product line new vacuum tube solar water heaters and photovoltaic (PV) electricity products and systems. The factory opening was celebrated with an opening gala attended by Senator Darcy Boyce, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister of Barbados, who also was the featured speaker. Boyce, who has responsibility forTele-communications and Energy, and Investment in Barbados, said: “This expanded and upgraded facility [is] helping this country get a little bit closer to realizing the vision of this administration for a dynamic and strong renewable energy sector.” Citing the need to get solar water heaters into the homes of income groups that generally do not have them now, Boyce spoke about encouraging research and development, marketing and financing of renewable energy and energy efficiency systems made in the region.

Secretary-general urges Belize private sector to make use of CARICOM market
Secretary-general of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Irwin LaRocque has urged the Belizean private sector to make use of the opportunities provided under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). On the second and final day of his official visit to Belize, LaRocque told a cross section of private sector representatives that CARICOM “is your market. Use it! It is your right.” He described the interaction with the group as one of the highest levels of engagement he has had with the business community during his visits to member states. The secretary-general outlined to the businessmen the measures being undertaken to encourage the growth of trade within the Community and also the opportunities for increasing exports to international markets. He stressed Belize’s potential to capitalise in both instances particularly in the area of agriculture. The business community brought to the Secretary-General’s attention some of their concerns and offered suggestions to improve the trading exchanges within the Community. Discussions also centred on Belize’s role as a possible conduit to increase trade and business opportunities between CARICOM and Central America. Later the Secretary-General told youth representatives that he viewed youth as an asset, not a problem and their time was now, not the future.

Northeast crawls back to business after monster storm
The U.S. Northeast began crawling back to normal on Wednesday after monster storm Sandy crippled transportation, knocked out power for millions and killed at least 45 people in nine states with a massive storm surge and rain that caused epic flooding. Financial markets reopened with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, and packed buses took residents back to work with the subway system halted after seawater flooded its tunnels. John F. Kennedy and Newark airports reopened with limited service after thousands of flights were canceled, leaving travellers stuck for days. New York’s LaGuardia Airport, one of three airports that serve the nation’s busiest airspace, was flooded and remained closed. It will take weeks to recover fully from the massive power outages and mass transit disruptions. With six days to go before the November 6 elections, President Barack Obama will visit storm-ravaged areas of the New Jersey shore, where Sandy made landfall on Monday. He will be accompanied by Republican Governor Chris Christie, a vocal backer of presidential challenger Mitt Romney. But Christie has praised Obama and the federal response to the storm.


Fry Jacks
A popular Belize recipe, fry jacks are eaten for breakfast accompanied by refried beans, meat, and eggs. Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Cut shortening into flour. Add water, a little at a time, to make a soft, but not sticky dough. Divide dough into two rounds. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Lightly flour counter top or cutting board. Roll dough out to about 10 to 12 inches round. Cut lengthwise into 2 to 3 inch strips and then crosswise to desired size. Heat oil and fry on each side until golden brown. Serve hot with honey, jam, sugar or refried beans and cheese and fully enjoy one of our great Belize recipes

International Sources

Danny Michel builds new album from scratch in Belize
FOR his new album Toronto rocker Danny Michel decided to do something completely different from anything he'd done before. His new eight-song disc, Black Birds are Dancing Over Me, recorded last winter in Belize, features Michel performing with musicians from the Garifuna Collective. The recording sessions took place over several months but the actual concept for the album started percolating in Michel's subconscious many years before. "I first went to Belize over 10 years ago on a trip, loved it, and I've gone back every year since," he says. I got more and more involved in the community and started working with a school there and always kept thinking it would be great to make a record there. The music and the vibe has been slowly sneaking into my music over the last few records and this time I thought 'let's do it right' and do the whole album there." Hanging out on Caye Caulker, a small island off the north coast of Belize, Michel listened to a lot of local Garifuna punta music including records by Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective produced at Ivan Duran's Stonetree Studios. "They do all these records and I thought why don't I just ask these people if they'd be interested in doing a record with me," says Michel. The Canadian musician contacted producer Ivan Duran by email and sent along a link to a video of what he'd worked on previously. Duran liked what he saw and invited Michel to come down to his studio. Stonetree, based in Benque Viejo del Carmen, inland near the Guatemalan border, is on the opposite side of the country from where Michel was staying. Travelling back and forth to record the album he now knows Belize like the back of his hand.

Belize rejects new payments without debt deal
Belize will not make any more payments on its debt before a restructuring deal can be reached with creditors, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said. In a speech to businessmen Thursday, Barrow rejected the idea of another partial interest payment while talks go on with lenders over its $544 million in debt. "The government of Belize has made a partial payment on the coupon as a sign of good faith in August, but will make no further payment before an equitable agreement is reached with bond holders," he said, according to a text of his address obtained by AFP. In September, the small Central American country made an $11.7 million interest payment, only half of what it owed but enough to avoid full-blown default after missing a deadline for repayment a month earlier. "As negotiations continue, our position remains firm," said Barrow. "To achieve an acceptable solution, it must be based on conditions that are reasonable, realistic and especially sustainable," he said. After Belize made the partial payment, a committee representing a group of bondholders said it would not go to court for an additional 60 days to allow room for negotiations on debt restructuring.

November 2, 2012

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

48-year-old man charged for sexually abusing 10 year old child
San Pedro police have arrested and charged a man who is accused of sexually abusing a ten-year old female student multiple times. The man has been identified as 48 year old Candido Alamilla, a Belizean boat captain of Boca del Rio area of San Pedro Town. The minor, in the company of her mother visited the station and reported on October 30th that the man had not only fondled her on several occasion but also had sexual intercourse with her. According to police, the minor reported that on October 7th at about 1:30PM she went swimming at a pool where a person, who is a family friend for over three years, jumped into the water and touch her indecently. The ten-year old told police the man is Candido Alamilla. The girl also told police that sometime between the dates of October 8th and 12th, the male person picked her up from school and took her to his house where he proceeded to have sexual intercourse with her. Police say that on October 15th, at about midday the man picked the same girl from school and fondled her. The following day the same man went to the girl’s school and told the teacher that the girl’s mother sent him to pick her up. The girl was released into his care and according to the minor he took her to his house and fondled her again. On October 27, after showing psychological changes, the little girl told her mother what had been happening to her and as a result they visited the San Pedro Police Station and made a formal report.

Islanders demand action “NOW!” over the crime situation
Over the past few weeks, businesses as well as residents and visitors have been the targets of crime on the island. The incidents are rapidly becoming a major concern amongst islanders who hold a major stake in the tourism industry. Residents are beginning to fear that this may have a negative impact on our tourism dependent island and are calling on the police to “put more boots on the ground” and calling for the local elected authorities to “have the issue addressed promptly.” During a well attended town meeting held on Tuesday evening, Oct. 30th at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium, angry islanders had the opportunity to vent their frustrations about the crime situation on the island. “I have received cancellations from tourists and they are requesting their monies back because of the crime situation on this island… when I lose from this cancellation the tour guides lose, the tour companies lose, the restaurants lose, the community loses and the government loses from taxes,” said an outspoken local business owner Nellie Gomez. The panel consisted of the Officer Commanding San Pedro Police Formation Assistant Superintended of Police Viennie Robinson, Assistant Commissioner of Police and Commander of Eastern Division Police Formation, Elodio Aragon Jr, Commissioner of the Belize Police Department David Henderson, Minister of Tourism and Culture and Area Representative Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr and Mayor of San Pedro Daniel Guerrero. Elito Arceo, a tour operator on Ambergris Caye also explained to the panel that as a direct result of the crime situation on Ambergris Caye, a group of 30 students from a US university have cancelled coming to San Pedro Town. “We need to act now… we need a solution before worse happens,” echoed each resident that went to voice their frustration.

UNICEF is willing to help SPTC in addressing San Mateo issues
On October 29th and 30th a representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was in San Pedro for a two-day working visit where she took the opportunity to meet with various stakeholders including the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). The visit is a follow-up to a previous meeting held in April 2012 with the SPTC. The purpose of the meeting is to see ways in which UNICEF can work along with the SPTC on issues affecting children and women on the island, especially in the area of San Mateo as it relates to a clean and safe environment. The stakeholders included the Ministry of Education (MoE) representatives on the island, Belize Water Service (BWS), the Public Health Inspector, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), school principals and councilors of the San Pedro Town Council. The San Mateo community lacks all proper basic infrastructure including electrification, water and sewer system and adequate roads and was the center of discussion. Early Childhood Development and Education Officer at UNCIEF Denise Robateau spoke with The San Pedro Sun and explained that they are willing to work with SPTC in addressing some of the issues in the area of San Mateo. “In terms of the issue of clean and safety environments; one of the trusts of the Quality Child Friendly School Imitative of the MoE is to have such a component in their framework… UNICEF had a discussion with the stakeholders in terms of how we can improve the conditions, especially in the area of San Mateo,” said Robateau. With the promotion of clean and safety environments being taught at the school, it is the hope that the children will take it into their community and practice what is taught and trigger behavioral changes.

SP Lions celebrates 37th anniversary
The San Pedro Lions Club celebrated their 37 anniversary on Saturday, October 27th after being founded on October 25th, 1975. The event was celebrated in grand style, having the participation of Lions from other clubs countrywide. During the event, the speakers spoke of the many accomplishments of the club and the plan for the upcoming year. Jorge Aldana served as the Master of Ceremonies, and to officially welcome the guests and fellow Lions to the event was Lion Rigoberto Kumul of the San Pedro Lions Club. Shortly after, the President of the San Pedro Lions Club Murlene “Mel” Spain took the podium explaining that while there are no new Lions being installed, the event is worth celebrating. “The Lions Motto ‘We Serve,’ continues to be the goal today of this club as we celebrate its 37th birthday. As long as there is a need, the Lions Club will continue to do the best it can, to help the residents of this community and of Belize by assisting them with paying their medical bills and help them to get medications… I must say it saddens me that we are not installing any new members today but we will do so later in the New Year. I am very happy and proud to say that this club is one of the strongest clubs in Belize and it is because we have positive minded members,” said President Spain.

Ambergris Today

Mayor Guerrero Secures 5 Additional Police for San Pedro
Only 15 hours after the public consultation meeting between our town leadership comprising of the police and residents of San Pedro, there is already good and positive news to report. Mayor Daniel Guerrero informed Ambergris Today that the Minister of National Security has immediately assigned five new police officers to be dispatched to San Pedro. This is an additional five besides the ten to be assigned to San Pedro Town in January of 2013.

World AIDS Day Activities in San Pedro
The San Pedro AIDS Commission is gearing up for World AIDS Day and has planned a weekend full of activities leading to World AIDS Day. In speaking with Felix Ayuso, Chairman of the San Pedro AIDS Commission, he was very happy to mention that the commission is growing and currently has 41 active members.

Transformed into Dia De Los Muertos
Halloween is one of my favorite time of the year. In September I came across a picture from one of my followers on instragram and I had to do it. I traveled to Merida, Yucatan for my vacation and came across some great ideas for my costume, which is "Dia De Los Muertos." I admired the impressive patterns and colors on the decorated skeleton; so I decided to stick with the traditional look ,but put a twist. After going through many pictures online, I noticed that in Los Angeles the Dia De Los Muertos designs have become very popular in the tattoo world. Also, many have started decorating their homes with these figurines and also inspired in clothing lines. Thankfully I know a great friend of mine who is a well known tattoo artist in Belize by the name of Wimpas Sosa. He gladly took on the task in transforming me into a Dia de Los Muertos. The painting took twenty-five minutes and I was ready to head out to the party and show off my Dia De Los Muertos Hollywood Style costume.

25 Years Ago: Dia De Los Muertos “All Saints Day”
Throughout Mexico, Central America and most parts of Belize we celebrate Dia de los Muertos or All Saints Day. It is a family, social, religious and cultural celebration and it coincides right after Halloween. November 1st Dia de los Muertos is celebrated in honor of the children who have passed away and November 2nd is celebrated to honor the adults who have been laid to their eternal rest. So, is this a regular dance party with lots of food and drinks galore like we have for Halloween and so many other celebrations? Not quite so! This is how this celebration goes. Days before the celebrated day, the village or town folks go to the cemetery to give it a thorough cleanup and paint the tombs. For November 1st mom first bakes a large batch of sweet bread known as Pan de Muertos or Cross Buns. It is sweet bread with a cross marked on it. This bread is put on the home altar which is arranged with candles, flowers, images or small statues of saints, and a cup of any pop drink. At midday, the family prays a rosary for the repose of the soul of the beloved deceased, and then the family goes to the cemetery to lay flowers or wreaths on the tombs.

Misc Belizean Sources

Mexican Day of the Dead celebration in Belize
The Embassy of Mexico cordially invites the public to the traditional celebration of the DAY OF THE DEAD, on Friday, November 2nd, at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City. This Mexican tradition combines the beliefs of ancient cultures with those of the Catholic religion. Mexico has always had its own approach to the concept of death. On the Day of the Dead, the souls of the ancestors are invited to join in festivities including food and dancing. Candy skulls are given to loved ones and funny poems about death are shared. The indigenous festivity dedicated of the dead was inscribed by UNESCO in 2008, on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Kim Simplis Barrow
Great series of photos of the Barrow family taken by Olivera Rusu.....

The best dog costume of all time
this is rad, sent to me from Jesse!!!

Bobby Banks fundraiser, please help....
Belize Electricity Limited is currently embarking on a fundraising effort to assist one of our valued employees who has recently fallen ill and has been undergoing a series of medical treatments. To this end, we here at BEL are asking your support through the purchase of tickets. Kindly see the attached flyer for details and please pass on to your fellow colleagues and family. Tickets can be obtained from me at [email protected] or by contacting me at 227-0954 ext. 1105. You may also feel free to use one of the contact numbers/extensions listed on the flyer. Your support will be greatly anticipated and appreciated.

After 40 years, a new ferry was inaugurated in San Jose Succotz crossing the river to Xunantunich. It was a combination of culture, tourism and local community. Xunantunich was the first site open to the public in the 1950's. The site's name has been changed numerous times and Dr. Jaime Awe from the Institute of Archeaology, enlightened those that gathered for this landmark occasion. Initially, it was called Mount Moloney in name of Sir Alfred Moloney. Then it was deemed an inappropriate name and called Benque Viejo. As this thriving community was almost named the capital of Cayo. But having a Spanish name was also considered inappropriate. An acheaologist officionado, Thomas Gann thought it fitting to name it Xunantunich, which ancient Mayas called Clay Mountain. Xunantunich refers to the ghost of a woman claimed by several people to inhabit the site, beginning in 1892. She is dressed completely in white, and has fire-red glowing eyes. She generally appears in front of "El Castillo", ascends the stone stairs, and disappears into a stone wall. Launching this ferry is a milestone of progress to protect and enhance tourism. Cultural toursim as Min. Heredia noted is a key factor in development. The Ministry is endeavoring more efforts in Placencia, Cayo and Ambergris Caye. Here in Cayo, there is work on the ATM Caves, Cayo Welcome Center and Cahal Pech. Our Archeaological Parks represent heritage and education. After all the Minister noted, a country that does not honor it's history, is like a man wihtout a soul! They have made efforts to preserve the hand crank mechanism that the ferry is reknown for. And as 'with every new begininning, there are moments of reflection' and Ms Diane Haylock, noted Escandar Bedran Sr. who was the creator of the old ferry. The old ferry will be relocated in San Jose Succotz and not just disgarded. It is after all an important part of history!

Xunantunich Ferry Inauguration
New Ferry makes “Maiden Voyage” across the Mopan River to the “Maiden of the Rock” Maya site , Xunantunich……

Xunantunich Ferry the Day Before Removal
The old ferry the day before its decommission. It was a great day to see Xunantunich, and Dino is a fantastic guide.

VIDEO: Wicked Jelly Fish, Bait Ball and Swim Through Tunnels
Local Diving, Never a dull moment! Ambergris Caye Belize

Jada's Pizza
My teenage daughter Jada, has been cooking and creating in the kitchen since she was about 11 years old. This pizza uses store bought french bread with Jada's own eclectic toppings and a sauce that's made from scratch. This is quick meal that Jada always makes when she has friends over.

October’s Photo of the Month
This photo was taken on our beautiful Rendezvous Caye at night with the moon full on New Years Eve of this year! Uros Kekus was the brilliant photographer – we have very much enjoyed looking through all his photos but this one particularly identifies Raggamuffin! Thank you Uros for your wonderful photos – this one will now be our new cover photo!

Belize City resident will start paying a new bill come January, 2013. It’s called a “Garbage Fee” and will be charged at $10 per household. According to Mayor Darrell Bradley, the new “Garbage Fee” will assist the Belize City Council in defraying the coast of the soon to be launched municipal Bond. The prospectus for the Municipal Bond will be issued on November 15. According to Mayor Bradley, the $10 Garbage Fee will be added on to City residents’ water bill, thereby making Belize Water Services a collection agency for City Hall. The first Garbage Fee bill will be issued the middle of December and becomes payable by the middle of January, 2013.

Channel 7

"Antichrist" Guilty!
Today a jury of 7 women and 5 men needed only three hours to find Laverne "Antichrist" Longsworth guilty of the 2010 murder of her 32 year-old common-law husband, David White. After the verdict was issued, 38 year old Longsworth quietly shook her head in seeming disbelief. And when she was being escorted out of court, she broke away form police and tried to physically attacked photojournalist Rowland Parks. And so, tonight, the 38 year-old Longsworth is at prison awaiting her sentence - which is likely to be life in prison. In the month-long, highly controversial case, the prosecution, represented by Crown Counsel Shenieza Smith, summoned media personnel from both Channel 5 and Channel 7 who contributed to the recording, broadcast, and storage of 4 interviews Longsworth conducted. In those interviews, Longsworth admitted that on the night of July 15, 2010, she threw gasoline on White and lit him on fire. He died 17 days later at the KHMH from burn injuries. And Crown Counsel Smith managed to get the court to admit those interviews into evidence, which is a precedent, since electronic evidence is very rarely used in a criminal trial. In her defence, Longsworth gave a dock statement in which she accepted that she did wrong when she through gasoline White and lit him on fire, but she maintains that she did it in self-defence. She also told the court that White physically abused her many times throughout their relationship. She also said that White, as part of the wrongs he did her, caused her to contract HIV from him.

Bandwidth Breakthrough: BTL Doubles Up Internet Speeds
A recent survey of the Caribbean showed that Belize's internet rates were the among the highest and its bandwidth among the lowest. Telemedia, the nationally owned phone company has been roundly criticized and condemned for it. ,p> And now, the company is doing something about it: they're doubling the speed again, but halving the price at the same time. The Prime Minister broke the news at his Business Forum this morning. Here's how he explained it:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize "Now comes what I consider to be a seminal new development; icing on the cake, with whip cream and cherry on top. Yesterday the BTL boards of directors agree that the company will once more give its internet customers increased bandwidth at reduce prices. According the 128k internet speed will go from $49 per month to $25 per month. All other DSL internet speeds will double but for less than the current price. As examples: one megabit which currently cost $300 will now sell for $140 per month, and two megabits sold now for $500 will cost only $240. So that going to back to the one megabit example; the customer currently pays $300 per month but that customer can now go up to two megabits for $240 for less than $300 that he currently pays for one megabit he can go up to two megabits. I really think ladies and gentlemen this is something."

Citrus Standoff Could Be Settled By a Buyout
And at today's forum the Prime Minister also spoke about the standoff in the citrus industry. The Citrus Products of Belize plant unilaterally opened one week ago - and the Citrus Growers Association announced that its members would be suspending deliveries - and protesting against what they hold is an illegal, unauthorized opening of the factory. More than that, the CGA says it stands to lose millions of dollars - if it accepts the price unilaterally declared by CPBL. Well, dialogue with the government and on the price has been ongoing, and tonight the news is that the CGA is relaxing its hardline, its farmers are on line to start deliveries - after productive dialogue. A release sent out this evening says that, quote, "representatives of the CGA had a very positive meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Gasper Vega," end quote. It adds that the meeting discussed, quote, "the transformation of the industry along with the buying out of Banks Holdings Ltd. shares in CPBL." Today at the business forum, the Prime Minister announced Government's support for that:..

9 Year Old Who Fell Out Of Bus Is Recovering; What Will Minister Do?
Tonight 9 year old Martin Noble is slowly recovering at the KHMH -after falling from a moving bus. The standard 4 student of Holy Redeemer was a standee on an overcrowded Haylock's bus -when the backdoor of the bus flung open. The child tumbled out of the bus unto the Northern Highway at mile 7 -into the path of oncoming traffic. Luckily he was spotted by drivers who managed to avoid hitting him. The incident has raised many concerns about the Transport System. This morning the airwaves were buzzing with angry citizens who voiced their dissatisfaction on what they believe is pure incompetence on behalf of the Ministry of Transport. But despite the many criticisms of the Transport system, Minister of Transport Edmund Castro took time out of his busy schedule to pay Noble a visit at the hospital today. While there, he gave the media an interview. Hon. Edmund Castro - Minister of State/Transport "It is so unfortunate. We have been trying to re-engineer the entire bus transportation and transport system in the country. We, for over the past 3 months, have actively played an advertisement over the radio asking for the bus owners and operators to obey the law."

Mexican Carried Major Weapons At the Free Zone
Tonight, 22 year-old Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez, a Mexican from Quintana Roo, is at the Belize Central Prison after he was busted with a frightening stash of weapons near the Corozal Free Zone. Police strongly believe that he was some kind of drug trafficker or assassin, because of the weaponry and gadgets that he was found with. On Tuesday, at around 11:20 a.m., acting on intelligence gathered by Corozal Police, a joint operation of security forces descended on rooms #102, and 103 of the Las Vegas Hotel, which is near to the Santa Elena Border. Mendes was found inside room #103 along with 1 black Glock .40 mm pistol, which contained 14 live rounds of ammunition; a black and grey Ruger brand 9mm pistol, which was loaded with 16 live rounds of Aguila brand ammunition; a silver and black magazine which contained 10 live rounds of 9mm ammunition; a transparent plastic bag which contained 28 grams of suspected cocaine; a zip lock plastic bag containing of 2 grams of suspected cannabis; a transparent plastic bag containing 7 grams of suspected cannabis; an assortment of radio communication devices; antennas; cell phones; a green face-mask; and 2 pieces of jewelry.

Killed His Ex's New Love; Convicted Of Manslaughter
He killed his ex's new boyfriend and 38 year-old Alvaro Gregorio was convicted of manslaughter for it. He is spending a second night in prison as he awaits his sentence from Justice Troadio Gonzalez. In October 2008 he stabbed 37 year-old Salvadoran National Roberto Jimenez Juarez Marroquin to death. It happened in the San Mateo area of San Pedro. On October 8, 2008, Gregorio allegedly went to his wife's home and was talking to her when Marroquin arrived 15 minutes later. The men argued, and Gregorio stabbed Marroquin in the chest with a kitchen knife, causing him to bleed to death. Gregorio, in his defence, gave a dock statement in which he didn't deny that Marroquin died of a stab wound from a fight between them. However, he said that he didn't inflict the wound himself; it happened when Marroquin attacked him with the knife, and he defended himself.

PM Woos Pvt Sector At Business Forum
We've already shown you the newsy bits of today's Business Forum with the Prime Minister - but the forum itself was news - if only for the fact that so many business people think the Barrow government just can't get it right when it comes to business. The forum represents an attempt to do just that - and today the Prime Minister's office put its best foot forward for the business community. Here's how it went:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Held under the theme Partnering for Growth - the Business Forum played to a full house at the Jungle Pavilion at Old Belize. Almost all of the 200 plus seats were filled - and the event was hosted by the Economic Development Council - a body which came out of last year's summit and is now a secretariat in the Prime Minister's Office which meets bi-weekly. Kay Menzies, Co chairman Economic Development Council "The year since the Prime Minister held the first economic forum has truly been a learning experience. It is not an easy thing to: one, get the public and private sector to speak and understand each other's language. Two, decide what from a fairly long list of urgent issues should and can be tackled first. Three, decide how best to tackle that what which we decide to tackle."

PM Says Ashcroft Alliance Trying to Torpedo Superbond 2.0
And there's one more bit of news coming out of today's event. The PM also discussed the progress - or lack thereof - with the superbond negotiations. The Opposition went all Chicken Little on it earlier this week - but the PM, while not overly-enthusiastic, showed cautious optimism. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "I see that we have been scolded for not keeping you sufficiently informed about super bond re-structuring. The report could be summarized very shortly - the negotiations are ongoing." "On August 8 our liability management team published three options for a sustainable debt exchange offer. These indicative scenarios have formed the basis for ongoing negotiations with a Creditor Committee and with non-Committee Bondholders over the last 10 weeks - nobody ever said it would be easy, the negotiations continue." "I go up to Miami this weekend to meet with our advisors preparatory to a face to face meeting that they will then have with the people representing the creditor committee." "As the negotiations proceed, our stance remains resolute: for any outcome to be acceptable, it must be based on reasonable, realistic and-above all-sustainable assumptions."

Alleged Street Shooter Is Ex-BDF
On Tuesday, a group of men caused so much ruckus with wild gunfire in the Lake-I area that one media house even reported a murder when there was none. Well police caught them in a high-speed chase and took them to court today. The accused are 25 year-old BDF Soldier Brendon Cacho and a 16 year-old minor, and tonight, they are at prison. At 6:30p.m., Police responded to shots being fired on La Croix Boulevard, and when they arrived at corner of Mahogany and Linda Vista Streets, the officers saw a dark blue Toyota Camry without any license plates speeding away from the scene. The police set chase after the vehicle, which ended up crashing into a fence at #168 Linda Vista Street, and 3 men were seen fleeing from the damaged vehicle. The officers managed to detain 2 of those men: Cacho and the 16 year-old male.

Brighton Cordova Passes
And before we go to break, we note the sad passing of Brighton Cordova, the ten year old who was seriously injured when a house fell on him in July of this year. It happened in Orange Walk Town when Brighton and another boy were playing with a pair of puppies. Brighton received brain injuries, which left him in a vegetative state. After doctors couldn't do any more for him, his family took him back to Orange Walk where they cared for him as best they could. He is reported to have passed away early this morning.

Cayo Man Caught With Cash, Shotgun
Tonight, 26 year-old year-old Adan Tesecum, a laborer of El Progresso Village in the Cayo District, is in prison after he was arraigned for burglary and firearm offences. Jorge Galdamez, a farmer of El Progresso Village, reported that on Sunday, between the hours of 7 p.m., and 10 p.m., someone broke into his home and stole his 16 gauge shotgun and $2,000 in cash. Police conducted their investigation and recovered the stolen shotgun and $1,600 of the stolen money in the position of Tesecum, and as a result, they charged him with keeping an unlicensed firearm, burglary. He was arraigned the San Ignacio Magistrate's Court and remanded on those charges.

The Old Succotz Ferry Is Retired
Since it was installed in 1975, the old hand-cranked Succotz Ferry has probably served more visitors to Xunantunich than McDonalds has served burgers. And while it is quaint - it's also out-dated - and the motorized Succotz Ferry 2.0 was launched today. It is longer and can carry more weight. It was replaced with funds from the Sustainable Tourism Programme - and at the launching today, the programme's director told the Press Office more:.. Christy Mastry, Sustainable Tourism Project "Today we launched the new ferry that will now hold up to 4 small autos and 2 of the minivans than come across over to the Xunantunich site. It's really exciting for us, the old ferry is incredibly historical, it's been working for 37 years all on a hand crank and we mention the long line of people who did the cranking over the many years. It's really exciting to be uniting history and culture, the tourism sector and a lot of the really active local communities in the area because it's really been involvement in the STP with the twins towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio and now Benque Del Carmen and especially now San Jose Succotz which is really the home of the ferry and where we will establish the old ferry as a landmark at the entrance to the town itself."

PROFILE: Darius Avila
If you've ever been to PG, then you should know Darius Avila. He's one of the leaders of that community and the owner of Beya Suites. But how did he become so well established? Tonight, he tells his story in the "I Am Belize" profile.

Day Of The Dead Observed
Last night trick or treaters took to the city streets in all kinds of costumed craziness enjoying the fun of the Halloween celebrations. But in the northern communities of the country, they are not so much into Halloween as they are into their tradition called "Day of the Dead" - which is celebrated on the first and second of November. It's a 500 year old tradition, where it is believed that the souls of ancestors return to join the living, in festivities that include food and dancing. The Mexican Embassy is hosting an exhibition on the - Day of the Dead- to display the traditional celebration. 7news stopped by to check out preparations. Marcelino Miranda, Mexican Embassy "The Mexican Embassy is pleased to invite the Belizean public to attend this cultural presentation on the Day of the Dead. There are different activities that are going to be included in this presentation. One of them is that the Institute of Mexico is going to become a complete full representation of reproduction of Mexican cemetery."

Channel 5

Guns, drugs and ammunition in Mexican’s Las Vegas Casino hotel room
Las Vegas Casino at the Corozal Free Zone. We broke that story on Tuesday, but police have only today released the information. It is reported that one of the most notorious drug cartels is linked, but what we can confirm is that the bust took place before noon at two hotel rooms at the swanky [...]

Citrus Growers intend to buy out Banks Holdings shares in C.P.B.L.
The Citrus Growers Association has ended its two days of protest against Citrus Products of Belize Limited and its business partner Banks Holdings of Barbados. The breaking news is that the CGA has met with the government to chart a way forward to buy out Banks shares in C.P.B.L. The government sat down with CGA [...]

P.M. says Slusher/Alpuche dissolution letter is much to do about nothing
And as Zabaneh sticks by his release, so does the PM stick by his man, Slusher. PM Barrow made it clear today that he holds all confidence in Slusher. The PM had intervened in 2011, and advised Banks Holdings and CGA to facilitate a discussion of the dispute that would have taken place in Barbados. [...]

Antichrist convicted of murder
The domestic dispute that ended in the death of David White in 2010, has now resulted in the murder conviction of a woman. It took the jury of seven women and five men only three hours and six minutes of deliberation to come up with a unanimous guilty verdict in the case against thirty-eight year [...]

School boy recovering after falling out of bus
A young school boy suffered a horrible ordeal on Wednesday evening when he was flung from an overcrowded bus of the Haylock Bus Line fleet. Martin Noble remains in the hospital and at least for now, it looks as if he is fortunately out of danger. But the Transport Board is to meet to decide [...]

Another Northern Regional case of malpractice and childbirth
Since September first, a number of women who went to the Northern Regional Hospital for child birth or obstetrics left the hospital with life threatening complications. While the Ministry of Health has remained mum, more and more cases are surfacing and tonight we report on the gripping story of Magdalena Chable and her baby Romelly. [...]

Child who was crushed by falling house passes away
Just two weeks ago, we reported the good news that the Belize Bank and Hand in Hand Ministries had assisted the Cordova family in Orange Walk, whose house collapsed on July twenty-fifth. Ten year old Brithon Cordova, who was playing under the house when it fell on him. Well tonight, there is sad news as [...]

Business Forum opens to bridge private and public sector
With the economic engine barely stuttering, the second Business Forum under the motto Partnering for Growth, opened today at Old Belize. The forum is designed to provide an opportunity for Government and the private sector in Belize to discuss ways to improve opportunities and expand jobs on all levels. At the first forum last year, [...]

PM asked cabinet to approve cash for slain Guatemalan
Earlier in the news the PM came out in support of Alan Slusher, his special advisor; he also came out in support of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The newly formed Belizean Coalition for Justice and the Peoples United Party have called for the removal of Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington.  Elrington told News Five that the [...]

Prior to age of consent relationship, but consummated when legal
In January of this year, twenty-three year old Jason Tingling was accused of Carnal Knowledge by a high school student who claimed he had sex with her on four occasions between June 2010 when she was only fourteen and November, 2011.  The allegations landed Tingling behind bars for twenty-one days before he was released on [...]

$10 to pick up your garbage
But the following story is not a lie; Belize City residents can expect to receive an additional monthly bill for garbage collection as of mid-December, to be paid during the Mawga season in January 2013.  The ten dollar fee will apply to households and not businesses, according to Mayor Darrell Bradley and will be used [...]

Providing security for city council workers
Forty-three year old David Myvette was shot and killed as he supervised a team of workmen, who were paving a section of Electric Avenue on Wednesday morning.  The father of five was mortally injured in a spray of bullets let loose by a pair of gunmen, who accosted him while on duty.  As many as [...]

Dia de los Muertos; Mexicans celebrate Day of the Dead
Today, November first, is recognized in several countries around the world as El Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.  The day focuses on the gathering of family and friends to remember loved ones who passed away. It is a huge traditional celebration across the border in Mexico and our friends at the [...]

APAMO outlines more holes in the U.S. Capital EIA
The three hundred page document known as the U.S. Capital Energy’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was not easily digested by the Mayan villagers in Toledo. A language barrier and the technical nature of the EIA made it close to impossible for the villagers. It was, however, thoroughly reviewed by Edilberto Romero, executive director of Program [...]

Superstar finalists are Ladyville high school students
There’s a third finalist in the Be The Next Superstar competition; that’s the drama trio of Colin Smith, Kristen Fuentes and Ashanti Garbutt. The Ladyville group has brought comedy and drama to the stage and has rocked the live and viewing audience with every performance. Unlike the two other finalists, the trio is considered the [...]

Healthy Living reduces the chance of catching a stroke
World Stroke Day was observed on October twenty-ninth; it went by without much fanfare but according to one specialist, Belizeans suffer far more strokes than we realize.  Poor lifestyle habits, hypertension and diabetes contribute to the risk of stroke.  Healthy Living tonight looks at the causes of a stroke and what you can do to [...]


Minister of National Security Speaks on New Strategies to Fight Crime
Minister of National Security John Saldivar today announced a number of new crime fighting measures. The announcement came at the Prime Minister’s second business forum. Hon. John Saldivar Minister of National Security Belize “The Police Commissioner w...

BDF Soldier and Minor Charged Following High Speed Chase with Police
25 year old BDF soldier Brendon Cacho and a 16 year old boy, who allegedly had a stolen car and were involved in a high speed chase with the police were charged with two offences when they appeared in court today. They were charged with kept firearm without a gun license and handli...

Mother of Three Found Guilty of Murdering Spouse
Thirty eight year old Lavern Longsworth was found guilty of murder today. Longsworth, a mother of three was charged with the murder of her common-law husband 33-year- old David White. The jury of 7 women and 5 men deliberated for about three hours before it arrived at its...

Young Boy Dies Months After His House Collapsed on Him
Ten year old Brighton Cordova who was injured when his house fell on him in July has died. Cordova died early this morning in Orange Walk. He had been hospitalized in Belize City while undergoing medical treatment but taken back to Orange Walk last month. The Orange Wal...

Prime Minister of Belize Holds Business Forum Tackling Issues of Corruption, Crime, Citrus and Super Bond
Almost one year ago the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow held a business forum with the private sector to discuss partnering efforts with the government. At the same location at Old Belize, the PM met again today with the same group as furtherance to that discussion on the development...


Remembering 10 Year Old Brithon Cordova
Tonight we are sad to report the death 10 year old Brithon Cordova who passed away early this morning. As you might recall, on July 26th, Brithon Cordova and his 7 year old nephew were playing underneath their elevated house located in the Marcus Canul Area when the house collapsed on them. Brithon received massive head and body injuries causing 90% of his body to become paralyzed. Brithon was unable to talk and had constant trouble breathing. The Cordova family recently moved into their new house that was built by Belize Bank Limited and Hand in Hand Ministries. That is where Brithon Cordova took his last breath. Our condolence goes out to the family.

Corozal Police Hit The Jackpot, Armory Of Firearm And Ammunition Confiscated
In last night’s newscast we listed the armory of firearms and ammunitions that were ceased during an operation conducted by the Corozal Police Department on Tuesday morning. The search took place at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, specifically in room 102 and 103 where police found several firearms and 22 year Mexican National of Chetumal Quintana Roo, Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez. Mendez was arrested and has been charged for the offences of kept prohibited Firearm, kept prohibited ammunition, kept firearm without a gun license, kept ammunition without a gun license, drug trafficking and possession of controlled drugs. This morning when Villasenor Mendez appeared before the Corozal Magistrates Court he was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next court date on November 11th. As mentioned last night, during the raid authorities also confiscated several radio and communication devices along with four vehicles including a white and grey double cab Ford pickup truck Mexican license plates in which officers found additional firearms and ammunition behind the passenger’s seat. More weapons and bullets were also found inside a garbage bin behind the hotel’s compound.

Five Detained For Firearm And Ammunition Charge, One Pleads Guilty
In other news from Corozal five persons have been charged for possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition in the Corozal Magistrate Court. On Tuesday October 30th, at around 9:00am, police officers executed a search warrant at the Aldana’s residence located on 8th Avenue, Corozal Town. Present at the search were 52 year old Randolph Aldana of Corozal Town, 49 year old Latayna Aldana, 50 year old Cesario Mossiah, 81 year old Marcelo Aldana and 42 year old Josephine Aldana all of Calcutta Village. The search led police to the discovery of a chrome .380 special pistol Kurz brand with serial number 5073127 and magazine containing (6) FC .380 live rounds of ammunition. Today in court, Randolph Aldana pleaded guilty to the charge of possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition and was sentenced to 5 years in prison. All charges against Latayna Aldana, Cesario Mossiah, Marcelo Aldana and Josephine Aldana were dropped.

Residents Of San Antonio Road Demand That The Road Be Fixed
For the past years residents of Orange Walk Town have been complaining about the deplorable state that San Antonio Road finds itself in. Despite several promises that the road will be upgraded, Government has failed to do so and instead have relied in the quick patching of pot holes to solve the problem. But the craters found on San Antonio Road are just one cause of concern. The dust that is created due to the dilapidated road condition has proven to be a headache for residents of the area. So much so that this morning a group of them decided to take matters into their hands and visited the Ministry of Works to lodge a complaint. But from what we found out, not much was accomplished since the response that they got is not what they expected. Carmelita Perez- Reporting For years now residents of Orange Walk Town especially those living along San Antonio Road have been asking for the road to be fixed. To put it plainly the street is in dire need of a facelift and as time goes by it deteriorates even more. Government has relied on quick patching and grading to alleviate the pothole problem. In fact two months ago the grader was seen in the area leveling the potholes at the same time doing away with the little stretch of pavement that was left. But instead of alleviating the problem it only made matters worse and today residents of San Antonio Road say they are living in a sand dune. As you can observe dust is everywhere blanketing the vehicles, trees and even homes. For residents the situation has become unbearable.

Kardia Life Ministries Making A Difference
Earlier in the newscast you saw how missionaries from Kardia Life Ministries were assisting villagers of San Pablo to keep a healthy smile while a second team set up shop at the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church. Their mission was to assist villagers with medications. The second team for Kardia Life Ministries, a non-profit organization, was hard at work inside the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in San Pablo Village. The goal of the 16 member team was to conduct general checkups on the patients and thereafter provide them with free pharmaceuticals. Leigh Giffin, General Doctor “First they are seen by our examiners over here and they have pieces of paper, documentation of what is wrong with them and then based on that I decided what medications that they are given so what we at the table we look at the medication and we decide that they go over to the lady here who labels them and then we have an interpreter to help us make sure that we get the instructions correct and that there is no mixed up with any language barriers and whatever community we are.” By midday the team had seen over 90 patients, according Doctor Leigh Giffin. Leigh Giffin- General Doctor “We are treating a lot of different problems so we give out cough and cold medications, vitamins, worm pills for the appropriate age, the government does some of that, the health nurse do it and we do the other ones, we give out some anti-biotic for infections and we give out some medications for stomach problems and those are only some of the things that we do. We have some anti-biotic and we have different cough and cold medications like Benadryl for cough and cold and we have some several different vitamins so we have quite a few that we use for that.

Striving For a Healthy Smile
Today a group of missionaries were hard at work at the Village of San Pablo in the Orange Walk District. They came under the banner of Kardia Life Ministries, a non-profit organization that travels to third world countries offering their services in dental and general health to people living in rural areas. Kardia Life Ministries has been visiting Belize for the past 12 years and since Monday have attended to a number of patients. Today the group, split in two teams, was in San Pablo. We first take a look at how the missionaries helped villagers to keep a healthy smile. Hipolito Novelo- Reporting For the past 12 years, Kardia Life Ministries has been visiting Belize assisting people living in rural areas with their dental health. This morning the group of about 15 missionaries was in the Village of San Pablo in the District of Orange Walk. By noon the group had attended to over 40 patients who were in need of dental care. James Spear, Periodontist “We started out just taking out bad teeth, getting people out of pain and out of infection and we are doing cleaning and fillings and so we are able to do more each year. A lot of cavities in the younger people, we don’t see it that much in the States, these are adult teeth that they were not able to say it so that is really a big concern or something that weighs heavy on us that we are having to take teeth out of younger people that need those teeth for later on in life. Some of the different areas we go to you’ll see some decaying more and more in one area then like yesterday we were in a different village we saw more of the gum diseases problem there, so it does vary as to what we see from place to place, some teeth are more decayed in this area.”

Another Report of Malpractice Made Against The NRH
Tonight another woman from the Orange Walk District has come forward accusing the Northern Regional Hospital of malpractice. The list seems to be never ending and the accusations are serious. During the People’s United Party press conference on Tuesday, Orange Walk East Area Representative Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez related the story of 41 year old Maria Chable who was admitted at the Northern Regional Hospital at around 4:30am on September 1st with labor pains. For Chable it was a glorious occasion since she was about to give birth to her second child. At the same time she was preoccupied since 20 years ago she had a difficult delivery and as a result gave birth to a child with brain damage. Today when we spoke to Chable she told us that her nightmare of 20 years ago was relived the moment she set foot at the NRH on September 1st. Magdalena Chable- Accuses NRH of Negligence “Desde el principio que yo empecé clínica yo les dije que como yo ya tengo mis 41 years yo quería a que me corten pero me dicen que no que yo tengo que hablar con la ginecóloga y ella me dijo que no que tiene que ir por todo el proceso de dolor pues ni modos porque mi primer nene que tuve me fue mal y no quisiera otra experiencia y pues a mi cada dos horas me estaban chequeando y me confundieron porque no estaban consistentes de lo que hacían y hasta como a las dos me iban a cortar y nada.” At 2:00pm Chable was rolled into the operating theater were an emergency c-section was performed, but by that time, it was too late. Chable’s baby girl was born with severe asphyxia and was transferred to the KHMH the following morning due to multiple seizures and difficulty in breathing

Orange Walkena Honours All Saints Day
Under Catholic beliefs, today is observed as “All Souls Day” or as it is most popularly known in the north, Los Finados. The day is set aside on the 1st and 2nd of November to commemorate those that have died, those that are in purgatory and those in heaven. The traditional practice dates back to early Christianity and for us it is a part of our Mayan/Mestizo culture as Catholics. Today we visited Estella Grajalez who has been honoring the tradition the past 45 years. Hipolito Novelo- Reporting In the glorious Maya days there were no cemeteries and families kept their loved ones close to home by burying them in their back yards. Every year the family would offer the dead their favourite foods and fruits thus giving rise to the genesis of the traditional Hanal Pixan. The tradition was brought to Belize from Yucatan during the Caste War in 1848. Today the first day of November, is dedicated to the souls of children and infants that died at a very young age. The day is known as Dia De Los Inocentes and as you can observe, Estella Grajalez has put together a banquet in honor of the little souls. Estella Grajalez, Coordinates the Novena “Es tradición que levaba mi mama y mi abuela ellos levaban de hacer los finados y entonces nosotros lo seguimos. Se hace el rosario primero y después el rezado después cantan y ya todo duro como hora y media.”


Placencia community teams up with the police to fight crime
Earlier in the newscast we told you about the residents of Cristo Rey village in Cayo coming together to apprehend an alleged burglar. Tonight another group of residents is teaming up with the cops to fight crime … this time in the south. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist report.

Pediatric ward added to Belize Cancer Center
The Belize Cancer Centre in Dangriga has added a wing to its operation. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo and video journalist Myles Gillett were present for the inauguration and bring you the following report.

Mexican national arrested and charged following raid at Corozal hotel
Mexican national 22-year-old Zurisaday Villa Senor Mendez appeared in Corozal Magistrate Court where he was charged with kept ammunition without a gun licence, kept firearm without licence, possession of controlled drugs, kept ammunition and kept prohibited firearm. He was remanded to Central Prison in Hattieville until November 29. Acting upon information received, Corozal police conducted a pre dawn operation yesterday. Love News understands that the raid of the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino near the Belize Mexico border took several hours. Police searched two rooms, inside one of the rooms was a Hispanic man later identified as a Mexican national. A search of the room resulted in the discovery of a nine millimeter pistol and a point 40 millimeter pistol which is a prohibited firearm and ammunition, radio communication devices and airplane landing gadgets and tracking devices, cell phones, lap top computers and other electronic device, some clothing and a green mask. Also recovered from the room were 28 grams of cocaine and two grams of cannabis. An extensive search was conducted and inside a garbage bin outside the building, the team found a point 38 pistol with 38 rounds of ammunition wrapped inside a plastic bag. Police later impounded four SUVs believed to belong to the group men who had rented the rooms. The vehicles were taken into Corozal Town where a further search of a white pickup truck led to the discovery of two AK47 assault rifles and magazine and ammunition behind the driver’s seat, a nine millimeter pistol with its magazine and ammunition and six point five grams of cocaine. During the raid a Mexican national was apprehended while two others escaped. Love News has also been reliably informed that last week a check by customs officers at the border also resulted in the discovery of two bullet proof vests inside a car that was being driven by a Mexican National entering the country. The driver was accompanied at the time by another Mexican man. They were both taken to the Corozal Police Station for questioning. It is uncertain if these two incidents are related.

Crisis in the citrus industry continues
A planned second day of demonstration by the Citrus Growers Association has been called off. Hundreds of growers marched on the Citrus Products of Belize in Pomona Valley on Tuesday to highlight their discontent with the way the company is being managed and allegations of a move to dismantle the CGA and redistribute its assets to certain individuals and groups. A statement from CGA says that after discussion with all of its partners, a decision was taken to postpone today’s demonstration. The CGA says that their agreed terms of their permit to demonstrate were violated by the police yesterday, when officers prevented the demonstrators from using their tractors, vehicles and busses in the procession which went from the Pomona football field to in front of the CPBL compound. CGA says that it now awaits a response from government clarifying once and for all its position regarding the Association in light of an email being circulated, purportedly from advisor to the Prime Minister Allan Slusher. The CGA is also hoping for government’s support to transform the industry from a juice industry to a tropical fruit industry by assisting with the buying out of the Banks Holding Limited shares in CPBL. The Citrus Growers Association release ends by saying that government’s response will determine further action by the citrus growers. When he appeared on the Love FM Morning Show today, CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture Jose Alpuche declined to directly address calls for his removal saying instead that the effort is better spent on moving the citrus industry forward. Late this evening, the CGA issued a press release accusing Belize Citrus Mutual of interfering in the business of the Association. According to the CGA release, the Association owns and represents fifty five percent of the fruit production, contrary to what Belize Citrus Mutual has been saying in a paid statement broadcasted on radio this week. And in a stinging indictment of Belize Citrus Mutual, the CGA says they are intent on bringing down the CGA in the hope that the association’s assets will be distributed to BCM; that Belize Citrus Mutual does not contribute to the efforts to control the plant health issues affecting the industry and that members want to benefit without paying.

Teenage boy apprehended with weapon in Belize City
Two people, including a sixteen year old boy are in police detention following an overnight shooting incident. According to police reports, they responded to shots being fired on La Croix Boulevard around eight thirty last night. The police press officer provided more details.

Would be robber shot in San Pedro
A shooting incident in San Pedro town has left a would-be robber injured. Police say Rivers has been able to identity to the authorities the man who shot him. That man is now in police custody.

New rules of engagement for BDF soldiers on border patrol
Last week, Minister Saldivar announced that BDF outfits on patrol along the borders will now have an additional element of non-lethal weapons. Today BDF Commander, Dario Tapia explained how that the procedure will give the soldier who stumbles upon incursions by Guatemalans the choice to now use this weapon before he engages his M 16 rifle. BDF gets vehicles Patrols along the border points – at least the ones that are accessible, will now be made that much shorter with the infusion of tractor patrols. Today the BDF received the first few of a fleet of vehicles from the Ministry of National Security. Commander of the BDF, Brigadier General Dario Tapia, shared the news with reporters. Trucks for the BDF The vehicles and tractor, according to Minister John Saldivar, were purchased through extra funds that his Ministry had after thrifty practices. The tractor and vehicles were purchased at a cost of just under 220 thousand dollars.

Cristo Rey villagers apprehend burglary suspect
The police are often asking for assistance from the community in solving crime, and today, law enforcement officers in Cayo got a helping hand from residents of Cristo Rey village. The residents banded together this morning to apprehend a suspect in a burglary in the village on Tuesday. Love News spoke by telephone with Cristo Rey village Herman Tut who told us how he and his villagers come together to catch a criminal. According to reports from Cristo Rey, the villagers networked, using cell phones for communication to apprehend the alleged burglar and handed him over to the San Ignacio police. Tut says that the suspect was caught as he tried to flee the village. Police have not yet released any information on the incident or the particulars of the man who was taken into custody this morning.

Construction supervisor shot dead at the workplace
A man was shot dead this morning in Belize City. The victim has been identified as Sand Hill village resident David Myvett, also known as “Hog.” Preliminary reports are that Myvett, who is a supervisor for the work crew that is cementing Electric Avenue in Belize City, was on the site around the o’clock this morning, when he was killed. Reports are that the gunman was inquiring for someone, and then opened fire on Myvett hitting him multiple times. At the scene, Love News observed close to ten markings from the Scenes of Crimes technicians, indicating that multiple shots were fired at Myvett. Police Press Officer Rafael Martinez provided some more details. Following the shooting, people in the area, including some of the same men who were working on the street fixing, rushed Myvett to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in a vehicle; but he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police investigations are ongoing.

Schoolboy injured after falling out of moving bus
A primary school boy was seriously injured in a road traffic accident on the Phillip Goldson highway this afternoon. Sometime after four o’clock this afternoon, a passenger bus came to a complete stop on the Phillip Goldson Highway after a the door on the rear of the bus opened while the bus was moving and a nine year old Holy Redeemer Primary School Student, from Lord’s Bank fell out. The boy has been identified as Martin Noble. When Love News arrived at the scene, the ambulance had already transported the child to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, but several students who were onboard gave us account of what transpired. And if it weren’t for the precautions of the good Samaritan driving behind, another tragedy would have occurred. Martin’s brother Mark Noble, who was still shaken by the incident, told Love News what happened with his little brother. Fortunato Noble, who is employed at the Government Press Office is Martin’s father, blames the bus driver for the accident that caused the injury to his son. Noble says he will take action to get justice for the irresponsibility. Martin Noble remains hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial in Belize City.


PM addresses key national issues at "Partnering for Growth" forum
The second annual Private and Public Sector business forum was held this morning under the theme “Partnering for Gr...

Workman murdered on job-site
The body of man who was employed on the municipal street rehabilitation project lies in the Belize City morgue. 43 ...

Solid Waste Management Project for the Western Corridor of Belize
The Solid Waste Management Authority (SWMA) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment are in the pr...

Suspect charged with manslaughter by negligence
Shane Dougal a Security guard with Harpy Security was knocked down and killed on Sept 8 of this year. Jason Rodney ...

Arrest made after firearms were discovered at Las Vegas Hotel
On Tuesday 30th October, 2012, about 11:20am, acting upon information received police officers conducted searches i...

New ferry for the crossing at the Xunantunich Maya ruin
Today the crossing at the Xunantunich Maya ruin got a ferry lift. The old ferry, although historic, was in a state ...

Two teenagers charged for unlawful carnal knowledge
A shocking crime has been committed against 14yr. old Belizean Student of Trial Farm Village accompanied by her mot...

Corozol resident begins jail-term for firearm offences
The long arm of the law has caught up with one COROZAL resident. On Tuesday night (Oct 30) Corozal Police conducted...

The Guardian

Tail wags the Dog: Government intervenes in Citrus Industry Power Struggle
“I begged the growers, 'Do not say yes to that agreement. If we do that we will be dead’."- Denzil Jenkins, Citrus Growers Association’s (CGA) appointed Director on the Board of Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL). The CGA is like an impregnated victim of rape that can never forget the horrible ordeal because they need to maintain and develop a child whose prosperous future is of extreme importance. Citrus growers were scared into entering a relationship with Banks Holdings of Barbados Limited. They were told that the CPBL was in dire straits and without a strategic investor, the entire citrus industry would collapse. Leaders of the Association led the farmers into bed with Banks. Banks proposed an investment agreement that would expand the company and transform it into a first class enterprise. By all accounts, Banks has done exactly that. The question, however, is to the benefit of whom. Eccleston Irving, Chairman of the CGA, and other members are saying “certainly not to the benefit of farmers”. Though they only own 47% of the company, Banks make 100% of the decisions and the CGA, who owns 51% of the company, has no decision-making authority. That is because in the Investment Agreement between CGA and Banks, there was one line which stated that all decisions made by the Board of CPBL must be approved by the two directors appointed by Banks. Signing that agreement meant the CGA signed over control of the company to Banks. Since the agreement was signed, the company has consistently made decisions against the will of the CGA. Those decisions have resulted in multiple demonstrations in the last few years. The most recent decision being challenged by CGA was declaration of open season and the unilateral establishment of prices by CPBL. On Tuesday, October 30th, leaders of the citrus industry and other community activists took turns to address a little less than 300 farmers on the state of the citrus industry. In 2 hours and 20 minutes, speakers repeated the same message. Everyone encouraged the farmers to let their dissatisfaction with the unilateral decisions of Banks be heard loud and clear. They were told not to continue allowing “the tail to wag the dog”. They were told that sometimes one needs to “break an injured leg in order to fix it”. Hector Silva, former PUP member of Cabinet, echoed the late Hon. Phillip S.W. Goldson’s philosophy in context of the citrus crisis: “The time to fight for your company is before you lose it.” Melvin Hulse, former UDP member of Cabinet, said, “Every major change that has happened in Belize is because the people took to the streets." However, the CGA had pounded the pavement before but they only realized temporary improvements. Hulse said that is because the focus has been on personalities and not the underlying issues.

Belmopan’s Facelift underway
The Belize Municipal Development project is well underway to being implemented in Belmopan and on Wednesday, the application of Hotmix asphalt was completed at the bus terminal. The project is being conducted by Belize Roadway Construction at a cost of $278,382.50. It will include the paving of the street around the bus terminal in Belmopan, the realignment of streets and drains, as well as the construction of a drop off and pick up point. There will be a provision for a taxi stand park that will accommodate between 4 and 5 taxis in an alternating basis. Signage and street markings will also be included in the program. The work on the area started about 3 weeks ago. Work is also being done on Nimli Punit street, Hummingbird Drive, Racoon street with those being paved and drains being installed. The total value of the BMDP project in Belmopan is 825 thousand dollars. The work being done so far is phase 1 of a two phase program. The second phase will be implemented after consultations are conducted with residents of Belmopan. The first of such consultations took place on Wednesday night.

9-year-old Falls out of Moving Bus
A 9-year-old Standard 4 student of Holy Redeemer School is receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he fell out of a moving bus. The student, Martin Noble, fell out of a bus while it was travelling between Mile 6 and 7 on the Phillip Goldson Highway on Wednesday sometime around 4:30 p.m. Reports are that the boy was travelling inside a Haylock Bus and was pressed to the rear when the back door flung opened and Martin tumbled out. His older brother, Mauricio, who was also travelling along with Martin frantically tried to get the bus to stop banging on it to get the driver to stop. His calls were not heeded to until the bus had reached well over half a mile away. Meanwhile, Martin had been flung into the path of oncoming vehicles, Dennis Gabourel, who was travelling behind the bus said that the bus had just overtaken him when he say the boy fly out in his path. He quickly swerved his vehicle out of the way and ran to the aid of Martin. Shortly thereafter, an ambulance arrived and took the 9-year -old to the hospital where he remains for treatment.

ANNUAL CRISIS: Pamona’s 300 takes on the Mighty Banks Empire
Like the in the movie, Sparta where King Leonidas led his 300 to face the mighty Persian Empire, Eccleston Irving led a group of about 300 citrus growers in a march to challenge those seeking to oppress them in Pamona Valley on Tuesday, October 30th. Leonidas said, “A new age has begun, an age of freedom. And all will know that 300 Spartans gave their last breath to defend.” Irving is the Chairman of the Belize Citrus Growers Association (CGA). While their lives may not be on the line, the livelihood of 450 citrus farmers and their family is as the growers are being offered almost $6 million less for their products than they believe they deserve. The perceived villain in this story is the Banks Holdings of Barbados Limited, and what they lack in numbers, they make up for in corporate strength. Banks owns approximately 47% of the shares of the Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL) and the growers own 51%, yet Banks continues to operate the company unilaterally and often completely against the will of the “owners”. Unlike the Greeks, the CGA has elected not to fight with swords. Instead, they will fight with words - words to Almighty God, words to their membership, words to Banks Limited and words to the Government of Belize. It seems like every year there is a crisis in the citrus industry. That is because the CGA and Banks are engaged in what appears to be an ugly overextended divorce process. It is clear that the relationship between the two parties is beyond repair and unless there is a mutual agreement to focus on reaching acceptable parting terms, the industry will never be able to flourish. In January of 2010, Belize had the opportunity to capitalize on an Arctic air attack on Florida’s citrus plantations. The cold temperature caused massive damage to Florida’s crops - more than 5% of orchids were destroyed. That unfortunate situation meant that Belize would benefit from Florida’s woes, which resulted in higher market prices for citrus products. Instead, the CGA and Banks were fighting over prices then dividends and finally, control of the Board of Directors. In 2011, Belize could have benefited from an early boom that was one positive result of Hurricane Richard. Instead, CPBL refused to accept early delivery of oranges despite the fact that there were thousands of boxes of oranges ready for processing. That again led to wrestling for control of the Board of Directors of the company between the CGA and Banks. 2012 now stands as no exception to this annual saga. The faces are the same and so are the subjects of dispute - prices and control of the company.

Teachers Down South graduate from Training Course
The Banana Belt Teacher Training Program has provided an opportunity for almost one hundred percent of teachers in the Southern districts to be trained in modern pedagogical techniques with concentration in English, mathematics, science, social sciences and Spanish. The program is financed by the European Union at $1.2 million and is aimed at upgrading the quality of education for primary school students in the Banana Belt communities of Southern Belize. The project includes professional development training for teachers in key areas such as early childhood education, reading, mathematics and science. It also provides professional training for school administrators and parenting support. On Sunday, October 28th, the University of Belize held a graduation ceremony for 87 student teachers in the Banana Belt communities, who received Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and a Diploma in Education Methodology for successfully completing their Professional Development Programme at the Georgetown Technical High School (GTHS). Since becoming Minister of Education in 2008, Hon. Patrick Faber has stressed the importance of teacher training for the development of Belize’s education system. At the time the Banana Belt program started in 2010, only about 15% of the teachers were trained in early childhood education. There were approximately 45% trained primary school teachers and 30% trained secondary school teachers. Those numbers have improved due to initiatives such as the certificate program in Primary Education which trained more than 860 teachers with pedagogy skills.

Accused of stealing church equipment
On Monday, October 29th, Ronald Gill appeared in Belize City Magistrate’s Court where he was charged with one count of burglary. He appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer, who said she was very disturbed by the allegations against Gill and remanded him to prison despite the fact that the prosecution did not object to bail. Gill appeared unrepresented and was remanded until December 18th. Between October 25th, and October 26th, 2012, he and another person entered as trespassers into Mount Olive 7th Day Adventist Church. The burglars then stole speakers, an amplifiers, a tape recorder and other equipment valued at $2,790. Police were in the area at the time and detained Gill.

Primary Schools Football heat up at the MCC
The Belize City Primary Schools Football Competition continued at the MCC Grounds with quite a number of games played over the last two weeks. On Tuesday, October 30th 2012, in the female game played, Holy Redeemer School defeated St. Martin De Porres School by the score of 5-0. The goal scorers for Holy Redeemer School were Jada Myvette (2), Jennifer Estrada (2) and Kelsey Rodriguez. In the first of three male games played, St. Martin De Porres School defeated Holy Redeemer School by the score of 5-0. The goal scorers for St. Martin De Porres were Glen Arzu (3), Melroy Pelayo and Marquis Conorique, who scored a goal each. In game two, Salvation Army School defeated Belize Elementary School by the score of 4-1. The goal scorers for Salvation Army School were Marvin Martinez (2) and Keron Patnett (2), while the only goal of the game for Belize Elementary was scored by Liam Chebat. In game three, Ebenezer Methodist School blanked Queen Square Anglican by the score of 1-0. The goal scorer for Ebenezer was Tyreek Muschamp.

Teenager and Minor charged for Armed Robbery
A 15-year-old minor, who could barely speak properly due to an impediment and a teenager, were before the court on Monday, October 30th. They appeared after being arrested in connection with the broad daylight robbery at Moon Grocery Store on Coney Drive on Friday afternoon. The 19-year-old was identified as Lloyd Parchue. He along with the 15-year-old appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer in Court #2 where they were jointly charged with the robbery of businesswoman, Yue Di Kuang, 38, owner of Moon Grocery Store, located on Coney Drive. The duo was unrepresented but the minor's sister was in court to hear the charges read to him. They were charged with the robbery of Moon Grocery Store in which $2,400 in cash along with two cell phones were stolen from Ye Di Kuang. Parchue was additionally charged with two counts of attempted murder upon two police officers, as Cpl. Renaldo Bruhier and Police Officer, Emelio Ack, who responded to the robbery report. In court, both Parchue and the minor pleaded not guilty to the charges of robbery.

Gregory Bowen charged for the Attempted Murder of Cop
29-year-old PC#1044, Marcelino Sam, attached to the Caribbean Shores Sub-Station in Belize City, reported to police that on Friday, October 26th, 2012 at about 1:50 p.m., whilst he was on mobile patrol, he responded to a robbery report during, which he detained 30-year-old Gregory Bowen. Bowen was placed in the pan of a police pickup truck along with a bicycle. According to PC Sam, after he placed Bowen into the pan of the police vehicle, he also sat in it. The mobile was in the process of taking Bowen to the police station but when they reached at the corner of Princess Margaret and Coney Drives, Bowen suddenly pushed the bicycle with both hands hitting PC Sam on his feet causing him to lose his balance and fall out of the vehicle. As a result of the fall, Sam sustained injuries to the elbow, knees, back and head. He was rush to the KHMH where he is receiving medical attention. On Monday, October 29th, Bowen, appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was charged with attempted murder and dangerous harm uponthe officer. He was additionally charged with damage to property of police-issued equipment, which officer Sam had in his possession at the time when he fell. No plea was taken from Bowen and due to the nature of the offense, he was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until November 29th. Bowen is one of many culprits, who police chased in connection with the robbery at Moon Grocery Store. Bowen was not charged in connection with the robbery.

Busted with a 9 mm Pistol and Ammunition!
On Monday, October 29th, 23-year-old Ronald Michael, a Delivery man of Lovely Lane was charged for keeping a firearm and ammunition without a gun license. He appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer in Court #2 where he was unrepresented. He pleaded not guilty to the charges but due to the nature of the offence was remanded to prison until December 11th. On Friday, October 26th, Michael was found in possession of a black 9 mm pistol along with 4 live rounds of 9 mm ammunition. At about 4:55 p.m. officers were on mobile patrol on Giles Street when they spotted Michael walking. He was acting suspiciously and as a result he was stopped and a search was conducted on him, which led to the discovery of the firearm that stuck in his pants waist.

Belmopan Bandits lead in PLB Competition
The 2012 Premier League of Belize Football Competition continued over the weekend and as the results of the games played started to come in, it was clear that the Belmopan Bandits are at the top of the standings all alone. On Saturday, October 27th, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the visiting RG City Boys United was able hold the league’s leading Belmopan Bandits to a 0-0 draw. The competition then continued on Sunday, October 28th, with five more games across the country. At the Ambergris Stadium in San Pedro Town, the home team, San Pedro Seadogs won over the visiting San Ignacio United by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Angel Cantun in the 41st minute of play. At the San Felipe Football Field in Orange Walk, Paradise/ Freedom Fighters defeated FC San Felipe Barcelona by the score of 4-3. The home team, San Felipe Barcelona was able to get on the scoreboard first when Clifton West scored his team’s 1st goal in the 5th minute of play to give his team an early lead. The lead was further extended when Orin Wade scored his team’s 2nd goal in the 18th minute of play for a 2-0 lead. The visiting Paradise/Freedom Fighters were able to cut the deficit to one when Vicente Acal scored his team’s 1st goal of the game in the 29th minute of play. However, the San Felipe Barcelona lead was again extended to 2 when Clifton West scored his team 3rd goal of the game in the 33rd minute of play for a 3-1 lead.

Airport maintains lead in Firms Basketball Competition
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms and U-23 Competitions continued at the Bird’s Isle over the weekend. On Friday, October 26th, in the first of three games in the Firms Competition, Central Bank defeated Smart by the score of 63-46. The top scorers for Central Bank were Wilfred Richards with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist and 4 steals; and Benedict Terry with 12 points, 18 rebounds, 1assist and 4 steals. For Smart, the top scorers were Scott Duncan with 22 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 4 steals; and Jason Gentle and Alain Lovell with 8 points each. In game two, Airport continued on its winning path when it defeated Belize Bank by the score of 82-52. The top scorers for Airport were Vince Lamb and Paul Swasey with 23 points each. For the Belize Bank, the top scorers were Chris McGann with 19 points, 8 rebounds; and Dominique Guzman with 15 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. In the final game of the evening, Port of Belize edged BWSL by the score of 43-40. The top scorers for Port of Belize were Ian Augustine with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal; and Lennox Bowman with 14 points, 6 rebounds and 2assists. For BWSL, the top scorers were Lindburg Graham with 8 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal; and Ashley Hemsley with 8 points, 1 rebound and 3 assists and 2 steals. The competition then continued on Saturday October 27th with two games in the U-23 competition. In game one, Tuff E Nuff defeated Celluar World by the score of 75-71. The top scorers for Tuff E Nuff were Farron Louriano with 27 points and Jamal Kelly with 17 points. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Cellular World were Justin Wade with 25 points and Marvin Skeet with 24 points.

St. Catherine Academy and St. John’s College advance to Central Region Volleyball Finals
The Central Region Secondary Schools Volleyball Competition entered its semi-final round on Tuesday, October 30th, 2012, at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium. In the first game in the female semi-finals, St. Catherine Academy eliminated Pallotti High School in three sets by the score of 25-8, 25-16 and 25-3 to advance yet to another championship round of the Central Region Secondary Schools Volleyball Competition. St. Catherine Academy will play the winner from the second semi-final series between Wesley College and Ladyville Technical that is scheduled for Wednesday, October 31st, 2012. In the male semi-final round, St. John’s College eliminated Ladyville Technical High School by the score of 23-25, 25-10, 25-23, and 25-10 to advance to the championship round. St. John’s College will take on the winner from the Sadie Vernon Technical and Anglican Cathedral College game scheduled for Wednesday, October 31st. The finals will be played on Friday, November 2nd, 2012, at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium at 4:30 pm.

Of Passport and Prophets
Anywhere I turned this weekend in OW, and especially at my place work, there were so many questions concerning the identity theft of Naim Matar. It amused me to note how many conclusions people drew after listening to the news; one person even jokingly asked me how much I made off the deal! In reality, it was a simple and quick matter to resolve. Naim is one of my younger brothers, who was born here in Orange Walk Town but who later migrated to the United States. When I got the call from the Immigration Officer asking about Naim’s whereabouts I told him that as far as I knew, my brother was in the States and has not visited Belize recently. I immediately called Chicago and spoke directly to Naim and told him what was going on. As expected, he was incensed and asked me to please tell Immigration that he has never authorized any person to act on his behalf or to apply for any official document in Belize. I promptly called back Mr. Arzu and well, you heard the news: the imposter was apprehended, arraigned and convicted. The key issue I want to highlight here is that the imposter is 61 and my brother is 46 years old. This man got hold of those official papers about ten years ago, since it was a passport renewal instead of first issue, and maybe even before that. Someone should have noticed the age difference on the certificate and the physical appearance of the applicant. It seems that the history of fraud in obtaining birth certificates is deep-rooted, and it makes me wonder how many more false Belizeans are out there. The good thing out of all this is that with the new procedures in place, the Immigration Department caught this culprit very quickly and easily. I encourage them to keep up the vigilance. Not to deviate from promoting some of the human virtues we should try to adopt, I must comment on a TV newscast aired two weeks ago, where yet another “radical” committee, Coalition for Justice, was having a press conference. In the summary version of this press conference, I got to understand that the new group seemed focused on three main objectives: to denounce the granting of compensation to the family of the Guatemalan who was killed by our BDF; to initiate a campaign to reject the ICJ as an option to settle the Guatemalan claim; and the removal of the Foreign Minister from office.

Ride Across Belize 2012 held
The yearly event organized by Social Security, Ride Across Belize has successfully been held. Dozens of cyclists have taken a strenuous route, across Belize, to assist Crime Stoppers Belize and the Belize Missing Child Emergency Response Team.

Teachers Down South graduate from Training Course
The Banana Belt Teacher Training Program has provided an opportunity for almost one hundred percent of teachers in the Southern districts to be trained in modern pedagogical techniques with concentration in English, mathematics, science, social sciences and Spanish. The program is financed by the European Union at $1.2 million and is aimed at upgrading the quality of education for primary school students in the Banana Belt communities of Southern Belize. The project includes professional development training for teachers in key areas such as early childhood education, reading, mathematics and science. It also provides professional training for school administrators and parenting support.

More Vehicles, Better Mobility for the BDF
Hon. John Saldivar hands over vehicles to General Dario Tapia Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar handed over three new Mahindra Double Cab pickup trucks and a new tractor to BDF commander, General Dario Tapia on Wednesday, October 31st.

Government acts to increase Number of Small Businesses
According to the Executive Director of the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), Mike Singh, eighty percent of jobs in Belize are created by small - and medium-sized enterprises. That is why government has committed to increase the number of small and medium -sized businesses in the country by creating an environment favorable for investment. The first real step towards that goal was taken when the Government of Belize opened Belize’s first Small Business Development Center (SMDC) on Wednesday, October 31st.

BWS Team visits Work Site
As the tremendous amount of civil works continue in Belize City, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL), Alberto August, accompanied by the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Alvan Haynes and members of the Technical Services Department, visited the BWS work site on Freetown Road on Wednesday, October 24th, where the Chairman was afforded the opportunity to personally appreciate the magnitude of works currently underway.

Cayo North and South have new committees.
The United Democratic Party continued with its process of selecting committees to represent constituencies across the country. On Saturday, October 27th, the Cayo North division saw the election of Dean Williams as the Chairman. Also elected as members were as follows: George Herrera, Omar Figueroa, Martin Galvez, Isais Franco, Antonio Herrera, Harry Guy, Rufino Pott, Ricardo Roches, Wilfredo Zetina, Amir Escobar, Lupita Orellana - Ferguson, Marvin Garcia, Jaime Garcia, and Mike Gamez. Alternates elected are as follows: Luis Morey, Victor Pott, Melvin Rivera, and Sabino Pinelo. Caretaker for the division is current Mayor for San Ignacio and Santa Elena, John August.

Ministry of Health commemorates Dental Health Week
The Belize Dental Department of the Ministry of Health declares opened Dental Health Week under the theme: “Healthy Eating, Daily Brushing, Brighter Smiles for a Healthy Belize” from 28th October to the 3rd November.

Business Expo held in Cayo
Hon. Herman Longsworth with winning players Sacred Heart College held a fair on October 26th and 27th, 2012 in San Ignacio Town. Both the Sacred Heart High School and Junior College teamed up for two days where a variety of shows were on the agenda. The fair last Friday started with students from the High School getting involved in dances, skits and a disco at the main campus located in San Ignacio Town.

New Xunantunich Ferry complete
On June 8th 2012, Tracy Panton, CEO of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, signed a contract for BZ $142,130.16 with Liam Stewart of Cayo Steel Works for the construction of the new Xunantunich Ferry. Now, the new ferry is complete and it will come into operation on Thursday, October 31st. It was financed through the Sustainable Tourism Program.

Better Policing for Placencia
COMPOL, David Henderson, Minister John Saldivar, Stuart Krohn and Charles Leslie sign On Wednesday, October 31st, Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar, Commissioner of Police, David Henderson; Chairman of the Placencia Village Council, Charles Leslie and member of the Steering Committee of the Peninsula 20/20 Initiative, Stuart Krohn signed on to a memorandum of understanding to see improved policing on the Placencia Peninsula.

New Dorms at Queen Street for Police Officers
National Security Minister inspects the work done on the dorms On Thursday, October 24th, Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar accompanied by Officer Commanding Eastern Division, Elodio Aragon; Deputy Commissioner Alan Whylie and Officer Commanding Patrol Branch in Belize City, Alford Grinage toured the Rafael Fonseca building located on Queen Street. The purpose of the tour was for them to inspect the work that has been completed so far in refurbishing dorm facilities in the building.

New Police Sub-Station inaugurated in San Roman - Orange Walk
On Monday, October 29th, 2012, a new Police Sub-Station was inaugurated in the village of San Roman in the Orange Walk District.

Thirty-Two Scholarships for Belize Youths
(L-R) Mr Daniel Cano, SIF’s Executive Director, and representatives of vocational training institutions signing the contract agreement Thirty-two Belizean youths from across the country have received scholarships to complete a vocational training career as a result of a contract agreement signed the Social Investment Fund and five local vocational training institutions on Wednesday, October 31st.

Association of Public Service Senior Managers holds AGM
The Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM) held its Annual General Meeting in Belize City on Thursday, October 25th, 2012. Attendance exceeded 65% of membership. Topics covered during the meeting included Government’s proposed 2012 Public Service Regulation, update on the Collective Bargaining Agreement (Partial Collective Agreement Between Public Service Union of Belize, Belize National Teachers’ Union, Association of Public Service Senior Managers And Government of Belize) and, a proposed insurance scheme for members. Elections were held for a New Executive Council. The New Council will serve for 2 years and consists of the following persons. President, Jose M. Castellanos; Vice President, Sharon Fraser; Treasurer, Francisco Zúñiga; Secretary, Michele Longsworth; Counselors, Dr. Michael Pitts and Ivan Williams. For the two-year period (2012-2014) of newly-elected Council, the registered office of the Association shall be the Office of the Policy Analyst, Ministry of Natural Resources & Agriculture, H.M Queen Elizabeth II Boulevard, Belmopan City. The Elected Executive thanks all members for their vote of confidence, commits to working together with the Belize National Teachers’ Union, the Public Service Union of Belize and Government of Belize in enhancing -public service efficiency, productivity and addressing challenges facing public officers.

Major Works Continue in Cayo
Major upgrading of principal roads in the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town are now ongoing, along with the almost completion of a Welcome Center. Close to one million dollars is being spent on the improvements of 18th and West Streets in San Ignacio and Eden Drive in Santa Elena, Cayo with funding coming from the World Bank under a Municipal Project. The latter has been geared to assisting some seven municipalities in Belize. At least, a first coating has been done on 18th Street and a tractor is now working on West Street. The paving of Eden Drive - good news to the students at the Eden Seventh Day Adventist High School - is expected to begin shortly.


Foul Weather
Yesterday I was having a foul weather day inside my head, very stormy and it only got worse when a job I was trying to finish turned into a big can of worms. I suddenly went from being optimistic on finishing in a timely manner to feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. As I was sitting at my desk stewing I decided my best course of action would be to go for a walk and shake it off. So I packed up my music player walked over to Lucky 13 house for some chill out time. I found Dick and Dave sitting in the screen porch discussing planting coconut trees and where to put the new ones, the old trees had to be cut down because of yellow palm disease. Within 10 minutes I was feeling much more relaxed and less stormy in my head, way better than Prozac. We hung out and snacked on fruit, rearranged coconuts in the yard and went up to the newly built second floor to catch the sunset. To find out more about Lethal Yellowing you can read the guest post Saving Long Caye from Coconut Disease in the 90?s by Lucy Wallingford of Slick Rock Adventures.

An Amazing Sunset and A New Restaurant Opening: The Black Orchid Restaurant
The weather here has been amazing. Incredible perfection. Good hair weather. Low humidity, ideal sunshine, warm but not too warm. Sunrises have been perfect and sunsets amazing. And this isn't even the side of the island where the sun sets. I am feeling a Sick I guess but I am sick of being sick! My new intern Krista, who I am taking TOTAL advantage of, went to the newest restaurant opening in town. And sent me pictures. At 6am this morning. Isn't she the best? The new restaurant is called Black Orchid. And JudyAnn and Tom had an opening party last night. Here are the pictures... The place was packed! Gorgeous mural done by Melody Wolfe (aka Belizean Melody)... The kids... And adults... An awesome Halloween spread... Cookies shaped like fingers are good times. Love the mural.

November 1, 2012

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

Miriam Rodriguez, charged with Mischievous Act
On Tuesday, October 23rd eighteen year old Miriam Rodriguez, a student of the San Pedro High School and resident of the Boca Del Rio area in San Pedro Town was arrested and charged for the offence of Committing a Mischievous Act. Rodriguez reportedly went missing on Saturday October 20, 2012 while in Belize City and returned home on Monday, October 22nd. Upon her return to the island Rodriguez reported to the San Pedro Police where she provided a statement to the Officer in charge of the Crimes Investigation Branch. In her statement, she claimed that she was on her way back from Belize City after purchasing her laptop when at the water taxi she went to a faucet by the bathroom facility to wash her feet. She stated that this was where two dark skinned male persons grabbed her, took her into a taxi, drove her to an abandoned house, injected her with a substance and took her laptop and cell phone. According to Rodriguez her abductors ordered her to call her mother and demand $10,000 for her release – or else. According to her mother, Rodriguez was forced to call her a second time where the threat was re-uttered. Rodriguez further claimed in her statement, that the following day she was taken in a van where she saw a sign that said Dangriga. In the van she claimed that there were three men of dark complexion with her.

Attempted Murder in San Pedro
At approximately 11:30 pm on Tuesday October 30th , 24 year old Derrick Wellington Rivers of San Juan area in San Pedro town ran into the police station where he was seen with two apparent gunshot injuries – one to the forehead and the other to the right arm. Initial investigations revealed that Rivers along with two other men from San Pedro were plotting to rob a business place, but when Rivers reportedly changed his mind he was shot by one of the two men whom he identified. He was taken to the San Pedro Poly Clinic and later transferred to the KHMH where he is listed in a stable condition. Police have detained the man alleged to have shot Rivers.

SP Seadogs win San Ignacio United
In other football news; on Sunday October 28th, the San Pedro Seadogs went up against San Ignacio United at the Ambergris Stadium in a tiring game. The game saw Angel Cantun, #20 of the Seadogs scoring the only goal of the game in the 41st minute giving them a 1-0 game. This places the Seadogs at fifth place with seven points. The team has five games remaining and nine games played, with two wins, six losses and one draw.

Ambergris Today

Caramba Restaurant Showcases New Centerpiece Bar
The famous Caramba Restaurant reopened with a bang for the 2012 season, ready for their repeat customers and excited to welcome new guests to their posh new bar which is now the centerpiece of the restaurant. This year the restaurant closed for routine renovations and when the big reveal came, everybody was left in awe at Caramba’s new look and glowing signage. The restaurant has introduced a classy glowing bar that has become the focal point of the eatery. Now you can enjoy a couple of drinks while you wait for your table, wait for take-out or simply enjoy the new atmosphere the bar creates.

School Children Provided with Free Dental Services by Smile Center
Students of San Pedro RC School will have brighter, healthier smiles to boast as a group of volunteer dentists are back at the Smile Center at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic II providing free checkups. Dr. Louis Lam is a dentist with over 23 years of experience and has been coming to the island and rendering his service for over ten years. It is always a pleasure to see Dr. Lam and his team working along with Dr. Efrain Cima at the Poly Clinic. Dr. Lam and his team are in San Pedro for a week providing their free services to children between the ages of 8 and 10. So far the team has seen over 40 patients and will be seeing more until the end of the week performing clean-ups, fillings, root canals and much more.

Outraged Island Residents Address High Crime to Police
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye is no longer the quaint fishing village that we used to be; it is sad to say this but it’s the truth. For being the number one tourist destination in the country it is very sad to see crime on the rise and island residents are fed up with this situation. On Tuesday, October 31, 2012, a community meeting with the police took place and it was quite obvious that residents have lost their trust in the police. Master of Ceremonies and Moderator for the evening, Mr. Angel Nuñez commenced the meeting at 6:30 p.m. and invited Assistant Superintendent Vienie Robinson to the podium where she delivered her welcome address after which she gave a short presentation on community policing. In her presentation she mentioned that the island currently counts with 34 police officers and also gave a short report on the total number of crimes which have occurred in the past three months.

San Pedro High Holds Fun Halloween Competition
Hallooween is celebrated grand on La Isla Bonita. The San Pedro High School student body got very creative in stading out with their best costume at their yearly Halloween Competition. There were many themed groups, creative, scary, original and funny costumes that amazed the crowd and wowed the judges. Below are the winners of the Halloween Competition 2012. Enjoy!

Misc Belizean Sources

Register for the 2012 Asset Protection Symposium Presented by Caye Bank
Caye Bank's 2012 Global Asset Protection Symposium, held on November 7 – 11, 2012 at the Exotic Caye Beach Resort on Ambergris Caye Island in Belize gives attendees the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with international financial experts and learn about IRS compliant, tax-free investment opportunities, strategic insights, and customized financial solutions tailored specifically to the areas of asset protection and international investments. Attendees will get real-world advice from legal, tax, financial, and trust experts in an actionable format that can be applied immediately to financial portfolios in the remaining months of 2012. Limited to just 40 participants, this exclusive event offers abundant opportunities for: Diversifying a financial portfolio across economies, currencies and asset classes Gaining tax-free compounding growth with no income or estate tax at distribution Staying compliant with home-country tax rules and regulations using offshore trusts and international business corporations (IBC's) to safeguard assets and privacy Creating incredible investment opportunities overseas by capitalizing on demographics and geo-political realities

VIDEO: Diving Belize, A Sponsored Dive, "Treasure Canyons"
Featuring our island guest divers Cody and Andrea Stilwell. Thanks for making Belize your vacation destination.

Big Shane becomes Captain and Tour Guide!
Once again we are immensely proud to watch our very own, home grown, Shane Anderson put on his Raggamuffin shirt to Captain and officially Tour Guide out on our Hol Chan Marine Reserve tour today. Shane has been with Raggamuffin from as far as I can remember, picking up all the dirty work, learning the operation of the boats until he was allowed to become a deck hand. For the past three years he has spent many of his weeks up and down the coast of Belize’s inner reef on our Placencia tour. It is during this time he has learnt to Captain from our smallest boat Ragga Gal to even our largest Ragga Queen. At the beginning of this year he grew tired of no ‘Tour Guide Training Courses’ being held on Caye Caulker and in frustration he commenced the course by himself, studying the books Chapters and taking his exams with the Belize Tourism Board by taking himself to San Pedro time for each and every exam. Shane passed all of his exams first time, a accolade that can be proud of as most do not achieve this (other than our very own Kevin and Jacob three years ago!!) – which is a measure of this man’s dedication to his path!!

ATLIB Volleyball Regionals | Facebook
Saturday, the UB Black Jaguars and Sacred Heart Wolves traveled from Cayo to Independence for the ATLIB Volleyball Regionals. The Jaguars took first place in both male and female divisions. Congratulations to all teams for doing their best. The finals will be on November 10th at Falcon Field. "UB Black Jaguars will defend their 2011-2012 Championship on November 10, 2012 at the ATLIB National Volleyball Tournament which will be hosted by SHJC. Congratulations to UB Black Jaguars for keeping UB proud!"

Channel 7

Nine Year Old "Standee" Falls From Moving Bus
Tonight a 9 year old is at the KHMH with serious injuries after falling from a moving bus this afternoon. This Afternoon at About 4:15, the standard four Holy Redeemer student was jammed into the back an overcrowded bus - when the back door flung open - and he tumbled out unto the Northern highway at mile 7. It's a terrible accident and the kind you always fear might happen when you look at those jam packed busses. Our news team came on the scene at mile 7 on the northern highway minutes after the accident occurred. Here's the story: Jules Vasquez Reporting Nine year old Holy Redeemer Primary School student Martin Noble lay sprawled out on the road with a passerby trying to keep the child conscious. His older brother Mauricio kneeled beside him trying to help as well: Dennis Gabourel - Arrived On The Scene "He was on the ground, I asked the child what's his name. He responded with his name, which allowed me to realize that he was still conscious, because I do CPR too. And, you know, it tears me apart." As Gabourel said, Martin - who wa sheadign to his home in Lord's Bank - was flung out of the back of an overcrowded bus and hurled unto the highway - into the path of oncoming traffic. Voice of: Eyewitness "The bus was actually over-filled with children. A lot of children were behind the bus, and before reaching mile 7, we noticed that the door just popped open, and one of the kids actually flew out of the back of the bus."

Working Man Murdered On Jobsite
And while that accident is tonight's headline - the biggest news of the day is another murder in the city. This one is especially tragic because the victim was a working man on his jobsite. 43 year old David Myvette, a construction supervisor was working on one of the concrete streets in Lake Independence, Electric Avenue. But that is also a gang affiliated area - and he was targeted for a vicious killing. We'll have the full story for you a little later on in the news...

Man Shoots Up In Lake-I, Caught by Police
And, last night at 6:30, in the same area where today's murder occurred - residents heard the sound of a massive shower of gunfire. That led to rumours and even news reports that there had been another murder in the area. Tonight, 7News confirms that there were no fatalities in that shooting, but it did lead to a high-speed police chase. Today, the Police Press Officer, Raphael Martinez, explained more about how police detained 2 men, one of whom was in possession of a firearm when he was caught. Raphael Martinez - Police Press Officer "On Tuesday, October 30, at approximately 8:30p.m., Police responded to shots being fired on La Croix Boulevard, Belize City. Police quickly visited the location and upon arriving at the corner of Mahogany and Linda Vista Street, a dark blue Toyota Camry without a license plate was observed speeding on Linda Vista Street in the direction of the George Price Highway. A pursuit was initiated by CIB mobile and Zone 9 mobile patrol. During the pursuit, the dark blue Toyota Camry lost control and ran into a board fence on Linda Vista Street. Three male persons then quickly exited the said car and ran in separate directions. Subsequently two of them 25 year old Belize City man and a 16 year old minor, of Burrell Boon Village were apprehended. Found on the minor was a black 9mm Austria 9x19 Pistol, which contained an empty magazine. Both were detained and escorted to the Queen Street Police Station. Police recovered one black 9mm Austria 9x19 Pistol containing an empty magazine, one damaged dark blue Toyota Camry without L/P, a set of keys, a black cell phone, a black knapsack, a pair of black slippers and several pieces of clothing." According to the press officer, up until midday today, both men were still only detained, and no formal charges had been laid against them.

Man Backs Out of Crime Conspiracy; Shot By Accomplices
And 3 hours after that incident in Belize City, officers on duty at the San Pedro Police Station were surprised when a man ran into the station suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The police press officer explained more today about how the man told them that one of his would-be partners in crime shot him because he had a crisis of conscience: Raphael Martinez - Police Press Officer "At approximately 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday October 30, 24 year old Derrick Wellington Rivers of the San Juan area in San Pedro ran into the police station where he was seen with two apparent gunshot injuries - one to the forehead and the other to the right arm. Initial investigations revealed that Rivers along with two other men from San Pedro were plotting to rob a business place, but when Rivers reportedly changed his mind, and that caused one of his would be partners to shoot him, allegedly. He was taken to the San Pedro Poly Clinic and later transferred to the KHMH where he is listed in a stable condition. Police have detained the man alleged to have shot Rivers." That suspect has not been charged, and the victim has been discharged from the KHMH.

Father Of Boy Who Tumbled From Bus Speaks
At the top of the newscast, we told you about a nine year old standard foru student who tumbled out of a moving bus. It happened on the northern highway between miles 7 and 8. None year old Martin Noble was at the back of a crowded bus - when the back door flung open and he crashed to the pavement into the path of oncoming traffic. Half an hour ago, Monica Bodden spoke to his father Fortunato Noble at the KHMH - and he told us what the child's prognosis is: Monica Bodden "Mr. Noble, How is your son doing at this time?" Fortunato Noble - Father of Martin "At the moment, he has come out from the CT Scan, and he is okay internally, no injury to the brain, and no internal bleeding. However, his face is all busted up, his lips are bleeding from several spots inside. He has several external concussions on his forehead. His face has a lot of cuts. He just looks terrible; he isn't recognizable to me. It's just sad; I was in there when they were stitching him up, and I couldn't take it. He is just in a lot of pain. My only concern with this incident is that I am making an appeal to these bus operators. We have been trying to deal with this for a while. Put extra buses for people to travel. Don't be cramming people in the bus. This happened because he was a standee in the bus, and somehow the backdoor of this bus flew open. I don't know how something like that can happen. This is a criminal act. And the child flew out of the bus; according to people who were there, they are saying that the bus door flew open, and the draft pulled him out. I don't know how that can happen, but that's what happened - they claim - I was not there. I didn't see what happened, but I'm putting this bus operator on notice. I want something to be done about it. This, to me, is a criminal act that he did; he is endangering people's lives. And this is not because he is my son; it could have been anybody's child. It could have been an adult. It's just not right having people standing up on the bus. There is an advertisement on the air calling on the bus operators to provide transportation for people so that they don't have standees, and they are completely ignoring this thing. These are some of the consequences; I don't know. Like I am saying, I am putting him on notice, and I am suing him. My son is in terrible pain that he does not have to be suffering because they wanted to make more money than is possible. They could easily put another bus there. They have the runs. People need to move; put another bus. Don't cram people like that. Thank God that this was not a fatal incident, but it could have very well been. I understand that the person who came immediately behind almost ran him over. He fell on the highway, and another vehicle was coming. Had he not been paying attention, he would have ran over my son. Putting another person - he is not just - these operators need to stop. And my plea to them is please, obey the law."

Knocked Down Man, Finally To Court
21 year-old Jason Rodney Castillo, the man who was suspected of knocking down 25 year-old Shane Dougal almost 8 weeks ago, is at prison tonight after he was arraigned on charges relating to Dougal's death. As we reported, Dougal, who is a security guard with Harpy Security, was riding his bike to work in the Ladyville area. At around 5:15 p.m. on Saturday, September 8, he was at mile 5 on the Phillip Goldson Highway, when he was knocked down and killed. Castillo was initially detained but no formal charges were brought against him, and he was eventually released. Well, police detained him once more, and he was charged with manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving motor vehicle without due care and attention and failure to provide specimen for testing. Police said that on the date in question he was driving his grey Nissan Altima car on the highway, and he knocked down Dougal. The responding officers believe that he may have been under the influence of alcohol, and requested that he provide a urine or blood specimen, but he refused without giving a reasonable excuse.

Do You Have A Small Business, Or an Idea For One?
For months - we've been telling you all about Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises - or MSME's as they are called. Throughout the developing world - efforts are being made to grow these enterprises because they are seen as the building blocks of economic growth. Today, a great leap forward was made the opening of the Small Business Development Center. The center is located at the University of Belize Faculty of Business in West Landivar. It's open - but the formal opening could not be held there - because like the businesses it hopes to serve - the center is….shall we say, micro. But it's got a mighty bog job to do and the Deputy Executive Director of Beltraide who is spearheading the effort told us if you think your business qualifies, you should come in: Lejia Melonie Gideon - Deputy Executive Director, BELTRAIDE "How do you get this assistance? You walk into the center, simple as that. You walk in and you bring your need, and we'll work with you from there. If you have an idea, visit us at the West Landivar campus." Jules Vasquez "Any sort of idea?" Lejia Melonie Gideon "You bring your idea, and we'll sit you down and tell you, 1, it's not a good idea, well tell you right now, 2, if you think of it this way, probably, it will work out better this way. So, we're going to give you honest advice, not just string you along because our resources are tight as well."

Finally, Municipal Bond Will Launch
And while that is micro-business, the municipal bond is big business. It's an 18 million dollar bond offering -t eh first of its kind in the region. Long promised, for months, we've been commenting on its failure to launch - as the prospectus was first promised in July, then August, then September, and now October is finished. That's why we were surprised today when the mayor told us that it will be launched in two weeks. Here's his interview: Jules Vasquez "Is it real? Is the prospectus finally upon us?" Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "This is our final draft in terms of the prospectus. What we've done is we've circulated it to some of our stakeholders so that there will be just a final review. And of course, we're going to send it out to get published with a nice design and other things like that. For a prospectus, it's a reasonably sized document. Everything has come together, and we've declared November 15, as our launch date for the municipal bond prospectus. And we expect that a significant amount of the bond will be sold on November 15, or very shortly thereafter, and very shortly after that, we will get in flows."

Working Man Killed
Tonight's headline was about the 9 year old who fell out of a moving bus. But the biggest news of the day was about a man who was killed on his jobsite. Monica Bodden has the story on the tragic murder of this construction supervisor: Monica Bodden Reporting The body of David Myvette lies dead tonight at the city morgue after he was gunned down on his jobsite just before 10 this morning. It happened on Electric Avenue where Myvette was the foreman for a project to cement the street. 2 gunmen rode up on bicycle while he was working - 0ne of them pulled out a firearm and began shooting. According to reports, he was shot 12 times to multiple parts of his body. He was rushed to the KHMH where he died 15 minutes later. Raphael Martinez - Police Press Officer "At approximately 10 o'clock this morning, a Belize City man was shot in the Electric Avenue. Reportedly, he was working on the street, doing a reconstruction project, and allegedly, 2 men rode up on a bicycle, one of whom pulled out a firearm and shot him several times. He was taken to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he succumbed to his at approximately 10:15 a.m. So far, nobody has been detained, but police are following a lead on this latest murder."

Placencia's Novel Crime Solution
crime is one of the areas of social breakdown that every community is battling against. But the residents of the Placencia Peninsula are taking an active role in its prevention. The representatives of most the major organizations in Placencia hired experts to conduct surveys on what the residents wanted to see improved in their community. The residents indicated that they wanted a better police presence in the area, and as a result the business community and stakeholders secured funding for an initiative to erect a mobile checkpoint on the Placencia Road, as the only entry/exit point into the area. The proposal was taken to the Ministry of National Security, and they embraced it as a model of the community trying to bridge the divide between the police department and the community. Today, representatives from the Placencia Steering Committee met with the Minister of National Security, to sign a formal Memorandum of Understanding to implement the police mobile checkpoint. We spoke to the Chair of the committee who told us about the significance of the MOU. Here's what he had to say: Stewart Krohn - Chair, Peninsula 20/20 Steering Committee "We looked for ways of how we could nip crime in the bud on the peninsula, and we realized that because there is only one road to and from the peninsula, that would be a good chokepoint to see who's coming, whose going, and use it as kind of an intelligence gathering exercise. At the same time, we have a lot more tourist who are renting and driving cars, to just kind of give them the reassurance that are people looking out for their safety. So, we formulated a plan to make it a mobile checkpoint. We canvassed our private sector and business community to see if the financial support was there, and it was. And we put this proposal to the Ministry of National Security, and worked back and forth on the details because police matters, it's very important that the Government monopolizes control. As much as we, civilians, would want to call the shots, it's a joint effort. And we worked out this memorandum of understanding as to how this checkpoint would be manned. That was just one of a number of recommendations that we made, including the upgrading of the police post. And I have to say that the Government has been good to its word, and what we agreed to, they've followed through to. Now, it's etched on black and white, on paper. Now, we will go to the implementation stage."

The Other Way Of Getting Through The Bush
Last year, the British Army Training Support Unit BATSUB, downsized their operation in Belize in November, but on June 3, 2011, they donated a fleet of 6 all-terrain vehicles to the BDF. It was in an effort to try to assist in the absence the vital helicopter support that BATSUB provided to reach those remote observation outposts on Belize's borders, but those ATV's couldn't hold up in the rugged terrain. Well, the BDF communicated their issues to the new Minister of National Security John Saldivar took over and today, he made a donation of 3 vehicles and John Deer tractor to help with their needs. According to the Commandant of the BDF a tractor helps to mobilize troops better. The Minister of National Security spoke to the media on how the decision was made: Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security "It came about as the result of some of the need that were expressed to me very early on when I took over the Ministry of National Security. The BDF is in need of several vehicles so that they can get around the country better, so that they can patrol our borders better, and this is only the beginning. Within another 2 months, we should be getting hopefully another 7 vehicles for them, and after that, I believe we'll be properly able to mobilize around the country."

The Pantempers Killed It In Taiwan
Last night we told you about the Pantempers Steel Band's triumphant tour of Taiwan. They were part of a cultural tour of the Island nation performing alongside contingents from Guatemala, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Lucia. And by all accounts, the Pantempers killed it! The 25 person contingent swayed, smiled and serenaded their way into the hearts of the Taiwanese audience. And how do we know this? Well, you may remember our summer intern, Robin Schaffer. She's in Taiwan now pursuing a degree in journalism. She teamed up with the Pantempers' camera man Codie Norales at the last show of a two week tour. Here is what they saw in the city of Taoyuen: Robin Schaffer Reporting Today, the Pan Tempers Steel Band completed a two week tour of Taiwan in the city of Taoyuan where they played to an impressive crowd at the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Taoyuan Country. The reception here was warm - just as it was in the other three cities in which they played

What Red Ribbons Mean To Youths
Yesterday, 7News told you that Wesley College was celebrating its Red Ribbon Week, which has become a part of its tradition in the fight against teenage drug use. Today, they held a parade which ended off at the school's compound, and immediately after that, the entire school participated in a rally, in which the students displayed skits and dramas around the theme of the fact of drugs in their everyday lives. 7News stopped by and had a chance to speak with a few of the students. Here's what they told about their perception of the availability and use of drugs in their communities: Shanique Wade - Wesley College Student "In our community, a lot of people do drugs, but I myself don't do drugs because I found out that drugs aren't something good to do." Tanisha Flowers - Wesley College Student "This drug free rally is portraying that you aren't supposed to use drugs and that drugs can cause you to die from liver cancer, and other different parts of the body getting damage." Daniel Ortiz "And what has this drug rally been like for you?" Tanisha Flowers "It has been a good thing my step-father uses drugs, and I have tried to tell him stop the smoking, that's his choice."

Channel 5

Banana Growers support CGA and call for removal of Ministry C.E.O.
Unrest within the citrus belt continued for a second day as disgruntled farmers and their employees once again gathered in Pomona, along with the executive, as well as other members of the Citrus Growers Association, to protest a number of concerns going into this year’s crop season. The most pertinent of those concerns include an [...]

B.D.F. nonlethal weapons choice for City streets and border
News circulated about a week ago that the Belize Defence Force soldiers patrolling the border would be armed with taser guns and batons. But before public uproar erupted, Minister John Saldivar clarified that the soldiers would also continue to carry their usual firearms. Today, B.D.F. Commandant, Brigadier General Dario Tapia, explained that the objective is [...]

Ten bullets; man gunned down in Murder Capital, Belize City
One man narrowly escaped being murdered on Tuesday night and he clings to life while another shooting victim was gunned down with close to a dozen bullets this morning, just prior to a speech being delivered by the Minister of National Security John Saldivar, in Belize City. The Ministry sent a release stating that no [...]

Accomplices shoot fellow thief for declining to commit robbery
There is no honor amongst thieves and that old adage was proven true once again on Ambergris Caye. Three men conspired to participate in an armed robbery and assault, but one of the men got cold feet. But instead of simply parting ways peacefully, the other two tried to kill Derrick Rivers of San Pedro [...]

Primary school student falls from crowded bus
Tonight, a student of the Holy Redeemer Primary school is at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital receiving treatment for injuries he received in a traffic accident involving a bus belonging to Haylock Bus Service. The bus was transporting students and other passengers from the City when it is said that the minor, identified as nine [...]

Shooting in air and high speed chase in the City
There was a disturbance on Tuesday night in Belize City near Mahogany Street. Shots were fired and the cops were in a fast pursuit of men driving a Toyota Camry. It quickly became a foot chase as the men abandoned the vehicle. According to the police P.R., the officers were able to capture the suspects [...]

For his manslaughter court date, he brought a bag full of clothes
The celebrations on carnival day were marred by tragedy for a George Street family when twenty-five year old security guard, Shane Dougal, was knocked down and killed on his way to work in Ladyville. At the time of the accident on September eighth, the driver of the vehicle was identified as twenty-year old Jason Rodney [...]

Ladyville resident busted for hiring undocumented migrant workers
Also in the courts, a group of women were hauled before a magistrate because they were illegally working in the country. But instead of the employees, it’s the employer who got charged. Twenty-two year old Sandra Carballo, the owner of Blue House Bar in Ladyville was arrested after six women of various nationalities were found [...]

B.D.F. 2-day hike to border to change with new vehicles
The Belize Defence Force received a donation from the Ministry of National Security today and it will be most appreciated by the soldiers who have to patrol the remote areas along the border. Many persons may not be aware, but the soldiers who patrol the Machaquilla area, must endure a two day hike to reach [...]

U.S Capital says it’s G.O.B. who made the rules to EIA Consultation engagement
The environmental community has come out in full support of the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes Association because of what they believe is a botched consultation in Sundaywood village. The meeting last week Thursday should have been to educate the public and respond to their concerns regarding U.S. Capital Energy’s desire to drill [...]

APAMO appalled by U.S. Capital EIA and says it’s incomplete
Most of the discussion surrounding the U.S. Capital Environmental Impact Assessment focused on the incident during which Martin Alegria and Ligorio Coy removed Greg Choc of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management from the microphone. While that was a rather unfortunate display, the content of the E.I.A. is finally taking the spotlight. The Association [...]

B.N.T.U. advises members to read amended Education Act
While the US Capital Energy issue continues to fester, another controversy is blazing on the education front. The Belize National Teachers’ Union (B.N.T.U.) issued an advisory to its membership and all persons employed in the field of Education, stating that Statutory Instrument (S.I.) number eighty-seven, education amendment rules, of 2012 has been signed into law [...]

Police and B.T.I.A. sign M.O.U. for 24-hour checkpoint on Placencia Road
The Ministry of National Security and the Steering Committee of the Peninsula 2020 Initiative which includes the Placencia and Seine Bight Village Councils, the Placencia B.T.I.A., and a host of related organizations, signed a memorandum of understanding earlier today. The M.O.U. was designed to curb crime in the Peninsula. It’s a proactive initiative since a [...]

How do you manage mounting piles of solid waste?
An improved solid waste management system has been in the pipeline for over a decade and it is finally coming to fruition. That’s has been the focus of the Solid Waste Management Authority since last December and since then work has been ongoing to improve waste disposal in San Pedro and Caye Caulker, San Ignacio/Santa [...]

Belize’s 1st Small Business Development Center was launch
Belize’s first Small Business Development Center was launched today at the Radisson. The initiative is a partnership between a number of agencies, including BELTRAIDE, the Development Finance Corporation, ITVET, the Belize City Council, the Organization of American States, as well as the University of Texas at San Antonio. BELTRAIDE recently conducted multiple training exercises with [...]

Ascenthium seeks rock superstardom in Superstar
Be The Next Superstar is Channel Five’s runaway hit family program. The winner of the show will take home ten thousand dollars and bragging rights. On Tuesday we met up with the Jeremys, Jeremy Cuthkelvin and Jeremy Vasquez in Belmopan. Tonight News Five got the back story on the band called Ascenthium.   Duane Moody, [...]


CGA Calls Off Day Two of Demonstration
A planned second day of demonstration by the Citrus Growers Association has been called off. Hundreds of growers marched on the Citrus Products of Belize in Pomona Valley on Tuesday to highlight their discontent with the way the company is being managed and allegations of a move ...

Belmopan City Council Plans Public Consultation
Residents of Belmopan are being asked to come out to an important meeting tonight. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports. FEM CRUZ Belmopan Correspondent Love FM “The Belmopan City Council will be having a very important public consultation this evening at the Belm...

Man Shot By Partner In Crime After He Refuses to Rob Business
A shooting incident in San Pedro town has left a would-be robber injured. The victim has been identified as twenty four year old Derrick Wellington Rivers, a resident of the San Juan area of San Pedro town. According to police reports, Rivers ran into the police station aro...

Police Detains Two Persons for Last Night's Shooting
Two people, including a sixteen year old boy are in police detention following a shooting incident last night. According to police reports, they responded to shots being fired on La Croix Boulevard around eight thirty last night. Police say that as they drove up on the area at th...

Easy Finance Business Robbed
The R.S.V media center has received reports of a robbery that occurred shortly before 11:00 this morning at Easy Finance on Dolphin Street in Belize City. Love News understands that three armed men entered the store and held up the employees. It is not clear what actually t...

Villager Killed On His Work Site
A man was shot dead this morning in Belize City. The victim has been identified as Sand Hill village resident David Myvett, also known as “Hog.” Preliminary reports are that Myvett, who is a supervisor for the work crew that is cementing Electric Avenue in B...


PUP holds press conference; discusses national issues
The People’s United Party’s leader has said that eight months after the current government got into office, Belize is in crisis. The party leader was speaking at a press conference that his party called to sound their alarm and to share what they find to be unacceptable. Fonseca started out, followed by the PUP’s Orange Walk East representative, Dr Marco Tulio Mendez, on health matters, and then by the party’s Chairman, Henry Usher on crime. Following the presentations, Fonseca answered questions posed on specific issues. On the land dispute between Belize and Guatemala, some Belizeans have taken objection to the proposal to take the matter to the International Court of Justice. We asked Fonseca what his party’s position on this was. The super-bond, which has been on the table for re-negotiations and restructuring, and which is one of the biggest national dilemmas is also a concern to the PUP, says Fonseca. Fonseca also said that his party is willing to forge along with the government, to take a bi-partisan approach on crime in Belize. Fonseca, who replaced Johnny Briceno as party leader, recently completed his first year in that capacity. Fonseca also said that his party is willing to forge along with the government, to take a bi-partisan approach on crime in Belize. Fonseca, who replaced Johnny Briceno as party leader, recently completed his first year in that capacity.

Man jailed for illegal gun possession
Eighteen year old Clifford Lorenzo, one of two persons charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license, pleaded guilty to both charges when he appeared in court today. He was sentenced to five years for each count by the Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith, who stipulated that they are to run concurrently, which means that he will only serve five years. The charges against 25 year Victor Pratt, the other defendant, were withdrawn. The incident occurred around 11:30 a.m. yesterday. The police reported that they were doing vehicle inspection at the junction of the Northern Highway and Visa Del Mar when they stopped a green Mitsubishi car and ordered the occupants to get out. They said they searched both Lorenzo and Pratt but they did not find anything incriminating. But when they searched the car they found a black Smith and Wesson 9 millimetre pistol with rounds of ammunition in its magazine on the front passenger seat. As a result, Lorenzo and Pratt were taken into custody and charged.

Pan Tempters are cultural ambassadors in Taiwan
Twenty-five musicians of the Pantempters Steel Orchestra returned to Belize today after spending two weeks in Taiwan. The group was invited by the Government of Taiwan to perform at the Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Exhibition. Upon their return, the group was welcomed by Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize, David Wu, during a luncheon in their honour at the Chatteau Caribbean. Love News spoke with Taiwanese Ambassador, David Wu and band leader of the Pantempters, Therese Martinez about how the tour came about and what was shared. Governor General, Sir Colville Young, who played a key role in developing steel pan music in Belize, gave a history of how the Pantempters Steel Band was formed.

Wesley College observes Red Ribbon week
Each year for the past fourteen years Wesley College has been celebrating Red Ribbon Week, which is used to highlight the effects drugs can have on people. This year is no different and each day this week the seven hundred plus students at the high school are engaged in an activity of some kind to underscore what drugs do to the mind and body, and the problems it can create with the law. School Councilor at Wesley College, Elizabeth Gough, told Love News that despite the availability of drugs and peer pressure, the student body, for the most part, take the message seriously. This year’s guest speaker, Darrel Bradley, opened the week on Monday.

Crystal water truck overturns in Toledo
A traffic accident on the Southern Highway left an eighteen wheeler freight truck on its side with all its full load of Crystal water inside the cargo section. Correspondent Paul Mahung has more on the incident.

Youths take part in chess tournament in San Ignacio
Children in three Districts indulged themselves in a game of Chess on Saturday. One of the events, namely the Cayo Halloween Chess Tournament took place at Hodes Place in San Ignacio. Love News spoke with Cayo District Coordinator for the Belize National Youth Chess Foundation David Coombs, who gave us all the details on the event. Coombs thanks coaches, parents and teachers who assisted with the competition, because he says that without them it wouldn’t be possible. He said that the children are doing a lot more than just playing the game since they behaved respectfully and were full of positivity.

Bus operator struggles to survive
Last week Love News reported on several problems faced by commuters who are traveling on the Belize City to Ladyville Route and back. Many commuters expressed their frustration and the difficulty faced on a daily basis for not being able to travel punctually and comfortably among many other factors. Love News had spoken with General Manager and Owner of Universal Transportation Services, Jennine Hamilton who informed us that she had done some research and thought up a solution for the ongoing inconvenience faced by commuters. As a result she proposed a route which she sent to the transport board. Hamilton has received an answer and came to share with Love News that although the board agreed to reinstate her after having removed her license without motive in 2010, she is not satisfied with what she has been offered for many reasons. Hamilton said that her proposal makes sure that there is no conflict on the routes with other buses, since her buses would take a complete different route than the others are travelling on at this point. In being fair Hamilton says that she doesn’t wish for any other companies’ routes to be removed because she has gone through enough to know how devastating it can be. She sends the following message to the Ministry of Transport. The proposal according to Hamilton would surely alleviate the problem of standees which is one of the major issues that the Transport Department has to deal with.

Citrus growers demonstrate in Pomona valley
The Citrus Growers Association today held a peaceful demonstration in Pomona Village. Hundreds of growers took part in the event, which included a kick off rally with speeches by various persons representing supporting groups and organizations. The organizers of the demonstration are hoping to throw the national spotlight squarely on injustices which they say are seriously jeopardizing the survival of this crucial contributor to the country’s economy. Love news was at today’s demonstration and here is how it went. The citrus growers are also calling for the removal of the CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture Jose Alpuche, accusing him of not giving proper advise to the Minister.


Banana Growers Association support CGA and call on PM to address their demands
The Banana Growers Association sent out a press release expressing its full solidarity with the CGA. The release sa...

Infrastructure upgrades continue in Belmopan
Works continue in the City of Belmopan. In August of this year official ceremony was held to mark the start of a st...

CGA members meet with Minister Gaspar Vega
The Belize Citrus Growers Association has been agitating for changes within the Citrus Industry. Earlier this week ...

Belize Defence Force receives $220,000 worth of vehicles
Minister of National Security John Saldivar delivered a treat this afternoon to the Belize Defence Force: $220,000 ...

Crime Stoppers award young essay writers
Crime Stoppers is a community based program designed to help law enforcement solve crime. CRIME FOOTAGE Today that ...

Youth receive vocational training scholarships
Thirty two Belizean youths from across the country have received scholarships to complete a vocational training car...

Another murder in Belize City
Another murder in Belize City. David Myvette, a resident of Sandhill was shot in Belize City this morning. Myvette ...

MOU signed for mobile checkpoint on Placencia Peninsula
A memorandum of understanding was signed this morning between the Ministry of National Security and the Steering Co...

73 years-old John Tate still missing after two weeks.
A 73 years-old man has been missing for two weeks. MS. CANDICE CAROL TATE of Chula Vista Area, Corozal Town, report...

Police detain two persons after pursuit ends with car crash
Last night at about 8:30pm, Police responded to shots being fired on La Croix Boulevard, in Belize City. Police vis...

San Pedro Police detain man for attempted murder
San Pedro Police are investigating a report of attempted murder. At 11:30 pm last night 24 year old Derrick Welling...

Bar owner pleads guilty to employing illegal immigrants
22yr old Sandra Carballo, a Belizean woman of Ladyville was arraigned in court today to face charges of hiring for...


Dining artfully at Casa Picasso
Casa Picasso has long been a favorite place for many, when Jackie and Adam took it over a year ago and brought it back to life, they did the name justice and gave new meaning to the words dine artfully. They invited everyone out to celebrate their 1 year anniversary last night and pleased the crowd with drink specials and delicious food. Thanks for a wonderful night. Don’t forget to join Casa Picasso facebook page so you can stay informed on what they are up to. You can also check out San Pedro Scoop pictures from last night.

Try this Place: Casa Picasso's First Anniversary Party
Last night a good chunk of the town arrived at Casa Picasso to celebrate the re-opening for "the season", Casa Picasso's one year anniversary party and to taste the new food from their brand new chef. Some were a bit late...there was a town-wide meeting at the High School at the same time!...but everyone...EVERYONE was glad they came. The food was awesome. The crowd had an amazing time. And Jackie and Adam, the owners, remain some of my favorite people in town. Here they are: Though I am generally a $6bzd Chinese fried chicken sandwich kind of gal, I am saying SPLURGE. The food I tasted last night means that there are great things to come this year. Again, most of my pictures come from my new unpaid intern Krista from Crazy Canucks. She even arrived early to take great pictures of the staff like this one. Dedication! I love it.

VIDEO: Skydive in to the Blue Hole, Belize
The ultimate skydive in my 21 years of jumping! Exit from 13,500 feet in PERFECT weather conditions (ie endless blue skies, puffy clouds and NO wind) with my beautiful husband and Arizona friend Ginger. I deployed at 8,000 feet so I could soak in all the exotic beauty and sublime heavenly experience. A once in a lifetime never-to-forget skydive!!! BTW, my canopy is red, black and gray, and I am the last person to land in this video. WOOHOO! The Great Blue Hole is a stunning circular jewel surrounded by a ring of shallow luminous coral reef in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Measuring 1,000 feet across and more than 400 feet deep, this ocean-floor limestone sinkhole is believed to be the world's largest blue hole, made famous by Jacques Cousteau. Atolls are characterized by a large, fairly shallow lagoon surrounded by coral reefs. Only four known true atolls exist in the Western Hemisphere, and of these, three reside in Belize: Turneffe, Lighthouse and Glovers.

International Sources

First Ladies highlight importance of energy and water in relation to women
HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, in Her opening speech at the First Ladies Summit, highlighted the importance of building a sustainable future that promotes growth and preserves the environment. The Summit, which is held under HRH Princess Haya's patronage, took place on the sidelines of the World Energy Forum 2012. Attending the Summit were a number of First Ladies from countries around the world, including Kenya, Sri Lanka, Belize, and the Republic of Maldives, to name a few. Also in attendance were HE Reem Al Hashimi, UAE Minister of State and Managing Director of Dubai Expo 2020 Executive Bid Committee, HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice-Chairman of Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, HE Hessa Abdullah Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain and Dr. Harold Hyun-Suk Oh, President and Chairman of the World Energy Forum. "The United Nations has designated 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All," emphasized HRH Princess Haya. "The challenge for world leaders today is how to promote economic growth and preserve our environment at the same time. The outcome of this challenge will have tremendous impact on families, women and children all over the globe."

Go Green: 8 Eco-Friendly Stays In Belize
Belize is best known for its lush rain forests, Mayan ruins and gorgeous barrier reef -- one of the world's best sites for snorkeling and scuba diving. As so much of the country's tourism is dependent on its breathtaking natural surroundings, a determined commitment to eco-friendly practices can be found in most hoteliers throughout the country, and Oyster has stayed in everything from compact eco-lodges to rustic-luxe hideaways during our visits to this small South American country. Check out photos of our favorite eco-friendly stays -- and find out what exactly makes them green ...

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